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2018 'Best of Jazz' Selected by JJA Members

These are the 2018 "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


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  • 12 Feb 2024 11:45 PM | Chuck Koton

                                         Gratefully Live: Favorite performances of 2023

    #10.  January 13, 2023.  Virtuosic pianist Bobby West, back in his adopted hometown of Los Angeles during a break in his years long Taiwan residency, opened The World Stage’s 2023 season of Friday night concerts. His trio, which included long time veterans of the LA music scene, bassist Kevin O’Neal and drummer Jerrell Ballard, began with the thunderous, instantly recognizable and suddenly 'controversial" George Gershwin composition, “Rhapsody In Blue.” The rest of the evening rocked with this hard swingin’ trio performing original compositions from West’s highly acclaimed recording, “Leimert Park After Dark.” If you’re living in Taiwan or gonna be there soon, look up Bobby West!

    #9.    July 20, 2023. Pianist Adam Ledbetter brought an inspiring band into The World Stage that transformed this historic Leimert Park venue (founded over 35 years ago by jazz giant Billy Higgins and world renowned poet Kamau Daaood), into the church that it often becomes. Along with drummer Reggie Quinerly and his better half, vocalist Kizzie Ledbetter, the Cats and “Catress” truly lifted the spirits of all. Their original composition, “Train,” created a dynamic tension that built more and more as Ms Ledbetter’s vocals buoyed up the listeners to “climb on board” the Freedom Train. Then Mr Ledbetter exhorted the audience to join in with his dexterous, rapid rapping of his spiritual experience and strong faith, all the while, the talented, slick drumming of Reggie Quinerly drove the beat with restrained yet insistent rhythms. The Ledbetters make every performance feel like Sunday! 

    #8.   June 8, 2023.    Tenor saxophonist Fuasi Abdul-Khaliq, a long time fixture on the Los Angeles jazz scene and an integral member and often the leader of Horace Tapscott’s Pan African People’s Arkestra (PAPA), departed the US several decades ago. Eventually resettling in Germany where he has continued performing for European audiences, Abdul-Khaliq has regularly returned to Leimert Park in Los Angeles for gigs where he has seamlessly stepped right back into the scene, performing with his own bands as well as with PAPA. His band, composed of Adam Ledbetter(piano), veteran Jeff Littleton(bass) and the youthful Eric Williams(drums), cooked at The World Stage, reminding the listeners in the room, as well as those watching via “live stream,” that Fuasi is at the top of his game! 

    #7.   Jan. 9,2023.     One of the top drummers of the last 35 years, Marvin “Smitty” Smith brought his All Stars to the venerable Baked Potato in Universal City, CA ,just a stones throw from where “Smitty,” along with brilliant tenor saxophonist, Ralph Moore, played for several years in the Tonight Show band. Joining Moore on the front line were veteran, multi-reedist Dale Fielder and rising star, trumpeter Chris Lowery, who gained invaluable experience and exposure the last few years with master saxophonist Azar Lawrence. Recently arrived to the LA area from Oklahoma City, keyboardist Adam Ledbetter  and veteran bassist Edwin Livingston rounded out the band. A sold out audience was treated to a night of hard swinging, straight ahead jazz that included compositions by Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner and Thelonious Monk.

    #6   Feb. 24, 2023.  The World Stage audience was treated to a celebration of Los Angeles born and raised jazz giant, Dexter Gordon, by an all star band of veterans. Like a previous tribute a year earlier when the tallest jazz fan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, presented Maxine Gordon and her memoir of life with Dex to The Stage, the front line included tenor sax masters Justo Almario and Teodross Avery. The dynamic veteran of the drums, Roy McCurdy, was joined by first call Cats, pianist Theo Saunders and bassist Henry Franklin. The band swung hard on “The Chase,” with Almario and Avery pushing each other like Gordon and Wardell Grey famously did on Central Avenue in the 1940s!

