The Best Jazz Albums of 2021

Initial draft collected on Nov. 7, 2021. The file will be updated as additional worthy records are found (although updating may lag behind the official 2021 list). Last year's list was never frozen (OK, let's say it was frozen on Nov. 7, 2021). There also exists a parallel list of The Best Non-Jazz of 2021.

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-.

Also, several A-list albums that I had initially slotted as Non-Jazz have their entries duplicated here, to help illustrate my argument that the boundaries between Jazz and Non-Jazz are becoming increasingly blurry. Those records are noted below, and are generally given somewhat lower ranking here, so as not to muck up separately published rank lists (like my Jazz Critics Poll ballot.

[*] 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 2020 (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, 2020, or were so little known that they received no mention in the 2020 metacritic file. These are marked, e.g., -20, after the label.

New Music

1. East Axis [Matthew Shipp/Allen Lowe/Gerald Cleaver/Kevin Ray]: Cool With That (ESP-Disk)
Piano, alto sax, drums, bass. Joint improv, artist order some approximation of fame, though Lowe is the commanding presence here. Cleaver defines "free jazz" as "many contexts and frames of reference held at once." You feel them in the space these artists maneuver through so deftly.

2. Sons of Kemet: Black to the Future (Impulse!)
British jazz group, led by saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, fourth album, second on major label, first was a major crossover success, and this currently ranks 6th at AOTY with an 87 over 23 reviews -- compare to Vijay Iyer with 6 reviews for a measure of how much attention they've garnered. With Theon Cross on tuba and two percussionists, they put out a lot of rhythm, without simplifying. Nor is it the guest rappers and singers they showcase, although their words have serious impact. Starts with George Floyd, and threatens to burn, before they sweep you away. **

3. James Brandon Lewis Red Lily Quintet: Jesup Wagon (Tao Forms)
Tenor saxophonist, always impressive, means to pay homage to George Washington Carver (1864-1943), but see the booklet for that. A blindfold test puts him closer to David S. Ware, aside for the change-of-pace closer ("Chemurgy"), my favorite piece here. With Kirk Knuffke (cornet), Chris Hoffman (cello), William Parker (bass/gibri), and Chad Taylor (drums/mbira).

4. Steve Coleman and Five Elements: Live at the Village Vanguard Volume II (MDW NTR) (Pi)
Alto saxophonist, has recorded over 20 albums under this group name since 1986. Current lineup: Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet), Kokayi (vocals, mostly rap), Anthony Tidd (bass), Sean Rickman (drums). The group has always worked a funk-fusion vein, but they've rarely integrated hip-hop this well. Plus long stretches without vocals. Coleman has rarely played so powerfully.

5. Dave Rempis/Tomeka Reid/Joshua Abrams/Tim Daisy/Tyler Damon: The Covid Tapes: Solos, Duos, & Trios (Aerophonic, 2CD)
Chicago avant-saxophonist, alto/tenor/baritone, like most musicians spent last summer holed up, which gave him time to release a trove of old tapes -- 15 digital albums one per week from May through August -- but he also recorded some new music: solos at Unity Lutheran Church, plus a few duos (with drummers Daisy and Damon) and trios (with Reid/Abrams and Abrams/Damon). Choice selections here, including some fine takes on standards.

6. Anthony Braxton: Quartet (Standards) 2020 (New Braxton House, 13CD)
European tour, the alto saxophonist picked up a rhythm section in Britain: Alexander Hawkins (piano), Neil Charles (bass), and Stephen Davis (drums). With 67 tracks, median close to 10 minutes, way too much for anyone to work through, especially streaming, but Braxton's previous forays into standards -- especially the 2003 Quartet, which filled up two 4-CD boxes -- have often been brilliant. I've been sampling this between other records, rarely for more than an hour at a time. It's not brilliant, at least not in the sense that his Parker, Monk, and Tristano sets were, but it's engaging and often quite delightful. **

7. François Carrier: Glow (FMR)
Canadian alto saxophonist, many excellent records since 2000 as he's found his unique sound and niche in free jazz. This was recorded in Spain with two guitarists, Pablo Schvarman and Diego Caicedo, plus his regular drummer, Michel Lambert. Can't say much for the guitarists here, but doesn't matter the way Carrier is playing.

8. Barry Altschul's 3Dom Factor: Long Tall Sunshine (Not Two)
Drummer-led free jazz trio, Altschul played on several major albums in the 1970s, never really went away but rarely appeared as leader until he put this group -- with Jon Irabagon (saxes) and Joe Fonda (bass) -- together in 2013. (Irabagon had sought him out for an album in 2010, Foxy, and Fonda was in his FAB Trio with Billy Bang.) Irabagon has been erratic lately, but in the right company he still has tremendous chops -- and this is that, as they show even when he lays out. **

9. Wadada Leo Smith: Sacred Ceremonies (TUM, 3CD)
When I first saw these 3-CD sets, I thought compilations, but improvisers just create something new. One disc here is a trio with Bill Laswell (electric bass) and Milford Graves (drums). The other two are duos. The box is dedicated to Graves, who died last year, but his duo disc is the highlight, one of the best things he ever did. Laswell's duo is less interesting: he's a guy who works with an extraordinary range of people, and never overshadows them. The booklet, superb as usual, is especially good for its bios of Laswell and Graves.

10. Rodrigo Amado This Is Our Language Quartet: Let the Free Be Men (Trost)
Portuguese tenor saxophonist, group name refers not to Ornette Coleman but to a This Is Our Language recorded by this same quartet in 2012: Joe McPhee (pocket trumpet/alto sax), Kent Kessler (bass), and Chris Corsano (drums). Joint credits, vigorous if a little on the rough side.

11. Jaimie Branch: Fly or Die Live (International Anthem)
Trumpet player, based in Chicago, has two Fly or Die albums (2017, 2019), a side project called Anteloper. She recorded this one in Switzerland, January 2020, with cello (Lester St. Louis), bass (Jason Ajemian), and drums (Chad Taylor), all credited with vocals (mostly on the "anti-Tr*mp" "Prayer for Amerikkka," sung by Ben Lamar Gay in 2019). Has crossover reach like 1970s Miles Davis, replacing the fusion with even more intense and complex rhythm. **

12. Miguel Zenón/Ariel Bringuez/Demian Cabaud/Jordi Rossy: Law Years: The Music of Ornette Coleman (Miel Music)
Alto saxophonist, one of the major players of his generation, has spent most of the last decade cultivating his Puerto Rican roots, looks another direction here, for this live set from the Birds Eye Jazz Club in Basel, Switzerland. The others, from various points in Latin America, play tenor sax, bass, and drums, on seven Ornette Coleman compositions. The tunes are as radical ever, and played with aplomb. But for some reason I'm not nearly as blown away as I was on first hearing The Shape of Jazz to Come. **

13. Ivo Perelman Trio: Garden of Jewels (Tao Forms)
Tenor saxophonist, with longtime collaborators Matthew Shipp (piano) and Whit Dickey (drums). One of their more impressive outings.

14. Aki Takase/Christian Weber/Michael Griener: Auge (Intakt)
German piano-bass-drums trio, the pianist moving from Tokyo to Berlin in 1987. Explosive. **

15. Anthony Joseph: The Rich Are Only Defeated When Running for Their Lives (Heavenly Sweetness)
Poet, novelist (The African Origins of UFOs, Kitch: A Fictional Biography of a Calypso Icon), singer-songwriter, born in Trinidad in 1966, moved to UK in 1989, eighth album since 2007. Six pieces stretch out, the pointed poems have much to say ("how long do you have to live in a place before you can call it home?"), and the band, which starts jazzy but swings and powers up like Mingus, needs room to breathe. Credits list four saxophonists. Together they're formidable, but the monster solos I'd guess to be the work of Shabaka Hutchings. ** [Also in Non-Jazz.]

16. Irène Schweizer/Hamid Drake: Celebration (Intakt)
Swiss pianist, will turn 80 this year, ranks as one of the all-time greats, her specialty duos with drummers. This is something less than her duos with Han Bennink or Pierre Favre, but is still very impressive. **

17. Magnet Animals: Fake Dudes (RareNoise)
Guitarist Todd Clouser, originally from Minneapolis, based in Mexico City, also sings and talks, second album for this group -- Eyal Maoz (guitar), Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz (bass), Jorge Servin (drums) -- also has another trio, A Love Electric, and other projects back to 2006. Not sure about the lyrics, but the guitar improvs stagger, even if they lean to the rock side of fusion. *

18. José Lencastre Nau Quartet + Pedro Carneiro: Thoughts Are Things (Phonogram Unit)
Portuguese saxophonist (tenor and alto), fourth album with this group -- two-thirds of RED Trio (Rodrigo Pinheiro on piano and Hernâni Faustino on bass) plus his brother João (drums). Guest Carneiro plays marimba, neither here nor there, but the saxophone is superb, even when he slows it down.

19. Irreversible Entanglements: Open the Gates (International Anthem)
Third album, avant-jazz group with two horns -- Keir Neuringer (sax) and Aquiles Navarro (trumpet) -- bass and drums, plus a vocalist, Camae Ayewa (who also does hip-hop as Moor Mother). Often strong politically, not that the music could go some other direction. **

20. Maria Muldaur With Tuba Skinny: Let's Get Happy Together (Stony Plain)
Trad jazz band from New Orleans, Todd Burdick plays the tuba, but Shaye Cohn (cornet) usually gets first mention, backed by trombone, banjo, clarinet, two guitars, and washboard. They have close to a dozen albums since 2009, usually with Erika Lewis singing. Muldaur, who started in Jim Kweskin's Jug Band, is perfectly at home here. ** [Also in Non-Jazz.]

21. Michael and Peter Formanek: Dyads (Out of Your Head)
Famous bassist and his less known son, playing tenor sax and clarinet, probably his first album. Something more than a nice duo album, the bass solos could stand on their own, but the extra color and shading extends interest, in this case all the way to 72:36.

22. Silke Eberhard Trio: Being the Up and Down (Intakt)
German alto saxophonist, also plays bass clarinet, leads the larger group Potsa Lotsa, trio with Jan Roder (bass) and Kay Lübke (drums), whose names also appear on the cover. **

23. Tyshawn Sorey/King Britt: Tyshawn & King (The Buddy System)
Latter's full name is King James Britt, probably best known as the DJ in the 1990s jazzy hip-hop band Digable Planets, although he has quite a bit under his own name (or aliases like Fhloston Paradigm) since 1998. He knows his way around beats, but I doubt he's ever worked with a drummer with Sorey's chops before. Loses a bit when the drummer checks out, but by they you're hooked. **

24. Flow Trio With Joe McPhee: Winter Garden (ESP-Disk)
Tenor/soprano saxophonist Louie Belogenis, released an album in 2007 called The Flow, leading to several Flow Trio albums, with Joe Morris (bass) and Charles Downs (drums). This adds a second tenor sax, an old master making the rounds. Morris is better known as a guitarist, but plays some exceptional bass here.

25. Lean Left: Medemer (PNL -20)
Group formed in 2008 as The Ex Guitars Meet Nilssen-Love/Vandermark Duo, and they've met up regularly since then -- this is their sixth album. The former are Terrie Hessels and Andy Moor, guitarists in the Dutch post-punk group The Ex. The latter, Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love (from The Thing) and Chicago saxophonist Ken Vandermark, recorded their first duo album in 2002 (Dual Pleasure), with many more since. I haven't heard much by Vandermark over the last few years. (He's been as prolific as ever, but his Catalytic Sound Bandcamp only offers bits of albums.) But he sounds great here, pushed on by the guitar ferment, and a terrific drummer. **

26. Whit Dickey/William Parker/Matthew Shipp: Village Mothership (Tao Forms)
Drums-bass-piano trio, joint song credits so auteurs listed alphabetically, though it may help that the drummer has raised his profile significantly over the last couple years (also that this is his label). Shipp honors him with some of his most percussive playing.

27. [Ahmed]: Nights on Saturn (Communication) (Astral Spirits)
Tribute to bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik (1927-93), born Jonathan Tim Jr. in Brooklyn, recorded some of the first American jazz albums to look to Africa and the Middle East, starting with Jazz Sahara in 1958. British quartet: Pat Thomas (piano), Joel Grip (bass), Antonin Gerbal (drums), Seymour Wright (alto sax). One 41:47 piece, taken from a 1961 album, plus an 8:25 "sample" (the bit you can hear on Bandcamp). Much edgier than the original, which captures the spirit. **

28. Body Meπa: The Work Is Slow (Hausu Mountain -20)
No vocals, two guitars (Grey McMurray and Sasha Frere-Jones), bass (Melvin Gibbs), drums (Greg Fox) -- note famous rock critic in the mix (although SFJ has voted, very idiosyncratically, in the Jazz Critics Poll). Bandcamp tags suggest they think of this as rock-not-jazz, but after shopping around I filed it under jazz anyway (tagged "ambient fusion"): instrumental, some improv, suggests free even if not committed, I can think of a dozen-plus similar jazz guitar vibes -- mostly more adventurous and/or harsher/noisier, but that doesn't necessarily mean more coherent or listenable, even if the jazz-phobic don't make the connection. **

29. William Parker: Painters Winter (AUM Fidelity)
Title a reference back to the bassist's 2000 album Painter's Spring, reconvening the same trio: Daniel Carter (trumpet, alto/tenor sax, clarinet, flute) and Hamid Drake (drums). Carter pokes around the edges, rarely taking charge, which is fine given how strong the bass lines are. **

30. Rich Halley/Dan Clucas/Clyde Reed/Carson Halley: Boomslang (Pine Eagle)
Tenor saxophonist, has been on a tear since he retired from his day job more than a decade ago. Recent records have been elevated by Matthew Shipp, so this one starts a little uncertain, but the cornet player (Clucas) opens things up with a blistering solo, and by midway Halley has found his wind. One of the major tenor saxophonists of our time.

31. Ron Carter/Jack DeJohnette/Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Skyline 5 Passion)
Cuban pianist, based in Florida, close to 40 albums since 1985, with bassist and drummer needing no introduction. Billing order could be alphabetical or seniority or just how the name lengths fit on the cover, but it helps to focus on Carter's bass first, before the pianist explodes. Wish he did it more often, but not for lack of appreciation for the rest of his kit. **

32. James Brandon Lewis Quartet: Code of Being (Intakt)
Tenor saxophonist, one of the giants of his generation, backed by Aruán Ortiz (piano), Brad Jones (bass), and Chad Taylor (drums). Something less than his usual tour de force, but softer touches are appealing as well, heightened perhaps by the always present tension. **

33. Frode Gjerstad/Isach Skeidsvoll: Twenty Fingers (Relative Pitch)
Norwegian saxophonist (alto and clarinet here), many albums since Detail in 1983, duets with piano. Skeidsvoll has a record in the group Bear Brother, but this is his first slugline. Not fancy, just heavy chords with some abstract tinkling, but it really sets the saxophonist off. A tour de force. **

34. Wadada Leo Smith's Great Lakes Quartet: The Chicago Symphonies (TUM, 4CD)
Trumpet, with Henry Threadgill (alto sax/flute), John Lindberg (bass), and Jack DeJohnette (drums) -- for the first three discs, recorded in 2015, replacing Threadgill with Jonathan Haffner on the 2018 fourth disc. The suites aren't terribly long (36:38-39:48 for the first three, 49:13 for the last), and I have reservations about the third, but they feel more improvised than Smith's recent major productions, and with this group that's a plus.

