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These are the 2021 "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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  • 05 Dec 2021 2:44 PM | John Szwed
    •  1. Charles Lloyd   Tone Poem    Blue Note
    •  
    • 2.      Pharoah Sanders & the London Symphony   Floating Point  Luaka Bop     

    • 3 East Axis    Cool with That   ESP
    •  
    • 4.      Tim Bernes/Chris Speed/Reid Anderson/Dave King.    Broken Shadows        Intakt

    • 5.      Michael Wollny, Emile Parisien, Tim Lefebvre, Christian Lillinger     XXXX   Act
    •  
    • 6.      Chick Corea Akoustic Band  Live   Concord
    •  
    • 7.      Julian Lage    Squint   Blue Note
    •  
    • 8.      Eivind Aarset      Phantasmagoria or A Different Kind of Journey       Jazzland
    •  
    • 9.      Jihye Lee     Daring Mind    Matema
    •  
    • 10.   Joao Lencastre    Unlimited Dreams   Clean Feed

     Vocal

    Veronica Swift   This Bitter Earth   Mack Ave.

     Reissue or Historical

    • 1.      Louis Armstrong    The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia & RCA Victor Studio Sessions 1946 – 66      Mosaic
    • 2.       Hasaan Ibn Ali     Metaphysics      Omnivore
    • 3.      Neil Ardley    Kaleidoscope of Rainbows      Jazz in Britain

    Latin

    Arturo O’Farrill     … Dreaming in Lions     Blue Note

     
  • 05 Dec 2021 2:36 PM | John Szwed
    • Charles Lloyd   Tone Poem    Blue Note
    • Pharoah Sanders & the London Symphony  
    • Floating Point  Luaka Bop 3.     
    • East Axis    Cool with That   ESP
    • Tim Bernes/Chris Speed/Reid Anderson/Dave King.    Broken Shadows     Intakt
    • Michael Wollny, Emile Parisien, Tim Lefebvre, Christian Lillinger     XXXX   Act
    • Chick Corea Akoustic Band  Live   Concord
    • Julian Lage    Squint   Blue Note
    • Eivind Aarset      Phantasmagoria or A Different Kind of Journey  Jazzland
    • Jihye Lee     Daring Mind    Matema
    •  Joao Lencastre    Unlimited Dreams   Clean Feed

     Vocal

    Veronica Swift   This Bitter Earth   Mack Ave.

    Historical

    • Louis Armstrong    The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia & RCA Victor            Studio Sessions 1946 – 66      Mosaic
    • Hasaan Ibn Ali     Metaphysics      Omnivore
    • Neil Ardley    Kaleidoscope of Rainbows      Jazz in Britain

     Latin

    Arturo O’Farrill     … Dreaming in Lions     Blue Note

  • 05 Dec 2021 8:32 AM | Patrick Hinely

    2021's finest dozen


    John Coltrane A LOVE SUPREME LIVE IN SEATTLE (Impulse)

    Miles Davis LOST CONCERT 1991 (Sleepy Night)

    Chet Doxas YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU (Whirlwind)

    Harold Land WESTWARD BOUND (Reel to Real)

    Chris Laurence KEN WHEELER: SOME GNU ONES (Jazz in Britain)

    Jeff Lederer/Sunwatch EIGHTFOLD PATH (Little Music)

    Charles Lloyd & the Marvels TONE POEM (Blue Note)

    Charles Mingus AT CARNEGIE HALL deluxe edition (Rhino)

    Wes Montgomery NDR HAMBURG STUDIO RECORDINGS (Jazzline/NDR)

    Lee Morgan COMPLETE LIVE AT THE LIGHTHOUSE (Blue Note)

    Oregon 1974 (Moosicus)

    Eberhard Weber ONCE UPON A TIME (ECM)


  • 04 Dec 2021 2:49 PM | Karl Ackermann

    Best Debut album

    East Axis: Cool with That (ESP Disk)

    Reissues or Historical albums

    Billy Bang: Lucky Man (BBE Records)

    Eberhard Weber: Once Upon a Time - Live in Avignon (ECM)

    Roberto Miranda: Live at the Bing Theater; Los Angeles, 1985 (Dark Tree Records)

    Hasaan Ibn Ali: Metaphysics: The Lost Atlantic Album (Omnivore Recordings)

