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Best of jazz – year 2019

The best jazz 2019 in 10 albums plus 10 extra tracks.

No rank, no order, just two lists—(a) 10 albums, (b) 10 tracks—and a playlist to sum it up at the end of this post and enjoy outstanding music. Any recommendations on tracks that should have made it to the playlist would also be very appreciated.

(a) Best Jazz 2019 – 10 Albums

(a.1) Jaimie Branch

Jaimie Branch - from Fly Or Die II Bird Dogs Of Paradise
Jaimie Branch
Fly Or Die II: Bird Dogs Of Paradise
(International Anthem)

Fly or Die (part of the Best Jazz 2017 selection) was indeed really good. But Fly Or Die II: Bird Dogs Of Paradise is just reaching new heights. “Prayer for Amerikkka pt.1 and 2”, opening the album, is simply epic.

Jaimie Branch: trumpet, voice, synths, sneaker squeaks, bells & whistles; Lester St. Louis: cello, percussion; Jason Ajemian: double bass, percussion, vocals; Chad Taylor: drums, mbira, xylophone | With special guests: Ben LaMar Gay (voice on track 2); Marvin Tate (voice on track 2); Matt Schneider (12-string guitar on track 2); Dan Bitney (percussion, synthesizer on track 8); Scott McNiece (egg on track 8).
Release date: 2019.10.11
Contemporary Jazz

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(a.2) The Comet Is Coming

The Comet Is Coming - Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery
The Comet Is Coming
Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery
(Impulse!)

An astonishing album, which should appear in many other “best of” categories since The Comet Is Coming always manages to push back the boundaries between genres (fusion, rock, rap, jazz, etc.) while inventing the music of tomorrow.

King Shabaka: saxophones; Danalogue: keys/synth; Betamax: drums; Kate Tempest: spoken word on track 4
Release date: 2019.03.15
Fusion, Psychedelic Rock, Contemporary Jazz

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(a.3) Tropiques

Tropiques - Into The Wild
Tropiques
Into The Wild
(Headspin Recordings)

Goran Kajfeš: trumpet, Moog synthesizer, make noise 0-coast; Alexander Zethson: piano, Crumar organ, Korg MS-20; Johan Berthling: acoustic bass; Johan Homegard: drums, percussion; Christer Bothén: bass clarinet
Release date: 2019.02.22
Contemporary Jazz, Avant-garde Jazz

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(a.4) William Hooker

William Hooker
Symphonie Of Flowers
(ORG Music)

William Hooker: drums, percussion; Eriq Robinson (tracks: 6, 7), Theodore Woodward (tracks: 6, 7): electronics; Marc Edwards (tracks: 1 to 3, 6, 7), Warren Smith (tracks: 1 to 3): percussion; Mara Rosenbloom (tracks: 4, 5): piano; Michael Thompson (tracks: 1 to 3): piano, percussion; Devin Waldman (tracks: 6, 7), Stephen Gauci (tracks: 5): saxophone
Release date: 2019.11.22
Avant-garde Jazz, Free Jazz, Free Improvisation

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(a.5) Konstrukt & Ken Vandermark

Konstrukt & Ken Vandermark - Kozmik Bazaar
Konstrukt & Ken Vandermark
Kozmik Bazaar
(Karlrecords)

“Turkish free jazzers KONSTRUKT continue their series of exciting collaborations with KEN VANDERMARK, one of the key figures of Chicago’s vivid jazz scene”
— Karlrecords

Korhan Futacı: alto saxophone, instant loops, vocal; Umut Çağlar: electric guitar, synthesizer, gralla, guimbri; Apostolos Sideris: double bass; Berkan Tilavel: drums, electronic percussion | Ken Vandermark: tenor saxophone, clarinet
Release date: 2019.09.27
Free Jazz, Hard Bop

Bandcamp

(a.6) Svetlost

Svetlost - Odron Ritual Orchestra
Svetlost
Odron Ritual Orchestra
(PMGJazz)

Ninoslav Spirovski: clarinet, soprano & tenor saxophone; Petar Hristov: soprano saxophone, alto saxophone; Ivan Trajanoski: alto saxophone, baritone saxophone; Vasko Bojadžiski: tenor saxophone; Bisera Bazer: trombone; Vladan Drobicki: trombone; Kristijan Novkovski: drums, percussion; Dragan Teodosiev: drums, percussion; Konstantin Hadži Кocev: piano; Panče Bujukliev: minibrute; Deni Omeragić: contrabass.
Release date: 2019.09.19
Free Jazz, Free Improvisation

