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Favorite Releases of 2019

My top 10 favorites in no particular order

 

Chick Corea and Joshua Redman have a lot of albums, but this year their releases are a notch higher than usual, if that's possible. Their two albums, along with Ted Nash's interpretations of West Side Story songs, are superb versions of mainly straight ahead jazz. The other albums on the list are outside the jazz mainstream and are pushing boundaries and exploring new sonic and rhythmic approaches to music. There are intersections with modern classical music (Fabian Almazan), electronica (Theo Croker) and free jazz (Tomeka Reid) and there is innovative and exciting compositional talent on display (Greg Ward, Allison Miller and Ben Wolfe).

1. Greg Ward Presents Rogue Parade - Stomping Off From Greenwood (Greenleaf)

2. Joshua Redman Quartet - Come What May (Nonesuch)

3. Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom - Glitter World (Royal Potato Family)

4. Fabian Almazan Trio - The Land Abounds With Life (Biophilia)
5. Ted Nash - Somewhere Else: West Side Story Songs (Plastic Sax Records)

6. Chick Corea Trio - Trilogy 2 (Concord)

7. Tomeka Reid -  Old New (Cuneiform)

8. Ben Wolfe - Fatherhood (Resident Arts Records)

9. Theo Croker - Star People Nation (Sony)

10. Julian Lage - Love Hurts (Mack Avenue)

Jeremy Pelt - The Artist (High Note)

Other 2019 releases I love

Ryan Keberle & Catharsis - The Hope I Hold (Greenleaf)

Linda May Han Oh - Aventurine (Biophilia)

Avishai Cohen - Arvoles (Razdaz Records)

Joel Ross - Kingmaker (Blue Note)

Curtis Nowosad - Curtis Nowosad (Sessionheads United)

Gilad Hekselman - Further Chaos (Motema)

Clare Ritter & Ran Blake - Eclipse Orange (Zoning Recordings)

Roxy Coss - Quintet (Ouside In Music)

Yotam Silberstein - Future Memories (jazz&people)

Ralph Alessi - Imaginary Friends (ECM)

Anat Cohen Tentet - Triple Helix (Anzic Records)

Patrick Cornelius - This Should Be Fun (Posi-Tone)

Snorre Kirk - Beat (Stunt Records)

 

Favorite releases by Washington/Baltimore artists (no particular order)
 

 

1. Reginald Cyntje - Rise of the Protestor

2. Todd Marcus -

3. Chuck Redd - Goove City

4. Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra - Bohemiana 2

5. Lionel Lyles - Simplistically Complex

6. Shannon Gunn -

7. Sean Purcell -

Noteworthy old recordings newly released (no particular order)

There were some outstanding albums in 2019 of previously unreleased recordings. Resonance Records released an amazing 7-CD set of early Nat King Cole recordings while Mack Avenue decided to release a series of reissues and never-before-heard recordings from piano master Errol Garner. There were also new releases from Miles Davis and John Coltrane. But these ended up being my two favorites in this category. Bill Cole's album is a stunning avant-garde performance recorded in 1986 and featuring the late Julius Hemphill on saxophones and flute, and Joseph Daley on euphonium. If you love Stan Getz, you'll undoubedly love this 2-CD album recoreded at the Village Gate in 1961, just before Getz moved into his bossa nova phase. It features Steve Kuhn on piano, John Neves on bass and Roy Haynes on drums.

1. Bill Cole & Untempered Ensemble – Music For Yoruba Proverbs (Bill Cole)

2. Stan Getz – Getz at the Gate (Verve)