The Best Jazz Albums of 2020

Initial draft collected on Oct. 27, 2020. The file will be updated as additional worthy records are found (although updating may lag behind the official 2020 list). Last year's list was never frozen (OK, let's say it was frozen on Oct. 27, 2020). There also exists a parallel list of The Best Non-Jazz of 2020.

Note: numbering of lists (aside from A/A-) is only temporary, to make it easier for me to tally up stats. I've made no effort to order (other than alphaetical by artist) anything in grades below A-.


[*] indicates that I reviewed this on the basis of an advance, often a CDR copy (a good thing, I might add, for vinyl-only releases). [**] identifies a record that I've only heard via download or through a streaming service like Napster.

For all lists, I've included a few 2019 (and possibly earlier) records that I discovered after last year's freeze date, but I've only included such records if they were released on or after Dec. 1, 2019, or were so little known that they received no mention in the 2019 metacritic file. These are marked, e.g., -19, after the label.

New Music

1. Mark Lomax, II & the Urban Art Ensemble: 400 Years Suite (CFG Multimedia) Single-disc live presentation of music from the Columbus, Ohio drummer's monumental 12-CD 400: An Afrikan Epic, performed by his superb regular quartet -- Dean Hulett on bass, William Menefield on piano, and most importantly Edwin Bayard on soprano and tenor saxophone -- plus a string quartet. Bayard blows you away every time, but the gospel piano solo is nearly as impressive. Wish I had a CD, and the time to see if even the strings say masterpiece. **

2. Rich Halley/Matthew Shipp/Michael Bisio/Newman Taylor Baker: The Shape of Things (Pine Eagle)
Tenor saxophonist from Portland, had been playing for a while but got serious after he retired from his day job, and has been producing excellent records every year. Had been using locals, but picked up a world-class rhythm section last year, and they're even better this time out.

3. Ross Hammond/Oliver Lake/Mike Pride: Our Place on the Wheel (Prescott)
Guitarist, more than two dozen albums since 2008 -- I've heard less than a third, my favorite 2013's Cathedrals. Credited with steel guitar here, he plays a low key, almost ambient, blues, with alto sax shading and harmonizing, and percussion accents. **

4. Dave Rempis/Jeff Parker/Ingebrigt Håker Flaten/Jeremy Cunningham: Stringers and Struts (Aerophonic)
Sax, guitar, bass, drums. Starts measured, and for once never blows any fuses. The guitarist contributes some of his finest work, but it's still top shelf Chicago avant-sax. In a year when Rempis dumped a dozen old tapes out as download-only, he put this one on a CD.

5. Aly Keïta/Jan Galega Brönnimann/Lucas Niggli: Kalan Teban (Intakt)
Balafon player from Côte D'Ivoire, trio with reeds and drums -- two Swiss musicians who were born in Cameroon and have known each other since childhood. Their previous Kalo-Yele was my favorite album of 2016. This is comparably delightful, notably when Brönnimann takes charge.

6. Shabaka and the Ancestors: We Are Sent Here by History (Impulse!)
British saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, born in London, grew up in his parents' native Barbados, a prominent member of two of England's most successful jazz outfits (Sons of Kemet, The Comet Is Coming), second album with this group, recorded in Johannesburg with South African musicians. Expands on pan-African roots with spirit of Coltrane and Sanders. **

7. Evan Parker/Paul Lytton: Collective Calls (Revisited) (Jubilee) (Intakt)
Duo, tenor sax and drums, title refers back to their 1972 duo, Collective Calls (Urban) (Two Microphones). Nothing jarring here, just remarkable interaction cultivated over half a century. **

8. Kenny Barron/Dave Holland Trio Featuring Johnathan Blake: Without Deception (Dare2)
Piano-bass-drums trio, on Holland's label, crediting him as producer. Credits favor Barron 4-2, with covers of Ellington, Monk, Mulgrew Miller, and Sumi Tonooka -- pianists all (Miller was Barron's partner for The Art of Piano Duo: Live, and Tonooka was one of his assistants at Rutgers, and a brilliant pianist in her own right). One of those rare piano trios where everything seems just right.

9. Gard Nilssen's Supersonic Orchestra: If You Listen Carefully the Music Is Yours (Odin)
Norwegian drummer, mostly in his Acoustic Unity project although I probably noticed him first in Cortex. Goes big here with ten horns (seven saxophones and three brass), three bassists, and three drummers. Lives up to their name. **

10. Broken Shadows: The Tower Tapes #2 (Jazz Club Ferrara)
More quarantine tapes. Quartet name comes from an Ornette Coleman piece, with Tim Berne (alto sax), Chris Speed (tenor sax), Reid Anderson (bass), and Dave King (drums). Two sets (47:16 and 57:35), no songs let alone song credits. Reminds me how terrific Berne's 1990s group with Speed was, and this rhythm section may be even more of a powerhouse. **

11. Irreversible Entanglements: Who Sent You? (International Anthem)
Voice and texts by Camae Ayewa, better known as Moor Mother, backed here by a free jazz quartet -- sax (Keir Neuringer) and trumpet (Aquilles Navarro), bass (Luke Stewart) and drums (Tcheser Holmes), with extra percussion from all. **

12. The Third Mind: The Third Mind (2020, Yep Roc)
Legend has it that Teo Macero's formula for producing Miles Davis albums was "gather great musicians in a studio, pick a key and a groove and record everything live over several days." Then edit and shape those improvs into compositions. Dave Alvin decided to try working like that, with Victor Krummenacher (bass), David Immerglück (guitar/keybs), Michael Jerome (drums), and "special guest" Jesse Sykes (guitar). The latter provides a vocal, as do most of the others, on most of the songs, lest you think they've done a jazz record. Still, great to hear Alvin's distinctive guitar stretch out. And as songs go, those are pretty good, too. **

13. Rudresh Mahanthappa: Hero Trio (Whirlwind)
Alto saxophonist, major, decided to do an album of covers here, not clear whether it's the band or the subjects (Charlie Parker, Stevie Wonder, John Coltrane, Keith Jarrett, Johnny Cash, Ornette Coleman, Charlie Parker again, and again) who are the heroes. Trio with François Moutin (bass) and Rudy Royston (drums), the rhythm section from his quintet Bird Calls -- probably the most popular and my least favorite of his albums. This one is more fun, probably because his Parker is so upbeat. Recorded avant le deluge, but couldn't be timelier.

14. Jeb Bishop Flex Quartet: Re-Collect (Not Two -19)
Trombonist, originally from North Carolina, made his mark in Chicago (especially in the early Vandermark Five), where this was recorded. Quartet with Russ Johnson (trumpet), Jason Roebke (bass), and Frank Rosaly (drums). What you look for in a pianoless quartet: two freewheeling horns, the main distinction here that the trombone gives as good as it gets. **

15. Jasper Høiby: Planet B (Edition)
Danish bassist, based in UK, best known for group Phronesis. Trio with Josh Arcoleo (sax) and Marc Michel (drums). Spoken word intro is politically astute -- one of his groups, Fellow Creatures, derives from a Naomi Klein book -- and the music follows, impressively. **

16. Heroes Are Gang Leaders: Artificial Happiness Button (Ropeadope)
Jazz-poetry group, the latter mostly Thomas Sayers Ellis, although other voices predominate (most female). Saxophonist James Brandon Lewis is the other principal here, with four more names on the second line, and various guests (including William Parker and Jaimie Branch). Reminds me of Funkadelic as a community, but the funk is much bent and twisted, the messages mixed and sometimes oblique, but the interludes are transcendent.

17. Tani Tabbal Trio: Now Then (Tao Forms)
Drummer, originally from Chicago, played in James Carter's peak period quartet, with Roscoe Mitchell, many others. Not much as leader -- website lists five previous albums on Tabbalia label, but links go to the now defunct CDBaby, and other sources don't recognize them. So probably not a debut at 66, but an impressive arrival: a trio with Adam Siegel (alto sax) and Michael Bisio (bass), with Bisio contributing four pieces to Tabbal's six. I love the balance between the two, and how Siegel builds on their rhythm. **

18. Jim Black Trio: Reckon (Intakt)
Drummer, fourth album since 2011 with this particular trio: Elias Stemseder (piano) and Thomas Morgan (bass). Helps to focus on the drummer here, frantically tying together the many remarkable tangents.

19. Alexander von Schlippenbach/Dag Magnus Narvesen Duo: Liminal Field (Not Two -19)
Piano-drums duo, second album together, the Norwegian drummer has impressed repeatedly since 2007. Still less remarkable than the pianist, who "morphs Monk" and more. **

20. Chad Taylor Trio: The Daily Biological (Cuneiform)
Drummer, trio mates Brian Settles (tenor sax) and Neil Podgurski (piano) get a "featuring" credit on the cover and wrote most of the pieces (2 and 4 vs. 3 for Taylor). First group album, although all three were friends at New School in the 1990s. Feels balances with strong leads all around, and a lot of momentum. **

21. James Brandon Lewis/Chad Taylor: Live in Willisau (Intakt)
Terrific tenor saxophonist, although the raw tone wears thin on me here and there. Pretty good drummer, too, in some ways even more impressive here. Note that every time he switches to mbira something special happens. **

22. Dave Glasser: Hypocrisy Democracy (Here Tiz)
Mainstream alto saxophonist, from New York, handful of records since 2000 plus side credits with the Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie ghost bands, Illinois Jacquet, Clark Terry, and so forth. Quartet, also plays soprano sax and flute, backed by Andy Milne (piano), Ben Allison (bass), and Matt Wilson (drums). Gets in some surprisingly strong runs, and the rhythm section kicks ass. [**]

23. Kahil El'Zabar Ft. David Murray: Kahil El'Zabar's Spirit Groove (Spiritmuse)
Chicago percussionist, leads a quartet with Murray on tenor sax, Justin Dillard on keyboards, and Emma Dayhuff on bass. The leaders have history, but it's been a while since their 1997-2000 albums. Both have slowed down, gotten sentimental, which is why I forgive El'Zabar's singing, and treasure what's left of the saxophonist's chops -- not awesome, but still inspiring. **

24. Thumbscrew: The Anthony Braxton Project (Cuneiform)
Trio, fifth album, the subject a natural given that Tomas Fujiwara (drums/vibraphone) and Mary Halvorson (guitar) studied under him, and Michael Formanek (bass) played in Braxton's legendary 1980s Quartet. Braxton's compositions have always been opaque to me, leaving me with the fascination of his playing around them. Halvorson has that same effect. **

25. Jason Kao Hwang: Human Rites Trio (True Sound)
Violinist, born in America but studied Chinese classical music and added it to his jazz mix. With Ken Filiano (bass) and Andrew Drury (drums). Sample title: "Battle for the Indelible Truth."

26. Jerry Bergonzi: Nearly Blue (Savant)
Tenor saxophonist, many records since 1984, recorded this in Italy with Renato Chicco (organ) and Andrea Michelutti (drums). Three originals, seven standards. His best records have been his most straightforward, and this is no exception.

27. Joe McPhee/John Edwards/Klaus Kugel: A Night in Alchemia (Not Two)
Leader credited with trumpet and saxophones, backed by bass and drums, a live set from Krakow, Poland. The sort of powerhouse performance he always seems capable of. **

28. Kevin Sun: (Un)seaworthy (Endectomorph Music)
Tenor saxophonist, fourth album (counting his eponymous group Mute), all winners. Trio with Walter Stinson (bass) and Matt Honor (drums). Feels like he's master the whole tradition, and can pick his way through anything.

