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Best Jazz Albums of 2019

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

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).
Released October 11, 2019
Contemporary Jazz

The Comet Is Coming - Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery

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
Released March 15, 2019
Fusion, Psychedelic Rock, Contemporary Jazz

Angel Bat Dawid - The Oracle

Angel Bat Dawid

The Oracle
(International Anthem)

Angel Bat Dawid: all instruments & voices
Released February 8, 2019
Soul-Jazz, Avant-garde Jazz

William-Hooker - Symphonie-Of-Flowers

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
Released November 22, 2019
Avant-garde Jazz, Free Jazz, Free Improvisation

Konstrukt & Ken Vandermark - Kozmik Bazaar

Konstrukt & Ken Vandermark

Kozmik Bazaar

“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
Released September 27, 2019
Free Jazz, Hard Bop

Anna Webber - Clockwise

Anna Webber

(Pi Recordings)

“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
Released February 22, 2019
Avant-garde Jazz

Matana Roberts - Coin Coin Chapter Four Memphis

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.
Released October 18, 2019
Free Jazz, Experimental

Tomeka Reid Quartet - Old New

Tomeka Reid Quartet

Old New
(Cuneiform Records)

Tomeka Reid: cello; Mary Halvorson: guitar; Jason Roebke: bass; Tomas Fujiwara: drums.
Released October 4, 2019
Avant-garde Jazz

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.
Released February 1, 2019
Contemporary Jazz

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.
Released September 27, 2019
Contemporary Jazz

The 10 Best Jazz Albums of 2019

  • Jaimie BranchFly Or Die II: Bird Dogs Of Paradise (International Anthem)
  • The Comet Is ComingTrust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery (Impulse!)
  • Angel Bat DawidThe Oracle (International Anthem)
  • William HookerSymphonie Of Flowers (ORG Music)
  • Konstrukt & Ken VandermarkKozmik Bazaar (Karlrecords)
  • Anna WebberClockwise (Pi Recordings)
  • Matana RobertsCoin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis (Constellation)
  • Tomeka Reid Quartet Old New (Cuneiform Records)
  • Allison Miller’s Boom Tic BoomGlitter 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


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

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