Mike Jurkovic's Best Releases of 2019

Mike Jurkovic By

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It was this dozen plus of recordings, among many that deserve mention, that gratefully, again and again and again, pulled my attention away from binge watching the destruction of our cherished, yet all too vulnerable democracy. These are the recordings of 2019 that made it evident that we all need to remain vigilant and engaged, or else great art is one of the first things to fall. And once that falls, all the rest follows.

Chick Corea
Trilogy 2
Concord Music Group

Here's hoping we needn't wait another several years for a third installment.

Branford Marsalis
The Secret Between The Shadow and the Soul

Even if the disc only contained "Dance of The Evil Toys" and Keith Jarrett's "The Windup" it will still be an end-of-the-year topper.

Lisa Hilton
Chalkboard Destiny
Ruby Slipper Productions

Known on both coasts, here's the recording that will bring her into the fly-over states.

Veronica Swift
Mack Avenue Records

Brassy, sassy, full of break-out energy and more balls than Major League Baseball, Swift fronts both the Emmet Cohen and Benny Green trios.

Kris Davis
Diatom Ribbons

Aided and abetted by Esperanza Spalding, J.D. Allen, Ches Smith, Nels Cline, Marc Ribot and Terri Lyne Carrington, Davis takes herself and her beautiful twisted music to exciting new heights.

David Torn
Sun of Goldfinger
ECM Records

Sonically psychotic with a calm in the center that's daring to hear.

Bria Skonberg
Nothing Never Happens
Self Produced

Skonberg's discography is a rather sunny one. . .until now. A wide, dark turn into the personal and national unrest that afflicts us all.

Cannonball Adderley
Swingin' In Seattle, Live at The Penthouse 1966-1967
Reel to Real

History in the making and swingin' only partially defines it.

John Coltrane
Blue World

Previously unheard music from he classic quartet in 1964 at peak creativity and stamina getting ready for Crescent and A Love Supreme.

Enrico Rava / Joe Lovano
ECM records

From the glorious unravelling of "Fort Worth" through the shimmering statements within "Drum Song/Spiritual/ Over The Rainbow," it's hard to fathom this is their first duet recording.

Stephanie Richards
Take The Neon Lights
Bird Watcher Records

Fearless and forward thinking trumpeter Richards makes her instrument, its origins traced back to 1500 BC, sound startling new and mysterious.

Vijay Iyer & Craig Taborn
The Transitory Poems
ECM Records

Cecil Taylor hovers mightily over these bold creators.

Erroll Garner
The Octave Remastered Series
Mack Avenue

Released on a monthly basis starting September, 2019, Garner fully,finally and faithfully gets his props as a master musician, orchestrator, and improvisor. Dreamstreet in particular is a stroke of genius.

Eric Dolphy
Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions
Resonance Records

Dolphy 1963. What more need be said?

Paul Bley
When Will The Blues Leave
ECM Records

A true dance of inquisitive equals, this is first posthumous Bley release since his passing in 2016. An outstanding document of a more than outstanding performance from 1999.

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