Discover the Best of Jazz selection for 1993 with our ten best jazz albums released that year. Once again, the albums are listed in no particular order: all are amazing in their own ways. At the end of the article, you will also find a playlist with a track to represent each of those ten albums, plus ten extra, for nearly 140 minutes of breath-taking music.
The 10 Best Jazz Albums of 1993
Charles Gayle, William Parker, Rashied Ali – Touchin’ On Trane
Touchin’ On Trane
Recorded live on October 31 and November 1, 1991, during the Total Music Meeting at the Haus der jungen Talente in Berlin, Touchin’ On Trane is a tribute to John Coltrane. Even though the album does not contain any covering of Coltrane’s songs, it is often considered the best tribute to Coltrane ever recorded, thanks to how Charles Gayle, William Parker, and Rashied Ali managed to expand on his accomplishments.
Charles Gayle: tenor saxophone; William Parker: bass; Rashied Ali: drums
Release date 1993
Bill Frisell – Have A Little Faith
Have A Little Faith
This is Americana reviewed and interpreted as never before. The Penguin Guide to Jazz calls it a “marvelous examination” but you can expect it to be extravagant, brilliant, and sometimes disconcerting, certainly just like an examination Frank Zappa would have done. Bill Frisell makes it for sure as surprising as it is enjoyable.
Bill Frisell: guitar; Don Byron: clarinet, bass clarinet; Guy Klucevsek: accordion; Kermit Driscoll: bass; Joey Baron: drums
Release date 1993
Joshua Redman – Wish
(Warner Bros. Records)
“One of the things which I like most about this record is that it has a definite collective identity, a real organic unity. The repertoire is very diverse, but I think there is a feeling which Charlie, Billy, Pat, and myself have as a group which transcends the structural and stylistic differences between the individual compositions. One of the reasons I wanted to work with these guys – aside from the obvious fact that they’re masters – is because they’re master storytellers. They all have an incredible sense of how to cooperate in the creation of coherent musical statements over time. And they do this spontaneously – always preserving and enhancing the emotional immediacy which is essential to jazz.”
Joshua Redman: tenor saxophone; Pat Metheny: guitar; Charlie Haden: double bass; Billy Higgins: drums
Release date September 17, 1993
Akosh Szelevényi Ensemble – Pannonia
(European Music Productions)
Pannonia is the first album released by Akosh. Hard to find, but definitely a gem. It already contains all the ingredients that made him so specific: a mixture of free jazz, folk music, and shamanic music. The title track, “Pannonia,” also further initiates the idea that all life starts with a scream.
Discover Five Essential Akosh Szelevényi Albums.
Akosh Szelevényi: soprano & tenor saxophones, flute, voice composed; Philippe Foch: drums, percussions, indian tablas; Bernard Malandain: double bass; Michelle Véronique: violin, voice
Release date: 1993
Us3 – Hand On The Torch
Hand On The Torch
The best-known acid-jazz band is Us3, whose album Hand on the Torch was a worldwide hit. The band’s use of samples from Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, Herbie Hancock, Grant Green, Horace Silver, and many more brought acid jazz to the mainstream. Thanks to bands like Us3, acid jazz has exerted a lasting influence on the world of music.
Rahsaan Kelly, Kobie Powell: rap; Gerard Presencer: trumpet; Dennis Rollins: trombone; Mike Smith: tenor sax; Ed Jones: soprano, tenor sax; Tony Remy: guitar; Matt Cooper: piano | Guest Tukka Yoot: rap.
Released date November 16, 1993
Tom Varner – The Mystery Of Compassion
The Mystery Of Compassion
Tom Varner is a pioneer of jazz and improvised music on the French horn. His album The Mystery Of Compassion offers a complex journey in what could be an alternative dark New York, wandering as in a spiritual search, ending with no answer but providing so much satisfaction.
