2019: The Year’s Top-Rated Albums



Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society, Mandatory Reality (Eremite)

Claudia Acuña, Turning Pages (Delfin)

Umut Adan, Bahar (Riverboat)

Areni Agbabian, Bloom (ECM)

Yazz Ahmed, Polyhymnia (Ropeadope)

Susan Alcorn/Chris Corsano/Bill Nace, Live At Rotunda (Open Mouth)

Aimée Allen, Wings Uncaged (Azuline)

JD Allen, Barracoon (Savant)

Fabian Almazan Trio, This Land Abounds With Life (Biophilia)

Monty Alexander, Wareika Hill (Rastamonk Vibrations) (MACD Records)

Jacob Anderskov, Mysteries (Kinetics Live In Köln) (ILK)

Gretje Angell, ... In Any Key (Grevlinto)

Masha Art & LRK Trio, Anesthesia (Losen)

Allison Au Quartet, Wander Wonder (Self Release)

Axebreaker, Brutality In Stone (Phage)

The Bad Plus, Activate Infinity (Edition)

Banda Black Rio, O Som Das Américas (The Sound Of The Americas) (Universal Music)

Jon Batiste, Anatomy Of Angels: Live At The Village Vanguard (Verve)

Olcay Bayir, Rüya: Dream For Anatolia (ARC)

Espen Berg Trio, Free To Play (Odin)

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, The Essentials II (Concord)

Billy Branch & The Sons Of Blues, Roots And Branches: The Songs Of Little Walter (Alligator)

Alan Broadbent Trio, New York Notes (Savant)

Brock/Ulery/Deitemyer, Wonderment (Woolgathering)

Matt Brewer, Ganymede (Criss Cross)

Broken English Club, White Rats II (L.I.E.S.)

Michael Jerome Browne, That’s Where It’s At! (Borealis)

Kevin Burt, Heartland & Soul (Little Village Foundation)

Taylor Ho Bynum 9-Tette, The Ambiguity Manifesto (Firehouse 12)

Etienne Charles, Carnival: The Sound Of A People, Vol. 1 (Culture Shock Inc.)

Avishai Cohen/Yonathan Avishai, Playing The Room (ECM)

Emmet Cohen Trio, Dirty In Detroit (Self Release)

George Colligan, Again With Attitude (Iyouwe)

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

Chick Corea, Trilogy 2 (Concord Jazz)

Bob Corritore & Friends, Do The Hip-Shake Baby! (SWMAF)

Sylvie Courvoisier/Mark Feldman, Time Gone Out (Intakt)

Roxy Coss, Quintet (Outside In)

Marilyn Crispell, Dream Libretto (Leo)

Stephan Crump’s Rosetta Trio, Outliers (Papillon Sounds)

Caroline Davis & Rob Clearfield’s Persona, Anthems (Sunnyside)

Kris Davis, Diatom Ribbons (Pyroclastic)

Joey DeFrancesco, In The Key Of The Universe (Mack Avenue)

Whit Dickey Tao Quartets, Peace Planet & Box Of Light (AUM Fidelity)

Joyce DiDonato, Songplay (Warner Classics/Erato)

Dave Douglas, UPLIFT: Twelve Pieces For Positive Action In 2018 (Greenleaf Music)

Draksler/Eldh/Lilinger, Punkt.Vrt.Plastik (Intakt)

Mark Dresser Seven, Ain’t Nothing But A Cyber Coup & You (Clean Feed)

EABS, Slavic Spirits (Astigmatic)

Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters, Beyond The Blue Door (Stony Plain)

Elephant9, Psychedelic Backfire I/II (Rune Grammofon)

Harris Eisenstadt, Old Growth Forest II (Astral Spirits)

Elkhorn, Sun Cycle/Elk Jam (Feeding Tube)

Moppa Elliott, Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band (Hot Cup)

Endon, Boy Meets Girl (Thrill Jockey)

Peter Evans/Sam Pluta, Two Live Sets (Carrier)

Ferran Fages, Un Lloc Entre Dos Records (Another Timbre)

Tanja Feichtmair, Omnixus + Solo (Leo)

Amina Figarova, Road To The Sun (Amfi)

Jonathan Finlayson, 3 Times Round (Pi)

Mary Flower, Livin’ With The Blues Again (Little Village Foundation)

Mimi Fox, This Bird Still Flies (Origin)

Bill Frisell, Harmony (Blue Note)

Bill Frisell/Thomas Morgan, Epistrophy (ECM)

Anthony Fung, Flashpoint (Tiny 1)

Vyacheslav Ganelin/Deniss Pashkevich/Arkady Gotesman, Variations (Jersika)

Tim Gartland, Satisfied Taste (Good Music)

Garzone/Erskine/Pasqua/Oles, 3 Nights In L.A. (Fuzzy Music)

Sara Gazarek, Thirsty Ghost (Self Release)

Rhiannon Giddens, There Is No Other (Nonesuch)

Brandon Goldberg, Let’s Play (Self Release)

Benny Green, Then And Now (Sunnyside)

Larry Grenadier, The Gleaners (ECM)

Johnny Griffith Quintet, The Lion, Camel & Child (GBRecords)


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    ​Christian McBride and writer Ashley Kahn meet for a DownBeat Blindfold Test hosted by New York University’s Jazz Studies program.

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    Person’s esthetic took shape in an era when jazz functioned as neighborhood social entertainment and moved with a deep dance groove.

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Kris Davis
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