Archive for: January, 2019

Best Jazz Albums 2018: A list of lists

Jan 03 2019 Published by under music, music mondays

A new bizarre obsession seems to have taken hold, to join the Best Science Books one. Sad! No -- happy!

This particular post collects lists of "best of the year" jazz albums I've found across various websites. For the purposes of this project, I'm not giving each list its own post and showcasing the albums that are part of the list. That's an awful lot of work, which I'm reserving for the science books project which is more core to the mission of this blog.

Note: I've included a few not-exclusively-jazz lists if they've happened to include either jazz sections or lots of jazz-ish/jazz-adjacent items. If this project has any happy outcome, it would have to be my readers broadening their musical horizons by discovering great new music through these lists, the wider and more varied the better. If I've missed any important list, please let me know in the comments. In particular, I'm really looking to expand my coverage beyond English-language lists. I've got a few in French and other languages but would love to include a much greater diversity. I hope to update this list of lists at least one more time, likely in mid-January.

I've also done lists for 2015, 2016, 2017 and look forward to doing another for 2019 in twelve months time!

Lists with a significant Canadian focus are in bold.



My top 10 Albums? Not possible to come up with any sort of consistent permanent best list, but sure, here goes, 10ish selections in alphabetical order of course. And by "best" I really mean a few albums that made an impression. I'll also concentrate on maybe a few that didn't get as much attention in the lists above.

  • America's Child, Shemekia Copeland
  • Beloved of the Sky, Renee Rosnes
  • Both Directions at Once, John Coltrane
  • Code Girl, Mary Halvorson
  • Equilibrium, Samuel Blais
  • Landfall, Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet
  • Lebroba, Andrew Cyrille
  • Ours/Theirs, Thumbscrew
  • Portraits: Songs of Joni Mitchell, Marianne Trudel & Karen Young
  • Starebaby, Dan Weiss
  • Universal Beings, Makaya McCraven
  • Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, Jeremy Dutcher


Favourite concerts? A few of those too!

  • Turboprop, January 12, The Rex
  • Mario Allard Quintet, March 23, Diese Onze
  • Not The Music feat. Joe McPhee, April 29, The Music Gallery
  • Robi Botos, June 8, Gallery 345
  • Francois Bourassa Quartet, June 27, TD Toronto Jazz Festival
  • Cecile McLorin Salvant, June 28, Festival international de Jazz de Montréal
  • Christine Jensen dirige L'Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal : Hommage à Carla Bley, July 2, FIJM
  • The Jensen Sisters Quintet feat. Helen Sung, July 3, FIJM
  • Nick Fraser Quartet w Tony Malaby, September 12, The Rex
  • Larnell Lewis, September 15, Kensington Market Jazz Festival
  • Ugly Beauties (Marilyn Lerner), September 16, KMJF
  • Samuel Blais Quartet, September 25, The Rex
  • Jaime Baum Septet +, October 19, The Jazz Gallery (NYC)
  • Andrea Ramolo, November 3, Auerhouse

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