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Chris May's Best Releases of 2018

Chris May By

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After decades in the shadow of its American parent, 2018 is the year in which British jazz is finally coming of age. A growing community of London-based musicians is emerging with a unique aesthetic which reflects both the Caribbean and African musical heritages of the majority of its vanguard players and also such locally created styles as grime and garage. Jazz was created by black musicians. The new London scene is by no means racially exclusive, but there is no doubt it is black musicians who are once more leading the way.

It must have been fun to be on 52nd Street in the mid 1940s during the emergence of bop—but no more fun, surely, than being a jazz fan in London in 2018. In recognition of this, all but two of the 10 discs highlighted below come out of London. The exceptions are Idris Ackamoor's An Angel Fell and Jon Hassell's Listening To Pictures.

In no particular order—and the discs have been blind-shuffled to ensure random placement—here are the winning releases of the year....

Joe Armon Jones
Starting Today
Brownswood

Various Artists
We Out Here
Brownswood

Sarathy Korwar
My East Is Your West
Gearbox

Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids
An Angel Fell
Strut

Binker and Moses
Alive In The East?
Gearbox

Sons of Kemet
Your Queen Is A Reptile
Impulse!

Maisha
There Is A Place
Brownswood

Emanative
Earth
Jazzman

Kamaal Williams
The Return
Black Focus

Jon Hassell
Listening To Pictures
Ndeya
About Binker and Moses
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