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Dan Bilawsky's Best Releases Of 2015

Dan Bilawsky By

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A theme for this year's list? How about "Jazz Unbound?" I initially planned on placing my picks into different categories, as I've often done in the past. But I thought better of it. The releases that caught my ear in 2015 cover the entire spectrum of possibility—winning straight-ahead outings, audacious affairs, dynamic debuts, intimate encounters, stellar suites, extravagant aural feasts, sublime solo statements, everything else in between—so why box them all up in separate places? I had the pleasure of covering more than one hundred and fifty albums for All About Jazz this year. These—in no rank, order, or category—are the two dozen that made a lasting impact:


Maria Schneider Orchestra
The Thompson Fields
(ArtistShare)

Chris McNulty
Eternal
(Palmetto Records)

Ryan Truesdell's Gil Evans Project
Lines Of Color
(ArtistShare)

Mike Holober
Balancing Act
(Palmetto Records)

Oded Lev-Ari
Threading
(Anzic Records)

David Berkman
Old Friends And New Friends
(Palmetto Records)

Fred Hersch
Solo
(Palmetto Records)

Joe Locke
Love Is A Pendulum
(Motéma Music)

Marshall Gilkes
Köln
(Alternate Side Records)

Brian Landrus Trio
The Deep Below
(BlueLand Records)

Duduka Da Fonseca Trio
Jive Samba
(Zoho Records)

Charles Lloyd
Wild Man Dance
(Blue Note Records)

Mary Halvorson
Meltframe
(Firehouse 12 Records)

Joyce Moreno/Kenny Werner
Poesia
(Pirouet Records)

Curtis Nowosad
Dialectics
(Cellar Live)

Katie Thiroux
Introducing Katie Thiroux
(Basskat Records)

Liberty Ellman
Radiate
(Pi Recordings)

Jeff Cosgrove / Frank Kimbrough / Martin Wind
Conversations With Owls
(Self Produced)

Henry Threadgill Zooid
In For A Penny, In For A Pound
(Pi Recordings)

Rudresh Mahanthappa
Bird Calls
(ACT Music)

Zhenya Strigalev
Robin Goodie
(Whirlwind Recordings Ltd.)

Kenny Werner
The Melody
(Pirouet Records)

Laurie Antonioli & Richie Beirach
Varuna
(Origin Records)

Sullivan Fortner
Aria
(Impulse Records)

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