The Best Jazz Albums of 2014

This file is frozen as of January 31, 2015. Additional finds up to December 31, 2015 can be found in colored type here.

Year after year I present my year-end lists as just that: long, mind-numbing lists like I use every day to keep track of the current year (e.g., 2014, 2013, 2012, etc.). Other people's lists often have cover scans and brief write-ups, and it occurred to me that I have all that. Why not just table it up? So that's what I've done here, at least for the jazz half of my listening. (Actually, since we're counting, somewhat more than half.) The non-jazz list is here.

For A-list only: [*] 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 Rhapsody.

For all lists, I've included 2013 (and in rare cases earlier) records rated after the freeze date (Jan. 1, 2014) that were so obscure they received less than five points in the 2013 metacritic file. These are marked, e.g., '13, after the label.

New Music

1. Steve Lehman Octet: Mise en Abîme (Pi)
Remarkably light for such a large group. Unlike the most comparable octet, David Murray's Ming, none of the five horn players here are especially imposing soloists, but they play roles exquisitely, and the rhythm section -- Drew Gress (bass), Tyshawn Sorey (drums), and Chris Dingman (vibes) -- is outstanding.

2. Duduvudu: The Gospel According to Dudu Pukwana (Edgetone)
Dudu Pukwana (1938-90) was an alto saxophonist from South Africa, played with Chris McGregor's integrated Blue Notes before and after exile. Straddling avant-jazz and South African folk/pop, he sometimes fell down on either side, but his 1973 album In the Townships (reissued on Earthworks in 1990) is the jazz take of township jive -- a great album and a longtime personal favorite. I'm having trouble sorting out the credits, and only the initial November 2009 date is given. As far as I can tell, there were at least three sessions (one in London and two in California) with little overlap and no clear idea who's driving the project -- the only names I recognize are Harry Beckett (the late trumpet player, from Trinidad but loosely associated with Pukwana), Pierre Dørge (guitarist-bandleader, a protege of Blue Notes bassist Johnny Dyani), and Wayne Wallace (Bay Area trombonist). Still, the music fits and flows, the waves of township jive larger than ever.

3. Paul Shapiro: Shofarot Verses (Tzadik)
Saxophonist, plays alto/soprano/tenor here, also shofar, the ram's horn on the cover drawfing the alto, part of Tzadik's "Radical Jewish Culture" series although it will mostly appear to jaded r&b fans, featured in the comic, "The Book of Shapiro: A Tale of Rhythm & Jews." Not sure how that's packaged, but aside from the leader, the stars here are Adam Rudolph (frame drums, udu drum, shakers, bell) and Marc Ribot (guitar) -- the latter's most scorching performance to date. [*]

4. Revolutionary Snake Ensemble: Live Snakes (Accurate)
Saxophonist Ken Field's Boston group, personnel shifting among six live dates excerpted here but they're all of a piece, tapping into New Orleans tradition, most impressively on an old Albert Brumley song which segues into an avant-Dixieland "Que Sera Sera."

5. Digital Primitives: Lipsomuch/Soul Searchin' (Hopscotch, 2CD)
Group named for their 2007 debut album, with Assif Tsahar on tenor sax and bass clarinet, Chad Taylor on drums, and Cooper-Moore on a variety of homemade string instruments, notably his diddley bo -- covers about three times the normal bass spectrum, warping time and space for long stretches. And the tenor is always searching and soulful.

6. Velkro: Don't Wait for the Revolution (Clean Feed)
European jazz trio, with Bostjan Simon (sax -- Slovenia), Stephan Meidell (guitar, bass -- Norway), and Luis Candeias (drums -- Portugal). So much propulsion here that any lapses in the groove or bursts of noise wash away, leaving you with a layered weave of tone. I wouldn't call this avant-garde, much less postbop, and certainly not fusion, but might not object to post-Velvets, if you know what I mean.

7. Ivo Perelman: The Other Edge (Leo)
Conventional sax quartet with Matthew Shipp (piano), Michael Bisio (bass), and Whit Dickey (drums), which is to say Shipp's most common piano trio. A regular beat pumps up the energy level, and when the beat strays Perelman just works harder. The best of this batch, and one of his best ever.

8. Rent Romus' Life's Blood Ensemble: Cimmerian Crossroads (Edgetone)
Plays alto and soprano sax, sometimes (judging from pictures) at the same time. Has close to ten records since 1995 -- the first I heard was last year's Truth Teller, and I'm turning into a fan. I wouldn't have ID'ed the fourth cut as Ornette Coleman because it sounds to me like what Charlie Parker should have sounded like if he was really as great as they say. (But Coleman was my first alto sax crush, so I'm easily swayed on the subject.) Romus' other alto master is Arthur Blythe, who wrote one piece and is subject of another.

9. Kris Davis Trio: Waiting for You to Grow (Clean Feed)
Pianist, from Canada, got our attention with a series of quartet albums featuring Tony Malaby (2008's Rye Eclipse is the one to seek out), then lately has tried to scale back with intriguing solo and trio albums. This feels like a breakthrough. It helps, of course, to have John Hébert and Tom Rainey on board, but every piece shows us something new, from roughly fractured to delicately melodic.

10. Craig Handy: Craig Handy & 2nd Line Smith (Okeh)
Tenor saxophonist, played Coleman Hawkins in the Lester Young cutting match in Altman's Kansas City -- seemed like a break at the time, but he's had a very spotty recording career. He goes back to R&B here, playing Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery, "On the Sunny Side of the Street" and "I Almost Lost My Mind" and "Mojo Workin'" -- Dee Dee Bridgewater and Clarence Spady sing one each, Wynton Marsalis handles the trumpet slot, and Helin Riley plays washboard as well as drums. [*]

11. Allen Lowe: Mulatto Radio: Field Recordings: 1-4 (Constant Sorrow, 4CD)
De trop, but I'm not sure you'd get a superior best-of if you reduced it to a single disc, and the rambling through the ramshackle past and random discoveries are much of the fun -- the booklet, an essential part of the experience, is already too abbreviated. Lowe's alternate title is "A Jew at Large in the Minstrel Diaspora" but that doesn't clarify much either, at least not as much as the intro story where Lowe is being hectored by Wynton Marsalis on minstrelsy and tries to counter that it's not so cut-and-dry. Indeed, it isn't, but rather than argue the point (as he's done in books like That Devilin' Tune), he just picks up a lot of the past and, aided by eighteen often-stellar musicians, slings it into the future, where it's even more peculiar.

12. Farmers by Nature: Love and Ghosts (AUM Fidelity, 2CD)
Piano trio, one I've tended to file under drummer Gerald Cleaver because his name comes first, but that list may just be alphabetical, followed as it is by Wiliam Parker (bass) and Craig Taborn (piano). These days Taborn is the star, dancing all over the keyboard, but the rhythm section consistently raises his level. [**]

13. Waclaw Zimpel To Tu Orchestra: Nature Moves (Fortune)
Clarinetist, b. 1983, one of the more recognizable names in Polish jazz due to his frequent collaborations with Vandermark's circle. Nine-piece group, doubling up on bass and drums. The 28:44 opener, "Cycles," stretches a repeating piano figure into something hipnotically sublime, and the title suite adds new wrinkles to the formula. And when free jazz breaks out, Zimpel ties that energy into yet another pattern, raising his whole game to another level.


Jonas Kullhammar: Gentlemen (2014, Moserobie): Swedish saxophonist (credit order here: tenor, baritone, bass, stritch, saxello). I've only heard his more avant work on Clean Feed until now, so I was surprised to find this starting out so mainstream, then delighted to hear him stretch out. Four tracks add a second tenor sax, the justly renowned Bernt Rosengren. Last four tracks (Rosengren is on one of them) add Goran Kajfes on cornet and Mattias Ståhl on vibes. Reportedly a soundtrack, but no hint of that genre's usual flaws.

15. Regina Carter: Southern Comfort (Sony Masterworks)
Violinist, won a MacArthur "genius" grant in 2006, the year of her best album to date, I'll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey, and she has finally topped that with another sentimental journey, looping back around her family tree through a series of mostly trad. pieces and casts her into an old fashioned fiddle role, not that it's ever that straightforward.

16. Jonas Kullhammar/Torbjörn Zetterberg/Espen Aalberg: Basement Sessions Vol. 2 (Clean Feed)
Tenor sax-bass-drums trio, follows up a pretty good Vol. 1 released in 2012, and it's not clear why they held this batch back: it consistently hits the sweet spot in free jazz between chaos and beauty.

17. Rich Halley 4: The Wisdom of Rocks (Pine Eagle)
Tenor saxophonist from Portland, has been on a furious run since he retired from his day job, mostly with this quartet, which deserves another hearing in no small part because trombonist Michael Vlatkovich has never pushed the leader harder.

18. Ben Flocks: Battle Mountain (self-released)
Tenor saxophonist, originally from Santa Cruz, now based in Brooklyn, first album, quintet unknown to me (guitar, piano/Fender, bass, drums), songbook draws on folk classics -- "Shenandoah," "Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You" -- many rooted in his native California. Reminds me as much of Dave Alvin's King of California as anything in the jazz world. Needless to say, his "Tennessee Waltz" doesn't match Sonny Rollins' -- but how could it?

19. Peter Van Huffel/Michael Bates/Jeff Davis: Boom Crane (Fresh Sound New Talent)
Alto sax-bass-drums trio, the leader (from Canada, based in New York) also has a "punk-jazz" group called Gorilla Mask but achieves a comparable roughness here, the main difference being the really superb rhythm section here. [**]

20. John Hollenbeck/Alban Darche/Sébastien Boisseau/Samuel Blaser: JASS (Yolk)
Group name an acronym from the artists' first names, but also a shout out to the Original Dixieland Jass Band. Two horns -- Darche's sax and Blaser's trombone -- backed by bass (Boisseau) and drums (Hollenbeck), the rhythm fragmented and free, an atmosphere that favors the rougher, funnier instrument -- an opportunity that Blaser runs with. [**]

21. Barbara Morrison: I Love You, Yes I Do (Savant)
Not the revelation A Sunday Kind of Love was -- the songs are less surefire, but saxophonist Houston Person is as dependable as ever, the perfect accompanist for any singer with even a hint of blues in her voice. And there's something to be said for venturing further afield, especially when you end up with "Blow Top Blues."

22. Mary Halvorson/Michael Formanek/Tomas Fujiwara: Thumbscrew (Cuneiform)
Another guitar-bass-drums trio, the obvious difference a bassist who gets out in front more although I'd expect the drummer to be the improvement. Maybe it's just chemistry, as Halvorson works within the fractured rhythmic web but makes more out of it. [**]

23. Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord: Liverevil (Hot Cup, 2CD) Guitarist, group originally a quintet when he named it but they've picked up keyb player Matt Kanelos for this live double, where nearly everything runs past ten minutes, stomping and sliding with two saxophones (Jon Irabagon on the little ones, Bryan Murray on the big 'uns). The guitar leads are fresh and bold, and Irabagon is nothing short of sublime on "North Star."

24. Bobby Avey: Authority Melts From Me (Whirlwind)
Pianist, AMG lists two albums but I've heard three, reportedly draws on experiences in Haiti for the struggle here but it's hard to hear that. Also unclear what guitarist Ben Monder brings to the party, but Puerto Rican alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, well, this is his best performance in years, especially with the pianist providing the dense undergrowth for his jungle bop.