    Best New Releases

    Ches Smith/We All Break: Path of Seven Colors (Pyroclastic Records)

    Allen Lowe: A Love Supine: Ascension into the Maelstrom (ESP Disk)

    Ill Considered: Liminal Space (New Soil)

    Matthew Shipp: Codebreaker (Tao Forms)

    Johan Lindström Septett: On the Asylum (Moserobie)

    Marc Johnson: Overpass (ECM)

    Jeff Pearring/Pearring Sound: Socially Distanced Duos (Self-Produced)

    Wadada Leo Smith: Trumpet (TUM)

    PLS.trio: Cosmonauts (Dot Time Records)

    MMBC Terma: MMBC Terma (Self-Produced)

    Becca Stevens / Elan Mehler: Pallet On Your Floor (Newvelle Records)

    Satoko Fujii: Piano Music (Libra)

    Fred Lonberg-Holm, Abdul Moimême & Carlos Santos: Transition Zone (Self-Produced)

    Adam Berenson, Scott Barnum & Bob Moses: Assemblages (Dream Play Records)

    Nik Bärtsch: Entendre (ECM Records)

  • 03 Dec 2021 10:02 AM | Sammy Stein

    The Underflow - Instant Opaque Evening (Blue Chopsticks)

    Nigel Price 'Wes Re-imagined (Ubunto)

    Binker Golding, John Edwards, Steve Noble - Moon Dog ( Byrd Out)

    Even Parker Quartet - All Knavery and Collusion ( Cadillac records)

    Ivo Perelman and Nate Wooley - Polarity ( Burning Ambulance)

    Rachel Musson - Dreamsing ( 577)

    Matt Shipp and William Parker - Re-Union ( Rogue Art)

    Sons of Kemet - Black To The Future ( Impulse)

    Georgia Mancio and Alan Broadbent 'Quiet Is The Star' (Roomspin Records)

    Polyorchard - An Excess of Primary Forms ( Out and Gone records)

    Archie The Goldfish - Water and Light ( Funkiwala)

    Fabulous Red Diesel - The Queensbury Sessions


  • 28 Nov 2021 7:28 PM | Enzo Capua

    1) Jazzmeia Horn - Dear Love

    2) Damon Locks - Now

    3) Irreversible Entanglements - Open the Gates

    4) Ledisi - Sings Nina Simone

    5) William Parker - Mayan Space Station

    6) Anthony Braxton - Quartet Standards 2020

    7) Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette - Skyline

    8) Code Quartet - Genealogy

    9) Jihye Lee - Daring Mind

    10) Veronica Swift - This Bitter Earth

  • 28 Nov 2021 3:38 PM | Bill Brownlee

    Top Ten Albums of 2021
    1. Irreversible Entanglements- Open the Gates (International Anthem)
    2. Mathias Eick- When We Leave (ECM)
    3. Pino Palladino and Blake Mills- Notes With Attachments (New Deal/Impulse!)
    4. Nala Sinephro- Space 1.8 (Warp)
    5. Sons of Kemet- Black to the Future (Impulse!)
    6. Evan Parker Quartet- All Knavery and Collusion (Cadillac)
    7. Damon Locks & Black Monument Ensemble- Now (International Anthem)
    8. Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson- Searching for the Disappeared Hour (Pyroclastic)
    9. Artifacts- …And Then There’s This (Astral Spirits)
    10. Angel Bat Dawid- Hush Harbor Mixtape Vol. 1: Doxology (International Anthem)

  • 27 Nov 2021 2:11 PM | adam weissler

    Floating Points and Pharoah Sanders - Promises

    Weedie Braimah - The Hands of Time 

    Sons of Kemet - Black to the Future 

    Nubya Garcia - Source # We Move 

    Fave gig - Joel Ross live at Mr. Musichead Gallery, L.A.  Sept. 17 

     

