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Best of / Year End

BEST OF / YEAR END

Chris May's Best Releases of 2018

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2018 is the year in which British jazz has finally come of age. After decades in the shadow of its American parent, a community of jny: London-based musicians has emerged with a singular and geographically distinct aesthetic which reflects the Caribbean and African heritages of the majority of its vanguard stylists and incorporates other London creations such as grime and garage in the mix. Jazz was created by black musicians. The new London scene is by no means racially exclusive, ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

The Top Ten Christmas Jazz Albums Of All Time

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As temperatures drop and days grow short, Winter is once again upon us. For those looking to listen to the sounds of the season without resorting to December's relentless slew of glossy, generic cash-grabs, jazz can be a breath of fresh, wintry air. You won't find (many) singers on this list, since most people already know and have records by Frank, Dean, Ella, Karen, and more. Instead, I've put together jazz's greatest Christmas albums from the golden age to today. ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

Mark Corroto's Top Ten (Ok Fifteen) of 2018

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Another trip around the sun. In the AllAboutJazz universe, the stars were especially bright this year. Which is a good thing, unless you are like me, trying to pare down a huge list of favorites to just ten. At that task, I've failed once again. So here are my 15 favorite recordings of 2018 in no particular order. Frank Kimbrough Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk Sunnyside Records Jamie ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

Doug Collette's Best Releases of 2018

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It wasn't hard in the least to compile a 'Best of...' list for 2018. The titles were self-evident as they rolled out, with almost clockwork regularity, over the course of the twelve months, ultimately comprising what I kept going back to most often during the year, enjoying each one more (and in a slightly different way) with each successive hearing. Jamie Saft Solo A Genova Rare Noise Records Jamie Saft Quartet

BEST OF / YEAR END

Geno Thackara's Best Releases of 2018

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Despite (or in defiant response to) the difficulties of the streaming age, 2018 has seen another musical bumper crop--especially for those of us who particularly love the sound of the piano. There were enough top-notch offerings to make a list at least twice as long, but these have been the most frequent and satisfying staples in the soundtrack of my year. On a side note: it's also worth quickly mentioning URO's OR and Audun Trio's Rondane (both on ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

Friedrich Kunzmann's 2018 Top 5: A fine year for the ECM catalogue

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When looking back at the year one won't find more peace or joy than on the musical side of things. For in this realm there are nor real losers. Here, disappointment is relative and success is all over the place because everyone is trying to be their best possible selves, constantly on a path of self-improvement and reflection. A collective inwardness mirrors the individual looking outward; musicians listening to one another, understanding one another and building upon the constant exchange ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

C. Michael Bailey's Best Releases of 2018

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The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel Beethoven Revisited Symphonies 1-9 One thing that can be bragged on regarding Beethoven's nine symphonies is their artistic durability and persistence. As the pinnacle of Western Musical thought, we might not expect any less of this music, seemingly forged in humanity's collective unconscious, as well as possibly encoded in our spiritual genome... continue. Tiffany Austin Unbroken One of the greatest talents ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

Dan McClenaghan's Best Releases Of 2018

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The music keeps moving forward, evolving to higher levels. My search for the best jazz recordings of 2018 led me to these marvelous CDs. Satoko Fujii Satoko Fujii Solo Libra Records A person's sixtieth birthday serves as a milestone, more so in Japan--where it is referred to as “Kanreki"--than elsewhere. Pianist/composer/bandleader Satoko Fujii celebrated her Kanreki in 2018, by releasing an album a month--no kicking back in the rocking chair for her. Satoko Fujii ...

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Troy Dostert's Best Releases of 2018

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2018 was a terrific year for imaginative, well-executed recordings that cover the spectrum of instrumental configurations in creative jazz and freely improvised music. From Susana Santos Silva's mesmerizing solo trumpet to Ingrid Laubrock's formidable orchestra (and everything in between), the following choices are a cross-section of some of the best the year had to offer. Something worth noting, and celebrating, is the fact that so many of these fine releases are the work of women--continuing an encouraging trend that has ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

Dan Bilawsky's Best Releases of 2018

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Every little bit of the year 2018 will soon take form as memory--first recent, then distant--but the fine music gifted to us in those twelve months will be forever present, living on in ears, hearts and minds. I had the pleasure of hearing north of 400 albums this past year, and I had the privilege of reviewing more than 75 of those for All About Jazz. These are the bunch from that review list that left the strongest impression. (Note: ...