35. Adam O'Farrill: Visions of Your Other (Biophilia)
Trumpet player, son of Arturo, sidework mostly on the avant side of NYC postbop, second album, pianoless quartet with Xavier Del Castillo on tenor sax, Walter Stinson on bass, and brother Zack O'Farrill on drums. Impressive work all around. **

36. Jaubi: Nafs at Peace (Astigmatic)
Pakistani instrumental quartet, exploring "eastern mysticism and the spiritual self [Nafs]." Starts calmly, not unlike Orüj Güvenç's Ocean of Remembrance, but doesn't stay in that groove as they move from Lahore to Oslo and pick up a couple of ringers, notably on towering saxophone. ** [Also in Non-Jazz.]

37. Ruth Weiss: We Are Sparks in the Universe to Our Own Fire (Edgetone)
Beat poet, born 1928 in Berlin, died 2020. She grew up in Vienna, managed to keep one step ahead of the Nazis, moving to Amsterdam in 1938, then to America, eventually San Francisco. She has some twenty books of poetry since 1958, and several jazz albums. Fairly minimal backing, with synth, bass, wooden log, and tasty squibbles of Rent Romus sax and flute -- puts this record over the top. By the way, Romus credits George Russell with introducing him to Weiss (in 2013). [Also in Non-Jazz.]

38. William Parker/Patricia Nicholson: No Joke! (ESP-Disk)
Bassist, very prolific, already has several of the year's best albums, with his wife adding spoken word over the brash free jazz, smacks a bit of preaching to the choir but nothing you shouldn't hear. Band includes saxophonists James Brandon Lewis and Devin Brahja Waldman, with Melanie Dyer's viola prominent on three cuts.

39. Henry Threadgill Zooid: Poof (Pi)
Alto saxophonist, also plays flute (more than I'd like), founded the group Air in the late 1970s, has produced a steady stream of albums since, including some of the best of the last decade. Group is an exquisitely balanced quintet, with Jose Davila (tuba/trombone), Liberty Ellman (guitar), Christopher Hoffman (cello), and Elliot Humberto Kavee (drums). I sampled a cut of two when this came out, and wasn't blown away, but it all seems to work out in the end.

40. Burnt Sugar/The Arkestra Chamber: Angels Over Oakanda (Avantgroidd)
Ace critic Greg Tate's jazz project, co-led by bassist Jared Michael Nickerson, 20 years and about that many records into their own long, strange trip. Conducted improv, starts evoking 1970s Miles, adds a bit of mythopoetic vocal chorus, then settles into seductive groove. **

41. Ayanda Sikade: Umakhulu (Afrosynth)
South African drummer, second album, credit info hard to come by, but looks like: Nduduzo Makhathini (piano), Simon Manana (alto sax), Nhlanhla Radebe (bass). Early on barely hints at township jazz heritage, but as the album develops, first the piano then the sax come into focus. Manana is described as "young," but he impresses like Dudu Pukwana. **

42. Kevin Sun: <3 Bird (Endectomorph Music)
Tenor saxophonist, plays clarinet on one piece, fifth album since 2018 (including one as Mute), all aces. "The implications of Charlie Parker's art are fathomless." (Is that somehow different from unfathomable?) The thing that most impressed me about Sun's debut was the depth of his understanding of saxophone history and lore, so I suppose it's not surprising that he would want to work his way through Parker's legacy. Mostly originals here, with two Parker pieces plus "Salt Peanuts" (Dizzy Gillespie/Kenny Clarke), so he seems to be signing Parker up for his own purposes. [By the way, title is sometimes transcribed as ♡ Bird, but with the heart on its side.]

43. Roseanna Vitro: Sing a Song of Bird (Skyline)
Jazz singer, from Arkansas, moved to New York in 1978, 15 albums, the best are tributes but this is unique. She only sings on 6 (of 12) songs, but is key to the networking that makes the record work. Three more singers share cover credit: Bob Dorough, Sheila Jordan, and Marion Cowings. Dorough's songs were recorded in 2017, shortly before his death (at 94). Not clear when Jordan's 4 songs were done, but she's in a band picture with Dorough. The cover also credits Special Guests Gary Bartz and Mark Gross, alto saxophoists who cut their teeth learning Bird licks. Aside from "These Foolish Things" at the end, all of the tunes are from Parker, with various lyrics. I'm not a huge fan of Parker or vocalese, but the whole album is done with such good cheer I can't help but smile (or laugh). **

44. Florian Arbenz/Hermon Mehari/Nelson Veras: Conversation #1: Condensed (Hammer)
Swiss drummer, first of what promises to be a dozen albums conversing with guest musicians: in this case, a trumpeter from America and a guitarist from Brazil. Terrific mix. **

45. Bugpowder: Cage Tennis (Trytone)
Amsterdam-based quartet -- Tobias Klein (alto sax/bass clarinet), Jeroen Kimman (electric/bass guitar), Jasper Stadhouders (bass/acoustic guitar), Tristan Renfrow (drums) -- plays Ornette Coleman compositions, preferring the harmolodic '70s over the now-classic '50s. Repertory from another dimension of funk. **

46. Francesco Cafiso: Irene of Boston: Conversation Avec Corto Maltese (Eflat -20)
Alto saxophonist, from Sicily, as a young teenager recorded duets with Franco D'Andrea and toured Europe with Wynton Marsalis. At 32, he's put together a strong discography, and he's a very impressive saxophonist. Also an ambitious composer, employing pianist Mauro Schiavone to help with arranging the London Symphony Orchestra. "Irene of Boston" is an old ship, "Corto Maltese" is a Sicilian sailor, and they are inspirations for his sprawling work. **

47. Rodrigo Amado Motion Trio & Alexander von Schlippenbach: The Field (NoBusiness)
Portuguese tenor saxophonist, one of the most adventurous anywhere, trio with cello (Miguel Mira) and drums (Gabriel Ferrandini), live in Vilnius, with the avant-pianist sitting in. One 56:10 improv, wanders a bit, but the piano is especially impressive.

48. Kimbrough (Newvelle)
Quite a tribute to the late pianist Frank Kimbrough, 61 songs he wrote played by 67 musicians who had some direct relation, some famous, many not, recorded over four days, perhaps the most productive wake ever. It's a lot to take in. Seems likely I long underrated him (although I totally enjoyed his Monk's Dreams). **

49. Unscientific Italians: Play the Music of Bill Frisell Vol. 1 (Hora)
Large (11 piece) Italian band led by pianist Alfonso Santimone, who arranged seven Frisell compositions for a band with four brass, four reeds, piano, bass, and drums. Without guitar, to my ears this doesn't sound anything like Frisell, but it's bright, energetic, amusing, and thought-provoking. **

50. Theon Cross: Intra-I (New Soil)
British tuba player, also trombone, plays in Sons of Kemet and other jazz projects, second album, more electronica with Emre Ramazanoglu co-producing, featured guests on 5 (of 10) tracks, adding rap and beats, but the real lesson is: everything goes better with tuba. ** [Also in Non-Jazz.]

51. The Generations Quartet [Dave Liebman/Billy Test/Evan Gregor/Ian Froman]: Invitation (Albert Murray/John Aveni)
Group name, minus definite article, was used in 2016 by a different group (three old guys, including Oliver Lake, and a young drummer). Here it's one old guy, two youngsters, and drummer Froman in between. Favors standards, with a nice, relaxed feel, even when they kick it up a notch and Liebman really shines. Label named for the producers. **

52. Graham Haynes vs Submerged: Echolocation (Burning Ambulance)
Cornet player, son of drummer Roy Haynes, scattered albums since 1989, here with electronics by Kurt Gluck -- a Brooklyn DJ, with albums going back to a Bill Laswell collaboration in 2004. The combination recalls Nils Petter Molvaer's jazztronica, but the beats have more industrial and hip-hop overtones. **

53. Ingebrigt Håker Flaten: (Exit) Knarr (Odin)
Norwegian bassist, huge discography since the mid-1990s including a long run in The Thing and various Vandermark groups. Leads an octet here, mostly Norwegians (Mette Rasmussen and Atle Nymo on sax, Eivind Lønning on trumpet), doubling down on percussion. Six pieces, named for world cities (although Oppdal, in Norway, is more of a village). Austin is funky and fun. Amsterdam is a bit overwhelming, ending the album on a high plateau. **

54. Claudia Quintet: Evidence-Based (Flexatonic)
Drummer John Hollenbeck's group, ninth album since 2001, with Chris Speed (clarinet/tenor sax), Red Wierenga (accordion), Matt Moran (vibes), and Drew Gress (bass), with "special guest" Eileen Myles ("talk"). Soft tones and lots of rhythm, with sly commentary. **

55. Rodrigo Amado Northern Liberties: We Are Electric (Not Two)
I'd hazard a guess that per capita the top two jazz countries in Europe are Norway and Portugal. Small size is part of the equation, but wealth isn't: Portugal is the poorest country in western Europe, while Norway is one of the richest. But cross-polination has helped, especially as Portugal's Clean Feed label regularly hooked Portuguese jazz masters up with peers from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. This particular meeting from the two countries -- Amado (tenor sax), Thomas Johansson (trumpet), Jon Rune Strøm (bass), and Gard Nilssen (drums) -- took place in a London club and is being released on a Polish label. Nothing particularly electric in the lineup, but they do keep you turned on.

56. Dave Sewelson: Smooth Free Jazz (Mahakala Music)
Baritone saxophonist, pushing 70, longtime member of the Microscopic Septet, also William Parker's big bands, aside from a 1979 album only recently started releasing albums under his own name -- I recommend both Music for a Free World and More Music for a Free World. Quartet, with lap steel guitar (Mike Neer), bass, and drums. Nothing slick or conventionally smooth here: he loves the grit of the low notes, and when he sings "Nature Boy" over an extended vamp, he exhibits a voice to match. The record ends with a 3:12 "radio version," versus the original 19:30. **

57. Trondheim Jazz Orchestra & Ole Morten Vågan: Plastic Wave (Odin, 2CD)
Bassist-composer Vågan was previously featured guest on 2018's Happy Endings. Lots of interesting looks here, starting with Ola Kvernberg's violin, but the piece that really takes off is "Pickaboogaloo" on disc 2, so much so everything else gets sharper. **

58. Karkhana: Al Azraqayn (Karlrecords)
Jazz group with members from Beirut, Cairo, Istanbul, and Chicago (Michael Zerang), sixth album since 2015, includes some oud but more electric guitar and bass, with organ/synthesizer (Maurice Louca) signaling fusion which they then rip apart -- yes, they can break free and get noisy. Credits include Umut Caglar (reeds/flute) and Mazen Kerbaj (trumpet/electronics). **

59. Fire!: Defeat (Rune Grammofon)
Norwegian group, since 2009, occasionally expanding to Orchestra weight, but most often a trio -- Mats Gustafsson (flute/baritone sax), Johan Berthling (electric bass), and Andreas Werlin (drums) -- here adding Goran Kajfes (trumpet) and Mats Ålekint (trombone/sousaphone). Starts with flute, which at least contains Gustafsson's tendencies to excess, although he later switches to bari and sticks mostly within the groove, letting the other horns provide the highlights. **

60. Matthew Shipp: Codebreaker (Tao Forms)
Solo piano, and while I rarely find his solo work -- as a rough guess, at this point only Keith Jarrett among living pianists is likely to have more -- as appealing as his trio, it remains impressive compared to everyone else (including Jarrett).

61. Muriel Grossmann: Quiet Earth (RR Gems -20)
Saxophonist (alto/tenor/soprano), born in Paris, grew up in Vienna, based in Ibiza since 2004, more than a dozen albums since 2007, current group a quintet with guitar, organ, bass, and drums. Starts with a Coltraneish spiritual jazz vibe, and builds on that. **

62. Artifacts [Tomeka Reid/Nicole Mitchell/Mike Reed]: . . . And Then There's This (Astral Spirits)
Third generation AACM (served together on the board 2009-11), playing cello, flute, and drums, group named for their superb 2015 album. All three write pieces, but they also look to the founding AACM generation (Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell). I've never been much of a flute fan, but she is the best. **

63. Stephan Thelen: Fractal Guitar 2 (Moonjune)
Guitarist, composer, mathematician, born in California, based in Zürich, has recorded since 2002, often as Sonar. This follows a remarkable 2019 album, six pieces with 3-6 guitarists each, percussion, sometimes keyboards. Groove helps, but doesn't just sweep you along. Every detail is fascinating. **

64. Sarah Buechi/Contradiction of Happiness & Jena Philharmonic: The Paintress (Intakt)
Swiss vocalist, albums since 2014, leads a septet (piano-bass-drums + strings) named for her 2018 album, reinforced by a chamber orchestra. In English, no pedestals or spotlights, voice moves gingerly and the musicians never lose step. **

65. Ches Smith/We All Break: Path of Seven Colors (Pyroclastic, 2CD)
Percussionist, half-dozen albums since 2006, many more side credits. He released his Vodou project We All Break in 2017, and follows that up here with two discs: one earlier quartet (2015), the other recent octet (2020), packaged in a small box with two substantial booklets. Matt Mitchell (piano) and Miguel Zenón (alto sax) turn in stellar performances. Beyond that, lots of fractured percussion and some voices. The quartet gets the balance better. The octet is best when they fly away from the chants.