    #5   June 22, 2023. Since 1999, the Healdsburg Jazz Festival has been presenting the finest unadulterated jazz to its devoted California wine country audiences. Founder Jessica Felix literally and figuratively received her flowers as she stepped down as festival director. New musical director, bassist and band leader, Marcus Shelby, organized a stirring tribute to two of the music's legends who ascended to Jazz Heaven this past year, legendary saxophonist Pharoah Sanders and master of the Hammond B3 organ Joey DeFrancesco. The front line of recently named NEA jazz master saxophonist Gary Bartz, the great tenor and soprano saxophonist Azar Lawrence and Pharoah's son, tenor saxophonist Tomoki Sanders led the performance of mostly Sanders’ compositions. Brian Ho, on organ, represented DeFrancesco's legacy and the interstellar rhythm section of pianist Marc Cary, bassist Marcus Shelby and, legend in his own right, drummer Billy Hart drove the band  through the tribute.The Cats generated cheers and tears from the audience when they performed Sanders' transcendent composition “The Creator Has a Master Plan.” An unexpected highlight of the performance came when young Sanders mimicked his father's inimitable way of introducing his band mates, a display that elicited plenty of amazement from the audience. The jazz scene down here on the ground will never be the same with those two greats now swinging in Jazz Heaven!

    #4)  June 15, 2023. Legendary pianist and composer Horace Tapscott’s Leimert Park, Los Angeles based Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, now led by drummer Mekala Session, performed their spirited, joyful yet, at times, solemn music to a wildly responsive and appreciative audience at The World Stage. On the tune, “Dred Scott,” composed by the late Nate Morgan, bass clarinetist James Andrews and bassist Joey Ector established a haunting groove with their deep, low notes The bass drum of Session joined in, followed by the powerful horns to express a mood of profound and sacred outrage at this ugliest of decisions by the US Supreme Court. In 1857, the infamous Chief Justice Taney “interpreted” the Constitution to rule that Black Americans “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” That is the nation’s history, still reflected in white supremacy today, which the Black nationalist creative arts movement has been dedicated to overcoming since the 1960s. Now in its 62nd year, the “Ark,” as it is known, continues to keep the Black community-based mission and musical legacy of founder and visionary Tapscott alive. When one considers the criminally scant financial resources that Tapscott and the Ark have had to subsist on for all these years, the accomplishment rightfully assumes mythic proportions. 

    #3)  Sept. 23, 2023. The venerable Charles Lloyd, at 85, as inventive and unrelenting as ever, and with a still mesmerizing tone, closed his set at the Monterey Jazz Festival with his iconic composition,“Forest Flower.” This original contributed mightily to Charles Lloyd's ascent to the top of the jazz world when his band, which included young lions pianist Keith Jarrett, bassist Cecil McBee and Jack DeJohnette on drums,  performed it to universal acclaim on this same stage in 1966. Unforgettable! 

    #2)  Oct. 23, 2023. Marcus Miller brought his latest band, featuring trumpeter Russell Gunn, into Catalina's Bar & Grill in Hollywood for 4 sold out nights of pure jazz funk! One only needed to hear the band perform, “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” to understand why a line of people snaked around the club for Miller’s second set.

    #1)   Sept. 23, 2023. The Azar Lawrence Experience closed out the Monterey Jazz Festival and, as they finished the 90 minute set (twice the allotted length), the audience was screaming & dancing in the aisles and in front of the stage. Saxophonist Lawrence blew ecstatically on his eponymous original composition from the recently re-released 1976 Prestige recording, People Moving! Lawrence’s performance seared the ears of the listeners and reminded them that the young saxophonist who performed in the bands of Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyler and Miles Davis in the 1970s, still played this fiery music like no one else on the scene today. 