29. Dave Sewelson: More Music for a Free World (Mahakala Music)
Baritone saxophonist, first album the precursor this is more of, but I've been aware of him for a while, in groups like Microscopic Septet, Fast 'N' Bulbous, and William Parker's big bands. Quartet with Steve Swell (trombone), Parker (bass), and Marvin Bugalu Smith (drums). Two long improv pieces, a shorter one to close. **

30. Brad Mehldau: Suite: April 2020 (Nonesuch)
Solo piano, of the historical moment, "some experiences and feelings that are both new and common to many of us." Twelve parts follow his day from "Waking Up" through "The Day Moves By" to "Lullaby." Three covers follow, from Neil Young, Billy Joel, and Jerome Kern ("Look for the Silver Lining"). I'm rarely satisfied with solo piano, and when I am it's usually a pianist like James P. Johnson or Earl Hines who suffices as a whole rhythm section. But there's always a exception, and this one works especially well for right now. **

31. Anne Mette Iversen Quartet + 1: Racing a Butterfly (Bjurecords)
Danish bassist, lived in New York 1998-2012, was co-founder of Brooklyn Jazz Underground, dozen albums since 2004, always struck me as a composer first, but has been working with this group so long they've achieved a lovely balance. Group includes John Ellis (tenor sax), Danny Grissett (piano), Otis Brown III (drums), with Peter Dahlgren (trombone) the "+ 1." **

32. Whit Dickey Trio: Expanding Light (Tao Forms)
Drummer, long associated with Matthew Shipp, played in David S. Ware's Quartet for a while. Trio here with Rob Brown (alto sax) and Brandon Lopez (bass). Brown is consistently terrific here.

33. Idris Ackamoor & the Pyramids: Shaman! (Strut)
Originally Bruce Baker, saxophonist from Chicago, played with Cecil Taylor's Black Music Ensemble in the 1970s, has led this group at least since 1998. Fifth album. Full-bodied sax over a rippling rhythm. Good enough for a party, and then some consciousness. **

34. Samo Salamon/Igor Matkovic/Kristijan Krajncan: Common Flow (Sazas)
Slovenian guitarist, wrote all the songs here, is joined by trumpet and drums. Keeps a moderate pace going, letting the trumpet shine, clear and lucid.

35. Adam Caine Quartet: Transmissions (NoBusiness)
Guitarist, based in Brooklyn, several albums since 2005, including a duo with Robert Dick in 2019. Quartet adds a second guitar (Bob Lanzetti), acoustic bass (Adam Lane), and drums (Billy Mintz), with alto sax (Nick Lyons) on one track. Starts easy, turns into something intense, fades away.

36. James Brandon Lewis Quartet: Molecular (Intakt)
Tenor saxophonist, perhaps the most impressive of his generation. I rather prefer his recent duo with drummer Chad Taylor (Live in Willisau for sheer power, but he's pretty deft in this larger group, with pianist Aruán Ortiz so clever and Brad Jones on bass, spinning their solos into gold. **

37. Whit Dickey: Morph (ESP-Disk, 2CD)
Second of four drummers in David S. Ware Quartet (1993-96), cut his first record with Matthew Shipp in 1992 and remains his most regular trio partner. Dozen albums as leader since 1998, with this his second straight 2-CD affair, although it could just as easily be split into two releases, each disc even having its own title. The first, Reckoning, is a duo with Shipp, the piano so dense I didn't notice that there was no bassist. The second, Pacific Noir, adds Nate Wooley (trumpet), with one of the more impressive outings of his career.

38. Torbjörn Zetterberg & Den Stora Fragan: Are You Happy (Moserobie)
Swedish bassist, lots of side credits since 2005, fourth album leading this group: originally a sextet -- trumpet (Susana Silva Santos), trombone (Mats Ålekint), sax (Jonas Kullhammar), clarinet (Alberto Pinton), drums (Jon Fält) -- plus organ and more drums on two cuts.

39. Luís Lopes Humanization 4tet: Believe, Believe (Clean Feed)
Portuguese guitarist, group name from the title of a 2008 album, although the group is unchanged, and everyone writes: Rodrigo Amado (tenor sax), Aaron Gonzalez (bass), and Stefan Gonzalez (drums). Gets a little rough in spots, but the guitar is remarkable, and I always like Amado.

40. Luke Stewart: Exposure Quintet (Astral Spirits)
Bassist, has a previous solo album and some notable side-credits, lined up two saxophonists here (Ken Vandermark and Edward Wilkerson Jr., both credited with reeds), piano (Jim Baker), and drums (Avreeayl Ra). The saxophonists start out aggressive, but when they back off the piano remains central, and the bass solos justify their focus. **

41. Larry Ochs/Aram Shelton Quartet: Continental Drift (Clean Feed)
Two saxophonists (tenor/sopranino and alto), plus bass (Mark Dresser on six cuts from 2012, Scott Walton on two from 2018) and drums (Kjell Nordeson). **

42. Matthew Shipp Trio: The Unidentifiable (ESP-Disk)
Piano trio with Michael Bisio (bass) and Newan Taylor Baker (drums). There's no shortage of these, and it took me a lot of plays to decide that this one stood out from the crowd -- those trademark hard chords for one, the ability to navigate the trickiest of rhythms for another.

43. Large Unit/Fendika: EthioBraz (PNL -19)
Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love's avant big band plus elements from Ethiopia and Brazil, notably the Ethiopian group Fendika, its singers and dancers, Brazilian percussionists, and guitarist Terrie Ex. Closer to world music than to jazz, but the edginess is quite remarkable. **

44. Hedvig Mollestad: Ekhidna (Rune Grammofon)
Norwegian guitarist, full name adds Thomassen, six Trio albums since 2011, this just under her name, with new bass and drums, keyboards (not very noticeable), and Susana Santos Silva on trumpet (fiery). The fast ones are as fierce as ever. Two change-of-pace stretches threw me at first. **

45. Okuden Quartet [Mat Walerian/Matthew Shipp/William Parker/Hamid Drake]: Every Dog Has His Day but It Doesn't Matter Because Fat Cat Is Getting Fatter (ESP-Disk)
Alto saxophonist, also plays bass clarinet, soprano clarinet, and flute. Fourth album, all with Shipp on piano, second quartet with Parker (bass) and Drake (drums) -- really hit the jackpot of rhythm sections. Free jazz, nice balance spread over eight Walerian originals (ranging from 10:54 to 18:21), room for the stars as well as the leader.

46. JD Allen: Toys/Die Dreaming (Savant)
Tenor saxophonist, albums since 1999, trio with Ian Kenselaar (bass) and Nic Cacioppo (drums). Five originals, two standards ("You're My Thrill," "I Should Care"). Always a strong performer, this one impresses in the usual ways, then grows on you. **

47. Potsa Lotsa XL: Silk Songs for Space Dogs (Leo)
German alto saxophonist Silke Eberhard's project, originally a wind quartet, augmented here to tentet, with two brass, three reeds, piano, cello, bass, vibes, and drums. All originals by Eberhard. **

48. Charles McPherson Quartet: Live at San Sebastián Jazz Festival (Quadrant)
Alto saxophonist, broke in with Mingus in 1961, very influenced by Charlie Parker -- his first albums were Bebop Revisted! and Con Alma! -- developed into a unique voice. Hasn't recorded much since 2000, but his 2015 album The Journey was special. With Bruce Barth (piano), Mark Hodgson (drums), and Steven Keogh (drums), playing five extended pieces. Blues-based jams, form terrific. **

49. Ballister: Znachki Stilyag (Aerophonic)
Dave Rempis sax trio, with Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello/electronics) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums), fifth album since 2010, this one recorded in Moscow, title Russian for "hipster icons." This has long been the most fevered of Rempis groups, and doesn't shirk here. The 38:37 "Fuck the Money Changers" is a tour de force. **

50. Aruán Ortiz With Andrew Cyrille and Mauricio Herrera: Inside Rhythmic Falls (Intakt)
Cuban pianist, based in New York, the others drums and percussion (the latter is also Cuban, the drummer a Haitian born in Brooklyn), all three also credited with voice, their occasional chants another layer of rhythm.

51. Angelica Sanchez & Marilyn Crispell: How to Turn the Moon (Pyroclastic)
Piano duets. Crispell is one of the few pianists who are really good at this, and the much younger Sanchez is an apt pupil.

52. Rob Mazurek/Exploding Star Orchestra: Dimensional Stardust (International Anthem)
Large group -- my count is 13, but short on horns with just trumpet (Mazurek and Jaimie Branch) and flute (Nicole Mitchell) -- seventh album since 2007. Instead, he's rounded up a lot of electronics, strings, and rhythm, with occasional words by Damon Locks. Doesn't swing like Sun Ra did, but bops along with comparable cosmic flair. **

53. Juhani Aaltonen/Jonas Kullhammar/Christian Meaas Svendsen/Ilmari Heikinheimo: The Father, the Sons & the Junnu (Moserobie)
Two tenor saxophonists, the former also playing flute, the latter baritone sax, with bass and drums. Order from spine. Cover interleaves names with title, tagging Kullhammar as father and the much older Aaltonen as Junnu. Two masters. And while I prefer his sax, Aaltonen's flute remains impressive as ever.

54. Bruno Råberg/Jason Robinson/Bob Weiner: The Urgency of Now (Creative Nation Music)
Bass, reeds (tenor/soprano sax, alto flute), drums. Joint credits, except for one Råberg solo credit, and a closer from John Tchicai. Nothing very fancy here, but balance is key with free jazz, especially if you don't just blast through it.

55. Threadbare [Jason Stein/Ben Cruz/Emerson Hunton]: Silver Dollar (NoBusiness)
Bass clarinte, guitar, drums. Cruz and Hunton did the composing (4-3, plus 1 joint), but Stein continues his impressive run of albums.

56. Cortex: Legal Tender (Clean Feed)
Free jazz quartet from Norway -- Thomas Johansson (trumpet), Kristoffer Berre Alberts (sax), Ola Høyer (bass), Gard Nilssen (drums) -- fourth album. Neither horn dominates, but hits strong notes, while the rhythm stays fresh. **

57. Sun Ra Arkestra: Swirling (Strut)
Ghost band, the former Herman Poole Blount having departed this dimension in 1993, leaving alto saxophonist Marshall Allen (now 96) in charge, a link going back to the 1950s. Billed as the group's first album since 1999, but no recording date given, so when? Presumably before two members passed: Danny Ray Thompson in March, 2020, and Stanley "Atakatune" Morgan in October, 2018. Long album (13 tracks, 92:58), has some rough spots, quite a few vocals (Tara Middleton), a generous helping of that old cosmic swing. **

58. Keys & Screws [Thomas Borgmann/Jan Roder/Willi Kellers]: Some More Jazz (NoBusiness)
Sax-bass-drums trio, leader playing tenor and soprano, also "toy-melodica." Nice, edgy free jazz, backing smartly away from the abyss.

