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These are the 2022 "Best of Jazz" lists and commentaries compiled by Members of the Jazz Journalists Association. They are displayed in the order received, with the most recent on top. 

It's up to each member to decide what to include in his or her post -- recordings, books, live performances or whatever -- how many choices to include, and how the post will be formatted.

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  • 02 Jan 2023 9:26 PM | Philip Booth

    Jazz remains a thing of great beauty and intrinsic value, a lively art worthy of our support and admiration. That's despite the best efforts of the likes of Spotify and other bean-counting music industry profiteers to ensure that sales of recordings profit platform owners to the greatest degree possible and financially benefit the actual music makers (the "content creators") to the least degree legally permitted. Consequently, it’s more difficult than ever for musical artists to sustain life by solely focusing on their artistic efforts.

    Sadly, in 2022 public radio overlords – at WUSF-FM in my town, Tampa, and elsewhere -- continued dismantling decades-long traditions, ditching originally produced jazz programming and replacing it with generic news broadcasts, consequently damaging local musical communities.

    Still, jazz art flourishes, with challenging and provocative music presented live and on recordings by younger and established players alike, in communities around the globe. 

    Here are some of my favorite jazz releases of 2022, in alphabetical order:

    New Releases

    Martin Bejerano, #CubanAmerican (Figgland)

    Jeff Coffin, Between Dreaming and Joy (Ear Up) 

    Billy Drummond and Freedom of Ideas, Valse Sinistre (Cellar)

    Al Foster, Reflections (Smoke Sessions) 

    Tom HarrellOak Tree (HighNote) 

    Julian LageView With a Room (Blue Note)

    Chuck Owen and the Jazz Surge, Within Us: Celebrating 25 Years of the Jazz Surge (MAMA) 

    Redman Mehldau McBride Blade, LongGone (Nonesuch)  

    Joel Ross, The Parable of the Poet (Blue Note)  

    Snarky Puppy, Empire Central (GroundUp) 

    Historical

    Bill Evans, Morning Glory (Resonance) 

    Bill Evans, Inner Spirit (Resonance) 

    Jack McDuff, Live at Parnell’s (Soul Bank)


     

     


  • 30 Dec 2022 2:24 PM | C. Andrew Hovan

    In terms of music and life, it seemed to me that 2022 was in many ways an extension of 2020 and 2021.  Opportunities for straight ahead jazz seemed to be fewer and farther between as the industry embraced music that sports more extreme outlooks.  As a full time educator and active musician, my time for enjoying music has become limited these days, so quite honestly the time I do have is devoted to music that truly moves me and that is usually material within the swing tradition.  As such, my list of favorite new recordings for 2022 is slim.  But I have decided to focus on music that often gets overlooked and make that my muse.  So, this list includes a deep dive into what inspires me: the ever-growing vinyl reissue market. 

    Top New Music Releases 2022:

    Larry Goldings/Peter Bernstein/Bill Stewart- Perpetual Pendulum (Smoke Sessions)

    Joshua Redman/Brad Mehldau/Christian McBride/Brian Blade- LongGone (Nonesuch)

    Ron Carter- Finding the Right Notes: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (In+Out Records)

    Steve Davis- Bluesthetic (Smoke Sessions)

    Tony Monaco- Four Brothers (Chicken Coup)

    Brian Lynch- Songbook Vol.1: Bus Stop Serenade (Hollistic MusicWorks)

    Top Discoveries of 2022:

    Elvin Jones- Revival: Live at Pookie’s Pub (Blue Note)

    Ahmad Jamal- Emerald City Nights: Live at the Penthouse 1963-1964 (Jazz Detective)

    Ahmad Jamal- Emerald City Nights: Live at the Penthouse 1965-1966 (Jazz Detective)

    Pepper Adams- Live at Room at the Top (Real to Reel)

    Top Vinyl Reissues of 2022:

    Blue Mitchell- Bring It Home to Me (Blue Note Tone Poet)

    Harold Vick- Steppin’ Out (Blue Note Tone Poet)

