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These are the 2019 "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.

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  • 12 Dec 2019 9:41 AM | Sammy Stein

    1) Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp/Bobby Kapp/William Parker - Ineffable joy ( ESP)

    2) Fire! Orchestra - Arrival ( Rune Gramafon)

    3) Peter Brotzmann - I Surrender dear ( Trost)  

    4) Erodoto Project - Molon Labe ( Cultural Bridge)

    5) day and Taxi - Devotion (Percaso)

    6) Shifa - Live At Café Oto (577 Records)

    7) Kate Williams +Four Plus Three with Georgia Mancio 'FInding Home' (KW Jazz) 

    8) Graham J 'Cry' (MRX-04)

    9) David Dower Trio ' There Are No Stars' ( Bandcamp, iplayer)

    10)Marco Marconi trio - New roads ( 33 Jazz)

     

     

     

     

     

  • 11 Dec 2019 9:45 AM | Mike West
    1. Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah Ancetral Recall (Ropeadope)
    2. Angel Bat Dawid The Oracle (International Anthem)
    3. Matana Roberts COIN COIN Chapter Four: Memphis (Constellation)
    4. Miho Hazama Dancer in Nowhere (Sunnyside)
    5. Marilyn Mazur Shamania (RareNoise)
    6. Matthew Shipp Trio Invites Nicole Mitchell All Things Are (Rogue Arts)
    7. Joel Ross Kingmaker (Blue Note)
    8. Jaimie Branch Fly Or Die II: Bird Dogs of Paradise (International Anthem)
    9. Ben Monder Day After Day (Sunnyside)
    10. James Brandon Lewis An UnRuly Manifesto (Relative Pitch)
  • 10 Dec 2019 11:13 PM | David Adler

    Two Top-Ten Lists - A & B. But one is not secondary to the other; they're just different. I made the first list, then thought about it for a bit and made an entirely different list. And rather than agonize about it all, I'm just posting them both.

    List A:

    Miguel Zenón, Sonero: The Music of Ismael Rivera (Miel)

    ELEW, Elew Plays Rosenwinkel: Cubism (Heartcore)

    Johnathan Blake, Trion (Giant Step Arts)

    Anna Webber, Clockwork (Pi)

    Ben Eunson, Ace (Ocean Road)

    Rajna Swaminathan, Of Agency and Abstraction (Biophilia)

    Miles Okazaki, The Sky Below (Pi)

    JD Allen, Barracoon (Savant)

    Brad Mehldau, Finding Gabriel (Nonesuch)

    Mareike Wiening, Metropolis Paradise (Greenleaf)


    List B:

    Melissa Aldana, Visions (Motéma)

    Jeff Ballard, Fairgrounds (Edition)

    Matt Mitchell, Phalanx Ambassadors (Pi)

    Noah Preminger, Zigsaw: Music of Steve Lampert (ind.)

    Earprint, Easy Listening (ind.)

    Matt Brewer, Ganymede (Criss Cross)

    Junius Paul, Ism (International Anthem)

    Joshua Redman & Brooklyn Rider, Sun on Sand (Nonesuch)

    Jonathan Kreisberg Quartet, Capturing Spirits — JKQ Live! (New for Now)

    Mike Holober & The Gotham Jazz Orchestra, Hiding Out (Soho)


  • 09 Dec 2019 5:16 PM | Sanford Josephson

    Alexa Tarantino: Crossing Paths (CD Baby)

    Bria Skonberg: Nothing Never Happens (Self Produced)

    Catherine Russell: Alone Together (Dot Time Records)

    Dick Hyman/Ken Peplowski: Counterpoint Lerner & Loewe (Arbors Records)

    Diva + the Boys (MCG Jazz)

    Eric Reed: Everybody Gets the Blues (Smoke Sessions)

    George Coleman: The Quartet (Smoke Sessions)

    Jimmy Cobb: This I Dig of You (Smoke Sessions)

    Ken Peplowski/Diego Figueiredo: Amizale (Arbors Records)

    Nicki Parrott: New York to Paris (Arbors Records)


  • 09 Dec 2019 6:46 AM | Stephen Feeney

    2019 Top Ten

    Kris Davis – Diatom Ribbons (Pyroclastic Records)

    Anthony Braxton – Quartet (New Haven) 2014 (Firehouse 12)

    James Brandon Lewis – An Unruly Manifesto (Relative Pitch Records)

