The Best Jazz Albums of 2015

Initial draft collected on Oct. 10, 2015. The file will be updated as additional worthy records are found (although updating may lag behind the official 2015 list). Last year's list was frozen on Jan. 31, 2015. There also exists a parallel list of The Best Non-Jazz of 2015.

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 2014 (and in rare cases earlier) records that I discovered after last year's freeze date, but I've only included such records if they were so little known that they received less than five points in the 2014 metacritic file. These are marked, e.g., '14, after the label.

New Music

1. Irène Schweizer/Han Bennink: Welcome Back (Intakt)
Piano-drum duo, both should be household names by now, and indeed the Dutch percussionist is one of the very few Europeans to make Downbeat Hall of Fame ballot. On the other hand, I've had to write in the name of the Swiss pianist the last few years -- this year ahead of Myra Melford and Marilyn Crispell, who are similar players only in the sense that anyone can be described as similar to Cecil Taylor; Schweizer comes as close as anyone to matching Taylor, but she can also work in some boogie woogie or pennywhistle jive, and closes here with a bit of Monk that evokes "Lullaby of Birdland." In the late 1980s Schweizer started a series of duos with top avant drummers (Louis Moholo was the first, followed by Gunter Sommer and Andrew Cyrille). The best was her 1995 meeting with Bennink (although I also have the 1990 Pierre Favre at A). This return engagement belongs alongside. [*]

2. Henry Threadgill Zooid: In for a Penny, in for a Pound (Pi, 2CD)
Fourth album with this group (more or less); Jose Davila (trombone, tuba), Liberty Ellman (guitar), Christopher Hoffman (cello), Elliot Humberto Kavee (drums). Threadgill seems to play less flute this time (or more bass flute), but it's the alto sax you notice, rotating against Davila's low notes, the strings swirling around. He called an earlier band Very Very Circus, but he's rarely juggled this adroitly. Might have squeezed the music onto a single disc (40:14, 38:58).

3. Schlippenbach Trio: Features (Intakt)
Pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach, saxophonist Evan Parker (just tenor this time), and drummer Paul Lovens. I have no idea how many records they've recorded together, but the trio goes back at least to 1972 when they recorded Pakistani Pomade (FMP, reissued by Atavistic in 2003), a "crown" record in the first edition of the Morton-Cook Penguin Guide to Jazz (and since its reissue). I should recheck that record (and whatever else I can find -- Discogs lists twelve Trio albums, and this is only my fourth), but this must be one of the most fully realized. [*]

4. Mike Reed's People Places & Things: A New Kind of Dance (482 Music)
Drummer, runs a couple of groups, this one rooted in a golden age of local jazz, which in Chicago means Sun Ra and the AACM. He aims for dance here, not so much dance rhythms as shots of euphoric melody -- in his liner notes, he cites the late Ornette Coleman's Dancing in Your Head. Quartet has two saxes (Greg Ward and Tim Haldeman) plus bass (Jason Roebke), and Marquis Hill and Matthew Shipp drop in for 3-4 tracks each. The kwela cinches it.

5. Joe Fiedler Trio: I'm In (Multiphonics Music)
Third good trombone record this week (after Steve Turre and John Fedchock), and easily the best. Rob Jost's bass rises above rhythm and harmony for contrasting solos, Michael Sarin hits the right spots on drums, and Fiedler runs rings around the competition.

6. Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth: Epicenter (Clean Feed)
Bassist, called his second album Bigmouth in 2003 and kept the name. Two tenor saxes (Tony Malaby and Chris Cheek), Craig Taborn on keyboards (mostly Wurlitzer, in case you need a refresher in why he wins those polls), and Gerald Cleaver on drums. Lightcap's originals tend to be strongly pulsed. The one cover is "All Tomorrow's Parties" -- simply magnificent.

7. Charles McPherson: The Journey (Capri)
Alto saxophonist, back in the day a fairly shameless Charlie Parker imitator -- his first album was 1964's Be-Bop Revisited -- who developed into an exquisite ballad player (his Beautiful!, from 1975, spent a couple years in my bedtime rotation). Well into his 70s, this one is his most upbeat in many years, with Keith Oxman's tenor sax chasing him around, and Chip Stephens turning out his best Bud Powell licks.

8. Rich Halley 4: Creating Structure (Pine Eagle)
Tenor saxophonist from Portland, has created an impressive body of work since he retired from his day job. Quartet with Michael Vlatkovich on trombone, Clyde Reed on bass, and son Carson Halley on drums. His sax intro is as impressive as ever, and when the trombone enters they bat things around at a furious pace. I wondered whether the ending was too much -- reportedly this is all free improv, by-product from another session -- but after many plays it fit right in.

9. Rodrigo Amado: This Is Our Language (Not Two)
Tenor saxophonist, from Portugal, should be considered a major figure on the instrument. He is spectacular here, not that he doesn't get help from Joe McPhee (pocket trumpet, alto sax) working around his edges. With Kent Kessler on bass and Chris Corsano on drums.

10. Mort Weiss: Mort Weiss Is a Jazz Reality Show (SMS Jazz)
A clarinet player, Weiss retired from his day job around 2000 and returned to his instrument, recording seven albums 2003-13, swing-bop I found charming and delightful. If anything, the records got better as he approached 80. They even started getting noticed, with Weiss emerging as a "Rising Star Clarinet" in Downbeat's polls. Then I got a letter he was hanging it all up, but two years later he's back. The "Dedication" explains a year of bad health, losing his wife of forty-some years, even losing his dog, then finding someone named "Donna." He also found pianist Don Friedman, whose trio anchors these thirteen tunes, mostly indelible standards. Everything works: the Carmela Rappozzo vocal slot, even his own blues vocal.

11. Amir ElSaffar: Crisis (Pi)
Trumpet player, originally from Iraq, named his 2007 album Two Rivers and calls his group Two Rivers Ensemble -- more appropriate than ever as he figures out more ways to integrate Arabic motifs into his music. The superb jazz rhythm section of Carlo DeRosa (bass) and Nasheet Waits (drums) is matched by Tareq Abboushi (buzuqi) and Zafer Tawil (oud, percussion), and ElSaffar sings three pieces. Ole Mathisen's sax complements his trumpet, which has advanced to a new plane.

12. Steve Swell: Steve Swell's Kende Dreams: Hommage à Bartók (Silkheart)
The trombonist's liner notes clearly say the album title is Kende Dreams, but that apostrophe on the cover has misdirected pretty much everyone. A kende is an ancient Hungarian religious figure, one eclipsed by the warriors so prominent since Atilla the Hun. Supposedly Béla Bartók drew on this history as well as the complex rhythms of east-central Europe, but no Bartók is played here (unless pianist Connie Crothers slipped some in). Rather, you get a quintet with two horns -- the leader's trombone and Rob Brown's alto sax -- complementing each other, and all the support anyone could hope for from William Parker and Chad Taylor.

13. John O'Gallagher Trio: The Honeycomb (Fresh Sound New Talent)
Alto saxophonist, a guy who often stands out in a crowd, up close here leading a trio with Johannes Weidenmueller on bass and Mark Ferber on drums. [*]

14. Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas: Sound Prints: Live at Monterey Jazz Festival (Blue Note)
This comes down to chops, which is what you'd expect from two of the very top musicians on their instruments, tenor sax and trumpet, respectively. They're backed by Lawrence Fields (piano), Linda Oh (bass), and Joey Baron (drums): your basic hard bop lineup. Six pieces, two each from the leaders, plus two from Wayne Shorter to evoke the heyday of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. [**]

15. Liberty Ellman: Radiate (Pi)
Guitarist, fourth album since 1998, close to thirty side-credits (not counting the mixing and mastering he's done on at least that many records). Sextet, with three horns giving wide-ranging looks -- Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet), Steve Lehman (alto sax), and Jose Davila (tuba, trombone) -- plus Stephan Crump (bass) and Damion Reid (drums).

16. Marilyn Crispell/Gerry Hemingway: Table of Changes (Intakt)
Piano-drums duo, recorded live at various spots in Europe. Third album by the Duo since 1992, although they go back further to Anthony Braxton's famed 1980s Quartet (with Mark Dresser). The knockabout opener is as remarkable as anything the format gets -- cf. Cecil Taylor and Irène Schweizer with various drummers -- and while they don't sustain that intensity, they serve up plenty of interesting variations. [*]

17. Gabriel Amargant: And Now for Something Completely Different (Fresh Sound New Talent)
Tenor saxophonist, second album, recorded in Girona, in the far northeast corner of Spain, backed with piano, guitar, bass, and drums, with all pieces by the leader. I can't say the title is completely true, but I'm hard pressed to remember the last time a tenor saxophonist took the stage with such fluid mastery -- Tommy Smith, maybe. [**]

18. Marty Grosz Meets the Fat Babies: Diga Diga Doo (Delmark)
The Fat Babies are a Chicago trad jazz outfit with a couple fine albums if you can't get enough of that old timey sound. Grosz, the son of the famous Weimar caricaturist, fled the Nazis in the early 1930s and grew up on the first trad jazz revival, learning guitar and banjo. He keeps the group loose, and I won't complain that he talks too much toward the end, or that he sings a couple. One of the two sessions adds Jim Dapogny, another legend, on piano.


William Parker/Raining on the Moon: Great Spirit (AUM Fidelity)
Originally the bassist's great two-horn quartet with Lewis Barnes (trumpet) and Rob Brown (alto sax), to which he added singer Leena Conquest on 2002's Raining on the Moon and pianist Eri Yamamoto for 2007's Corn Meal Dance. These I take to be leftover tracks from the latter, an exceptionally productive year. Parker can get corny when he writes lyrics, but this is a band and singer that can swing anything, and the horns can get much edgier.

20. Mikko Innanen: Song for a New Decade (TUM, 2CD)
Finnish saxophonist, alto and baritone, plus a few odd instruments here and there (Indian clarinet, Uilleann chanter, nose flute, whistles, percussion). Should be better known, and after this will be. Two discs: the first with William Parker on bass and Andrew Cyrille on drums, pretty much everything an avant-saxophonist could dream of; the second a little leaner, just a duo with Cyrille.

21. The Gary McFarland Legacy Ensemble: Circulation: The Music of Gary McFarland (Planet Arts)
McFarland (1933-71) played vibraphone, but is probably best remembered (when at all) as a composer and associate of Bill Evans and Bob Brookmeyer. Drummer Michael Benedict directed this quintet, with Joe Locke (vibes), Sharel Cassity (sax), Bruce Barth (piano), and Mike Lawrence (bass), as they skip through eleven McFarland pieces. Mostly breakneck bop, the leaders get a terrific workout -- most impressively Locke, his best performance in a long time.

22. Old Time Musketry: Drifter (NCM East)
JP Schlegelmilch plays accordion and piano and writes most of the pieces, Adam Schneit plays tenor sax and clarinet and wrote two tunes, Phil Rowan is on bass and Max Goldman on drums/melodica. The accordion gives the melodies a thick, robust texture, a popular anchor no matter how everyone else twists and turns.

23. Milford Graves & Bill Laswell: Space/Time · Redemption (TUM)
Graves is an avant-jazz drummer, first appearing on a number of ESP-Disk records 1963-66 (including his own Percussion Ensemble), then rarely from 1969 (Sonny Sharrock's Black Woman) to about 2000, when he started appearing (mostly on Tzadik; 1992's Real Deal, a duo with David Murray, was a rare exception). Laswell is a bassist and producer, more into fusion than free but something of a gadfly around the fringes of respectability. So not a huge surprise that the two would record together, but it is that a bass-drums duo would come up with anything so vibrantly textured.

24. Food: This Is Not a Miracle (ECM)
Eighth group album since eponymous 1999 debut, although the initial quartet gradually stripped down to constants Iain Ballamy (saxes, electronics) and Thomas Strønen (drums, electronics), joined here by Fennesz on guitar (and more electronics) -- the electronics provide much of the tone and texture over the jazztronica beats. [**]

25. Ryan Truesdell: Lines of Color (Blue Note/ArtistShare)
Second album by Gil Evans' ghost band, following 2012's Centennial: Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans -- some more new discoveries here, but it seems more accurate to think of this as Gil Evans' Greatest Hits . . . Live! Arrangements are properly credited to Evans, dated as far back as 1947. The band has lots of star power, intricately shadowing one another while one or another breaks out in precisely framed solos. Wendy Gilles sings three tunes, including "Everything Happens to Me."

