Sunday, December 23, 2018

Tim Mah's Top Jazz Albums of 2018

CJSW radio host and frequent contributor to this blog, Tim Mah once again offers his favourite Jazz picks for 2018. Tim is the host of Jazz Today which can be heard on Thursday mornings in Calgary on 90.9 fm between 530 and 7am and over at www.cjsw.com (also podcasted over at Apple Music). Tim listens to a lot of new and current Jazz releases so I am always pleased to have him contribute this special guest blogspot with his informed choices. We'll also be featuring his picks for top Canadian Jazz albums later in the week.

So, without any further adieu, Four on the Floor is proud to present:

"Tim Mah's Top Jazz Albums of 2018"

Here’s a list of 100 jazz album recommendations, released from December 2017 to November 2018. The intent of this list is to help readers connect with new music from their favourite artists and discover new ones. Please refer to a future post featuring 2018 album recommendations from Canadian jazz artists.

1. Gilad Hekselman “Ask for Chaos”

This album features Gilad Hekselman’s two trios: Zuperoctave and GHex Trio.

Zuperoctave: Gilad Hekselman (guitar/bass), Aaron Parks (synths/Rhodes/piano) Kush Abadey (drums/pads)

GHex Trio: Gilad Hekselman (guitar), Rick Rosato (bass), Jonathan Pinson (drums)

“VBlues” (featuring Zuperoctave)

2. Kenny Barron Quintet “Concentric Circles”

Personnel: Kenny Barron (piano), Kiyoshi Kitagawa (bass), Johnathan Blake (drums), Mike Rodriquez (trumpet and flugelhorn), Dayna Stephens (soprano and tenor saxophone)

“Concentric Circles”

3. Cecile McLorin Salvant “The Window”

Personnel: Cecile McLorin Salvant (voice), Sullivan Fortner (piano)

“The Gentleman is a Dope”

4. Esperanza Spalding “12 Little Spells” / “Exposure”

Esperanza Spalding released the limited edition (CD and vinyl only) album “Exposure” in December 2017 (written and recorded live on social media over 77 hours in September 2017). In October 2018, Esperanza Spalding released “12 Little Spells.” Each song is dedicated to a body part.

Musicians on “Exposure”: Esperanza Spalding (bass, vocals), Matthew Stevens (guitar), Ray Angry (piano, Mello-tron), Justin Tyson (drums), plus guests: Robert Glasper (piano), Lalah Hathaway (vocals) and Andrew Bird (violin, vocals).

Musicians on “12 Little Spells” included: Esperanza Spalding (vocals, piano, Wurlizter, electric bass, orchestral bass drum), Matthew Stevens (guitar, electric bass), Justin Tyson (drums, organ, synth, vocals, beats & programming), Aaron Burnett (saxophone), Burniss Travis (electric bass, acoustic bass, vocals), Corey King (vocals), Rob Schwimmer (continiuum), plus many others in the orchestra.

“You Have to Dance” from “12 Little Spells”

5. Makaya McCraven “Universal Beings”

Chicago-based drummer, Makaya McCraven’s third album features recordings with four different groups (in Chicago, New York, London and Los Angeles).

“Universal Beings” (featuring Jeff Partker, Anna Butterss, Josh Johnson, Carlos Nino, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson)

6. Aaron Parks “Little Big”

Personnel: Aaron Parks (piano, keyboards), Greg Tuohey (guitar), David Ginyard (bass), Tommy Crane (drums)

“Kid” from the album “Little Big”

7. Kamasi Washington “Heaven and Earth” / “The Choice”

Personnel: Kamasi Washington (tenor saxophone), Dontae Winslow (trumpet), Ryan Porter (trombone), Cameron Graves (piano), Brandon Coleman (keyboards, organ, vocoder), Miles Mosley (bass, electric bass), Ronald Bruner Jr. (drums), Tony Austin (drums, percussion), Allakoi Peete, Kahlil Cummings (percussion)

“Street Fighter Mas” from “Heaven and Earth”

8. Logan Richardson “Blues People”

Personnel: Logan Richardson (alto saxophone), Justus West (electric guitar, vocals), Igor Osypov (electric and acoustic guitars), DeAndre Manning (electric bass), Ryan Lee (drums)

NPR Music Tiny Desk concert featuring Logan Richardson

9. Stefon Harris & Blackout “Sonic Creed”

Personnel: Stefon Harris (vibraphone, marimba), Casey Benjamin (alto and soprano saxophones, vocoder), Felix Peikli (clarinet, bass clarinet), James Francies (piano, keyboards), Mike Moreno (guitar), Jean Baylor (vocals), Regina Carter (violin), Daniel Frankhuizen (cello), Elena Pinderhughes (flute), Joseph Doubleday (marimba), Joshua Crumbly (bass), Terreon Gully (drums), Pedrito Martinez (percussion).

