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Every year, the task of picking the best releases seems to be quite an onerous assignment. This year was especially difficult because, of the four hundred or so discs I listened to, many kept resurfacing for more attention. As I write, I haven't yet spun the new (yes, new) releases by Albert Ayler (Stockholm, Berlin 1966 (Hatology)) and Evan Parker (At Somewhere There (Barnyard Records)).
What I am saying is, I certainly missed a few killer recordings and that this list of twelve notable releases is incomplete and imperfect. I did love every one of them, though, and I am certainly thankful that jazz artists continue to record and perform authentic music.
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.