26. Nat Birchall: Invocations (Jazzman)
Tenor saxophonist from Britain, has a half-dozen albums since 1999. Seems like John Coltrane is the most emulated (not to mention imitated) tenor saxophonist in the world since 1970, but no one's got the whole deal -- not just tone but flow, feel, rhythm, invention, and for that matter band -- down as pat at Birchall. If he's missing anything, it's conflict, which gives him a serenity beyond. [**]

27. Scott Hamilton: Scott Hamilton Plays Jule Styne (Blue Duchess)
Tenor saxophonist, a retro-swing throwback in the late '70s who's scarcely budged an inch since then, except maybe to deepen his feel for ballads. Styne's tunes range from "Sunday" in 1927 to "People" in 1964, a few you'll know instantly. With Tim Ray on piano, Dave Zinno (bass) and Jim Gwin (drums), plus a bit of guitar on one tune. Had I given this a casual spin, I would have said "typically fine," but it's been stuck in my changer for three days and I'll be sad when I have to move on.

28. Chico Freeman/Heiri Känzig: The Arrival (Intakt)
Tenor saxophonist, made a big splash in avant circles in the late 1970s; has recorded pretty regularly since then, although in the 1980s it seemed like he got upstaged by his father, Von Freeman. Bassist Känzig was born in New York but studied in Austria and Switzerland, and currently teaches in Luzern. Duets, very laid back, spare but gorgeous. [*]

29. Audio One: What Thomas Bernhard Saw (Audiographic)
Ten-piece Ken Vandermark group, third album for this project. With all the alumni, I'm tempted to describe this more of a souped-up Vandermark 5 (Dave Rempis and Mars Williams join in on reeds, Jeb Bishop returns on trombone, and Tim Daisy is the drummer) than a big band project per se, The four Vandermark dedications are tightly conceived even though they each expand to 15-20 minutes. Band includes cornet (Josh Berman), another sax (Nick Mazzarella), vibes (Jason Adasiewicz), viola (Jen Paulson), and bass (Nick Maori, both acoustic and electric). [**]

30. Gard Nilssen's Acoustic Unity: Firehouse (Clean Feed)
Norwegian drummer, has played in several bands since 2007: Puma, Bushman's Revenge, Lord Kelvin, Cortex (the latter's Live! an A- last year), as well as collaborations with Eirik Hegdal, Tore Brunborg, and Mathias Eick, but I'll score this as his first as leader: an avant-sax trio with Andre Roligheten and Petter Eldh, and everything you'd want there, blistering hot and completely cogent.

31. Sons of Kemet: Lest We Forget What We Came Here to Do (Naim Jazz)
British quartet, with two drummers laying down complex Africa-tinged cross-rhythms, Theon Cross laying down the funk tuba, and Shabaka Hutschings riffing on sax and clarinet. The basic template works at all speeds, but the hotter the better. [**]

32. The Rempis Percussion Quartet: Cash and Carry (Aerophonic)
Dave Rempis, first noticed on alto sax when he replaced Mars Williams in the Vandermark 5, where he was so impressive he started crowding Vandermark out of the tenor sax slot (plays some impressive baritone here too). Fifth album by his two drummer (Tim Daisy and Frank Rosaly) quartet, with Ingebrigt Håker Flaten on bass. Basically a blowing session, recorded live at the Hungry Brain in Chicago -- what more could you ask for?

33. Barry Altschul & 3Dom Factor: Tales of the Unforeseen (TUM)
Drummer, achieved some prominence in the 1970s as part of Anthony Braxton's quartet, faded away, finally appearing as a venerable elder guest star on tenor saxophonist Jon Irabagon's 2010 Foxy. Irabagon returned on Altschul's 2013 The 3Dom Factor, and again here, although the focus here is more on the drums. Joe Fonda helps out on bass.

34. Nicole Mitchell/Tomeka Reid/Mike Reed: Artifacts (482 Music)
Flute, cello, drums. It was clear from the very beginning that Mitchell would be the poll-domineering flute player of her generation, but less clear whether we should care. This, however, is terrific on any terms. On the 50th anniversary of the founding of the AACM, she's recorded their songbook -- the Mitchell credit is Roscoe, sandwiched between Braxton and Fred Anderson, with Abrams, McCall (twice), and Wilkerson to come. The cello fits better than a bass would, and the drummer's studied this music all his life.

35. Charles Gayle Trio: Christ Everlasting (ForTune)
Legendary avant saxman shows up at the Dragon Club in Poznan (Poland), picks up a bassist (Kasawery Wojcinski) and a drummer (Klaus Kugel -- both, by the way, names I'm familiar with -- and they let it fly. They play old favorites by Monk, Rollins, Coltrane, and Ayler, and Gayle shares credits for five of his hymns ("Joy in the Lord," "Blessed Jesus," etc.). Midway the old man takes a break and plays a bit of his convoluted cocktail piano, but he comes back breathing fire. [**]

36. Michael Zerang & the Blue Lights: Songs From the Big Book of Love (Pink Palace)
Chicago drummer, played in Ken Vandermark's pre-5 Quartet and shows up on a lot of important albums. This group recalls the early V5 with two saxophonists: founder Mars Williams and his replacement Dave Rempis, plus V5 bassist Kent Kessler and cornetist Josh Berman for extra sparks. Terrific sax runs. [**]

37. Allen Lowe: In the Diaspora of the Diaspora: We Will Gather When We Gather (Constant Sorrow)
An octet, although that seems less a matter of harmonic design than who showed up: three saxes, with Lowe on alto openin up a spot for Ras Moshe Burnett on tenor, and Hamiet Bluiett -- little heard in recent years -- heroic on baritone, more than making up for no trombone; Matt Lavelle's trumpet the only brass; guitar instead of piano, with Ava Mendoza determined to rock against the rhythm section's blues-based swing. Four titles referring to blues and gospel are interweaved, but this strikes me more as a spirit-channeling part record, a more moving "hoodoo bash" than Peter Stampfel's record.

38. Daniel Rosenboom: Astral Transference & Seven Dreams (Orenda, 2CD)
Trumpet player, credits Wadada Leo Smith as his "first trumpet teacher" and dedicates the seven-movement "Dreams" to him, although the 31:31 "Astral Transference" would also be fit tribute. The long piece is an octet with two saxes, piano, guitar, cello, bass, and drums, and is glorious. The band cuts back to five for the less expansive "Dreams." Probably could have fit on one CD (80:12), but sensibly split. [**]

39. Harry Allen's All-Star Brazilian Band: Flying Over Rio (Arbors)
Retro-swing tenor saxophonist, has shown an interest in Brazilian music before -- cf. 1997's Eu Não Quero Dançar -- but he's never made this much out of it. The All-Stars I recognize are Nilson Matta (bass) and Duduka Da Fonseca (drums), but Klaus Mueller (piano) and Guilherme Monteiro (guitar) show up my ignorance. Singer Maucha Adnet is a tougher sell when you're expecting Astrud Gilberto, but the extra grit and sass finally turned into a plus. [**]

40. The Kandinsky Effect: Somnambulist (Cuneiform)
Sax-bass-drums trio from France, third album, closer to post-rock with its thick slab sound than to avant -- both saxophonist Warren Walker and bassist Gaël Petrina are also credited with "effects." [**]

41. François Carrier/Michel Lambert/Rafal Mazur: Unknowable (Not Two)
Recorded live at Alchemia Jazz Klub in Krakow, in most ways comparable to the alto saxophonist's many recent records, with sidekick Lambert on drums, but Mazur's electric bass guitar rounds out the sound, adding a resonance that is missing in the duo.

42. Svenska Kaputt: Suomi (Moserobie)
Swedish group, far from finished, promises some sort of jazz-rock fusion, but Dungen members Reine Fiske (guitar) and Johan Holmegard (drums) are happy to play jazz, while Torbjörn Zetterberg (bass) gets into the rhythm, and saxophonist Jonas Kullhammar builds up one marvelous solo after another.

43. Matthew Shipp: Matthew Shipp Plays the Music of Allen Lowe: I Alone: The Everlasting Beauty of Monotony (Constant Sorrow)
Front cover runs on: "Or: The Future, He Thought, Was Never When He Expected It to Be," then follows with a list of musicians, not including the alto saxophonist, who appears with band on half of the tracks. The other half are solo piano -- more what I expected from the title. I have no feel for Lowe as a composer, other than the assumption that given his vast research he is adept at picking out lines here and there and turning them around. (At one point I recognized "Lullaby of Birdland" only to hear the next line head somewhere else.) But I have heard a lot of solo Shipp, and his work here is quite refreshing. The group pieces are even more fun, with guitarists Michael Gregory Jackson and Ryan Blotnick standing out, and Lowe's alto delightful.

44. Ernest Dawkins Live the Spirit Residency Big Band: Memory in the Center: An Afro Opera: Homage to Nelson Mandela (Dawk)
Chicago saxophonist contents himself to be composer, conductor, arranger and producer here, having lined up four other saxophonists to carry the load, plus three trumpets, two trombones, piano-bass-drums, poet Khari B, and singer Dee Alexander. I might normally complain about the vocals (which can get operatic), but the political rant is inspired, and the muscular exuberance of the band sweeps you away. And when they work in a little township jive, so much the better.

45. Dmitry Baevsky: Over and Out (Jazz Family)
Alto saxophonist, mainstream guy, from St. Petersburg in Russia, based in New York, fourth album -- only other one I've heard was his second, Down With It (2010), superb. Three originals, most of the rest shows a jazz pedigree -- a Jobim, a Monk, two Ellingtons. Very facile with a lovely tone, he continues to impress.

46. Michael McNeill Trio: Flight (self-released)
Pianist from Buffalo, blew me away with his debut (Passageways) and continues to impress, aided by Ken Filiano on bass and Phil Haynes on drums. This is considerably more, uh, nuanced, building slowly, repaying patient attention.

47. Joe McPhee/Jamie Saft/Joe Morris/Charles Downs: Ticonderoga (Clean Feed)
Avant sax quartet, McPhee plays tenor (mostly) and soprano and doesn't push it too hard. Saft plays piano, getting a bit more brittle sound than on his usual electric keybs, and adding measurably to the rhythmic complexity, which is not to say groove. Morris plays bass here, and is superb. [PS: There is an alternate cover, shown on the label's website, which suggests Saft is the leader. My copy lists the four names in the credit order above. The spine only lists Ticonderoga, which the label's website lists as the artist name.]

48. François Carrier/Steve Beresford/John Edwards/Michel Lambert: Outgoing (FMR)
My favorite alto saxophonist and his sidekick drummer from Montreal sojourn to the Vortex Jazz Club in London this time, pick up bassist Edwards, and pianist Beresford sits in for three (of five) cuts. Exceptional this time is the free rhythm, especially with the fractured piano. Carrier, as expected, is superb.

49. Nate Wooley Quintet: (Dance to) The Early Music (Clean Feed)
Avant trumpet player, very prolific but he's never been spectacular -- I count 15 records either his or co-headlined or in his group Transit, with only one (led by Joe McPhee) rated high-B+. Still, this one is terrific, possibly because he built this around a more conservative composer -- 6 (of 9) tunes by Wynton Marsalis -- but also because Josh Sinton's bass clarinet does the heavy lifting and provides the right contrast for the leader's sharpest trumpet. Also helps to have Eivind Opsvik on bass, Harris Eisenstadt on drums, and the sparkle of Matt Moran's vibraphone.

50. Jim Snidero: Main Street (Savant)
Mainstream alto saxophonist, twenty albums since 1987's Mixed Bag, fabulous tone, speed, dexterity -- only thing he needs is a rhythm section that keeps him at the top of his game. Like this one: Fabian Almazan (piano), Linda Oh (bass), Rudy Royston (drums). "The Streets of Laredo" closes strong.

51. Tomas Fujiwara & the Hook Up: After All Is Said (482 Music)
Drummer, has two previous albums with this group -- Brian Settles (tenor sax), Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet), Mary Halvorson (guitar), various bassists (Michael Formanek here) -- duos with Taylor Ho Bynum, a group called Thumbscrew (with Halvorson and Formanek), side credits with Anthony Braxton. The horns skew various ways, but focus on the prickly interplay between guitar and drums, a sketchy rhythm always in turmoil. [**]

52. Rent Romus' Life's Blood Ensemble: The Otherworld Cycle (Edgetone)
Alto saxophonist, one of the more consistently interesting figures of recent years, assembles fourteen musicians for "a new music Odyssey inspired by ancient Finnish mythology and the Kalevala [a 19th century compilation of epic poetry from Karelian and Finnish oral folklore]." The vocal concept seemed like too much clutter at first, but that was forgotten least once the sinewy grooves kicked in, and the sax approached A Love Supreme's stratosphere.