59. Eric Revis: Slipknots Through a Looking Glass (Pyroclastic)
Bassist, probably best known for his work with Branford Marsalis since 1997, but before that started out with Betty Carter, and his own records have been adventurous. Uses two saxophonists here -- Bill McHenry (tenor) and Darius Jones (alto) -- with Kris Davis (piano) and Chad Taylor (drums). The rhythm breaks up nicely, especially with Davis. The saxes take a while to develop -- even Jones, who is usually a terror.

60. The Mark Lomax Trio: The Last Concert: Ankh & the Tree of Life (CFG Multimedia)
Drummer, with the magnificent Edwin Bayard ever reliable on tenor sax and Dean Hullett on bass. Two long pieces, develop a bit slowly, peak out where they always do: strain, struggle, redemption. **

61. José Lencastre/Jorge Nuno/Felipe Zenícola/João Valinho: Anthropic Neglect (Clean Feed)
Brazilian guitarist Nuno, background in "psychedelic rock," joins Portuguese sax-bass-drum trio. Three pieces, 39:11, the fast one most immediately compelling, but the slow one also develops a fine burn. **

62. Jason Robinson: Harmonic Constituent (Playscape)
Saxophonist (tenor/soprano, also alto flute), albums since 1998. Each piece "inspired by a technical, and sometimes impressionistic, aspect of the oceanography, tidal dynamics, and geography specific to the coastline" near Mendocino, CA. With Joshua White (piano), Dave Gress (bass), and Ches Smith (drums). **

63. Mino Cinelu/Nils Petter Molvaer: SulaMadiana (Modern)
Percussion and trumpet duo, French and Norwegian, the latter has a major career in jazztronica, Cinelu less famous but three years older -- I especially liked his Kenny Barron duo, Swamp Sally (1995). Four dedications: one to tribes of the Amazon, two Africans, Jimmy Cobb. No electronics, but exotic enough to set up the trumpet. **

64. Rempis Percussion Quartet: The Long Haul (Aerophonic)
Chicago group, dates from 2006, led by saxophonist Dave Rempis (alto/tenor/baritone), with two drummers (Tim Daisy and Frank Rosaly) and Ingebrigt Håker Flaten on bass. Rempis is a terrific saxophonist, and he's frequently in top form here. **

65. Cecil Taylor and Tony Oxley: Birdland, Neuburg 2011 (2011, Fundacja Sluchaj)
Piano and drums duo. Taylor died in 2018, but until this his most recent records were recorded in 2008, also duos with Oxley. Two (or three) improvs, 57:23, quieter than in their heyday, but can still startle you, remind you how damn near anything is possible. After all, that's what they do. **

66. Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet: When Angels Fall (WMQ/Agora Muzyka -19)
Polish bassist, at least ten albums since 2008, released an impressive Polka album in 2014, turns here to his country's premier jazz composer, Krzysztof Komeda (1931-69). Quintet with trumpet, tenor sax, piano, and drums. Some remarkable passages here, surprise shifts, maybe a bit much drama. **

Also added the following 2019 albums after freezing the 2019 year-end file:

1. Tetuzi Akiyama/Nicolas Field/Gregor Vidic: Interpersonal Subjectivities (Astral Spirits -19)
Electric guitar, percussion, and tenor sax, no names I've run across before, although the Japanese guitarist has a long list of records since 2001 (69 Discogs entries). Nicely paced, no thrash, endlessly inventive. **

2. Muriel Grossmann: Reverence (RR Gems -19)
Saxophonist (soprano/alto/tenor), born in Paris, grew up in Austria, based in Ibiza (Spain), eleventh album since 2007. Quintet with guitar, organ, bass, and drums: long, sinewy groove pieces with cosmic dust, reminiscent of Coltrane at his (or her) most spiritual (do I detect a bit of uncredited harp?). **

Honorable Mention

Additional jazz rated B+(***), listed alphabetically.

  1. Abraham Inc.: Together We Stand (Table Pounding -19) **
  2. Lina Allemano's Ohrenschmaus: Rats and Mice (Lumo) **
  3. Erlend Apneseth: Fragmentarium (Hubro) **
  4. Florian Arbenz & Greg Osby: Reflections of the Eternal Line (Hammer) **
  5. Gregg August: Dialogues on Race: Volume One (Iacuessa) **
  6. AVA Trio: Digging the Sand (Marocco Music -19) **
  7. Teodross Avery: Harlem Stories: The Music of Thelonious Monk (WJ3) **
  8. The Awakening Orchestra: Volume II: To Call Her to a Higher Plain (Biophilia) **
  9. Gary Bartz and Maisha: Night Dreamer Direct-to-Disc Sessions (Night Dreamer) **
  10. Tim Berne's Snakeoil: The Fantastic Mrs. 10 (Intakt) **
  11. Daniel Bingert: Berit in Space (Moserobie)
  12. Raoul Björkenheim: Solar Winds (Long Song) **
  13. Carla Bley/Andy Sheppard/Steve Swallow: Life Goes On (ECM) **
  14. Benjamin Boone: The Poets Are Gathering (Origin)
  15. Don Braden/Joris Teepe Quartet: In the Spirit of Herbie Hancock: Live at De Witte (O.A.P.) **
  16. Geof Bradfield/Ben Goldberg/Dana Hall Trio: General Semantics (Delmark) **
  17. Jamie Branch/Dave Repis/Ingebrigt Håker Flaten/Tollef Østvang: Tripel/Dubbel (Aerophonic) **
  18. BROM: Dance With an Idiot (Trost) **
  19. James Carney Sextet: Pure Heart (Sunnyside) **
  20. François Carrier/Tomek Gadecki/Marcik Bozek/Michel Lambert: Wide (FMR -19)
  21. François Carrier/Masayo Koketsu/Daisuke Fuwa/Takashi Itani: Japan Suite (NoBusiness)
  22. Daniel Carter/Matthew Shipp/William Parker/Gerald Cleaver: Welcome Adventure! Vol. 1 (577) **
  23. Ceramic Dog: What I Did on My Long Vacation (Northern Spy) **
  24. Chicago Underground Quartet: Good Days (Astral Spirits)
  25. Dan Clucas/Jeb Bishop/Damon Smith/Matt Crane: Universal or Directional (Balance Point Acoustics) **
  26. Emmet Cohen Featuring George Coleman: Masters Legacy Series Volume 4 (self-released -19) **
  27. Conference Call: Prism (Not Two) **
  28. Jeff Cosgrove/John Medeski/Jeff Lederer: History Gets Ahead of the Story (Grizzley Music)
  29. CP Unit: One Foot on the Ground Smoking Mirror Shakedown (Ramp Local) **
  30. Ronnie Cuber: Four (SteepleChase -19) **
  31. Josephine Davies: Sartori: How Can We Wake? (Whirlwind) **
  32. Dena DeRose: Ode to the Road (HighNote) **
  33. Vito Dieterle: Anemone (Ride Symbol)
  34. Tashi Dorji/Tyler Damon: To Catch a Bird in a Net of Wind (Trost) **
  35. Lajos Dudas: The Lake and the Music (JazzSick) **
  36. Liberty Ellman: Last Desert (Pi)
  37. The Engines: Wooden Legs (Aerophonic) **
  38. Agustí Fernández/Liudas Mockunas: Improdimensions (NoBusiness) *
  39. Michael Foster/Dave Rempis/Jason Roebke/Tyler Damon: The Eagle (Aerophonic) **
  40. Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York: Entity (Libra)
  41. Lafayette Gilchrist: Now (Lafayette Gilchrist Music, 2CD)
  42. Vincent Glanzmann/Gerry Hemingway: Composition O (Fundacja Sluchaj)
  43. GoGo Penguin: GoGo Penguin (Blue Note) **
  44. Vinny Golia/John Hanrahan/Henry Kaiser/Wayne Peet/Mike Watt: A Love Supreme Electric: A Salvo Inspired by John Coltrane: A Love Supreme & Meditations (Cuneiform, 2CD) **
  45. Wendy Gondeln/Mats Gustafsson/Wolfang Voigt: The Shithole Country & Boogie Band (Corbett vs. Dempsey) **
  46. Alex Goodman: Impressions in Blue and Red (Outside In Music, 2CD)
  47. Gordon Grdina's the Marrow: Safar-e-Daroon (Songlines) **
  48. Jimmy Greene: While Looking Up (Mack Avenue) **
  49. Harrison²: Trout in Swimwear (self-released) *
  50. Joel Harrison + 18: America at War (Sunnyside) **
  51. Jon Hassell: Seeing Through Sound (Pentimento Volume Two) (Ndeya) **
  52. Hegge: Feeling (Particular) **
  53. The Heliocentrics: Infinity of Now (Madlib Invazion) **
  54. Fred Hersch: Songs From Home (Palmetto)
  55. Anna Högberg Attack: Lena (Omlott) **
  56. Ill Considered: Ill Considered 9: East/West (Ill Considered) **
  57. John Pål Inderberg Trio: Radio Inderberg (AMP Music) **
  58. Christoph Irniger Trio: Open City (Intakt) **
  59. Russ Johnson/Dave Rempis/Joshua Abrams/Isaiah Spencer/Jeremy Cunningham: Harmattan (Aerophonic) **
  60. Edward "Kidd" Jordan/Joel Futterman/William Parker/Hamid Drake: A Tribute to Alvin Fielder: Live at Vision Festival XXIV (Mahakala Music) **
  61. Kaze & Ikue Mori: Sand Storm (Libra)
  62. Jon-Erik Kellso: Sweet Fruits Salty Roots (Jazzology) **
  63. Eva Kess: Sternschnuppen: Falling Stars (Neuklang)
  64. Quin Kirchner: The Shadows and the Light (Astral Spirits) **
  65. Benjamin Koppel/Kenny Werner/Scott Colley/Jack DeJohnette: The Art of the Quartet (Cowbell Music/Unit, 2CD) **
  66. Benjamin Koppel/Tine Rehling/Henrik Dam Thomsen: Les Mobiles (Cowbell Music) ** [B+(*)]
  67. Diana Krall: This Dream of You (Verve) **
  68. Martin Küchen & Landaeus Trio: Mind the Gap of Silence (Clean Feed) **
  69. Takuya Kuroda: Fly Moon Die Soon (First Word) **
  70. Kuzu [Dave Rempis/Tashi Dorji/Tyler Damon]: Purple Dark Opal (Aerophonic)
  71. John Law's Congregation: Configuration (Ubuntu Music) **
  72. Ute Lemper: Rendezvous With Marlene (Jazzhaus) **
  73. José Lencastre/Jorge Nuno/Felipe Zenícola/João Valinho: Anthropic Neglect (Clean Feed) **
  74. Hayoung Lyou: Metamorphosis (Endectomorph Music)
  75. Carla Marciano Quartet: Psychosis: Homage to Bernard Herrmann (Challenge)
  76. Simon Moullier: Spirit Song (Outside In Music)
  77. Adam Nussbaum: Leadbelly Reimagined (Sunnyside) **
  78. Nutria: Meeting in Progress (Ears & Eyes)
  79. OM [Urs Leimgruber/Christy Doran/Bobby Burri/Fredy Studer]: It's About Time (Intakt) **
  80. Keith Oxman: Two Cigarettes in the Dark (Capri)
  81. Vanessa Perica Orchestra: Love Is a Temporary Madness (self-released) ** [B+(**)]
  82. Ben Perowsky/John Medeski/Chris Speed: Upstream (El Destructo -19) **
  83. Ryan Porter & the West Coast Get Down: Live in Paris at New Morning (World Galaxy) **
  84. Joshua Redman/Brad Mehldau/Christian McBride/Brian Blade: Round Again (Nonesuch) **
  85. Rempis/Rosaly Duo: Codes/Myths (Aerophonic, 2CD) **
  86. Stephen Riley: Friday the 13th (SteepleChase) **
  87. Rent Romus/Heikki Koskinen/Life's Blood Ensemble: Manala (Edgetone)
  88. Roots Magic: Take Root Among the Stars (Clean Feed) **
  89. Benny Rubin Jr. Quartet: Know Say or See (Benny Jr. Music) *
  90. Adam Rudolph/Ralph M. Jones/Hamid Drake: Imaginary Archipelago (Meta)
  91. Carl Saunders: Jazz Trumpet (Summit)
  92. Schapiro 17: New Shoes: Kind of Blue at 60 (Summit, 2CD)
  93. Diane Schuur: Running on Faith (Jazzheads)
  94. Radam Schwartz Organ Big Band: Message From Groove and GW (Arabesque)
  95. John Scofield: Swallow Tales (ECM) **
  96. Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah: Axiom (Ropeadope) **
  97. Brandon Seabrook With Cooper-Moore & Gerald Cleaver: Exultations (Astral Spirits) **
  98. Mark Segger Sextet: Lift Off (18th Note)
  99. Sestetto Internazionale: Live in Munich 2019 (Fundacja Sluchaj)
  100. Paul Shaw Quintet: Moment of Clarity (Summit)
  101. Archie Shepp/Raw Poetic/Damu the Fudgemunk: Ocean Bridges (Redefinition) **
  102. Viktor Skokic Sextett: Basement Music (Jazzland)
  103. Gary Smulyan: Our Contrafacts (SteepleChase) **
  104. Jim Snidero: Project-K (Savant)
  105. Martial Solal & Dave Liebman: Masters in Paris (Sunnyside) **
  106. Sonar With David Torn: Tranceportation (Volume 2) (RareNoise) **
  107. Dayna Stephens Trio: Liberty (Contagious Music) **
  108. Superposition: Superposition (We Jazz) **
  109. Craig Taborn/Dave King: The Tower Tapes #3 (Jazz Club Ferrara) **
  110. Ohad Talmor Newsreel: Long Forms (Intakt) **
  111. Natsuki Tamura/Satoko Fujii/Ramon Lopez: Mantle (Libra)
  112. Michael Thomas: Event Horizon (Giant Step Arts, 2CD)
  113. Charles Tolliver: Connect (Gearbox) **
  114. Fumi Tomita Featuring David Detweiler: Celebrating Bird/A Tribute to Charlie Parker (Next Level)
  115. Cat Toren's Human Kind: Scintillating Beauty (New Focus) **
  116. Peeter Uuskyla/Tellef Øgrim/Anders Berg/Per Anders Nilsson: Isn Hi Lagt Sae På Fjellvatna (Simlas) **
  117. Alexander von Schlippenbach: Slow Pieces for Aki (Intakt) **
  118. Greg Ward/Jason Stein/Marcus Evans/Chad Taylor/Matt Lux: 85bears (2020, Ears & Eyes) **
  119. The Warriors of the Wonderful Sound: Soundpath (Composed by Muhal Richard Abrams) (Clean Feed) **
  120. Doug Webb: Apples & Oranges (Posi-Tone) **
  121. The Westerlies: Wherein Lies the Good (Westerlies)
  122. WHO Trio: Strell: The Music of Billy Strayhorn & Duke Ellington (Clean Feed) **

