Music Year 2018

Of course, it's too early for a year-end list. But as the proto-fascist organization of my youth insisted, one should always be prepared. For records in hand, * identifies an advance copy, ** something borrowed. Some albums released in previous years are included here, noted by a "-NN" (e.g., -17 for 2017) -- these are mostly imports or self-releases, often hard to figure out official dates, but they were unknown (to me, at least) before the current year.

I keep adding to the 2017 until the end of calendar 2018, especially where the record was known to exist in 2017 and I'm just getting around to it.

New Records

  1. The Ex: 27 Passports (Ex) **
  2. Bettye LaVette: Things Have Changed (Verve) **
  3. Shopping: The Official Body (FatCat) **
  4. Kevin Sun: Trio (Ectomorph Music)
  5. Janelle Monáe: Dirty Computer (Bad Boy) **
  6. Peter Kuhn Trio: Intention (FMR)
  7. Kira Kira: Bright Force (Libra)
  8. Amy Rigby: The Old Guys (Southern Domestic) **
  9. James Brandon Lewis/Chad Taylor: Radiant Imprints (OFF) **
  10. No Age: Snares Like a Haircut (Drag City) **
  11. Nik Bärtsch's Ronin: Awase (ECM) **
  12. Sons of Kemet: Your Queen Is a Reptile (Impulse!) **
  13. Parquet Courts: Wide Awake! (Rough Trade) **
  14. Willie Nelson: Last Man Standing (Legacy) **
  15. Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg: Dirt . . . and More Dirt (Pi)
  16. Benjamin Boone/Philip Levine: The Poetry of Jazz (Origin)
  17. Arild Andersen: In-House Science (ECM) **
  18. Jean Grae & Quelle Chris: Everything's Fine (Mello Music Group) **
  19. Dave Holland: Uncharted Territories (Dare2, 2CD) *
  20. Czarface/MF Doom: Czarface Meets Metal Face (Silver Age) **
  21. Adrean Farrugia/Joel Frahm: Blues Dharma (GB)
  22. Mary Gauthier: Rifles & Rosary Beads (In the Black) **
  23. Gregory Lewis: Organ Monk Blue (self-released)
  24. Kali Uchis: Isolation (Virgin EMI) **
  25. Daniel Carter/William Parker/Matthew Shipp: Seraphic Light (AUM Fidelity)
  26. Ceramic Dog: YRU Still Here? (Northern Spy) **
  27. Henry Threadgill: Double Up, Plays Double Up Plus (Pi)
  28. Kate Nash: Yesterday Was Forever (Girl Gang) **
  29. Laurie Anderson/Kronos Quartet: Landfall (Nonesuch) **
  30. John Prine: The Tree of Forgiveness (Oh Boy) **
  31. Confidence Man: Confident Music for Confident People (Heavenly) **
  32. Alexander Von Schlippenbach/Globe Unity Orchestra: Globe Unity - 50 Years (Intakt)
  33. Young Fathers: Cocoa Sugar (Ninja Tune) **
  34. Cardi B: Invasion of Privacy (Atlantic) **
  35. Ry Cooder: The Prodigal Son (Fantasy) **
  36. Hal Galper Quartet: Cubist (Origin)
  37. Evan Parker/Barry Guy/Paul Lytton: Music for David Mossman: Live at Vortex London (Intakt)
  38. Sly & Robbie Meet Nils Petter Molvaer Feat Eivind Aarset and Vladislav Delay: Nordub (Okeh) **
  39. Jeffrey Lewis: Works by Tuli Kupferberg (1923-2010) (Don Giovanni) **
  40. Kris Davis & Craig Taborn: Octopus (Pyroclastic)


Records in hand, but which haven't yet been graded.

