Matt – World + Jazz Director
It’s been quite an interesting year for Jazz as for any other year. I think what sticks out to me this year was a cultural integration helped in making jazz more of an interesting genre for listeners. Here are my “Top 10 Picks” for 2019. Starting at the number 10 spot we have Acute Inflections: “Electric Psychology”. For a duet, these cool cats can make pop arrangements have a chill flow. I found that their rendition(s) of “Redbone” and “Satisfaction” though catchy and rhythmic, it has a completely different presentation through their performances.
Number nine, Rich Willey’s Boptism Funk Band: “Conspiracy”. I’ve always been a fan of funk and fusion learning about them in Jazz history. To me the group reminds me too much of Booker T. & the MGs and this is an album to “bop” to.
Number eight- Raquel Cepeda: “Passion”. Overall a good mix of “Latin” an “Jazz” which without a doubt goes well together. Her vocals are incredibly alluring, not to forget of course the accompaniment is complimentary to her vocals.
Number 7, Fleur Suele: “Standards and Sweet Things”. To describe this album into one word; I’d simply would say nostalgic. A French/English Vocalist who nearly mimics iconic vocals throughout jazz history (i.e.- Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday) that of course the arrangement almost feels resonant to giving itself a more vintage quality which feels authentic.
Number six, Altered Five Blues Band: “Ten Thousand Watts”. A good mix of funk and blues that is overall just simple yet redundant. An album that you could slap onto a jukebox at a diner.
Number five- Roxy Coss: “Quintet”. This five-man band lays out a soothing jazz album for those slow night out on the town. A good sit-down album guaranteed to make you relax.
Number four, Champian Fulton & Corey Weeds- “Dream a Little…”. A coffee-house style of jazz that will help you kick back and alleviate your worries away. With a mix of popular jazz repertoire and original compositions this duet will help you to keep the good times rollin’.
Number three, Florian Hoefner Trio: “First Spring”. Hoefner and his trio set out to capture ambiance and this album executes that well by incorporating folk compositions and incorporating that into a jazz work that is contemporary and surprisingly, works well.
Number two, Carmen Sandim: “Play Doh”. A mix of Brazillian-Jazz that I thought to be quite exhilarating. This Pianist/Composer incorporates latin rhythms into a modern jazz setting. A musician who plays from the heart and shining her creativity through a more impressionistic style. Before I get to number one on my top ten list, I have some honorable mentions:
Larry Wolf / Four Cats & A Canary- “Mood Swings”
One O’ Clock Lab Band- “Lab 2019”
Lerner & Leowe- “Austin Cunningham & His Friends”
Jeff Goldblum / Mildred Snitzer Orchestra- “I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This”
My number one Jazz album of 2019 is Troy Roberts- “Days Like These”. Roberts’ saxophone performance is complimentary to his improvised arrangement. A solid sit-down album that I feel like would lighten up the moods of many anywhere.