2017 was another good year for music and while there is much unrest in the world, it is a source of comfort that it is still possible to bring people together from different corners of the world to play and sing together. Here are twelve records that stood out for me. Matthew Shipp Piano Song
Why? Matthew Shipp continues to define and redefine the piano with great respect for tradition. Piano Song
could very well turn out to be a classic in his canon of recorded works.
Paula Shocron / Germán Lamonega / Pablo DiazTensegridad
Hat Hut Records
Why? The SLD Trio with pianist Paula Shocron, bassist Germán Lamonega and drummer Pablo Diaz develop a timeless and experimental language on Tensegridad
. Flow FLOW
Why? Music to relax to. Music to find strength in. Jeff Oster's pure trumpet lines sing out in a comforting landscape of piano, warm acoustic guitars and gentle percussion. Torhild Ostad / Carsten Dahl Jeg roper til deg
Why? A future Norwegian classic? Singer Torhild Ostad and pianist Carsten Dahl had a special chemistry on these deep, poetic psalms. It is indeed ironic that the prolific Dahl who brought Ostad out of the shadow has currently decided to retire from his instrument to dedicate himself to painting. Hopefully, he and Ostad will get together again and make more music. Charles Rumback Threes/Tag Book
Why? A wonderful take on the piano trio on two companion releases that show the versatile drummer Charles Rumback as an inspiring composer in a democratic trio.
David S. Ware Trio Live in New York, 2010
Why? David S. Ware was able to use his instrument, the saxophone, to convey a world of feelings that can hardly be expressed in any ordinary language.
Lilly feat. Gilad Hekselman Tenderly
Why? A superb example of close communication in a duo. Hekselman's guitar playing supports Lilly's pure voice and they sing together in perfect harmony. Simon Eskildsen Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
Why? A strong debut from a Danish piano trio with memorable, original compositions. The communication here is empathic and shows that the Aarhus jazz scene in Denmark is worth looking out for. Sinne Eeg Dreams
Stunt Records/Artist Share
Why? This could be the big breakthrough for singer, Sinne Eeg, who has created one of her best efforts so far in the company of such A-list players as drummer Joey Baron. Jackie Shane Any Other Way
Why? Not exactly jazz, but soulful music. Jackie Shane's music has finally gotten the attention it deserves and Rob Bowman tells her story in the excellent, extensive liner notes.
ensemble, et. al The Slow Reveal
Why? Post-rock as jazz meets percussion. The Slow Reveal
was recorded by Tortoise's John McEntire, who added that extra something to ensemble, et. al's music. Anouar Brahem Blue Maqams
Why? I never reviewed this release myself, but was made aware of it when I read John Kelman's excellent review. Thanks John!