25. Wadada Leo Smith/Jamie Saft/Joe Morris/Balasz Pandi: Red Hill (Rare Noise)
We might have to start talking about Pandi as an exceptional drummer as well, and he's not the only surprise here. Saft first came to my attention playing organ for Joshua Redman, but his piano here is a million miles from there, out somewhere you'd have to triangulate off Sun Ra and Cecil Taylor to find. Morris, we should note, plays bass, not guitar. And while the trumpeter starts with dark tones, he can't just sit on that in this company. [**]

26. Free Nelson Mandoomjazz: The Shape of Doomjazz to Come/Saxophone Giganticus (RareNoise)
Sax trio from Scotland: Rebecca Sneddon on alto sax, Colin Stewart on electric bass, and Paul Archibald on drums. First album, designed as two EPs on one CD, the pieces built on deep fuzzy bass riffs with the sax cutting or wailing, closer to free than doom metal but resonates with that overtone. [*]

27. Dave Douglas/Chet Doxas/Steve Swallow/Jim Doxas: Riverside (Greenleaf Music)
Dedicated to Jimmy Giuffre (1921-2008), always a slippery subject, and writer of one piece. Chet Doxas plays clarinet and sax, and wrote three pieces. Swallow was an obvious choice as he played bass in Giuffre's legendary trio. I've never quite got a handle on Giuffre's contribution to the avant-garde, but the brilliant trumpet adds shine and lustre to every twist and turn.

28. François Carrier/Michel Lambert/Alexey Lapin: The Russian Concerts (FMR)
Canadian alto saxophonist Carrier and drummer Lambert have been playing together since the 1990s, and recently have been traveling to Russia to play with pianist Alexey Lapin: this is their fourth album together, and they seem to be getting better -- the pianist is more fully engaged here, and the saxophonist probes ever deeper.

29. Joachim Kühn/Alexey Kruglov: Duo Art: Moscow (ACT)
Piano-alto sax duo. Kühn has a long discography going back to 1969 -- mostly prickly, intelligent small groups, his own strongest influence Ornette Coleman. Kruglov is a Russian alto sax player with 15 albums since 2002, and they push each other hard here. [**]

30. Tom Rainey: Obbligato (Intakt)
Drummer-led quintet, the names on the front cover as the stars they are: Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Ingrid Laubrock (soprano sax), Kris Davis (piano), and Drew Gress (bass). The songs are all standards -- Ellington, Monk, and Brubeck from the jazz side of the street; plus Kern, Styne, and others lesser known -- so they have a wealth of melodic materials even when improvised beyond recognition. [**]

31. Catherine Russell: Bring It Back (Jazz Village)
Jazz singer, fifth album since 2006, a late starter at age 50 but her mother, Carline Ray, didn't drop her first album until shortly before she died at age 88. Older still was Russell's father Luis, 54 when he sired her, well past his prime when he lead the hottest jazz band in New York -- see Savoy Shout in JSP (1929-30) or The Luis Russell Story 1929-1934 on Retrieval. Dedicating this to her parents, Russell picks out old songs and works her way inside them, backed with piano and/or Matt Munisteri's swing guitar and retro horns like John Allred, Dan Block, and Jon-Erik Kellso. [**]

32. Michael Blake: Tiddy Boom (2014, Sunnyside)
Tenor saxophonist, joined the Lounge Lizards after their prime in 1991, started recording his own projects in 1997. Quartet with Frank Kimbrough (piano), Ben Allison (bass), and Rudy Royston (drums). Very much a sax player's album -- all original material includes titles like "Hawk's Last Rumba" and "Good Day for Pres." [**]

33. Anne Waldman: Jaguar Harmonics (Fast Speaking Music)
Poet, website lists 53 "books & pamphlets" going back to 1968 -- the highpoint of my interest in beat poetry although I don't recall her, a missed connection, as she would have impressed me back then. Website also mentions 18 audio recordings (but not this one), the last four with music by Ambrose Bye (her son), credited with "sounds and percussion" here. Striking music from cellist Ha-Yang Kim, plus free jazz horns by Daniel Carter and Devin Brahja Waldman (her nephew).

34. Eric Revis: In Memory of Things Yet Seen (Clean Feed)
Bassist, mostly associated with Branford Marsalis but his own records have been more avant-oriented. However, this one could be diagnosed as schizo, most obviously in the sax matchup, with everyday postbopper Bill McHenry on tenor and avant-barnburner Darius Jones on alto (with Marsalis dropping in on a couple cuts). I go back and forth on Jones, and he's only occasionally in top form here, but I wound up seduced where I least expected it -- the quiet spot melodies, like part three of "The Tulpa Chronicles."

35. Jason Ajemian: Folklords (Delmark)
Not the avant-jazz record I was expecting, even though the first two suites are built around Monk and Mingus. Reportedly the first of a series titled Mythadors, the nearest analog I can think of for the vocals is John Lydon in Public Image Ltd., but the singer (presumably Ajemian) doesn't have quite the range or presence, and the rhythm is a lot knottier. Quartet: Kid Bliss on alto sax, Owen Stewart-Robertson on guitar, Jason Nazary on drums. Lyrics in the booklet, but I can't say as I've read much less followed.

36. Sonny Simmons/Delphine Latil/Thomas Bellier: Beyond the Planets (Improvising Beings, 2CD)
Avant-garde in the 1960s, now passing 80, Simmons plays cor anglais and alto sax none too vigorously, adding depth and resonance to duets -- the first disc with harpist Latil, who starts out solo before their 47:03 "Sacred Moments," and guitarist Bellier, who's thinking of the distance between planets and the awesomeness of the universe.

37. The Mark Lomax Trio: Isis & Osiris (Inarhyme)
Drummer, teaches and therefore is based in Columbus, Ohio, which keeps him and his sax trio out of the limelight. They have a previous album, The State of Black America, on my top-ten list for 2010. This one drags a bit near the start -- probably bass solos, something too soft to hear -- but when Edwin Bayard's tenor sax breaks through it's often mesmerizing. And the drummer's pretty special too.

38. Rodrigo Amado: Wire Quartet (Clean Feed)
Portuguese tenor saxophonist, has always leaned free but seems more prickly than usual here, all the better to match up with guitarist Manuel Mota. Three long joint improvs, backed on bass and drums by Hernani Faustino and Gabriel Ferrandini -- perhaps you recognize them as two-thirds of RED Quartet?

39. The Core Trio: The Core Trio With Matthew Shipp (self-released)
Houston-based free jazz trio with Seth Paynter on sax, Thomas Helton on double bass, and Joe Hertenstein on drums, joined by pianist Matthew Shipp for a 42-minute improv. Simple enough idea, but Shipp is really in his own class when it comes to this sort of thing. [**]

40. Mike DiRubbo: Threshold (Ksanti)
Alto saxophonist, eighth album since 1999, most on mainstream labels (Criss Cross, Sharp Nine, Posi-Tone, SteepleChase). Hard bop quintet, but sounds newer than a 1960s Blue Note throwback, with Brian Charette providing strong support on piano and Josh Evans hitting hot spots on trumpet.

41. Michael Griener/Rudi Mahall/Jan Roder/Christof Thewes: Squakk: Willisau & Berlin (Intakt)
Some parsing options here: Griener (drums), Roder (bass), and Thewes (trombone) previously recorded an album called Squakk, effectively the group name here, but Griener is listed above Squakk, and the others, including newcomer Mahall (bass clarinet, clarinet, baritone sax), below. Mahall not only adds a useful change of pace, he refocuses the group. [**]

42. Adam Lane's Full Throttle Orchestra: Live in Ljubljana (Clean Feed)
An octet, with two trumpets (Nate Wooley, Susana Santos Silva), trombone (Reut Regev), three saxes (David Bindman, Avram Fefer, Mat Bauder), drums (Igal Foni), and the leader's bass mixed up so it's always audible, the heartbeat of a growing, growling organism -- the most Mingus-like of bassists, both for his compositions that sum up all worthwhile jazz history and as a bandleader who can whip a group up into something larger than itself.

43. Sonny Rollins: Road Shows: Volume 3 (2001-12, Okeh)
As with his first volume, Rollins continues to jump around to piece these live concert bits together, picking six cuts here from five concerts scattered over a decade, yet thanks to the leader they sound sufficiently of a piece. Highlight here is a long solo stretch, but really any time the sax takes the lead is a highlight. No patter, but lots of applause.

44. Marlene VerPlanck: I Give Up, I'm in Love (Audiophile)
A "songbird," as the liner notes put it, b. 1933 in Newark as Marlene Pampinella -- she was married to arranger Billy VerPlanck for 52 years, until his death in 2009. No date on when this was recorded, but nothing suggests it isn't recent, other than that she looks and sounds so great. Standards, some with the Glenn Franke Big Band for that brassy Sinatra-ish feel, the rest with intimate groups highlighted by Warren Vaché or Harry Allen. I should delve into her back catalog some time, but I'd be surprised to find better albums than this one.

45. Ivo Perelman/Karl Berger: Reverie (Leo)
Berger plays piano here, his original instrument although he is better known for vibes, in a long career that puts him well into his 70s now. He does a lovely job of setting up -- interviewing is the word that comes to mind -- the Brazilian avant-saxophonist, who pours emotion into his leads.

46. The Microscopic Septet: Manhattan Moonrise (Cuneiform)
Founded in 1980 with pianist Joel Forrester and soprano saxophonist Phillip Johnston writing their songs, they broke up in 1990 and regrouped in 2006 with Mike Hashim (a superstar in my book) taking over the tenor sax spot -- group has four saxes and no brass -- and since then they've done no wrong. I'm more struck than ever by the gentle swing that permeates so many of their songs. [**]

47. Audio One: An International Report (Audiographic)
One of Ken Vandermark's many recent big band projects: ten pieces (four reeds, cornet, trombone, viola, bass, vibes, drums) -- much of the power in the saxes where either Vandermark or Dave Rempis is having a terrific day (I'm not betting on Mars Williams or new altoist Nick Mazzarella, although I'm sure they help beef up the roaring ensemble sound). [What I've heard from the group's other new album, The Midwest School, has even more of that underlying r&b romp I so like, but one cut isn't enough to review.] [**]

48. Billy Bang/William Parker: Medicine Buddha (2009 [2014], NoBusiness)
I wouldn't hold much hope for violin-bass duos, but we're talking two all-time jazz greats here, and both have a tendency toward hearts-on-sleeve. Bang died in 2011, a huge loss, and I count this as his fourth posthumous release: a duo with Bill Cole didn't offer much, but the two group albums on TUM were superb. So is this.

49. The Young Mothers: A Mothers Work Is Never Done (Tektite)
Norway's premier avant bassist, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, has lately been dividing his time between Oslo and Austin, and from the latter base rounded up some Houston horn players -- Jason Jackson on sax, Jawwaad Taylor on trumpet (who also raps), along with Austin guitarist Jonathan Horne and Chicago drummer Frank Rosaly and put together Texas' answer to the Thing, and then some. [*]

50. Kali Z. Fasteau: Piano Rapture (Flying Note)
From a very cosmopolitan (and as she says, "musical") family, Fasteau got into avant-jazz through husband Donald Rafael Garrett (1932-89), who had some connections with AACM and played on several late Coltrane albums. They toured the world together, and after his death she kept recording, playing dozens of exotic instruments and singing some, an eclectic mix that never led to very satisfying albums. But lately she's developed a rapport with a regular band -- Kidd Jordan (tenor sax), L. Mixashawn Rozie (soprano and tenor sax), J.D. Parran (alto flute and clarinet), and Ron McBee (percussion). Here she finally settles into just playing piano and turns in a surprisingly solid performance, centering horns which otherwise like to scatter chaotically. Still has some spots you wonder about, but overall remarkable.