  • 14 Dec 2023 9:32 AM | John Szwed

    Susan Alcorn/Jose Lencastre/Hernani Faustino     Manifesto    Clean Feed

    Darcey James Argue’s Secret Society     Dynamic Maximum Tension     Nonesuch

    Miha Gantar     Amsterdam      Clean Feed  

    Irreversible Entanglements    Protect Your Light    Impulse

    Allen Lowe & the Constant Sorrow Orchestra    In the Dark   ESP

    Chris Potter   Got the Keys to the Kingdom     Edition

    Roots Magic     Long Old Road     Clean Feed

    Ned Rothenberg    Crossings Four      Clean Feed

    Joshua Redman    Where We Are   Blue Note

    Tyshawn Sorey   Continuing     Pi



    Cecile McLorin Salvant   Mélusine    Nonesuch


    Historical/Rara Avis

    Hasaan Ibn Ali     Reaching for the Stars      Omnivore

    John Coltrane & Eric Dolphy      Evenings at the Village Gate     Impulse

    Pharoah Sanders    Pharoah      Lukka Bop


    Latin Jazz

    Hilario Duran    Cry Me a River     Alma

  • 12 Dec 2023 4:02 PM | Rick Mitchell

    Here are thirty top albums featured on my radio shows, Jazz in the New Millennium (syndicated by the African American Public Radio Consortium) and The Motif (KBOO-FM Portland, Oregon). Together, I think these albums help define a 21st Century mainstream, centered in straight-ahead while incorporating elements of the avant-garde, funk and fusion, and a healthy injection of Afro-Latin jazz. What these albums definitely have in common is an awareness of the vital importance of rhythm. And in that spirit, I have decided to give the drummers some this year by listing the drummers and percussionists on each album. 

    Joe Chambers, Dance Kobina, Blue Note: (Joe Chambers, drums; Emilio Valdes, percussion)

    Tyshawn Sorey, Continuing, Pi: (Tyshawn Sorey, drums)

    Cecile Mcloren Salvant, Melusine, Nonesuch: (Kyle Poole, Obed Calviere, drums; Weedie Bramah, percussion)

    Joshua Redman featuring Gabrielle Cavassa, where are we, Blue Note: (Brian Blade, drums)

    Billy Childs, The Winds of Change, Mack Avenue: (Brian Blade, drums)

    Mike Clark, Kosen Rufu, Wide Hive: (Mike Clark, drums; Bill Summers, percussion)

    Johnathan Blake, Passage, Blue Note: (Johnathan Blake, drums)

    Sammy Figueroa, Searching for a Memory, Ashe: (Sammy Figueroa, percussion; Ludwig Afonso, drums)

    Terrell Stafford, Between Two Worlds, Le Coq: (Johnathan Blake, drums; Alex Acuna, percussion)

    Walter Smith III, Return to Casual, Blue Note: (Kendrick Scott, drums)

    Kendrick Scott, Corridors, Blue Note: (Kendrick Scott, drums)

    Artemis, In Real Time, Blue Note: (Allison Miller, drums)

    Orrin Evans, The Red Door, Smoke Sessions: (Marvin "Smitty" Smith, drums)

    Eddie Henderson, Witness to History, Smoke Sessions (Lenny White, drums)

    Hilario Duran and his Latin Jazz Big Band, Cry Me a River, Alma: (Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, drums; Jorge Luis Torres, Magdelys Savigne, percussion)

    Isiah J. Thompson, The Power of the Spirit, Blue Engine: (TJ Reddick, Domo Branch, drums) 

    The Dave Stryker Trio, Prime, Strike Zone: (McClenty Hunter, drums)

    SuperBlue: Kurt Elling and Charlie Hunter, The Iridescent Spree, Edition: (Corey Fonville, drums)

    John Scofield, Uncle John's Band, ECM: (Bill Stewart, drums)

    Michael Feinberg, Blues Variant, Criss Cross:(Nasheet Waits, drums)

    Cecilia Smith, The Mary Lou Williams Resurgence Project Volume One, Innova: (Ron Savage, drums)

    Ben Wolfe, Unjust, Resident Arts: (Aaron Kimmel, drums)

    Louis Hayes, Exactly Right, Savant: (Louis Hayes, drums)

    Joe Farnsworth, In What Direction Are You Headed, Smoke Sessions): (Joe Farnsworth, drums)

    Edmar Casteneda World Ensemble, Viento Sur, self-released: (Marcelo Woloski, Rodrigo Villalon, percission)

    Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, Playing with Fire, Linus: (Yissy Garcia, drums; Mary Paz, percussson)

    Harold Lopez-Nussa, Timba a la Americana, Blue Note: (Ruy Adrian Lopez-Nussa, drums; Barbaro Crespo, percussion)

    Noah Haidu, Standards, Sunnyside: (Lewis Nash, drums)

    Lauren Henderson, Conjuring, Brontosaurus: (Joe Dyson, drums)

    Leon Lee Dorsey, Cantalooupe Island, Jazz Avenue: (Mike Clark, drums) 

