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Year in Review

C. Andrew Hovan's Best Releases of 2017


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The landscape is constantly changing when it comes to the viability of jazz recordings in our world of free downloads and pervasive internet exposure. Add to that a propensity these days for media to tout anything that is a bit off-center and right wing as the next greatest thing. Much of what passes for jazz these days eludes this reviewer's understanding. As such, some might deem my year end compendium as too safe or mainstream. I prefer to think of it as offering wider exposure to artists who have mastered their craft and are using the important elements of the jazz lexicon in their own creative endeavors. So here are eight of the best jazz releases to cross my desk this year along with two vastly important historical documents that are not to be missed.

B3tles: A Soulful Tribute to the Fab Four
Big-O Records

Brian Charette
Self Produced

Christian McBride Big Band
Bringin' It
Mack Avenue

Matt King
Monk in Brazil
Mighty Quinn

Matt Wilson
Honey and Salt

Dave Stryker
Strykin' Ahead

Johnny O'Neal
In the Moment
Smoke Sessions

Peter Bernstein
Signs Live!
Smoke Sessions

Jaco Pastorius
Truth, Liberty & Soul

Bill Evans
Another Time: The Hilversum Concert

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