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Dan Bilawsky's Best Releases of 2014

Dan Bilawsky BY

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How does an album end up on this list? It really comes down to two things: strength on impact and staying power. Some records hit hard from the start, ultimately losing power with play after play. Other records come on gently, growing on the ear and the mind over time. But it's the truly rare one that manages to draw you in immediately and retain its power over time. I had the absolute pleasure of reviewing nearly two hundred albums for All About Jazz in 2014. These were the two dozen among them that hooked me from the start and still have a hold on me:

Stellar Small Group Sets

Jeff Ballard Trio
Time's Tales

Matt Wilson Quartet + John Medeski
Gathering Call
(Palmetto Records)

Fred Hersch Trio
(Palmetto Records)

Ryan Keberle & Catharsis
Into The Zone
(Greenleaf Music)

Larry Goldings/Peter Bernstein/Bill Stewart
Ramshackle Serenade
(Pirouet Records)

Frank Kimbrough
(Palmetto Records)

The Bad Plus
The Rite Of Spring
(Sony Masterworks)

Marc Ribot Trio
Live At The Village Vanguard
(Pi Recordings)

The Where
(Alma Records)

Big(ger), Be It Bold Or Beautiful (Or Both)

Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra
(Justin Time Records)

Dan Weiss
(Pi Recordings)

Emilio Solla Y La Inestable De Brooklyn
Second Half
(Self Produced)

Regina Carter
Southern Comfort
(Sony Masterworks)

Edward Simon
Venezuelan Suite
(Sunnyside Records)

Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra
The Offense Of The Drum
(Motema Music)

And The Angels Sing

Kate McGarry And Keith Ganz
Genevieve And Ferdinand
(Sunnyside Records)

Hilary Gardner
The Great City
(Anzic Records)

Stacey Kent
The Changing Lights
(Warner Jazz)

Billy Childs
Map To The Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro
(Sony Masterworks)

Amy Cervini
Jazz Country
(Anzic Records)

Laurie Antonioli
Songs Of Shadow, Songs Of Light: The Music Of Joni Mitchell
(Origin Records)

From Then To Now—Blasts From The Past

Charles Lloyd
Manhattan Stories
(Resonance Records)

Sonny Rollins
Road Shows, Vol. 3
(Doxy Records)

Joe Beck
Get Me Joe Beck
(Whaling City Sound)

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