    Grant Green- Feelin’ the Spirit (Blue Note Tone Poet)

    Bobby Hutcherson- Stick-Up (Blue Note Tone Poet)

    Roy Brooks- Roy Brooks Beat (Verve By Request)

    Bill Evans- You Must Believe in Spring (Craft Recordings)

    Mongo Santamaria- Sofrito (Craft Recordings)

    Yusef Lateef- The Three Faces of Yusef (Riverside-Vinyl Me Please)

    Melvin Sparks- Spark Plug (Prestige-Vinyl Me Please)

    Lee Morgan- Take Twelve (Jazzland- Vinyl Me Please)

    Phineas Newborn, Jr.- Here is Phineas (Atlantic- Vinyl Me Please)


  • 28 Dec 2022 3:29 PM | John Chacona

    Not a big fan of rankings, nor of presuming that I know which recordings were the year's best. So here are my ten favorite recordings released between Dec. 1, 2021 and Dec. 1, 2022, arranged in alpha order by title.

    Similar lists appear at PostGenre and will post soon at Tom Hull's mammoth yearend concatenation. I'll probably have more to say about these recordings--and probably a few late additions--at my own site, let's call this, depending on my ambition.


    Amyrillis and Belladonna, Mary Halvorson (Nonesuch)

    For The Love Of Fire And Water, Myra Melford's Fire And Water Quintet (RogueArt)

    Ghost Song, Cécile McLorin Salvant (Nonesuch)

    Good Time Music: Community Music, Vol. 2, Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra with Catherine Russell (Royal Potato Family)

    New Gospel Revisited , Marquis Hill (Edition Records, Ltd.)

    New Standards Vol. 1, Terri Lyne Carrington (Candid)

    Other Zones, Michael Formanek Quartet (Circular File Records)

    Séances, Trevor Dunn’s Trio-Convulsant avec Folie à Quatre (Pyroclastic Records)

    Seismic Shift, John Escreet (Whirlwind Records)

    The Bottom, Luke Stewart's Silt Trio (Cuneiform)

    Reissues or Historical albums

    Albert Ayler, Revelations (Elemental Music)
    Ahmad Jamal, Emerald City Nights: Live At The Penthouse 1963-1964 (Jazz Detective Records)
    Cecil Taylor, The Complete, Legendary, Live Return Concert (Oblivion Records)

    Lagniappe

    • 589 recordings qualified for consideration (509 qualified last year; I get a lot of music).
    • Of these, 24 made the not-so-shortlist for this page
    • Here are the other 14 as they stand today (in alpha order by artist):

    JD Allen, Americana, Vol. 2

    David Binney, Tomorrow’s Journey

    Amanda Ekery, Some (more) Short Songs

    Bill Frisell, Four

    Art Hirahara, Verdant Valley

    Miles Okazaki, Thisness

    Aaron Parks, Volume 1

    Redman, Mehldau, McBride, Blade, LongGone

    Matthew Shipp Trio, World Construct

    Tyshawn Sorey Trio, Mesmerism

    Tyshawn Sorey Trio +1, The Off-Off Broadway Guide to Synergism

    Thumbscrew, Multicolored Midnight

    Dan Weiss, Dedication

    various artists, John Zorn's Bagatelles

  • 22 Dec 2022 12:11 PM | Rob Shepherd

    Here are my ten favorite new albums of 2022. A full write-up on each of these, as well as my selections for numbers 11 through 25 can be found at PostGenre.

    1. The Philadelphia Experiment (Christian McBride, Questlove, Uri Caine, DJ Logic), Live at Newport Jazz 2017 (Newport Jazz)

