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
Fly Or Die II: Bird Dogs Of Paradise
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
(a.2) The Comet Is Coming
Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery
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
(a.3) Angel Bat Dawid
from The Oracle
Angel Bat Dawid: all instruments & voices
Release date: 2019.02.08
Soul-Jazz, Avant-garde Jazz
(a.4) William Hooker
Symphonie Of Flowers
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
(a.5) Konstrukt & Ken Vandermark
“Turkish free jazzers KONSTRUKT continue their series of exciting collaborations with KEN VANDERMARK, one of the key figures of Chicago’s vivid jazz scene”
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
(a.6) Anna Webber
“Her new release, Clockwise, is an homage to some of her favorite 20th Century composers as seen through the lens of their works for percussion. For the project, Webber spent months researching and analyzing various percussion compositions by Iannis Xenakis, Morton Feldman, Edgard Varése, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Milton Babbitt, and John Cage, isolating particular moments that could be extracted and developed into new works.”
— Pi Recordings
Anna Webber: tenor saxophone, flute, bass flute, alto flute; Jeremy Viner: tenor saxophone, clarinet; Jacob Garchik: trombone; Christopher Hoffman: cello; Matt Mitchell: piano; Chris Tordini: bass; Ches Smith: drums, vibraphone, timpani
Release date February 22, 2019
(a.7) Matana Roberts
Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis
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
(a.8) Tomeka Reid Quartet
Tomeka Reid: cello; Mary Halvorson: guitar; Jason Roebke: bass; Tomas Fujiwara: drums.
Release date: 2019.10.04
(a.9) Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom
(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
(a.10) Kris Davis
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
“Traces Left Behind”
from Into The Wild
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
(b.5) Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
“The Shared Stories of Rivals (KEITA)”
from Ancestral Recall
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
(b.6) Theon Cross
Theon Cross: tuba; Moses Boyd: drums; Nubya Garcia: tenor saxophone.
Release date: 2019.02.15
(b.8) Jamael Dean
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
(b.9) Yazz Ahmed
“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
(b.10) Michael Janisch
from Worlds Collide
“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
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
- Angel Bat Dawid – The Oracle
- William Hooker – Symphonie Of Flowers
- Konstrukt & Ken Vandermark – Kozmik Bazaar
- Anna Webber – Clockwise
- 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
- Tropiques “Trace Left Behind” from Into The Wild
- 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