The best jazz 2019 in 10 albums plus 10 extra tracks.
No rank, no order, just a list of the 10 best jazz albums of 2019 and a playlist to sum it up at the end of this post. Any recommendations on tracks that should have made it to the playlist would also be very appreciated.
The Best Jazz Albums of 2019
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 October 11, 2019
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 March 15, 2019
Fusion, Psychedelic Rock, Contemporary Jazz
Angel Bat Dawid
Angel Bat Dawid: all instruments & voices
Release date February 8, 2019
Soul-Jazz, Avant-garde Jazz
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 November 22, 2019
Avant-garde Jazz, Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
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 September 27, 2019
Free Jazz, Hard Bop
“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
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 October 18, 2019
Free Jazz, Experimental
Tomeka Reid Quartet
Tomeka Reid: cello; Mary Halvorson: guitar; Jason Roebke: bass; Tomas Fujiwara: drums.
Release date October 4, 2019
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 February 1, 2019
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 September 27, 2019
The 10 Best Jazz Albums of 2019
- Jaimie Branch – Fly Or Die II: Bird Dogs Of Paradise (International Anthem)
- The Comet Is Coming – Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery (Impulse!)
- Angel Bat Dawid – The Oracle (International Anthem)
- William Hooker – Symphonie Of Flowers (ORG Music)
- Konstrukt & Ken Vandermark – Kozmik Bazaar (Karlrecords)
- Anna Webber – Clockwise (Pi Recordings)
- Matana Roberts – Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis (Constellation)
- Tomeka Reid Quartet – Old New (Cuneiform Records)
- Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom – Glitter Wolf (The Royal Potato Family)
- Kris Davis – Diatom Ribbons (Pyroclastic Records)
+ 10 Jazz tracks and albums:
- 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