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2016 'Best of Jazz' Selected by JJA Members

These are the 2016 "Best of Jazz" lists and commentaries compiled by
Members of the Jazz Journalists Association.  They are displayed in the order received, with the most recent on top. 

It's up to each member to decide what to include in his or her post
--recordings, books, live performances or whatever--
how many choices to include, and how the post will be formatted.

Click the member's underlined name after the date to view that member's profile. You are invited to comment on the posts


  • 25 Dec 2016 10:24 AM | Stephen Feeney

    1) Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra – Time/Life (Impulse)

    2) Wadada Leo Smith – America’s National Parks (Cuneiform)

    3) Joshua Redman & Brad Mehldau – Nearness (Nonesuch)

    4) Eric Revis Trio – Crowded Solitudes (Clean Feed)

    5) Charles Lloyd & the Marvels – I Long To See You (Bluenote)

    6) Jonathan Finlayson & Sicilian Defense – Moving Still (Pi)

    7) Anna Webber’s Simple Trio – binary (Skirl)

    8) Tom Harrell – Something Gold, Something Blue (HighNote)

    9) Satoko Fujii/Joe Fonda – Duet (Long Song)

    10) Michael Formanek – The Distance (ECM)


    Fred Hersch – Sarabande (Sunnyside)

    Joe Lovano Quartet – Classic! Live at Newport (BlueNote)

    Keith Jarrett – A Multitude Of Angels (ECM)


    Steve Grover – Variations (Red Piano)


    Pedrito Martinez Group – Habana Dreams (Motema)


    Matt Mayhall - Tropes (Skirl)

  • 23 Dec 2016 4:09 PM | Linda Yohn

    Here is my "Sweet 16" for 2016.  I'm also including the link to wemu.org for my thoughts and musical samples.

    1.  Ted Nash Big Band  "Presidential Suite: 8 Variations On Freedom"  Motema

    2.  Rene Marie  "The Sound Of Red"  Motema

    3.  Herlin Riley  "New Direction"  Mack Avenue

    4.  Brian Lynch  "Madero Latino: A Latin Jazz Interpretation Of The Music Of              Woody Shaw"  Hollistic MusicWorks

    5.  Allen Toussaint "American Tunes"  Nonesuch

    6.  Stryker-Slagle Band (Expanded)  Routes  Strikezone

    7.  Andy Gonzalez  "Entre Collegas"  Truth Revolution

    8.  Renee Rosnes "Written In The Rocks"  Smoke Sessions

    9.  Ken Peplowski  "Enrapture"  Capri

    10.  Andrew Bishop And Ellen Rowe  "Chisel And Stone"  PKO

    11.  Phil Woods Quintet  "Live At The Deer Head Inn"  Deer Head

    12.  Roberta Piket  "One For Marian - Celebrating Marian McPartland"  Thirteenth Note

    13.  Miles Brown  "Middle Game"  Miles Brown Music

    14.  Paul Vornhagen  "Trust Your Heart"  PKO

    15.  Bill Evans  "Some Other Time: The Lost Session From The Black Forest"  Resonance

    16.  Stan Getz "Moments In Time"  Resonance

    For my thoughts on the music - some of which is local to Ann Arbor and Detroit, check out the post on WEMU's website:


    Wishing you happy holidays and more marvelous music in 2017!


  • 23 Dec 2016 1:08 PM | Nancy Barell

    In no particular order here are my top 10

    Dena DeRose.. "United" HighNote

    Russel Malone "All About The Melody" High Note

    Branford Marsalis special guest Kurt Elling "Upward Spiral"  Okeh

    Catherine Russell "Harlem On My Mind" Jazz Village

    Shirley Horn "Live At the 4 Queens" Resonance

    Gregory Porter "Take Me To The Alley" Blue Note

    Renee Rosnes "Written In The Rocks" Smoke Sessions Records

    One For All " The Third Decade" Smoke Sessions Records

    Dominick Farinacci "Short Stories" Mack Avenue

    Allan Harris "Nobody's Gonna Love You Better" Love Productions Records

  • 21 Dec 2016 3:55 PM | Rick Mitchell

    Here are the top 20 tracks released in 2016 featured on my radio program, Jazz In the New Millennium. As a deejay, I listen in terms of individual tracks, though as a critic I recommend most of the albums these tracks are on. The program is syndicated through the African American Public Radio Consortium and airs on eight stations, including Houston, Atlanta. Denver, Phoenix and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

