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THE TOP 50 ALBUMS OF 2018
From thousands of new and historical jazz releases, our contributors picked their absolute favorites, with commentary.
Leading a band five nights a week on national TV might be enough for some, but not Jon Batiste. The keyboardist and singer recently released his debut solo album, and in his spare time he’s writing a musical about Jean-Michel Basquiat. David Fricke put all the pieces together in an exclusive Q&A, while Shaun Brady caught up with Batiste’s similarly busy bandmate Jon Lampley.
In the 1980s and ’90s, she was a pianist on the fringes, an archetypal “downtown” voice. Today, the jazz establishment is finally acknowledging her music’s value, and giving the latest album by her quintet Snowy Egret high praise. But as Matthew Kassel discovered, in at least one respect nothing has changed for Myra Melford: She continues to let her instincts be her guide.
A pianist since his first birthday, a professional at 11, and a jazz sensation at 23, Christian Sands has won over players and listeners alike with his enviable talent. Now that he’s reached the ripe old age of 29, what’s his next act? By Michael J. West
One of a rare breed—a respected jazz musician who’s also a trained philosopher—Aaron Goldberg treated David R. Adler to a wide-ranging interview.
A new book celebrates the 60th anniversary of Art Kane’s “A Great Day in Harlem” photo
Jeff Goldblum shows off his jazzy side
James Francies makes a grand debut
Satoko Fujii gives herself (and us) a big 60th-birthday present
JT Notes: Marcus Roberts and memories
A Before & After listening session with Art Hirahara
An Overdue Ovation for Bob James
AudioFiles: Brent Butterworth gives wireless turntables a spin
Chops: Gregory Lewis on switching from piano to Hammond B-3
Artist’s Choice: Keyboardist Greg Spero selects his favorite jazz piano anthems
Album reviews: Harriet Tubman, John Medeski’s Mad Skillet, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Rubén Blades, and many more