  • 30 Nov 2023 11:03 AM | Matty Bannond

     Here’s my top ten albums that I reviewed in 2023, in alphabetical order…

    - “Contrast of Opposites” by Galumphing Duo (AMP Records).
    - “Conversation #8 Ablaze” by Florian Arbenz (Hammer).
    - “Estrellero” by Leo Genovese, Demian Cabaud and Marcos Cavaleiro  (Sunnyside).
    - “fractus” by fractus (Independent).
    - “Incantation” by Emma Rawicz (Independent).
    - “Neon” by Arina Fujiwara (Independent).
    - “Shimmer Wince” by Anna Webber (Intakt Records).
    - “Spam Likely” by Jessica Pavone (577 Records).
    - “The Engine” by The Green Mean Machine (Independent).
    - “The Last Quiet Place” by Ingrid Laubrock (Pyroclastic).
  • 29 Dec 2022 9:30 AM | Geoffrey Himes



    1. Immanuel Wilkins: The 7th Hand (Blue Note)
    2. Charles Lloyd: Chapel Trio (Blue Note)
    3. Cecile McLorin Salvant: Ghost Song (Nonesuch)
    4. Bill Frisell: Four (Blue Note)
    5. The Dave Douglas Quintet: Songs of Ascent (Greenleaf)
    6. The Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra: In the Valley (Stricker Street)
    7. Grdina/Helias/Shipp: Pathways (Attaboygirl)
    8. Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Orchestra: Community Music  (RPF)
    9. Erik Friedlander: The Queen's Firefly (Skiptone)
    10. Frank Catalano: Live at Birdland (Ropeadope)
    11. Miguel Zenon: Musica de las Americas (Miel)
    12. Julian Lage: View with a Room (Blue Note)
    13. Joel Ross: The Parable of the Poet (Blue Note)
    14. John Yao’s Triceratops Off-Kilter (See Tao)
    15. Dierk Peters: Spring (Sunnyside)
    16. Fred Hersch & Esperanza Spalding: Alive at the Village Vanguard (Palmetto)
    17. J.D. Allen: Americana, Vol. 2 (Savant)
    18. Bad Plus: The Bad Plus (Edition)
    19. Jakob Bro & Joe Lovano: Once Around the Toom: A Tribute to Paul Motian (ECM)
    20. Matt Carmichael: Marrow (Edition)
    21. Cyrus Chestnut: My Father's Hands (HighNote)
    22. Andrew Cyrille: Blues for Cecil (ECM)
    23. Ricky Ford: The Wailing Ricky Ford (Whaling City)
    24. Hilario Duran & David Virelles: Front Street Duets (Alm)
    25. Eugenie Jones: Players (Openmic)




    • 1.      The Drive-By Truckers: Welcome to Club XIII (ATO)
    • 2.      Beyonce: Renaissance (Columbia)
    • 3.      The Delines: The Sea Drift (El Cortez)
    • 4.      Craig Finn: A Legacy of Rentals (Partisan)
    • 5.      Taylor Swift: Midnights (Republic)
    • 6.      Kendrick Lamar: Mr. Morale & the Big-Steppers (Aftermath/Interscope)
    • 7.      Charley Crockett: The Man from Waco (Son of Davy)
    • 8.      The Dropkick Murphys: This Machine Still Kills Fascists (Dummy Luck)
    • 9.      Bonny Light Horseman: Rolling Golden Holy (37d03d)
    • 10.  Miranda Lambert: Palomino (RCA)
    • 11.  Willi Carlisle: Peculiar, Missouri (Free Dirt)
    • 12.  Mary J. Blige: Good Morning, Gorgeous (300 Entertainment)
    • 13.  Lizzo: Special (Atlantic)
    • 14.  Maggie Rogers: Surrender (Debay/Capitol)
    • 15.  The Tedeschi-Trucks Band: I Am the Moon (Fantasy)
    • 16.  Bad Bunny: Un Verano sin Ti (Rimas)
    • 17.  Lee Fields: Sentimental Foot (Daptone)
    • 18.  Trombone Shorty: Lifted (Blue Note)
    • 19.  The North Mississippi Allstars: Set Sail (New West)
    • 20.  Adeem the Artist: White Trash Revelry (Four Quarters/Thirty Tigers)
    • 21.  Susanna Malkki and the Los Angeles Philharmonic: Steve Reich: Music for Ensemble and Orchestra (Nonesuch)
    • 22.  Charlie Treat: Into the Wild Mystic Mountain (Treat)
    • 23.  Courtney Marie Andrews: Loose Future (Fat Possum)
    • 24.  Weyes Blood: And in the Darkness Hearts Aglow (Sub Pop)
    • 25.  Sunny Sweeney: Married Alone (Aunt Daddy/Thirty Tigers)
  • 14 Dec 2022 10:27 AM | John Chacona

