Doug Hall’s Choice of Top Jazz Recordings Of 2021

To echo the converging sentiments and “high-fives” for a slew of extraordinary releases under a continued full-frontal assault of Covid Revenge part 2, there is a lot to embrace. I found myself sweeping though streaming releases and recordings of a vast variety of jazz genre. Seeing new faces and old and making discoveries. Such a wide ranging source of jazz material for 2021 that one needs an extra ear. Contributions from legends like Chick Corea (posthumous) and Pharoah Sanders, to eclectic contemporary journeys by artists Sons of Kemet, Alfa Mist and then there’s just the luscious blend of mesmerizing vocal ranges from stellar jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding and the dense ascending compositions of Vijay Iyer. And a folksy heartfelt acoustic blues, rooted in America’s past by Eric Bibb. And, of course, all the exceptional accompanying musicians on all these releases and more. A feast for the listening table.

Pharoah Sanders and the London Philharmonic Orchestra
Floating Points
Luka Bop

James Brandon Lewis Red Lily Quintet
Jesup Wagon
TAO Forms

Chick Corea Akoustic Band with John Patitucci & Dave Weckl
Chick Corea Productions

Terence Blanchard featuring the E-Collective
Blue Note

Christian McBride and Inside Straight
LIVE at the Village Vanguard
Mack Avenue,

Alfa Mist
Bring Backs
Anti, 2021

William Parker
Centering Music

Esperanza Spalding
Songwrights Apothecary Lab
Concord Records

Adam O’Farrill
Visions of Your Other
Biophilia Records

Gerry Gibbs and Thrasher Dream Trio
Songs From My Father
Whaling City Sound

Eric Bibb
Dear America
Mascot Label Group