Stefon Harris & Blackout concert (September 17, 2018 in New Orleans)

10. Edward Simon (with Afinidad and Imani Winds) “Sorrows & Triumphs”

Afinidad: Edward Simon (piano & keyboards), David Binney (alto saxophone), Scott Colley (bass), Brian Blade (drums) 

Imani Winds: Valerie Coleman (flute), Toyin Spellman-Diaz (oboe), Monica Ellis (bassoon), Mark Dover (clarinet), Jeff Scott (French horn)

Other musicians: Gretchen Parlato (vocals), Adam Rogers (guitars), Rogelio Boccato (percussion), Luis Quintero (percussion)

“Uninvited Thoughts” (featuring Afinidad and Imani Winds)

11. The Bad Plus “Never Stop II”

12. Ambrose Akinmusire “Origami Harvest”

13. Caroline Davis “Heart Tonic”

14. David Virelles “Igbo Alakorin (The Singer’s Grove) Vol. 1 & 2”

15. Helen Sung “Sung With Words”

16. Julian Lage “Modern Lore”

17. Mary Halvorson “Code Girl”

18. Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas - Sound Prints “Scandal”

19. Rudy Royston “Flatbed Buggy”

20. Cuong Vu 4-tet “Change in the Air”

21. Tia Fuller “Diamond Cut”

22. Joshua Redman “Still Dreaming”

23. Aaron Goldberg “At the Edge of the World”

24. Brad Mehldau “Seymour Reads the Constitution!”

25. John Escreet “Learn to Live”

26. David Murray “Blues for Memo”

27. Marquis Hill “Modern Flows, Vol. 2” and “Meditation Tape”

28. James Brandon Lewis & Chad Taylor “Radiant Imprints”

29. Darryl Yokley’s Sound Reformation “Portraits of an African Exhibition”

30. Dan Weiss “Starebaby”

31. Noam Wiesenberg “Roads Diverge”

32. Sons of Kemet “Your Queen is a Reptile”

33. Justin Brown “NYEUSI”

34. JD Allen “Love Stone”

35. Marc Cary “Cosmic Indigenous”

36. Ethan Iverson & Mark Turner “Temporary Kings”

37. Roxy Coss “The Future is Female”

38. Kate McGarry, Keith Ganz & Gary Versace “The Subject Tonight is Love”

39. Maria Grand “Magdalena”

40. Walking Distance feat. Jason Moran “Freebird”

41. Ray Angry “One”

42. R+R=Now “Collagically Speaking”

43. Bill Frisell “Music Is”

44. Chucho Valdes “Jazz Bata 2”

45. Myra Melford’s Snowy Egret “The Other Side of Air”

46. Shai Maestro “The Dream Thief”

47. Wolfgang Muthspiel “Where the River Goes”

48. Mast “Thelonious Sphere Monk”

49. Allison Miller & Carmen Staaf “Science Fair”

50. Nels Cline 4 “Currents, Constellations”

51. Tiffany Austin “Unbroken”

52. Magos Herrera & Brooklyn Rider “Dreamers”

52. Marcus Strickland’s Twi-Life “People of the Sun”

53. Eric Harland “13thFloor”

54. E.J. Strickland Quintet “Warriors for Peace”

55. Kurt Elling “The Questions”

56. Kind Folk “Why Not”

57. Matt Penman “Good Question”

58. Now Vs Now “The Buffering Cocoon”

59. David Binney “Here & Now”

60. John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble “All Can Work”

61. Christian McBride “Christian McBride’s New Jawn”

62. Orrin Evans & the Captain Black Big Band “Presence”

63. Buster Williams “Audacity”

64. Stu Mindeman “Woven Threads”

65. Miguel Zenon “Yo Soy La Tradicion (feat. Spektral Quartet)

66. Adam O’Farrill’s Stranger Days “El Maquech”

67. Wayne Shorter “Emanon”

68. Christian Sands “Facing Dragons”

69. Mark Kavuma “Kavuma”

70. Kat Edmonson “Old Fashioned Gal”

71. Bobby Previte “Rhapsosdy”

72. Dafnis Prieto Big Band “Back to the Sunset”

73. Shamie Royston “Beautiful Liar”

74. Eddie Henderson “Be Cool”

75. Walter Smith III “Twio”

76. Sharel Cassity “Evolve”

77. Chick Corea & Steve Gadd “Chinese Butterfly”

78. Henry Threadgill & 14 or 15 Kestra: AGG “Dirt…And More Dirt”

79. Jonathan Finlayson “3 Times Round”

80. Devin Gray “Dirigo Rataplan”

81. James Francies “Flight”

82. John Raymond & Real Feels “Joy Ride”

83. Emma Frank “Ocean Av”

84. Various Artists “We Out Here”

85. Bob Reynolds “Quartet”

86. Jonathan Barber “Vision Ahead”

87. Sara Serpa “Close Up”

88. Black Art Jazz Collective “Armor of Pride”

89. Sarathy Korwar “My East is Your West (feat. Upaj Collective)”

90. Jamie Saft Quartet “Blue Dreams”

91. Chad Taylor “Myths and Morals”

92. Gogo Penguin “A Humdrum Star”

93. McClenty Hunter “The Groove Hunter”

94. Spanish Harlem Orchestra “Anniversary”

95. Dinosaur “Wonder Trail”

96. Phronesis “We Are All”

97. Kamaal Williams “The Return”

98. Jason Marsalis & the 21stCentury Trad Band “Melody Reimagined: Book 1”

99. Humanity Quartet “Humanity”

100. Lee Konitz & Dan Tepfer “Decade”

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