Bandcamp

(a.7) Matana Roberts

Matana Roberts - Coin Coin Chapter Four Memphis
Matana Roberts
Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis
(Constellation)

Matana Roberts: alto sax, clarinet, wordspeak, voice; Hannah Marcus: electric guitar, nylon string guitar, fiddle, accordion, voice; Sam Shalabi: electric guitar, oud, voice; Nicolas Caloia: double bass, voice; Ryan Sawyer: drumset, vibraphone, jaw harp, bells, voice | Guests: Steve Swell: trombone, voice; Ryan White: vibraphone; Thierry Amar: voice; Nadia Moss: voice; Jessica Moss: voice.
Release date: 2019.10.18
Free Jazz, Experimental

Bandcamp Website

(a.8) Tomeka Reid Quartet

Tomeka Reid Quartet - Old New
Tomeka Reid Quartet
Old New
(Cuneiform Records)

Tomeka Reid: cello; Mary Halvorson: guitar; Jason Roebke: bass; Tomas Fujiwara: drums.
Release date: 2019.10.04
Avant-garde Jazz

Website Bandcamp

(a.9) Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom

Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom - Glitter Wolf
Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom
‎Glitter Wolf
(The Royal Potato Family)

Allison Miller: drums, vibes, celeste; Myra Melford: piano; Jenny Scheinman: violin; Kirk Knuffke: cornet; Ben Goldberg: clarinet, contra-alto clarinet; Todd Sickafoose: bass.
Release date: 2019.02.01
Contemporary Jazz

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(a.10) Kris Davis

Kris Davis - Diatom Ribbons
Kris Davis
Diatom Ribbons
(Pyroclastic Records)

Kris Davis: piano; Esperanza Spalding: voice; JD Allen: tenor saxophone; Tony Malaby: tenor saxophone; Ches Smith: vibraphone; Nels Cline: guitar; Marc Ribot: guitar; Trevor Dunn: electric bass; Val Jeanty: turntable; Terri Lyne Carrington: drums.
Release date: 2019.09.27
Contemporary Jazz

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(b) Best Jazz 2019 – 10 Tracks

(b.1) GoGo Penguin

GoGo Penguin - Ocean In A Drop
GoGo Penguin
‎”Control Shift”
from Ocean In A Drop (Music For Film)
(Decca)

Chris Illingworth: piano; Rob Turner: drums; Nick Blacka: bass
Release date: 2019.10.18
Contemporary Jazz

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(b.2) Rymden

Rymden - Reflections & Odysseys
Rymden
“Rymden – The Odyssey”
from Reflections & Odysseys
(Jazzland Recordings)

Bugge Wesseltoft: piano; Dan Berglund: bass; Magnus Ostrom: drums
Release date: 2019.02.08
Contemporary Jazz

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(b.3) Gorilla Mask

Gorilla Mask - Brain Drain
Gorilla Mask
“Rampage”
from Brain Drain
(Clean Feed)

Peter Van Huffel: alto & baritone saxophones, effects; Roland Fidezius: electric bass, effects; Rudi Fischerlehner: drums, percussion.
Release date: 2019.11.12
Free Jazz, Metalcore

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(b.4) Angel Bat Dawid

Angel Bat Dawid - The Oracle
Angel Bat Dawid
‎”Impepho”
from The Oracle
(International Anthem)

Angel Bat Dawid: all instruments & voices
Release date: 2019.02.08
Soul-Jazz, Avant-garde Jazz

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(b.5) Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah

Christian-Scott-aTunde-Adjuah-Ancestral-Recall
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
“The Shared Stories of Rivals (KEITA)”
from Ancestral Recall
(Ropeadope Records)

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah: Trumpet, Adjuah Trumpet, Siren, Sirenette, Reverse Flugelhorn, Percussion, Synth Percussion, SPDSX, Malletkat, MPC, Keyboards, Synth Bass, Pan African Kit, Drums, Vocals, Sonic Arictexture; Saul Williams: Vocals; Weedie Braimah: Percussion, Vocals; Corey Fonville: Drums, SPDSX, Pan African Kit.
Release date: 2019.03.22
Contemporary Jazz

Bandcamp Website

(b.6) Theon Cross

Theon Cross - Fyah
Theon Cross
‎”Activate”
from Fyah
(Gearbox Records)

Theon Cross: tuba; Moses Boyd: drums; Nubya Garcia: tenor saxophone.
Release date: 2019.02.15
Contemporary Jazz