Also added the following 2019 albums after freezing the 2019 year-end file:

  1. Ronnie Cuber: Four (SteepleChase -19) **
  2. Colin Fisher Quartet: Living Midnight (Astral Spirits -19)
  3. Stephen Riley: Oleo (SteepleChase -19) **
  4. Matthew Shipp/Mark Helias/Gordon Grdina: Skin and Bones (Not Two -19) **

Reissues/Historic Music

The standard for historic music is a record where everything was recorded 10+ years ago, regardless of whether it's ever been in print before. Some past lists may have treated previously unreleased music as new (regardless of actual age), but I've never been able to manage that distinction consistently. This category also includes compilations of previously released music, including straight reissues, although my selection is very erratic.

1. Borah Bergman/Perry Anderson/Steve Swell/Ray Sage: Quartets Trios Duos (2007, Mahakala Music)
Piano (d. 2012), clarinet (d. 2018), trombone, drums -- when I looked up Sage, Discogs only listed 3 albums, all from 2007. Swell assembled this, with 2 duos and 5 trios in various configurations, and 2 quartets. He only plays on 6 (of 9) cuts, but they are the ones that jump out at you.

2. Horace Tapscott With the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra: Ancestral Echoes: The Covina Sessions, 1976 (1976, Dark Tree)
Pianist, a major figure in Los Angeles jazz, his large group here more a scene than a mere band.

3. Thelonious Monk: Palo Alto (1968, Impulse!)
Archival album, previously unreleased, so a big deal, recorded on a stage at Palo Alto High School, a side trip from a stand at the Jazz Workshop in San Francisco. Quartet, with Charlie Rouse (tenor sax), Larry Gales (bass), and Ben Riley (drums). This was near the tail end of one of Monk's best quartets, with seasoned experts reworking his old songs. **

4. Tony Allen/Hugh Masekela: Rejoice (World Circuit)
Nigerian drummer (started with Fela Anikulapo Kuti) and the late (d. 2018) South African trumpet player, a worldwide jazz star. About what you'd hope for: a strong afrobeat ensemble with extra brass lustre and stellar solos. **

5. The Good Life: The Animals Took Over (self-released)
Drummer Scott Amendola put this together, taking the name from a piece on the Pat Matheny/Ornette Coleman album Song X, recorded it live in Oakland, and finally decided to donate it to Food Bank NYC. With two guitarists (John Dieterich and Nels Cline), clarinet (Ben Goldberg), and electric bass (Trevor Dunn) -- a slightly augmented Nels Cline Singers. Two Coleman tunes, an opener by Jimmy Giuffre, three originals from the band. Could be tighter, but nearly ever song peaks. **

6. Sonny Rollins: Rollins in Holland (1967, Resonance, 2CD)
Three dates on two days in early May, with local musicians: Ruud Jacobs (bass, d. 2019, package dedicted to his memory) and a young (25) drummer, Han Bennink. This comes after his most avant records for Impulse, at the start of a hiatus (his second), which he broke in 1972. Not all first rate, but great to hear his unique sound, especially when he picks up the pace, and the CDs come with a substantial booklet, so gets extra credit for historical import.

7. Modern Jazz Quintet Karlsruhe/Four Men Only: Complete Recordings (1968-73, NoBusiness, 3CD)
German group: Herbert Joos (trumpets) probably a best known, with Willfried Eichhorn (reeds), Helmuth Zimmer (piano), Klaus Bühler (double bass), and Rudi Theilmann (drums). Recorded two albums, on the first two CDs here, then when Bühler dropped out they changed their name to Four Men Only, which with the addition of trombonist Wolfang Czelusta became Four Men Only + 1 for the final album. First disc is most impressive, genuinely exciting.

8. Charles Mingus: @ Bremen 1964 & 1975 (Sunnyside, 4CD)
Two major groups on tour, the bassist and drummer Dannie Richmond common denominators. The stellar 1964 group had Johnny Coles (trumpet), Eric Dolphy, (alto sax/flute/bass clarinet), Clifford Jordan (tenor sax), and Jaki Byard (piano) -- their set had previously been bootlegged as The Complete Bremen Concert, with Dolphy co-headlining. The 1975 group was less famous at the time, but names you'll recognize today: Jack Walrath (trumpet), George Adams (tenor sax), Don Pullen (piano). Hard to tell from streaming, but I doubt the 1964 set adds much to the same group's Town Hall Concert, or for that matter the Paris and Cornell concerts from the same year. On the other hand, I'm not aware of any live material from the 1975 group -- the 1974 Mingus at Carnegie Hall is a different deal -- and it reminds me that few leaders were able to command their bands as authoritatively as Mingus. Also good to hear the new songs from Changes. **

Also added the following 2019 albums after freezing the 2019 year-end file:

1. Ben Webster: Ben Webster's First Concert in Denmark (1965, Storyville -19)
Tenor sax great, visited Copenhagen in 1965 and liked it enough to move there. Opens with a bit of solo piano -- Webster's first instrument, and he still pounds out a respectable beat. Then quartet, with Kenny Drew (who had moved to Denmark some years earlier), Niels-Henning Ørsted Pederson (bass), and Alex Riel (drums). His standard fare, from "Pennies From Heaven" to "Cottontail," and as gorgeous as it gets. **

Honorable Mention

Additional jazz rated B+(***), listed alphabetically.

  1. Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers: Just Coolin' (1959, Blue Note) **
  2. Willem Breuker/Han Bennink: New Acoustic Swing Duo (1967-68, Corbett vs. Dempsey -2CD -19) **
  3. Abraham Burton: Live at Visiones, NYC 1993 (self-released, EP) **
  4. Bill Evans: Live at Ronnie Scott's (1968, Resonance, 2CD) **
  5. The Mark Harvey Group: A Rite for All Souls (1971, Americas Musicworks, 2CD)
  6. The Heshoo Beshoo Group: Armitage Road (1970, We Are Busy Bodies) **
  7. Hank Jones Trio: Live at Jazzhus Slukefter Vol. 2 (1983, Storyville) **
  8. Kaleidoscope: New Spirits Known & Unknonwn (Soul Jazz, 2CD) **
  9. The MacroQuarktet: The Complete Night: Live at the Stone NYC (2007, Out of Your Head, 2CD) **
  10. New Stories: Speakin' Out (1999, Origin)
  11. Nublu Orchestra Conducted by Butch Morris: Live in Bergamo (2008, Nublu) **
  12. Owl Xounds Exploding Galaxy: The Coalescence (2007, ESP-Disk)
  13. Dudu Pukwana: Dudu Phukwana and the "Spears" (1968-69, Matsuli Music) **
  14. Sun Ra & His Arkestra: Unity: Live at Storyville, New York, October 1977 (Enterplanetary Koncepts) **
  15. Sam Rivers: Ricochet [Sam Rivers Archive Project, Volume 3] (1978, NoBusiness)
  16. Shirley Scott: One for Me (1974, Arc) **
  17. Edward Simon: 25 Years (1995-2018, Ridgeway, 2CD)
  18. Horace Tapscott/Michael Session: Live in Avignon, France 1989 (The Village) **
  19. Cecil Taylor/Tony Oxley: Being Astral and All Registers/Power of Two: Live at the Ulrichsberg Festival, May 10th 2002 (Discus Music) **
  20. René Thomas: Remembering Rene Thomas: Rare and Unreleased (1955-62, Fresh Sound, 2CD) **

Also added the following 2019 albums after freezing the 2019 year-end file:

  1. New Improvised Music From Buenos Aires (2012-17, ESP-Disk -19) **

Notes

Additional new jazz records rated B+(**) or below (listed alphabetically by artist).