    2. Columbia Icefield, Ancient Songs of Burlap Heroes (Pyroclastic)

    3. Jamaaladeen Tacuma & Mary Halvorson, Strings & Things (self-release)

    4. Sélébéyone, Xaybu: The Unseen (Pi)

    5. Mary Halvorson, Amaryllis and Belladonna (Nonesuch)

    6. Wayne Shorter, Terri Lyne Carrington, Leo Genovese, esperanza spalding, Live at the Detroit Jazz Festival (Candid)

    7. Steven Bernstein, Manifestos of Henryisms (Community Music, Vol. 3) (Royal Potato Family)

    8. Wolfert Brederode, Matangi Quartet, & Joost Lijbaart, Ruins and Remains (ECM)

    9. Ulf Ivarsson & Bill Laswell, Nammu (Ropeadope)

    10. Sam Gendel, Cicada Lite (Live in Texas) (Beyond Language)

  • 21 Dec 2022 5:03 PM | Stephen Braunginn

    I provided a list of top 20-25 jazz recordings during my last five years at WORT89.9-FM, Madison, WI and played those on the air. Now that I am no longer on the air, I proudly display this list on JJA's site along with my first list on my new website which will soon announce my new podcast, "Strictly Jazz Sounds." 

    It was my delight to meet a number of these artists and interview a few. I am particularly honored to have spent time with Brian Blade during my final days in Madison, WI during the Madison Jazz Festival. Thanks to Brian Blade for his tremendous contribution in 2022 as, during my last count, he can be found on at least eight releases. Not all of them were under his name. This demonstrates his broad appeal. 

    • 1.     Terri Lyne Carrington: New Standards Vol. 1 (Candid Records)
    • 2.     Tyshawn Sorey: The Off-Off Guide to Synergism (Contemporary Jazz)
    • 3.     Jon Irabagon: Rising Sun (Irrabagast Records)
    • 4.     Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride, Brian Blade: LongGone (Nonesuch)
    • 5.     John Patitucci Trio: Live in Italy (Three Faces Music)
    • 6.     Marquis Hill: New Gospel Revisited (Contemporary Jazz)
    • 7.     Brian Blade & the Fellowship Band: Liver From the Archives (Stoner Hill)
    • 8.     Nduduzo Makhathini: In the Spirit of Ntu ( Blue Note)
    • 9.     Avram Fefer Quartet: Juba Lee (Clean Feed Records)
    • 10.  Melissa Aldana: 12 Stars (Blue Note)
    • 11.  Immanuel Wilkins: The 7th Hand (Blue Note)
    • 12.  Roxy Coss: Disparate Parts (Outside In Music)
    • 13.  Samara Joy: Linger Awhile (Verve)
    • 14.  Joel Ross: The Parable of the Poet (Blue Note)
    • 15.  Ron Carter: Finding the Right Notes (In & Out Records)
    • 16.  Geof Bradfield, Scott Burns, John Wojciechowski (AFAR)
    • 17.  Mary Halvorson: Amaryllis (Nonesuch)
    • 18.  The Jon Cowherd Trio & Jon Cowherd: Pride & Joy (Le Coq Records)
    • 19.  Johannes Wallmann: Precarious Towers (Shifting Paradigm Records)
    • 20.  Caleb Wheeler Curtis: Heatmap (Imani Records)
    • 21.  Timo Vollbrecht: Givers & Takers (BERTHOLD Records)
    • 22.  Somi: Zenzile: The Reimagination of Miriam Makeba (Salon Africana)
    • 23.  Alexander Claffy: Good Spirts (Contemporary Jazz)
    • 24.  Dennis Mitcheltree: Golden Rule (Dengor)   
    • 25.  Michael Dease: Best Next Thing (Posi-Tone)

    Legacy/Historical:

    Charles Mingus: The Lost Album from Ronnie Scotts (Resonance)

    Ornette Coleman: Genesis of Genius: The Contemporary Albums (2-LP Box Set) (Craft Recordings)

    Keith Jarrett: Budapest Concert (ECM)

    Oscar Peterson: On a Clear Day (Mack Ave)

    Ahmad Jamal: Emerald City Nights: Live at the Penthouse 1963-64 (Live) (Jazz Detective)

    Best Beyond Jazz:

    Tedeschi-Trucks Band: I Am the Moon-A Four Album Set (Fantasy)


  • 19 Dec 2022 4:55 PM | Howard Mandel (Administrator)

