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 love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.