51. Andy Biskin Ibid: Act Necessary (Strudelmedia)
Clarinet player, says his original idea for this group was a chamber jazz thing with three horns and bass, but when he replaced the bassist with a drummer the music opened up. Sure did. Helps that the drummer is Jeff Davis, and the brass contrast is provided by Kirk Knuffke (cornet) and Brian Drye (trombone), but no one made more of the freedom than the leader.

52. William Hooker & Liudas Mockunas: Live at the Vilnius Jazz Festival (NoBusiness)
Sax-drums duets, the drummer getting top billing because he's the best known or came the furthest or maybe it's just alphabetical. Mockunas, at home in Lithuania, plays soprano, alto, and tenor, and is consistently impressive on four long improvs.

53. Zanussi 5: Live in Coimbra (Clean Feed)
Bassist from Norway (father Italian), leads a quintet with three saxes -- Kjetil Møster (tenor/soprano), Jørgen Mathisen (tenor), Erik Hegdal (baritone), all doubling on clarinet -- and drums. Propulsive grooves set up sax wails, with the bari for deep muscle.
54. Marcin Wasilewski Trio w/Joakim Milder: Spark of Life (ECM)
The piano trio, with Slawomir Kurkiewicz and Michal Miskiewicz, was first introduced to the US as Tomasz Stanko's "young Polish group," but had some history together before and continued after the trumpeter moved on. They are as fine as ever here, and get a little extra color from tenor saxophonist Milder -- all they need. [**]

55. Ezra Weiss Sextet: Before You Know It: Live in Portland (Roark)
Pianist, based in Portland, sixth album since 2003, including some "children's musicals" I've neglected and The Shirley Horn Suite (which I rather liked). What lifts this above the postbop norm is some growl and fury in the horns (Farnell Newton on trumpet, John Nastos on alto sax, Devin Phillips on tenor). And after they warm up the joint, he closes with a really lovely ballad.

56. Assif Tsahar/Gerry Hemingway/Mark Dresser: Code Re(a)d (Hopscotch)
BassDrumSax, if you know what I mean -- of course, Tsahar's tenor sax is more agile than any trombone (even Ray Anderson's), reeling off one long searching sequence after another, a fusion of Ayler and Coltrane, what you might get if both were pushing the same instrument at the same time.

57. Noah Preminger: Background Music (Fresh Sound New Talent)
Tenor saxophonist, leading a trio backed by bass (Masa Kamaguchi) and drums (Rob Garcia) playing standards and not-yet standards -- Jarrett, two Colemans, title song comes from Warne Marsh, closer from Chris Cheek, but you also get Monk, "My Old Flame," "Moonlight in Vermont," "Nancy (WIth the Laughing Face)," and an original by the drummer. [**]

58. Richard Galliano: Sentimentale (Resonance)
French accordion player, has recorded a lot since 1990, building on the folk roots of his instrument, delving into tango and film scores, always working in the jazz tradition -- draws on Ellington and Coltrane here, Horace Silver too. With Tamir Hendelman's piano and Anthony Wilson's guitar this risks becoming overly lush, but that's sentimentalism for you.

59. Cortex: Live! (Clean Feed)
Norwegian avant jazz quartet patterned on Ornette Coleman's classic, two previous albums but no one I've heard of: Thomas Johansson (cornet), Kristoffer Alberts (reeds), Ola Høyer (bass), Gard Nilssen (drums). I have a nagging doubt that anyone so inspired could do this: rather than breaking rules and blazing new paths the sax-cornet interplay just seems so right, although it wouldn't without a lot of innovation that now seems so normal.

60. Greg Abate Quartet: Motif (Whaling City Sound)
Saxophonist, plays alto/soprano/baritone here (plus some flute), always seemed to look back to bebop as the golden age -- early 1990s albums include Bop City and Bop Lives!. Leads a superb mainstream quartet with piano-bass-drums -- no one I've heard of, but note Tim Ray the pianist. Fast, brilliant sound, the rare mainstream album that jumps at you.

61. Lucien Johnson/Alan Silva/Makoto Soto: Stinging Nettles (Improvising Beings)
Tenor sax-bass-drums trio, the leader from New Zealand -- seems to be his first album, but he was the main composer in a group called Shogun Orchestra (eponymous album 2012). Silva's well known in free jazz circles. I squinted through enough of the microprinted liner notes to find out that Soto is some sort of Don Cherry protégé. Basically what you want in this configuration: a high energy charge, but the saxophonist can also slow it down and keep your attention.

62. Sam Newsome: The Straight Horn of Africa: A Path to Liberation [The Art of the Soprano, Vol. 2] (self-released)
Soprano sax, went solo on Vol. 1 but usually adds percussion here with these African and African-inspired melodies, including the three-part "Microtonal Nubian Horn" experiment and one called "Good Gooly Miss Mali."

63. Vijay Iyer: Mutations (ECM)
Two solo piano pieces lead off, then for the ten pieces that make up the title series he's joined by a string quartet (two violins, viola, cello), a chamber jazz move that, like so much he's done, defies expectations. [**]

64. Dave Burrell/Steve Swell: Turning Point NoBusiness)
Piano-trombone duets, the former a revered master who doesn't get out much, the latter probably the top avant-oriented trombonist around, exceptional here in how he fills out the melody.

65. Wadada Leo Smith: The Great Lakes Suites (TUM, 2CD)
Trumpet great, has been working on large canvases lately -- I count four 2CD releases since 2009 plus the 4CD Ten Freedom Summers -- but this feels rather small and spotty as it spurts and sputters, just one more horn: Henry Threadgill (alto sax, flute, bass flute) plus bass (John Lindberg) and drums (Jack DeJohnette). It does, however, remind me what a marvelous drummer DeJohnette is.

66. Lajos Dudas Quartet: Live at Salzburger Jazzherbst (Jazz Sick -13)
Clarinetist, b. 1941 in Budapest, Hungary, studied at conservatories named for Béla Bartók and Franz Liszt, long based in Germany. Quartet features longtime collaborator Philipp van Endert on guitar, plus Kurt Billker on drums and Jochen Büttner on percussion. Slow start but ultimately quite lovely, some tasty guitar, and the rhythm helps.

67. Luis Lopes Lisbon Berlin Trio: The Line (Clean Feed)
Portuguese electric guitarist, one of the most distinctive anywhere -- seems like he plays on his feedback as much as on the guitar itself -- with German bassist (Robert Landfermann) and drummer (Christian Lillinger).
68. Moskus: Mestertyven (Hubro)
Third album by Norwegian piano trio -- Anja Lauvdal, Fredrik Luhn Dietrichson, Hans Hulbaekmo -- arrive at an interesting and attractive mix of rumbling rhythm and free, often by letting the bass/drums run ahead of the piano. [**]

69. James Brandon Lewis: Divine Travels (Okeh)
Tenor saxophonist, from Buffalo, second album, a trio with William Parker and Gerald Cleaver, weaving free sax around more traditional patterns.

Also added the following 2013 albums after freezing the year-end file:

  • Mike Reed's People, Places & Things: Second Cities Volume 1 (482 Music) **
  • Irène Schweizer/Pierre Favre: Live in Zürich (Intakt) **
  • Kidd Jordan/Alvin Fielder/Peter Kowald: Trio and Duo in New Orleans (2002-05, NoBusiness, 2CD)

