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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.

13. Jeff Parker: Suite for Max Brown (International Anthem)

13. Jeff Parker: <i>Suite for Max Brown</i> (International Anthem)

Experimental guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Parker’s proclivity for genre mix-and-match outdoes itself on Suite for Max Brown. The Tortoise/Chicago Underground stalwart exposes a previously unknown vein of deep soul, with which he coats his established mixture of jazz, (post-)rock, funk, EDM, minimalism, and hallucinatory textures. The exact combination of ingredients often varies; the intoxicating effect never does. MICHAEL J. WEST

Originally Published