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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.

14. Keith Jarrett: Budapest Concert (ECM)

14. Keith Jarrett: <i>Budapest Concert</i> (ECM)

The second album culled from Keith Jarrett’s 2016 European tour was heralded by the news that the contentious pianist had likely performed his final concert, felled by a pair of strokes in 2018. Even without that sobering postscript, Budapest Concert would remain a notable addition to Jarrett’s estimable legacy of solo performance. A bristling and wide-ranging set, the double album compels focused investigation, bursting with layers of invention and revelation whether couched in rollicking blues or crystalline abstractions.

Originally Published