    Charles Lloyd and the Marvels, "Of Course Of Course"

    Gregory Porter, "Take Me to the Alley"

    Herlin Riley, "The Crossbar"

    Norah Jones, "It's a Wonderful Time for Love"

    David Murray/Geri Allen/Terri Lyne Carrington, "The Nurturer"

    Rene Marie, "Sound of Red"

    Dr. Lonnie Smith, "Play It Back"

    Warren Wolf, "Soul Sister"

    Marcus Strickland, "Drive"

    Jack DeJohnette/Ravi Coltrane/Matthew Garrison, "Alabama"

    John Scofield, "Wildwood Flower"

    Robert Glasper and Miles Davis, "Right On Brotha"

    Pedrito Martinez Group, "Mi Tempistad"

    Joe Lovano Quartet, "Big Ben"

    Kenny Garrett, "Bossa"

    Kenny Barron Trio, "Shuffle Boil"

    Dave Stryker, "Trouble Man"

    Esperanza Spalding, "Unconditional Love"

    Ron Carter/Houston Person, "Young and Foolish"

    Dave Holland/Aziza, "Sleepless Nights"

    Here are ten non-jazz albums that brought me joy and artistic satisfaction.

    Rolling Stones, Blue and Lonesome

    Beyoncé, Lemonade

    The Hamilton Mixtape

    Paul Simon, Stranger to Stranger

    Allen Toussaint, American Tunes

    Sturgill Simpson, A Sailor's Guide to Earth

    God Don't Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson

    Drive-by Truckers, American Band

    William Bell, This Is Where I Live

    The Suffers, The Suffers








  • 20 Dec 2016 9:59 PM | Hrayr Attarian

    The Best of 2016 (A Baker's Dozen)

    1. Henry Threadgill - Old Locks and Irregular Verbs (Pi)
    2. Andrew Cyrille Quartet - The Declaration of Musical Independence (ECM Records)
    3. Steve Lehman & Sélébéyone - Sélébéyone (Pi Recordings)
    4. Giovanni Guidi - Ida Lupino (ECM Records)
    5. Rudy Royston - Rise of Orion (Greenleaf)
    6. Greg Ward - Touch My Beloved's Thought (Greenleaf)
    7. Susana Santos Silva - Life and Other Transient Storms (Clean Feed)
    8. Festen - Festen (Clean Feed)
    9. Jane Ira Bloom - Early Americans (Outline)
    10. Jessica Pavone - Silent Spills (Relative Pitch Records)
    11. Catherine Sikora- Jersey (Relative Pitch Records)
    12. Satoko Fujii - Peace (Libra)
    13. Ingrid Laubrock - Serpentines (Intakt)

  • 20 Dec 2016 5:15 PM | Anonymous

    Best 20 Jazz Releases of 2016

    Greg Ward & 10 Tongues - Touch My Beloved's Thought (Greenleaf Music)

    JD Allen - Americana Musings on Jazz and Blues (Savant)

    Jack DeJohnette/Ravi Coltrane/Matthew Garrison - In Movement (ECM Records)

    Andrew Cyrille Quartet - The Declaration of Musical Independence (ECM Records)

    Jonathan Finlayson & Sicilan Defense - Moving Still (PI Recordings)

    Jaimeo Brown Transcendence - Work Songs (Motéma Music)

    Jeff Parker - The New Breed (International Anthem Recording Co.)

    The Claudia Quintet: Super Petite  (Cuneiform Records)

    Kenny Barron - Book of Intuition (Impulse)

    Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith,-  A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke (ECM Records)

    Craig Taborn/Christian McBride/Tshawn Sorey/John Zorn - Flaga Book of Angels Volume 27  (Tzadik Records)

    Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus - The Distance (ECM Records)

    Carla Bley/Andy Sheppard/Steve Swallow - Andando El Tiempo (ECM Records)

    James Ira Bloom - Early Americans (Outline)

    Ed Cherry - Soultree (Posi-Tone Records)

    Lori Bell - Brooklyn Dreaming (CD Baby)

    Renee Rosnes - Written in the Rocks (Smoke Sessions Records)

    Rene Marie - Sound of Red (Motema Music)

    Tierney Sutton Band - The Sting Variations (BRM Jazz)

    Cory Weeds Quintet - It's Easy to Remember (Cellar Live)