53. Matthew Shipp Trio: The Conduct of Jazz (Thirsty Ear)
Piano trio, with Michael Bisio on bass and Newman Taylor Baker on drums. Shipp seems to have lost interest in his jazztronica phase, but he draws on that experience when he breaks out the heavy, tumbling rhythmic runs that set the pace here.

54. James Brandon Lewis: Days of FreeMan (Okeh)
Tenor saxophonist, born in Buffalo, went into gospel before jazz, self-released an album in 2011 and got his second picked up by Sony when they relaunched the Okeh label. Third album, a sax trio with Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Rudy Royston, although he's mixed in some vocal bits, which may (or may not) have anything to do with the hip-hop the hype sheet says he's been studying. The horn, however, rings clear. [**]

55. JD Allen: Graffiti (Savant)
Tenor saxophonist from Detroit, has ten or so albums since 1999. Always an impressive stylist, goes with a basic trio here -- Gregg August on bass, Rudy Royston on drums -- which opens him up.

56. Ulrich Gumpert Quartett: A New One (Intakt)
Pianist-led sax quartet, with Jürg Wickihalder the saxophonist, Jan Roder on bass and Michael Griener on drums. B. 1945 in Jena, Gumpert grew up in East Berlin, interested in Satie and free jazz. From 1974 on, he recorded several FMP albums with Günter Sommer, joined Conny Bauer's Zentralquartett (still an important group), recorded a duo with Steve Lacy in 1987 (and was later one of the pianists on Lacy's Five Facings).

57. Noah Preminger: Pivot: Live at the 55 Bar (self-released)
Tenor saxophonist, won the debut category in the 2008 Jazz Critics Poll, and has only gotten better. Live quartet with Jason Palmer on trumpet, Kim Cass on bass, and Ian Froman on drums -- names I didn't recognize and shouldn't forget. Two 30+ minute jams, an old-fashioned cutting contest.

58. Larry Ochs/Don Robinson Duo: The Throne (Not Two)
Sax-drums duo, Ochs playing tenor and sopranino. The latter if piercingly ugly but strangely captivating. The tenor also pushes the limits of avant-ugly, but most often is invigorating, and the stretches where they slow down are most captivating. The drummer doesn't play off the riffs so much as roll with them. [**]

59. OZO: A Kind of Zo (Shhpuma/Clean Feed)
Portuguese duo, Paulo Mesquita on prepared piano, Pedro Oliveira on prepared drums. The preparations aren't that extreme, and the dynamic is simple enough: the piano sets up a rhythmic vamp, and the drums kick it to another level.

60. Beegie Adair/Don Aliquo: Too Marvelous for Words (Adair Music Group)
Piano and tenor sax quartet from Nashville, backed by Roger Spencer on bass and Chris Brown on drums. I hadn't run into Adair before, but AMG credits her with 48 albums since 1997 -- admittedly a rather cheesy list with lots of standards and tributes, piano music for special occasions (not just Xmas but Mother's Day), a Cocktail Jazz Party and Beautiful Ballads. She goes for standards here, especially Strayhorn with a dash of Monk. I am familiar with Aliquo, a mainstream tenor who really shines on the ballads. Perhaps too easy, but they earn their title.

61. Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp: Callas (Leo, 2CD)
Tenor sax-piano duos, inspired by opera diva Maria Callas (1923-77), not that there are any words here, nor vocals, just two avant-gardists trying to recapture some imagined spirit. What they come up with is real enough.

62. Martin Speicher/Peter Geisselbrecht/Jörg Fischer: Spicy Unit (Spore Print)
Reeds (alto/sopranino sax, clarinet), piano, drums. Fischer has been sending his records in regularly, mostly engaging avant encounters, but this is the first one that really clicked -- mostly thanks to the pianist's own higher order percussion. Never noticed Geisselbrecht before, but he makes a huge impression here, which Speicher's coloring complements.

63. Erik Friedlander: Oscalypso: Tribute to Oscar Pettiford (Skipstone)
Pettiford was one of the great bassists of the 1950s, and one of the first to record on cello -- the higher range making it more audible as a lead instrument. Friedlander is one of a half-dozen prominent jazz cellists to emerge since the 1990s, so it makes sense he would look back to his heritage. Quartet with Michael Blake (sax), Trevor Dunn (bass), Michael Sarin (drums).

64. Michael Gibbs & the NDR Bigband: Play a Bill Frisell Set List (Cuneiform)
Gibbs met Frisell at Berklee, taught him, and took him on tour, so this loops back on one of both artists' longest associations. The Bigband has a regular guitarist, Stephan Diez, but Frisell sits in, gets to sign his work, and the massedhorns certainly love him. Only about half Frisell compositions. I wouldn't have recommended the Beatles tune, but it's never sounded grander. [**]

65. Christoph Irniger Trio: Octopus (Intakt)
Once again, a mild-mannered free jazz tenor sax trio, impressive logic that sneaks up on you without threatening to blow you away.

66. Ray Anderson's Organic Quartet: Being the Point (Intuition)
Trombonist, one of the all-time greats, though health problems have kept him out of the limelight for much of this decade. However, he comes back swinging here, aside from the title piece, which is one of those ordeals you have to live through to fully appreciate. With Steve Salerno (guitar), Gary Versace (organ), and Tommy Campbell (drums) -- the organ an especially inspired choice. [**]

67. Andrew Jamieson: Heard the Voice (Edgetone)
Pianist, AMG lists three previous albums. Solo here, despite the front cover claim, "piano/in dialogue with/African American spirituals/and church music." The call and response is in his head, but inspiration and expression flows through his fingers and keys. Doesn't sound churchy, and, well, I wouldn't know spiritual, but I'm moved.

68. Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Mauch Chunk (Hot Cup)
Some turnover in the lineup of bassist Moppa Elliott's group as it moves into its second decade: Ron Stabinsky, who joined the group when they attempted to clone Kind of Blue, remains on piano, while Peter Evans (trumpet) is gone. The loss of front-line fire power should hurt, but saxophonist Jon Irabagon goes to Herculean lengths to make up the deficit. Not quite up to their best albums of the past decade, but the bear on the cover reminds me they don't have to outrun time, just the competition.

69. Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp/Whit Dickey: Butterfly Whispers (Leo)
Avant tenor sax-piano-drums trio, one that previously cut 2012's The Clairvoyant -- one of the Brazilian saxophonist's finest albums. This struggles a bit to reach that level, but eventually cranks it up a notch from the Perelman-Shipp duo, which is what adding a good drummer should do.

70. Allen Lowe: In the Diaspora of the Diaspora: Man With Guitar: Where's Robert Johnson? (Constant Sorrow)
Cover goes on to describe this as "A Soundtrack," but I know not what for. Also note that the credits include no guitar or voice, but there are occasional samples (actually, sounds more like banjo), presumably picked up from the sound track the music was composed for. Matters little, since this is basically an alto sax showcase, and the fact that I can't distinguish the 7 tracks Gary Bartz takes over from Lowe's 9 tracks without looking at the conter is a high compliment. Band also includes piano (Lewis Porter), trombone, and tuba, along with various electronics sources (including DJ Logic).

71. Satoko Fujii Orchestra Berlin: Ichigo Ichie (Libra)
Extremely prolific Japanese avant-pianist, she's put together a half-dozen orchestras as she's traveled around the world, and this is one of the best. Twelve-piece group, not quite a big band but the three saxes and three trumpets are meant to solo and spar, and the two drummers rumble.

72. Paul Dunmall/Matthew Bourne/Steve Davis/Dave Kane: Mandalas in the Sky (Babel)
Avant-sax quartet, with the leader on tenor and flute, plus piano, drums, and bass respectively. Dunmall remains focused throughout, and the stretch where he sits back and lets the piano take over demands our attention too. [**]

73. Tomeka Reid: Tomeka Reid Quartet (Thirsty Ear)
Cellist, originally from DC but moved to Chicago for her Master's, studying at DePaul and falling into the AACM orbit. She's appeared on some notable records, and has lined up Mary Halvorson (guitar), Jason Roebke (bass), and Tomas Fujiwara (drums) for her Mike Reed-produced debut. An especially good outing for the guitarist, but when furror builds it powered by the cello. [**]

74. Fred Hersch: Solo (Palmetto): Didn't get this last year when it polled well -- guess the publicist knew that I rarely fell for solo piano albums, even by pianists I've long admired. Starts with a Jobim, then "Caravan," two originals, "The Song Is You," "In Walked Bud," "Both Sides Now" -- each taken at a leisurely stroll for no less than 7:30, where it just envelops you with warmth and feeling. Good chance that if it wasn't so difficult to deal with downloads I'd like it even more. [**]

75. Jerry Bergonzi: Rigamaroll (Savant)
Tenor saxophonist, mainstream guy who uses phrases like Tenor Talk and Simply Put for titles (to pick two records I especially like). Quintet with Phil Grenadier (trumpet), Bruce Barth (piano), his usual bassist and drummer, a hard bop set that kicks out the jams.

76. Ochion Jewell Quartet: Volk (self-released)
Tenor saxophonist, based in New York, second album (as far as I can tell), quartet includes bassist Sam Minaie and two-thirds of Dawn of Midi: pianist Amino Belyamani and drummer Qasim Naqvi. The sax doesn't blow me away, but the rhythm section is far from ordinary. Two tracks add Lionel Loueke.

77. Josh Berman Trio: A Dance and a Hop (Delmark)
Cornet player from Chicago, third album, also appears in Michael Zerang's group (below). This is a straight free-leaning trio with Jason Roebke on bass and Frank Rosaly on drums mixing it up.

78. Colin Stetson/Sarah Neufeld: Never Were the Way She Was (Constellation)
Saxophone-violin duets, with Stetson's saxes on the low end (tenor and bass sax, and contrabass clarinet) and probably responsible for some evident percussion, while Neufeld is also credited with voice (possibly processed, no clear lyrics). All live, no overdubs (something they're proud of, partly because it isn't obvious). Nominally jazz although Stetson's distribution and following slops over into rock and the duo have some soundtrack background. [**]

79. Allen Lowe: In the Diaspora of the Diaspora: Where a Cigarette Is Smoked by Ten Men (Constant Sorrow)
Lowe plays alto and tenor sax here, but often gives way to clarinetist Zoe Christiansen, especially on three "Blue for Pee Wee" (as in Russell) pieces. Those pieces tie an album that otherwise seems to have more affinity for Jimmy Giuffre's modernist abstractions back to their common roots.

80. Katie Thiroux: Introducing Katie Thiroux (BassKat)
Bassist-singer's first album, composed three originals but relies on standards, especially for lyrics. Jeff Hamilton produced, using Graham Dechter's guitar instead of piano, adding Roger Neumann's tenor sax for color and mood, both offering standout solos as well as complementing the bass -- mixed up, it provides both signature and flow.

81. Oliver Lake/William Parker: To Roy (Intakt)
Dedicated to the late trumpet player Roy Campbell, who otherwise seems to have little to do with proceedings -- except, perhaps, for the somber tone. Or maybe that's just Parker's bass taking charge, a fair match for Lake's voluble alto sax. [*]

Also added the following 2014 albums after freezing the year-end file:

  1. Nat Birchall Quintet: Live in Larissa (Sound Soul and Spirit) **
  2. Fred Hersch Trio: Floating (Palmetto) **
  3. XY Quartet: XY (Nusica)
  4. The Hot Sardines: The Hot Sardines (Decca) **

