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Neil Duggan's Best Jazz Albums Of 2023

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With a continual flow of interesting releases, 2023 was the gift that kept on giving. Many of these releases were forged during the pandemic, many as a result of the freedom to fully interact with other musicians again and get back to the serious business of creating and entertaining. Whatever the drivers, both up-and-coming artists and seasoned veterans provided respect for the past, perpetual innovation and many outstanding albums.

Tim Garland
Life to Life
Whirlwind Recordings

A flawlessly executed album, overflowing with creativity by a duo with a strong musical bond.




Isaiah J. Thompson
The Power of the Spirit
Blue Engine Records

An up-and-coming pianist and his quartet in a high-powered set, played with skill and control beyond their years.




Louise Dodds and Elchin Shirinov
Two Hours After Midnight
Loch Tay Records

Highly impressive meeting of Scottish folk and jazz.




Noah Haidu
Standards
Sunnyside Records

The variety of mood and texture, the track sequencing and the use of the different musicians, all ensure that the album sustains interest throughout.




Tingvall Trio
Birds
Skip Records GmbH

An expressive album, full of dramatic flair, offering many emotions, styles and depths.




Zoe Rahman
Colour of Sound
Manushi Records

Bold arrangements, dynamic compositions and passionate playing. An exquisitely crafted album that repays repeated listening.




Terell Stafford
Between Two Worlds
Le Coq Records

Melodic trumpeter playing at the top of his game with both strength and vulnerability.




Tenderlonious
You Know I Care
22a

Acoustic quartet providing fresh and captivating approaches to some classic jazz material




Henry Spencer
The Defector
AMP Music & Records

Terrific blend of jazz with classical influences, often played in a rock format. Intense.




Paul Mottram
Seven Ages Of Man
Ubuntu Music

The balance and interlacing of scored and improvised playing, within the structure of a classical piece, is highly impressive. A compelling and engaging listen.




Shuteen Erdenebaatar
Rising Sun
Motéma Music

An exciting and expressive performance throughout.




Geri Allen & Kurt Rosenwinkel
A Lovesome Thing
Motéma Music

A duo with clear synergy creating a gentle amd mellow soundscape.

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