    Jamie Branch – Fly or Die II: bird dogs of paradise (International Anthem)

    Gerald Cleaver & Violet Hour - Live at Firehouse 12 (Sunnyside)

    Mark Turner meets Gary Foster – (Capri Records)

    Rich Halley – Terra Incognita (Pine Eagle Records)

    Ethan Iverson Quartet – Common Practice (Live at the Village Vanguard/2017) (ECM)

    Tomeka Reid Quartet – Old New (Cuneiform)

    Joshua Redman - Come What May (Nonesuch)

     

  • 07 Dec 2019 5:43 PM | Philip Booth

    Favorite albums of 2019

    1. Tom Harrell Infinity (High Note)

    2. Ryan Keberle & Catharsis The Hope I Hold (Greenleaf)

    3. Chick Corea Trilogy 2 (Concord Jazz)

    4. Jerry Bergonzi The Seven Rays (Savant)

    5. Frank Kimbrough Monk’s Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk (Sunnyside)

    6. Chick Corea & The Spanish Heart Band Antidote (Concord Jazz)

    7. Bob Sheppard The Fine Line (Challenge)

    8. Anat Cohen Tentet Triple Helix (Anzic)

    9. Hendrik Meurkens Cobb’s Pocket (In & Out)

    10. Snarky Puppy Immigrance (GroundUp)


    Favorite reissues/historical albums

    John Coltrane Blue World (Impulse!)

    Betty Carter The Music Never Stops (Blue Engine)

    Cannonball Adderley Swingin’ in Seattle  (Reel to Real)


    Favorite vocal albums
    Veronica Swift, Confessions (Mack Avenue)

    Tierney Sutton, Screenplay (BFM)


    Favorite Latin albums

    Chick Corea & The Spanish Heart Band Antidote (Concord Jazz)

    Antonio Adolfo, Samba Jazz Alley (AAM)

    Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, On Firm Ground/Tierra Firme (Linus)


  • 07 Dec 2019 11:07 AM | Marcela Breton

    New Releases

    1.    Jane Bunnett & Maqueque “On Firm Ground/Tierra Firme"  (Linus)

    2.    Diva Jazz Orchestra “Diva & the Boys” (MCG Jazz)

    3.    Camila Meza & the Nectar Orchestra “Ambar” (Sony Masterworks)

    4.    Jaimie Branch “Fly or Die II : Bird Dogs of Paradise” (International Anthem)

    5.    Melissa Aldana “Visions” (Motema)

    6.    Champian Fulton with Cory Weeds “Dream a little…” (Live Cellar)

    7.    Roxy Coss “Quintet” (OutsideIn)

    8.    Aubrey Logan “Where the Sunshine is Expensive” (Resonance Records)

    9.    Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi “There is No Other” (Nonesuch)

    10.  Moy Eng and Wayne Wallace “The Blue Hour” (Patois)

    Historical

    1.    Nat King Cole “Hittin’ the Ramp : the Early Years (1936-1943)” (Resonance) (7 CDs)

    2.    Stan Getz “Getz at the Gate : the Stan Getz Quartet Live at the Village Gate, Nov. 26, 1961” (Verve/Ume) (2 CDs)

    3.    Barney Wilen Quartet “Live in Tokyo ‘91” (Elemental) (2 CDs)
  • 05 Dec 2019 10:54 PM | John Pietaro

     JOHN PIETARO 2019 “BEST OF”:

    (Yes, it crosses boundaries judiciously)

    • 1.    MUSICIANS OF THE YEAR:

    Violin:

    -Sarah Bernstein

    -Jason Kao Hwang

    -Sana Nagano


    Viola:

    -Melanie Dyer


    Cello:

    -Tomas Ulrich

    -Lester St Louis


    Trumpet:

    -Wallace Roney

    -Wadada Leo Smith

    -Thomas Heberer


    Trombone:

    -Steve Swell       

                            

    Tuba:

    -Howard Johnson

    -Joseph Daley


    Flute:

    -Nicole Mitchell

    -Robert Dick

    -Cheryl Pyle


    Clarinet:

    -Patrick Holmes

    -Ben Goldberg

    -Guillermo Gregorio


    Bass clarinet:

    -Josh Sinton

    -Michael Lytle


    Soprano saxophone:

    -Lee Odom

    -Dave Liebman


    Alto saxophone:

    -Marty Ehrlich

    -Kendrick Smith

    -Chris Pitsiokis


    Tenor saxophone:

    -James Brandon Lewis

    -Ras Moshe Burnett

    -Evan Parker


    Baritone saxophone:

    -Clare Daley

    -Dave Sewelson


    Guitar:

    -Ava Mendoza

    -Marc Ribot

    -Mike Baggetta

    -Julian Lage

    -Anthony Pirog


    Vibraphone:

    -Bill Ware

    -Patricia Brennan

    -Steve Nelson


    Piano:

    -Ran Blake

    -Aruan Ortiz

    -Mara Rosenbloom


    Upright bass:

    -Ken Filiano

    -William Parker

    -Adam Lane


    Bass guitar:

    -Jamaaladeen Tacuma

    -Steve Swallow


    Drumset:

    -Ronnie Burrage

    -Ches Smith

    -Kenny Wollesson

    -Michael TA Thompson


    Percussion:

    -Warren Smith

    -Cyro Baptista

    -Newman Taylor Baker


    Harp:

    -Zeena Parkins


    Multi-instrumentalist (winds):

    -Daniel Carter

    -Scott Robinson


    Vocals:

    -Jay Clayton

    -Christine Correa

    -Shelley Hirsch

    -Kyoko Kitamura


    Poet/Spoken Word Artist:

    -David Henderson

    -Tracie Morris

    -Yusef Komunyakaa

    -Puma Perl


    • 2.    ENSEMBLES:

    Large ensemble:

    -Marshall Allen and the Sun Ra Arkestra

    -Slavic Soul Party

    -Go Organic Orchestra

    -Hungry March Band


    Duo:

    -Ran Blake and Christine Correa

    Sarah Bernstein and Kid Millions


    Trio:

    -Harriet Tubman

    -William Hooker Trio with Mara Rosenbloom and Adam Lane

    -Rocco John Trio with Chris Forbes and Charlie Sabatino

    -Free Form Funky Freqs

    -the Messthetics


    Quartet:

    -Zodiac Saxophone Quartet

    -Todd Capp’s Mystery Train


    3. LABELS OF THE YEAR:

    -Truth Revolution

    -ESP-Disk

    -577

    -Alternative Tentacles


    4. CONCERTS OF THE YEAR:

    -Wall to Wall Coltrane, June 9, Symphony Space, NYC

    -Arts for Art Tribute to Steve Cannon, September 6, Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, NYC

    -Ronnie Burrage:Tribute to Hamiet Bluiett, May 25, Sista’s Place, Brooklyn NY


    5. VENUES OF THE YEAR:

    -Lady Stardust (East Village)

    -The Bar Next Door (West Village)

    -Jazz at Kitano (mid-town)

    -Union Pool (Williamsburg)

    -Downtown Music Gallery (LES)


    6. ALBUMS OF THE YEAR:

    -David S Ware, Theatre Garone (AUM Fidelity)

    -Mike Baggetta/Mike Watt/Jim Keltner, Wall of Flowers (Big Ego Records)

    -Ben Goldberg, Good Day for Cloud Fishing (Pyroclastic)

    -Green Dome, Thinking in Stitches (Case Study)


    7. UNEARTHED GEMS:

    -David S Ware, the Balance (AUM Fidelity)


    8. REISSUE:

    -Charles Mingus, Mingus at Antibes (Speakers Corner; originally released 1976, Atlantic)

    -Thing, Thing (Cultures of Soul; originally released 1972, Innerview)


    9. ALBUM ARTWORK/PACKAGING:

    -Ben Goldberg, Good Day for Cloud Fishing (Pyroclastic)

    -Charles Mingus, Mingus at Antibes (Speakers Corner; originally released 1976, Atlantic)


    10. BIGGEST HEARTBREAK:

    -Death of Steve Dalachinsky


  • 05 Dec 2019 4:58 PM | John Szwed

    Ten Top

    Chick Corea      Trilogy 2      (Concord)

    Frank Kimbrough     Monk’s Dream  (Sunnyside)

    Etienne Charles.     Carnival: The Sound of a People, Vol. 1   Culture Shock

    Go: Organic Orchestra and Brooklyn Raga Massive     Ragmala      (Meta)

    Michael Leonhart    Suite Extracts, Vol. 1 (Sunnyside)

    Billy Lester       From Scratch      (Newvelle)

    Mike Okazaki    The Sky Below   (Pi)