    John Chacona

    Erie (PA) Times-News, All About Jazz, PostGenre Media and blogger at let's call this

    Ten favorite new releases

    1. Amyrillis and Belladonna Mary Halvorson (Nonesuch)
    2. Ghost Song, Cécile McLorin Salvant (Nonesuch)
    3. For The Love Of Fire And Water, Myra Melford's Fire And Water Quintet (RogueArt)
    4. Other Zones, Michael Formanek Quartet (Circular File Records)
    5. Séances, Trevor Dunn’s Trio-Convulsant avec Folie à Quatre (Pyroclastic Records)
    6. The Bottom, Luke Stewart's Silt Trio (Cuneiform)
    7. Terri Lyne Carrington, New Standards Vol. 1 (Candid)
    8. John Escreet, Seismic Shift (Whirlwind Records)
    9. Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra with Catherine Russell, Good Time Music: Community Music, Vol. 2 (Royal Potato Family)
    10. Dan Weiss Trio, Dedication (Cygnus)

    Reissues or Historical albums

    1.     Cecil Taylor, The Complete, Legendary, Live Return Concert (Oblivion Records)
    2.     Albert Ayler, Revelations (Elemental Music)
    3.     Ahmad Jamal, Emerald City Nights: Live At The Penthouse 1963-1964 (Jazz Detective Records)

    Best vocal album

    Cécile McLorin Salvant, Ghost Song, (Nonesuch)

    Best debut album

    Julieta Eugenio,  JUMP (Greenleaf Music)

    Best Latin jazz CD

    Miguel Zenón, Música de Las Américas (Miel Music)

  • 25 Nov 2021 9:52 AM | Patrick Hinely

    2021's chosen dozen:

    John Coltrane - A LOVE SUPREME LIVE IN SEATTLE - Impulse

    Miles Davis - THE LOST CONCERT - Sleepy Night

    Chet Doxas - YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU - Whirlwind

    Harold Land - WESTWARD BOUND - Reel to Real

    Chris Laurence - KEN WHEELER: SOME GNU ONES - Jazz in Britain

    Jeff Lederer/Sunwatcher - EIGHTFOLD PATH - Little Music

    Charles Lloyd & the Marvels - TONE POEM - Blue Note

    Charles Mingus - AT CARNEGIE HALL, DeLUXE EDITION - Rhino

    Wes Montgomery - NDR HAMBURG STUDIO RECORDINGS - Jazzline/NDR


    Oregon - 1974 - Moosicus

    Eberhard Weber - ONCE UPON A TIME - ECM

  • 06 Jan 2020 6:04 PM | Laurence Donohue-Greene

    Laurence Donohue-Greene (Managing Editor, The New York City Jazz Record) BEST OF 2019....


    1) Kris Davis

    2) Jaimie Branch

    3) Joe Lovano

    4) Michael Leonhart

    5) Evan Parker


    1) ECM

    2) Sunnyside

    3) Intakt

    4) International Anthem

    5) NoBusiness


    1) Joe Lovano - Trio Tapestry (ECM)

    2) Michael Leonhart Orchestra - Suite Extracts, Vol.1 (Sunnyside)

    3) Jaimie Branch - Fly or Die II: Bird Dogs of Paradise (International Anthem)

    4) James Brandon Lewis - UnRuly Manifesto (Relative Pitch)

    5) Alex Harding/Lucian Ban - Dark Blue (Sunnyside)

    6) Per Texas Johansson - Stråk på himlen och stora hus (Moserobie)

    7) Red Kite - Red Kite (RareNoise)

    8) Steph Richards - Take The Neon Lights (Birdwatcher)