66. Paula Shocron/William Parker/Pablo Díaz: El Templo (Astral Spirits)
Pianist from Argentina, opens with deft runs before bringing out the strong chords that drive these four pieces. Disappointing when she back off, but then you remember who the bassist is. **

67. Malcolm Jiyane Tree-O: Umdali (Mushroom Hour Half Hour)
South African trombonist, composer and arranger, debut as leader, gets strong support from saxophonist Daniel Nhlanhla Mahlangu (especially on "Life Esidimeni," which reminds me of Dudu Pukwana at his finest). Scattered vocals don't detract. They remind us this is still social music. **

68. Instant Composers Pool & Nieuw Amsterdams Peil: De Hondemepper (ICP -20)
Dutch groups: the former better known as ICP Orchestra, carrying on after the death (2017) of long-time leader Misha Mengelberg (Guus Janssen, a remarkable pianist in his own right, fills in); the latter a sextet with violin, cello, mandolin/panflute, bassoon, piano, and percussion. Mostly Mengelberg circus pieces, two conductions led by Tristan Honsinger, and old touchstones: pieces by Monk and Nichols. **

69. Mikko Innanen/Stefan Pasborg/Cedric Piromalli: This Is It (Clean Feed)
Finnish saxophonist (sopranino, alto, baritone), backed by drums and Hammond organ. The organ isn't close to soul jazz models, but provides enough lift to let the saxophonist strut his stuff. **

70. The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong All Stars: A Gift to Pops (Verve)
No surprise this opens with "When It's Sleepy Time Down South," but the unique voice took me aback, unquestionably Armstrong himself, plundered from a 1964 live shot. In the tribute that follows, Nicholas Payton (or is it Wynton Marsalis? or one of the not-yet-all-stars who staff this band?) offers a fair approximation of the trumpet, but no one dares the voice, and not for lack of vocals. I wish I had a track-by-track credits list, but only Common's rap on "Black and Blue" is certain. Ends with Armstrong's voice again, on "Philosophy of Life." He was a blessing, who changed the world, and people who don't know that need to listen up. Even if this tribute's a bit half-assed, it still brings me joy. **

71. Balimaya Project: Wolo So (Jazz Re:Freshed)
London-based group, 17 musicians, mostly African names with a lot of percussion, but also some brass (2 trumpets, 2 trombones). Scattered vocals, but focus is on the groove, which is relentless. **

72. Anaïs Reno: Lovesome Thing: Anaïs Reno Sings Ellington & Strayhorn (Harbinger)
Standards singer, at 16 has no business singing such difficult and sophisticated songs -- she leans to the Strayhorn side of the headline -- much less with such poise and nuance. Gets help from pianist-arranger Emmet Cohen, and superb spot support from Tivon Pennicott (tenor sax) and Juliet Kurtzman (violin) -- the latter her mother, who left Houston to be a concert violinist in Europe, then returned to New York to teach music, with her own, albeit modest, recording career. **

73. Ill Considered: Liminal Space (New Soil)
British group, nominally a trio -- Idris Rahman (sax), Liran Donin (bass), Emre Ramazanoglu (drums) -- but often with extras (Theon Cross and Sarathy Korwar most famous), incorporate world rhythms or just swing free. Their live albums are exciting. This is their first studio effort, and they keep the heat turned up. **

74. Daniel Carter/Tobias Wilner/Djibril Toure/Federick Ughi: New York United, Volume 2 (577)
Carter, who is most famous for playing in William Parker groups, has a substantial discography on his own. Here he plays saxophones, flute, trumpet, and clarinet. Wilner, from Blue Foundation, is credited with "sound manipulation, field recordings, synthesizers, percussion, vocals, bass synthesizer, piano & guitar." The others play bass and drums, Toure with Wu-Tang. Previous (unnumbered) album was recorded in 2016 and came out in 2019. Wilner post-processed, subtly shifting this from jazz improv to the realm of ambient field recordings. **

75. Ignaz Schick/Oliver Steidle: Ilog2 (Zarek)
German duo, Schick on turntables and electronics, Steidle drums and more electronics, both with discographies dating back to early 2000s. Feints toward noise, but an early bit with sampled vocals reminded me of DJ Shadow, and the drumming ultimately nudged this over. Their previous Ilog came out in 2015.

76. Frisque Concordance: Distinct Machinery (Random Acoustics, 2CD)
Free jazz group, recorded one previous album in 1992. Common to both are Georg Graewe (piano) and John Butcher (tenor/soprano sax), joined here by Wilbert de Joode (bass) and Mark Sanders (drums). First disc is studio, second live, both recorded in Vienna. The pianist, in particular, is full of surprises. **

77. Frank Gratkowski/Achim Kaufmann/Wilbert de Joode/Tony Buck: Flatbosc & Cautery (NoBusiness -20)
Free improv: alto sax (plus clarinets/flutes), piano, bass, drums. Can get noisy, but pianist is heroic both as alternate lead and support, and the bassist goes a long way toward holding it together.

Also added the following 2020 albums after freezing the 2020 year-end file:

Honorable Mention

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

  1. Eivind Aarset 4tet: Phantasmagoria, or a Different Kind of Journey (Jazzland)
  2. Joshua Abrams/Chad Taylor: Mind Maintenance (Drag City) **
  3. Florian Arbenz: Conversations #2 & #3 (Hammer) **
  4. Florian Arbenz: Conversation #4: Vulcanized (Hammer) **
  5. Charlie Ballantine: Reflections/Introspection: The Music of Thelonious Monk (Green Mind) **
  6. Yaala Ballin: Sings Irving Berlin (SteepleChase LookOut) **
  7. Patricia Barber: Clique! (Impex)
  8. The Baylor Project: Generations (Be a Light) **
  9. Steven Bernstein: Community Music (Royal Potato Family, EP) **
  10. Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra: Tinctures in Time (Community Music, Vol. 1) (Royal Potato Family) **
  11. Nat Birchall: Ancient Africa (Ancient Archive of Sound) **
  12. Michael Bisio/Kirk Knuffke/Fred Lonberg-Holm: The Art Spirit (ESP-Disk)
  13. Bitchin Bajas: Switched On Ra (Drag City) **
  14. Johnathan Blake: Homeward Bound (Blue Note) **
  15. Theo Bleckmann and the Westerlies: This Land (Westerlies Music) **
  16. Blue Reality [Michael Marcus/Joe McPhee/Jay Rosen/Warren Smith]: Quartet! (Mahakala Music) **
  17. Borderlands Trio [Stephan Crump/Kris Davis/Eric McPherson]: Wandersphere (Intakt, 2CD) **
  18. The Kevin Brady Electric Orchestra: Plan B (Ubuntu Music) **
  19. Anthony Braxton: 12 COMP (ZIM) 2017 (Firehouse 12, 12CD) **
  20. Greg Burk/Ron Seguin/Michel Lambert: Sound Neighbors (Tonos -20)
  21. Burnt Sugar/The Arkestra Chamber: Angels Over Oakanda (Avantgroidd) **
  22. Enzo Carniel/Filippo Vignato Silent Room: Aria (Menace)
  23. Marc Cary: Life Lessons (Sessionheads United)
  24. Sharel Cassity/Rajiv Halim/Greg Ward: Altoizm (Afar Music) **
  25. Chamber 4: Dawn to Dusk (JACC)
  26. Melanie Charles: Y'all Don't (Really) Care About Black Women (Verve) **
  27. Ian Charleton Big Band: A Fresh Perspective (none)
  28. Glenn Close/Ted Nash: Transformation (Tiger Turn) **
  29. Isaiah Collier & the Chosen Few: Cosmic Transitions (Division 81) **
  30. Sylvie Courvoisier/Ned Rothenberg/Julian Sartorius: Lockdown (Clean Feed) **
  31. Sylvie Courvoisier/Mary Halvorson: Searching for the Disappeared Hour (Pyroclastic)
  32. Damata: What's Damata (Dugnad)
  33. Lao Dan/Deng Boyu: TUTU Duo (NoBusiness)
  34. Joey DeFrancesco: More Music (Mack Avenue) **
  35. Desertion Trio: Numbers Maker (Cuneiform) **
  36. Dopolarians: The Bond (Mahakala Music) **
  37. Paul Dunmall/Percy Pursglove/Olie Brice/Jeff Williams: Palindromes (West Hill) **
  38. Eliane Elias: Mirror Mirror (Candid) **
  39. Amir ElSaffar/Rivers of Sound: The Other Shore (Outnote)
  40. Orrin Evans: The Magic of Now (Smoke Sessions) **
  41. Fail Better!: The Fall (JACC)
  42. Family Plan: Family Plan (Endectomorph Music)
  43. Hernâni Faustino: Twelve Bass Tunes (Phonogram Unit)
  44. Joe Fiedler's "Open Sesame": Fuzzy and Blue (Multiphonics)
  45. Alvin Fielder/David Drove/Jason Jackson/Damon Smith: The Very Cup of Trembling (Astral Spirits) **
  46. Ingebrigt Håker Flaten/Rolf-Erik Nystrøm: El Sistema (Sonic Transmissions) **
  47. Flukten: Velkommen Hap (Odin) **
  48. Adam Forkelid: 1st Movement (Prophone)
  49. Friends & Neighbors: The Earth Is # (Clean Feed) **
  50. Fred Frith Trio With Lotte Anker/Susana Santos Silva: Road (Intakt, 2CD) **
  51. Rob Frye: Exoplanet (Astral Spirits) **
  52. Satoko Fujii: Hazuki: Piano Solo (Libra)
  53. Satoko Fujii Tokyo Trio: Moon on the Lake (Libra)
  54. Joel Futterman/Steve Hirsh: Warp & Weft (Mahakala Music -2CD) **
  55. The Generations Quartet [Dave Liebman/Billy Test/Evan Gregor/Ian Froman]: Invitation (Albert Murray/John Aveni) **
  56. Kazemde George: I Insist (Greenleaf Music)
  57. Justin Gerstin: Music for the Exploration of Elusive Phenomena (Zabap Music)
  58. Rocio Giménez López/Luciana Bass/Fermin Suarez/Rosina Scampino: Reunion En La Granja (Discos ICM) **
  59. Ben Goldberg: Everything Happens to Be (BAG Productions) *
  60. Binker Golding/John Edwards/Steve Noble: Moon Day (Byrd Out) **
  61. Maria Grand: Reciprocity (Biophilia)
  62. Muriel Grossmann: Union (Dreamland) **
  63. Gordon Grdina's Square Peg: Klotski (Attaboygirl)
  64. George Haslam/João Madeira/Padro Catello Lopes/Mario Rua: Ajuda (Slam -20)
  65. Alexander Hawkins: Togetherness Music: For Sixteen Musicians (Intakt) **
  66. Thomas Heberer: The Day That Is (Sunnyside) **
  67. Thomas Heberer/Joe Fonda/Joe Hertenstein: Remedy (Fundacja Sluchaj) **
  68. Carlos Henriquez: The South Bronx Story (Tiger Turn) **
  69. Vincent Herring: Preaching to the Choir (Smoke Sessions) **
  70. Kari Ikonen: Impressions, Improvisations and Compositions (Ozella) **
  71. In Layers: Pliable (FMR -20)
  72. Vijay Iyer: Uneasy (ECM) **
  73. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Septet With Wynton Marsalis: The Democracy! Suite (Blue Engine) **
  74. Brent Jensen: More Sounds of a Dry Martini (Origin)
  75. Sven-Åke Johansson/Niklas Fite/Joel Grip: Swinging at Topsi's (Astral Spirits) **
  76. Frank Kimbrough: Ancestors (Sunnyside) **
  77. Keith Kirchoff/Dominic Lash/Steve Noble: Christian Wolff: Exercises and Explorations (Spoonhunt) **
  78. Koma Saxo: Live (We Jazz) **
  79. Joachim Kühn: Touch the Light (ACT) **
  80. Kuzu: All Your Ghosts in One Corner (Aerophonic)
  81. La La Lars: La La Lars III (<1000) **
  82. Mary LaRose: Out Here (Little (i) Music) **
  83. Timo Lassy: Trio (We Jazz) **
  84. David Leon: Aire De Agua (Out of Your Head)
  85. Charles Lloyd & the Marvels: Tone Poem (Blue Note) **
  86. Luís Lopes/Lisbon Berlin Quartet: Sinister Hypnotization (Clean Feed) **
  87. João Madeira/Hernâni Faustino: dB Duet (FMR)
  88. Myele Manzanza: Crisis & Opportunity, Vol. 1: London (DeepMatter) **
  89. The Mark Masters Ensemble: Masters & Baron Meet Blanton & Webster (Capri)
  90. Nick Mazzarella/Ingebrigt Håker Flaten/Avreeayl Ra: What You Seek Is Seeking You (Astral Spirits) **
  91. Peter McEachern: Code 2 (SteepleChase LookOut) **
  92. Francisco Mela Featuring Matthew Shipp and William Parker: Music Frees Our Souls Vol. 1 (577) **
  93. Szilard Mezei Tubass Quintet: Rested Turquoise (NoBusiness)
  94. Allison Miller/Jane Ira Bloom: Tues Days (Outline) **
  95. Ming Bau Set: Yakut's Gallop (Fundacja Luchaj) **
  96. Roscoe Mitchell/Mike Reed: The Ritual and the Dance (Astral Spirits) **
  97. Aakash Mittal: Nocturne (self-released)
  98. Hafez Modirzadeh: Facets (Pi)
  99. Hedvig Mollestad Trio: Ding Dong. You're Dead. (Rune Grammofon) **
  100. Nils Petter Molvaer: Stitches (Modern) **
  101. Ben Monder/Tony Malaby/Tom Rainey: Live at the 55 Bar (Sunnyside) **
  102. Ali Shaheed Muhammad & Adrian Younge: Jazz Is Dead 5: Doug Carn (Jazz Is Dead -20) **
  103. Ali Shaheed Muhammad & Adrian Younge: Jazz Is Dead 6: Gary Bartz (Jazz Is Dead, EP) **
  104. Bryan Murray & Jon Lundbom: Beats by Balto! Vol. 2 (Chant)
  105. Sana Nagano: Smashing Humans (577)
  106. Natural Information Society/Evan Parker: Descension (Out of Our Constrictions) (Aguirre/Eremite) **
  107. Calle Neumann/Ketil Gutvik/Ingebrigt Håker Flaten/Paal Nilssen-Love: New Dance (PNL) **
  108. Angelika Niescier/Alexander Hawkins: Soul in Plain Sight (Intakt) **
  109. Adam Nolan Trio: Prim and Primal (self-released)
  110. Larry Ochs-Donald Robinson Duo: A Civil Right (ESP-Disk)
  111. Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble: Warszawa 2019 (Funcadja Sluchaj) **
  112. William Parker: Mayan Space Station (AUM Fidelity) **
  113. Mario Pavone/The Tampa Quartet: Isabella (Clean Feed) **
  114. Mario Pavone: Blue Vertical (Out of Your Head)
  115. Pearring Sound: Socially Distanced Duos (self-released)
  116. Ivo Perelman/Gordon Grdina/Hamin Honari: The Purity of Desire (Not Two) **
  117. Houston Person: Live in Paris (HighNote) **
  118. Punkt. Vrt. Plastik [Kaja Draksler/Petter Eldh/Christian Lillinger]: Somit (Intakt) **
  119. Rebellum: The Darknuss (Avantgroidd) **
  120. The Red Microphone: And I Became of the Dark (ESP-Disk) **
  121. RED Trio & Celebration Band: Suite 10 Years Anniversary (NoBusiness, 2CD -20)
  122. Freddie Redd: Reminiscing (Bleebop) **
  123. Ruben Reinaldo & Kely Garcia: Acuarel (Free Code -20)
  124. The Rempis Percussion Quartet: Sud Des Alpes (Aerophonic) **
  125. Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog: Hope (Northern Spy) **
  126. Stephen Riley: I Remember You (SteepleChase) **
  127. Ritual Habitual: Pagan Chant (Clean Feed) **
  128. Aksel Rønning Trio: ART (Øra Fonogram) **
  129. Adonis Rose and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra: Petite Fleur (Storyville)
  130. ROVA: The Circumference of Reason (ESP-Disk)
  131. Samo Salamon/Cene Resnik/Jaka Berger: Takt Ars Sessions: Vol. 1 (Samo) **
  132. David Sanford Big Band Featuring Hugh Ragin: A Prayer for Lester Bowie (Greenleaf Music)
  133. Jared Schonig: Two Takes Vol. 2: Big Band (Anzic) **
  134. Archie Shepp & Jason Moran: Let My People Go (Archieball) **
  135. Matthew Shipp/Whit Dickey: Reels (Burning Ambulance) **
  136. Jacob Shulman: Connectedness (Endectomorph Music)
  137. Skerebotte Fatta: Appaz (ForTune) **
  138. Gary Smulyan/Ronnie Cuber: Tough Baritones (SteepleChase) **
  139. Strictly Missionary: Heisse Scheisse (Astral Spirits) **
  140. Dave Stryker: Baker's Circle (Strikezone)
  141. Wadada Leo Smith/Douglas R Ewart/Mike Reed: Sun Beans of Shimmering Light (Astral Spirits) **
  142. Wadada Leo Smith: Trumpet (TUM, 3CD)
  143. Martial Solal: Coming Yesterday: Live at Salle Gaveau 2019 (Challenge) **
  144. The Source: . . . But Swinging Doesn't Bend Them Down (Odin) **
  145. Ståhls Trio: Källtorp Sessions Volume Two (Moserobie)
  146. Veronica Swift: This Bitter Earth (Mack Avenue) **
  147. Ohad Talmor Trio: Mise En Place (Intakt) **
  148. This Is It!: Mosaic (Libra)
  149. Three-Layer Cake: Stove Top (RareNoise) *
  150. Thumbscrew: Never Is Enough (Cuneiform) **
  151. Two Much [Reut Regev and Igal Foni]: Never Enough (Relative Pitch) **
  152. Uassyn: Zacharya (JazzThing)
  153. Yuma Uesaka and Marilyn Crispell: Streams (Not Two)
  154. Yuma Uesaka/Cat Toren/Colin Hinton: Ocelot (577)
  155. João Valinho/Luis Vicente/Marcelo dos Reis/Salvoandrea Lucifora: Light Machina (Multikulti Project)
  156. Ken Vandermark: The Field Within a Line (Corbett vs. Dempsey) **
  157. Will Vinson/Gilad Hekselman/Antonio Sanchez: Trio Grande (Whirlwind -20) **
  158. Michael Waldrop: Time Frames (Origin)
  159. Marta Warelis/Frank Rosaly/Aaron Lumley/John Dikeman: Sunday at De Ruimte (Doek RAW)
  160. Anna Webber: Idiom (Pi, 2CD)
  161. Michael Wollny/Emile Parisien/Tim Lefebvre/Christian Lillinger: XXXX (ACT) **
  162. Jim Yanda: A Silent Way (Corner Store Jazz, 2CD)
  163. Miguel Zenón & Luis Perdomo: El Arte Del Bolero (Miel Music) **

