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Year in Review

C. Andrew Hovan's Best Recordings of 2021

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Even as it seemed that jazz continued its trajectory into the outer limits, there was no lack of pure swinging excellence to experience this past year. Although many of these releases probably flew under the radar of jazz followers with wider ranging tastes, this reviewer always finds it necessary to remind us all how vital and engaging the mainstream vernacular can be in the right hands. In addition, drummers placed at the top with highly musical efforts, while the ever-popular Pat Metheny took honors both under his own name and in a sublime tribute from fellow plectrist John Pizzarelli.

Joe Farnsworth
City of Sounds
Smoke Sessions


Donald Edwards
The Color of Us Suite
Criss Cross Jazz


Orrin Evans
The Magic of Now
Smoke Sessions


Pat Metheny
Side-Eye NYC
Modern Recordings


Bill Charlap
Street of Dreams
Smoke Sessions


Mike LeDonne
It's All Your Fault
Savant


John Pizzarelli
Better Days Ahead: Solo Guitar Takes on Pat Metheny
Ghostlight


Brian Lynch
Songbook Vol.1: Bus Stop Serenade
Hollistic Music


Renee Rosnes
Kinds of Love
Smoke Sessions


Brian Charette
Power From the Air
SteepleChase


Louis Armstrong
The Complete Columbia and RCA Victor Sessions 1946-1966
Mosaic Records


Lee Morgan
The Complete Live at the Lighthouse
Blue Note

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