  1. Aardvark Jazz Orchestra: Faces of Souls (Leo) ** [B+(*)]
  2. Rez Abbasi: Django-shift (Whirlwind) [08-28] [B+(**)]
  3. Ainon: Drought (We Jazz) ** [B+(**)]
  4. Ambrose Akinmusire: On the Tender Spot of Every Calloused Moment (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  5. Carol Albert: Stronger Now (Cahara) [B-]
  6. Susan Alcorn Quintet: Pedernal (Relative Pitch) [B+(**)]
  7. Harry Allen: The Bloody Happy Song (GAC) ** [B+(**)]
  8. Lina Allemano: Glimmer Glammer (Lumo) ** [B+(*)]
  9. Pedro Melo Alves: In Igma (Clean Feed) ** [B-]
  10. Robby Ameen: Diluvio (Origin) [B+(*)]
  11. Sebastien Ammann: Resilience (Skirl) ** [B+(**)]
  12. Lila Ammons: Genealogy (self-released) [B+(**)]
  13. Anáhuac: Ascua (Astral Spirits) ** [B+(*)]
  14. Brian Andres Trio Latino: Mayan Suite (Bacalao) [B+(*)]
  15. Anteloper: Tour Beats Vol. 1 (International Anthem, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  16. Harrison Argatoff: Toronto Streets Tour (self-released) [B+(*)]
  17. Jon Armstrong Sextet: Reabsorb (Orenda) ** [B+(**)]
  18. Artemis: Artemis (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  19. AuB: AuB (Edition) ** [B+(*)]
  20. Omer Avital Qantar: New York Paradox (Jazz & People) ** [B+(*)]
  21. The Bad Plus: The Tower Tapes #4 (Jazz Club Ferrara) ** [B+(**)]
  22. John Bailey: Can You Imagine? (Freedom Road) [B+(**)]
  23. Jon Balke: Discourses (ECM) ** [B]
  24. Ballrogg: Rolling Ball (Clean Feed) ** [B+(*)]
  25. Lucian Ban/John Surman/Mat Maneri: Transylvanian Folk Songs (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  26. Conrad Bauer/Matthias Bauer/Dag Magnus Narvesen: The Gift (NoBusiness) * [B+(**)]
  27. John Beasley: MONK'estra Plays John Beasley (Mack Avenue) ** [B+(**)]
  28. Gerald Beckett: Mood (Pear Orchard) [B]
  29. Majid Bekkas: Magic Spirit Quartet (ACT Music) ** [B+(*)]
  30. Benny Benack III: A Lot of Livin' to Do (LA Reserve) [B+(**)]
  31. Lakecia Benjamin: Pursuance: The Coltranes (Ropeadope) ** [B+(*)]
  32. Steve Beresford & John Butcher: Old Paradise Airs (Iluso) ** [B+(*)]
  33. Antoine Berjeaut: Moving Cities (I See Colors -19) ** [B+(**)]
  34. David Berkman: Plays Music by John Coltrane and Pete Seeger: Solo Piano (Without) [B+(**)]
  35. Will Bernard: Freelance Subversives (Ropeadope) ** [B]
  36. Tim Berne's Snakeoil: The Tower Tapes #1 (Jazz Club Ferrara) ** [B+(**)]
  37. Tim Berne's Snakeoil: The Deceptive 4 (Intakt, 2CD) ** [B+(**)]
  38. Max Bessesen: Trouble (Ropeadope) [B+(**)]
  39. Andy Bianco: NYC Stories (Next Level) ** [B+(*)]
  40. The Big Bad Bones Featuring Scott Whitfield: Emergency Vehicle Blues (Summit) [B+(*)]
  41. David Binney/Kenny Wollesen: Basu (Mythology) ** [B+(*)]
  42. Jeb Bishop/Jaap Blonk/Weasel Walter/Damon Smith: JeJaWeDa: Poineer Works Vol. 1 (Balance Point Acoustics -19) ** [B+(*)]
  43. Jeb Bishop: Centrifugal Trio (Astral Spirits) ** [B+(**)]
  44. Black Art Jazz Collective: Ascension (HighNote) ** [B+(*)]
  45. Blaer: Yellow (Ronin Rhythm) ** [B+(**)]
  46. Ran Blake/Andrew Rathbun: Northern Noir (SteepleChase) ** [B+(**)]
  47. Noah Bless: New York Strong: Latin Jazz! (Zoho) ** [B+(*)]
  48. #Bloomerangs: Moments and Fragments (Instru Dash Mental) [B+(*)]
  49. Bonjintan: Dental Kafka (Trost) ** [B+(**)]
  50. Benjamin Boone With the Ghana Jazz Collective: Joy (Origin) [B]
  51. Moses Boyd: Dark Matter (Exodus) ** [B+(**)]
  52. Alan Braufman: The Fire Still Burns (Valley of Search) ** [B+(*)]
  53. Alan Broadbent Trio: Trio in Motion (Savant) ** [B+(**)]
  54. Johanna Burnheart: Burnheart (Ropeadope) ** [B+(*)]
  55. Chris Byars: On the Shoulders of Giants (SteepleChase) ** [B+(**)]
  56. Calle Loiza Jazz Project: There Will Never Be Another You (self-released) [B+(**)]
  57. Lisa Cameron/Tom Carter/Ingebrigt Håker Flaten: Tau Ceti (Astral Spirits) ** [B+(*)]
  58. Carla Campopiano: Chicago/Buenos Aires Connections, Vol. II (self-released) [B]
  59. Steve Cardenas: Blue Has a Range (Sunnyside) ** [B]
  60. César Cardoso: Dice of Tenors (self-released) ** [B+(*)]
  61. The Ian Carey Quintet + 1: Fire in My Head: The Anxiety Suite (Slow & Steady) [B+(*)]
  62. Daniel Carter/Brad Farberman/Billy Martin: Just Don't Die (Ropeadope -19) ** [B+(*)]
  63. Daniel Carter/Patrick Holmes/Matthew Putman: Whoadie (577) ** [C+]
  64. Regina Carter Freedom Band: Swing States: Harmony in the Battleground (Tiger Turn) ** [B+(*)]
  65. Lynn Cassiers: Yun (Clean Feed) ** [B]
  66. Caterpillar Quartet: Threads (ESP-Disk) * [B+(**)]
  67. Valentin Ceccaldi: Ossos (Cipsela) [B+(*)]
  68. Ernesto Cervini: Tetrahedron (Anzic) ** [B+(**)]
  69. Chrome Hill: This Is Chrome Hill (Clean Feed) ** [B+(*)]
  70. Gerald Clayton: Happening: Live at the Village Vanguard (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  71. Jay Clayton/Jerry Granelli: Alone Together (Sunnyside) ** [B+(*)]
  72. Gerald Cleaver: Signs (577) ** [B]
  73. Cliff Trio [Pandelis Karayorgis/Damon Smith/Eric Rosenthal]: Precipice (Fundacja Sluchaj) ** [B+(**)]
  74. The Nels Cline Singers: Share the Wealth (Blue Note) ** [B+(*)]
  75. The Coachella Valley Trio: Mid Century Modern (DMAC) [B+(*)]
  76. Chris Cogburn/Juan García/Ignaz Schick: Anáhuac (Astral Spirits) [B+(**)]
  77. Avishai Cohen Big Vicious: Big Vicious (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  78. Emmet Cohen Featuring Benny Golson & Albert "Tootie" Heath: Masters Legacy Series Volume 3 (self-released -19) ** [B+(**)]
  79. Frank Colón: Latin Lounge (Technoprimal Music) [B+(**)]
  80. Convergence: Convergence (Hammer) ** [B+(**)]
  81. Chick Corea: Plays (Concord, 2CD) ** [B+(*)]
  82. Cosmic Vibrations: Pathways & Passages (Spiritmuse) ** [B+(**)]
  83. Sylvie Courvoisier Trio: Free Hoops (Intakt) ** [B+(**)]
  84. Crazy Doberman: Illusory Expansion (Astral Spirits) ** [B+(*)]
  85. The Croaks: One of the Best Bears! (Fundacja Sluchaj) ** [B+(*)]
  86. Brian Cullman: Winter Clothes (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  87. Alex Cunningham & Claire Rousay: Specifically the Water (Astral Spirits) [B+(*)]
  88. Jeremy Cunningham: The Weather Up There (Northern Spy) ** [B+(**)]
  89. Jennifer Curtis & Tyshawn Sorey: Invisible Ritual (New Focus) ** [B+(**)]
  90. John Daversa Quintet: Cuarentena: With Family at Home (Tiger Turn) ** [B+(**)]
  91. Angel Bat Dawid & Tha Brothahood: Live (International Anthem) ** [B+(**)]
  92. Day Dream: Originals (Corner Store Jazz) [B+(**)]
  93. Sam Decker: Shrove (Sunnyside) ** [B+(*)]
  94. Alabaster DePlume: To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol. 1 (International Anthem) ** [B+(**)]
  95. Hermine Deurloo: Riverbeast (Zennes -19) ** [B]
  96. Robert Dick & Adam Caine: The Damn Think (Chant -19) ** [B+(*)]
  97. Aaron Diehl: The Vagabond (Mack Avenue) ** [B+(*)]
  98. Vito Dieterle/Joel Forrester: Status Sphere (Ride Symbol) [B+(**)]
  99. John DiMartino: Passion Flower: The Music of Billy Strayhorn (Sunnyside) [B+(**)]
  100. Chris Dingman: Embrace (Inner Arts Initiative) ** [B+(*)]
  101. Dinosaur: To the Earth (Edition) ** [B+(**)]
  102. Tashi Dorji: Stateless (Drag City) ** [B+(*)]
  103. Dave Douglas: Dizzy Atmosphere: Dizzy Gillespie at Zero Gravity (Greenleaf Music) ** [B+(**)]
  104. Kaja Draksler Octet: Out for Stars (Clean Feed) ** [B-]
  105. Gregory Dudzienski Quartet: Beautiful Moments (OA2) [B+(*)]
  106. Beth Duncan: I'm All Yours (Saccat) [B]
  107. Duotrio: In the Bright and Deep (Blujazz) [B-]
  108. Yelena Eckemoff: Nocturnal Animals (L&H Production, 2CD) [B+(**)]
  109. Ellen Edwards: A New York Session (Stonefire Music, EP) [B-]
  110. Sarah Elgeti Quartet With Friends: Dawn Comes Quietly (Gateway Music) [B]
  111. John Ellis and Andy Bragen: The Ice Siren (Parade Light) [B]
  112. Kahil El'Zabar: Kahil El'Zabar's America the Beautiful (Spiritmuse) ** [B+(**)]
  113. The End: Allt Är Intet (RareNoise) * [C]
  114. Endless Field: Alive in the Wilderness (Biophilia) [B+(**)]
  115. Wayne Escoffery: The Humble Warrior (Smoke Sessions) ** [B+(*)]
  116. Falkner Evans: Marbles (CAP) [B+(*)]
  117. Orrin Evans and the Captain Black Big Band: The Intangible Between (Smoke Sessions) ** [B+(**)]
  118. Expansions: The Dave Liebman Group: Earth (Whaling City Sound) ** [B+(*)]
  119. Joe Farnsworth: Time to Swing (Smoke Sessions) ** [B+(**)]
  120. John Fedchock NY Sextet: Into the Shadows (Summit) [B+(**)]
  121. Nir Felder: II (Ropeadope) ** [B+(*)]
  122. André Fernandes: Kinetic (Clean Feed) ** [B+(**)]
  123. Joe Fiedler's Big Sackbutt: Live in Graz (Multiphonics Music) ** [B+(**)]
  124. Amina Figarova Edition 113: Persistence (AmFi) [B]
  125. John Finbury: Quatro (Green Flash Music) [B]
  126. John Finbury: American Nocturnes (Green Flash Music) [C+]
  127. Nick Finzer: Cast of Characters (Outside In Music) [B+(*)]
  128. Fire! Orchestra: Actions (Rune Grammofon) ** [B+(**)]
  129. Paul Flaherty/Randall Colbourne/James Chumley Hunt/Mike Roberson: Borrowed From Children (577) ** [B+(**)]
  130. Jason Foureman and Stephen Anderson: Duo (Summit) [B+(**)]
  131. Jean-Marc Foussat/Daunik Lazro/Evan Parker: Café Oto 2020 (Fou, 2CD) [B+(**)]
  132. Chad Fowler/WC Anderson: Lacrimosa (Mahakala Music) [B+(**)]
  133. Bill Frisell: Valentine (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  134. Andy Fusco: Remembrance (SteepleChase) ** [B+(*)]
  135. Joel Futterman: Intervals (Fundacja Sluchaj) ** [B+(*)]
  136. Elliot Galvin: Live in Paris at Fondation Louis Vuitton (Edition) ** [B+(*)]
  137. Asher Gamedze: Dialectic Soul (On the Corner) ** [B+(**)]
  138. Jacob Garchik: Clear Line (Yestereve) ** [B+(*)]
  139. Nubya Garcia: Source (Concord) ** [B+(**)]
  140. Gato Libre: Koneko (Libra) [B+(**)]
  141. Sam Gendel: Satin Doll (Nonesuch) ** [B]
  142. Sam Gendel: DRM (Nonesuch) ** [B]
  143. Sue Anne Gershenzon: You Must Believe in Spring (self-released) [B]
  144. Naama Gheber: Dearly Beloved (Cellar Music) [B+(**)]
  145. Gilfema: Three (Sounderscore) [B+(*)]
  146. Dave Gisler Trio With Jaimie Branch: Zurich Concert (Intakt) ** [B+(*)]