Also added the following 2020 albums after freezing the 2020 year-end file:

  1. John Blum/Jackson Krall: Duplexity (Relative Pitch) **
  2. Steve Swell: The Center Will Hold (Not Two) **
  3. Will Vinson/Gilad Hekselman/Antonio Sanchez: Trio Grande (Whirlwind) **
  4. Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad: Jazz Is Dead 3: Marcos Valle (Jazz Is Dead, EP) **

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. Charles Mingus: Mingus at Carnegie Hall [Deluxe Edition] (1974, Atlantic, 2CD)
The bassist had floundered a bit in the late 1960s, but by 1974 he had rebounded with a superb quartet which would out-live him by a decade, led by George Adams (tenor sax) and Don Pullen (piano), with his long-time drummer Dannie Richmond. They went on to record his last great albums (Changes One and Changes Two) later in 1974, but for this concert he added Hamiet Bluiett (baritone sax) to make a quintet, and also Jon Faddis (trumpet). They played a set together, then returned with extra saxophonists (Rahsaan Roland Kirk, John Handy, Charles McPherson) to blast through two 22-24 minute Ellington jams ("Perdido" and "C-Jam Blues"). The latter were released as an LP (and later CD), one of my favorite examples of what a great bandleader Mingus could be. The Deluxe Edition restores the whole concert, starting with three long Mingus pieces plus one by Pullen. The restored parts are pretty good, with Pullen the essential star player. But the jams still blow the socks off everyone. **

2. Schlippenbach & Johansson: Onkel Pös Carnegie Hall Hamburg 1978 (SÅJ)
Piano-drums duo, first names Alexander [von] and Sven-Åke. Spectacular piano, no doubt partly because the drummer never lets up. **

3. Hamiet Bluiett: Bearer of the Holy Flame (1983, Strut)
Baritone saxophonist (1940-2018), also plays clarinet and alto flute, live set that originally appeared on Black Fire in 1994. With John Hicks (piano), Fred Hopkins (bass), Marvin Smith (drums), and Chief Bey (percussion). Terrific, both the big rhythmic romp that is Bluiett's calling card, and Hicks' marvelous piano. **

4. Duck Baker: Confabulations (1994-2017, ESP-Disk)
Guitarist, recorded five 1975-80 albums for Kicking Mule, one titled The Art of Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar, and along the way recorded with folkies like Stefan Grossman and John Renbourn, but since his 1994 encounter with Mark Dresser, Baker has gravitated toward jazz, with albums of Herbie Nichols and Thelonious Monk pieces to his credit. These are scattered pieces over the years, with musicians like Roswell Rudd, Michael Moore, and Derek Bailey. The mix keeps this interesting, without detracting from the focal guitar.

5. Total Music Association: Walpurgisnacht (1971-88, NoBusiness)
German free jazz septet, two tracks from 1971 (30:37) plus one 21:20 "Improvisation" when the group reunited later. Three horns, viola, rhythm, none I recognized but I gather Andreas Boje (trombone) has a reputation, and I should have known Helmut Zimmer (impressive on piano) played in Modern Jazz Quartet Karlsruhe (subject of a previous NoBusiness box). Starts rough, but bursting with energy.

6. John Coltrane: Chasin' the Trane Revisited (1961, Ezz-Thetics)
Another retitling of a Coltrane live classic, the master takes from Live at the Village Vanguard, plus an alternate take of "Spiritual" to bring the time up to 79:29. Eric Dolphy (bass clarinet) joins for 3/6 tracks. Grade docked, but this is some of his greatest music ever. **

7. Bill Evans: Behind the Dikes: The 1969 Netherands Recordings (Elemental Music, 2CD)
This adds to a substantial number of recent releases, mostly on Resonance, of the pianist from this period, mostly live but also some studio recordings made in Europe, like this one. The trio with Eddie Gomez and Marty Morell is one of his most striking, with the bass solos almost as interesting as the piano. This ends with a couple cuts with Metropole Orkest strings that I'd probably have cut, but they, too, are lovely.

8. Pat Thomas: The Locals Play the Music of Anthony Braxton (2006, Discus Music)
British avant-pianist, took six pieces and sharpened the angles, giving them a more playful beat than we had any right to expect. With clarinet (Alex Ward), electric guitar (Evan Thomas), electric bass (Dominic Lash), and drums (Darren Hasson-Davis). Album could be attributed to The Locals, but group doesn't seem to have anything beyond this album. **

9. Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers: First Flight to Tokyo: The Lost 1961 Recordings (Blue Note)
Previously unreleased set from January 14, refuting the title of Solar's 2014 compilation Tokyo 1961: The Complete Concerts (which has sets from January 2 & 11). One of Blakey's greatest lineups -- Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan, Bobby Timmons, Jymie Merritt -- kicking off what was probably Blakey's greatest year (Roots & Herbs, The Freedom Rider, The Witch Doctor, Mosaic, Buhaina's Delight). So, by now familiar repertoire, but what you want from live: everything cranked up a notch. **

10. Journeys in Modern Jazz: Britain (1965-1972) (Decca, 2CD)
Up through the 1950s, jazz in Britain was dominated by trad bands, with occasional modernists (like Tubby Hayes and Joe Harriott) emerging toward 1960. After 1970, the British emerged as innovators in prog/fusion and avant. The missing links are found in the ferment of young modernists of the late 1960s. Jazz in Britain has picked up some marginal tapes from this period, but labels like Decca and Columbia hold most of the era's major works. The former is sampled liberally here: Kenny Wheeler, Don Rendell, John Surman, Mike Westbrook, Stan Tracey, Neil Ardley, Alan Skidmore, Michael Gibbs, Michael Garrick, Harry Beckett, and more. **

11. Sam Rivers Quartet: Braids [Sam Rivers Archive Project, Volume 4] (1979, NoBusiness -20)
Continues a stellar archive series. The leader plays impressive piano as well as tenor and soprano sax and flute, backed by Joe Daley (tuba/euphonium), Dave Holland (bass/cello), and Thurman Barker (drums).

12. Julius Hemphill: The Boyé Multi-National Crusade for Harmony (1977-2007, New World, 7CD)
Box set with 40-page booklet, which may answer some of my questions. Alto saxophonist, major avant-garde figure from 1972 (Dogon A.D.) to his death in 1995, and in some ways beyond. He was the defining force behind World Saxophone Quartet, at least early on, and developed another saxophone choir in the 1990s (see Five Chord Stud), as well as a big band. He continued composing after he was no longer able to play (c. 1990), and periodically ghost bands appear in his name. I don't have date details here, but the stretch 12 years beyond his death is hard to fathom. The only thing he didn't play on was the Disk 4 "Chamber Music," and most of that (37:16) was a quintet he conducted (all horns, two brass/three reeds; the rest is 7:02 by pianist Ursula Oppens, and 19:15 by Daedalus String Quartet). The title is a group he played with c. 1977 (mostly a quartet with Baikida Carroll, Jehri Riley, and Philip Wilson; later with Carroll, Dave Holland, and Jack DeJohnette), and the other groups (various Quartet lineups and the duo with cellist Abdul Wadud) weren't much later. There's a fair amount of squawk early on, and the chamber music isn't that interesting, but this really picks up on the fifth disc (Roi Boyé Solo and Text), particularly the "Unfiltered Dreams" with K Curtis Lyle's poetry set to solo saxophone (e.g., "Nobody Tells Me What to Do"), and the later live groups are both bracing and sophisticated. Not all great, but rises to that level time and again. **

13. Cecil Taylor Quintet: Lifting the Bandstand (1998, Fundacja Sluchaj)
Recorded at Tampere Jazz Happening in Finland, with his regular drummer Paul Lovens, Tristan Honsinger on cello, and two local musicians: Harri Sjöström (soprano sax) and Teppo Hauta-Aho (bass). Slow start, but by mid-point the musicians are finding ways to make sense of the chaos, and even more. **

14. The Ray Russell Sextet: Forget to Remember: Live Vol. 2: 1970 (Jazz in Britain)
Cover adds: Featuring Harry Beckett (trumpet/flugelhorn). Also Tony Roberts (saxes), Nick Evans (trombone), bass, and drums. The horns, and not just Beckett, are outstanding, but the guitar holds them together and drives them on. **

15. 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.

16. Sam Rivers Quartet: Undulation [Sam Rivers Archive Project, Volume 5 (1981, NoBusiness)
Quartet with Jerry Byrd (guitar), Rael-Wesley Grant (electric bass), and Steve Ellington (drums). Starts with one of those "what is this shit" moments, but rights itself fairly quickly in a torrent of inspired tenor sax blowing. But that only covers the first 21:20, then you realize the tracks are organized by instrument: Drum solo, piano solo/section, guitar solo, flute solo/section, with a 5:21 bass solo tucked in the middle. Rivers also plays the piano (dense and impressive) and flute (veers toward funky), and scats a bit.

17. Christian Reim Sextet: Mona Lisa (1973, Jazzaggression)
Norwegian pianist, b. 1945, not much discography, but this live recording of a "post-bop extravaganza in 6 parts" is expertly paced, with lots of punch: two saxophones (Carl Magnus Neumann and Knut Riisnaes), trumpet (Ditlef Eckhoff), bass, and drums. **

18. Roy Hargrove/Mulgrew Miller: In Harmony (2006-07, Resonance, 2CD)
Trumpet and piano duo, two live shows a little more than a year apart. The artists seem a little young for this sort of archival dig -- Hargrove first appeared in 1988, and quickly became the trumpet star of the 1990s; Miller started in 1984 with Art Blakey, and while his own records were less popular, he spent the 1990s in Kenny Garrett's band, Hargrove's main rival for "next big thing" -- but both died young (49 for Hargrove, 57 for Miller), leaving their estates to pick through the remains. Aside from Blakey, Miller apprenticed with Woody Shaw and Betty Carter -- the latter an especially demanding leader. He always reminded me of McCoy Tyner (he even looked like Tyner), with flashes of Oscar Peterson to show off, making him an ideal accompanist, as well as someone who could spell the leader with a dazzling piano solo. Includes a big booklet, but it's mostly tributes from younger musicians who grew up in awe of these two.

19. Archie Shepp: Blasé and Yasmina Revisited (1969, Ezz-thetics)
Tenor saxophonist, pushed the avant-garde envelope in the 1960s and by 1969 was looking for a label in Europe. He recorded several albums for BYG in Paris. This reissues all of Blasé, including four cuts featuring Jeanne Lee vocals -- some of her most striking work -- and adds the 20:06 "Yasmina," recorded with an 11-piece band that doubled up on bass and drums and added extra percussion (rhythm logs and balafon). **

20. Hasaan Ibn Ali: Metaphysics: The Lost Atlantic Album (1965, Omnivore)
Pianist William Henry Langford Jr., from Philadelphia (1931-80), remembered (if at all) for an album released in 1965 under the drummer's name, The Max Roach Trio Featuring the Legendary Hasaan. Turns out that he recorded a second album for Atlantic, but it was shelved after Ibn Ali was imprisoned for drugs, and the master tapes were lost in a warehouse fire in 1978. A copy was discovered in 2017, so here it is: quartet with Odean Pope (his first session) on tenor sax, Art Davis (bass), and Kalil Madi (drums). Seven original pieces, plus three alternate takes. Pope is especially impressive, the bassist holds things together, and the pianist cuts against the grain, keeping it interesting. Feels like something that could have been released a decade later in Europe and taken as a sign that jazz still has the spark of life. **

21. Marion Brown: Capricorn Moon to Juba Lee Revisited (1965-66, Ezz-Thetics -19)
Alto saxophonist (1931-2010), born in Atlanta, wound up in New York with the avant-garde. This recycles some of his ESP-Disk records, with two tracks from Marion Brown Quartet sessions (with Alan Shorter and Rashied Ali), plus two (of 4) tracks from his Septet Juba Lee. **

22. Jim Snidero: Strings (2001, Savant)
Alto saxophonist, albums regularly since 1985, rehearsed this quartet plus 10-piece string orchestra on 9/10/2001, then had to postpone recording, the record finally released in 2013 on Milestone. The basic formula for strings + sax is to lay down a lush backdrop, then let the saxophone soar majestically -- something the alto's tone is superbly suited for. In that respect, this one is utterly conventional, just exceptionally gorgeous.