    Allison Miller     Glitter Wolf       (Royal Potato Factory)

    Joey De Francesco   In the Key of the Universe   (Mack Ave)

    Eve Risser   Apres un Reve    (Clean Feed)

    Historical

    Paul Bley, Gary Peacock, Paul Motian       When Will the Blues Leave    (ECM)

    Stan Getz     Getz at the Gate  (Verve)

    The Art Ensemble of Chicago and Assorted Ensembles      (ECM)

    Latin:

    Miguel Zenon   Sonero: The Music of Ishmael Rivera     (Miel)

    Vocal:

    Veronica Swift       Confessions   (Mack Ave)

    Debut:

    Javier Red     Ephemeral Certainties   (Delmark)

     

  • 05 Dec 2019 3:25 PM | Ralph A. Miriello

    My List of Best of Jazz that I have heard in 2019 (In no rated order)

    Bob Sheppard: "The Fine Line" (Challenge Records)

    Mike Holober & The Gotham Big Band: "Hiding Out" (ZoHo Records)

    Randy Brecker & the NDR Big Band: "Rocks" (Jazz Line Edition)

    Scott Robinson: "Tenormore" (Arbor Records)

    Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan: "Epistophy" (ECM) 

    Branford Marsalis Quartet: "The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul" (Okeh/Sony Masterworks)

    Dave Holland, Zakir Hussain, Chris Potter (Crosscurrent Trio): "Good Hope" (Edition Records)

    Ethan Iverson Quartet & Tom Harrell: "Common Practice" (ECM)

    Ahmad Jamal: "Ballades" (Jazz Village/Jazzbook Records)

    Amina Figarova: "Road to the Sun" (BA Records)

    Miguel Zenon: Sonero: The Music of Ismael Rivera” (Miel Music)

    George Garzone, Peter Erskine, Alan Pasqua, Darek Oles: "3 Nights in LA" (Fuzzy Music)

    Linda May Han Oh: “Aventurine” (Biophilia Records)

    Ben Monder: “Day After Day” (Sunnyside Records)

    Denny Zeitlin: “Remembering Miles” (Sunnyside Records)

    Sarah Gazarek : Thirsty Ghost” ( Self-Produced)

    Pat Bianchi: “In the Moment” (Savant Records)

    Mark Wingfield & Gary Husband: “Tor & Vale” (Moon June Records)

    Dave Bass: “No Boundaries” (Whaling City Sound)

    Ryan Keberle & Catharsis: “The Hope I Hold” (Greenleaf Music)

    Jim Robitaille Group: “A View from Within” (Whaling City Sound)

    Amendola Vs Blades: “Everybody Wins” (Royal Potato Family)

    Typical Sisters: “Hungry Ghost” (Outside Music)

    Alicia Olatuja: “Intuition Songs from The Minds of Women” (Resilience Music)

    Peter Hand Big Band: ”Hand Painted Dream” (Savant Records)

    Hendrik Meurkens: “Cobb’s Pocket” (In+Out Records)

    Lynne Arriale Trio: “Give Us These Days” ( Challenge Records)

    Marc Copland: ”And I Love Her” (Illussions/Mirage)

    Herlin Riley: “Personal Optimism” (Mack Avenue Records)

    Mark Winkler: “I’m With You: Mark Winkler Sings Bobby Troupe” (Café Pacific Records)

    Roberto Magris Sextet featuring Ira Sullivan: “Sun Stone” (JMood Records)

    Yotam Silverstein: Future Memories” (Jazz & People Records)

    Mark Turner: Mark Turner meets Gary Foster” (ECM)

    Laura Antonioli: ‘The Constant Passage of Time” (Origins Music)

    Dave Wilson Quartet: “One Night at Chris’” (Dave Wilson Music)

    Michael Dease: “Never More Here” (Positone Records)

    Robben Ford & Bill Evans: “The Sun Room” (EAR Music)

    Roger Kellaway: The Many Open Minds of Roger Kellaway” (IPO Records)

    Best Debut Album:

    Teymur Phell: “Master Volume” (Self-produced)

    Best Historical Albums:

    Eric Dolphy: Musical Prophet” (Resonance)

    Louis Armstrong “Live in Europe” (DotTime Records)

    Johnny Griffin/Eddie Lockjaw Davis: “Ow! Live at the Penthouse” (Reel to Reel)
    Bill Evans: “Evans in England” (Resonance)


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