    NEW RELEASES

    1. Myra Melford's Fire and Water Quintet, For the Love of Fire and Water (RogueArt)
    2. Tony Malaby's Sabino, The Cave of Winds (Pyroclastic)
    3. Charles Lloyd, Trios: Sacred Thread (Blue Note)
    4. Immanuel Wilkins, The 7th Hand (Blue Note)
    5. Al Foster, Reflections (Smoke Sessions)
    6. Terri Lyne Carrington, New Standards Vol. 1 (Candid)
    7. John Scofield, John Scofield (ECM)
    8. Franco Ambrosetti, Nora (Enja)
    9. Free Form Funky Freqs, Hymn of the 3rd Galaxy (Ropeadope)
    10. SWR Big Band-Magnus Lindgren-John Beasley, Bird Lives (ACT '21)

    RARA AVIS (REISSUES/ARCHIVAL)

    1. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Los Angeles Forum April 26, 1969 (Legacy/Experience Hendrix)
    2. Cecil Taylor, The Complete, Legendary, Live Return Concert: The Town Hall, NYC November 4, 1973 (Oblivion)
    3. Frank Kimbrough, 2003-2006: Lullabluebye/Play (Palmetto)


  • 19 Dec 2022 3:13 PM | Bill Milkowski

    1. Franco Ambrosetti, Nora (Enja)

    2. Julian Lage, View with a Room (Blue Note)

    3. Charles Lloyd TriosChapel (Blue Note)

    4. John ScofieldJohn Scofield (ECM) 

    5. Pasquale GrassoBe-Bop! (Sony Masterworks)

    6. Bill Frisell, Four (Blue Note)

    7. Marta SanchezSAAM (Spanish American Art Museum) (Whirlwind Reordings)

    8. Dave Stryker, As We Are (Strike Zone) 

    9. Tyshawn Sorey Trio, Mesmerism (Yeros7 Music)

    10. Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra, Popular Culture (Community Music, Vol. 4) (Royal Potato Family)

    Honorable Mention:

    Seamus Blake, New York Factor, Vol. 1 (self-release); Tyshawn Sorey Trio + 1, The Off-Off Broadway Guide to Synergism (Pi)Javon JacksonThe Gospel According to Nikki Giovanni (Solid Jackson); Immanuel Wilkins, The 7th Hand (Blue Note)Mary HalvorsonAmaryllis (Nonesuch)The Jon Cowerd Trio, Pride And Joy (Le Cog Records)Enrico Rava/Fred HerschThe Song Is You (ECM)Terri Lyne Carrington, New Standards Vol. 1 (Candid)Gaia Wilmer Large EnsembleFolia: The Music of Egbert Gismonti (Sunnyside)Fareed HaqueReturn to the Joyous Lake (Wahdude Music)Marc Copland Quartet,  Someday (InnerVoice Jazz); Conrad HerwigThe Latin Side of Mingus (Savant);  Melissa Aldana, 12 Stars (Nonesuch). 

    Redman/Mehldau/McBride/Blade, LongGone (Nonesuch)JD Allen, Americana Vol. 2 (Savant)Samara Joy, Linger Awhile (Verve);  Burton/McPherson Trio featuring Dezron Douglas,The Summit Rock Session at Seneca Village (Giant Step Arts); Miguel ZenónMùsica De Las Américas (Miel Music)Peter Erskine, Live in Italy (Fuzzy Music)Dave Liebman, Truth and Honesty (Newvelle Records)Erik Friedlander, A Queen's Firefly (Skiptone Records)Bobby Watson, Back Home in Kansas City (Smoke Sessions)Will Vinson, Tripwire (Whirlwind Recordings);  Harish Raghavan, In Tense (Whirlwind Recordings).

