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Dan Bilawsky's Best Releases of 2012

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Transcendent recordings don't come with a label identifying their magnificence, but they're easy to pick out. I had the honor and privilege of receiving, and listening to, more than 375 CDs for review consideration in 2012. I reviewed approximately 165 of them and these were the 15 that rose above the rest. Some are bold and others practice the art of quiet seduction, but every one of them won me over from the get go and remain close to my ears and heart (Note: these albums are not ranked in order of preference):




























































































Avishai Cohen - Trumpet
Triveni II
(Anzic Records)

Sara Gazarek
Sara Gazarek
Sara Gazarek

vocalist

Blossom & Bee
(Palmetto Records)

Ryan Truesdell
Ryan Truesdell
Ryan Truesdell

composer/conductor

Centennial—Newly Discovered Works Of Gil Evans
(ArtistShare)

Kate McGarry
Kate McGarry
Kate McGarry

vocalist

Girl Talk
(Palmetto Records)

Branford Marsalis
Branford Marsalis
Branford Marsalis
b.1960
saxophone

Four MFs Playin' Tunes
(Marsalis Music)

Ehud Asherie
Ehud Asherie
Ehud Asherie
b.1979
piano
with Harry Allen
Harry Allen
Harry Allen
b.1966
saxophone

Upper West Side
(Posi-Tone Records)

Gregory Porter
Gregory Porter
Gregory Porter
b.1971
vocalist

Be Good
(Motéma Music)

Anat Cohen
Anat Cohen
Anat Cohen

sax, tenor

Claroscuro
(Anzic Records)

Wes Montgomery
Wes Montgomery
Wes Montgomery
1925 - 1968
guitar

Echoes Of Indiana Avenue
(Resonance Records)

Halie Loren
Halie Loren
Halie Loren

vocalist

Heart First
(Justin Time Records)

Ablaye Cissoko/Volker Goetze
Volker Goetze
b.1972
trumpet

Amanke Dionti
(Motéma Music)

Andy Hunter
Andy Hunter
Andy Hunter

trombone

Think Like A Mountain
(Self Produced)

Jazz Soul Seven
Impressions Of Curtis Mayfield
(BFM Jazz)

Ferenc Nemeth
Ferenc Nemeth
Ferenc Nemeth
b.1976
drums

Triumph
(Dreamers Collective)

Greg Lewis
Greg Lewis
Greg Lewis

organ, Hammond B3
/Organ Monk
Uwo In The Black
(Self Produced)

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