Jazz Artistry Now – 2017 marks the 16th year I have submitted a “Top Jazz” recordings list for consideration.
Readers are encouraged to listen and enjoy these records for themselves.
The parameters of this list conclude that all of these recordings are objectively brilliant in artistry and scope.
Therefore I do not rank them – it’s all great work.
You will find music by widely-publicized jazz musicians and not-so-well-known alike. That’s cool.
I always include recordings released on our Artists Recording Collective label because we believe the inherent nature of acceptance into the collective ensures the quality of music we release is organically among the best recordings produced each year.
There is also a mixture of “types” of jazz among the music listed here – from melodic and traditional-sounding music to progressive, improvised and abstract experimentations. That’s cool too.
Again, we hope that you explore these particular works along with your normal listening playlists.
Thanks for reading.
~ Christopher Burnett, a JAN editor and professional voting member: Jazz Journalists Association
FOUR STARS +
- Fred Hersch – OPEN BOOK
- Common Quartet – THE HIVE
- Brian Landrus Orchestra – GENERATIONS
- Bobby Watson – MADE IN AMERICA
- David Binney – THE TIME VERSES
- Dan Arcamone – EVOLVE
- Dino Massa Kansas City Quintet – ECHOES OF EUROPE
- Dan Arcamone – EVOLVE
- Sam Boshnack Quintet – NELLIE BLY PROJECT
- David Valdez – SHADES OF HAPPINESS
- Ryan Anselmi – MOVIN’ ON
- Ryan Anselmi – LOOKOUT ROAD
- Michael Todd – RAIN ON US
- William Flynn – TRAVELER
- Jeff “Siege” Siegel – KING OF XHOSA
- James Armstrong – THE ANCIENTS
- Stanton Kessler – SKYWATCHER
- Airmen of Note – VETERANS OF JAZZ
- One O’Clock Lab Band – LEGACY: NEIL SLATER AT NORTH TEXAS
- Anat Cohen Tentet – HAPPY SONG
JAN uses a 5-point scale for reviews. We only review music we think is in the 4.0 to 4.5 out of 5 stars range. So, all of the music reviewed here is the best of the best in our editorial and collectively informed opinions.
Our highest review rating is 4.5 because objective reality remains that nobody is 5 stars. We know that some writers and publications give fives. But, is there really a five-out-of-five recording, though? We say not. So, if we write about yours, or your client’s recording, it is likely among the best music being released by any scale.
When JAN publishes a review, the recording is representative of the best jazz artistry now.