The annual rite of writing a "best of" list at All About Jazz is a most pleasurable and difficult task; pleasurable for the reflections on great art that come along with the task and difficult because of the need to make hard choices. I've been inspired by dozens of new jazz recordings this year, but I've whittled down the list to these eighteen albums. This year's list includes perennial favorites, critically acclaimed giants, oft-unheralded veterans, up-and-comers, virtual unknowns and more. As per usual, only albums that I reviewed at All About Jazz were up for consideration (Note: these albums are not ranked in order of preference):
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African Jazz Beyond Jazz Big Band Blues Brazilian Classical Dixieland / New Orleans / Swing Electronica Free Improv / Avant-Garde Fringes of Jazz Funk / Groove Fusion / Progressive Rock Hot Jazz Jam Band Latin Lounge / Exotica Modern Jazz R&B / Soul Straight-ahead (Bop, Hard bop, Cool) Vocal