  • Bill Anschell: Shifting Standards (Origin)
  • Tiffany Austin: Unbroken (Con Alma)
  • Andrea Brachfeld: If Not Now, When? (Jazzheads)
  • François Carrier/Michel Lambert/Rafal Mazur: Beyond Dimensions (FMR)
  • Dead Composers Club [Noah Preminger/Rob Garcia]: Chopin Project (Connection Works)
  • Detroit Bop Quintet: Two Birds (TQM)
  • Ron Di Salvio/Bart Plateau: The Puglia Suite (Blujazz)
  • Danny Green Trio Plus Strings: One Day It Will (OA2)
  • Phil Haynes & Free Country: 60/69: My Favorite Things (Corner Store Jazz, 2CD)
  • Amos Hoffman/Noam Lemish: Pardes (self-released)
  • Thomas Johansson: Home Alone (Tammt Z)
  • Ernie Krivda and Swing City: A Bright and Shining Moment (Capri)
  • Bongwool Lee: My Singing Fingers (Origin)
  • Ben Markley Quartet: Basic Economy (OA2)
  • Deanne Matley: Because I Loved (self-released)
  • Lello Molinari: Lello's Italian Job Volume 2 (Fata Morgana Music)
  • No Fast Food: Settings for Three (Corner Store Jazz)
  • Otherworld Ensemble: Live at Malmitalo (Edgetone)
  • William Parker: Voices Fall From the Sky (AUM Fidelity, 3CD)
  • J. Peter Schwalm: How We Fall (RareNoise) *
  • Joshua Trinidad: In November (RareNoise) *
  • The United States Air Force Band Airmen of Note: The Jazz Heritage Series 2018 Radio Broadcasts (self-released)
  • Woodwired: In the Loop (Uta)
  • WorldService Project: Serve (Rare Noise)

Also Noted:

Records in hand, graded B+ or below, in alphabetical order within grade slots:

  • Erlend Olderskog Albertsen: Rodssal Neen Glassdor (Dugnad Rec) **
  • MC Paul Barman: (((Echo Chamber))) (Mello Music Group) **
  • Nat Birchall: Cosmic Language (Jazzman) **
  • Dan Block: Block Party: A Saint Louis Connection (Miles High)
  • Jonas Cambien Trio: We Must Mustn't We (Clean Feed) **
  • Car Seat Headrest: Twin Fantasy (Matador) **
  • Brian Charette/George Coleman: Groovin' With Big G (SteepleChase) **
  • Sylvie Courvoisier Trio: D'Agala (Intakt)
  • CupcakKe: Ephorize (self-released) **
  • Tim Daisy's Fulcrum Ensemble: Animation (Relay) **
  • Dream Wife: Dream Wife (Lucky Number) **
  • Yelena Eckemoff: Desert (L&H Production)
  • Flatbush Zombies: Vacation in Hell (Glorious Dead) **
  • Danny Fox Trio: The Great Nostalgist (Hot Cup)
  • Sergio Galvao/Lupa Santiago/Clement Landais/Franck Enouf: 2X2 (Origin)
  • Brad Garton/Dave Soldier: The Brainwave Music Project (Mulatta)
  • Dave Gisler Trio: Rabbits on the Run (Intakt)
  • Benito Gonzalez/Gerry Gibbs/Essiet Okon Essiet: Passion Reverence Transcendence: The Music of McCoy Tyner (Whaling City Sound)
  • The Heavyweights Brass Band: This City (Lulaworld)
  • Eddie Henderson: Be Cool (Smoke Sessions) **
  • Hieroglyphic Being: The Red Notes (Soul Jazz) **
  • Jon Hopkins: Singularity (Domino) **
  • Mike Jones/Penn Jillette: The Show Before the Show: Live at the Penn & Teller Theater (Capri)
  • Kaze: Atody Man (Libra)
  • Peter Kuhn: Dependent Origination (FMR -17)
  • Daniel Levin/Chris Pitsiokos/Brandon Seabrook: Stomiidae (Dark Tree)
  • Johan Lindström Septett: Music for Empty Halls (Moserobie)
  • Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas: Sound Prints: Scandal (Greenleaf Music)
  • Igor Lumpert & Innertextures: Eleven (Clean Feed) **
  • MAST: Thelonious Sphere Monk (World Galaxy) **
  • Hailu Mergia: Lala Belu (Awesome Tapes From Africa) **
  • Patricia Nicholson/William Parker: Hope Cries for Justice (Centering)
  • Angelika Niescier Trio: The Berlin Concert (Intakt)
  • Orquesta Akokán (Daptone) **
  • Aruán Ortiz Trio: Live in Zürich (Intakt)
  • William Parker: Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics (Gotta Let It Out)
  • Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp: Oneness (Leo, 3CD)
  • Peripheral Vision: More Songs About Error and Shame (self-released)
  • Matt Piet & His Disorganization: Rummage Out (Clean Feed) **
  • Kristo Rodzevski: The Rabbit and the Fallen Sycamore (Much Prefer)
  • Rolo Tomassi: Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It (Holy Roar) **
  • Rent Romus' Life's Blood Ensemble: Rogue Star (Edgetone)
  • Jamie Saft: Solo a Genova (RareNoise) *
  • Samo Salamon/Howard Levy: Peaks of Light (Sazas)
  • Samo Salamon/Tony Malaby/Roberto Dani: Traveling Moving Breathing (Clean Feed)
  • Steve Slagle: Dedication (Panorama)
  • Gary Smulyan: Alternative Contrafacts (SteepleChase) **
  • Sonar With David Torn: Vortex (RareNoise) *
  • Edgar Steinitz: Roots Unknown (OA2)
  • Tal National: Tantabara (Fat Cat) **
  • Salim Washington: Dogon Revisited (Passin' Thru) **
  • Hĺvard Wiik Trio: This Is Not a Waltz (Moserobie)
  • Wreckless Eric: Construction Time & Demolition/b> (Southern Domestic) **
  • Wussy: What Heaven Is Like (Shake It) **
  • 3hattrio: Lord of the Desert (Okehdokee) **
  • Idris Ackamoor & the Pyramids: An Angel Fell (Strut) **
  • Anteloper: Kudu (International Anthem) **
  • Kenny Barron Quintet: Concentric Circles (Blue Note) **
  • Nick Biello: Vagabond Soul (Blujazz)
  • Martin Blume/Tobias Delius/Achim Kaufmann/Dieter Manderscheid: Frames & Terrains (NoBusiness) *
  • Greg Burk: The Detroit Songbook (SteepleChase) **
  • Chris Byars: New York City Jazz (SteepleChase) **
  • Cavern of Anti-Matter: Hormone Lemonade (Duophonic) **
  • Chloe x Halle: The Kids Are Alright (Parkwood/Columbia) **
  • J. Cole: KOD (Roc Nation) **
  • Caroline Davis: Heart Tonic (Sunnyside) **
  • Benoît Delbecq 4: Spots on Stripes (Clean Feed) **
  • District Five: Decoy (Intakt)
  • Dogwood: Hecate's Hounds (
  • Roberta Donnay & the Prohibition Mob Band: My Heart Belongs to Satchmo (Blujazz)