  147. Frode Gjerstad/Fred Lonberg-Holm/William Parker/Steve Swell: Tales From (Fundacja Sluchaj) ** [B+(**)]
  148. Bob Gluck: Early Morning Star (FMR) [B+(*)]
  149. Ben Goldberg/Kenny Wollesen: Music for an Avant-Garde Massage Parlour (BAG Production) ** [B+(**)]
  150. Osvaldo Golijov/The Silkroad Ensemble: Falling Out of Time (In a Circle) [B]
  151. Joyce Grant: Surrounded by Blue (Craftedair/Blujazz) [B]
  152. Frank Gratkowski/Simon Nabatov/Dominik Mahnig: Dance Hall Stories (Leo) ** [B+(**)]
  153. Gordon Grdina: Prior Street (self-released) ** [B]
  154. Gordon Grdina Septet: Resist (Irabbagast) [B+(*)]
  155. Gordon Grdina/Matt Mitchel/Jim Black: Gordon Grdina's Nomad Trio (Skirl) [B+(**)]
  156. Benny Green: Benny's Crib (Sunnyside) ** [B]
  157. Guillermo Gregorio/Joe Fonda/Ramón López: Intersecting Lives (Fundacja Sluchaj) ** [B+(**)]
  158. Charlotte Greve/Vinnie Sperrazza/Chris Tordini: The Choir Invisible (Intakt) ** [B+(*)]
  159. Ricardo Grilli: 1962 (Tone Rogue) [B+(**)]
  160. Tom Guarna: Spirit Science (Destiny) [B+(*)]
  161. Bartosz Hadala Group: Three Short Stories (Zecernia) [B+(**)]
  162. Wolfgang Haffner: Kind of Tango (ACT Music) ** [B]
  163. Noah Haidu: Doctone (Sunnyside) [B+(**)]
  164. Mary Halvorson's Code Girl: Artlessly Falling (Firehouse 12) [B]
  165. Tigran Hamasyan: The Call Within (Nonesuch) ** [B+(*)]
  166. Jeff Hamilton Trio: Catch Me If You Can (Capri) [B+(*)]
  167. Alexander Hawkins/Tomeka Reid: Shards and Constellations (Intakt) ** [B+(**)]
  168. Dylan Hayes Electric Band: Songs for Rooms and People (Blujazz) [B]
  169. Hazar: Reincarnated (IAN Productions) [B+(*)]
  170. Jimmy Heath: Love Letter (Verve) ** [B+(*)]
  171. Eddie Henderson: Shuffle and Deal (Smoke Sessions) ** [B+(**)]
  172. Daniel Hersog: Night Devoid of Stars (Cellar Live) [B+(**)]
  173. Conrad Herwig: The Latin Side of Horace Silver (Savant) ** [B+(*)]
  174. Monika Herzig: Eternal Dance (Savant) [B+(*)]
  175. Tyler Higgins: Broken Blues (Shhpuma) ** [B+(**)]
  176. Theo Hill: Reality Check (Posi-Tone) ** [B+(*)]
  177. Lisa Hilton: Chalkboard Destiny (Ruby Slippers -19) ** [B+(**)]
  178. Art Hirahara: Balance Point (Posi-Tone) ** [B+(*)]
  179. Derrick Hodge: Color of Noize (Blue Note) ** [B]
  180. Sigurd Hole: Lys/Mørke (Eivesang, 2CD) ** [B+(*)]
  181. John Hollenbeck: Songs You Like a Lot (Flexatonic) [B-]
  182. Christopher Hollyday & Telepathy: Dialogue (Jazzbeat Productions) [B+(**)]
  183. JC Hopkins Biggish Band: New York Moment (Twee-Jazz)
  184. Human Feel: The Tower Tapes #5 (Jazz Club Ferrara) ** [B+(**)]
  185. I Think You're Awesome: Suite to Be You and Me (Jaegar Community) ** [B+(*)]
  186. Christopher Icasiano: Provinces (Origin) [B]
  187. Idle Hands: Solid Moments (Posi-Tone) ** [B+(*)]
  188. I.P.A.: Bashing Mushrooms (Cuneiform) ** [B+(**)]
  189. Jon Irabagon: I Don't Hear Nothin' but the Blues: Volume 3: Anatomical Snuffbox (Irabbagast) ** [B-]
  190. Jaga Jazzist: Pyramid (Brainfeeder) ** [B+(**)]
  191. Keith Jarrett: Budapest Concert (ECM, 2CD) ** [B+(**)]
  192. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra With Wynton Marsalis: The Music of Wayne Shorter (Blue Engine, 2CD) ** [B-]
  193. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra With Wynton Marsalis: The Ever Fonky Lowdown (Blue Engine, 2CD) ** [B-]
  194. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra With Wynton Marsalis: Black Brown & Beige (Blue Engine)
  195. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra With Wynton Marsalis: Sherman Irby's Inferno (Blue Engine) ** [B+(*)]
  196. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra With Wynton Marsalis: Rock Chalk Suite (Blue Engine) ** [B+(**)]
  197. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra: Christopher Crenshaw's the Fifties: A Prism (Blue Engine) ** [B+(**)]
  198. The JCA Orchestra: Live at the BPC (JCA) [B]
  199. Josh Johnson: Freedom Exercise (Northern Spy) ** [B+(*)]
  200. Norah Jones: Pick Me Up Off the Floor (Blue Note) ** [B+(*)]
  201. Vic Juris: Let's Cool One (SteepleChase) ** [B+(*)]
  202. Jyoti: Mama, You Can Bet! (SomeOthaShip) ** [B+(**)]
  203. Sukyung Kim: Lilac Hill (self-released, EP) [B+(*)]
  204. Kirk Knuffke: Brightness: Live in Amsterdam (Royal Potato Family) ** [B+(*)]
  205. Adam Kolker: Lost (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  206. Kenny Kotwitz & the LA Jazz Quintet: When Lights Are Low (PMRecords) [B+(*)]
  207. David Krakauer & Kathleen Tagg: Breath & Hammer (Table Pounding) ** [B+(**)]
  208. Juliet Kurtzman/Pete Malinverni: Candlelight: Love in the Time of Cholera (Saranac) [B]
  209. La Lucha: Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Arbors) ** [B]
  210. La Pingo's Orquesta & Todd Clouser: Midwest/Bajio (Ropeadope Sur) ** [B+(*)]
  211. Nils Landgren & Jan Lundgren: Kristallen (ACT Music) ** [B+(**)]
  212. Brian Landrus/Fred Hersch/Drew Gress/Billy Hart: For Now (BlueLand) [B+(*)]
  213. Harald Lassen: Human Sampling (Jazzland) ** [B]
  214. Ingrid Laubrock + Kris Davis: Blood Moon (Intakt) ** [B+(**)]
  215. Ingrid Laubrock: Dreamt Twice, Twice Dreamt (Intakt, 2CD) ** [B+(*)]
  216. Okkyung Lee: Yeo-Neun (Shelter Press) ** [B+(**)]
  217. Urs Leimgruber/Andreas Willers/Alvin Curran/Fabrizio Spera: Rome-ing (Leo -19) ** [B+(**)]
  218. Les Sangliers: Miniscules (Aerophonic) ** [B+(*)]
  219. Allegra Levy: Lose My Number (SteepleChase) [B+(**)]
  220. Jeremy Levy Jazz Orchestra: The Planets: Reimagined (OA2) [07-17] [B-]
  221. Arto Lindsay/Joe McPhee/Ken Vandermark/Phil Sudderberg: Largest Afternoon (Corbett vs. Dempsey) ** [B+(**)]
  222. Charles Lloyd: 8: Kindred Spirits (Live From the Lobero) (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  223. Fred Lonberg-Holm/Joe McPhee: No Time Left for Sadness (Corbett vs. Dempsey) ** [B+(**)]
  224. LP and the Vinyl: Heard and Seen (OA2) [B]
  225. Rob Luft: Life Is the Dancer (Edition) ** [B]
  226. Paul Lytton/Nate Wooley: Known/Unknown (Fundacja Sluchaj) [B+(*)]
  227. Harold Mabern: Mabern Plays Mabern (Smoke Sessions) ** [B+(**)]
  228. Madre Vaca: Winterreise (Madre Vaca) [B]
  229. Roberto Magris: Suite! (JMood, 2CD) [B+(**)]
  230. Majamisty Trio: Organic (Mistyland) ** [B+(**)]
  231. Mako Sica/Hamid Drake: Balancing Tear (Astral Spirits) ** [B+(*)]
  232. Nduduzo Makhathini: Modes of Communication: Letters From the Underworlds (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  233. Alain Mallet: Mutt Slang II: A Wake of Sorrows Engulfed in Rage (Origin) [B+(*)]
  234. Denise Mangiardi: Brown Book (Alice's Loft Music) [B+(**)]
  235. Jacám Manricks: Samadhi (Manricks Music) [B+(**)]
  236. Grégoire Maret/Romain Collin/Bill Frisell: Americana (ACT Music) [B+(**)]
  237. Thomas Marriott: Trumpet Ship (Origin) [B+(*)]
  238. Delfeayo Marsalis Uptown Jazz Orchestra: Jazz Party (Troubadour Jass) [B+(**)]
  239. Brian Marsella: Gatos Do Sul (Tzadik) ** [B]
  240. Sabir Mateen/Patrick Holmes/Federico Ughi: Survival Situation (577) ** [B+(**)]
  241. Christian McBride: The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons (Mack Avenue) ** [B+(**)]
  242. Christian McBride Big Band: For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver (Mack Avenue) ** [B+(**)]
  243. Makaya McCraven: Universal Beings E&F Sides (International Anthem) ** [B+(**)]
  244. Thollem McDonas/William Parker/Nels Cline: Gowanus Sessions II (ESP-Disk) ** [B+(**)]
  245. Zara McFarlane: Songs of an Unknown Tongue (Brownswood) ** [B+(*)]
  246. Mike McGinnis/Elias Bailey/Vinnie Sperrazza: Time Is Thicker (Open Stream Music) [B+(**)]
  247. John McLaughlin/Shankar Mahadevan/Zakir Hussain: Is That So? (Abstract Logix) ** [B+(**)]
  248. Joe McPhee/Dave Rempis/Tomeka Reid/Brandon Lopez/Paal Nilssen-Love: Of Things Beyond Thule Vol. 1 (Aerophonic) ** [B+(**)]
  249. Joe McPhee/Dave Rempis/Tomeka Reid/Brandon Lopez/Paal Nilssen-Love: Of Things Beyond Thule Vol. 2 (Aerophonic) ** [B+(**)]
  250. Charles McPherson: Jazz Dance Suites (Chazz Mack Music) ** [B+(**)]
  251. Paulette McWilliams: A Woman's Story (Blujazz) [B+(*)]
  252. Joachim Mencel: Brooklyn Eye (Origin) [B+(*)]
  253. Merzbow/Mats Gustafsson/Balász Pándi: Cuts Open (RareNoise, 2CD) * [B+(*)]
  254. Pat Metheny: From This Place (Nonesuch) ** [B+(*)]
  255. Ron Miles: Rainbow Sign (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  256. Nicole Mitchell/Lisa E. Harris: Earthseed (FPE) ** [C-]
  257. Nicole Mitchell/Moor Mother: Offering: Live at Le Guess Who (Don Giovanni) ** [B]
  258. Roscoe Mitchell With Ostravska Banda: Performing Distant Radio Transmission Also Nonaah Trio, Cutouts for Woodwind Quintet and 8.8.88 (Wide Hive) [B+(*)]
  259. Ted Moore Trio: The Natural Order of Things (Origin) [B+(**)]
  260. Ikue Mori/Satoko Fujii/Natsuki Tamura: Prickly Pear Cactus (Libra) [B+(**)]
  261. Todd Mosby: Aerial Views (MMG) [B]
  262. Benjamin Moussay: Promontoire (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  263. Tobin Mueller: What Survives: Radio Edits (Artsforge) [B+(*)]
  264. Noshir Mody: An Idealist's Handbook: Identity, Love and Hope in America 2020 (self-released) [B]
  265. Rachel Musson: Shifa: Live in Oslo (577) ** [B+(**)]
  266. Rachel Musson: I Went This Way (577) ** [B+(**)]
  267. Simon Nabatov: Time Labyrinth (Leo) ** [B]
  268. Simon Nabatov: Plain (Clean Feed) ** [B+(*)]
  269. Quinsin Nachoff: Pivotal Arc (Whirlwind) [B+(*)]
  270. Tatsuya Nakatani/Shane Parish: Interactivity (Cuneiform) ** [B+(**)]
  271. Tatsuya Nakatani/Shane Parish/Zach Rowden: Live at Static Age Records (Astral Spirits) ** [B+(*)]
  272. Aquiles Navarro & Tcheser Holmes: Heritage of the Invisible II (Internatioal Anthem) ** [B+(**)]
  273. The Necks: Three (Northern Spy) ** [B+(**)]
  274. Josh Nelson Trio: The Discovery Project: Live in Japan (Steel Bird) [B+(**)]
  275. Never Weather: Blissonance (Ridgeway) [B+(*)]
  276. Farnell Newton: Rippin' & Rumblin' (Posi-Tone) ** [B+(**)]
  277. Adam Niewood: Blue as a Whistle (SteepleChase) ** [B+(**)]
  278. Carlos Niño & Miguel Atwood-Ferguson: Chicago Waves (International Anthem) ** [B+(*)]
