All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Best of / Year End

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

12

Mark F. Turner's Best of 2013

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Jazz keeps growing and evolving through all of its permutations and 2013 was another stellar year of music. It's always difficult to pick the best from a host of outstanding releases yet the task is a labor of admiration. Another cool thing about "Year End" lists is discovering something new. Here are just a few of my favorites and hopefully something yet to be discovered for those unfamiliar with these fine releases.

Wayne Shorter Quartet
Without a Net
(Blue Note)

At 80 years young, the esteemed jazz patriarch continues to perform at a level of freedom and ingenuity that's well beyond peers and others who are much younger. His quartet for the past decade operate on a symbiotic level that is indeed remarkable as captured in a live recording that breathes with spontaneity and verve.

Rudresh Mahanthappa
Gamak
(ACT)
With thick elements of South Indian music, Western influences that include country music and progressive rock, this release defies compartmentalization. With the help of a smoldering ensemble that includes the masterful idiosyncrasies of guitarist David Fiuczynski, jazz saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa creates a unique language that is both cerebral and enjoyable.

Cecile McLorin Salvant
Womanchild
(Mack Avenue)
To be young, gifted, and boldly confident, singer Cecile McLorin Salvant has the poise of jazz matriarchs in the lineage of Abbey Lincoln and Billie Holiday, yet exudes a new freshness that is modern and relevant. Salvant's debut on Mack Avenue remembers the past but moves forward with her own voice.

Jaimeo Brown
Transcendence
(Motema Music)
One of the most fascinating releases of 2013 channels inspiration from the descendants of African American slaves in Gee's Bend Alabama—women quilters whose vibrant artwork is a testament of ongoing creativity and endurance. Drummer Jaimeo Brown adds his own patterns to their fabric in a recording colored with the blues, rock, gospel music, and modernism. \

Dawn of Midi
Dysnomia
(Thirsty Ear Recordings)
46 minutes of hypnotic machine-like precision is brought to you by the New York based piano trio with such artistic focus and execution that might easily be mistaken as electronically programmed. But this acoustic band is not just mimicking plugged-in music but expounding on the possibilities of how patterns and sound coalesce.

Matana Roberts
COIN COIN Chapter Two:Mississippi Moonchile
(Constellation Records)
A personal journey that is part music, genealogy, and ethnomusicology, saxophonist Matana Roberts continues to conjure the rich history of her roots through her Coin Coin series. Chapter Two is softer, heartfelt, and filled with fire.

RJ Miller
Ronald's Rhythm
(Loyal Label)
Electronic music comes in all sounds, colors, and textures, but drummer Ron Miller exploits the ambient side with chilled themes and moody soundscapes. The soul in the machine lies in the way Miller expertly juxtaposes his drum kit with piano, keyboards, and analog synthesizers through infectious melodies that move and groove.

Thiefs
Thiefs
(Melanine Harmonique Recordings)
Germinated from the seeds of a French American Jazz Exchange grant, the talented trio collective of drummer Guillermo E. Brown, bassist Keith Witty, and saxophonist Christophe Panzani produce an eclectic project of soulful, spaced-out music through voice, electronics, and acoustic instruments.

Vijay Iyer / Mike Ladd
Holding It Down: The Veterans' Dreams Project
(Pi Recordings)
Pianist Vijay Iyer and poet/emcee Mike Ladd continue their longtime collaboration through progressive music and spoken word. This time they explore the recorded experiences of veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through the medium of their dreams in a project that is compelling, disturbing, and thoroughly thought-provoking.

Yeahwon Shin
Lua Ya
(ECM Records)
South Korean singer Yeahwon Shin's debut on ECM is filled with innocent wonder and tenderness. The ambiance of Mechanics Hall, where the project was recorded; the intuitive playing from Shin's trio mates pianist Aaron Parks and accordionist Rubo Curto, and the singer's lovely voice are all factors in this beautiful release.

Emmanuel Bex / Mike Ladd / Nico Morelli
B2BILL: A modern tribute to Bill Evans
(Bonsai Music)
Add this the list of inventive trios with the collaboration of French musicians organist Emmanuel Bex and pianist Nico Morelli, joining forces with New York spoken word artist Mike Ladd. They spin and reinterpret covers and original tunes from the great Bill Evans served up with plenty of panache that's totally hip.

Valerie June
Pushin' Against A Stone
(Sunday Best Recordings)
Straight out of blues and roots music, by way of Tennessee, singer/guitarist Valerie June brings an unpretentious authenticity as she mixes rural, gospel, and folk music with lyrics laced with tenderness at one moment and hard life realities the next.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
In Pictures
Live Reviews
In Pictures
Live Reviews
Read more articles
Emanon

Emanon

Blue Note Records
2018

buy
Adam's Apple

Adam's Apple

Music Matters
2017

buy
The Blue Note Albums

The Blue Note Albums

Blue Note Records
2015

buy
 

Odyssey Of Iska

Spirit One Records
2014

buy
 

Multiple Set Of 3...

Spirit One Records
2013

buy
Wayne Shorter Quartet: Without a Net

Wayne Shorter...

Blue Note Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Matt Hooke's Best Releases of 2017 Best of / Year End
Matt Hooke's Best Releases of 2017
by Matt Hooke
Published: January 7, 2018
Read Friedrich Kunzmann's Best Releases Of 2017: Ethno-Jazz on the rise Best of / Year End
Friedrich Kunzmann's Best Releases Of 2017: Ethno-Jazz...
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: January 7, 2018
Read 2017: The Year in Jazz Best of / Year End
2017: The Year in Jazz
by Ken Franckling
Published: January 5, 2018
Read Mark F. Turner's Best Releases Of 2017 Best of / Year End
Mark F. Turner's Best Releases Of 2017
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 3, 2018
Read Steve Bryant's Best Releases Of 2017 Best of / Year End
Steve Bryant's Best Releases Of 2017
by Steve Bryant
Published: January 3, 2018
Read Ian Patterson's Best Releases of 2017 Best of / Year End
Ian Patterson's Best Releases of 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 2, 2018
Read "Steve Bryant's Best Releases Of 2017" Best of / Year End Steve Bryant's Best Releases Of 2017
by Steve Bryant
Published: January 3, 2018
Read "Matt Hooke's Best Releases of 2017" Best of / Year End Matt Hooke's Best Releases of 2017
by Matt Hooke
Published: January 7, 2018
Read "John Kelman's Best Releases of 2017" Best of / Year End John Kelman's Best Releases of 2017
by John Kelman
Published: December 24, 2017
Read "C. Andrew Hovan's Best Releases of 2017" Best of / Year End C. Andrew Hovan's Best Releases of 2017
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: December 30, 2017
Read "Friedrich Kunzmann's Best Releases Of 2017: Ethno-Jazz on the rise" Best of / Year End Friedrich Kunzmann's Best Releases Of 2017: Ethno-Jazz...
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: January 7, 2018
Read "Troy Collins' Best Releases of 2017" Best of / Year End Troy Collins' Best Releases of 2017
by Troy Collins
Published: December 7, 2017