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Year in Review 2020: Individual Ballots

A full accounting of every title voted for by our contributors

Immanuel Wilkins Omega
Immanuel Wilkins (photo: Rog Walker)

A.D. AMOROSI

New Releases:

  1. Immanuel Wilkins Omega (Blue Note)
  2. Jyoti Mama, You Can Bet! (SomeOthaShip/eOne)
  3. Stefano Bollani Piano Variations on Jesus Christ Superstar (Alobar)
  4. Sun Ra Arkestra Swirling (Strut)
  5. Jeff Parker Suite for Max Brown (International Anthem)
  6. Dinner Party Dinner Party (Sounds of Crenshaw/Empire)
  7. The Warriors of the Wonderful Sound Soundpath (Composed by Muhal Richard Abrams) (Clean Feed)
  8. Pat Metheny From This Place (Nonesuch)
  9. Christian McBride Big Band For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver (Mack Avenue)
  10. Felipe Salles Interconnections Ensemble The New Immigrant Experience (Tapestry)

Historical:

  1. Thelonious Monk Palo Alto (Impulse!/Sony)
  2. Marvin Pontiac The Asylum Tapes (Northern Spy)
  3. Chet Baker The Legendary Riverside Albums (Craft)
  4. John Zorn’s Masada The Best of Sahnedrin (Tzadik)

DAN BILAWSKY

New Releases:

  1. Maria Schneider Orchestra Data Lords (ArtistShare)
  2. Wolfgang Muthspiel Angular Blues (ECM)
  3. Nduduzo Makhathini Modes of Communication: Letters from the Underworlds (Blue Note)
  4. Mikkel Ploug Balcony Lullabies (Stunt/Sundance)
  5. Laila Biali Out of Dust (ACT)
  6. Marshall Gilkes Waiting to Continue (Alternate Side)
  7. Denny Zeitlin Live at Mezzrow (Sunnyside)
  8. Kathleen Grace with Larry Goldings Tie Me to You (Monsoon)
  9. Fred Hersch Songs from Home (Palmetto)
  10. Peter Campbell Old Flames Never Die (Peter Campbell)

Historical:

  1. Thelonious Monk Palo Alto (Impulse!/Sony)
  2. Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers Just Coolin’  (Blue Note)
  3. Ella Fitzgerald Ella: The Lost Berlin Tapes (Verve)
  4. Neil Swainson Quintet 49th Parallel (Reel to Real)
  5. Heshoo Beshoo Group Armitage Road (We Are Busy Bodies)

PHILIP BOOTH

New Releases:

  1. John Scofield Swallow Tales (ECM)
  2. Gerald Clayton Happening: Live at the Village Vanguard (Blue Note)
  3. Lawrence Sieberth Quartet An Evening in Paris (Musik Bloc)
  4. John Beasley MONK’estra Plays John Beasley (Mack Avenue)
  5. Chick Corea Plays (Concord)
  6. Dave Douglas Dizzy Atmosphere (Greenleaf)
  7. Bill Frisell Valentine (Blue Note)
  8. The Dayna Stephens Quartet Right Now! Live at the Village Vanguard (Contagious)
  9. Kenny Barron/Dave Holland Trio Featuring Johnathan Blake Without Deception (Dare2)
  10. The Peter Leitch New Life Orchestra New Life (Jazz House)

Historical:

  1. Thelonious Monk Palo Alto (Impulse!/Sony)
  2. Dexter Gordon Quartet Live in Châteauvallon 1978 (Elemental)
  3. Ella Fitzgerald Ella: The Lost Berlin Tapes (Verve)

SHAUN BRADY

New Releases:

  1. Mary Halvorson’s Code Girl Artlessly Falling (Firehouse 12)
  2. Ambrose Akinmusire On the Tender Spot of Every Calloused Moment (Blue Note)
  3. Keith Jarrett Budapest Concert (ECM) 
  4. Carla Bley/Andy Sheppard/Steve Swallow Life Goes On (ECM)
  5. Dan Weiss Starebaby Natural Selection (Pi)
  6. Jeff Parker Suite for Max Brown (International Anthem/Nonesuch)
  7. Tim Berne’s Snakeoil The Fantastic Mrs. 10 (Intakt)
  8. Bill Frisell Valentine (Blue Note)
  9. Matthew Shipp Trio The Unidentifiable (ESP)
  10. Jeremy Cunningham The Weather Up There (Northern Spy)

Historical:

  1. Thelonious Monk Palo Alto (Impulse!/Sony)
  2. Cecil Taylor At AngelicA 2000 Bologna (I Dischi di Angelica)
  3. Ella Fitzgerald Ella: The Lost Berlin Tapes (Verve)
  4. Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers Just Coolin’ (Blue Note)
  5. Lennie Tristano The Duo Sessions (Dot Time)

BRAD COHAN

New Releases:

  1. Matthew Shipp Trio The Unidentifiable (ESP-Disk’)
  2. Brandon Seabrook with Cooper-Moore and Gerald Cleaver Exultations (Astral Spirits)
  3. Alan Braufman The Fire Still Burns (The Control Group/Valley of Search)
  4. Fay Victor’s SoundNoiseFUNK We’ve Had Enough (ESP-Disk’)
  5. Luke Stewart Luke Stewart Exposure Quintet (Astral Spirits)
  6. mssv main steam stop valve (BIG EGO)
  7. GRID Decomposing Force (NNA Tapes)
  8. Susan Alcorn Quintet Pedernal (Relative Pitch)
  9. Thollem/Parker/Cline Gowanus Sessions II (ESP-Disk’)
  10. Mary Halvorson’s Code Girl Artlessly Falling (Firehouse 12)

Historical:

  1. Thelonious Monk Palo Alto (Impulse!/Sony)

THOMAS CONRAD

New Releases:

  1. Maria Schneider Orchestra Data Lords (ArtistShare)
  2. Ambrose Akinmusire On the Tender Spot of Every Calloused Moment (Blue Note)
  3. Immanuel Wilkins Omega (Blue Note)
  4. Gerald Clayton Happening: Live at the Village Vanguard (Blue Note)
  5. Rudresh Mahanthappa Hero Trio (Whirlwind)
  6. Joel Ross Who Are You? (Blue Note)
  7. Jason Palmer The Concert: 12 Musings for Isabella (Giant Step Arts)
  8. Bill Frisell Valentine (Blue Note)
  9. Marcin Wasilewski Trio/Joe Lovano Arctic Riff (ECM)
  10. Oded Tzur Here Be Dragons (ECM)

Historical:

  1. Hank Mobley The Complete Hank Mobley Blue Note Sessions 1963-70 (Mosaic)
  2. Charles Mingus @ Bremen 1964 & 1975 (Sunnyside)
  3. Thelonious Monk Palo Alto (Impulse!/Sony)
  4. Charles Lloyd Quartet Montreux Jazz Festival 1967 (TCB)
  5. Neil Swainson Quintet 49th Parallel (Reel to Real)

J.D. CONSIDINE

New Releases:

  1. Maria Schneider Orchestra Data Lords (ArtistShare)
  2. JD Allen Toys/Die Dreaming (Savant)
  3. Bill Frisell Valentine (Blue Note)
  4. Michael Formanek Quartet Pre-Apocalyptic (Out of Your Head)
  5. John Scofield Swallow Tales (ECM)
  6. Mary Halvorson’s Code Girl Artlessly Falling (Firehouse 12)
  7. Junk Magic Compass Confusion (Pyroclastic)
  8. Kurt Rosenwinkel Angels Around (Heartcore)
  9. Tim Berne’s Snakeoil The Deceptive 4 (Intakt)
  10. Dan Weiss Starebaby Natural Selection (Pi)

Historical:

  1. Paul Desmond The Complete 1975 Toronto Recordings (Mosaic)
  2. Thelonious Monk Palo Alto (Impulse!/Sony)
  3. Neil Swainson Quintet 49th Parallel (Reel to Real)
  4. Hank Mobley The Complete Hank Mobley Blue Note Sessions 1963-70 (Mosaic)
  5. Charles Mingus @ Bremen 1964 & 1975 (Sunnyside)

MORGAN ENOS

New Releases:

  1. Marcin Wasilewski Trio/Joe Lovano Arctic Riff (ECM)
  2. Ron Miles Rainbow Sign (Blue Note)
  3. John Scofield Swallow Tales (ECM)
  4. Jim Snidero Project-K (Savant)
  5. Bill Frisell Valentine (Blue Note)
  6. Oded Tzur Here Be Dragons (ECM)
  7. The Dayna Stephens Quartet Right Now! Live at the Village Vanguard (Contagious)
  8. Kenny Barron/Dave Holland Trio Featuring Johnathan Blake Without Deception (Dare2)
  9. Jonathan Barber Legacy Holder (self-released)
  10. Champian Fulton Birdsong (Champian)

Historical:

  1. Thelonious Monk Palo Alto (Impulse!/Sony)
  2. Charlie Parker The Complete Savoy 10-Inch LP Collection (Craft)
  3. Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers Just Coolin’ (Blue Note)
  4. Bob James Once Upon a Time: The Lost 1965 New York Studio Sessions (Resonance)
  5. John Coltrane Giant Steps (60th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition) (Rhino)

MELVIN GIBBS

New Releases:

  1. Ndabo Zulu & Umgidi Ensemble Queen Nandi: The African Symphony (Mageba)
  2. Charles Tolliver Connect (Gearbox)
  3. Ambrose Akinmusire On the Tender Spot of Every Calloused Moment (Blue Note)
  4. Kassa Overall I Think I’m Good (Brownswood)
  5. Shabaka and the Ancestors We Are Sent Here by History (Impulse!)
  6. James Brandon Lewis Molecular (Intakt)
  7. Irreversible Entanglements Who Sent You (International Anthem)
  8. Junius Paul Ism (International Anthem)
  9. Jamael Dean Black Space Tapes (Stones Throw)
  10. Fay Victor’s SoundNoiseFUNK We’ve Had Enough (ESP-Disk’)

Historical:

  1. Doug Carn Spirit of a New Land (Black Jazz/Real Gone)
  2. The Awakening Hear, Sense and Feel (Black Jazz/Real Gone)
  3. John Coltrane Giant Steps (60th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition) (Rhino)
  4. David S. Ware New Quartet Théâtre Garonne, 2008 (AUM Fidelity)
  5. Heshoo Beshoo Group Armitage Road (We Are Busy Bodies)

ANDREW GILBERT

New Releases:

  1. Harold Mabern Mabern Plays Mabern (Smoke Sessions)
  2. Ben Goldberg Symphony No. 9 (BAG)
  3. Rudresh Mahanthappa Hero Trio (Whirlwind)
  4. Jimmy Heath Love Letter (Verve)
  5. Maria Schneider Data Lords (ArtistShare)
  6. In Common 2 (Whirlwind)
  7. Eddie Henderson Shuffle and Deal (Smoke Sessions)
  8. Jason Palmer The Concert: 12 Musings for Isabella (Giant Step Arts)
  9. Lisa Mezzacappa Cosmocomics (Queen Bee)
  10. Whit Dickey Morph (ESP-Disk’)

Historical:

  1. Thelonious Monk Palo Alto (Impulse!/Sony)
  2. Horace Tapscott Ancestral Echoes: The Covina Sessions 1976 (Dark Tree)
  3. Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers Just Coolin’ (Blue Note)

STEVE GREENLEE

New Releases:

  1. Nate Wooley Seven Storey Mountain VI (Pyroclastic)
  2. Benny Rubin Jr. Know Say or See (self-produced)
  3. Kenny Kotwitz & the LA Jazz Quintet When Lights Are Low (PM)
  4. Øyvind Skarbø/Fredrik Ljungkvist/Kris Davis/Ole Morten Vågan Inland Empire (Clean Feed)
  5. Eric Revis Slipknots Through a Looking Glass (Pyroclastic)
  6. 3D Jazz Trio I Love to See You Smile (DIVA Jazz)
  7. Massimo Biolcati Incontre (Sounderscore)
  8. Rich Halley/Matthew Shipp/Michael Bisio/Newman Taylor Baker The Shape of Things (Pine Eagle)
  9. Kaze & Ikue Mori Sand Storm (Libra)
  10. The Nels Cline Singers Share the Wealth (Blue Note)

Historical:

  1. Dexter Gordon Live in Châteauvallon 1978 (Elemental)
  2. Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers Just Coolin’ (Blue Note)
  3. Bob James: Once Upon a Time: The Lost 1965 New York Studio Sessions (Resonance)

ANDREW HAMLIN

New Releases:

  1. Peter Campbell Old Flames Never Die (Peter Campbell)
  2. Emily Vancini and Augusto Pirodda And If You Fall, You Fall (Espira)
  3. Gordon Grdina’s Nomad Trio Nomad (Skirl)
  4. Denny Zeitlin Live at Mezzrow (Sunnyside)
  5. Bettye LaVette Blackbirds (Verve)
  6. Sue Anne Gershenzon You Must Believe in Spring (self-released)
  7. Hazar Reincarnated (Immersive Audio Network)
  8. Rich Halley Terra Incognita (Pine Eagle)
  9. Satoko Fujii/Natsuki Tamura Pentas: Tribute to Eric and Chris Stern (Not Two)
  10. Melody Gardot Sunset in the Blue (Decca)

Historical:

  1. Thelonious Monk Palo Alto (Impulse!/Sony)