23. Joe Harriott Quintet: Free Form & Abstract Revisited (1960-62, Ezz-Thetics, 2CD)
Alto saxophonist (1928-73), born in Jamaica, moved to UK in 1951. Followed Charlie Parker with his 1950s EPs, but with his 1960 album (Free Form) started gathering comparisons to Ornette Coleman. It remains his masterpiece, nicely packaged here with its worthy successor. Beyond this, his growth path in the 1960s skirted the avant-garde for "Indo-Jazz" fusion. **

24. Paul Dunmall/Keith Tippett/Philip Gibbs/Pete Fairclough: Onosante (2000, 577)
Saxophones (plus fife and bagpipes), piano, guitar, and drums, released with a run of 100 back in the day, and unpacked in memory of the late pianist -- who is indeed remarkable here, but also in fine company. **

25. Harvie S Trio: Going for It (1985, Savant)
Bassist, real name Swartz, albums since 1980, long plagued by typos (which have become something of an obsession with him -- I noticed the following line in his Wikipedia page: "I don't know who you are that is changing my edits I am Harvie S"; I've received complaints too). Recorded at 1369 Jazz Club in Cambridge, MA, with guitarist Mike Stern and drummer Alan Dawson. I've gotten to where I never expect much from Stern, but he is terrific here. Must be the company he keeps. **

26. Marion Brown: Why Not? Porto Novo! Revisited (1966-67, Ezz-thetics)
Alto saxophonist, reissues two major albums: a quartet with Stanley Cowell, Sirone, and Rashied Ali, that originally appeared on ESP-Disk; and a trio recorded in the Netherlands with Maarten Van Regerten Altena and Han Bennink, that appeared on Polydor in 1969, and later on Freedom and Black Lion (the latter added two later cuts, not included here). **

27. Mototeru Takagi/Susumu Kongo/Nao Takeuchi/Shola Koyama: Live at Little John, Yokohama 1999 (NoBusiness)
Tenor saxophonist from Japan, albums from 1971 up to his death in 2002, in a group with two more saxophonists (alto and tenor, doubling on flute and bass clarinet) and a drummer. Free jazz, considerable poise and balance.

28. The New York Contemporary Five: Copenhagen 1963 Revisited (Ezz-Thetics)
Before Archie Shepp emerged as a leader, he spent some time in Copenhagen, with local alto saxophonist John Tchicai and a few fellow New Yorkers (notably cornetist Don Cherry). They went on to record two volumes in 1964, and reunited for a 1966 album. This early live set eventually appeared on Storyville in 1972, reissued on CD in 1992. This has same songs, but finally reordered in set sequence, with enough applause and chatter removed to squeeze it down to 79:30. Exciting music. **

29. Neil Ardley: Kaleidoscope of Rainbows: QEH, 20th Oct 75 (Jazz in Britain, 2CD)
Title per front cover, means Queen Elizabeth Hall. Extended piece, a studio version released in 1976 with Ardley playing synthesizer. This live one, performed mostly with New Jazz Orchestra alumni including all of Ian Carr's Nucleus, is significantly longer, but the keyboard/guitar structures extend nicely, and the reeds section is top notch. **

30. Ornette Coleman: New York Is Now & Love Call Revisited (1968, Ezz-Thetics)
Two 1968 albums, the end of Coleman's brief 1960s fling with Blue Note, still best remember for his live trio sets, At the "Golden Circle" Stockholm: Volume One and Two. This was a quartet, with Dewey Redman (tenor sax) plus Coltrane's former bass-drums duo, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones. Not always top drawer material, but often amazing anyway. **

31. Juju: Live at 131 Prince Street (1973, Strut)
Saxophonist Plunky Nkabinde and what I take to be a mostly African group -- later known as Oneness of Juju -- including Babatunde on congas and Lon Moshe on vibraphone. The address was Ornette Coleman's gallery, and the music fits the bill. Seven long pieces (114:44), Pharoah Sanders' "Thembi" a highlight, but they're all rearkable. **

32. Joel Futterman: Creation Series (2008, NoBusiness, 5CD)
Free jazz pianist, originally from Chicago, debut 1979, several records with Jimmy Lyons from the 1980s, then mostly with Kidd Jordan or Ike Levin. Solo here, spread out over five dates, also plays some soprano sax. Five disc-long sessions (71:57, 76:15, 59:24, 57:13, 68:25), stretches rivaling Cecil Taylor, with the occasional change of pace. I'm rather overwhelmed, but certainly impressed. Helps to have the box.

Also added the following 2020 albums after freezing the 2020 year-end file:

Honorable Mention

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

  1. Albert Ayler Quintet: 1966: Berlin, Lorrach, Paris & Stockholm. Revisited (Ezz-Thetics, 2CD) **
  2. Duck Baker: Plymouth Rock: Unreleased & Rare Recordings, 1973-1979 (Tompkins Square -20) **
  3. Gary Bartz NTU Troop: Live in Bremen 1975 (Moosicus, 2CD) **
  4. Tim Berne/Chris Speed/Reid Anderson/Dave King: Broken Shadows (2018, Intakt) **
  5. Roy Brooks: Understanding (1970, Reel-to-Real, 2CD) **
  6. Dave Brubeck Quartet: Time OutTakes (1959, Brubeck Editions -20) **
  7. Don Cherry: Complete Communion & Symphony for Improvisers Revisited (1965-66, Ezz-Thetics) **
  8. Alice Coltrane: Kirtan: Turiya Sings (1982, Impulse!) **
  9. John Coltrane: Another Side of John Coltrane (1956-61, Craft) **
  10. John Coltrane Quartet: Newport, New York, Alabama 1963 Revisited (Ezz-Thetics) **
  11. Duke Ellington & His Orchestra: Berlin 1959 (Storyville, 2CD) **
  12. Henry Franklin: The Skipper (1972, Black Jazz/Real Gone Music) **
  13. Hal Galper Quintet: Live at the Berlin Philharmonic 1977 (Origin, 2CD)
  14. Frode Gjerstad/Kent Carter/John Stevens: Detail-90 (1990, NoBusiness)
  15. Tubby Hayes Quartet: The Complete Hopbine '69 (Jazz in Britain, 2CD) **
  16. ICP Orchestra: Plays Herbie Nichols in Nijmegen 7 May 1984 (ICP -20) **
  17. J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan: Volume 3 (1970-85, BBE, 2CD) **
  18. Khan Jamal: Infinity (1982, Jazz Room) **
  19. Sheila Jordan: Comes Love: Lost Session 1960 (Capri)
  20. Byard Lancaster: My Pure Joy (1992, Strut) **
  21. Lionel Loueke: Close Your Eyes (2018, Sounderscore)
  22. Ron Mathewson: Memorial (1968-76, Jazz in Britain -20) **
  23. Roberto Miranda's Home Music Ensemble: Live at Bing Theatre: Los Angeles, 1985 (Dark Tree)
  24. Carl Magnus Neumann/Christian Reim Quartet: Molde International Jazz Festival 1976 (1976, Jazzaggression) **
  25. The New Jazz Orchestra: Le Dejeuner Sur L'Herbe (1969, Decca) **
  26. New Life: Visions of the Third Eye (1979, Early Future) **
  27. The New York Contemporary Five: Consequences Revisited (1963-64, Ezz-Thetics) **
  28. Joe Newman: Joe Newman at the Atlantic (1977, Phontastic) **
  29. Itaru Oki Quartet: Live at Jazz Spot Combo 1975 (NoBusiness)
  30. Mike Osborne & Friends: Live at the Peanuts Club (1975-76, Jazz in Britain -20) **
  31. Oscar Peterson: A Time for Love: The Oscar Peterson Quartet Live in Helsinki, 1987 (Mack Avenue) **
  32. Sun Ra: Lanquidity [Definitive Edition] (1978, Strut, 2CD) **
  33. Sun Ra: On Jupiter (1979, Enterplanetary Koncepts) **
  34. Roots: Roots (1975, Frederiksberg) **
  35. The Rough Guide to the Roots of Jazz (1918-30, World Music Network) **
  36. Roswell Rudd & Duck Baker: Live (2002-04, Dot Time) **
  37. Archie Shepp: Live in Paris 1974 (Transversales Disques) **
  38. Splinters: Inclusivity (1972, Jazz in Britain, 3CD) **
  39. Cecil Taylor: Mixed to Unit Structures Revisited (1961-66, Ezz-thetics) **
  40. Cecil Taylor Ensemble: Göttingen (1990, Fundacja Sluchaj, 2CD) **
  41. Mike Taylor Quartet: Mandala (1965, Jazz in Britain) **
  42. The Thing [Mats Gustafsson/Joe McPhee/Ingebrigt Håker Flaten/Paal Nilseen-Love]: She Knows . . . (2001, Ezz-Thetics) **
  43. Steve Tintweiss and the Purple Why: Markstown (1968, Inky Dot Media)
  44. Vernacular: The Little Bird (2003, Astral Spirits) **
  45. Eberhard Weber: Once Upon a Time: Live in Avignon (1994, ECM) **
  46. Ken Wheeler and the John Dankworth Orchestra: Windmill Tilter: The Story of Don Quixote (1969, Decca) **
  47. Barney Wilen: La Note Bleue (1987, Elemental) **

Also added the following 2020 albums after freezing the 2020 year-end file:

  1. The Ray Russell Quartet: Spontaneous Event: Live Vol. 1: 1967-69 (Jazz in Britain) **


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

  1. Greg Abate: Magic Dance: The Music of Kenny Barron (Whaling City Sound, 2CD) ** [B+(**)]
  2. Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society: Mandatory Reality (Eremite) ** [U+]
  3. Air Craft: Divergent Path (Craftedair/Blujazz) [B]
  4. Albare: Albare Plays Jobim Vol. 2 (Alfi) [B+(*)]
  5. Alchemy Sound Project: Afrika Love (ARC) [B+(**)]
  6. Susan Alcorn/Leila Bordreuil/Ingrid Laubrock: Bird Meets Wire (Relative Pitch) ** [B+(*)]
  7. Alder Ego: III (We Jazz) ** [B+(**)]
  8. Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet: Social Distancing (Saponegro) [B+(**)]
  9. Lina Allemano Four: Vegetables (Lumo) ** [B+(**)]
  10. Harry Allen/Mike Karn: Milo's Illinois (GAC) ** [B+(**)]
  11. JD Allen: Queen City (Savant) ** [B+(*)]
  12. Tony Allen: There Is No End (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  13. Ben Allison: Moments Inside (Sonic Camera) ** [B+(*)]
  14. Pedro Melo Alves' Omniae Large Ensemble: Lumina (Clean Feed) ** [B+(*)]
  15. Franco Ambrosetti Band: Lost Within You (Unit) [B+(**)]
  16. Android Trio: Other Worlds (Cuneiform) ** [C+]
  17. Rebecca Angel: Love Life Choices (Timeless Grooves) [B+(*)]
  18. Miguel Ângelo Quarteto: Dança Dos Desastrados (self-released) ** [B+(**)]
  19. Michaël Attias/Simon Nabatov: Brooklyn Mischiefs (Leo) ** [B+(**)]
  20. Attitude!: Pause & Effect (ESP-Disk) * [B+(**)]
  21. Badbadnotgood: Talk Memory (XL/Innovative Leisure) ** [B]
  22. Dmitry Baevsky: Soundtrack (Fresh Sound New Talent) ** [B+(**)]
  23. Baker's Brew: New Works (Psychosomatic, 2CD) [B+(*)]
  24. Rossano Baldini: Humanbeing (RareNoise) * [B+(**)]
  25. Rahsaan Barber: Mosaic (Jazz Music City, 2CD) [B+(**)]
  26. Nik Bärtsch: Entendre (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  27. Keshav Batish: Binaries in Cycle (Woven Strands) [B+(**)]
  28. Dahveed Behroozi: Echos (Sunnyside) ** [B+(*)]
  29. Gregg Belisle-Chi: Koi: Performing the Music of Tim Berne (Relative Pitch) ** [B+(*)]
  30. Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Love for Sale (Columbia/Interscope) ** [B+(**)]
  31. Pat Bianchi: Something to Say: The Music of Stevie Wonder (Savant) ** [B]
  32. Bitchin Bajas: Switched On Ra (Drag City) ** [B+(**)]
  33. Rubén Blades y Roberto Delgado & Orquesta: Salswing! (Ruben Blades Productions) ** [B+(*)]
  34. Dan Blake: Da Fé (Sunnyside) [B+(**)]
  35. Terence Blanchard: Absence (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  36. Lena Bloch & Feathery: Rose of Lifta (Fresh Sound New Talent) [B+(*)]
  37. Jane Ira Bloom/Mark Helias: Some Kind of Tomorrow (Radio Legs) ** [B+(**)]
  38. Dr. Mike Bogle: Let There Be Light (MBP/Groove) [B]
  39. Weedie Braimah: The Hands of Time (Stretch Music/Ropeadope) ** [B+(**)]
  40. Patricia Brennan: Maquishti (Valley of Search) ** [B+(*)]
  41. Olie Brice/Binker Golding/Henry Kaiser/N.O. Moore/Eddie Prévost: The Secret Handshake With Danger: Vol. One (577) ** [B+(*)]
  42. Jakob Bro/Arve Henriksen/Jorge Rossy: Uma Elmo (ECM) ** [B]
  43. Alan Broadbent/London Metropolitan Strings: Broadbent Plays Brubeck (Eden River) ** [B+(*)]
  44. Greg Burk: Simple Joys (Tonos) [B+(*)]
  45. Abraham Burton/Lucian Ban: Black Salt: Live at the Baroque Hall (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  46. John Butcher/Veryan Weston/Øyvind Stonesund/Dag Erik Kriedal Andersen: Mapless Quiet (Motvind -20) ** [B+(**)]
  47. John Butcher/Sharon Gal/David Toop: Until the Night Melts Away (Shrike) ** [B]
  48. John Butcher/Dominic Lash/John Russell/Mark Sanders: Discernment (Spoonhunt) ** [B+(*)]
  49. Butcher Brown: Encore (Concord Jazz, EP) ** [B]
  50. George Cables: Too Close for Comfort (HighNote) ** [B+(*)]
  51. Jonas Cambien Trio: Nature Hath Painted the Body (Clean Feed) ** [B+(**)]
  52. Pedro Carneiro & Pedro Melo Alves: Bad Company (Clean Feed) ** [B+(*)]
  53. Daniel Carter: Playfield Vol. 1: Sonar (Orbit577) ** [B+(*)]
  54. Daniel Carter: Playfield Vol. 2: The Middle (Orbit577) ** [B+(**)]
  55. Daniel Carter: Playfield Vol. 3: After Life (Orbit577) ** [B+(*)]
  56. George Cartwright/Dave King/Josh Granowski: Stick Insect (Mahakala Music -21) ** [B+(**)]
  57. Joe Chambers: Samba De Marcatu (Blue Note) ** [B]
  58. Brian Charette: Power From the Air (SteepleChase) ** [B+(*)]
  59. Bill Charlap Trio: Street of Dreams (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  60. Gerald Cleaver: Griots (Positive Elevation/577) ** [B+(**)]
  61. Cochemea: Vol. II: Baca Sewa (Daptone) ** [B+(*)]
  62. Avishai Cohen: Two Roses (Naive) ** [B]
  63. Emmet Cohen: Future Stride (Mack Avenue) ** [B+(**)]
  64. Mike Cohen: Winter Sun (Blujazz) [B+(**)]
  65. Tom Cohen: My Take (Versa Music) [B+(**)]
  66. Xhosa Cole: K(no)w Them, K(no)w Us (Stoney Lane) ** [B+(**)]
  67. Alex Collins/Ryan Berg/Karl Latham: Together (Dropzonejazz) [B+(**)]
  68. Wayne Coniglio & Scott Whitfield: Faster Friends (Summit) [B]
  69. The Cookers: Look Out! (Gearbox) ** [B+(*)]
  70. Jack Cooper/Jeff Tobias: Tributaries (Astral Spirits) ** [B]
  71. Chick Corea Akoustic Band: Live! (Stretch, 2CD) ** [B+(**)]
  72. Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt: Made Out of Sound (Palilalia) ** [B+(**)]
  73. Simão Costa: Beat With Out Byte (Cipsela) [B+(**)]
  74. Cowboys & Frenchmen: Our Highway (Outside In Music) [B+(*)]
  75. Neil Cowley: Hall of Mirrors (Mote) ** [B+(**)]
  76. Crazy Doberman: Everyone Is Rolling Down a Hill (Astral Spirits) ** [B]
  77. Theo Croker: BLK2LIFE // A Future Past (Sony Masterworks) ** [B]
  78. Cyclone Trio: The Clear Revolution (577) ** [B+(**)]
  79. Jeremiah Cymerman/Charlie Looker: A Horizon Made of Canvas (Astral Spirits) ** [B+(*)]
  80. Andrew Cyrille Quartet: The News (ECM) ** [B]
  81. Daggerboard: Last Days of Studio A (Wide Hive) [B+(*)]
  82. Harold Danko: Spring Garden (SteepleChase) ** [B+(**)]
  83. Caroline Davis: Portals, Volume 1: Mourning (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  84. Angel Bat Dawid: Hush Harbor Mixtape Vol. 1 Doxology (International Anthem) ** [B+(**)]
  85. Dan Dean: Fanfare for the Common Man (Origin Classical) [B-]
  86. Jamael Dean: Primordial Waters (Stones Throw) ** [B+(*)]
  87. Michael Dease: Give It All You Got (Posi-Tone) ** [B+(*)]
  88. Graham Dechter: Major Influence (Capri) [B+(**)]
  89. Benoît Delbecq: The Weight of Light (Pyroclastic) [B+(**)]
  90. The Dynamic Les DeMerle Band Featuring Bonnie Eisele: Hot Night in Venice: Live at the Venice Jazz Club (Origin) [B+(*)]
  91. Randal Despommier: Dio C'è (Outside In Music) [B]
  92. John Dikeman/Hamid Drake: Live in Chicago (Doek Raw -20) ** [B+(*)]
  93. Sasha Dobson: Girl Talk (self-released) ** [B+(**)]
  94. Dominican Jazz Project: Desde Lejos (Summit) [B+(*)]
  95. Pat Donaher: Occasionally (self-released) [B+(**)]
  96. Donkeyazz: Play the Blues (Singo) ** [C]
  97. Chet Doxas: You Can't Take It With You (Whirlwind) [B+(**)]
  98. Hamid Drake/Elaine Mitchener/William Parker/Orphy Robinson/Pat Thomas: Black Top Presents: Some Good News (Otoroku, 2CD) ** [B+(**)]
  99. Scott DuBois: Summer Water (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  100. Rebecca Dumaine and the Dave Miller Trio: Someday, Someday (Summit) [B+(*)]
  101. Paul Dunmall & Mark Sanders: Unity (577) ** [B+(**)]
  102. Jon Durant & Stephan Thelen: Crossings (Alchemy) ** [B+(**)]
  103. Gerry Eastman Trio: Trust Me (self-released) [B+(*)]
  104. Yelena Eckemoff: Adventures of the Wildflower (L&H Production, 2CD) [B+(**)]
  105. Mathias Eick: When We Leave (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  106. Elephant9: Arrival of the New Elders (Rune Grammofon) ** [B+(**)]
  107. Kurt Elling: SuperBlue (Edition) ** [B]
  108. John Ellis/Adam Levy/Glenn Patscha: Say It Quiet (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  109. Signe Emmeluth: Hi Hello I'm Signe (Relative Pitch) ** [B]
  110. Yoav Eshed/Lex Korten/Massimo Biolcati/Jongkuk Kim: A Way Out (Sounderscore) [B+(*)]
  111. Falkner Evans: Invisible Words (CAP) [B+(**)]
  112. Alon Farber: Hagiga: Reflecting on Freedom (Origin) [B]
  113. Joe Farnsworth: City of Sound (Smoke Sessions) ** [B+(*)]
  114. Lorraine Feather: My Own Particular Life (Relarion) [B+(*)]
  115. Steven Feifke Big Band: Kinetic (Outside In Music) ** [B+(*)]
  116. Andre Ferreri Quintetto: Numero Uno (Laser) [B+(**)]
  117. Nick Finzer: Out of Focus (Outside In Music) ** [B+(*)]
  118. Béla Fleck: My Bluegrass Heart (Renew, 2CD) ** [B+(*)]
  119. Floating Points/Pharoah Sanders & the London Symphony Orchestra: Promises (Luaka Bop) ** [B+(**)]
  120. Gabby Fluke-Mogul: Threshold (Relative Pitch) ** [B+(*)]
  121. Focusyear Band 2021: Bosque (Neuklang) [B+(*)]
  122. Bruce Forman With John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton: Reunion! (2021, B4Man Music) ** [B+(**)]
  123. Michael Formanek: Imperfect Measures (Intakt) ** [B+(**)]
  124. Michael Foster/Ben Bennett: Contractions (Astral Spirits) ** [B+(**)]
  125. Joel Frahm: The Bright Side (Anzic) ** [B+(**)]
  126. James Francies: Purest Form (Blue Note) ** [B-]
  127. Nick Fraser Quartet: If There Were No Opposites (Ezz-Thetics) ** [B+(*)]
  128. Linda Fredriksson: Juniper (We Jazz) ** [B+(**)]
  129. Nnenna Freelon: Time Traveler (Origin) [B+(*)]
  130. Erik Friedlander: Sentinel (Skipstone -20) ** [B+(**)]
  131. Amit Friedman: Unconditional Love (Origin) [B]
  132. David Friesen & Bob Ravenscroft: Passage (Origin) [B+(**)]
  133. David Friesen: Day of Rest (Origin) [B+(**)]
  134. Fred Frith/Ikue Mori: A Mountain Doesn't Know It's Tall (2021, Intakt) ** [B+(**)]
  135. Rob Frye: Chihuahuan Desert Birdscapes (Astral Spirits) ** [B]
  136. Satoko Fujii: Piano Music (Libra) [B+(*)]
  137. Futari: Beyond (Libra) [B+(*)]
  138. Futari: Underground (Libra) [B+(**)]
  139. Danilo Gallo Dark Dry Tears: A View Through a Slot (Clean Feed) ** [B+(**)]
  140. Garage A Trois: Calm Down Cologne (Royal Potato Family) ** [B+(*)]
  141. Nubya Garcia: Source We Move + We Move (Concord Jazz) ** [B]
  142. Derrick Gardner and the Big Dig! Band: Still I Rise (Impact Jazz -20) ** [B+(**)]
  143. Garfo: Garfo (Clean Feed) ** [B+(**)]
  144. Kenny Garrett: Sounds From the Ancestors (Mack Avenue) ** [B+(**)]
  145. Ben LaMar Gay: Open Arms to Open Us (International Anthem) ** [B+(*)]
  146. Aaron Germain: Bell Projections (Aaron Germain Music) [B+(*)]
  147. Greg Germann: Tales of Time (Origin) [B+(**)]
  148. Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trios: Songs From My Father (Whaling City Sound, 2CD) ** [B+(**)]
  149. Sean Michael Giddings: Red Willow (Origin) [B+(*)]
  150. Pedro Giraudo Tango Quartet: Impulso Tanguero (Tiger Turn) ** [B]
  151. Frode Gjerstad Trio + 1: Forgotten City (PNL -20) ** [B+(*)]
  152. The Emma Goldman Bust-Out Brigade: The Emma Goldman Bust-Out Brigade (Nomad Eel) ** [B+(**)]
  153. Jon Gordon: Stranger Than Fiction (ArtistShare) [B+(**)]
  154. Bob Gorry/Pete Brunelli/Peter Riccio: GoBruCcio (NHIC) [B+(**)]
  155. Pasquale Grasso: Pasquale Plays Duke (Sony Masterworks) ** [B+(*)]
  156. Georg Graewe & Sonic Fiction Orchestra: Fortschritt Und Vergnügen (Random Acoustics -20) ** [B+(**)]
  157. The Grasso-Ravita Jazz Ensemble: Jagged Spaces (Grassvita Music) [B+(*)]
  158. Cameron Graves: Seven (Mack Avenue) ** [B-]
  159. Devin Gray/Ralph Alessi/Angelica Sanchez: Melt All the Guns (Rataplan, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  160. Gordon Grdina/Jim Black: Martian Kitties (Astral Spirits) ** [B+(**)]
  161. Gordon Grdina: Pendulum (Attaboygirl) [B+(**)]
  162. Charlotte Greve: Sediments We Move (New Amsterdam) ** [B+(**)]
  163. Mats Gustafsson/Joachim Nordwall: Shadows of Tomorrow/The Brain Produces Electric Waves (Astral Spirits, EP) ** [B]
  164. Barry Guy: Irvin's Comet (NoBusiness -20) [B+(*)]
  165. Noah Haidu/Buster Williams/Billy Hart: Slowly: Song for Keith Jarrett (An Die Musik) [B+(**)]
  166. Jared Hall: Seen on the Scene (Origin) [B+(**)]
  167. Frode Haltli: Avant Folk II (Hubro) ** [B+(**)]
  168. Jeff Hamilton Trio: Merry & Bright (Capri) [cd] [B]
  169. Scott Hamilton/Duke Robillard: Swingin' Again (Blue Duchess) ** [B+(*)]
  170. Roderick Harper: Evolving (R.H.M. Entertainment) [B+(*)]
  171. John Hart: Checkmate (SteepleChase) ** [B+(**)]
  172. Louis Hayes: Crisis (Savant) ** [B+(**)]
  173. Kevin Hays/Ben Street/Billy Hart: All Things Are (Smoke Sessions) ** [B+(*)]
  174. Miho Hazama: Imaginary Visions (Edition) ** [B+(**)]
  175. Shay Hazan Quintet: Nuff Headlines (Chant) ** [B+(**)]
  176. Hearth: Melt (Clean Feed) ** [B+(*)]
  177. David Helbock: The New Cool (ACT Music) ** [B+(*)]
  178. Hennessy Six/Colorado Springs Youth Symphony: The Road Less Traveled (Summit) [B+(*)]
  179. Daniel Herskedal: Harbor (Edition) ** [B]
  180. Dave Holland: Another Land (Edition) ** [B+(**)]
  181. Jazzmeia Horn and Her Noble Force: Dear Love (Empress Legacy) ** [B+(*)]
  182. François Houle/Samo Salamon: Unobservable Mysteries (Samo -20) ** [B+(**)]
  183. Joseph Howell Quartet: Live in Japan (Summit) [B+(**)]
  184. Rocco John Iacovone/Tom Cabrera: Out of the Maelstrom (Unseen Rain) ** [B+(**)]
  185. Rocco John Iacovone/Phil Sirois/Tom Cabrera: Synchronics (Unseen Rain) ** [B+(**)]
  186. Susie Ibarra: Walking on Water (Innova) ** [B+(**)]
  187. Susie Ibarra: Talking Gong (New Focus) ** [B+(*)]
  188. Il Sogno: Graduation (Auand/Gotta Let It Out) ** [B+(**)]
  189. Inawhirl: Streugebilde (Trost) ** [B+(*)]
  190. Jon Irabagon: Bird With Streams (Irabbagast) ** [B]
  191. Abdullah Ibrahim: Solotude: My Journey, My Vision (Gearbox) ** [B+(**)]
  192. Shawneci Icecold/Daniel Carter/Brandon Lopez: Toro (Underground45) **
  193. Shawneci Icecold/Daniel Carter: Familiar Roads (Underground45) ** [B]
  194. Shawneci Icecold Quartet: Coldtrane (Underground 45) [B+(**)]
  195. Ethan Iverson/Umbria Jazz Orchestra: Bud Powell in the 21st Century (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  196. Jake Breaks: Breaksy (Wide Hive) [B+(*)]
  197. Irene Jalenti: Dawn (Antidote Sounds) [B+(**)]
  198. Jazz Daddies: Moontower Nights (self-released) [B]
  199. Jazz Worms: Squirmin' (Capri) [B+(*)]
  200. Eunhye Jeong: Nolda (ESP-Disk) [B+(**)]
  201. Marc Johnson: Overpass (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  202. Willie Jones III: Fallen Heroes (WJ3) ** [B+(*)]
  203. Rodney Jordan & Christian Fabian: Conversations (Spicerack) [B+(**)]
  204. Marcus Joseph: Beyond the Dome (Jazz Re:freshed) ** [B]
  205. Jü: III (RareNoise) * [B+(*)]
  206. Jonathan Kane and Dave Soldier: February Meets Soldier String Quartet (EEG) [B+(**)]
  207. Vera Kappeler/Peter Conradin Zumthor: Herd (Intakt) ** [B+(*)]
  208. Jonathan Karrant/Joshua White: Shadows Fall (self-released) [B+(*)]
  209. Katarsis 4: Live at the Underground Water Reservoir (NoBusiness -20) [B+(*)]
  210. Achim Kaufmann/Ignaz Schick: Altered Alchemy (Zarek, 2CD) [B+(**)]
  211. Jacqueline Kerrod: 17 Days in December (Orenda) [B+(**)]
  212. Reza Khan: Imaginary Road (Painted Music) [B-]
  213. Kiefer: When There's Love Around (Stones Throw) ** [B]
  214. Craig Klein: Talkative Horns: Musical Conversations on Lucien Barbarin (Tromboklein Music) ** [B+(**)]
  215. Alexey Kruglov/Carolyn Hume/Paul May/Oleg Yudanov: Last Train From Narvskaya (Leo) ** [B+(*)]
  216. Martin Küchen & Michaela Antalová: Thunder Before Lightning (Clean Feed) ** [B-]
  217. Christof Kurzmann/Sofia Jernberg/Joe Williamson/Mats Brandlmayr: Disquiet (Trost) ** [B+(*)]
  218. Kuzu: The Glass Delusion (Astral Spirits) ** [B+(**)]
  219. L.A. Cowboy: The Big Pitch (Reconcile) [B]
  220. Julian Lage: Squint (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  221. Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio: I Told You So (Colemine) ** [B+(*)]
  222. Andy LaVerne: Rhapsody (SteepleChase) ** [B+(**)]
  223. Remy Le Boeuf's Assembly of Shadows: Architecture of Storms (SoundSpore) [B]
  224. Marthe Lea Band: Asura (Motvind) ** [B+(*)]
  225. Joëlle Léandre/Pauline Oliveros/George Lewis: Play as You Go (Trost) ** [B+(**)]
  226. Gerard Lebik/John Edwards/Paul Lovens: Lepomis Gibbosus (Fundacja Sluchaj) ** [B+(*)]
  227. Jeff Lederer/Sunwatcher: Eightfold Path (Little(i)Music) [B+(**)]