    9) Gebhard Ullmann/Hans Ludemann/Oliver Portratz/Eric Schaefter - mikroPULS (intuition)

    10) Phil Slater - The Dark Pattern (Earshift Music)


    1) Mary Stallings - Songs Were Made To Sing (Smoke Sessions)

    2) Jazzmeia Horn - Love and Liberation (Concord)

    3) Tomeka Reid/Kyoko Kitamura/Taylor Ho Bynum/Joe Morris - Geometry of Distance (Relative Pitch)

    4) Veronica Swift - Confessions (Mack Avenue)

    5) Dwight Trible - Mothership (Gearbox)

    BEST REISSUES (2019)

    1) Mal Waldron - Free at Last (ECM)

    2) Erroll Garner - Campus Concert (Mack Avenue-Octave Music)

    3) ICP Tentet - Tetterettet (ICP - Corbett vs. Dempsey)

    4) Charles Tolliver All Stars - Right Now... and Then [Paper Man] (Strata-East)

    5) Art Pepper - Promise Kept: The Complete Artists House Recordings (Artists House-Omnivore)

    BEST BOXED SETS (2019)

    1) Nat “King” Cole - Hitting’ The Ramp: The Early Years (1936-1943) (Resonance)

    2) John Coltrane - 1963: New Directions (Impulse!)

    3) The Quintet [Paal Nilssen-Love, et al.] - Events 1998-1999 (Not Two)

    4) Art Pepper - The Complete Artists House Recordings (Artists House-Omnivore)

    5) DKV Trio & Joe McPhee - The Fire Each Time (Not Two)

    BEST LATIN JAZZ (2019)

    1) Preservation Hall Jazz Band - A Tuba to Cuba (Sub Pop)

    2) Jiggs Whigham BuJazzO - Cuban Fire (Doublemoon)

    3) Michele Rosewoman New Yor-Uba - Hallowed (Advance Dance Disques)

    4) Poncho Sanchez - Trane’s Delight (Concord)

    5) Michel Camilo - Essence (Resilience Music Alliance)


    1) Michael Leonhart Orchestra - Suite Extracts, Vol.1 (Sunnyside)

    2) Wayne Horvitz European Orchestra - Live at the Bimhuis (NovarraJazz)

    3) Ralph Peterson Gen-Next Big Band - Listen Up! (Onyx)

    4) Jiggs Whigham BuJazzO - Cuban Fire (Doublemoon)

    5) Tom Pierson Orchestra - Last Works (Auteur)


    1) Larry Grenadier - The Gleaners (ECM)

    2) Lisa Hoppe’s Third Reality - The Mighty Unlikely (Jazzhaus Musik)

    3) Junius Paul - Ism (International Anthem)

    4) Nick Dunston - Atlantic Extraction (Out Of Your Head)

    5) Jamile - If You Could See Me Now (s/r)

    BEST TRIBUTES (2019)

    1) Joe Fiedler - Open Sesame (Clean Feed) *Sesame Street tribute

    2) Iro Haarla/Ulf Krokfors/Barry Altschul - Around Again (The Music of Carla Bley) (TUM)

    3) Ralph Peterson’s Messenger Legacy - Legacy Alive, Vol.6 at The Side Door (Onyx)

    4) Paul Dunmall Sun Ship Quartet - John Coltrane 50th Memorial Concert at Café Too (Confront)

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


    1) Bill Dixon/Cecil Taylor - Duets 1992 (Triple Point)

    2) Sam Rivers Quintet - Archive Project, Vol.2: Zenith (NoBusiness)

    3) Francois Tusques - Alors Nosferatu Combina Un Plan Ingénieux (Finders Keepers)

    4) Ella Fitzgerald - Ella at The Shrine (Verve)

    5) Charles Lloyd Quartet - Montreuex Festival 1967 (Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series 46) (TCB)


    1) Sweet Thunder: Duke Ellington’s Music in Nine Themes by Jack Chambers (Milestones Music & Art)

    2) Rabbit’s Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges by Con Chapman (Oxford University Press)

    3) Jason Moran - Jason Moran (Walker Arts Center)

    4) Cloud Arrangers by Ziga Kortnik (Pega Society)

    5) Jazz From Detroit by Mark Stryker (University of Michigan Press)