  279. Eva Novoa: Satellite Quartet (Fresh Sound New Talent) ** [B+(*)]
  280. Agnes Obel: Myopia (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  281. Arturo O'Farrill/The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra: Four Questions (Zoho) [B]
  282. Shunzo Ohno: Runner (Pulsebeats) [B]
  283. Michael Olatuja: Lagos Pepper Soup (Whirlwind) ** [B+(*)]
  284. Douglas Olsen: 2 Cents (self-released) [B+(**)]
  285. The Michael O'Neill Quartet: And Then It Rained (Jazzmo) ** [B+(**)]
  286. Raphaël Pannier Quartet: Faune (French Paradox) [B+(**)]
  287. Jeff Parker: Suite for Max Brown (International Anthem) ** [B+(**)]
  288. Bruno Parrinha/Abdul Moimeme/Carlos Santos: A Silent Play in the Shadow of Power (Creative Sources) ** [B-]
  289. Aaron Parks: Little Big II: Dreams of a Mechanical Man (Ropeadope) ** [B+(**)]
  290. Jonah Parzen-Johnson: Imagine Growing Up (We Jazz) ** [B+(**)]
  291. Vanderlei Pereira and Blindfold Test: Vision for Rhythm (Jazzheads) [B+(*)]
  292. Ivo Perelman & Arcado String Trio: Deep Resonance (Fundacja Sluchaj) ** [B+(**)]
  293. Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp: Amalgam (Mahakala Music) ** [B+(**)]
  294. Charles Pillow Ensemble: Chamber Jazz (Summit) ** [B]
  295. Mikkel Ploug: Balcony Lullabies (Stunt) ** [B+(*)]
  296. Chris Poland: Resistance (Ropeadope) [B+(*)]
  297. Valery Ponomarev Big Band: Live! Our Father Who Art Blakey: The Centennial (Summit) [B]
  298. Gregory Porter: All Rise (Blue Note) ** [B+(*)]
  299. Tineke Postma: Freya (Edition) ** [B+(**)]
  300. Noah Preminger: Contemptment (SteepleChase) ** [B+(**)]
  301. Bobby Previte/Jamie Saft/Nels Cline: Music From the Early 21st Century (RareNoise) ** [B+(*)]
  302. Dafnis Prieto Sextet: Transparency (Dafnison Music) ** [B+(**)]
  303. Jure Pukl: Broken Circles (Whirlwind) ** [B+(**)]
  304. Purna Loka Ensemble: Metaraga (Origin) [B+(**)]
  305. Abbey Rader/John McMinn: Duo From the Heart (Abray) ** [B+(**)]
  306. Tom Rainey/Ingrid Laubrock: Stir Crazy (self-released) ** [B+(**)]
  307. Eric Reed: For a Time Such as This (Smoke Sessions) ** [B+(*)]
  308. Dave Rempis/Terrie Ex/Tim Daisy: Sugar Shack (Aerophonic) ** [B+(**)]
  309. Dave Rempis/Elisabeth Harnik/Michael Zerang: Triple Tube (Not Two) ** [B+(**)]
  310. Dave Rempis/Jim Baker/Ingebright Håker Flaten/Avreeayl Ra: Millenniums (Aerophonic) ** [B+(*)]
  311. Andrew Renfroe: Dark Grey EP (self-released, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  312. Gloria Reuben & Marty Ashby: For All We Know (MCG Jazz) [B+(**)]
  313. Reverso [Frank Woeste/Vincent Courtois/Ryan Keberle]: The Melodic Line (Out Note) [B+(*)]
  314. Steph Richards: Supersense (Northern Spy) ** [B+(**)]
  315. Jose Rizo's Mongorama: Mariposas Cantan (Saungu) [09-16] [B+(**)]
  316. RJ & the Assignment: Hybrid Harmony (self-released) [B]
  317. Jason Robinson & Eric Hofbauer: Two Hours Early, Ten Minutes Late: Duo Music of Ken Aldcroft (Accretions) [B+(**)]
  318. Jorge Roeder: El Suelo Mio (T-Town) ** [B+(*)]
  319. Christian Ronn/Aram Shelton: Multiring (Astral Spirits) ** [B+(**)]
  320. Dan Rosenboom: Absurd in the Anthropocene (Gearbox) ** [B+(**)]
  321. Dan Rosenboom: Points on an Infinite Line (Orenda) ** [B+(**)]
  322. Ben Rosenblum Nebula Project: Kites and Strings (One Trick Dog) [10-16] [B+(*)]
  323. Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio: Angels Around (Heartcore) ** [B+(**)]
  324. Joel Ross: Who Are You (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  325. Suzanna Ross: Is Bewitched* . . . *Not Bothered, Not Bewildered (self-released) [B]
  326. Scott Routenberg: Inside (Summit) [B]
  327. Andreas Røysum Ensemble: Andreas Røysum Ensemble (Motvind) ** [B+(**)]
  328. Shelly Rudolph: The Way We Love (OA2) [B]
  329. Chanda Rule + Sweet Emma Band: Hold On (Blujazz/PAO) [B+(**)]
  330. Charles Rumback: June Holiday (Astral Spirits) [B+(**)]
  331. Ray Russell: Fluid Architecture (Cuneiform) ** [B+(**)]
  332. Markus Rutz: Blueprints: Figure Two: New Designs (OA2) [B+(*)]
  333. Terje Rypdal: Conspiracy (ECM) ** [B+(*)]
  334. Samo Salamon/Igor Matkovic/Kristijan Krajncan: Rare Ebb (Sazas) [B+(**)]
  335. Felipe Salles Interconnections Ensemble: The New Immigrant Experience: Music Inspired by Conversations With Dreamers (Tapestry, 2CD) [B+(*)]
  336. Christian Sands: Be Water (Mack Avenue) ** [B+(**)]
  337. Scenes: Trapeze (Origin) [B+(**)]
  338. Maria Schneider: Data Lords (ArtistShare, 2CD) [B+(**)]
  339. Sara Schoenbeck/Wayne Horvitz: Cell Walk (Songlines) ** [B]
  340. Sara Serpa: Recognition (Biophilia) [B+(**)]
  341. SFJazz Collective: Live: SFJazz Center 2019: 50th Anniversary: Miles Davis In a Silent Way and Sly & the Family Stone Stand! (SFJazz) ** [B+(**)]
  342. Tim Shaghoian: Gentle Beacons (Origin) [B+(*)]
  343. Lawrence Sieberth Quartet: An Evening in Paris (Musik Blöc) [B+(**)]
  344. Øyvind Skarbø/Fredrik Ljungkvist/Kris Davis/Ole Morten Vågan: Inland Empire (Clean Feed) ** [B+(**)]
  345. Matthew Shipp: The Piano Equation (Tao Forms) ** [B+(**)]
  346. Lori Sims/Andrew Rathbun/Jeremy Siskind: Impressions of Debussy (Centaur) ** [B]
  347. Walter Smith III/Matthew Stevens/Micah Thomas/Linda May Han Oh/Nate Smith: In Common 2 (Whirlwind) ** [B+(*)]
  348. Corey Smythe: Accelerate Every Voice (Pyroclastic) [B-]
  349. Torben Snekkestad/Agustí Fernández/Barry Guy: The Swiftest Traveler (Trost) ** [B+(**)]
  350. Soft Machine: Live at the Baked Potato (Moonjune) [B+(*)]
  351. Dave Soldier: Zajal (Mulatta) [B+(*)]
  352. Somi With Frankfurt Radio Big Band: Holy Room: Live at Alte Oper (Salon Africana, 2CD) [B+(*)]
  353. South Florida Jazz Orchestra: Cheap Thrills: The Music of Rick Margitza (Summit) [B+(**)]
  354. The Bobby Spellman Nonet: Revenge of the Cool (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  355. Alister Spence: Whirlpool: Solo Piano (Alister Spence Music, 2CD) [B+(*)]
  356. Greg Spero + Spirit Fingers: Peace (Ropeadope) ** [B+(*)]
  357. Stephane Spira/Giovanni Mirabassi: Improkofiev (Jazzmax) [B+(**)]
  358. Kandace Springs: The Women Who Raised Me (Blue Note) ** [B]
  359. Leni Stern: 4 (LSR) ** [B-]
  360. Grant Stewart Quartet: Rise and Shine (Cellar Live) ** [B+(**)]
  361. Stillefelt: Stillefelt (Stoney Lane) ** [B+(*)]
  362. Tim Stine Trio: Fresh Demons (Astral Spirits) ** [B+(**)]
  363. Dave Stryker With Bob Mintzer and the WDR Big Band: Blue Soul (Strikezone) [B+(*)]
  364. Ray Suhy & Lewis Porter Quartet: Transcendent (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  365. Curt Sydnor: Deep End Shallow (Out of Your Head) [B-]
  366. Alexa Tarantino: Charity (Posi-Tone) ** [B+(*)]
  367. Sophie Tassignon: Mysteries Unfold (RareNoise) * [B+(*)]
  368. Henri Texier: Chance (Label Bleu) ** [B+(**)]
  369. Micah Thomas: Tide (self-released) ** [B+(**)]
  370. Throttle Elevator Music: Emergency Exit (Wide Hive) ** [B+(*)]
  371. The TNEK Jazz Quintet: Plays the Music of Sam Jones (TNEK Jazz) [B+(*)]
  372. Trio Linguale [Kevin Woods/John Stowell/Miles Black]: Signals (Origin) [B+(*)]
  373. Tropos: Axioms // 75 AB (Biophilia) ** [B+(*)]
  374. Andreas Tschopp Bubaran: Tumbuk (Enja/Yellowbird) ** [B]
  375. Oded Tzur: Here Be Dragons (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  376. Matt Ulery: Pollinator (Woolgathering) ** [B+(**)]
  377. The United States Air Force Band Airmen of Note: Air Power! (self-released) [B-]
  378. The United States Air Force Band: Jazz Heritage Series: 2019 Highlights (self-released) [B]
  379. Diego Urcola Quartet Featuring Paquito D'Rivera: El Duelo (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  380. Stein Urheim: Downhill Uplift (Hubro) ** [B]
  381. Gary Versace: All for Now (SteepleChase) ** [B+(**)]
  382. Luís Vicente: Maré (Cipsela) [B+(**)]
  383. Village of the Sun Feat. Binker & Moses: Village of the Sun/Ted (Gearbox, EP) ** [B]
  384. Lou Volpe: Before & After (Jazz Guitar) [B+(**)]
  385. Ulf Wakenius: Taste of Honey (ACT Music) ** [B]
  386. Wako: Wako (Øra Fonogram) ** [B+(*)]
  387. Anne Waldman: Sciamachy (Fast Speaking Music) ** [B+(**)]
  388. Jim Waller Big Band: Bucket List (self-released) [B+(*)]
  389. Bill Warfield and the Hell's Kitchen Funk Orchestra: Smile (Planet Arts/43 Street) [B]
  390. Marcin Wasilewski Trio/Joe Lovano: Arctic Riff (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  391. Bobby Watson: Keepin' It Real (Smoke Sessions) ** [B]
  392. The Trevor Watts Quartet: The Real Intention (Fundacja Sluchaj) ** [B+(**)]
  393. Webber/Morris Big Band: Both Are True (Greenleaf Music) ** [B+(**)]
  394. Amber Weekes: Pure Imagination (Amber Inn Productions) [B+(*)]
  395. Amber Weekes: The Gathering (Amber Inn Productions) [B]
  396. Ben Wendel: High Heart (Edition) ** [B]
  397. Kate Westbrook & the Granite Band: Earth Felt the Wound (Westbrook) ** [B+(*)]
  398. What Happens in a Year: Cérémonie/Musique (FiP) [B+(*)]
  399. Walter White: BB XL (Walter White Music) [B]
  400. Chip Wickham: Blue to Red (Lovemonk)** [B-]
  401. Immanuel Wilkins: Omega (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  402. Kamaal Williams: Wu Hen (Black Focus) ** [B+(*)]
  403. Dan Willis and Velvet Gentlemen: The Monk Project (Belle Avenue) [B]
  404. Larry Willis: I Fall in Love Too Easily (HighNote) ** [B+(**)]
  405. Matt Wilson Quartet: Hug! (Palmetto) [B+(**)]
  406. Michael Wolff: Bounce (Sunnyside) ** [B+(*)]
  407. Wood River: More Than I Can See (Enja/Yellowbird) ** [B]
  408. Nate Wooley: Seven Storey Mountain VI (Pyroclastic) [B+(*)]
  409. WorldService Project: Hiding in Plain Sight (RareNoise) * [C+]
  410. Miki Yamanaka: Human Dust Suite (Outside In Music) ** [B+(**)]
  411. Savina Yannatou & Joana Sá: Ways of Notseeing (Clean Feed) ** [B]
  412. Otomo Yoshihide/Chris Pitsiokos: Live in Florence (Astral Spirits) ** [B+(*)]
  413. Glenn Zaleski: The Question (Sunnyside) ** [B+(*)]
  414. Denny Zeitlin: Live at Mezzrow (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  415. Waclaw Zimpel: Massive Oscillations (Ongehoord) ** [B+(**)]