  • Fickle Friends: You Are Someone Else (Polydor) **
  • Bill Frisell: Music IS (Okeh) **
  • Satoko Fujii: Solo (Libra)
  • Satoko Fujii Orchestra Berlin: Ninety-Nine Years (Libra)
  • Ezra Furman: Transangelic Exodus (Bella Union) **
  • Frode Gjerstad Trio + Steve Swell: Bop Stop (Clean Feed) **
  • The Go! Team: Semi-Circle (Memphis Industries) **
  • Victor Gould: Earthlings (Criss Cross) **
  • Johan Graden: Olägenheter (Moserobie)
  • Justin Gray & Synthesis: New Horizons (self-released)
  • Gwenno: Le Kov (Heavenly) **
  • Jeff Hamilton Trio: Live From San Pedro (Capri)
  • The Heat Death: The Glenn Miller Sessions (Clean Feed, 3CD) **
  • Fred Hersch Trio: Live in Europe (Palmetto)
  • Jon Irabagon Quartet: Dr. Quixotic's Traveling Exotics (Irabbagast)
  • Ryan Keberle/Frank Woeste: Reverso: Suite Pavel (Phonoart)
  • Roger Kellaway Trio: New Jazz Standards Vol. 3 (Summit)
  • Rich Krueger: Life Ain't That Long (Rockink) **
  • Living Fossil: Never Die! (self-released)
  • Ashley McBryde: Girl Going Nowhere (Warner Nashville) **
  • Solon McDade: Murals (self-released)
  • Erin McDougald: Outside the Soirée (Miles High)
  • Kate McGarry/Keith Ganz/Gary Versace: The Subject Tonight Is Love (Binxtown)
  • Michael Morreale: MilesSong: The Music of Miles Davis (Summit, 2CD)
  • Van Morrison and Joey DeFrancesco: You're Driving Me Crazy (Legacy) **
  • Michael Moss/Accidental Orchestra: Helix (4th Stream)
  • David Murray feat. Saul Williams: Blues for Memo (Motéma) **
  • Adam Nussbaum: The Lead Belly Project (Sunnyside) **
  • Leslie Pintchik: You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl! (Pintch Hard)
  • Noah Preminger: Genuinity (Criss Cross) **
  • Margo Rey: The Roots of Rey/Despacito Margo (Origin)
  • The Rempis/Daisy Duo & Guests: Dodecahedron (Aerophonic, 2CD) **
  • Jay Rodriguez: Your Sound: Live at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola (Whaling City Sound)
  • Matthew Shipp Quartet: Sonic Fiction (ESP-Disk) **
  • Susana Santos Silva: All the Rivers: Live at Panteăo Nacional (Clean Feed) **
  • Jim Snidero & Jeremy Pelt: Jubilation! Celebrating Cannonball Adderley (Savant) *
  • Soccer Mommy: Clean (Fat Possum) **
  • Il Sogno: Birthday (Gotta Let It Out -17)
  • Spectral [Dave Rempis/Darren Johnston/Larry Ochs]: Empty Castles (Aerophonic) **
  • Spin Cycle [Scott Neumann/Tom Christensen]: Assorted Colors (Sound Footing)
  • Bobo Stenson Trio: Contra La Indecisión (ECM) **
  • Jon Rune Strřm Quintet: Fragments (Clean Feed) **
  • Superchunk: What a Time to Be Alive (Merge) **
  • Superorganism: Superorganism (Domino) **
  • John Surman: Invisible Threads (ECM) **
  • Thiefs: Graft (Le Greffe) (Jazz & People)
  • Tracey Thorn: Record (Merge) **
  • Steve Tyrell: A Song for You (New Design)
  • U.S. Girls: In a Poem Unlimited (4AD) **
  • Mike Vax & Ron Romm: Collaboration (Summit)
  • Mark Wade Trio: Moving Day (self-released)
  • Weird Beard [Florian Egli/Dave Gisler/Martina Berther/Rico Bauman]: Orientation (Intakt)
  • Alice Bag: Blueprint (Don Giovanni) **
  • Terence Blanchard: Live (Blue Note) **
  • Samuel Blaser With Marc Ducret/Peter Bruun: Taktlos Zurich 2017 (Hatology) **
  • The Breeders: All Nerve (4AD) **
  • Sarah Buechi: Contradiction of Happiness (Intakt)
  • Harley Card: The Greatest Invention (self-released)
  • Playboi Carti: Die Lit (AWGE/Interscope) **
  • Dan Cavanaugh/Dave Hagedorn: 20 Years (UT Arlington)
  • Chamber 3: Transatlantic (OA2)
  • Dawn Clement: Tandem (Origin)
  • The Nels Cline 4: Currents Constellations (Blue Note) **
  • Anat Cohen/Fred Hersch: Live in Healdsburg (Anzic) **
  • George Cotsirilos Quartet: Mostly in Blue (OA2)
  • Elysia Crampton (Break World, EP) **
  • Lucy Dacus: Historian (Matador) **
  • Robert Diack: Lost Villages (self-released)
  • Fred Farell: Distant Song (Whaling City Sound)
  • GoGo Penguin: A Humdrum Star (Blue Note) **
  • James Hall: Lattice (Outside In Music)
  • Mary Halvorson: Code Girl (Firehouse 12)
  • Gerry Hemingway/Samuel Blaser: Oostum (NoBusiness) *
  • Lauren Henderson: Ármame (Brontosaurus)