  • 10 Feb 2021 5:39 PM | Anonymous
    • 1.      Chad Taylor Trio -The Daily Biological (Cuneiform)
    • 2.      Michael Formanek Quartet - Pre-Apocalyptic (Out Of Your Head)
    • 3.      Luke Norris - Northernsong (earsandeyes)
    • 4.      Rudresh Mahanthappa -Hero Trio (Whirlwind)
    • 5.      Threadbare (Jason Stein/Ben Cruz/Emerson Hunter) - Silver Dollar (NoBusiness)
    • 6.      Matthew Shipp - The Piano Equation (Tao Forms)
    • 7.      Tim Berne’s Snake Oil - The Fantastic Mrs. 10 (Intakt)
    • 8.      Liberty Ellman - Last Desert (Pi)
    • 9.      James Brandon Lewis Quartet - Molecular (Intakt)
    • 10.  Angelica Sanchez & Marilyn Crispell - How To Turn the Moon (Pyroclastic)


  • 08 Jan 2021 1:35 PM | Mirian Arbalejo

    FAVORITE ALBUMS OF 2020

    Kenny Barron/Dave Holland Trio featuring Johnathan Blake. Without Deception. Dare2

    Lakecia Benjamin. Pursuance: The Coltranes. Ropeadope

    Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers. Just Coolin'. Blue Note

    Carla Bley, Andy Sheppard, Steve Swallow. Life Goes On. ECM

    Blue Note Re:Imagined. Blue Note

    John Coltrane. Giant Steps: 60th Anniversary Deluxe Edition. Rhino

    Wayne Escoffery. The Humble Warrior. Smoke Sessions Records

    Orrin Evans And The Captain Black Big Band. The Intangible Between. Smoke Sessions Records

    Ella Fitzgerald. The Lost Berlin Tapes. Verve

    Bill Frisell. Valentine. Blue Note Records

    Jacob Garchik. Clear Line. Yestereve Records

    Kely García y Rubén Reinaldo. Acuarel. Free Code Jazz Records

    Lafayette Gilchrist. Now. Lafayette Gilchrist

    Mary Halvorson's Code Girl. Artlessly falling. Firehouse 12

    Tigram Hamasyan. The Call Within. Nonesuch Records

    Stan IB Trio. Confluences. Records DK

    Ahmad Jamal. AHMAD JAMAL At The Pershing' And Other 'Live' Recordings 1958-59". Acrobat

    Keith Jarrett. Budapest Concert. ECM

    Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. The Music of Wayne Shorter. Blue Engine

    The JCA Orchestra. Live at the BPC. JCA Recordings

    Jyoti. Mama, you can bet! Georgia Anne Muldrow / eOne

    Nick Keeling. Queensgate. Torn Light

    Charles Lloyd. 8: Kindred Spirits (Live from the Lobero). Blue Note Records

    Rudresh Mahanthappa. Hero trio. Whirlwind Recordings

    Pablo Martín Caminero. Bost. Bost

    Baldo Martínez, Juan Saiz, Lucía Martínez. Frágil Gigante. Leo Records

    Christian McBride Big Band. For Jimmy Wes and Oliver. Mack Avenue Records

    Zara McFarlane. Songs of an Unknown Tongue. Brownswood Recordings

    Pat Metheny. From This Place. Nonesuch Records

    Ron Miles. Rainbow Sign. Blue Note Records

    Thelonious Monk. Palo Alto. Impulse!

    Enrique Oliver & Jaume Llombart. Everything I Love. Underpool

    Jeff Parker. Suite for Max Brown. International Anthem

    Ester Quevedo Quintet. Trabalenguas. Underpool

    Redman Mehldau McBride Blade. RoundAgain (Nonesuch)

    Sonny Rollins. Rollins in Holland. Resonance Records

    Felix Rossy Quintet Live. Looking At The Surroundings. Underpool

    Chema Saiz. Solo Album. Volumen Dos. Errabal Jazz

    Miguel Salvador Quartet. Hamar Urte Geroago. Diez Años Después. Errabal Jazz

    Moisés P. Sánchez Project. There's Always Madness. Uno / Moisés P. Sánchez

    Maria Schneider Orchestra. Data Lords. ArtistShare

    Shabaka And The Ancestors. We Are Sent Here By History. Impulse!

    Sergi Sirvent & David Viñolas. Recreacions tímbriques. De Mompou a Bartók Vol. II. Selfish Records

    Neil Swainson Quintet. 49th Parallel. Real to Reel

    The Tiptons Sax Quartet & Drums. Wabi Sabi. Sowiesound

    María Toro. Fume. María Toro

    Gonzalo del Val. Cancionero. Fresh Sound New Talent


    For deeper thoughts on these albums please visit my site [in Spanish]










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