Honorable Mention

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

  • Juhani Aaltonen: To Future Memories (TUM)
  • Jason Adasiewicz's Sun Rooms: From the Region (Delmark)
  • Afro Latin Vintage Orchestra: Pulsion (Ubiquity)
  • Jason Ajemian/Tony Malaby/Rob Mazurek/Chad Taylor: A Way a Land of Life (NoBusiness) *
  • Rashied Al Akbar/Muhammad Ali/Earl Cross/Idris Ackamoor: Ascent of the Nether Creatures (1980, NoBusiness) *
  • Arild Andersen/Tommy Smith/Paolo Vinaccia: Mira (ECM) **
  • Angles 9: Injuries (Clean Feed)
  • The Bad Plus: Inevitable Western (Okeh) **
  • Jeff Ballard Trio: Time's Tales (Okeh)
  • Kenny Barron/Dave Holland: The Art of Conversation (Blue Note) **
  • Jon Batiste/Chad Smith/Bill Laswell: The Process (MOD Technologies) **
  • Matt Bauder and Day in Pictures: Nightshades (Clean Feed)
  • Joe Beck: Get Me Joe Beck (2006, Whaling City Sound)
  • Raoul Björkenheim: Ecstasy (Cuneiform) **
  • Daniel Blacksberg Trio: Perilous Architecture (NoBusiness)
  • Lena Bloch: Feathery (Thirteenth Note)
  • Fiorenzo Bodrato: Travelling Without Moving (CMC)
  • Bolt: Shuffle (Driff)
  • Anthony Branker & Word Play: The Forward (Towards Equality) Suite (Origin)
  • Peter Brötzmann/John Edwards/Steve Noble: Soul Food Available (Clean Feed)
  • Henry Butler/Steven Bernstein: Viper's Drag (Impulse) **
  • George Cables: Icons & Influences (HighNote)
  • Juan Pablo Carletti/Tony Malaby/Christopher Hoffman: Niño/Brujo (NoBusiness) *
  • François Carrier/Michel Lambert/Alexey Lapin: The Russian Concerts Volume 2 (FMR)
  • Chicago Underground Duo: Locus (Northern Spy) **
  • Ty Citerman: Bop Kabbalah (Tzadik) *
  • The Nels Cline Singers: Macroscope (Mack Avenue)
  • Jimmy Cobb: The Original Mob (Smoke Sessions) **
  • Alessandro Collina/Rodolfo Cervetto/Marc Peillon/Fabrizio Bosso: Michel on Air (ITI)
  • Chick Corea Trio: Trilogy (Concord, 3CD) **
  • Barbara Levy Daniels: Love Lost and Found (Bidproductions)
  • Jeff Davis: Dragon Father (Fresh Sound New Talent) **
  • Jeff Denson & Joshua White: I'll Fly Away (Pfmentum)
  • Rob Derke & the NY Jazz Quartet: Blue Divide (Zoho)
  • Jon Di Fiore: Yellow Petals (Third Freedom Music)
  • Lajos Dudas Trio: Live at Porgy & Bess (Jazz Sick -13)
  • Chris Dundas: Oslo Odyssey (BLM, 2CD)
  • Colin Edwin/Lorenzo Feliciati: Twinscapes (RareNoise) *
  • Ethnic Heritage Ensemble: Black Is Back: 40th Anniversary Project (Katalyst) **
  • Nir Felder: Golden Age (Okeh)
  • Lisa Ferraro: Serenading the Moon (Pranavasonic Universal)
  • Danny Fox Trio: Wide Eyed (Hot Cup)
  • Erik Friedlander: Nighthawks (Skipstone)
  • Bill Frisell: Guitar in the Space Age (Okeh) **
  • Larry Fuller: Larry Fuller (Capri)
  • Herb Geller/Roberto Magris: An Evening With Herb Geller & the Roberto Magris Trio: Live in Europe 2009 (JMood)
  • Paul Giallorenzo's GitGo: Force Majeure (Delmark)
  • The Jimmy Giuffre 3 & 4: New York Concerts (1965, Elemental, 2CD)
  • Luther Gray/Jim Hobbs/Kaethe Hostetter/Winston Braman: Lawnmower II (Clean Feed)
  • Brian Groder Trio: Reflexology (Latham)
  • Tord Gustavsen Quartet: Extended Circle (ECM) *
  • Andrew Hadro: For Us, the Living (Tone Rogue)
  • Ross Hammond: Humanity Suite (Prescott) *
  • Hat: Twins (Hot Blues)
  • Phil Haynes: No Fast Food (Corner Store Jazz, 2CD)
  • David Hazeltine: For All We Know (Smoke Sessions) **
  • Tim Hegarty: Tribute (Miles High)
  • The Heliocentrics & Melvin Van Peebles: The Last Transmission (Now-Again) **
  • Eric Hofbauer Quintet: Prehistoric Jazz Volume 1: The Rite of Spring (Creative Nation Music)
  • Hutchinson Andrew Trio: Prairie Modern (Chronograph)
  • Ideal Bread: Beating the Teens: Songs of Steve Lacy (Cuneiform, 2CD)
  • International Orange: International Orange (self-released)
  • Jon Irabagon/Mark Helias/Barry Altschul: It Takes All Kinds (Irabbagast/Jazzwerkstatt)
  • Max Johnson: The Prisoner (NoBusiness)
  • Kalle Kalima & K-18: Buñuel de Jour (TUM)
  • Pandelis Karayorgis Quintet: Afterimage (Driff)
  • Søren Kjaegaard/Ben Street/Andrew Cyrille: Syvmileskridt (ILK Music) **
  • Lee Konitz/Dan Tepfer/Michael Janisch/Jeff Williams: First Meeting: Live in London Volume 1 (Whirlwind)
  • Glenn Kotche: Adventureland (Cantaloupe) **
  • David Krakauer: The Big Picture (Table Pounding)
  • Michel Lambert: Journal des Épisodes II (Jazz From Rant)
  • Gianni Lenoci/Kent Carter/Bill Elgart: Plaything (NoBusiness) *
  • Peter Lerner: Continuation (OA2)
  • Mike Longo: Step On It (CAP)
  • The John Lurie National Orchestra: The Invention of Animals (1993-94, Amulet)
  • Made to Break: Cherchez La Femme (Trost) **
  • Tony Malaby Tamarindo: Somos Aqua (Clean Feed)
  • Tony Malaby's Tubacello: Scorpion Eater (Clean Feed)
  • Jeremy Manasia: Pixel Queen (Blujazz)
  • Sarah Manning: Harmonious Creature (Posi-Tone)
  • Delfeayo Marsalis: The Last Southern Gentlemen (Troubadour Jass)
  • Medeski Martin & Wood + Nels Cline: Woodstock Sessions Vol. 2 (Indirecto) **
  • Cava Menzies/Nick Phillips: Moment to Moment (self-released)
  • Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble: Intergalactic Beings (FPE) **
  • Pete Mills: Sweet Shadow (Cellar Live)
  • Ludovic Morlot/Seattle Symphony Orchestra: John Luther Adams: Become Ocean (Cantaloupe) **
  • Paal Nilssen-Love Large Unit: Erta Ale (PNL, 3CD) **
  • Itaru Oki: Chorul Zukan (Improvising Beings)
  • Ivo Perelman/Mat Maneri: Two Men Walking (Leo)
  • Ivo Perelman: Book of Sound (Leo)
  • The Ralph Peterson Fo'tet Augmented: Alive at Firehouse 12: Vol 2: Fo' n Mo' (Onyx)
  • Lenny Pickett With the UMO Jazz Orchestra: The Prescription (Random Act)
  • Adam Pieronczyk Quartet: A-Trane Nights (Fortune)
  • Tineke Postma/Greg Osby: Sonic Halo (Challenge) **
  • Eric Reed: Groovewise (Smoke Sessions) **
  • Sam Reed Meets Roberto Magris: Ready for Reed (JMood '13) *
  • Xavi Reija: Resolution (Moonjune)
  • Dave Rempis/Joshua Abrams/Avreeayl Ra: Aphelion (Aerophonic)
  • The Rempis/Daisy Duo: Second Spring (Aerophonic)
  • Dave Rempis/Darren Johnston/Larry Ochs: Spectral (Aerophonic)
  • Marc Ribot Trio: Live at the Village Vanguard (Pi)
  • Rex Richardson & Steve Wilson: Blue Shift (Summit)
  • Pete Robbins: Pyramid (Hate Laugh Music)
  • Jason Roebke Octet: High/Red/Center (Delmark)
  • Roil [Chris Abrahams/Mike Majkowski/James Waples]: Raft of the Meadows (NoBusiness) *
  • Noah Rosen/Alan Silva: O.I.L.: Orchestrated Improvised Lives (Improvising Beings -13)
  • Rich Rosenthal: Falling Up (Muse-Eek)
  • Ellen Rowe Quintet: Courage Music (PKO)
  • Harold Rubin/Barre Phillips/Tatsuya Nakatani: E on a Thin Line (Hopscotch)
  • Amanda Ruzza/Mauricio Zottarelli: Glasses, No Glasses (Pimenta Music)
  • Akira Sakata/Johan Berthling/Paal Nilssen-Love: Arashi (Trost) **
  • Felipe Salles: Ugandan Suite (Tapestry)
  • Saxophone Summit [Dave Liebman/Ravi Coltrane/Joe Lovano]: Visitation (ArtistShare)
  • Adam Schroeder: Let's (Capri)
  • Louis Sclavis Quartet: Silk and Salt Memories (ECM) **
  • Archie Shepp: Attica Blues Orchestra Live: I Hear the Sound (Archieball)
  • Sonny Simmons: Leaving Knowledge, Wisdom and Brilliance/Chasing the Bird? (2006-14, Improvising Beings, 8CD)
  • Sonny Simmons & Moksha Samnyasin: Nomadic (Svart) **
  • Tommy Smith/Brian Kellock: Whispering of the Stars (Spartacus) **
  • Wadada Leo Smith: The Great Lakes Suites (TUM, 2CD)
  • Tyshawn Sorey: Alloy (Pi)
  • Tim Sparks: Chasin' the Boogie (Tonewood)
  • Jesse Stacken: Helleborus (Fresh Sound New Talent) **
  • Zan Stewart: The Street Is Making Music (Mobo Dog)
  • Steve Swallow/Ohad Talmor/Adam Nussbaum: Singular Curves (Auand) *
  • Aki Takase/Alexander von Schlippenbach: So Long, Eric!: Homage to Eric Dolphy (Intakt) **
  • Aki Takase/La Planète: Flying Soul (Intakt) **
  • Yosvany Terry: New Throned King (5Pasion)
  • Ken Thomson and Slow/Fast: Settle (NCM East)
  • Tilting: Holy Seven (Barnyard)
  • Touch and Go Sextet: Live at the Novara Jazz Festival (Nine Winds)
  • Trio 3 & Vijay Iyer: Wiring (Intakt) **
  • Assif Tsahar/Tatsuya Nakatani: I Got It Bad (Hopscotch)
  • Us Free [Bill McHenry/Henry Grimes/Andrew Cyrille]: Fish Stories (2006, Fresh Sound New Talent) **
  • François Tusques/Mirtha Pozzi/Pablo Cueco: Le Fond de L'Air (Improvising Beings)
  • Cornelius Veit/Eugen Prieur/Jörg Fischer: Stromraum (Spore Print)
  • Ken Watters/Ingrid Felts: Watters/Felts Project (Summit)
  • Anna Webber: Simple (Skirl)
  • Frank Wess: Magic 201 (IPO)
  • The Whammies: Play the Music of Steve Lacy Vol. 3: Live (Driff)
  • Matt Wilson Quartet + John Medeski: Gathering Call (Palmetto)
  • Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash Duo: Duologue (MCG Jazz)
  • Ksawery Wojcinski: The Soul (Fortune)
  • Peter Zak Trio: The Disciple (Steeplechase)

Also added the following 2013 albums after freezing the year-end file:

  • Daunik Lazro/Joëlle Léandre: Hasparren (NoBusiness)
  • Mikolaj Trzaska/Devin Hoff/Michael Zerang: Sleepless in Chicago (NoBusiness) *
  • Ken Vandermark/Agustí Fernández: Interacting Fields (Discordian) **
  • Christine Wodrascka/Jean Luc Cappozzo/Gerry Hemingway: 2° Étage: Grey Matter (NoBusiness)
  • YAPP: Symbolic Heads (NoBusiness) *

Reissued/Historic Music

Ballot calls for top three. I get virtually no reissues from publicists -- in particular, I don't get the pricey boxes from Mosaic that always win in this category, nor the voluminous "complete LPs" from Legacy, not even the well-worn classics Concord bothers to reissue. Nor anything from Europe, where most of the interesting reissues come out.

1. Ted Daniel's Energy Module: Interconnection (1975, NoBusiness, 2CD)
Trumpet player, associated with New York's avant "loft scene" but recorded little -- later coming to my attention on Billy Bang's Vietnam records. But this is a find, a prime example of the era's avant-garde, with two energetic saxophonists (Daniel Carter and Oliver Lake), and relative unknowns holding their own at bass and drums.

2. Sun Ra & His Arkestra: In the Orbit of Ra (1957-78, Strut, 2CD)
Cover starts out "Marshall Allen Presents" -- indeed who better to pick out a centennary selection of Herman Blount's Arkestra? -- but I'm dropping Allen's name so as not to confuse this with the ghost band he still leads. These are, after all, vintage recordings -- at least I've been able to match them up to the date range above, allowing a few seconds variation for the remastering. Vocals on close to half of the tracks -- more than I wanted but they do establish a theme, one that's out of this world. [**]

3. The Buddy Tate Quartet: Texas Tenor (1978, Sackville/Delmark)
From Sherman, Texas; played in territory bands until 1939 when he joined Count Basie, replacing the late Herschel Evans. My favorite album of his is Buck and Buddy Swing the Blues -- "Buck" of course is Basie bandmate, trumpeter Buck Clayton, and the title is exactly right. This set was originally released as The Buddy Tate Quartet as if the group was somehow more than something he picked up touring. They scarcely deserve the compliment, but every time the sax blows Tate is nothing short of resplendent.

4. Charlie Haden/Jim Hall: Charlie Haden/Jim Hall (1990, Impulse)
Guitarist Hall died last year, followed by bassist Haden this year, so some nostalgia is in order. This was recorded at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 1990, a year after the many volumes of The Montreal Tapes, a festival that recapitulated much of the bassist's career. Haden has done guitar duets -- Egberto Gismonti (1989) and Pat Metheny (1996) -- but he is especially tuned into Hall, whose often understated style ripens luxuriously here. [**]

5. The Evergreen Classic Jazz Band: Early Tunes 1915-1932 (1995, Delmark)
Trad jazz band from Seattle, eight pieces (at least at this point -- a 1990 album had six) including banjo and tuba (Tom Jacobus, the designated leader). Trombonist David Loomis sings a couple songs, and the clarinet (Craig Flory) is exceptional. Admittedly, I'm a sucker for this kind of music.

6. Charles Lloyd: Manhattan Stories (1965, Resonance, 2CD)
Early, these two previously unreleased sets came on the heels of Lloyd's auspicious debut, Of Course, Of Course, retaining guitarist Gabor Szabo (also just breaking in) and bassist Ron Carter, replacing Tony Williams with Pete La Roca, and before Lloyd's more popular albums on Atlantic. Interesting parallels here both to Rollins and Coltrane, although Lloyd had a softer tone and integrates better with his group -- Szabo is terrific throughout. Both sets include a stretch on flute, very much in character.