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(b.7) Iiro Rantala

Iiro Rantala - My Finnish Calendar
Iiro Rantala
‎”February”
from My Finnish Calendar
(ACT)

Iiro Rantala: piano
Release date: 2019.08.30
Contemporary Jazz, Piano Jazz

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(b.8) Jamael Dean

Jamael Dean - Black Space Tapes
Jamael Dean
‎”Akamara”
from Black Space Tapes
(Stones Throw Records)

Jamael Dean: piano; Devin Daniels: alto saxophone; Chris Palmer: bass; Tim Angulo: drums; Aaron Shaw: flute; Carlos Niño: percussion; Zekkeraya El-Megharbel: trombone; Miguel Atwood-Ferguson: viola; Sharada Shashidhar: vocals.
Release date: 2019.11.08
Experimental

Bandcamp Twitter

(b.9) Yazz Ahmed

Yazz-Ahmed-Polyhymnia
Yazz Ahmed
“Lahan al-Mansour”
from Polyhymnia
(Ropeadope)

“This album is a celebration of female courage, determination and creativity.”
— Yazz Ahmed

Yazz Ahmed: trumpet, flugelhorn, handclaps, Kaoss Pad, voice; Camilla George: alto saxophone, voice; Helena Kay: alto saxophone, voice; Tori Freestone: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, alto flute; Gemma Moore: baritone saxophone; Noel Langley: trumpet, flugelhorn, Fender Rhodes, voice; Becca Toft: trumpet, voice; Alex Ridout: trumpet; Carol Jarvis: trombone, bass trombone, voice; Johanna Burnheart: electric violin, voice; Samuel Hällkvist: guitar; Shirley Tetteh: guitar, voice; Ralph Wyld: vibraphone; Sarah Tandy: Fender Rhodes, piano, voice; Alycona Mick: Fender Rhodes, piano; Charlie Pyne: bass guitar, voice; Sophie Alloway: drums, voice; Corrina Silvester: percussion, handclaps, voice.
Release date: 2019.10.11
Jazz, Fusion

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(b.10) Michael Janisch

Michael-Janisch-Worlds-Collide
Michael Janisch
“Another London”
from Worlds Collide
(Whirlwind Recordings)

“The rock-driven strut of ‘Another London’, with fundamental ostinato bass groove, guitar-and-synth vistas, and lush horns, reflects Janisch’s positive view of walking through this great city – away from the bile of social media platforms, clear evidence of “people from different cultures and backgrounds actually getting on in their lives, generally living in harmony with each other.”
— Whirlwind Recordings

Michael Janisch: double and electric basses, post-production percussion; Jason Palmer: trumpet; John O’Gallagher: alto saxophone; Rez Abbasi: guitar; Clarence Penn: drums | Guests: John Escreet: keys; George Crowley: tenor saxophone; Andrew Bain: drums and percussion.
Release date: 2019.09.06
Jazz, Fusion

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Jazz Playlist 2019

Best Jazz 2019 – Albums & Tracks Lists

10 Jazz Albums 2019

  • Jaimie Branch – Fly Or Die II: Bird Dogs Of Paradise
  • The Comet Is Coming – Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery
  • Tropiques – Into The Wild
  • William Hooker – Symphonie Of Flowers
  • Konstrukt & Ken Vandermark – Kozmik Bazaar
  • Svetlost – Odron Ritual Orchestra
  • Matana Roberts – Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis
  • Tomeka Reid Quartet – Old New
  • Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom – Glitter Wolf
  • Kris Davis – Diatom Ribbons

+ 10 Jazz Tracks 2019

  • GoGo Penguin “Control Shift” from Ocean In A Drop (Music For Film)
  • Rymden “Rymden – The Odyssey” from Reflections & Odysseys
  • Gorilla Mask “Rampage” from Brain Drain
  • Angel Bat Dawid “Impepho” from The Oracle
  • Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah “The Shared Stories of Rivals (KEITA)” from Ancestral Recall
  • Theon Cross “Activate” from Fyah
  • Iiro Rantala ‎”February” from My Finnish Calendar
  • Jamael Dean “Akamara” from Black Space Tapes
  • Yazz Ahmed “Lahan al-Mansour” from Polyhymnia
  • Michael Janisch “Another London” from Worlds Collide

2010s

Discover all the other 2010s best of jazz playlist: 2019201820172016201520142013201220112010

Any thoughts or comments you would like to add to this post?