  228. Mike LeDonne's Groover Quartet + Big Band: It's All Your Fault (Savant) ** [B+(*)]
  229. Jihye Lee Orchestra: Daring Mind (Motéma) ** [B+(**)]
  230. João Lencastre's Communion: Unlimited Dreams (Clean Feed) ** [B+(**)]
  231. Gianni Lenoci: A Few Steps Beyond (Amirani) ** [B+(*)]
  232. Gabor Lesko: Earthway (Creativity's Paradise Music) [B]
  233. Mark Lewis Quartet: Naked Animals (Audio Daddio) [B+(*)]
  234. Dave Liebman Expansions: Selflessness: The Music of John Coltrane (Dot Time) ** [B+(**)]
  235. Lukas Ligeti: That Which Has Remaind . . . That Which Will Emerge . . . (Col Legno) [B+(**)]
  236. Johan Lindström Septett: On the Asylum (Moserobie) [B+(*)]
  237. Damon Locks/Black Monument Ensemble: Now (International Anthem) ** [B+(**)]
  238. Doug Lofstrom: Music for Strings (Origin Classical) [B-]
  239. Brandon López Trio: Live at Roulette (Relative Pitch) ** [B+(**)]
  240. Russ Lossing: Metamorphism (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  241. Joe Lovano: Trio Tapestry: Garden of Expression (ECM) ** [B]
  242. Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas: Soundprints: Other Worlds (Greenleaf Music) [B+(*)]
  243. A Love Electric: Permanent Immigrant (Imagination Demand -20) ** [B+(*)]
  244. Harold Mabern: Mabern Plays Coltrane (Smoke Sessions) ** [B+(*)]
  245. Doug MacDonald: Live in Hawaii (DMAC Music) [B+(*)]
  246. Doug MacDonald Duo: Toluca Lake Jazz (Doug MacDonald Music) [B+(**)]
  247. Doug MacDonald: Serenade to Highland Park (DMAC Music) [B+(**)]
  248. Madre Vaca: The Elements (Madre Vaca) [B+(*)]
  249. Shai Maestro: Human (ECM) ** [B+(*)]
  250. Roberto Magris & Eric Hochberg: Shuffling Ivories (JMood) [B+(**)]
  251. Mai-Liis: Mai-Liis on Life (OA2) [B+(**)]
  252. Wu Man/Kojiro Umezaki: How (In a Circle) [B+(*)]
  253. Michael Mantler: Coda: Orchestra Suites (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  254. Myele Manzanza: Crisis & Opportunity, Vol 2: Peaks (DeepMatter) ** [B+(*)]
  255. Michael Marcus: Stone Jump (Not Two) ** [B+(**)]
  256. Rick Margitza: Sacred Hearts (Le Coq) ** [B+(**)]
  257. Karen Marguth: Until (OA2) [B+(*)]
  258. Lorraina Marro: Love Is for All Time (self-released) [B+(**)]
  259. Branford Marsalis: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom [Original Soundtrack] (Milan -20) ** [B]
  260. Mast: Battle Hymns of the Republic (World Galaxy) ** [B+(**)]
  261. Shawn Maxwell: Expectation & Experience (Jazzline) [B+(**)]
  262. Michael Mayo: Bones (Artistry Music/Mack Avenue) ** [B+(*)]
  263. Lyle Mays: Eberhard (self-released, EP) [B]
  264. Christian McBride & Inside Straight: Live at the Village Vanguard (Mack Avenue) ** [B+(**)]
  265. Makaya McCraven: Deciphering the Message (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  266. Kate McGarry + Keith Ganz Ensemble: What to Wear in the Dark (Resilience) ** [B+(**)]
  267. John McLaughlin: Liberation Time (Abstract Logix) ** [B+(*)]
  268. Joe McPhee: Route 84 Quarantine Blues (Corbett vs. Dempsey) ** [B+(**)]
  269. Brad Mehldau and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra: Variations on a Melancholy Theme (Nonesuch) ** [B]
  270. Tobias Meinhart: The Painter (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  271. Francisco Mela: MPT Trio: Volume 1 (577) ** [B+(**)]
  272. Menahan Street Band: The Exciting Sounds of Menahan Street Band (Daptone) ** [B-]
  273. Ava Mendoza: New Spells (Relative Pitch/Astral Spirits) ** [B]
  274. Meridian Odyssey: Second Wave (Origin) [B+(*)]
  275. Paul Messina: Blue Fire (GVAP Music -21) [B-]
  276. Pat Metheny: Road to the Sun (BMG Modern) ** [B]
  277. Pat Metheny: Side-Eye NYC (V1.IV) (Modern) ** [B+(*)]
  278. Lady Millea: I Don't Mind Missing You (Reconcile) [B+(*)]
  279. Dave Miller Trio: The Mask-erade Is Over (Summit) [B+(*)]
  280. Steve Million: What I Meant to Say (Origin) [B+(*)]
  281. Bob Mintzer & WDR Big Band Cologne: Soundscapes (MCG Jazz) [B+(**)]
  282. Roscoe Mitchell: Dots: Pieces for Percussion and Woodwinds (Wide Hive) [B+(**)]
  283. Yoko Miwa Trio: Songs of Joy (Ubuntu Music) [B+(**)]
  284. Cameron Mizell & Charlie Rauh: Local Folklore (Destiny) [B]
  285. Liudas Mockunas/Arfvydad Kaziauskas: Purvs (Jersika -2LP) [B+(**)]
  286. Liudas Mockunas/Christian Windfeld: Pacemaker (NoBusiness) [B+(*)]
  287. The Modern Jazz Trio With Jerry Bergonzi: Straight Gonz (AMM) ** [B+(**)]
  288. Charnett Moffett: New Love (Motéma) ** [B]
  289. Charnett Moffett Trio: Live (Motema, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  290. John Moulder: Metamorphosis (Origin) [B]
  291. Simon Moullier Trio: Countdown (Fresh Sound New Talent) [B+(**)]
  292. Ali Shaheed Muhammad & Adrian Younge: Jazz Is Dead 8: Brian Jackson (Jazz Is Dead) ** [B+(*)]
  293. Mushroom: Songs of Dissent: Live at the Make Out Room 8/9/19 (Alchemikal Artz) [B+(**)]
  294. Rachel Musson: Dreamsing (577) ** [B+(**)]
  295. Jo Berger Myhre: Unheimlich Manoeuvre (RareNoise) * [B+(**)]
  296. Randy Napoleon: Rust Belt Roots: Randy Napoleon Plays Wes Montgomery, Grand Green & Kenny Burrell (OA2) [B+(**)]
  297. Jason Nazary: Spring Collection (We Jazz) [B+(**)]
  298. Mankwe Ndosi and Body MemOri: Felt/Not Said (Auspice NOW) * [B+(*)]
  299. Gary Negbaur: You've Got to Be Carefully Taught (BluJazz) [B+(*)]
  300. Marius Neset: A New Dawn (ACT Music) ** [B+(*)]
  301. Larry Newcomb Quartet: Love, Dad (Essential Messenger) [B+(*)]
  302. Matt Niess & the Capitol Bones: The Beat Goes On (Summit) [B]
  303. Nikara: Nikara Presents Black Wall Street (Railroad Hart) ** [B+(*)]
  304. Stephanie Nilles: I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag: The White Flag (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  305. Nadja Noordhuis: Gullfoss (2019, Little Mystery) ** [B+(*)]
  306. Nortonk: Nortonk (Biophilia) ** [B+(**)]
  307. Aaron Novik: Grounded (Astral Spirits) ** [B+(**)]
  308. Nubiyan Twist: Freedom Fables (Strut) ** [B]
  309. Mark O'Connor: Markology II (OMAC -21) ** [B+(*)]
  310. Jeannine Otis: Into My Heart (Adrielle Music/Monpolyhouse) [B+(**)]
  311. Kassa Overall: Shades of Flu 2: In These Odd Times (Flu Note) ** [B]
  312. The Underflow: Instant Opaque Evening (Blue Chopsticks) ** [B]
  313. Chuck Owen and the Jazz Surge: Within Us: Celebrating 25 Years of the Jazz Surge (MAMA/Summit) [B+(*)]
  314. Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band: Soul Conversations (Outside In Music) ** [B+(**)]
  315. Keith Oxman/Frank Morelli: The Ox-Mo Incident (Capri) [B+(**)]
  316. Pino Palladino and Blake Mills: Notes With Attachments (Impulse) ** [B+(*)]
  317. Phil Parisot: Inventions (OA2) [B+(*)]
  318. Christopher Parker & the Band of Guardian Angels: Soul Food (Mahakala Music) ** [B+(**)]
  319. Evan Parker Quartet: All Knavery and Collusion (Cadillac) ** [B+(*)]
  320. Jeff Parker: Forfolks (International Anthem) ** [B+(*)]
  321. William Parker: Trencadis: A Selection From Migration Into and Out of the Tone World (Centering) ** [B+(**)]
  322. Zeena Parkins/Mette Rasmussen/Ryan Sawyer: Glass Triangle (Relative Pitch) ** [B+(*)]
  323. Nicki Parrott: If You Could Read My Mind (Arbors) ** [B+(**)]
  324. Alexis Parsons: Alexis (New Artists) [B+(**)]
  325. Ben Patterson: Push the Limits (Origin) [B+(*)]
  326. Lukasz Pawlik: Long-Distance Connections (Summit) [B+(**)]
  327. Nicholas Payton: Smoke Sessions (Smoke Sessions) ** [B+(**)]
  328. Jeremy Pelt: Griot: This Is Important! (HighNote) ** [B+(*)]
  329. Rich Pellegrin: Solitude: Solo Improvisations (OA2) [B+(**)]
  330. Ivo Perelman/Nate Wooley: Polarity (Burning Ambulance) ** [B+(*)]
  331. Ralph Peterson: Raise Up Off Me (Onyx Music) ** [B+(**)]
  332. Barre Phillips/John Butcher/Ståle Liavik Solberg: We Met - And Then (Relative Pitch) ** [B+(**)]
  333. Pluto Juice: Pluto Juice (Contagious Music) [B+(*)]
  334. Charlie Porter: Hindsight (OA2) [B]
  335. Portico Quartet: Terrain (Gondwana) ** [B+(*)]
  336. Portico Quartet: Monument (Gondwana) ** [B+(*)]
  337. Chris Potter: There Is a Tide (Edition -20) ** [B-]
  338. Chris Potter Circuits Trio: Sunrise Reprise (Edition) ** [B]
  339. Hank Roberts Sextet: Science of Love (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  340. Powers/Rollin Duo: Strange Fortune (Astral Spirits) ** [B+(*)]
  341. Mike Pride: I Hate Work (RareNoise) ** [B+(*)]
  342. Professor Cunningham and His Old School: The Lockdown Blues (Arbors) ** [B+(*)]
  343. Q'd Up: Going Places (Tantara) [B]
  344. Reggie Quinerly: New York Nowhere (Redefinition) [B+(*)]
  345. R+R=Now: Live (Blue Note) ** [B]
  346. Abbey Rader/John McMinn: Two as One (Abray) ** [B+(*)]
  347. Tom Rainey Obbligato: Untucked in Hannover (Intakt) ** [B+(**)]
  348. Phil Ranelin: Infinite Expressions (ORG Music) ** [B+(**)]
  349. Andrew Renfroe: Run in the Storm (self-released) [B+(**)]
  350. Steph Richards With Joshua White: Zephyr (Relative Pitch) ** [B+(**)]
  351. Alex Riel/Bo Stief/Carsten Dahl: Our Songs (Storyville) ** [B+(**)]
  352. The Rite of Trio: Free Development of Delirium (Clean Feed) ** [B+(*)]
  353. Diego Rivera: Indigenous (Posi-Tone) ** [B+(**)]
  354. Trineice Robinson: All or Nothing (4RM Music Productions) [B+(**)]
  355. Mauricio J. Rodriguez: Luz (self-released) [B]
  356. Dan Rose: Last Night . . . (Ride Symbol) [B+(*)]
  357. Dan Rose/Claudine Francois: New Leaves (Ride Symbol) [B+(**)]
  358. Renee Rosnes: Kinds of Love (Smoke Sessions) ** [B+(*)]
  359. The Justin Rothberg Group: Hurricane Mouse (self-released) [B+(*)]
  360. Andreas Røysum Ensemble: Fredsfanatisme (Motvind) ** [B+(**)]
  361. Adam Rudolph Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra: Resonant Bodies (Meta) ** [B+(*)]
  362. Charles Rumback: Seven Bridges (Astral Spirits) ** [B+(*)]
  363. Samo Salamon/Hasse Poulsen: String Dancers (Sazas) [B+(**)]
  364. Samo Salamon/Cene Resnik/Jaka Berger: Takt Ars Sessions: Vol. 2 (Samo) ** [B+(**)]
  365. Sten Sandell/Lisa Ullén: Double Music (Clean Feed) ** [B+(**)]
  366. Scary Goldings: Scary Goldings IV (Pockets) ** [B+(*)]
  367. The Scenic Route Trio: Flight of Life (self-released) [B+(*)]
  368. Schapiro 17: Human Qualities (Summit) [B+(**)]
  369. Chris Schlarb/Chad Taylor: Time No Changes (Astral Spirits/Big Ego) ** [B+(*)]
  370. Silvan Schmid: Augmented Space (Ezz-Thetics) ** [B]
  371. Jared Schonig: Two Takes Vol. 1: Quintet (Anzic) ** [B+(**)]
  372. J. Peter Schwalm: Aufbruch (RareNoise) * [B+(*)]
  373. Jacques Schwarz-Bart: Soné Ka-La 2: Odyssey (Enja) [B+(*)]
  374. Zoe Scott: Shades of Love (Zoe Scott Music -20) [B+(*)]
  375. Charlie Sepúlveda & the Turnaround: This Is Latin Jazz (HighNote) [B+(**)]
  376. Sara Serpa: Intimate Strangers (Biophilia) * [B+(**)]
  377. Jaleel Shaw: Echoes (self-relesed) ** [B+(**)]
  378. Idit Shner: Live at the Jazz Station (OA2) [B+(**)]
  379. Almog Sharvit: Get Up or Cry (Unit) [B+(*)]
  380. Jen Shyu & Jade Tongue: Zero Grasses: Ritual for the Losses (Pi) [C+]
  381. Sidemen: Sidemen (Summit) [B]
  382. Paul Silbergleit: The Hidden Standard (BluJazz) [B-]
  383. Josh Sinton: B. (Form Is Possibility) [B+(**)]
  384. Alex Sipiagin: Upstream (Posi-Tone) ** [B+(*)]
  385. Greg Skaff: Polaris (Smoke Sessions) ** [B]
  386. Grete Skarpeid: Beyond Other Stories (Origin) [B+(**)]
  387. Skarbø Skulekorps: Dugnad (Hubro) ** [B+(**)]
  388. Slide Attack: Road Trip (SACD) [B+(*)]
  389. Nate Smith: Kinfolk 2: See the Birds (Edition) ** [B]
  390. Dr. Lonnie Smith: Breathe (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  391. Jim Snidero: Live at the Deer Head Inn (Savant) [B+(**)]
  392. Sonic Liberation Front: Moon Rust Red Streets (High Two) ** [B+(**)]
  393. Omar Sosa/Seckou Keita: Suba (Bendigedig) ** [B+(**)]
  394. Space Quartet: Directions (Clean Feed) ** [B+(**)]
  395. Esperanza Spalding: Songwrights Apothecary Lab (Concord) ** [B]
  396. Chris Speed: Light Line (Intakt) ** [B+(**)]
  397. Spinifex: Beats the Plague (Trytone -21) [B+(**)]
  398. Rossano Sportiello: That's It (Arbors) ** [B+(**)]
  399. Squid: Bright Green Field (Warp) ** [B+(**)]
  400. Will St Peter/Steven Heffner/Steve Barnes: Honestly (Origin) [B+(*)]
  401. Becca Stevens: Becca Stevens & the Secret Trio (GroundUp Music) ** [B]
  402. Matthew Stevens: Pittsburgh (Whirlwind) [B]
  403. Luke Stewart: Works for Upright Bass and Amplifier Vol. 1 (Astral Spirits -21) ** [B+(*)]
  404. John Stowell/Dan Dean: Rain Painting (Origin) [B]
  405. Thomas Strønen/Ayumi Tanaka/Marthe Lea: Bayou (ECM) ** [B+(*)]
  406. Helen Sung: Quartet + (Sunnyside) ** [B+(*)]
  407. Tine Surel Lange: Works for Listening 1-10 (Sofa Music) ** [B+(**)]
  408. Craig Taborn: Shadow Plays (ECM) ** [B+(*)]
  409. Natsuki Tamura/Satoko Fujii: Keshin (Libra) [B+(**)]
  410. Natsuki Tamura: Koki Solo (Libra) [B+(**)]
  411. Alexa Tarantino: Firefly (Posi-Tone) ** [B+(**)]
  412. Emma-Jean Thackray: Yellow (Movementt/Warp) ** [B]
  413. Butch Thompson & Southside Aces With Charlie Devore: How Long Blues (Southside Aces -20) ** [B+(*)]
  414. Throttle Elevator Music: Final Floor (Wide Hive) ** [B+(**)]
  415. The Tiptons Sax Quartet & Drums: Wabi Sabi (Sowie Sound) ** [B+(**)]
  416. Vasco Trilla/Liba Villavecchia: Asebeia (FMR) ** [B+(*)]
  417. Tony Tixier: I Am Human (Whirlwind, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  418. Arne Torvik Trio: Northwestern Songs (Losen) ** [B+(**)]
  419. Sabu Toyozumi/Mats Gustafsson: Hokusai (NoBusiness -20) [B+(*)]
  420. Vasco Trilla: Unmoved Mover (Fundacja Sluchaj) ** [B]
  421. Trondheim Jazz Orchestra & The MaXx: Live (MNJ -20) ** [B+(**)]
  422. Gebhard Ullmann/Gerhard Gschlössl/Johannes Fink/Jan Leipnitz/Michael Haves: Gulfh of Berlin (ESP-Disk) [B+(**)]
  423. The United States Air Force Band Airmen of Note: The 2021 Jazz Heritage Series (self-released) [C+]
  424. Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet: Fools for Yule (Housekat) [C]
  425. Vario 34-3: Free Improvised Music (Corbett vs. Dempsey) ** [B+(*)]
  426. Sachal Vasandani/Romain Collin: Midnight Shelter (Edition) ** [B-]
  427. Carlos Vega: Art of the Messenger (Origin) [B+(**)]
  428. Luís Vicente Trio: Chanting in the Name Of (Clean Feed) ** [B+(**)]
  429. Tommy Vig: 2022: Jazz Jazz (Klassikus Jazz) [C]
  430. Theo Walentiny: Looking Glass (self-released) [B+(*)]
  431. Walking Cliché Sextet: Suite Chase Reflex (self-released, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  432. Marta Warelis/Carlos "Zingaro"/Helena Espvall/Marcelo dos Reis: Turqoise Dream (JACC) [B+(**)]
  433. Marcin Wasilewski Trio: En Attendant (ECM) ** [B+(*)]
  434. Cory Weeds: O Sole Mio! Music From the Motherland (Cellar) ** [B+(**)]
  435. Corey Weeds With Strings: What Is There to Say? (Cellar) ** [B+(*)]
  436. Amber Weekes: My Romance: A Special Valentine (Amber Inn Productions, EP) [C]
  437. Amber Weekes: 'Round Midnight Re-Imagined (Amber Inn Productions) [B+(*)]
  438. Jennifer Wharton's Bonegasm: Not a Novelty (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  439. Rodney Whitaker: OutroSpection: The Music of Gregg Hill (Origin) [B+(*)]
  440. Rodney Whitaker With the Christ Church Cranbrook Choir: Cranbrook Christmas Jazz (Origin) [B]
  441. Chris White/Lara Driscoll: Firm Roots (Firm Roots) [B+(**)]
  442. Mareike Wiening: Future Memories (Greenleaf Music) [B+(*)]
  443. Chris Williams/Patrick Shiroishi: Sans Soleil (Astral Spirits) ** [B+(*)]
  444. Jamire Williams: But Only After You Have Suffered (International Anthem) ** [B+(*)]
  445. Mars Williams: Presents an Ayler Xmas Vol. 5 (Astral Spirits) ** [B+(**)]
  446. Sarah Wilson: Kaleidoscope (Brass Tonic) [B+(**)]
  447. Martin Wind Quartet: My Astorian Queen (Laika) [B+(**)]
  448. Nate Wooley/Liudas Mockunas/Barry Guy/Arkadijus Gotesmanas: NOX (NoBusiness) [B+(*)]
  449. W.R.D. [Robert Walter/Eddie Roberts/Adam Deitch]: The Hit (Color Red) ** [B+(*)]
  450. Greg Yasinitsky Yazz Band: New Normal (Origin) [B]
  451. Young Pilgrims: We're Young Pilgrims (Stoney Lane) ** [B-]
  452. Lucy Yeghiazaryan/Vanisha Gould: In Her Words (La Reserve) ** [B+(**)]
  453. Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad: Jazz Is Dead 7: João Donato (Jazz Is Dead, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  454. Brandee Younger: Somewhere Different (Impulse) ** [B+(**)]
  455. Denny Zeitlin/George Marsh: Telepathy (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]

