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Ken Franckling

03 Dec 2020 3:17 PM | Ken Franckling

The 10 best new jazz releases of 2020

1.     Tim Ray, Excursions and Adventures (Whaling City Sound)
2.     Maria Schneider Orchestra, Data Lords (ArtistShare)
3.     Artemis, Artemis (Blue Note)
4.     Jeff Rupert and George Garzone, The Ripple (Rupe Media)
5.     Lynne Arriale, Chimes of Freedom (Challenge)
6.     Bernard Purdie, Christian Fabian, Ron Oswanski, Move On! (Consolidated Artists)
7.     3D Jazz Trio, I Love to See You Smile (DIVA Jazz)
8.     Funk Shui NYC, Shark NATO on a Plane (Zoho)
9.     Wayne Alpern, Standard Deviation (Henri Elkan Music)
10.The Michael O’Neill Quartet, And Then It Rained (Jazzmo)

The best historical/reissues of 2020 (includes any recordings made over 10 years ago, whether newly released or reissued):

  1. Sonny Rollins, Rollins in Holland (Resonance)
  2. Thelonious Monk: Palo Alto (Impulse!/Sony)
  3. Ella Fitzgerald, Ella: The Lost Berlin Tapes (Verve)
  4. Bill Evans, Live at Ronnie Scott’s (Resonance)
  5. Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, Just Coolin' (Blue Note)

 2020’s best vocal recordings:

1.     Sinne Eeg & The Danish Radio Big Band, We’ve Just Begun (Stunt/BFM Jazz)
2.     Kenny Washington, What’s The Hurry (A-Train Entertainment)
3.     Clairdee, A Love Letter to Lena (Declare Music)
4.     Melody Gardot, Sunset in Blue (Decca)
5.     Susan Tobocman, Touch & Go (Soliterra)

2020’s best Latin/Brazilian jazz recordings:

1.     Emilio Solla Tango Jazz Orchestra, Puertos: Music From International Waters (Avantango)
2.     Calle Loiza Jazz Project, There Will Never be Another You (self-produced)
3.     John Daversa Quintet, Cuarantena: With Family at Home (Tiger Turn)
4.     Jose Rizo’s Mongorama, Mariposas Cantan (Saungu)
5.     Vanderlei Pereira, Vision for Rhythm (Jazzheads)

 2020’s best debut recording:

Douglas Olsen, 2 Cents (self-produced)

The 10 best new compositions from CDs released in 2020, listed alphabetically:

  • Lynne Arriale, “3 Million Steps” from Chimes of Freedom (Challenge)
  • Frank Colón, “Spanish Heart” from Latin Lounge (Technoprimal)
  • Jenny Davis, “Wise Up” from Rearranged (Three Penny)
  • Erik Jekabson, “Dusk” from Erik Jekabson Sextet III, One Note at a Time (Wide Hive)
  • Austin McMahon, “Sol” from The Lost Melody, New Songs For Old Souls (Tie)
  • Dave Morgan, Noel Cohen, “July Groove/September Funk” from Funk Shui NYC, Shark NATO on a Plane (Zoho)
  • Josh Nelson, “Kintsugi” from Josh Nelson Trio, The Discovery Project Live in Japan (Steel Bird)
  • Jose Rizo and Francisco Torres, “Descarga Ramon Banda” from Jose Rizo’s Mongarama, Mariposas Cantan (Saungu)
  • Renee Rosnes, “Big Top” from Artemis (Blue Note)
  • Maria Schneider, “A World Lost” from Data Lords (ArtistShare)
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