Honorable Mention

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

  1. Juhani Aaltonen & Iro Haarla: Kirkastus (TUM)
  2. Tony Adamo: Tony Adamo & the New York Crew (Urban Zone)
  3. The Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet: 10 (Zoho)
  4. All Included: Satan in Plain Clothes (Clean Feed)
  5. Harry Allen: For George, Cole and Duke (Blue Heron) **
  6. Harry Allen: Something About Jobim (Stunt) **
  7. Gonçalo Almeida/Martin van Duynhoven/Tobias Klein: Vibrate in Sympathy (Clean Feed)
  8. Julian Argüelles: Let It Be Told (Basho) **
  9. Julian Argüelles: Tetra (Whirlwind) **
  10. Atomic: Lucidity (Jazzland)
  11. Ab Baars Trio: Slate Blue (Wig)
  12. Adam Baldych & Helge Lien Trio: Bridges (ACT) **
  13. Ballister: Worse for the Wear (Aerophonic)
  14. Michael Bates: Northern Spy (Stereoscopic) **
  15. Stefano Battaglia Trio: In the Morning: Music of Alec Wilder (ECM) **
  16. Louie Belogenis: Blue Buddha (Tzadik) *
  17. Tim Berne's Snakeoil: You've Been Watching Me (ECM) **
  18. Andrew Bishop: De Profundis (Envoi)
  19. Raoul Björkenheim Ecstasy: Out of the Blue (Cuneiform) **
  20. Black Top: #Two (Babel) **
  21. Ran Blake: Ghost Tones: Portraits of George Russell (A-Side) **
  22. Peter Brötzmann/Steve Swell/Paal Nilssen-Love: Krakow Nights (Not Two)
  23. The Dan Brubeck Quartet: Celebrating the Music and Lyrics of Dave & Iola Brubeck (Blue Forest, 2CD)
  24. Sarah Buechi: Shadow Garden (Intakt)
  25. João Camões/Jean-Marc Foussat/Claude Parle: Bien Mental (Fou)
  26. François Carrier/Michel Lambert: Io (FMR)
  27. Joan Chamorro & Andrea Motis: Feeling Good (Whaling City Sound)
  28. Anat Cohen: Luminosa (Anzic)
  29. Steve Coleman and the Council of Balance: Synovial Joints (Pi)
  30. Caroline Davis Quartet: Doors: Chicago Storylines (Ears & Eyes)
  31. Michael Dees: The Dream I Dreamed (Jazzed Media)
  32. Benoit Delbecq/Miles Perkin/Emile Biayenda: Ink (Clean Feed)
  33. Giovanni Di Domenico/Peter Jacquemyn/Chris Corsano: A Little Off the Top (NoBusiness) *
  34. Jorrit Dijkstra: Neither Odd nor Even (Driff)
  35. John Dikeman/William Parker/Hamid Drake: Live at La Resistenza (El Negocito)
  36. Akua Dixon: Akua Dixon (Akua's Music)
  37. Elina Duni Quartet: Dallëndyshe (ECM) **
  38. Harris Eisenstadt: Golden State II (Songlines)
  39. Paul Elwood: Nice Folks (Innova)
  40. Oran Etkin, What's New? Reimagining Benny Goodman (Motéma) **
  41. Orrin Evans: The Evolution of Oneself (Smoke Sessions) **
  42. Expansions: The Dave Liebman Group: The Puzzle (Whaling City Sound)
  43. John Fedchock Quartet: Live: Fluidity (Summit)
  44. Lorenzo Feliciati: Koi (Rare Noise) *
  45. Garrison Fewell: Invisible Resonance Trio (Creative Nation Music) **
  46. Free Nelson Mandoomjazz: Awakening of a Capital (RareNoise) *
  47. David Friesen & Glen Moore: Bactrian (Origin)
  48. Oleg Frish: Duets With My American Idols (Time Out Media)
  49. Satoko Fujii Tobira: Yamiyo Ni Karasu (Libra)
  50. Chantale Gagné: The Left Side of the Moon (self-relased)
  51. Laszlo Gardony: Life in Real Time (Sunnyside)
  52. Charles Gayle/William Parker/Hamid Drake: Live at Jazzwerkstatt Peitz (Jazzwerkstatt) **
  53. Ghost Train Orchestra: Hot Town (Accurate)
  54. Ben Goldberg: Orphic Machine (BAG) **
  55. Jerry Granelli Trio + 3: What I Hear Now (Addo)
  56. Devin Gray: RelativE ResonancE (Skirl)
  57. Rich Halley 4: Eleven (Pine Eagle)
  58. Mary Halvorson: Meltframe (Firehouse 12)
  59. Scott Hamilton & Jeff Hamilton Trio: Live in Bern (Capri)
  60. Stephen Haynes: Pomegranate (New Atlantis) **
  61. Mark Helias Open Loose: The Signal Maker (Intakt) *
  62. Wayne Horvitz: Some Places Are Forever Afternoon (Songlines) **
  63. Hu Vibrational: Presents the Epic Botanical Beat Suite (MOD Technologies)
  64. Paul Hubweber/Frank Paul Schubert/Alexander von Schlippenbach/Clayton Thomas/Willi Kellers: Intricacies (NoBusiness, 2CD)
  65. Invisible Astro Healing Rhythm Quartet: 2 (Trouble in Mind) **
  66. Vijay Iyer Trio: Break Stuff (ECM) **
  67. Guus Janssen: Meeting Points (Bimhuis)
  68. Max Johnson Trio: Something Familiar (Fresh Sound New Talent) **
  69. Henry Kaiser & Ray Russell: The Celestial Squid (Cuneiform) **
  70. Kaze: Uminari (Circum-Libra)
  71. Stefan Keune/Dominic Lash/Steve Noble: Fractions (NoBusiness) *
  72. Becky Kilgore/Nicki Parrott: Two Songbirds of a Feather (Arbors) **
  73. Kneebody + Daedelus: Keedelus (Brainfeeder) **
  74. Kirk Knuffke: Arms & Hands (Royal Potato Family) **
  75. Ted Kooshian: Clowns Will Be Arriving (Summit)
  76. The Susan Krebs Chamber Band: Simple Gifts (GreenGig Music)
  77. Ernie Krivda: Requiem for a Jazz Lady (Capri)
  78. Martin Küchen/Johan Berthling/Steve Noble: Night in Europe (NoBusiness)
  79. Martin Küchen/Jon Rune Strøm/Tollef Østvang: Melted Snow (NoBusiness) *
  80. Brian Landrus Trio: The Deep Below (BlueLand/Palmetto)
  81. Nancy Lane: Let Me Love You (self-released)
  82. Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House: Roulette of the Cradle (Intakt)
  83. Joe Locke: Love Is a Pendulum (Motéma Music)
  84. Allen Lowe/Matthew Shipp/Kevin Ray/Jake Millett: In the Diaspora of the Diaspora: Ballad for Albert (Constant Sorrow)
  85. Jon Lundbom and Big Five Chord: Jeremiah (Hot Cup)
  86. Nick Mazzarella Trio: Ultraviolet (International Anthem)
  87. Makaya McCraven: In the Moment (International Anthem) [**]
  88. Myra Melford: Snowy Egret (Enja/Yellowbird)
  89. Merzbow/Balasz Pandi/Mats Gustafsson/Thurston Moore: Cuts of Guilt/Cuts Deeper (Rare Noise, 2CD) *
  90. Marco Mezquida Mateos: Live in Terrassa (UnderPool)
  91. Møster!: When You Cut Into the Present (Hubro) **
  92. Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Hannover (Jazzwerkstatt) **
  93. Simon Nabatov/Mark Dresser: Projections (Clean Feed)
  94. Hailey Niswanger: PDX Soul (Calmit Productions)
  95. Larry Novak: Invitation (Delmark)
  96. Curtis Nowosad: Dialectics (Cellar Live)
  97. Oblik: Order Disorder (Ormo) **
  98. Arturo O'Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra: Cuba: The Conversation Continues (Motema Music, 2CD) **
  99. Michael Oien: And Now (Fresh Sound New Talent) *
  100. Kresten Osgood, Masabumi Kikuchi, Ben Street & Thomas Morgan: Kikuchi/Street/Morgan/Osgood (ILK Music) **
  101. Open Field + Burton Greene: Flower Stalk (Cipsela)
  102. Evan Parker/Peter Jacquemyn: Marsyas Suite (El Negocito) **
  103. Mario Pavone: Blue Dialect (Clean Feed)
  104. Gary Peacock Trio: Now This (ECM) **
  105. Ivo Perelman/Whit Dickey: Tenorhood (Leo)
  106. Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp: Complementary Colors (Leo)
  107. Chris Pitsiokos Trio: Gordian Twine (New Atlantis) **
  108. The Resonance Ensemble: Double Arc (Not Two) **
  109. Robert Sabin: Humanity Part II (Ranula Music)
  110. John Scofield: Past Present (Impulse!) **
  111. Aram Shelton/Fred Lonberg-Holm/Frank Rosaly: Resounder (Singlespeed Music)
  112. Denia Ridley & the Marc Devine Trio: Afterglow (ITI Music)
  113. Claire Ritter: Soho Solo (Zoning)
  114. Roots Magic: Hoodoo Blues & Roots Magic (Clean Feed)
  115. Charles Rumback: In the New Year (Ears & Eyes)
  116. Nisse Sandström Quintet: Live at Crescendo (Moserobie)
  117. Richard Sears Trio: Skyline (Fresh Sound New Talent)
  118. Elliott Sharp: Octal: Book Three (Clean Feed)
  119. Alex Sipiagin: Balance 38-58 (Criss Cross) **
  120. Skydive Trio: Sun Moee (Hubro) **
  121. Wadada Leo Smith & John Lindberg: Celestial Weather (TUM)
  122. Snarky Puppy/Metropole Orkest: Sylva (Impulse!) **
  123. The Souljazz Orchestra: Resistance (Strut) **
  124. Spin Marvel: Infolding (RareNoise) *
  125. John Stowell/Michael Zilber Quartet: Live Beauty (Origin)
  126. Dave Stryker: Messin' With Mister T (Strikezone)
  127. Survival Unit III: Straylight (Pink Palace) **
  128. Steve Swell: Kanreki: Reflection & Renewal (Not Two, 2CD)
  129. Steve Swell: The Loneliness of the Long Distasnce Improviser (Swell)
  130. Aki Takase/Ayumi Paul: Hotel Zauberberg (Intakt)
  131. The Thing: Shake (Thing) **
  132. Tiny People Having a Meeting (Fast Speaking Music)
  133. Gebhard Ullmann Basement Research: Hat and Shoes (Between the Lines)
  134. Universal Indians w/Joe McPhee: Skullduggery (Clean Feed)
  135. The Warren Vaché Quintet Remembers Benny Carter (Arbors) **
  136. Ken Vandermark/Paal Nilssen-Love: The Lions Have Eaten One of the Guards (Audiographic) **
  137. Javier Vercher: Wish You Were Here (Musikoz)
  138. Marlene VerPlanck: The Mood I'm In (Audiophile) **
  139. Charenée Wade: Offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson (Motéma) **
  140. Eli Wallace/Jon Arkin/Karl Evangelista: Cabbages, Captain, & King (Edgetone)
  141. Johannes Wallmann: The Town Musicians (Fresh Sounds New Talent) *
  142. Bradley Williams: Investigation (21st Century Entertainment, 2CD)
  143. Mark Winkler: Jazz and Other Four Letter Words (Cafe Pacific)
  144. Wolff & Clark: Expedition 2 (Random Act) *
  145. John Yao and His 17-Piece Instrument: Flip-Flop (See Tao)
  146. Yells at Eels: In Quiet Waters (ForTune) **
  147. Michael Zerang & the Blue Lights: Hash Eaters and Peacekeepers (Pink Palace, EP) **

Also added the following 2014 albums after freezing the year-end file:

  1. George Garzone/Jerry Bergonzi/Carl Winther/Johnny Aman/Anders Mogensen: Quintonic (Stunt) **
  2. Ayelet Rose Gottlieb: Roadsides (Arogole Music) **
  3. Mary Halvorson: Reverse Blue (Relative Pitch) **
  4. David Hazeltine: I Remember Cedar (Sharp Nine) **
  5. Matthew Shipp Trio: Root of Things (Relative Pitch) **
  6. Harry Sokal/Heiri Känzig/Martin Valihora: Depart Refire (Intakt) **
  7. Gebhard Ullmann/Johannes Fink/Jan Leipnitz/Gebhard Gschlößl: Gulf of Berlin (Jazzwerkstatt) **
  8. Unexpected: Munchies (Fresh Sound New Talent) **

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. Anthony Braxton: Trio and Duet (1974, Delmark/Sackville)
Early work recorded in Toronto, originally released on Sackville in Canada. The Trio cut is one of Braxton's diagrammatic titles, running 19:08, with (not yet Wadada) Leo Smith on various trumpets and percussion and Richard Teitelbaum on Moog and percussion -- one of those tuneless abstractions that eventually become engaging. The other side of the LP was a standards duo with bassist Dave Holland -- "The Song Is You," "Embraceable You," "You Go to My Head" (all remarkable readings), with two more added for the reissue ("I Remember You" adds to the theme; "On Green Dolphin Street" doesn't).

2. Wild Bill Davison: The Jazz Giants (1968, Delmark/Sackville)
Cornet player, came up in Eddie Condon's group, his first recordings under his own name in 1943 for Commodore (cf. The Commodore Master Takes, collected in 1997 by GRP and highly recommended). Standard trad fare here, a sextet with Herb Hall on clarinet, Benny Morton on trombone, and Claude Hopkins on piano, his own tone towering and shining.