7. Oscar Peterson/Ben Webster: During This Time (1972, Art of Groove)
Recorded in the NDR studios in Hannover, backed by Neils-Henning Ørsted Pedersen on bass and Tony Inzalaco on drums, this was just a year before the tenor sax great's death, although I find him playing faster than anything I've heard by him in the previous five years, and just slightly off his finest ballad tone -- a pleasant surprise even though you'd expect the pianist to perk up anyone. Packaged with a DVD. [**]

8. Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden/Paul Motian: Hamburg '72 (1972 [2014], ECM)
Recorded at NDR Funkhaus on June 14, 1972, the trio is three-quarters of Jarrett's "American Quartet" of the time, missing saxophonist Dewey Redman. Most interesting thing here are the stretches where Jarrett plays soprano sax, especially on "Piece for Ornette" but also on "Song for Che." Jarrett also plays some flute, which catches you off guard and ain't half bad. Of course, he plays some piano two, and this was a period when he was brash enough to carry an audience for hours -- it you want to nitpick, he doesn't do enough of that here. But that leaves room for Haden and Motian -- unique talents no longer with us. [**]
9. Enrico Pieranunzi/Marc Johnson/Joey Baron: Play Morricone 1 & 2: The complete Recordings (2001-02, CAM Jazz, 2CD)
A marvelous pianist who's made a study of all the major Italian film composers, building on Morricone's melodies without bothering with the rhythm or sonics of the composer's best known electronics -- puts this back into the whitewater of piano jazz. The trio, by the way, started long before and extends long after this peak recording. The second set may be a bit excessive, but the reissue is a deal. [**]

10. Gene Ludwig-Pat Martino Trio: Young Guns (1968-69, High Note)
Organ-guitar trio, with Randy Gelispie on drums. Martino's career ended with an aneurysm in 1979, then was resurrected, to much hoopla, in 1987, not that (in admittedly light sampling) I've found his work -- mostly soul jazz riffs with a touch of Montgomery -- all that impressive. Organist Ludwig has an even spottier discography with no melodrama explaining the gaps -- a couple mid-1960s albums, one in 1979, a steady stream of retro-soul jazz efforts since he turned 60 in 1997. This, however, is terrific, with the guitar racing so fast that Ludwig never gets to settle into his groove. Previously unreleased, I think.

Also added the following 2013 albums after freezing the year-end file:

  • Bill Evans: How My Heart Sings (1962, Fantasy/OJC) **

Honorable Mention

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

  • Miles Davis: Miles at the Fillmore (Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 3) (1970, Columbia/Legacy, 4CD) **
  • Nancy Harrow: Wild Women Don't Have the Blues/You Never Know (1960-62, Fresh Sound) **
  • Chubby Jackson Big Band: New York City 1949: Ooh, What an Outfit! (1949, Uptown, 2CD) **
  • Oscar Peterson: Plays the Harry Warren & Vincent Youmans Song Books (1952-59, Solar, 2CD): **
  • Oscar Peterson: Plays the Irving Berlin Song Book (1952-59, Solar) **
  • Don Pullen: Richard's Tune (1975, Sackville/Delmark)
  • George Van Eps: Once in Awhile (1946-49, Delmark)

Also added the following 2013 albums after freezing the year-end file:

  • Illinois Jacquet/Leo Parker: Toronto 1947 (1947, Uptown) **


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

  • Kris Adams: Longing (Jazzbird) [B]
  • Jaime Affoumado/Alex Blake/Arturo O'Farrill/Bill Ware: The Puppeteers (Puppet's) [B+(**)]
  • Ambrose Akinmusire: The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier to Paint (Blue Note) ** [B-]
  • Melissa Aldana: Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio (Concord Jazz) ** [B+(*)]
  • Ariel Alexander & Jon Bremen: Street Cries (self-released, EP) [B+(*)]
  • Dee Alexander: Songs My Mother Loves (Blujazz) [B+(**)]
  • Eddie Allen: Push (Edjallen Music) [B+(**)]
  • Rodrigo Amado Motion Trio & Peter Evans: Live in Lisbon (NoBusiness) * [B+(**)]
  • Rodrigo Amado Motion Trio & Peter Evans: The Freedom Principle (NoBusiness) [B+(**)]
  • Marsha Ambrosius: Fvck & Love (2014, self-released, EP) ** [B+(*)]
  • Lotte Anker/Jakob Riis: Squid Police (Konvoy) ** [B+(*)]
  • Jason Anick: Tipping Point (Magic Fiddle Music) [B+(*)]
  • Laurie Antonioli: Songs of Shadow, Songs of Light: The Music of Joni Mitchell (Origin) [B]
  • Clarice Assad: Imaginarium (Adventure Music) ** [B-]
  • Allison Au Quartet: The Sky Was Pale Blue, Then Grey (self-released) [B+(**)]
  • Auction Project: Slink (self-released) [B+(*)]
  • Grazyna Auguscik Orchestar: Inspired by Lutoslawski (Fortune) [B+(*)]
  • Omer Avital: New Song (Motéma) ** [B+(*)]
  • BadBadNotGood: III (Innovative Leisure) ** [B+(**)]
  • Mike Baggetta Quartet: Thieves and Secrets (Fresh Sound New Talent) [B+(*)]
  • Mike Bardash Quintet: Polygon (Rhombus) [B+(*)]
  • Darren Barrett: Energy in Motion: The Music of the Bee Gees (dB Studios) [B-]
  • Darren Barrett dB Quintet: Live and Direct 2014 (dB Studios) [B]
  • Bruce Barth: Daybreak (Savant) [B+(**)]
  • Al Basile: Swing n' Strings (Sweetspot) [B+(**)]
  • Battle Trance: Palace of Wind (New Amsterdam) ** [B+(**)]
  • Beat Funktion: Voodooland (DO Music) [B-]
  • Gerald Beckett: The Messenger (Summit) [B]
  • Tigger Benford & Party: Vessel of Gratitude (self-released) [B+(*)]
  • Gorka Benitez: Gasteiz (Fresh Sound New Talent) ** [B+(**)]
  • Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek (Interscope) ** [B+(*)]
  • Kris Berg & the Metroplexity Big Band: Time Management (Summit) [B+(*)]
  • David Binney: Anacapa (Criss Cross) ** [B+(*)]
  • Tyrone Birkett/Emancipation: Postmodern Spirituals: The Promised Land (Araminta Music) [B+(**)]
  • Todd Bishop Group: Travelogue (Origin) [B]
  • Brian Blade & the Fellowship Band: Landmarks (Blue Note) ** [B+(*)]
  • Jane Ira Bloom: Sixteen Sunsets (Outline) [B+(**)]
  • T.K. Blue: A Warm Embrace (Blujazz) [B-]
  • The Michael Blum Quartet: Initiation (self-released) [B+(*)]
  • Itamar Borochov Quartet: Outset (Realbird) [B+(**)]
  • Janice Borla: Promises to Burn (Tall Grass) [B+(*)]
  • Lukasz Borowicki Trio: People, Cats & Obstacles (Fortune) [B+(**)]
  • Kris Bowers: Heroes + Misfits (Concord Jazz) ** [B-]
  • Joshua Breakstone: With the Wind and the Rain (Capri) [B+(*)]
  • Patrick Breiner's Double Double: Mileage (Sulde) ** [B+(*)]
  • Sheela Bringi: Incantations (Black Swan Sounds) ** [B+(**)]
  • Bobby Broom: My Shining Hour (Origin) [B+(**)]
  • John Brown: Quiet Time (Brown Boulevard) [B+(**)]
  • Otis Brown III: The Thought of You (Blue Note) ** [B]
  • Kyle Bruckmann's Wrack: . . . Awaits Silent Tristero's Empire (Singlespeed) [B+(**)]
  • Mark Buselli: Untold Stories (OA2) [B+(**)]
  • Steve Cardenas: Melody in a Dream (Sunnyside) [B+(*)]
  • Malonie Carre: Forever (self-released)
  • Mario Castro Quintet/Strings: Estrella de Mar/Promotional Edition (Interrobang) [B-]
  • Frank Catalano/Jimmy Chamberlin: Love Supreme Collective (Ropeadope) [B+(*)]
  • Drew Ceccato/Adam Tinkle: Eidolon (Edgetone) [B+(*)]
  • The Cellar and Point: Ambit (Cuneiform) * [B]
  • Alan Chan Jazz Orchestra: Shrimp Tale (Crown Heights Audio Network) [B+(*)]
  • Tom Chang: Tongue & Groove (Raw Toast) [B+(**)]
  • Brian Charette: Square One (Posi-Tone) ** [B+(**)]
  • Mark Charig/Georg Wolf/Jörg Fischer: Free Music on a Summer Evening (Spore Print) [B+(*)]
  • Sebastien Chaumont Quartet: Still Walkin' (ITI) [B+(**)]
  • Chingari [Ranjit Barot/U Shrinivas/Etienne Mbappé]: Bombay Makossa (Abstract Logix) ** [B+(*)]
  • Nels Cline & Julian Lage: Room (Mack Avenue) * [B+(*)]
  • Freddy Cole: Singing the Blues (High Note) [B+(**)]
  • Jeff Colella/Putter Smith: Lotus Blossom (The American Jazz Institute/Capri) [B+(**)]
  • Collier & Dean: Sleek Buick (Origin) [B]
  • Wayne Coniglio/Scott Whitfield: Fast Friends (Summit) [B+(**)]
  • Kevin Conlon/The Groove Rebellion: In Transit (Blujazz) [B+(*)]
  • The Cookers: Time and Time Again (Motéma) **
  • Jack Cooper: Mists: Charles Ives for Jazz Orchestra (Planet Arts) [B+(*)]
  • Sylvie Courvoisier/Mark Feldman Quartet: Birdies for Lulu (Intakt) ** [B+(**)]
  • Neil Cowley Trio: Touch and Flee (Naim Jazz) ** [B+(*)]
  • Matt Criscuolo: Blippity Blat (self-released) [B]
  • Theo Croker: AfroPhysicist (Okeh) ** [B+(*)]
  • Eliana Cuevas: Espejo (ALMA) [B]
  • Tim Daisy & Mikolaj Trzaska: In This Moment (Relay) ** [B+(**)]
  • Dee Daniels: Intimate Conversations (Origin) [B-]
  • Tara Davidson: Duets (Addo) [B+(**)]
  • Davina & the Vagabonds: Sunshine (Roustabout) * [B+(**)]
  • Keith Davis Trio: Still (LoNote) [B+(**)]
  • Steve Davis: For Real (Posi-Tone) [B+(**)]
  • De Beren Gieren & Susana Santos Silva: The Detour Fish: Live in Ljubljana (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  • Jeff Denson & Claudio Puntin: Two (Pfmentum) [B+(**)]
  • Michael Dessen Trio: Resonating Abstractions (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  • Paul Dietrich Quintet: We Always Get There (Blujazz) [B+(*)]
  • Jorrit Dijkstra: Music for Reeds and Electronics: Oakland (Driff) [B+(*)]
  • Diva: A Swingin' Life (MCG Jazz) [B+(**)]
  • Matthieu Donarier & Albert van Veenendaal's Planetarium: The Visible Ones (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  • Henrik Otto Donner & TUMO: And It Happened . . . (TUM) [B+(**)]
  • Dave Douglas & Uri Caine: Present Joys (Greenleaf Music) [B+(**)]
  • Thom Douvan: Brother Brother (self-released) [B]
  • Andrew Downing/Jim Lewis/David Occhipinti: Bristles (Occdav Music) [B+(*)]
  • Drumheller: Sometimes Machine (Barnyard) [B+(*)]
  • Benjamin Duboc: St. James Infirmary (Improvising Beings) [B+(*)]
  • Rachel Eckroth: Let Go (Virgo Sun) [B]
  • Donald Edwards: Evolution of an Influenced Mind (Criss Cross) ** [B+(**)]
  • Mark Egan: About Now (Wavetone) [B-]
  • Mark Elf: Returns 2014 (Jen Bay Jazz) [B+(**)]
  • John Ellis & Andy Bragen: Mobro (Parade Light) ** [B-]
  • The Equity & Social Justice Quartet: The Whisper of Flowers (Edgetone) [B+(**)]
  • The Wayne Escoffery Quintet: Live at Firehouse 12 (Sunnyside) [B+(*)]
  • Orrin Evans: Liberation Blues (Smoke Sessions) ** [B+(**)]
  • Orrin Evans' Captain Black Big Band: Mother's Touch (Posi-Tone) ** [B+(**)]
  • Peter Evans Quintet: Destination: Void (More Is More) ** [B+(*)
  • Expansions: The Dave Liebman Group: Samsara (Whaling City Sound) [B+(*)]
  • Dave "Knife" Fabris: Lettuce Prey (Musea) [B-]
  • Scott Feiner & Pandeiro Jazz: A View From Below (self-released) [B]
  • Violeta Ferrer/Raymond Boni: Federico García Lorca (Fou) [B+(*)]
  • Jean Luc Fillon: Oboman Plays Cole Porter: Begin the Night . . . (Soupir Editions) [B]
  • Fire! Orchestra: Enter (Rune Grammofon) ** [B+(**)]
  • Jean-Marc Foussat: L'Oiseau (Fou '12) [B]
  • Jean-Marc Foussat, Sylvain Guérineau & Joe McPhee: Quod (Fou) [B+(*)]
  • Jean-Marc Foussat & Ramón Lopez: Ça Barbare, Là! (Fou) [B+(**)]
  • Jean-Marc Foussat/Simon Hénocq: Nopal (Fou) [B+(**)]
  • Carol Fredette: No Sad Songs for Me (Soundbrush) [B+(**)]
  • Danny Freyer: Must Be Love (Blue Bend) [B-]
  • Friends & Neighbors: Hymn for a Hungry Nation (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  • David Friesen Circle 3 Trio: Where the Light Fails (Origin, 2CD) [B+(**)]
  • Fred Frith and John Butcher: The Natural Order (Northern Spy) ** [B+(**)]
  • Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York: Shiki (Libra) [B+(**)]
  • Hal Galper Trio: O's Time (Origin) [B+(**)]
  • Paulinho Garcia: Beautiful Love (Shrinktunes) [B+(**)]
  • Ananda Gari: T-Duality (Auand) ** [B+(**)]
  • Gato Libre: DuDu (Libra) [B]
  • Get the Blessing: Lope and Antilope (Naim Jazz) ** [B+(*)]
  • Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio: We're Back (Whaling City Sound) [B+(**)]
  • Ben Goldberg/Adam Levy/Smith Dobson: Worry Later (BAG Productions) ** [B+(**)]
  • Brad Goode Quartet: Montezuma (Origin) [B+(**)]
  • Sax Gordon: In the Wee Small Hours (Delmark) [B+(**)]
  • Grand Fatilla: Global Shuffle (self-released) [B+(*)]
  • Danny Green Trio: After the Calm (OA2) [B+(**)]
  • Jimmy Greene: Beautiful Life (Mack Avenue) ** [B+(*)]
  • Tom Griesgraber/Bert Lams: Unnamed Lands (self-released) [B+(*)]
  • Johnny Griffith: Dance With the Lady (GB) [B+(*)]
  • Tom Guarna: Rush (BJU) ** [B]
  • Barry Guy: Five Fizzles for Samuel Beckett (NoBusiness, EP) * [B+(**)]
  • Barry Guy New Orchestra: Amphi/Radio Rondo (Intakt) ** [B+(*)]
  • Scott Hamilton Quartet: Dean Street Nights (Woodville) ** [B+(**)]
  • Eric Harland's Voyager: Vipassana (GSI Studios) [B-]
  • Billy Hart Quartet: One Is the Other (ECM) ** [B]
  • Taylor Haskins: Fuzzy Logic (Sunnyside) [B-]
  • Elias Haslanger: Live at the Gallery (Cherrywood) [B+(*)]
  • David Helbock's Random/Control: Think of Two (Traumton) [B+(**)]
  • Jerry Heldman: Revelation(s) (1973-74, Origin, 2CD) [B]
  • Arve Henriksen: The Nature of Connections (Rune Grammofon) ** [B]
  • Benjamin Herman: Trouble (Dox) ** [B+(*)]
  • Vincent Herring: Uptown Shuffle (Smoke Sessions) ** [B+(**)]
  • Maggie Herron: Good Thing (self-released) [B+(**)]
  • Kevin Hildebrandt: Tolerance (Summit) [B+(**)]
  • Lisa Hilton: Kaleidoscope (Ruby Slippers) [B+(**)]
  • Eric Hofbauer Quintet: Prehistoric Jazz Volume 2: Quintet for the End of Time (Creative Nation Music) [B+(**)]
  • Holly Hofmann: Low Life: The Alto Flute Project (Capri) [B+(*)]
  • Will Holshouser/Matt Munisteri/Marcus Rojas: Introducing Musette Explosion (Aviary) [B+(**)]
  • Wayne Horvitz: 55: Music and Dance in Concrete (Cuneiform) * [B]
  • Bobby Hutcherson/David Sanborn/Joey DeFrancesco: Enjoy the View (Blue Note) ** [B+(*)]
  • ICP Orchestra: East of the Sun (ICP) ** [B+(**)]
  • The Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy (Deep Rhythm) [B-]
  • Randy Ingram: Sky/Lift (Sunnyside) [B+(**)]
  • Jachna Tarwid Karch: Sundial (Fortune) [B+(*)]
  • Ali Jackson: Amalgamations (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  • Jason Jackson: Inspiration (Jack & Hill Music) [B]
  • Javon Jackson: Expression (Smoke Sessions) ** [B+(*)]
  • José James: While You Were Sleeping (Blue Note) ** [B]
  • B.J. Jansen: Ronin (ARC) [B+(**)]
  • JazzBonez: Watch It! (Summit) [B]
  • Jazzhole: Blue 72 (Beave Music) [B+(**)]
  • Anthony Jefferson: But Beautiful (self-released) [B+(**)]
  • Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra: Habitat (Justin Time) [B+(*)]
  • Max Johnson Trio: The Invisible Trio (Fresh Sound New Talent) ** [B+(**)]
  • Russ Johnson: Still Out to Lunch! (Yellowbird) ** [B+(**)]
  • Darius Jones: The Oversoul Manual (AUM Fidelity) ** [B-]
  • Darius Jones/Matthew Shipp: Cosmic Lieder: The Darkseid Recital (AUM Fidelity) [**] [B+(*)]
  • Mimi Jones: Balance (Hot Tone Music) [B+(*)]
  • Paul Jones: Short History (Blujazz) [B+(**)]
  • Jua: Colors of Life (Chocolate Chi Music) [B-]
  • Sherie Julianne: 10 Degrees South (Azul Do Mar) [B]
  • Just Passing Through: The Breithaupt Brothers Songbook Vol. II (ALMA) [B]
  • Beat Kaestli: Collage (B+B Productions) [B+(**)]
  • Dave Kain: Raising Kain (Stop Time) [B+(**)]
  • Matthew Kaminski: Swingin' on the New Hammond (Summit) [B+(*)]
  • Darrell Katz and the JCA Orchestra: Why Do You Ride? (Leo) [B+(*)]
  • Ryan Keberle & Catharsis: Into the Zone (Greenleaf Music) [B+(*)]
  • Stacey Kent: The Changing Lights (Warner Jazz) ** [B+(**)]
  • Stan Kenton Alumni Band: Road Scholars Live (Summit) [B]
  • Franklin Kiermyer: Further (Mobility Music) ** [B+(**)]
  • Rebecca Kilgore with the Harry Allen Quartet: I Like Men (Arbors) ** [B+(*)]
  • Nikola Kolodziejczyk Orchestra: Chord Nation (Fortune) [B+(**)]
  • Lee Konitz: Standards Live: At the Village Vanguard (Enja) ** [B+(**)]
  • Elly Kouri: I Love You Too Much (RBR) [B+(*)]
  • Jonathan Kreisberg: Wave Upon Wave (New for Now Music) [B+(*)]
  • Krom (self-released) [C+]
  • Kronomorfic [David Borgo & Paul Pellegrin]: Entangled (OA2) [B+(*)]
  • Leszek Kulakowski Ensemble: Looking Ahead (Fortune) [B+(**)]
  • Jonas Kullhammar/Jørgen Mathisen/Torbjörn Zetterberg/Espen Aalberg: Basement Sessions Vol. 3: The Ljubljana Tapes (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  • Takuya Kuroda: Rising Son (Blue Note) ** [B+(*)]
  • Oliver Lake Organ Quartet: What I Heard (Passin' Thru) ** [B+(**)]
  • Ingrid Laubrock Octet: Zürich Concert (Intakt) ** [B+(*)]
  • Matt Lavelle/John Pietaro: Harmolodic Monk (Unseen Rain) ** [B+(**)]
  • Azar Lawrence: The Seeker (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  • Gordon Lee with the Mel Brown Septet: Tuesday Night (Origin) [B-]
  • Greg Lewis: Organ Monk: American Standard (self-released) [B+(*)]
  • The John A. Lewis Trio: One Trip Out (Valarteri) [B+(*)]
  • Dave Liebman Big Band: A Tribute to Wayne Shorter (Summit) [B+(*)]
  • Joe LoCascio and Woody Witt: Absinthe (Blue Bamboo Music) [B+(**)]
  • The Mike Longo Trio: Celebrates Oscar Peterson: Live (CAP) [B+(**)]
  • Romero Lubambo: Só: Brazilian Essence (Sunnyside) [B+(*)]
  • Jan Lundgren: All By Myself (Fresh Sound) ** [B+(**)]
  • Vincent Lyn: Live in New York City (Budo) [B+(*)]
  • Harold Mabern: Right on Time (Smoke Sessions) ** [B+(*)]
