As far as I’m concerned, 2018 was a very good year for Jazz music, with so many great albums covering so many different styles. While there were many like the Mark Ward Trio and Dr. Lonnie Smith that followed the traditional paths set by the Jazz forefathers, there were others like Tigran Hamasyan or Mammal Hands that blazed their own paths, incorporating Electronic music, as well as rhythms from Asia. British Jazz, spearheaded by Shabaka Hutchings, also broke big in 2018, with a sound heavily influenced by African music. There was truly something for everyone, even those who usually don’t gravitate towards Jazz music.
Here is my list of the Best (or really just some of my personal favorites) Jazz albums released this year, in no particular order. Check out all the albums in the playlist at the bottom!
1. Dr. Lonnie Smith/All In My Mind
2. Mark Wade Trio/Moving Day
3. Tigran Hamasyan/For Gyumri
4. Tony Bennett & Diana Krall/Love Is Here To Stay
5. John Scofield/Combo 66
6. Camilla George/The People Could Fly
7. Ambrose Akinmusire/Origami Harvest
8. Mammal Hands/Becoming
9. Cécile McLorin Salvant/The Window
10. Kurt Elling/The Questions-Live
11. Luciana Souza/The Book of Longing
12. Tia Fuller/Diamond Cut
13. François Moutin & Kavita Shah Duo/Interplay
14. MAKAYA MCCRAVEN/Univeral Beings
15. Sons Of Kemet/Your Queen Is A Reptile
16. Maisha/There Is A Place
17. Stefon Harris & Blackout/Sonic Creed
I’m an audio writer who started as a young audio salesman/consumer electronics professional back in the late 90s. That’s where I discovered the magic of 2-Channel sound. My thirst for great sound has led me on a delightful music quest that continues today.