     Jakob Bro/Joe Lovano, Once Around The Room: A Tribute to Paul Motian (ECM)Samo Salamon, Dolphyology: Complete Eric Dolphy for Solo Guitar (Samo Records)Alternative Guitar Summit, Honoring Pat Martino, Vol. 1 (HighNote)Jonathan Barber & Vision Ahead, Poetic (self release)Julieta Eugenio, Jump (Greenleaf Music)Steve Cardenas/Ben Allison/Ted NashHealing Power (Sunnyside)Jon IrabagonRising Sun (Irabbagast)Kris Allen, June (Truth Revolution Recording)Gary SmulyanTadd’s All, Folks (SteepleChase)Michael Blake, Combobulate (Newvelle Records)Wadada Leo Smith, The Emerald Duets (TUM)James Singleton,  Malabar (Sinking City Records)Kate Baker & Vic Juris, Return to Shore (StrikeZone).


  • 13 Dec 2022 10:49 PM | John Pietaro

    Poll 2022

    MUSICIANS OF THE YEAR

      Lifetime achievement: Amina Claudine Myers

    Violin: Gwen Laster

    Viola: Melanie Dyer

    Cello: Lester St. Louis

    Harp: Zeena Parkins

    Flute: Nicole Mitchell

    Clarinet: Ned Rothenberg

    Bassoon: Claire de Brunner

    Trumpet: Mac Gollehon

    French Horn: Vincent Chancey

    Trombone: Steve Swell

    Tuba: Joe Daley

    Soprano saxophone: Sam Newsome

    Alto saxophone: Darius Jones

    Tenor saxophone: James Brandon Lewis

    Baritone saxophone: Claire Daly

    Electric guitar: Chris Cochrane

    Acoustic guitar: Marco Capelli

    Various fretted instrument: Cynthia Sayer (plectrum banjo)

    Upright bass: Ken Filiano

    Electric bass: Jamaaladeen Tacuma

    Piano: Mara Rosenbloom

    Drumset: Michael Wimberly

    Percussion: Warren Smith

    Vibraphone: Patricia Brennan

    Multi-instrumentalist: Scott Robinson

    Vocals: Fay Victor

    Spoken Word: Tracie Morris


    DUO: Elliott Sharp and Tracie Morris

    SMALL GROUP: Ceramic Dog

    LARGE ENSEMBLE: Ed Palermo Big Band

     

    New Releases

    1)    Sun Ra Arkestra, Living Sky (Omni Sound)

    2)    Ches Smith, Interpret It Well (Pyroclastic)

    3)    Elliott Sharp and Eric Mingus, Songs From the Rogue State (Zoar)

    4)    We Free Strings, Love in the Form of Sacred Outrage (ESP-Disk)

    5)    Bi Ba Doom, Graceful Collision (Astral Spirits)

    6)    Mac Gollehon, The End is the Beginning (Nefarious Industries)

    7)    Heroes Are Gangleaders, LeAutoRoiOgraphy (577)

    8)    Gene Pritsker’s Sound Liberation, Let’s Save the World Suite (Composers Concordance)

    9)    John Zorn, Meditations on the Tarot (Tzadik)

    10)Cint Bahr, Puzzle Box (MoonJune)

    Historical albums/Unearthed Gems

    1)    No Safety, Spill (Cuneiform)

    2)    Cecil Taylor, The Complete, Legendary, Live Return Concert (Oblivion)

    3)    Nikki Giovanni, The Way I Feel (Modern Harmonic)
     

    Vocal album: Elliott Sharp and Eric Mingus, Songs from the Rogue State (Zoar)

     

    Debut album: Bi Ba Doom, Graceful Collision (Astral Spirits)

    Live album: No Safety, Live at the Knitting Factory (Cuneiform)

    Solo album: Ava Mendoza, New Spells (Relative Pitch)

    Large ensemble album: Sun Ra Arkestra, Living Sky (Omni Sound)

    Record labels of the year:Cuneiform, 577, Modern Harmonic

    Venues of the year: Café Bohemia (Manhattan), 411 Kent (Brooklyn)

    The music has experienced an expanse over recent years, particularly with spoken word coming into a newly rediscovered place up front. I feel this advancement, only in part an homage to the Beat Generation, compiles the best of free jazz, post-mod composition and a bold, Left outspokenness. 