  • Machine Mass [Tony Bianco/Michel Delville]: Inti (Moonjune) [B+(**)]
  • Magnolia Acoustic Quartet: Cinderella (Fortune) [B+(**)]
  • Dean Magraw & Eric Kamau Gravatt: Fire on the Nile (Red House) [B+(**)]
  • Roberto Magris Quintet: Cannonball Funk'n Friends (JMood -13) [B+(**)]
  • Roberto Magris Septet: Morgan Rewind: A Tribute to Lee Morgan Vol. 2 (JMood, 2CD) [B+(*)]
  • Roberto Magris Trio: One Night in With Hope and More, Vol. 2 (JMood -13) * [B+(**)]
  • Bob Mamet: London House Blues (Blujazz) [B+(**)]
  • Michael Mantler: The Jazz Composer's Orchestra Update (ECM) ** [B]
  • Paul Marinaro: Without a Song (Myrtle) [B+(*)]
  • Thomas Marriott: Urban Folklore (Origin) [B+(*)]
  • Mars 4-Tet: The Blind Watchmaker (Summit) [B+(**)]
  • Branford Marsalis: In My Solitude: Live at Grace Cathedral (Okeh) ** [B+(**)]
  • Dominic J. Marshall Trio: Spirit Speech (Origin) [B+(*)]
  • Mike Marshall/Turtle Island Quartet: Mike Marshall & the Turtle Island Quartet (Adventure Music) [B]
  • Terry Marshall: Arrival (self-released) [C+]
  • Shawn Maxwell: Shawn Maxwell's Alliance (Chicago Sessions) [B-]
  • Alexander McCabe/Paul Odeh: This Is Not a Pipe (Wamco) [B+(**)]
  • Aaron McEvers/M13: 1 Human, Too Human (Blujazz) [B]
  • Zara McFarlane: If You Knew Her (Brownswood) [B]
  • Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra: Strength in Numbers (Summit) [B+(*)]
  • John McLaughlin & 4th Dimension: The Boston Record (Abstract Logix) ** [B]
  • Mark Meadows: Somethin' Good (self-released) [B-]
  • Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood: Juice (Indirecto) ** [B+(*)]
  • Brad Mehldau/Mark Guiliana: Mehliana: Taming the Dragon (Nonesuch) ** [B+(**)]
  • Pat Metheny Unity Group: Kin (Nonesuch) ** [B-]
  • Collette Michaan: Incarnate/Encarna (self-released) [B]
  • Sei Miguel: Salvation Modes (Clean Feed) [B+(*)]
  • Dom Minasi & Hans Tammen: Alluvium (Straw2gold) ** [B+(*)]
  • Kristen Miranda: Double Time (self-released) [B+(**)]
  • Roscoe Mitchell: Conversations I (Wide Hive) ** [B]
  • Roscoe Mitchell: Conversations II (2013 [2014], Wide Hive) ** [B+(*)]
  • Hafez Modirzadeh: In Convergence Liberation (Pi) [B+(**)]
  • Noshir Mody: Stories From the Years of Living Passionately (self-released) [B]
  • Tony Monaco: Furry Slippers (Summit) [B]
  • Jason Moran: All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller (Blue Note) ** [B+(*)]
  • Joe Morris Quartet: Balance (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  • Sam Most: New Jazz Standards (Summit) [B+(**)]
  • Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Blue (Hot Cup) ** [B]
  • Moutin Factory Quintet: Lucky People (Blujazz/Plus Loin Music) [B+(**)]
  • Wolfgang Muthspiel: Driftwood (ECM) ** [B+(*)]
  • Myrczek & Tomaszewski: Love Revisited (Fortune) [B+(*)]
  • Myriad 3: The Where (ALMA) [B+(**)]
  • Roy Nathanson's Sotto Voce: Complicated Day (Enja/Yellow Bird) [B+(**)]
  • Alon Nechushtan: Venture Bound (Enja) [B+(**)]
  • John Németh: Memphis Grease (Blue Corn Music) ** [B+(**)]
  • Matt Newton: Within Reach (self-released) [B+(*)]
  • Jim Norton Collective: Time Remembered: Compositions of Bill Evans (Origin) [B+(**)]
  • Miho Nobuzane: Simple Words: Jazz Loves Brazil (self-released) [B+(*)]
  • Russ Nolan: Relentless (Rhinoceruss Music) [B+(*)]
  • The North: Slow Down (This Isn't the Mainland) (Dowsett) [B+(*)]
  • Novox: Over the Honeymoon (Label Z Production) [C+]
  • Ian O'Beirne: Glasswork (self-released) [B+(*)]
  • The Ocular Concern: Sister Cities (PJCE) [B+(*)]
  • Arturo O'Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra: The Offense of the Drum (Motéma Music) ** [B+(**)]
  • Old Style Sextet (Blujazz)
  • The Jim Olsen Ensemble: We See Stars (OA2) [B+(**)]
  • Ark Ovrutski: 44:33 (Zoho) [B+(*)]
  • Ulysses Owens Jr.: Onward & Upward (D Clef) [B+(*)]
  • Chris Parker: Full Circle (OA2) [B+(**)]
  • Parker Abbott Trio: The Wayfinders (self-released) [B]
  • Beata Pater: Golden Lady (B&B) [B]
  • Matt Pavolka: The Horns Band (Fresh Sound New Talent) [B+(**)]
  • Nicholas Payton: Numbers (Paytone) ** [B-]
  • Felix Peikli: Royal Flush (self-released) * [B]
  • Rich Pellegrin Quintet: Episodes IV-VI (OA2) ** [B+(*)]
  • Jeremy Pelt: Face Forward, Jeremy (High Note) [B-]
  • Clarence Penn & Penn Station: Monk: The Lost Files (Origin) [B+(*)]
  • Danilo Perez: Panama 500 (Mack Avenue) [B+(**)]
  • Peripheral Vision: Sheer Tyranny of the Will (self-released) [B+(**)]
  • Sonya Perkins: Dream a Little Dream (self-released) [B]
  • Judy Philbin and Adam Levine: Keeping It Simple (self-released) [B+(*)]
  • Leslie Pintchik: In the Nature of Things (Pintch Hard) [B+(*)]
  • Adam Pieronczyk: The Planet of Eternal Life (Jazzwerkstatt) ** [B+(**)]
  • Anthony Pirog: Palo Colorado Dream (Cuneiform) * [B+(*)]
  • Plymouth (Rare Noise) ** [B+(*)]
  • Yvonnick Prene & Padam Swing: Wonderful World (self-released) ** [B+(*)]
  • Robert Prester: Dogtown (Commonwealth Ave. Productions) [B]
  • Bobby Previte: Terminals (Cantaloupe) ** [B+(*)]
  • Louis Prima Jr. and the Witnesses: Blow (Warrior) [B+(**)]
  • Rallidae: Paper Birds (self-released, EP) [B-]
  • PJ Rasmussen: Another Adventure (Third Freedom Music) [B]
  • Andrew Rathbun Quartet: Numbers & Letters (SteepleChase) [B+(**)]
  • RED Trio & Mattias Ståhl: North and the Red Stream (NoBusiness) [B+(**)]
  • Joshua Redman: Trios Live (Nonesuch) ** [B+(**)]
  • Dianne Reeves: Beautiful Life (Concord Jazz) [B-]
  • Rufus Reid: Quiet Pride: The Elizabeth Catlett Project (Motéma) ** [B+(*)]
  • Greg Reitan: Post No Bills (Sunnyside) [B+(*)]
  • Dave Rempis/Lasse Marhaug: Naancore (Aerophonic) ** [B+(**)]
  • Matt Renzi: Rise and Shine (Three P's) [B+(**)]
  • Cene Resnik Quartet: Live: From the Sky (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  • Ellynne Rey: A Little Bit of Moonlight (self-released) [B]
  • Jeff Richman & Wayne Johnson: The Distance (ITI Music) [B+(*)]
  • Sylvain Rifflet & Jon Irabagon: Perpetual Motion: A Celebration of Moondog (Jazz Village) ** [B+(*)]
  • Ritmos Unidos (Patois) [B+(**)]
  • Diane Roblin: Reconnect (self-released) [B+(*)]
  • Alfredo Rodriguez: The Invasion Parade (Mack Avenue) ** [B+(*)]
  • Jason Roebke: Combination (self-released) ** [B+(*)]
  • Rafael Rosa: Portrait (self-released) [B+(**)]
  • Jefferson Rose Band: Feel Like Dancing (self-released) [B]
  • Brandon Ross/Stomu Takeishi: For Living Lovers: Revealing Essence (Sunnyside) [B]
  • Rudy Royston: 303 (Greenleaf Music) * [B+(**)]
  • Jochen Rueckert: We Make the Rules (Whirlwind) [B+(**)]
  • Dylan Ryan/Sand: Circa (Cuneiform) * [B+(*)]
  • Jamie Saft/Steve Swallow/Bobby Previte: The New Standard (Rare Noise) * [B+(*)]
  • Akira Sakata/Giovanni Di Domenico: Iruman (Mbari Musica) [B+(*)]
  • Akira Sakata/Fred Lonberg-Holm/Ketil Gutvik/Paal Nilssen-Love: The Cliff of Time (PNL) ** [B+(*)]
  • Samo Salamon Bassless Quartet: 2Alto (SteepleChase LookOut) [B+(*)]
  • JC Sanford Orchestra: Views From the Inside (Whirlwind) [B]
  • Mehmet Ali Sanlikol: Whatsnext (Dunya) ** [B+(*)]
  • Masahiko Satoh/Paal Nilssen-Love: Spring Snow (PNL) ** [B+(**)]
  • Carl Saunders: America (Summit) [B+(*)]
  • Boris Savoldelli/Garrison Fewell: Electric Bat Conspiracy (Creative Nation Music) [B+(*)]
  • Scenes: . . . But Not Heard (Origin) [B+(**)]
  • Nicky Schrire: To the Spring (self-released, EP) [B-]
  • Reg Schwager: Delphinus (Jazz From Rant) [B+(**)]
  • Anton Schwartz: Flash Mob (Anton Jazz) [B]
  • Brandon Seabrook: Sylphid Vitalizers (New Atlantis) ** [B+(*)]
  • Marc Seales: American Songs Volume 2: Blues . . . and Jazz (Origin) [B+(*)]
  • Bobby Selvaggio: Short Stories (Origin) [B+(**)]
  • Pat Senatore Trio: Ascensione (Fresh Sound) [B+(**)]
  • Lenny Sendersky/Tony Romano: Desert Flower (LeTo) [B+(*)]
  • Sara Serpa & André Matos: Primavera (Inner Circle Music) [C+]
  • Kendra Shank & John Stowell: New York Conversations (TCB) [B+(**)]
  • Mitch Shiner and the Blooming Tones Big Band: Fly! (Patois) [B-]
  • Matthew Shipp: I've Been to Many Places (Thirsty Ear) ** [B+(*)]
  • Ryan Shultz Quintet: Hair Dryers (Origin) [B+(*)]
  • Jacques Schwarz-Bart: Jazz Racine Haïti (Motema Music) [B+(*)]
  • Side A: In the Abstract (Not Two) ** [B+(**)]
  • Herb Silverstein: Monday Morning (self-released) [B+(*)]
  • Edward Simon: Venezuelan Suite (Sunnyside) [B+(**)]
  • Rotem Sivan Trio: For Emotional Use Only (Fresh Sound New Talent) [B+(**)]
  • Donna Singer: Destiny: Moment of Jazz (Emerald Baby) [B]
  • Sly 5th Ave: Sly 5th Ave Presents Akuma (self-released) [B+(**)]
  • Adam Smale: Out of the Blue (self-released) [B+(*)]
  • Daniel Smith: Smokin' Hot Bassoon Blues (Summit) [B+(*)]
  • Wadada Leo Smith/Bill Laswell: The Stone (Akashic Meditation) (MOD Technologies) ** [B+(*)]
  • Michael Snow & Thollem McDonas: Two Piano Concert at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2014, Edgetone): [B+(**)]
  • Emilio Solla y La Inestable de Brooklyn: Second Half (self-released) [B+(**)]
  • The Souljazz Orchestra: Inner Fire (Strut) ** [B+(*)]
  • Vinnie Sperrazza: Apocryphal (Loyal Label) [B+(**)]
  • The Spin Quartet: In Circles (Origin) [B+(**)]
  • Spiral Mercury Chicago/São Paulo Underground Feat. Pharoah Sanders: Pharoah & the Underground (Clean Feed) [B+(*)]
  • Spoke: (R)anthems (River) [B+(*)]
  • Lyn Stanley: Potions (A.T. Music) [B+(**)]
  • John Stein & the Mingotan Project: Emotion (Whaling City Sound) [B+(**)]
  • Brenda Earle Stokes: Right About Now (self-released) * [B]
  • Ben Stolorow/Ian Carey: Duocracy (Kabosha) [B+(**)]
  • Ed Stone: King of Hearts (Sapphire Music) [C+]
  • Storyboard [David Boswell/Alex Locasio/Rod MacDowell]: Hello (My Quiet Moon) [B]
  • Isabel Stover: Her Own Sweet World (self-released) [B+(*)]
  • Street Priest: More Nasty (Humbler) [B+(**)]
  • Subtle Lip Can: Reflective Drime (Drip Audio) [B+(**)]
  • Helen Sung: Anthem for a New Day (Concord Jazz) ** [B+(*)]
  • Nelda Swiggett Stringtet: Blue-Eyed Painted Lady (Origin) [B+(*)]
  • Daniel Szabo/Peter Erskine/Edwin Livingston: A Song From There (self-released) [B+(*)]
  • Natsuki Tamura/Alexander Frangenheim: Nax (Creative Sources) [B+(*)]
  • Joanne Tatham: Out of My Dreams (Cafe Pacific) [B]
  • Throttle Elevator Music: Area J (Wide Hive) ** [B+(**)]
  • Camille Thurman: Origins (Hot Tone Music) [B+(*)]
  • Tigran: Shadow Theater (Sunnyside) * [C+]
  • Shirazette Tinnin: Humility: Purity of My Soul (Hot Tone Music) [B]
  • Ton Trio II: On and On (Singlespeed Music) ** [B+(**)]
  • Steve Treseler Group: Center Song (Creative Music Adventures) [B+(*)]
  • Tri-Fi [Phil Palombi/Matthew Fries/Keith Hall]: Staring Into the Sun (self-released) [B]
  • Trzy Dni Pozniej: Pokoj Jej Cieniom (Fortune) [B+(**)]
  • Allison Adams Tucker: April in Paris (Allegato Music) [B]
  • Mark Turner Quartet: Lathe of Heaven (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  • François Tusques: La Jungle du Douanier Rousseau (Improvising Beings) [B+(**)]
  • François Tusques/François Toullec/Eric Zinman: Laiser L'Exprit Divaguer (Improvising Beings, 2CD) [B+(**)]
  • Paul Tynan & Aaron Lington: Bicoastal Collective: Chapter Four (OA2) [B+(*)]
  • Matt Ulery: In the Ivory (Greenleaf Music, 2CD) [B+(*)]
  • Fernando Ulibarri: Transform (self-released) [B+(*)]
  • The David Ullmann 8: Corduroy (Little Sky) [B+(**)]
  • Adam Unsworth/Byron Olson/John Vanore: Balance (Acoustical Concepts) [B+(*)]
  • Manuel Valera: Self Portrait (Mavo) [B+(**)]
  • The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra: OverTime: The Music of Bob Brookmeyer (Planet Arts) ** [B+(*)]
  • Colin Vallon: Le Vent (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  • Peter Van Huffel's Gorilla Mask: Bite My Blues (Clean Feed) [B+(*)]
  • Elio Villafranca and His Jazz Syncopators: Caribbean Tinge: Live From Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola (Motéme) ** [B+(*)]
  • David Virelles: Mbókó (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  • Rosenna Vitro: Clarity: Music of Clare Fischer (Random Act) [B+(*)]
  • Jerry Vivino: Back East (Blujazz) [B+(**)]
  • Harvey Wainapel: Amigos Brasileiros Vol. 2 (Jazzmission) [B]
  • Ulf Wakenius: Solo: Momento Magico (ACT) ** [B+(*)]
  • Brahja Waldman Quintet: Sir Real Live at Resonance (self-released) * [B+(**)]
  • The Bill Warfield Big Band: Trumpet Story (Planet Arts) [B+(*)]
  • Reggie Watkins: One for Miles, One for Maynard (Corona Music) [B+(**)]
  • Bill Watrous/Pete Christlieb/Carl Saunders/The Gary Urwin Jazz Orchestra: A Beautiful Friendship (Summit) ** [B]
  • Ernie Watts Quartet: A Simple Truth (Flying Dolphin) ** [B+(**)]
  • Colin Webster/Andrew Lisle/Alex Ward: Red Kite (Raw Tonk) ** [B+(**)]
  • Walt Weiskopf: Overdrive (Posi-Tone) ** [B]
  • Dan Weiss: Fourteen (Pi) [B-]
  • Scott Wendholt & Adam Kolker Quartet: Andthem (Fresh Sound New Talent) [B+(**)]
  • The Westerlies: Wish the Children Would Come on Home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz (Songlines) [B+(**)]
  • Western Jazz Quartet: Free Fall (Blujazz) [B+(*)]
  • David White Jazz Orchestra: The Chase (Mister Shepherd) [B+(*)]
  • Walter White: Most Triumphant (Summit) [B+(*)]
  • Jessica Williams: With Love (Origin) [B+(**)]
  • Norma Winstone: Dance Without Answer (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  • Nils Wogram Root 70 With Strings: Riomar (NWOG) [B+(*)]
  • Tom Wolfe: Solerovescent (Summit) [B+(*)]
  • Michael Wollny Trio: Weltentraum (ACT) [B+(**)]
  • Nate Wooley/Hugo Antunes/Chris Corsano: Malus (NoBusiness) * [B+(**)]
  • J.J. Wright: Inward Looking Outward (Ropeadope) [B+(**)]
  • Basak Yavuz: Things (Z Music) [B+(*)]
  • Jason Yeager Trio: Affirmation (Inner Circle Music) [B]
  • Brigitte Zarie: L'amour (NJ Music) [B]
  • Miguel Zenón: Identities Are Changeable (Miel Music) [B+(*)]
  • Dann Zinn: Shangri La (self-released) [B]
  • ZZ Quartet: Beyond the Lines (In + Out) [B+(**)]