    1) Brian Charette - Beyond Borderline (SteepleChase)

    2) Peter Brötzmann - Solo: I Surrender Dear (Trost)

    3) Ed Neumeister - One and Only (Meisteromusic)

    4) Ahmad Jamal - Ballades (Jazzbook/Jazz Village)

    5) Fred Frith - Woodwork (Klang Galerie)


    1) Evan Parker/Barry Guy/Paul Lytton - Concert in Vilnius (NoBusiness)

    2) Torbjörn Zetterberg & The Great Question - Live (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

    3) Ed Neumeister - One and Only (Meisteromusic)

    4) Eve Risser - Après un Rêve (Clean Feed)

    5) Mars Williams - An Ayler Xmas, Vol.3: Live in Krakow (Not Two)


    *Ghost Train Orchestra "Plays Moondog” @Winter Jazzfest, Le Poisson Rouge (1/5/19)

    *Gary Bartz "Another Earth 50th Anniversary” w/Pharoah Sanders, Charles Tolliver, James King, Bruce Edwards, Nasheet Waits, Eric Berryman @Winter Jazzfest, Le Poisson Rouge (1/10/19)

    *Arooj Aftab w/Vijay Iyer, Shahzad Ismaily @Joe's Pub (4/28/19)

    *Barre Phillips solo @Zürcher Gallery (5/20/19) 

    *Andrew Cyrille w/Tomeka Reid, Beatrice Capote @Vision Festival, Roulette (6/11/19)

    *Kris Davis Trio w/William Parker, Jeff "Tain” Watts @Vision Festival, Roulette (6/14/19) 

    *Michael Leonhart Orchestra @Jazz Standard (7/16/19) 

    *David Tronzo solo and w/Stomu Takeishi, Ned Rothenberg @Ibeam Brooklyn (8/10/19) 

    *Ravi Coltrane Quartet w/David Virelles, Dezron Douglas, Johnathan Blake @Summerstage Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, Marcus Garvey Park (8/24/19)

    *Pat Metheny Side-Eye Trio w/James Francies, Marcus Gilmore @Sony Hall (9/11/19) 

  • 18 Dec 2019 12:08 PM | John Chacona

    Favorite Releases of 2019

    John Chacona, Erie (PA) Times-News and blogger at Let's Call This

    Another strong year.  My list (in Delicious Library, an essential organizing tool) of potential Top Ten releases was 76 items out of a total number of jazz or jazz-ish releases for the period of 369.  Even at that number, I didn't hear everything, and the period in question is the one requested by Francis Davis for the NPR poll. So significant yearend releases like the Teri-Lyn Carrington date didn't make it to my ears in time.

    Rankings are invidious, but I'm on record in the NPR poll with the one below, so here goes.

    Ten favorite new releases

    1.     Kris Davis:  Diatom Ribbons (Pyroclastic Records)
    2.     Tomeka Reid Quartet:  Old New (Cuneiform)
    3.     Tyshawn Sorey & Marilyn Crispell: The Adornment Of Time (Pi Recordings)
    4.     Jaimie Branch: Fly Or Die Ii: Bird Dogs Of Paradise (International Anthem)
    5.     Anthony Braxton: Quartet (New Haven) 2014 (Firehouse 12)
    6.     The Art Ensemble Of Chicago: We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration (Pi Recordings)
    7.     Greg Ward and his Rogue Parade Ensemble:  Stomping Off From Greenwood (Greenleaf Music)
    8.     Mark Dresser Seven:  Ain't Nothing but a Cyber Coup & You (Clean Feed)
    9.     Moppa Elliott:  Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band (Hot Cup Records)
    10.  Mark Lomax, II:   400: An Afrikan Epic (CFG Multimedia)

    Reissues or Historical albums

    1.     The Art Ensemble Of Chicago And Associated Ensembles (ECM)
    2.     Nat King Cole: Hittin' The Ramp: The Early Years 1936-1943 (Resonance Records)
    3.     Allen Lowe: An Avant Garde of Our Own (ESP Disk)

    Best vocal album

    Jeanne Lee/Ran Blake: The Newest Sound You Never Heard (A-Side Records)

    Best debut album

    Harish Raghavan:  Calls for Action (Whirlwind Recordings)

    Best Latin jazz CD

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

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