All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
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):
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.