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

  1. Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim: Harlem (1988, Acid Jazz) ** [B+(**)]
  2. Hasaan Ibn Ali: Retrospect in Retirement of Delay: The Solo Recordings (1962-65, Omnivore) ** [B+(**)]
  3. Albert Ayler: New York Eye and Ear Control Revisited (1964, Ezz-Thetics) ** [B+(*)]
  4. Derek Bailey/Mototeru Takagi: Live at FarOut, Atsugi 1987 (NoBusiness -20) [B+(**)]
  5. Billy Bang: Lucky Man (2008, BBE, 2CD) ** [B+(**)]
  6. Ben Black: Mystery & Wonder (2007, Origin) [B+(**)]
  7. Black Unity Trio: Al-Fatihah (1968, Salaam/Gotta Groove) ** [B+(**)]
  8. Paul Bley: Touching & Blood Revisited (1965-66, Ezz-thetics) ** [B+(**)]
  9. Doug Carn: Infant Eyes (1971, Black Jazz/Real Gone Music) ** [B+(**)]
  10. Doug Carn: Adam's Apple (1974, Black Jazz/Real Gone Music) ** [B+(*)]
  11. Ian Carr Double Quintet: Solar Session (1970, Jazz in Britain) ** [B+(**)]
  12. Don Cherry: Cherry Jam (1965, Gearbox, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  13. Don Cherry: The Summer House Sessions (1968, Blank Forms Editions) ** [B+(*)]
  14. Don Cherry's New Researches: Organic Music Theatre: Festival De Jazz De Chateauvallon 1972 (1972, Blank Forms Editions) ** [B+(*)]
  15. The Allen Cohen Big Band: The Oracle [The Ron Mathewson Tapes Vol. 4] (1968, Jazz in Britain, EP, -20) ** [B+(*)]
  16. John Coltrane: A Love Supreme: Live in Seattle (1965, Impulse) ** [B+(**)]
  17. Laurence Cook/Jacques Coursil/Warren Gale/Perry Robinson/Steve Tintweiss: Ave B Free Jam (1967, Inky Dot) [B]
  18. Miles Davis: Merci, Miles! Live at Vienne (1991, Rhino, 2CD) ** [B+(*)]
  19. Diane Delin: Chicago Standard Time (1991, BluJazz) [B+(*)]
  20. Directions in Music: 1969 to 1973: Miles Davis, His Musicians and the Birth of a New Age of Jazz (BGP) ** [B+(**)]
  21. Arne Domnérus Quartet: Dompan at the Savoy (Phontastic) ** [B+(**)]
  22. Cleveland Eaton: Plenty Good Eaton (1974, Black Jazz/Real Gone Music -20) ** [B+(*)]
  23. Ron Everett: Glitter of the City (1977, Jazzman) ** [B]
  24. Arv Garrison: The Unknown Arv Garrison: Wizard of the Six String (1945-48, Fresh Sound, 3CD) ** [B+(**)]
  25. Mike Gibbs: Revisiting Tanglewood 63: The Early Tapes (1970, Jazz in Britain) ** [B+(**)]
  26. Guillermo Gregorio/Damon Smith/Jerome Bryerton: Room of the Present (Fundacja Sluchaj) ** [B+(*)]
  27. Group Sounds Four & Five: Black and White Raga (1965-66, Jazz in Britain -20) ** [B+(**)]
  28. Joe Harriott Quintet: Formation: Live '61 (Jazz in Britain -EP) ** [B+(*)]
  29. Joe Harriott: Chronology: Live 1968-69 (Jazz In Britain -20) ** [B+(**)]
  30. The Tubby Hayes Quartet: Free Flight [The Ron Mathewson Tapes Vol. 3] (1972, Jazz in Britain, 2CD -20) ** [B+(**)]
  31. Alan Holdsworth/Ray Warleigh/Ron Mathewson/Bryan Spring: Warleigh Manor: The Ron Mathewson Tapes Vol. 1 (1979, Jazz in Britain -20) ** [B+(**)]
  32. Indaba Is (Brownswood) ** [B+(*)]
  33. Jim Knapp Orchestra: It's Not Business, It's Personal (2009, Origin) [B+(*)]
  34. Harold Land: Westward Bound! (1962-65, Reel to Real) ** [B+(**)]
  35. Jeanne Lee: Conspiracy (1975, Moved-by-Sound) ** [B+(*)]
  36. Mathewson & Mathewson: Blow (1976, Jazz in Britain -20) ** [B]
  37. Juozas Milasius/Tomas Kulavicius/Dalius Naujokaitis/Lithuanian Young Composers Orchestra: Live at Willisau, 1993 (NoBusiness -20) [C+]
  38. Bheki Mseleku: Beyond the Stars (2003, Tapestry Works) ** [B+(**)]
  39. Mujician: 10 10 10 (2010, Cuneiform) ** [B+(**)]
  40. Ojoyo: Plays Safrojazz (1996, Sunnyside) [B+(**)]
  41. George Otsuka Quintet: Loving You George (1975, Wewantsounds) ** [B+(**)]
  42. PAZ/The Singing Bowls of Tibet/Allan Holdsworth: Live in London '81: The Ron Mathewson Tapes Vol. 2 (1981, Jazz in Britain, EP) ** [B]
  43. Scott Reeves Quintet: The Alchemist (2005, Origin) [B+(**)]
  44. Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet: Blue Beginnings (1964, Jazz in Britain) ** [B+(**)]
  45. Masauyki JoJo Takayanagi/Nobuyoshi Ino/Masabumi PUU Kikuchi: Live at Jazz Inn Lovely 1990 (NoBusiness -20) [B+(**)]
  46. Mike Taylor: Trio, Quartet & Composer Revisited (1965-68, Ezz-thetics) ** [B+(*)]
  47. Chester Thompson: Powerhouse (1971, Black Jazz/Real Gone Music) ** [B+(*)]
  48. Roseanna Vitro: Listen Here (1982, Skyline) ** [B+(**)]
  49. Butch Warren & Freddie Redd: Baltimore Jazz Loft (2013, Bleebop) ** [B+(**)]
  50. Barney Wilen Quartet feat. Tete Montoliu: Barney and Tete Grenoble '88 (Elemental -20) ** [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 (limited sampling grades appear here, but 2% chances drop significantly under ++):

  1. Joshua Abrams: Cloud Script (RogueArt)
  2. Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society: Mandatory Reality (Eremite) [U:+]
  3. Jim Black: My Choice (2000-12, Winter & Winter) **
  4. Elisabeth Coudoux: Emiszatett: Earis (Impakt)
  5. Marilyn Crispell/Eddie Prevost/Harrison Smith: ConcertOTO (Matchless)
  6. Paul Dunmall/Matthew Shipp/Joe Morris/Gerald Cleaver: The Bright Awakening (RogueArt)
  7. Kahil El'Zabar Quartet: A Time for Healing (Spiritmuse)
  8. Mark Feldman: Sounding Point (Intakt) [U:+]
  9. Milford Graves/Jason Moran: Live at Big Ears (Yes)
  10. Mary Halvorson Quartet: John Zorn's Bagatelles Vol. 1 (Tzadik)
  11. Christopher Hoffman: Asp Nimbus (Out of Your Head) [U:+]
  12. ICP Septet + Joris Roelofs + Terrie Ex: Komen & Gaan (ICP)
  13. Ikizukuri + Susana Santos Silva: Suicide Underground Orchid (Multikulti Project) [U++]
  14. Darius Jones: Raw Demoon Alchemy (A Lone Operation) (Northern Spy) [U:-]
  15. Joëlle Léandre: Beauty/Resistance (Not Two, 3CD)
  16. Joe McPhee/Michael Bisio/Fred Lonberg-Holm/Juma Sultan: The Sweet Spot (RogueArt)
  17. Matt Mitchell & Kate Gentile: Snark Horse (Pi, 6CD)
  18. Jason Moran: The Sound Will Tell You (Yes) [U:+]
  19. Evan Parker Electroacoustic Quartet: Concert in Iwaki (Uchimizu)
  20. Jeff Parker: Forfolks (International Anthem)
  21. William Parker: Migration of Silence Into and Out of the Tone World (Centering/AUM Fidelity, 10CD)
  22. Matthew Shipp/Evan Parker: Leonine Aspects (RogueArt)
  23. Matthew Shipp/William Parker: Re-Union (RogueArt)
  24. Nate Wooley: Mutual Aid Music (Pleasure of the Text, 2CD)

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. Louis Armstrong: The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia & RCA Victor Studio Sessions 1946-66 (Mosaic)