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Jakob Baekgaard's Best Releases of 2014

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2014 proved to be another fruitful year for jazz. The artists on this list represent many different musical directions, but that is the wonder of jazz. It is so many things and the world would indeed be poorer if the idiom was restricted to one particular sound. These artists all have a fresh approach to the music, but, at the same time, they respect tradition. Argentinian pianists Francisco Lo Vuolo and Paula Shocron know the language of the standards and even Danish saxophonist Lars Greve's enchanting dialogues with nature has its predecessor on saxophonist Peter Brötzmann's and drummer Han Benninks Schwarzwaldfahrt (FMP, 1977).

Once again, tradition was transformed and artists collaborated across continents, and old treasures, like Ethiopian master Hailu Mergia's masterpiece Tche Belew, were (re)discovered. It was also proven that the elusive Nordic sound is still thriving, with Norwegian pianist Jan Gunnar Hoff's Fly North being a particularly convincing example of the genre.

Paula Shocron
Surya
(Kuai Music)

Francisco Lo Vuolo
In Walked Francis
(RivoRecords)

Hailu Mergia
Tche Belew
(Awesome Tapes From Africa)

Lars Greve
Breidablik
(Hiatus Label)

Simon Toldam
Kig Op 14
Ilk Music

Mark Turner
Lathe of Heaven
(ECM)

Christian Vuust
Urban Hymn
(Self Produced)

Jan Gunnar Hoff
Fly North
(Losen Records)

Gjertrud Lunde
Hjemklang
(Ozella Music)

Jakob Buchanan
Some People & Some Places
(Self Produced)

Mimi Jones
Balance
(Hot Tone Music)

Samo Salamon & The Slovene Philharmonic String Chamber Orchestra
Free Strings: Orchestrology
(Self Produced)

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