  • 19 Dec 2016 3:16 PM | Anonymous

    THOMAS CHAPIN, NIGHT BIRD SONG documentary's BEST of our JAZZ FILM Screenings

    1. BEST STORY Award, Nice, France film festival

    2. Monterey Jazz Festival, selected to screen

    3. Hartford, CT (Chapin's) hometown, sell out screening & music concert

    4. Manhattan, SVA Theater, 350+ attended free screening

    5. University of Kentucky, Lexington screening and concert with Mario Pavone and Dave Ballou, our first academic screening

    6. Normal, Illinois screening, JJA's Howard Mandel hosts Q&A with Stephanie on Skype

    7. Hawaii premiere in Stephanie's home, 5 screenings

    8. New York Jazz Film Festival, winner for Posthumous Documentary

  • 19 Dec 2016 12:11 PM | Anonymous

    Mary Halvorson Octet- Away With You- Firehouse 12

    Jacob Collier- In My Room-Membrain

    John Beasley- Monk'estra Volume One- Mack Avenue

    Jack De Johnette- In Movement- ECM

    Andrew Cyrille- Declaration Of Independence- ECM

    Wadada Leo Smith- America's National Parks- Cuneiform

    Takuya Kuroda- Zigzagger- Concord Jazz

    Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra- Time/Life- Impulse!

    Tierney Sutton- Sting Variations- BFM Jazz

    Macy Gray- Stripped- Chesky

  • 14 Dec 2016 6:42 PM | Ralph A. Miriello
    My best of Jazz 2016 in no particular order:

    Rhythm Future Quartet: Travels

    Orrin Evans: #knowingis half the battle

    Warren Wolf: Convergence

    Morgan Guerin: The Saga

    Shirley Horn: Live at the 4 Queens

    Julian Lage: Arclight

    Fred Hersch Trio: Sunday Night at the Village Vanguard

    Darren English: Imagine Nation

    The Claudia Quintet: Super Petite

    Denny Zeitlin: Early Wayne

    John Chin: Fifth

    Larry Young: In Paris the ORTF Recordings

    Frank Catalano and Jimmy Chamberlin: Bye Bye Blackbird

    Matt Ulery’s Loom/Large : Festival

    Marc Copland: Zenith

    Dave Anderson: Blue Innuendo

    Lori Bell: Brooklyn Dreaming

    John Beasley: Monk'estra Vol 1

    Herlin Riley: New Direction

    Alyssa Allgood: Out of the Blue

    LeBoeuf Brothers + Jack Quartet: Imaginist

    Jay Azzolina/Dino Govoni/Adam Nussbaum/Dave Zinno: Chance Meeting

    Michael Blanco: Spirit Forward

    Bill  Evans : Some Other Time, The Lost Sessions from the Black Forest

    Jeff Parker: The New Breed

    Arthur Vint & Associates: Through the Badlands

  • 13 Dec 2016 1:01 PM | Karl Ackermann

    Best Jazz Releases of 2016

    1.       Nate Wooley, Seven Storey Mountain V (Pleasure Of Text Records)
    2.       Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord, 2016: EPs (Hot Cup Records)
    3.       Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith, A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke (ECM Records)
    4.       Raphael Malfliet, Noumenon (Ruweh Records)
    5.       Steve Lehman & Sélébéyone, Sélébéyone (Pi Recordings)
    6.       The Core Trio Live, featuring Matthew Shipp, Self-Titled (Evil Rabbit Records)
    7.       Avishai Cohen, Into the Silence (ECM Records)
    8.       Bob Gluck/Billy Hart/Eddie Henderson/Christopher Dean Sullivan, Infinite Spirit - Revisiting Music of the Mwandishi Band (FMR Records)
    9.       Jack DeJohnette, Return (Newvelle Records)
    10.   Taylor Ho Bynum, Enter the Plus Tet (Firehouse 12 Records)


    Raphael Malfliet, Noumenon (Ruweh Records)


    1.       Keith Jarrett, A Multitude of Angels (ECM Records)
    2.       Cecil Taylor, Live In The Black Forest (Edel Germany Gmbh)
    3.       Peter Erskine Trio: John Taylor/Palle Danielsson, As it Was (ECM Records)


    Rob Mazurek/Emmett Kelly, Alien Flower Sutra (International Anthem Recording Company)


    Aruan Ortiz Trio with Eric Revis and Gerald Cleaver, Hidden Voices (Intakt Records)

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