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 it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.