3. Willem Breuker Kollektief: Angoulême 18 Mai 1980 (1980, Fou, 2CD)
Dutch group, led by the saxophonist from the early 1970s until his death in 2010. Like ICP Orchestra (which Breuker briefly played in), and for that matter the Sun Ra Arkestra, Breuker was able to span the whole history of jazz up through the avant-garde, frequently turning to hard swing, but in Breuker's case also mixing in circus, folk, classical, and Brechtian art-song. I've only heard ten (of fifty-some) Breuker records, and most I rate between mixed blessings and downright nuissances, so as I was falling for this one I noticed that my previous favorite was another early (1975) live album. This could have been edited down into something that flows better, but largesse was a big part of their shtick.

4. Red Garland Trio: Swingin' on the Korner (1977, Elemental Music, 2CD)
A bebop pianist, recorded tons 1955-58 when he was the center of Miles Davis' first great Quintet, leader of his own Trio, and especially on the side with the Quintet's saxophonist, one John Coltrane. He was so famous that when Art Pepper cut a record with them, it was simply titled Meets the Rhythm Section. Like most jazz musicians of his generation, Garland's discography tapers off after 1962, although he picked up a bit in 1977 recording for Pepper's label, Galaxy, then died in 1984. Still, I wouldn't have picked him as someone we need to unearth more music by, but while I wouldn't say these live trio sets reveal anything new, it's hard to exaggerate how delightful they are. With Philly Joe Jones from his early trio, and Leroy Vinnegar on bass (not Paul Chambers, but not a step down either).

5. Erroll Garner: The Complete Concert by the Sea (1955, Columbia/Legacy, 3CD)
A fine pianist from Pittsburgh, fast and idiosyncratically unique, he became a popular celebrity when his 1956 Concert by the Sea album went gold. Cut live in Carmel, CA, heavily edited to 41:19 LP length, Garner led a trio with Eddie Calhoun on bass and Denzil Best on drums, the album seemed to have a magic lift. Sixty years later, the label has stretched it out, offering the unedited concert, with 11 extra tunes on two discs, plus a third disc remaster with a 14:10 post-concert interview. It's all rather redundant, but I like the raw concert at least as much as the tailored product -- indeed, I can't imagine how they could have left "Caravan" off the latter.

6. Mike Osborne: Dawn (1966-70, Cuneiform)
Alto saxophonist, an important figure in the early days of the British avant-garde but he recorded little under his own name and retired due to illness in 1982. This offers some of his earliest work, opening with six tracks from a 1970 trio with South Africans Harry Miller (bass) and Louis Moholo (drums), followed by three tracks from his first group, a quartet co-led by John Surman, both superb.
7. Miles Davis: Miles Davis at Newport 1955-1975 [The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4] (Columbia/Legacy, 4CD)
Since I fell off Legacy's mailing list, it's been impossible to fairly evaluate their bootleg boxes. I used to ease myself into a box, playing a disc here and there until I was familiar with the terrain, and then there's the booklets with all that info and pictures and such. Those are the tangible things that make box sets worthwhile, and judging from the reviews by critics so treated this one must be a dandy. (Then, again, box sets almost never get negative reviews.) The 1955 group was a rather ad hoc mix of stars (Zoot Sims, Gerry Mulligan, Thelonious Monk, Percy Heath, Connie Kay), but I can't say much about them given that Rhapsody dropped 3 (of 4) cuts. Davis returns with his regular group in 1958, with seven cuts that were previously released on CD in 2001: I gave that a B but was more impressed this time, especially by Coltrane's "Bye Bye Blackbird" solo. (Some also on the 1963 LP Miles & Monk at Newport, more on a French LP in 1968.) The second disc gives us two Quintet sets from 1966 and 1967: really superb material, with Wayne Shorter in especially fine form. The third disc offers three 1969 cuts by the transitional electric band (Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette), starting with "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down" -- again, superb. Then we get six sizzling tracks from the 1973 8-piece band playing in Berlin, a bit sloppier but the trumpet rises to the occasion, and one cut from 1975. Fourth disc steps back to 1971, a Newport show in Switzerland with Gary Bartz on alto, Keith Jarrett on electric piano and organ, Michael Henderson on electric bass, and lots of percussion, which drags a bit in the 25:38 "Funky Tonk" but closes strong -- I can't say it's essential but it fills a slot on a shelf full of dazzling early '70s live albums. Assuming the box is up to snuff . . . [**]

8. George Lewis: The George Lewis Solo Trombone Album (1976 Delmark/Sackville)
Relatively early, before the AACM star moved into electronics and obscurantism, you forget just how skilled and fluid he was. Actually, much of this sounds like he's playing two parts -- presumably overdubbed, at least on "Toneburst (Piece for Three Trombones Simultaneously)" -- but even the clearly solo parts are light and entertaining, a far cry from Braxton's earlier For Alto.

9. Peter Brötzmann/Joe McPhee/Kent Kessler/Michael Zerang: Tales Out of Time (2002, Hatology)
Recorded in Chicago, home base for the bassist and drummer, and increasingly a second home for the German saxophonist, what with Ken Vandermark sponsoring Brötzmann's Chicago Tentet -- a group which also includes McPhee (tenor sax, pocket cornet, trumpet). Brötzmann's records are always vigorous and harsh, but this one is exceptionally coherent. [**]

10. Sonny Sharrock: Ask the Ages (1991, MOD Technologies)
The guitarist was always hard to pin down, perhaps because he was only intermittently recorded and tended to indulge whoever was treating him. In this case, that was producer Bill Laswell, who paired him with a respectable jazz rhythm section -- Elvin Jones and Charnett Moffett -- that could break free when the moment suited them, and saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, sounding as otherworldly as ever. [**]

11. Bobby Bradford & John Carter Quintet: No U Turn: Live in Pasadena 1975 (1975, Dark Tree)
Back cover lists Carter first, as indeed most of this now-legendary group's albums did, but spine breaks the tie in favor of Bradford (credited with cornet but photographed on the cover with flugelhorn). Previously unreleased. Takes some time to get going.

Also added the following 2014 albums after freezing the year-end file:

  1. Horace Tapscott: The Dark Tree (1989, Hatology, 2CD) **
  2. Lennie Tristano: Chicago April 1951 (1951, Uptown, 2CD) **
  3. Coleman Hawkins/Clark Terry: Back in Bean's Bag (1962, Essential Jazz Classics) **
  4. Joe McPhee: As Serious as Your Life (1996, Hatology) **

Honorable Mention

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

  1. John Carter/Bobby Bradford: Self Determination Music (1970, Flying Dutchman/BGP) **
  2. James Clay: The Kid From Dallas: Tenorman (1956-57, Fresh Sound) **
  3. Hamid Drake/Michael Zerang: For Ed Blackwell (1995, Pink Palace) **
  4. Free Jazz Group Wiesbaden: Frictions/Frictions Now (1969-71, NoBusiness)
  5. The Stan Getz Quartet: The Steamer (1956, Classic Standard) **
  6. Billie Holiday: Banned From New York City: Live 1948-1957 (Uptown, 2CD) **
  7. Sheila Jordan: Better Than Anything: Live (1991, There) **
  8. Humphrey Lyttelton: Humphrey Lyttelton in Canada (1983, Sackville/Delmark)
  9. Joe McPhee/Paal Nilssen-Love: Candy (2007-14, PNL, 7CD) **
  10. Sun Ra and His Arkestra: To Those of Earth . . . and Other Worlds (1956-83, Strut, 2CD) **
  11. David S. Ware/Apogee: Birth of a Being (1977, AUM Fidelity, 2CD) **

Also added the following 2014 albums after freezing the year-end file:

  1. Bud Powell: Birdland 1953 (ESP-Disk, 3CD) **


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

  1. Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet [RAAQ]: Intents and Purposes (Enja) ** [B+(*)]
  2. Aguankö: Invisible (Aguankö Music) [B+(**)]
  3. Bob Albanese: Time Remembered (Mayimba) [B+(*)]
  4. Albare: Only Human (Alfi) [B+(**)]
  5. Alessio Alberghini/Garrison Fewell: Inverso (Floating Forest) [B+(**)]
  6. Joey Alexander: My Favorite Things (Motéma) ** [B+(**)]
  7. Jovan Alexandre: Collective Consciousness (Xippi) [B+(**)]
  8. Aimée Allen: Matter of Time (Azuline) [B+(**)]
  9. Karrin Allyson, Many a New Day: Karrin Allyson Sings Rodgers & Hammerstein (Motéma) ** [B]
  10. Béatrice Alunni/Marc Peillon: Dance With Me (ITI) [B+(*)]
  11. Scott Amendola: Fade to Orange (Sazi) ** [B+(*)]
  12. Stephen Anderson/360° Jazz Initiative: Distracted Society (Summit) [B+(**)]
  13. Dennis Angel: On Track (Timeless Grooves) [B-]
  14. Animation: Machine Language (Rare Noise) * [B]
  15. Lotte Anker/Fred Frith: Edge of the Light (Intakt) ** [B+(*)]
  16. Laurie Antonioli & Richie Beirach: Varuna (Origin) [B-]
  17. Gene Argel: Luminescent (Origin) [B+(**)]
  18. Christian Artmann: Fields of Pannonia (self-released) [B+(*)]
  19. Takeshi Asai: French Trio Vol. 2 (De Trois Cités) [B+(**)]
  20. Tiffany Austin: Nothing but Soul (Con Alma) [B]
  21. Ab Baars Trio & NY Guests: Invisible Blow (Wig) [B]
  22. Kevin Bachelder/Jason Lee Bruns: Cherry Avenue (Panout Music Group) [B-]
  23. The Bad Plus/Joshua Redman: The Bad Plus Joshua Redman (Nonesuch) ** [B+(**)]
  24. Priscilla Badhwar: Mademoiselle (self-released, EP) [B+(**)]
  25. Aram Bajakian: Music Inspired by the Color of Pomegranates (Sanasar) ** [B+(**)]
  26. Juan Pablo Balcazar: Reversible (Fresh Sound New Talent) ** [B+(**)]
  27. Dan Ballou: Solo Trumpet (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  28. Baltazanis: End of Seas (self-released) [B+(*)]
  29. John Basile: Penny Lane (StringTime Jazz) [B]
  30. Dave Bass: NYC Sessions (Whaling City Sound) [B+(*)]
  31. Bastet: Eye of Ra (self-released) [B]
  32. Bathysphere (Driff) [B+(**)]
  33. Beat Funktion: Olympus (DO Music) [B]
  34. Perry Beekman: S'Wonderful: Perry Beekman Sings and Plays Gershwin (self-released) [B]
  35. Daniel Bennett Group: The Mystery at Clown Castle (Manhattan Daylight) [B+(*)]
  36. Tony Bennett & Bill Charlap: The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern (Columbia) ** [B+(*)]
  37. Karl Berger/Kirk Knuffke: Moon (NoBusiness, 2CD) [B+(**)]
  38. Thomas Bergeron: Sacred Feast (self-released) [C+]
  39. David Berkman: Old Friends and New Friends (Palmetto) [B+(**)]
  40. Randy Bernsen: Grace Notes (Jericho Jams) [B]
  41. Steven Bernstein/Paolo Fresu/Gianluca Petrella/Marcus Rojas: Brass Bang! (Bonsaï Music) ** [B+(*)]
  42. Pat Bianchi Trio: A Higher Standard (21-H) [B+(*)]
  43. Luciano Biondini: Senza Fine (Intakt) [B+(*)]
  44. June Bisantz: It's Always You: June Bisantz Sings Chet Baker Vol. 2 (self-released) [B+(*)]
  45. Bizingas: Eggs Up High (NCM East) [B+(**)]
  46. Terence Blanchard: Breathless (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  47. Samuel Blaser: Spring Rain (Whirlwind) ** [B+(**)]
  48. Blue Muse: Blue Muse Live (Dolphinium) [B]
  49. Michael Blum/Jim Stinnett: Commitment (self-released) [B+(*)]
  50. Don Braden: Luminosity (Creative Perspective Music) [B+(*)]
  51. Geof Bradfield Quintet: Our Roots (Origin) [B+(**)]
  52. Bobby Bradford-Frode Gjerstad Quartet: The Delaware River (NoBusiness) * [B+(**)]
  53. Joshua Breakstone: 2nd Avenue (Capri) [B+(*)]
  54. Randy Brecker/Bobby Shew/Jan Hasenöhrl: Trumpet Summit Prague (Summit) [B]
  55. Randy Brecker: Randy Pop: Live (Piloo) [B]
  56. Dee Dee Bridgewater: Dee Dee's Feathers (Okeh) ** [B+(**)]
  57. Jakob Bro: Gefion (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  58. Andy Brown: Soloist (Delmark) [B+(*)]
  59. A Bu Trio: 88 Tones of Black and White (Blujazz, CD+DVD) [B+(*)]
  60. Dewa Budjana: Hasta Karma (Moonjune) [B+(*)]
  61. Maureen Budway: Sweet Candor (MCG Jazz) [B+(**)]
  62. Art "Turk" Burton and Congo Square: Spirits: Then & Now (ATB) [B+(**)]
  63. Marnix Busstra: Firm Fragile Fun (Buzz Music) [B+(*)]
  64. Joey Calderazzo: Going Home (Sunnyside) [B+(**)]
  65. Ann Hampton Callaway: The Hope of Christmas (MCG Jazz) [B-]
  66. João Camões/Rodrigo Pinheiro/Miguel Mira: Earnear (Tour de Bras) [B+(**)]
  67. Mike Campbell: Close Enough for Love (ITI) [B+(*)]
  68. Cécile & Jean-Luc Cappozzo: Soul Eyes (Fou) [B+(**)]
  69. Harley Card: Hedgerow (self-released) [B]
  70. Kenny Carr: Idle Talk (self-released) [B+(**)]
  71. Kenny Carr: Exit Moon (Zoozazz Music) [B+(*)]
  72. Terri Lyne Carrington: The Mosaic Project: Love and Soul (Concord) ** [B+(**)]
  73. Brett Carson: Quattuor Elephantis (Edgetone) [B]
  74. Hugo Carvalhais: Grand Valis (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  75. Casa: Futuro (Clean Feed) [B]
  76. Ernesto Cervini: Turboprop (Anzic) [B+(**)]
  77. Chaise Lounge: A Very Chaise Lounge Christmas (Modern Songbook) [B+(*)]
  78. Chamber 3: Grassroots (OA2) [B+(*)]
  79. Brian Charette/Will Bernard/Rudy Royston: Alphabet City (Posi-Tone) ** [B+(*)]
  80. Dheepa Chari: Patchwork (self-released) [B-]
  81. Chicago Reed Quartet: Western Automatic (Aerophonic) [B+(**)]
  82. Scott Clark 4tet: Bury My Heart (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  83. George Colligan & Theoretical Planets: Risky Notion (Origin) [B+(**)]
  84. Lorin Cohen: Home (Origin) [B]
  85. Tom Collier: Alone in the Studio (Origin) [B]
  86. Tom Collier: Across the Bridge (Origin) [B+(*)]
  87. Romain Collin: Press Enter (ACT) [B+(**)]
  88. Colours Jazz Orchestra: Home Away From Home: Plays the Music of Ayn Inserto (Neu Klang) [B+(*)]
  89. Agedoke Steve Colson: Tones for Harriet Tubman/Sojourner Truth/Frederick Douglass (Silver Sphinx, 2CD) [B+(**)]
  90. Dani Comas: Epokhé (UnderPool) [B+(**)]
  91. The Convergence Quartet: Owl Jacket (NoBusiness) * [B+(**)]
  92. Lainie Cooke: The Music Is the Magic (Onyx Music) [B]
  93. Larry Coryell: Heavy Feel (Wide Hive) ** [B+(*)]
  94. Cowboys & Frenchmen: Rodeo (Outside In Music) [B+(*)]
  95. Stanley Cowell: Juneteenth (Vision Fugitive) ** [B+(*)]
  96. Stephan Crump/Mary Halvorson: Secret Keeper: Emerge (Intakt) * [B+(**)]
  97. Cuir: Chez Ackenbush (Fou) [B+(*)]
  98. Jamie Cullum: Interlude (Blue Note) ** [B]
  99. Adrian Cunningham: Ain't That Right! The Music of Neal Hefti (Arbors) ** [B+(**)]
  100. Linda Dachtyl: A Late One (Chicken Coup/Summit) [B+(**)]
  101. Isaac Darche: Team & Variations (Challenge) [B+(**)]
  102. Darts & Arrows: Altamira (Ears & Eyes) [B+(*)]
  103. Kris Davis Infrasound: Save Your Breath (Clean Feed) ** [B+(**)]
  104. Stephen Davis/Ralph Alessi/Kris Davis: Sugar Blade (Babel) ** [B+(**)]
  105. Steve Davis: Say When (Smoke Sessions) ** [B+(*)]
  106. De Beren Gieren: One Mirrors Many (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  107. Bram De Looze: Septych (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  108. Charlie Dennard: 5 O'Clock Charlie (self-released) [B+(*)]
  109. Jeff Denson/Lee Konitz: Jeff Denson Trio + Lee Konitz (Ridgeway) [B+(*)]
  110. Deux Maisons: For Sale (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  111. Andrew Diehl: Space Time Continuum (Mack Avenue) ** [B+(**)]
  112. Jorrit Dijkstra/Pandelis Karayorgis/Nate McBride/Curt Newton: Matchbox (Driff) [B+(**)]
  113. Chris Dingman: The Subliminal & the Sublime (Inner Arts Initiative) [B+(*)]
  114. Andrew Diruzza Quintet: Shapes and Analogies (self-released) [B+(**)]
  115. Dahi Divine: The Element (Right Direction) [B+(**)]
  116. Roberta Donnay & the Prohibition Mob Band: Bathtub Gin (Motéma Music) ** [B+(*)]
  117. Marcelo Dos Reis/Luis Vicente/Théo Ceccaldi/Valentin Ceccaldi: Chamber 4 (FMR) [B+(**)]
  118. Marcelo Dos Reis/Angélica V. Salvi: Concentric Rinds (Cipsela) [B+(*)]
  119. Dave Douglas: High Risk (Greenleaf Music) [B+(**)]
  120. Dave Douglas Quintet: Brazen Heart (Greenleaf Music) [B+(**)]
  121. Kaja Draksler/Susana Santos Silva: This Love (Clean Feed) [B+(*)]
  122. Paquito D'Rivera & Quinteto Cimarron: Aires Tropicales (Paquito/Sunnyside) ** [B-]
  123. Andrew Drury: Content Provider (Soup & Sound) [B]
  124. Andrew Drury: The Drum (Soup & Sound) [B-]
  125. Benjamin Duboc/Jean-Luc Petit: Double-Basse: This Is Not Art (Clean Feed) [B+(*)]
  126. East West Quintet: Anthem (self-released) [B-]
  127. Kirsten Edkins: Art & Soul (self-released) [B+(*)]
  128. Mathias Eick: Midwest (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  129. Electric Squeezebox Orchestra: Cheap Rent (OA2) [B+(*)]
  130. Elephant9 with Reine Fiske: Silver Mountain (Rune Grammofon) ** [B+(*)]
  131. Eliane Elias: Made in Brazil (Concord) ** [B+(*)]
  132. Kurt Elling: Passion World (Concord) ** [C]
  133. Ellery Eskelin: Solo Live at Snugs (Hatology) ** [B+(**)]
  134. Duane Eubanks Quintet: Things of That Particular Nature (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  135. Robin Eubanks Mass Line Big Band: More Than Meets the Ear (ArtistShare) [B+(*)]
  136. Charles Evans: On Beauty (More Is More) [B]
  137. Lorraine Feather: Flirting With Disaster (Jazzed Media) [B]
  138. John Fedchock New York Big Band: Like It Is (MAMA) [B+(**)]
  139. Hugo Fernandez: Cosmogram (Origin) [B+(**)]
  140. Amina Figarova: Blue Whisper (In + Out) [B]
  141. Nick Finzer: The Chase (Origin) [B+(*)]
  142. Clare Fischer: Out of the Blue (Clavo) [B+(*)]
  143. The Greg Foat Group: The Dancers at the Edge of Time (Jazzman) ** [B+(*)]
  144. Daniel Fortin: Brinks (Fresh Sound New Talent) [B+(**)]
  145. Jean-Marc Foussat & Jean-Luc Petit: . . . D'Où Vient La Lumière! (Fou) [B]
  146. Nick Fraser: Too Many Continents (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  147. Fresh Cut Orchestra: From the Vine (self-released) ** [B+(*)]
  148. Janice Friedman Trio: Live at Kitano (CAP) [B+(*)]
  149. Michael Gallant Trio: Live Plus One (Gallant Music) [B+(*)]
  150. Jacob Garchik: Ye Olde (Yestereve) [B+(**)]
  151. Maxfield Gast: Ogo Pogo (Militia Hill) [B+(**)]
  152. Polly Gibbons: Many Faces of Love (Resonance) [B+(*)]
  153. Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio: Live in Studio (Whaling City Sound) [B+(**)]
  154. Clay Giberson: Minga Minga (Origin) [B+(*)]
  155. Clark Gibson + Orchestra: Bird With Strings: The Lost Arrangements (BluJazz) [B+(**)]
  156. Vance Gilbert: Nearness of You (Disismye Music) [B]
  157. Robert Glasper: Covered: The Robert Glasper Trio Recorded Live at Capitol Studios (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  158. Otzir Godot: In- (Epatto) [B+(**)]
  159. Aaron Goldberg: The Now (Sunnyside) [B+(*)]
  160. Chris Golinski/Tim McNally/Boaz Roberts: Rodeo (Edgetone) [B+(*)]
  161. Richie Goods & Nuclear Fusion: Three Rivers (Richman) [B]
  162. Wycliffe Gordon: Somebody New (Blues Back) ** [B+(**)]
  163. Giovanni Guidi Trio: This Is the Day (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  164. Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet: Family First (Beat Music Productions) ** [B+(**)]
  165. The H2 Big Band: It Could Happen (Origin) [B+(**)]
  166. Tigran Hamasyan: Luys I Luso (ECM) ** [B-]
  167. Ross Hammond: Flight (Prescott) * [B+(**)]
  168. Lafayette Harris, Jr. Trio: Bend to the Light (Airmen) [B+(**)]
  169. Joel Harrison 5: Spirit House (Whirlwind) ** [B+(*)]
  170. Harth/Fischer/Daemgen: Confucius Tarif Reduit (Spore Point) [B+(**)]
  171. Julian Hartwell: The Julian Hartwell Project (self-released) [B+(**)]
  172. Miho Hazama: Time River (Sunnyside) [B+(**)]
  173. Dale Head: Swing Straight Up (Blujazz) [B]
  174. Heads of State: Search for Peace (Smoke Sessions) ** [B+(**)]
  175. Albert "Tootie" Heath/Ethan Iverson/Ben Street: Philadelphia Beat (Sunnyside) ** [B+(**)]
  176. John Hébert: Rambling Confessions (Sunnyside) ** [B+(*)]
  177. Eddie Henderson: Collective Portrait (Smoke Sessions) ** [B+(**)]
  178. Lauren Henderson: A La Madrugada (self-released) [B+(**)]
  179. Mette Henriette (ECM, 2CD) ** [B+(*)]
  180. Carlos Henriquez: The Bronx Pyramid (Blue Engine) ** [B+(**)]
  181. Vince Herring: Night and Day (Smoke Sessions) ** [B+(*)]
  182. Will Herrington: Solace (self-released) [B+(*)]
  183. Joe Hertenstein/Pascal Niggenkemper/Thomas Heberer: HNH2 (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  184. Scott Hesse Trio: The Stillness of Motion (Origin) [B+(*)]
  185. Bret Higgins: Bret Higgins' Atlas Revolt (Tzadik) * [B+(**)]
  186. Ira Hill: Tomorrow (self-released) [C]
  187. Keigo Hirakawa: And Then There Were Three (self-released) [B+(*)]
  188. Dre Hocevar Trio: Coding of Evidentiality (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  189. John Hollenbeck: Songs We Like a Lot (Sunnyside) ** [B]
  190. Mike Holober: Balancing Act (Palmetto) [B+(**)]
  191. Hommage à Eberhard Weber (ECM) ** [B+(*)]
  192. Hot Jazz Jumpers: The Very Next Thing (On the Bol) [B]
  193. The Ted Howe Jazz Orchestra: Pinnacle (Hot Stove) [B]
  194. Charlie Hunter Trio: Let the Bells Ring On (CHT Publishing) ** [B+(**)]
  195. Hypercolor (Tzadik) * [B+(**)]
  196. I Never Meta Guitar Three (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  197. Abdullah Ibrahim: The Song Is My Story (Sunnyside) ** [B]
  198. Roger Ingram: Skylark (One Too Tree) ** [B]
  199. Innerroute: Fourmation (self-released) [B+(**)]
  200. Jon Irabagon: Behind the Sky (Irabbagast) [B+(**)]
  201. Jon Irabagon: Inaction Is an Action (Irabbagast) [B]
  202. Aaron Irwin Quartet: A Room Forever (self-released) [B+(*)]
  203. Ahmad Jamal: Live in Marciac: August 5th 2014 (Jazz Village) ** [B+(*)]
  204. José James: Yesterday I Had the Blues: The Music of Billie Holiday (Blue Note) ** [B+(*)]
  205. Keith Jarrett: Creation (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  206. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis: Live in Cuba (Blue Engine, 2CD) ** [B+(**)]
  207. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis: Big Band Holidays (Blue Engine) [C-]
  208. Jeff Jenkins Organization: The Arrival (OA2) [B+(*)]
  209. Steve Johns: Family (Strikezone) [B+(**)]
  210. Darius Jones Quartet: Le Bébé de Brigitte (Lost in Translation) (AUM Fidelity) ** [B+(**)]
  211. Eugenie Jones: Come Out Swingin' (Openmic) [B]
  212. Anders Jormin/Lena Willemark/Karin Nakagawa: Trees of Light (ECM) ** [B+(*)]
  213. Joyfultalk: Muuixx (Drip Audio) [B+(**)]
  214. Tyler Kaneshiro & the Highlands: Amber of the Moment (self-released) [B+(**)]
  215. Manu Katché: Live in Concert (ACT) [B+(**)]
  216. Justin Kauflin: Dedication (Qwest/Jazz Village) [B+(**)]
  217. Keith Kelly Ask Not: A Grand Apparatus, Discarded (Edgetone) [B+(**)]
  218. Robert Kennedy Trio: Big Shoes (self-released) [B+(*)]
  219. Kenosha Kid: Inside Voices (self-released) [B]
  220. Bill Kirchner: An Evening of Indigos (Jazzheads, 2CD) [B+(**)]
  221. Kirk Knuffke: Lamplighter (Fresh Sound New Talent) ** [B+(**)]
  222. Michael Kocour: Wherever You Go, There You Are (OA2) [B+(*)]
  223. Frank Kohl Quartet: Invisible Man (Pony Boy) [B+(*)]
  224. Heikki Koskinen/Teppo Hauta-Aho/Mikko Innanen: Kellari Trio (Edgetone) [B+(*)]
