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Year in Review: The Top 40 New Jazz Releases of 2020 (10-1)

Our critics vote on the year's top new releases

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Maria Schneider
Maria Schneider’s album Data Lords was voted the best of 2020 by JazzTimes‘ contributors. (photo: Briene Lermitte)

For our 2020 Year in Review section, we calculated the top 40 new releases and top 10 historical/reissue recordings of 2020 based on year-end lists by our writers. They were asked to choose the 10 best new releases and five best historical titles—i.e., albums and box sets consisting primarily of music recorded 10 or more years ago. To see each voter’s ballot, go here. Albums and box sets released between Nov. 10, 2019 and Nov. 13, 2020 were eligible. Some discs may have slipped through the cracks, however, as official release dates shifted or weren’t available. For numbers 40-31, go here; for numbers 30-21, go here; and for numbers 20-11, go here.

5. Bill Frisell: Valentine (Blue Note)

5. Bill Frisell: <i>Valentine</i> (Blue Note)

A typically Frisellian, typically brilliant mix of down-home and moody, abstract and endearingly direct, cut with regular trio mates Thomas Morgan on bass and Rudy Royston on drums. The benediction is the best part of this particular service; in a move tailormade for days of lockdown, fear, and polarized realities, Valentine draws to a spirited close with touching renditions of “What the World Needs Now Is Love” and “We Shall Overcome.” MAC RANDALL

Learn more about Valentine on Amazon.

Originally Published