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David R. Adler

15 Dec 2018 8:48 PM | David Adler

I saw Ted Panken, John Murph and other fellow jazz scribes discussing the utility or non-utility of Year-End Top 10 lists and it made me want to try something different. I do have a Top 10, but rather than impose that kind of fixity on 2018 I thought I’d put my Top 10 last, not first. And in its place I’m doing what I do naturally every year: keep tallies in different categories that add up to a fuller story about where the music went and what I responded to most. So here is 2018 in debut albums, solo albums, duo albums and large ensemble albums. And then finally my Top 10.

Debut Albums:

Justin Brown, Nyeusi (Biophilia)

Big Heart Machine (Outside In)

Rogério Boccato Quarteto, No Old Rain (Red Piano)

Noam Wiesenberg, Roads Diverge (BJU)

James Francies, Flight (Blue Note)

Yuhan Su, City Animals (Sunnyside)

Jonathan Barber, Vision Ahead (ind.)

Ben LaMar Gay, Downtown Castles Can Never Block the Sun (International Anthem)

Matthew Lux, Contra/Fact (Astral Spirits)

Miki Yamanaka, Miki (Cellar Live)

Joe Armon-Jones, Starting Today (Brownswood)

JinJoo Yoo, I’m Curious (Gut String)

Mayu Saeki, Hope (BJU)

Blue Lab Beats, Xover (All Points)

Gene Jackson Trio Nuyorx, Power of Love (Red River)

William Tatge Trio, General Cargo (BJU)

MND FLO, From Time (ind.)

Solo Albums:

Brad Mehldau, After Bach (Nonesuch)

Mike Seal, Dogwoods (ind.)

Josh Sinton, krasa (ind.)

Rob Clearfield, Wherever You’re Starting From (Woodgathering)

Miles Okazaki, Work: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Monk, Vols. 1-6 (ind.)

George Colligan, Nation Divided (Whirlwind)

Keith Jarrett, La Fenice (ECM)

Wendy Eisenberg, Its Shape Is Your Touch (VDSQ)

Alan Pasqua, Soliloquy (ind.)

Dan Tepfer, Natural Machines (YouTube)

Duo Albums:

Mark Turner & Ethan Iverson, Temporary Kings (ECM)

Mikkel Ploug & Mark Turner, Faroe (Sunnyside)

Jonathan Kreisberg & Nelson Veras, Kreisberg Meets Veras (New For Now)

Tim Berne & Matt Mitchell, Angel Dusk (screwgun)

Frank Carlberg & Noah Preminger, Whispers and Cries (Red Piano)

Michael Coleman & Ben Goldberg, Practitioner (BAG)

Anteloper (Jaimie Branch/Jason Nazary), Kudu (International Anthem)

Will Holshouser & Eric Vloeimans, Will & Eric (Aviary)

Lee Konitz & Dan Tepfer, Decade (Verve)

Robbie Lee & Mary Halvorson, Seed Triangular (New Amsterdam)

Ben Wendel, Standards with Friends (YouTube)

Large Ensemble Albums:

Michael Leonhart Orchestra, The Painted Lady Suite (Sunnyside)

Big Heart Machine (Outside In)

Orrin Evans & Captain Black Big Band, Presence (Smoke Sessions)

Barney McAll feat. Monash Art Ensemble, Zephyrix (Extra Celestial)

Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra, Down a Rabbit Hole (Summit)

Antonio Sanchez, Channels of Energy (CAM Jazz)

Luzia von Wyl Ensemble, Throwing Coins (Hathut)

Dafnis Prieto Big Band, Back to the Sunset (Dafnison)

Miho Hazama, The Monk: Live at Bimhuis (Sunnyside)

Pedro Giraudo & The WDR Big Band, An Argentinian in New York (Zoho)

Marshall Gilkes & WDR Big Band, Always Forward (Alternate Side)

Top 10 Albums:

Wayne Shorter, Emanon (Blue Note)

Miguel Zenón featuring Spektral Quartet, Yo Soy La Tradición (Miel)

Esperanza Spalding, 12 Little Spells (Concord)

Cécile McLorin Salvant, The Window (Mack Avenue)

Miles Okazaki, Work: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Monk, Vols. 1-6 (ind.)

Caroline Davis, Heart Tonic (Sunnyside)

The Bad Plus, Never Stop II (Legbreaker)

Dan Weiss, Starebaby (Pi)

Robbie Lee & Mary Halvorson, Seed Triangular (New Amsterdam)

Myra Melford’s Snowy Egret, The Other Side of Air (Firehouse 12)

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