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Mark F. Turner's Best Releases of 2012

Mark F. Turner By

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2012 was a year of stimulating music made all of the more relevant by artists who poured out their hearts and souls in diverse and compelling ways. Younger voices emerged like pianist Robert Glasper and drummer Henry Cole to deliver contemporary visions through fresh personal and cultural influences . Esteemed trumpeter/composer Wadada Leo Smith brought his monumental four-disc project to life, inspired from events centered around America's tumultuous past within the Civil Rights Movement. Another creative exploit included the convergence of modern jazz and an influential Argentine literary work in saxophonist Miguel Zenon and pianist Laurent Coq's Rayuela(Sunnyside), dedicated to novelist Julio Cortázar's work of the same name. As always, there were simply not enough hours in the day to experience so many of the year's releases. Here are a few that made lasting impressions.

New Releases

Wadada Leo Smith Ten Freedom Summers (Cuneiform) Henry Cole Afro Beat Collective Roots Before Branches (Self Produced) Robert Glasper Experiment Black Radio (Blue Note)


Miguel Zenon / Laurent Coq Rayuela (Sunnyside) Johnathan Blake The Eleventh Hour (Sunnyside) Jacob Garchik The Heavens (Yestereve)


Lionel Loueke Heritage (Blue Note) Dafnis Prieto Proverb Trio (Dafnison) Ron Miles Quiver (Enja)


Jazz Soul Seven Impressions of Curtis Mayfield (BFM) Charlie Haden / Hank Jones Come Sunday (EmArcy) Darius Jones Quartet Book of Mae'bul (AUM Fidelity)




New Discoveries (including new groups)

Caroline Davis Live Work & Play (ears&eyes) Snarky Puppy groundUP (Ropeadope)


Jack Davies Big Band Jack Davies Big Band (V&V) Tohpati Bertiga Riot (Moonjune)




Beyond Jazz

Me'Shell NdegeOcello Pour une âme souveraine (Naïve) Bobby Womack Bravest Man In The Universe (XL) Donald Fagen Sunken Condos (Reprise)

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