  • Monika Herzig: Sheroes (Whaling City Sound)
  • Tyler Higgins: Blue Mood (Shhpuma) **
  • Steve Hobbs: Tribute to Bobby (Challenge)
  • Hookworms: Microshift (Domino) **
  • Hop Along: Bark Your Head Off, Dog (Saddle Creek) **
  • Hayley Kiyoko: Expectations (Empire/Atlantic) **
  • Femi Kuti: One People One World (Knitting Factory) **
  • Jinx Lennon: Grow a Pair!!! (Septic Tiger) **
  • Dave Liebman/Tatsuya Nakatani/Adam Rudolph: The Unknowable (RareNoise) *
  • Dave Liebman/John Stowell: Petite Fleur: The Music of Sidney Bechet (Origin)
  • The Doug MacDonald Quintet/The Roger Neumann Quintet: Two Quintets: Live Upstairs at Vitello's (Blujazz, 2CD)
  • The Maguire Twins: Seeking Higher Ground (Three Tree)
  • Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks: Sparkle Hard (Matador) **
  • Rae Morris: Someone Out There (Atlantic) **
  • Mount Eerie: Now Only (PW Elverum & Sun) **
  • Meshell Ndegeocello: Ventriloquism (Naďve) **
  • Danielle Nicole: Cry No More (Concord) **
  • Lucas Niggli: Alchemia Garden (Intakt)
  • Meg Okura/Sam Newsome/Jean-Michel Pilc: NPO Trio Live at the Stone (Chant) **
  • Meg Okura & the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble: Ima Ima (Chant) **
  • Roberta Piket: West Coast Trio (13th Note)
  • Chris Platt Trio: Sky Glow (self-released)
  • Princess Nokia: A Girl Cried Red (Rough Trade, EP) **
  • Charlie Puth: Voicenotes (Atlantic) **
  • Steve Reich: Pulse/Quartet (Nonesuch) **
  • Rival Consoles: Persona (Erased Tapes) **
  • Cecilia Sanchietti: La Verza Via (Blujazz)
  • Sara Serpa: Close Up (Clean Feed)
  • Shakers n' Bakers: Heart Love: Plays the Music of Albert Ayler and Mary Maria Parks (Little i Music)
  • Andy Sheppard Quartet: Romaria (ECM)
  • Matthew Shipp: Zero (ESP-Disk) **
  • Sarah Shook & the Disarmers: Years (Bloodshot) **
  • Edward Simon: Sorrows & Triumphs (Sunnyside)
  • Hans Teuber & Jeff Johnson: Deuce (Origin)
  • As Is Featuring Alan & Stacey Schulman: Here's to Life (self-released)
  • Jeff Baker: Phrases (OA2)
  • Heather Bennett: Lazy Afternoon (Summit)
  • Black Foxxes: Reiđi (Spinefarm) **
  • Jakob Bro: Returnings (ECM) **
  • Owen Broder: Heritage: The American Roots Project (ArtistShare)
  • David Byrne: American Utopia (Nonesuch) **
  • Chris Dave and the Drumhedz (Blue Note) **
  • DJ Koze: Knock Knock (Pampa) **
  • Electric Squeezebox Orchestra: The Falling Dream (OA2)
  • Bill Hart Band: Live at Red Clay Theatre (Blujazz)
  • Hot Snakes: Jericho Sirens (Sub Pop) **
  • Julian Lage: Modern Lore (Mack Avenue) **
  • Todd Marcus: On These Streets (A Baltimore Story) (Stricker Street)
  • Nick Millevoi's Desertion Trio With Jamie Saft: Midtown Tilt (Shhpuma) **
  • MJO Brothers Present: Hip Devotions (Blujazz -17)
  • Diane Moser: Birdsongs (Planet Arts)
  • Kacey Musgraves: Golden Hour (MCA Nashville) **
  • Juan Andrés Ospina Big Band: Tramontana (self-released)
  • Bobby Previte: Rhapsody (RareNoise) *
  • Reggie Quinerly: Words to Love (Redefinition Music)
  • Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra: Without a Trace (Origin)
  • Dolores Scozzesi: Here Comes the Sun (Café Pacific)
  • Tune-Yards: I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life (4AD) **
  • Marije Van Dijk: The Stereography Project Feat. Jeff Taylor and Katell Keinig (Hert/Membran)
  • Vin Venezia: Fifth and Adams (Blujazz)
  • Frank Wagner's Floating Holiday (MEII)
  • Dan Weiss: Starebaby (Pi)
  • The Xcerts: Hold on to Your Heart (Raygun) **
  • Darryl Yokley's Sound Reformation: Pictures at an African Exhibition (Truth Revolution) **
  • Berry: Everything, Compromised (Joyful Noise) **
  • Brandi Carlile: By the Way, I Forgive You (Low Country Sound/Elektra) **
  • Ashley Monroe: Sparrow (Warner Nashville) **
  • Nuance Crusaders: Reflections (Blujazz -17)
  • Dan Pugach Nonet: Plus One (Unit)
  • Rob Schwimmer: Heart of Hearing (Sunken Heights Music)
  • Dr. Lonnie Smith: All in My Mind (Blue Note) **
  • Michael Waldrop: Origin Suite (Origin)
  • The Ed Palermo Big Band: The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren (Cuneiform) *