Tom Varner: French horn; Matt Darriau: alto saxophone (6); Ed Jackson: alto saxophone (1-5 & 7-9); Ellery Eskelin: tenor saxophone (6); Rich Rothenberg: tenor saxophone (1-9); Jim Hartog: baritone saxophone (6); Steve Swell: trombone (6, 10); Dave Taylor: bass trombone (6, 10); Mark Feldman: violin (5); Mike Richmond: bass (1-9); Tom Rainey: drums (1-9)
Release date 1993
Joe Henderson – So Near, So Far (Musings For Miles)
So Near, So Far (Musings For Miles)
Miles Davis died in September 1991. One year later Joe Henderson, as a tribute to Davis, who he greatly admired, recorded these ten tracks of well and less known songs. The result is ten beautiful and strong covers, magically interpreted by the quartet, highlighting all the delicacy of their complexity.
Joe Henderson: tenor saxophone; John Scofield: guitar; Dave Holland: bass; Al Foster: drums
Release date 1993
Steve Coleman And Five Elements – The Tao Of Mad Phat < Fringe Zones >
The Tao Of Mad Phat < Fringe Zones >
“We realized some time ago that some of the things we do in concert, like the collective meditations concept, have not been documented on recordings. This concept involves restructuring either our own music or that of others by changing basic rhythmic, melodic, and emotional aspects using intuitive-logic, then spontaneously merging the altered music with other music which has been similarly restructured. This music is about our experiences in everyday life. It is a living music. We are very influenced by many of the styles and creations of music from the past and present but we are most concerned with the expression of our lives, as this is what we know best. We don’t want to imitate other music, we don’t even want to imitate ourselves. Music for us is a way of communicating experiences using the abstract language of organized sounds.”
Steve Coleman: alto saxophone, piano, vocals; Andy Milne: keyboards (1, 3-9, 11); David Gilmore: guitar (1-9, 11); Reggie Washington: bass guitar (1-9, 11); Gene Lake: drums; Roy Hargrove: trumpet (10); Josh Roseman: trombone (10); Matt Garrison: bass guitar (10); Kenny Davis: acoustic bass (8, 10); Junior Wedderburn: percussion (8, 10)
Release date 1993
Medeski Martin & Wood – It’s A Jungle In Here
It’s A Jungle In Here
Medeski Martin & Wood’s second album reflects the early trio sound as well as their unique approach to music, mixing funk and hip hop with jazz, creating this distinctive “avant-groove”.
John Medeski: organ, piano, Wurlitzer; Billy Martin: drums, percussion; Chris Wood: acoustic bass | Special guests: Steven Bernstein: trumpet; Josh Roseman: trombone; Jay Rodriguez: tenor, alto saxophones; Dave Binney: alto saxophone; Marc Ribot: guitar
Release date October 8, 1993
Keith Jarrett Trio – Bye Bye Blackbird
Bye Bye Blackbird
“When Miles Davis died in 1991, three of his former sidemen – Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, and Jack DeJohnette – headed to New York’s Power Station studio to play some music in his memory. These included pieces associated with Davis plus the celebratory improvisation.”
Keith Jarrett: piano; Gary Peacock: double bass; Jack DeJohnette: drums
Release date April 1993
- Charles Gayle, William Parker, Rashied Ali – Touchin’ On Trane (FMP)
- Bill Frisell – Have A Little Faith (Elektra Nonesuch)
- Joshua Redman – Wish (Warner Bros. Records)
- Akosh Szelevényi Ensemble – Pannonia (European Music Productions)
- Us3 – Hand On The Torch (Blue Note)
- Tom Varner – The Mystery Of Compassion (Soul Note)
- Joe Henderson – So Near, So Far (Musings For Miles) (Verve Records)
- Steve Coleman And Five Elements – The Tao Of Mad Phat < Fringe Zones > (RCA)
- Medeski Martin & Wood – It’s A Jungle In Here (Gramavision)
- Keith Jarrett Trio – Bye Bye Blackbird (ECM Records)
Playlist “Best Jazz 1993”
Here is a link to the Spotify Playlist Best Jazz 1993, with a track for each album listed above plus 10 tracks from 10 other amazing 1993 jazz albums, including Guru, Marion Brown Quintet, Miles Davis, and many more.