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Howard Mandel

29 Dec 2023 3:20 PM | Howard Mandel (Administrator)

My list as prepared for the Francis Davis poll. It feels very provisional to me, and begs for annotation. I've sketched in brief comments --

· this year's 10 best New Releases (albums of new music, recorded since 2013) listed in descending order, one-through-ten).

Hear the Light Singing, Myra Melford’s Fire and Water Quintet - all-stars inspiring each other. Serious, original, endlessly fresh.

Viento Sur, Edmar Castañeda World Ensemble upbeat, passionate take on Caribbean/Central American sources for new world music

Inception, JoVia Armstrong imaginative, percussive, electric Afro-futuristic blues

Uncle John’s Band, John Scofield laid back and so masterful, guitar trio of unforced but real feeling

Rivers in Our Veins, Allison Miller ingenious compositions show off a unique ensemble (akin to Hear the Light Singing)

Bark Out Thunder Roar Out Lightning, Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah, Chief Adjuah unexpected deep funk, ancient to the future (akin to Inception)

Going Home, Greg “Organ Monk” Lewis Trio hottest organ trio of the century to date

Ancient Future, Dwight Trible the baritone as seer, prophet, healer

Captivity, Caroline Davis’ Alula an alto saxophonist with her own voice and unique direction (I'm quick to add Ingrid Laubrock deserves kudos, too)

Sun Ra’s Journey, Tyler Mitchell Octet featuring Marshall Allen cosmic grace and the freedom to be awful (one track) in honor of enduring elders

·  Top-three Historical/Rara Avis (albums with old music: reissued of any age or previously unissued recorded before 2013), again listed in descending order

With Strings, Dorothy Ashby prior to her Rubyait, she was cooly blue and sexy on that harp -- with super Frank Wess, flute, and A-list bass/drums.

Classic Jazz at the Philharmonic Jam Sessions (1950 – 1957) swing to bop masters blew to the rafters, night after night 

A Lovesome Thing, Geri Allen and Kurt Rosenwinkel ruminative communications, achingly lyrical

· Best Vocal album

Ancient Future, Dwight Trible 

· Your choice for the year's best Latin jazz album

Havana Nocturne, Aymee Nuviola - forthright Cuban singer with empathic piano-led accompaniment.

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