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Year in Review: The Top 40 New Jazz Releases of 2020 (20-11)

Our critics vote on the year's top new releases

For our 2020 Year in Review section, we calculated the top 40 new jazz 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 10-1, go here.

12. Eric Revis: Slipknots Through a Looking Glass (Pyroclastic)

12. Eric Revis: <i>Slipknots Through a Looking Glass</i> (Pyroclastic)

Eric Revis is a storyteller, his compositions riveting narratives suffused with mystery, backdoor plot twists, and ominous joy. Kris Davis is his alter ego par excellence, offering wry piano assents to his pointed bass pronouncements and concocting ingenious pop-up musical domiciles (alongside drummers Chad Taylor and Justin Faulkner) for the geese, trains, and mellifluous harmonies conjured by saxophonists Darius Jones and Bill McHenry. Recommended for people who don’t yet know they love “challenging” jazz. BRITT ROBSON

Originally Published