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

  • The Beatles: A Jazz Tribute (2002-05, High Note) [B]
  • Peter Brötzmann/Sonny Sharrock: Whatthefuckdoyouwant (1987, Trost) ** [B+(**)]
  • Jaki Byard: The Late Show: An Evening With Jaki Byard: Live at the Keystone Korner, Vol. 3 (1979, High Note) [B+(**)]
  • Jay Clayton & John Lindberg: As Tears Go By (1987, Jazzwerkstatt) ** [B+(*)]
  • John Coltrane: Offering: Live at Temple University (1966, Impulse, 2CD) [B+(**)]
  • Milt Hinton/Ralph Sutton/Gus Johnson/Jim Galloway: The Sackville All Star Christmas Record (1986, Sackville/Delmark) [B+(*)]
  • The Jazz Couriers [Tubby Hayes/Ronnie Scott]: England's Greatest Combo . . . The Message From Britain (1958-59, Fresh Sound) ** [B+(**)]
  • Bill Jennings: Architect of Soul Jazz: The Complete Early Recordings 1951-1957 (1957-57, Fresh Sound) ** [B+(**)]
  • Pete Magadini: Bones Blues (1977, Sackville/Delmark) [B+(**)]
  • Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66: Stillness (1971, Universal Sound) ** [B+(*)]
  • Oscar Peterson: Plays the Jimmy McHugh Song Book (1954-59, Solar) ** [B+(**)]
  • Oscar Peterson: Plays the Richard Rodgers Song Book (1954-59, Solar) ** [B+(**)]
  • The Rough Guide to Arabic Jazz (World Music Network, 2CD) ** [B+(*)]
  • Salsa de la Bahia: A Collection of SF Area Salsa and Latin Jazz: Vol. 2, Hoy Y Ayer (1983-2013, Patois, 2CD) [B+(**)]
  • Tektite Records Presents: The Young Mothers Sampler 1 (2012-14, Tektite, EP) * [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:

  • Audio One: The Midwest School (Audiographic)
  • The Bad Plus: The Rite of Spring (Masterworks)
  • Diego Barber + Craig Taborn: Tales (Sunnyside)
  • Jerry Bergonzi: Intersecting Lines (Savant)
  • Anthony Braxton/Tomas Fujiwara/Tom Rainey: Trio New Haven 2013 (New Braxton House)
  • Avishai Cohen's Triveni: Dark Nights (Anzic)
  • Jeremiah Cymerman/Nate Wooley/Evan Parker: World of Objects ('5049)
  • Piere Dørge and the New Jungle Orchestra: Tjak Tjaka Tchicai (SteepleChase)
  • Marc Ducret: Tower-Bridge (Ayler)
  • Stephen Gauci/Kirk Knuffke/Ken Filiano: Chasing Tales (Relative Pitch)
  • Mary Halvorson: Reverse Blue (Relative Pitch)
  • Scott Hamilton: Live at Smalls (Smalls Live)
  • Fred Hersch: Floating (MRI)
  • Russ Johnson: Meeting Point (Relay)
  • Yoni Kretzmer/Pascal Niggenkemper/Weasel Walter: Protest Music (Out Now)
  • Lean Left: Live at the Area Sismica (Unsounds)
  • Joëlle Léandre/Pascal Contet: 3 (Ayler)
  • Peter Madsen: Elvis Never Left the Building (Playscape)
  • Joe McPhee: Glasses (Corbett & Dempsey)
  • Nicole Mitchell's Sonic Projections: The Secret Escapades of Velvet Anderson (RogueArt)
  • Roscoe Mitchell/Mike Reed: In Pursuit of Magic (482 Music)
  • Nils Petter Molvaer: Switch (Okeh)
  • Jemeel Moondoc: The Zookeeper's House (Relative Pitch)
  • Michael Musillami: Pride (Playscape)
  • Houston Person: The Melody Lingers On (High Note)
  • Matana Roberts/Sam Shalabi/Nicolas Caloia: Feldspar (Tour de Bras)
  • Second Exit: Spoon (ForTune)
  • Matthew Shipp Trio: Root of Things (Relative Pitch)
  • Sonny Simmons & Moksha Samnyasin: Nomadic (Improvising Beings)
  • Blaise Siwula/Harvey Valdes/Gian Luigi Diana: Tesla Coils ()
  • Ches Smith and These Arches: International Hoohah (ForTune)
  • J Spaceman and Kid Millions: Live at the Poisson Rouge (Northern Spy)
  • Alister Spence/Myra Melford: Everything Here Is Possible (self-released)
  • Dayna Stephens: Peace (Sunnyside)
  • Bob Stewart: Connections: Mind the Gap (Sunnyside
  • Syrinx Effect: Snail Songs (self-released)
  • Tarbaby with Oliver Lake & Marc Ducret: Fanon (RogueArt)
  • Greg Tardy: Hope (SteepleChase)
  • Ton Trio II: On and On (Singlespeed Music)
  • The WHO Trio: The WHO Zoo (Auricle)
  • Zion 80: Adramelech: Book of Angels 22 (Tzadik)
  • John Zorn: Valentine's Day (Tzadik)

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:

  • Peter Brötzmann/Sonny Sharrock: Whatthefuckdoyouwant (1987, Trost)
  • John Coltrane & Friends: Trane's Blue Note Sessions (1956-57, Blue Note, 3CD)
  • Herbie Hancock: The Warner Bros Years [1969-1972] (Warner Brothers)
  • Noah Howard Quartetto: Live at the Swing Club Torino, Italy (Serie WOC Italy)
  • Peter Kowald: Discography (Jazzwerkstatt, 4CD)
  • Steve Lacy: Cycles (1976-1980) (1976-80, Emanem, 2CD)
  • Frank Lowe Quartet: Out Loud (1974, Triple Point, 5LP)
  • Joe McPhee: The CJR Years 1969-1974 (Bo' Weavil)
  • Joe McPhee: As Serious as Your Life (1996, Hatology)
  • Linda Sharrock: No Is No: Don't Fuck Around With Your Women (Improvising Beings)
  • Sun Ra Arkestra: Live in Nickelsdorf 1984 (1984, Trost)
  • Sun Ra Arkestra: Live in Ulm 1992 (1992, Leo)
  • Horace Tapscott Quintet: The Giant Is Awakened (International Phonograph)