  • 12 Dec 2022 5:02 PM | Rick Mitchell

    Here are my 25 favorite jazz tracks to be featured on the year-end-best episode of my radio program The Motif, KBOO-FM in Portland, Oregon. The top ten albums correspond to my poll ballot, though not in this order. 

    "On the Way to Be Free," Chicago Soul Jazz Collective (On the Way to Be Free, Chicago Soul Jazz Collective Meets Dee Alexander, jMarq) 

    "Respected Destroyer," Terri Lyne Carrington (The New Standard Vol. 1, Candid) 

    "Navegando (Las Estrellas Nos Guian)," Miguel Zenon (Musica de las Americas, Miel Music) 

    "Blood Count," Charles Lloyd Trios (Chapel, Blue Note) 

    "Newport Aperitif/Diminuendo & Crescendo in Blue," Steven Bernstein and the Hot 8 (A Manifesto of Henryisms, Community Music Vol. 3, Royal Potato Family) 

    "Finger Buster," Emmet Cohen (Uptown in Orbit, Mack Avenue)

    "Monroe," Bill Frisell (Four, Blue Note) 

    "Autumn Leaves," Tyshawn Sorey Trio (Mesmerism, Yeros 7 Music) 

    "Moon Song," Cecile McLoren Salvant (Ghost Song, Nonesuch) 

    "Marshall's Groove," Sun Ra Arkestra (Living Sky, Omni Sound)

    "Invitation," Ahmad Jamal (Emerald City Nights Live at the Penthouse 1965-1966, Jazz Detective) 

    "Pent-up House," Al Foster (Reflections, Smoke Sessions)

    "Sittin' at the Bar," Eugenie Jones (Players, Open Mic Records) 

    "Wade in the Water," Javon Jackson (The Gospel According to Nikki Giovanni, Solid Jackson Records) 

    "In These Times," Makaya McCraven (In These Times, International Anthem Recording)

    "Prayer," Joel Ross (The Parable of the Poet, Blue Note) 

     "Witness," Immanuel Wilkins (The 7th Hand, Blue Note) 

    "David's Tumbao," Duran/Virelles (Front Street Duets, Alma)

    "Cairo Street Ride," Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra (In the Valley, Stricker Street)

    "Homesick," Doug Wamble (Blues In the Present Tense, Halcyonic) 

    "Unonkanyamba," Ndudozo Makhathini (In the Spirit of Ntu, Blue Note) 

    "You've Got It Bad Girl," Donald Byrd (Cookin' With Blue Note at Montreux, Blue Note) 

    "Tributary," Julian Lage (View with a Room, Blue Note)

    "Sweet Pumpkin," Samara Joy (Linger Awhile, Verve) 

    "This World Is a Mean World," JD Allen (Americana Vol. 2, Savant) 

    Favorite Non-Jazz Album

    I Am the Moon, Tedeschi Trucks Band (Fantasy, Four Discs, available separately or in a boxed set) 



  • 12 Dec 2022 9:56 AM | John Szwed

    1  Jim McNeeley/Frankfurt Radio BigBand/Chris Potter  Ritual   Double Moon

    2  David Virelles      Nuna     Pi

    3  Mary Halvorson      Belladonna     Nonesuch

    4  Charles Lloyd     Sacred Thread     Blue Note

    5  Matt Shipp  World Construct   ESP

    7  Sun Ra     Living Sky  Omni

    8  Billy Drummond & Freedom of Ideas.  Valse Sinistre  Cellar Music Group

    9  Marta Sanchez   SAAM    Whirlwind

    10   Steve Cardenas / Ben Allison /Ted Nash  Healing Power: The Music of Carla Bley    Sunnyside

    10 Eve Risser Red Desert Orchestra   Clean Feed

     

    Historical:

    Lennie Tristano     Personal Recordings     Mosaic

    Sun Ra    Universe in Blue     Cosmic Myth

    Max Roach   We Insist    Candid

     

    Vocal:

    Peter Stampfel     20th Century in 100 Songs   Louisiana Red Hot


     Latin:

    Dafnis Prieto    Cantar   Dafnison Music

     

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