  225. Lona Kozik/Chris Golinski: Spelaeology (Edgetone) [B+(*)]
  226. Diana Krall: Wallflower (Verve) ** [B-]
  227. Ku-Umba Frank Lacy & Mingus Big Band: Mingus Sings (Sunnyside) ** [B-]
  228. Julian Lage: World's Fair (Modern Lore) ** [B+(*)]
  229. Lama + Joachim Badenhorst: The Elephant's Journey (Clean Feed) [B+(*)]
  230. Adam Larson: Selective Amnesia (Inner Circle Music) [B+(*)]
  231. Emma Larsson: Sing to the Sky (Origin) [B]
  232. Deborah Latz: Sur L'Instant (June Moon) [B+(**)]
  233. Ingrid Laubrock: Ubatuba (Firehouse 12) [B+(**)]
  234. Left Exit Mr K: Featuring Michael Duch & Klaus Holm (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  235. Urs Leimgruber/Jacques Demierre/Barre Phillips: 1 - 3 - 2 - 1 (Jazzwerkstatt) ** [B]
  236. Urs Leimgruber/Alex Huber: Lightnings (Wide Ear) [B+(**)]
  237. Martin Leiton: Poetry of Sound (UnderPool) [B+(**)]
  238. Gaetano Letizia/Mike Clark/Wilbur Krebs: Froggy & the Toads (self-released) [B+(**)]
  239. Oded Lev-Ari: Threading (Anzic) [B+(**)]
  240. Daniel Levin Quartet: Friction (Clean Feed) [B]
  241. Daniel Levin/Rob Brown: Divergent Paths (Cipsela) [B+(*)]
  242. Daniel Levin/Mat Maneri: The Transcendent Function (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  243. The Liberation Music Collective: Siglo XXI (self-released) [B+(**)]
  244. John Lindberg/Anil Eraslan: Juggling Kukla (NoBusiness) * [B+(**)]
  245. Lions: Lions EP (self-released, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  246. Charles Lloyd: Wild Man Dance (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  247. Amy London/Darmon Meader/Dylan Pramuk/Holli Ross: Royal Bopsters Project (Motéma) ** [B]
  248. Luis Lopes/Jean-Luc Guionnet: Live at Culturgest (Clean Feed)
  249. Frantz Loriot/Manuel Perovic Notebook Large Ensemble: Urban Furrow (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  250. Russ Lossing: Eclipse (Aqua Piazza) [B+(**)]
  251. Lionel Loueke: Gaia (Blue Note) ** [B+(**)]
  252. Mundell Lowe/Lloyd Wells/Jim Ferguson: Poor Butterfly (Two Helpins' of Collards) [B+(*)]
  253. Romero Lubambo: Setembro: A Brazilian Under the Jazz Influence (Sunnyside) ** [B+(*)]
  254. Hans Luchs: Time Never Pauses (OA2) [B+(*)]
  255. Harold Mabern: Afro Blue (Smoke Sessions) ** [B]
  256. Doug MacDonald: Solo Plus (BluJazz) [B+(*)]
  257. Shai Maestro Trio: Untold Stories (Motema) [B+(*)]
  258. Roberto Magris: Enigmatix (JMood) [B+(**)]
  259. Rudresh Mahanthappa: Bird Calls (ACT) * [B+(*)]
  260. Jenna Mammina & Rolf Sturm: Spark (Water Street Music) [B+(**)]
  261. Whitney Marchelle: Dig Dis (Blujazz) [B+(*)]
  262. Marsa Fouty: Concerts (Fou) [B]
  263. Will Mason Ensemble: Beams of the Huge Night (New Amsterdam) ** [B+(*)]
  264. Nilson Matta: East Side Rio Drive (World Blue) [B+(*)]
  265. Phil Maturano: At Home Everywhere (self-released) [B+(*)]
  266. Josh Maxey: Celebration of Soul (Miles High) [B]
  267. Christian McBride Trio: Live at the Village Vanguard (Mack Avenue) ** [B+(**)]
  268. Pete McCann: Range (Whirlwind) ** [B+(*)]
  269. Donny McCaslin: Fast Future (Greenleaf Music) ** [B+(*)]
  270. Barney McClure: Show Me! (OA2) [B+(*)]
  271. Chad McCullough & Bram Weijters: Abstract Quantities (Origin) [B+(*)]
  272. Dave McDonnell Group: The Time Inside a Year (Delmark) [B+(*)]
  273. Roy McGrath Quartet: Martha (JL Music) [B+(**)]
  274. Nellie McKay: My Weekly Reader (429) ** [B+(*)]
  275. Terrence McManus and John Hébert: Saints and Sinners (Rowhouse Music) ** [B+(*)]
  276. Chris McNulty: Eternal (Palmetto) [B+(*)]
  277. Tobias Meinhart: Natural Perception (Enja/Yellowbird) [B+(**)]
  278. Bob Merrill: Cheerin' Up the Universe (Accurate) [B+(**)]
  279. Metallic Taste of Blood: Doctoring the Dead (Rare Noise) * [B+(**)]
  280. Stephan Micus: Nomad Songs (ECM) ** [B+(*)]
  281. Levon Mikaelian: United Shades of Artistry (self-released) [B]
  282. Jason Miles/Ingrid Jensen: Kind of New (Whaling City Sound) [B]
  283. Marcus Miller: Afrodeezia (Blue Note) ** [B+(*)]
  284. Mark Christian Miller: Crazy Moon (Sliding Jazz Door Productions) [B+(*)]
  285. John Mills: Invisible Designs (Fable) [B-]
  286. Kristine Mills: Bossa Too (InkWell Publishing) [B]
  287. Billy Mintz: The 2 Bass Band . . . Live (Thirteenth Note) [B+(**)]
  288. Bob Mintzer Big Band: Get Up! (MCG Jazz) [B+(*)]
  289. Matt Mitchell: Vista Accumulation (Pi, 2CD) [B+(**)]
  290. Danny Mixon: Pass It On (self-released)
  291. Ben Monder: Amorphae (ECM) ** [B]
  292. Àlvar Montfort/Lucas Martinez/Jordi Matas/Abel Boquera/Pep Mula: Underpool 4 (UnderPool) [B+(*)]
  293. The Montgomery Hermann Quinlan Sextet: Hear, Here (Summit) [B]
  294. Gunnar Mossblad & Cross Currents: R.S.V.P. (Summit) [B+(**)]
  295. Tisziji Muñoz & Marilyn Crispell: The Paradox of Independence (MRI) ** [B+(**)]
  296. Brad Myers: Prime Numbers (Colloquy) [B+(*)]
  297. Kyle Nasser: Restive Soul (AISA) [B+(*)]
  298. The Necks: Vertigo (Northern Spy) ** [B+(*)]
  299. Richard Nelson/Aardvark Jazz Orchestra: Deep River (Heliotrope) [B+(*)]
  300. Marius Neset: Pinball (ACT) ** [B+(*)]
  301. Larry Newcomb Quartet: Live Intentionally! (Essential Messenger) [B+(*)]
  302. Pascal Niggenkemper: Look With Thine Ears: Solo (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  303. Noertker's Moxie: Simultaneous Windows (Edgetone) [B+(**)]
  304. The Nu Band: The Cosmological Constant (Not Two) ** [B+(**)]
  305. Caili O'Doherty: Padme (Odo) [B+(**)]
  306. Olavi Trio: Oh, La Vie! (TUM) [B+(**)]
  307. Eric Olsen ReVision Quartet: Sea Changes (BluJazz) [B+(*)]
  308. Opus: Definition (BluJazz) [B]
  309. César Orozco & Kamarata Jazz: No Limits for Tumbao (Alfi) [B+(**)]
  310. Matt Panayides: Conduits (Pacific Coast Jazz) [B+(*)]
  311. Evan Parker/Joe Morris/Nate Wooley: Ninth Square (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  312. Lisa Parrott: Round Tripper (Serious Niceness) [B+(**)]
  313. Nicki Parrott: Sentimental Journey (Venus) [B+(**)]
  314. Sarah Partridge: I Never Thought I'd Be Here (Origin) [B+(*)]
  315. John Patitucci Electric Guitar Quartet: Brooklyn (Three Faces) ** [B]
  316. Ben Patterson: For Once in My Life (Origin) [B+(*)]
  317. Kim Pensyl: Foreign Love Affair (Summit) [B]
  318. Renaud Penant Trio: Want to Be Happy (ITI Music) [B+(**)]
  319. Luis Perdomo & Controlling Ear Unit: Twenty-Two (Hot Tone Music) [B+(**)]
  320. Ivo Perelman/Mat Maneri/Tanya Kalmanovitch: Villa Lobos Suite (Leo) [B+(**)]
  321. Ivo Perelman/Mat Maneri/Joe Morris: Counterpoint (Leo) [B+(**)]
  322. Danilo Pérez/John Patitucci/Brian Blade: Children of the Light (Mack Avenue) ** [B+(**)]
  323. Oscar Perez: Prepare a Place for Me (Myna) [B+(**)]
  324. Jack Perla: Enormous Changes (Origin) [B]
  325. John Petrucelli Quintet: The Way (self-released) [B+(*)]
  326. Simon Phillips: Protocol III (Phantom) [B]
  327. Enrico Pieranunzi: Proximity (CAM Jazz) ** [B+(**)]
  328. Roberta Piket: Emanation (Solo: Volume 2) (Thirteenth Note) [B+(*)]
  329. Lucas Pino: No Net Nonet (Origin) [B+(**)]
  330. Pixel: Golden Years (Cuneiform) ** [B]
  331. Bucky Pizzarelli: Renaissance: A Journey From Classical to Jazz (Arbors) ** [B]
  332. John Pizzarelli: Midnight McCartney (Concord) ** [B]
  333. Potsa Lotsa Plus: Plays Love Suite by Eric Dolphy (Jazzwerkstatt) ** [B+(**)]
  334. Chris Potter Underground Orchestra: Imaginary Cities (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  335. Powertrio: Di Lontan (Clean Feed) [B]
  336. Prism Quartet: Heritage/Evolution, Volume 1 (Innova, 2CD) ** [B+(**)]
  337. Reggie Quinerly: Invictus (Redefinition Music) [B+(*)]
  338. Billie Rainbird: Deep Blue (Phantom) [B+(*)]
  339. Tom Rainey Trio: Motel Grief (Intakt) [B+(**)]
  340. Fred Randolph: Song Without Singing (Creative Spirit) [B+(*)]
  341. Enrico Rava Quartet/Gianluca Petrella: Wild Dance (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  342. John Raymond: Foreign Territory (Fresh Sound New Talent) * [B+(**)]
  343. Mason Razavi/Bennett Roth-Newell: After You (First Orbit Sounds Music) [B+(*)]
  344. Gloria Reuben: Perchance to Dream (MCG Jazz) [B+(**)]
  345. Revive Music Presents Supreme Sonacy, Vol. 1 (Revive Music/Blue Note) ** [B-]
  346. Jeff Richman: Hotwire (Nefer) [B+(*)]
  347. Eve Risser: Des Pas Sur La Neige (Clean Feed) [B]
  348. Matana Roberts: Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee (Constellation) ** [B-]
  349. Jason Roebke: Every Sunday (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  350. Jamison Ross: Jamison (Concord) ** [B]
  351. Adam Rudolph/Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra: Turning Towards the Light (Cuneiform) ** [B+(**)]
  352. Harvie S/Sheryl Bailey: Plucky Strum (Whaling City Sound) [B+(*)]
  353. Sachal: Slow Motion Miracles (Okeh) * [B]
  354. Samo Salamon Bassless Trio: Little River (Sazas) [B+(**)]
  355. Arturo Sandoval: Live at Yoshi's (ALFI) ** [B+(*)]
  356. Cecile McLorin Salvant: For One to Love (Mack Avenue) ** [B+(*)]
  357. Marta Sánchez Quintet: Partenika (Fresh Sound New Talent) [B+(**)]
  358. Michael Sarian & the Chabones: The Escape Suite (self-released) [B+(**)]
  359. Maria Schneider Orchestra: The Thompson Fields (ArtistShare) [B+(**)]
  360. Schnellertollermeier: X (Cuneiform) ** [B+(**)]
  361. Christian Scott: Stretch Music (Ropeadope) ** [B+(*)]
  362. Kendrick Scott Oracle: We Are the Drum (Blue Note) ** [B]
  363. Scottish National Jazz Orchestra/Makoto Ozone: Jeunehomme: Mozart Piano Concerto No 9 K-271 (Spartacus) * [B+(*)]
  364. Benny Sharoni: Slant Signature (Papaya) [B+(**)]
  365. Shatner's Bassoon: The Self Titled Album Shansa Barsnaan (Wasp Millionaire) ** [B+(*)]
  366. Andy Sheppard: Surrounded by Sea (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  367. Adam Shulman Sextet: Here/There (OA2) [B]
  368. Jen Shyu & Jade Tongue: Sounds and Cries of the World (Pi) [B-]
  369. Susana Santos Silva/Torbjörn Zetterberg/Hampus Lindwall: If Nothing Else (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  370. Judy Silvano with Michael Abene: My Dance (JSL) [B-]
  371. Herb Silverstein: Younger Next Year (self-released) [B]
  372. Rotem Sivan Trio: A New Dance (Fresh Sound New Talent) [B+(*)]
  373. Slobber Pup: Pole Axe (Rare Noise) * [B+(**)]
  374. Daniel Smith: Jazz Suite for Bassoon (Summit) [B]
  375. Enoch Smith Jr.: Misfits II: Pop (Misfitme Music) [B]
  376. Steve Smith and Vital Information NYC Edition: Viewpoint (BFM Jazz) [B+(*)]
  377. Snik: Metasediment Rock (Clean Feed) [B+(**)]
  378. Bjørn Solli: Aglow: The Lyngør Project Vol. 1 (Lyngør) [B+(**)]
  379. Songsmith Collective (Blujazz) [B]
  380. Mike Sopko/Bill Laswell/Thomas Pridgen: Sopko Laswell Pridgen (self-released) [B+(**)]
  381. Luciana Souza: Speaking in Tongues (Sunnyside) ** [B]
  382. The Spanish Donkey: Raoul (Rare Noise) * [B]
  383. Spinifex: Veiled (Trytone) [B+(**)]
  384. Terell Stafford: Brotherlee Love: Celebrating Lee Morgan (Capri) ** [B+(**)]
  385. Ben Stapp & the Zozimos: Myrrha's Red Book: Act 1 (Evolver) [B+(**)]
  386. Ben Stapp & the Zozimos: Myrrha's Red Book: Act 1 (Evolver) [B]
  387. Matthew Stevens: Woodwork (Whirlwind) ** [B+(*)]
  388. Grant Stewart: Trio (Cellar Live) ** [B+(**)]
  389. Ike Sturm + Evergreen: Shelter of Trees (Kilde) [B-]
  390. Sun Ra Arkestra Under the Direction of Marshall Allen: Babylon Live (In+Out) ** [B+(**)]
  391. Curt Sydnor: Materials and Their Destiny (Ears & Eyes) [B+(**)]
  392. Davide Tammaro: Ghosts (self-released) [B]
  393. Jacky Terrasson: Take That (Impulse) ** [B+(**)]
  394. Brianna Thomas: You Must Believe in Love (Sound on Purpose) [B+(*)]
  395. Vance Thompson's Five Plus Six: Such Sweet Thunder (Shade Street) [B+(**)]
  396. Tin/Bag: The Stars Would Be Different (Epigraph, EP) ** [B]
  397. David Torn: Only Sky (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  398. John Tropea: Gotcha Rhythm Right Here (STP) [B-]
  399. Steve Turre: Spiritman (Smoke Sessions) ** [B+(**)]
  400. Helen Tzatzimakis: Soulfully (Cobalt Music) [B+(*)]
  401. Unhinged Sextet: Clarity (OA2) [B]
  402. Chucho Valdés: Tribute to Irakere (Live in Marciac) (Jazz Village) ** [B+(**)]
  403. Manuel Valera & Groove Square: Urban Landscape (Destiny) [B+(**)]
  404. Jacob Varmus Septet: Aegean: For Three Generations of Jazz Lovers (Crows' Kin) [B+(**)]
  405. Frank Vignola & Vinny Raniolo: Swing Zing! (FV) [B+(**)]
  406. Eyal Vilner Big Band: Almost Sunrise (Gut String) [B+(**)]
  407. Voicehandler: Song Cycle (Humbler) [B+(*)]
  408. Lou Volpe: Tremembering Ol' Blue Eyes (Songs of Sinatra) (Jazz Guitar) [B+(**)]
  409. Marco von Orelli 5: Alluring Prospect (Hatology) ** [B+(*)]
  410. Vox Arcana: Caro's Song (Relay) ** [B+(*)]
  411. Mark Wade Trio: Event Horizon (self-released) [B+(**)]
  412. The Michael Waldrop Big Band: Time Within Itself (Origin) [B]
  413. Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet: Intercambio (Patois) [B+(*)]
  414. Joanna Wallfisch with Dan Tepfer: The Origin of Adjustable Things (Sunnyside) [B+(*)]
  415. Bill Warfield and the Hell's Kitchen Funk Orchestra: Mercy Mercy Mercy (Blujazz) [B+(*)]
  416. Kamasi Washington: The Epic (Brainfeeder, 3CD) ** [B+(**)]
  417. Juan Wauters: Who Me? (Captured Tracks) ** [B+(*)]
  418. Waxwing: A Bowl of Sixty Taxidermists (Songlines) ** [B+(**)]
  419. Anna Webber's Percussive Mechanics: Refraction (Pirouet) ** [B+(*)]
  420. Katharina Weber/Fred Frith/Fredy Studer: It Rolls (Intakt) [B+(**)]
  421. Kenny Werner: The Melody (Pirouet) ** 'B+(**)]
  422. Galen Weston: Plugged In (Blujazz) [B-]
  423. Doug Webb: Triple Play (Posi-Tone) ** [B-]
  424. Bastian Weinhold: Cityscape (Frame Music) [B]
  425. Daniel Weltlinger: Koblenz (Rectify) [B+(**)]
  426. White Out With Nels Cline: Accidental Sky (Northern Spy) ** [B+(**)]
  427. Carrie Wicks: Maybe (OA2) [B+(**)]
  428. Ben Williams: Coming of Age (Concord Jazz) ** [B-]
  429. Brad Allen Williams: Lamar (Sojourn) [B+(*)]
  430. Patrick Williams: Home Suite Home (BFM) [B+(*)]
  431. Cassandra Wilson: Coming Forth by Day (Legacy) ** [B+(**)]
  432. Dave Wilson Quartet: There Was Never (Zoho) [B+(*)]
  433. Tony Wilson 6Tet: A Day's Life (Drip Audio) [B+(**)]
  434. Florian Wittenburg: Aleatoric Inspiration (NurNichtNur) [B+(*)]
  435. Mark Wingfield: Proof of Light (Moonjune) [B]
  436. Ben Winkelman Trio: The Knife (OA2) [B+(**)]
  437. John Wojciechowski: Focus (Origin) [B+(**)]
  438. Juli Wood Quartet: Synnkä Metsä (Dark Forest) (OA2) [B+(**)]
  439. Nate Wooley/Dave Rempis/Pascal Niggenkemper/Chris Corsano: From Wolves to Whales (Aerophonic) [B+(**)]
  440. Nate Wooley/Ken Vandermark: East by Northwest (Audiographic) ** [B+(**)]
  441. Lizz Wright: Freedom & Surrender (Concord) ** [B+(*)]
  442. Michiyo Yagi/Lasse Marhaug/Paal Nilssen-Love: Angular Mass (PNL) ** [B]
  443. Michiyo Yagi/Joe McPhee/Paal Nilssen-Love/Lasse Marhaug: Soul Stream (PNL) ** [B+(*)]
  444. Savina Yannatou/Primavera en Salonico: Songs of Thessaloniki (ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  445. Torbjörn Zetterberg & Den Stora Frågan: Om Liv Död (Moserobie) [B+(**)]
  446. Omri Ziegele Billiger Bauer: So Viel Schon Hin: 15 Herbstlieder (Intakt) [B+(*)]
  447. Carlos "Zíngaro": Live at Mosteiro de Santa Clara a Velha (Cipsela) [B+(**)]
  448. Zubatto Syndicate: Zubatto Syndicate 2 (Boscology) * [C+]