Reissues/Compilations/Vault Music:

In previous years I tried to separate reissues from compilations, including newly released vault items in the latter. This made sense when I was reviewing a lot of Recycled Goods material, but led to other problems with year-end lists, so as of 2013 anything containing any previously released material is collected here, and anything that is wholly previously unreleased is treated as new, above.

  1. Sonny Rollins: Way Out West [Deluxe Edition] (1957, Craft) **
  2. Martin Küchen & Landaeus Trio: Vinyl (2013-14, Moserobie)
  3. Anthony Braxton: Quartet (Willisau) 1991 Studio (Hatology, 2CD) **
  4. Miles Davis & John Coltrane: The Final Tour [The Bootleg Series Vol. 6] (1960, Columbia/Legacy, 4CD) **
  5. Liz Phair: Girly-Sound to Guyville (1991-93, Matador, 3CD) **
  6. Neil Young: Roxy: Tonight's the Night Live (1973, Reprise) **


  • The United States Air Force Band Airmen of Note: Best of the Jazz Heritage Series Volume 1 (self-released)

Also Noted:

  • Black Panther: The Album (Music From and Inspired By) (Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope) **
  • Liz Phair: The Girly-Sound Tapes (1991, Matador) **
  • Barre Phillips/Motoharu Yoshizawa: Oh My, Those Boys! (1994, NoBusiness)
  • Otis Redding: Dock of the Bay Sessions (1967, Rhino) **
  • Kang Tae Hwan: Live at Café Amores (1995, NoBusiness)
  • Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette: After the Fall (1998, ECM, 2CD) **
  • Bill Warfield Big Band: For Lew (1990-2014, Planet Arts)
  • Louis Armstrong: Pops Is Tops: The Complete Verve Studio Albums and More (1957, Verve, 4CD) **
  • Kenny Burrell: A Generation Ago Today (1966-67, Verve) **
  • Eliane Elias: Music From Man of La Mancha (1995, Concord) **
  • Wynton Marsalis Septet: United We Swing: Best of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Galas (2003-07, Blue Engine)
  • We Out Here (Brownswood) **
  • Derek Bailey & Company: Klinker (2000, Confront, 2CD) **


I don't review DVDs. I don't watch DVDs. I don't record them in my database -- well, almost never, anyhow. Part of this is that I don't have the time, the eyes, or at the moment even the equipment. I never request DVDs. Still, some publicists insist on sending them anyway. Here's a list. They're all pending, and will probably remain that way until hell freezes over.


I always come up empty for song lists at year-end poll time. So I thought I'd start here.