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):
Rhythm Abstraction: Azure is the first volume of new compositions created as a follow up to 2018’s
release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion
solos. Frank Macchia then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Azure
is the first of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in
January and followed up in April and July. In Azure we have a created a group of pieces that continue
our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of
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