Christmas Comes But Once A Year, And When It Does It Brings... Lists. Lots of lists. Here's another.
A quick glance at this particular list makes it clear that this has been, for me, a singers' year. Let me make it clear from the offthis isn't my list of the best vocal albums I've heard this year, it's my list of the best albums. Half of these recordings have a singer's name on the cover, most of the rest feature vocalists on the majority of their trackseven the mainly instrumental album by The Puppeteers includes a bit of vocalising. Yes, there are great instrumental performances on these recordings toobut it's the human voice that rings out loud and clear, that makes the connection with me.
Standards get stylishly re-appraised by Georgia Mancio and Nigel Price and by Fini Bearman. Christine Tobin puts her own spin on the work of Leonard Cohen. Sarah Marie Young, from Chicago and Tammy Payne from Bristol both create strikingly personal and intimate recordings of original material. The Basin Street Brawlers get down with the Old School. The riotous Melt Yourself Down and the gorgeous Majamisty Trio create their own New Schools. Melphi builds beautifully soulful songs, centred on Lotte van Drunen's expressive voice.
Last year, I had a clear favorite. This year, three albums tied for first place in my affections. Which three? I'll take Iris DeMent's adviceand let the mystery be.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.