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.
Charles Tolliver’s first studio album in over a decade seems to exist out of time. While each of its four tracks (all Tolliver originals) is tailored to a specific aspect of jazz evolution over his 50-year career and assayed by a multigenerational band, it all emulsifies into something that belongs to none of the above. However, there is one category to which it certainly belongs: the “burning” category. MICHAEL J. WEST