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John Chacona

24 Dec 2019 8:59 AM | John Chacona

Pretty good year, I think. There were 369 releases in my 2019 file, and 63 of them made my semifinal list. I won't list the honorable mentions here; there are just too many of them. The list below exactly mirrors my NPR Poll list.

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)

and if that doesn't qualify as a new release, then:

Catherine Russell: Alone Together (Dot Time)

Best debut album

Harish Raghavan:  Calls for Action (Whirlwind Recordings)

Best Latin jazz CD

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


  • 30 Dec 2019 7:36 PM | Rick Mitchell
    OK, based on your recommendation, among others, I bought Kris Davis (I am late to the party), Tomeka Reid (have appreciated her playing with others but don't own anything of hers as a leader) and the Art Ensemble (my favorite band for a time in the last quarter of the 20th Century but am a bit skeptical since it is 2/5).
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