Additional reissued/archival jazz records rated B+(**) or below (listed alphabetically by artist).

  1. 16-17: Phantom Limb (1995-2018, Trost) ** [B]
  2. Rashied Ali Quintet: First Time Out: Live at Slugs 1967 (Survival) ** [B+(*)]
  3. Harry Beckett: Joy Unlimited (1974, Cadillac) ** [B+(**)]
  4. Blue Note Re:imagined 2020 (Blue Note) ** [B]
  5. Alan Braufman & Cooper-Moore: Live at WKCR May 22, 1972 (1972, Valley of Search, EP -19) ** [B+(**)]
  6. Vincent Chancey/Wilber Morris/Warren Smith: The Spell: The Vincent Chancey Trio Live 1987 (NoBusiness) * [B+(*)]
  7. Jay Clayton/Fritz Pauer/Ed Neumeister: 3 for the Road (2001-02, Meistero Music) ** [B+(**)]
  8. The Claire Daly Band: Rah! Rah! (2008, Ride Symbol) [B+(**)]
  9. DUX Orchestra: Duck Walks Dog (With Mixed Results) (1994, NoBusiness) * [B+(**)]
  10. Duke Ellington: Uppsala 1971 (Storyville -19) ** [B+(**)]
  11. Ella Fitzgerald: Ella: The Lost Berlin Tapes (Verve, 2CD) ** [B+(**)]
  12. Frode Gjerstad/William Parker/Hamid Drake: Minneapolis Vol 1 (2000, Circulasione Totale) ** [B+(*)]
  13. Frode Gjerstad/William Parker/Hamid Drake: Minneapolis Vol 2 (2000, Circulasione Totale) ** [B]
  14. Dennis González: Forever the Falling of Stars (1995, Daagnim) ** [B+(**)]
  15. Doug Hammond/David Durrah/Charles Burnham: Reflections in the Sea of Nurnen (1975, Tribe) ** [B]
  16. Joe Harriott Quintet: Jazz for Moderns (1962, Gearbox, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  17. Joe Harriott Quintet: Swings High (1967, Cadillac) ** [B+(**)]
  18. Noah Howard: Live in Europe Vol. 1 (1975, Sconsolato) ** [B+(**)]
  19. Bob James: Once Upon a Time: The Lost 1965 New York Studio Sessions (1965, Resonance) [B+(**)]
  20. Brent Jensen: The Sound of a Dry Martini: Remembering Paul Desmond (2002, Origin) [B+(**)]
  21. Etta Jones: A Soulful Sunday: Live at the Left Bank (1972, Cellar Live) ** [B-]
  22. London Jazz Composers Orchestra: That Time (1972-80, Not Two) ** [B+(*)]
  23. Nublu Orchestra Conducted by Butch Morris: Live in Sao Paulo (2008, Nublu) ** [B+(*)]
  24. Nublu Orchestra Conducted by Butch Morris: Live in Paris (2010, Nublu) ** [B+(**)]
  25. Charlie Parker: The Savoy 10-inch LP Collection (1944-48, Craft) ** [B+(**)]
  26. Evan Parker/Agustí Fernandez: Tempranillo (1995, Fundacja Sluchaj) ** [B+(**)]
  27. Sun Ra: Celestial Love (1982, Modern Harmonic) ** [B+(*)]
  28. Pharoah Sanders: Live in Paris 1975 (Transversales Disque) ** [B+(**)]
  29. Hideto Sasaki-Toshiyuki Sekine Quartet Plus 1: Stop Over (1976, BBE) ** [B+(**)]
  30. Bobby Shew/Bill Mays: Telepathy (1978, Fresh Sound -19) ** [B+(**)]
  31. Nina Simone: Fodder on My Wings (1982, Verve) ** [B+(**)]
  32. The John Tchicai Quartet: Live at the Stone (2007, Minus Zero) ** [B+(*)]
  33. TEST/Roy Campbell: TEST and Roy Campbell (1999, 577) ** [B+(**)]
  34. Triage: Live at the Velvet Lounge (2005, Aerophonic) ** [B+(**)]
  35. Lennie Tristano: The Duo Sessions (1968, Dot Time) ** [B+(**)]
  36. John Vanore: Primary Colors (1984-85, Acoustical Concepts) [B+(**)]

New jazz records I haven't heard estimated to have a 2% (or better) chance of making the A-list if/when I finally hear them:

  1. Broken Shadows [Chris Speed/Dave King/Reid Anderson/Tim Berne]: Live (Screwgun)
  2. Tim Daisy & Ken Vandermark: Consequent Duos: Series 2a (2011, System vs Artifacts)
  3. Decoy With Joe McPhee: AC/DC (Otoroku)
  4. Michael Formanek Quartet: Untamed . . . Pre-Apocalyptic (Out of Your Head)

Reissued jazz records I haven't heard estimated to have a 2% (or better) chance of making the A-list if/when I finally hear them:

  1. Tim Berne: 7 Adobe Probe (2009, Screwgun)
  2. George Coleman Quintet: In Baltimore (1971, Reel to Real)