So many reviews this year, in so many genres, that I've split them into two categories"Jazz" and "Latin, World & Experimental"in response to the feeling that I was trying to compare apples to oranges. They're presented in more or less chronological order, and the guiding principle was whether I had a clear memory of the recording even before I went back to listen to it again. A few of these were drawn from Multiple Review articles, and I cheated a bit with one where I reviewed a live album release concert rather than the album. If I had to choose just one? In a very strong year of ECM releases, Wolfgang Muthspiel's Rising Grace is a highlight in his discography, in contemporary jazz guitar music, and in the recent ECM catalog.
World music pioneer Adam Rudolph and his groundbreaking Go: Organic Orchestra join forces with Brooklyn Raga Massive to create the monumental new album, Ragmala – A Garland of Ragas (Meta Records). Ragmala bridges generations, cultures and traditions in a deep-rooted, forward-looking sound born of 21st-century innovation and hybrid voices. Epic in scale and ambition, the project features 40 world-class musicians including Gnawa master musician Hassan Hakmoun, legendary drummer/percussionist Hamid Drake, forward-thinking cornetist Graham Haynes, and tradition-blurring flutist...
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