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

  1. John Abercrombie: The First Quartet (1978-80, ECM, 3CD) ** [B+(**)]
  2. Tad Britton: Cicada (1992-93, Origin) [B+(*)]
  3. John Carter: Echoes From Rudolph's (1976-77, NoBusiness, 2CD) [B+(**)]
  4. Joe Castro: Lush Life: A Musical Journey (1954-66, Sunnyside, 6CD) ** [B+(**)]
  5. Connie Converse: How Sad, How Lovely (1954, Squirrel Thing) ** [B+(**)]
  6. Duke Ellington & His Orchestra: The Conny Plank Session (1970, Grönland, EP) ** [B+(**)]
  7. Charlie Haden/Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Tokyo Adagio (2005, Impulse) ** [B+(*)]
  8. Tubby Hayes Quartet: The Syndicate: Live at the Hopbine 1968 Vol. 1 (1968, Gearbox) ** [B+(**)]
  9. Phil Haynes: Sanctuary (1999, Corner Store Jazz) [B+(*)]
  10. Manu Katché: Touchstone for Manu (2004-12, ECM) ** [B+(**)]
  11. Karin Krog: Don't Just Sing: An Anthology: 1963-1999 (Light in the Attic) ** [B+(**)]
  12. Steve Lacy: Shots (1977, Hatology) ** [B+(**)]
  13. Schlippenbach Trio: First Recordings (1972, Trost) ** [B+(**)]
  14. Sonny Simmons: Reincarnation (1991, Arhoolie) ** [B+(**)]
  15. Sun Ra: The Magic City (1965, Enterplanetary Koncepts) ** [B+(**)]

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

  1. Harry Allen/Jan Lundgren Quartet: Quietly There (Stunt)
  2. Avishai Cohen Trio: From Darkness (Razdaz)
  3. Joseph Daley: Portraits: Wind, Thunder and Love (self-released)
  4. Jack DeJohnette: Made in Chicago (ECM)
  5. Paul Dunmall/Tony Bianco: Homage to John Coltrane (Slam)
  6. Echoes of Swing: Dancing (ACT)
  7. Charles Gayle Trio: Christ Everlasting (ForTune)
  8. Rob Mazurek/Exploding Star Orchestra: Galactic Parables Vol 1 (Cuneiform)
  9. Roscoe Mitchell Trio: Angel City (RogueArt)
  10. Roscoe Mitchell Quartet: Celebrating Fred Anderson (Nessa)
  11. Paal Nilssen-Love: Cut and Bleed (Ideal)
  12. Larry Ochs: The Fictive Five (Tzadik)
  13. William Parker: For Those Who Are Still (AUM Fidelity)
  14. William Parker Quartet: Live in Wroclove (ForTune)
  15. Matana Roberts: Always (Relative Pitch)
  16. Matthew Shipp Trio: To Duke (RogueArt)
  17. Nate Wooley: Battle Pieces (Relative Pitch)
  18. John Zorn: Simulacrum (Tzadik)
  19. John Zorn: Inferno (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:

  1. Detail: First Detail (1982, Rune Grammofon)