My favorite jazz albums of 2018

Tyshawn Sorey (photo: John Rogers)

Tyshawn Sorey (photo: John Rogers)

Below is my ballot for the annual jazz critic’s poll organized by Francis Davis and published by NPR music. I’m guessing the poll results will run sometime next week. I’ve also added an additional ten favorite albums (the poll only asks for the top 10). I present this list with the caveat that I would’ve certainly included the stunning Punkt.Vrt.Plastik (Intakt) to my top 10 if I hadn’t written the liner notes for debut recording by the trio of pianist Kaja Draksler, bassist Petter Eldh, and drummer Christian Lillinger. Also, I’ve been a bit quiet here over the last couple of weeks—hoping to change that now.

Best Jazz Albums of 2018:

1. Tyshawn Sorey, Pillars (Firehouse 12)

2. Christian Lillinger Grund, C O R (Plaist)

3. JD Allen, Love Stone (Savant)

4. Sylvie Courvoisier Trio, D’Agala (Intakt)

5. Adam O’Farrill Strange Days, El Maquech (Biophilia)

6. Andrew Cyrille, Lebroba (ECM)

7. Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg, Dirt.., and More Dirt (Pi)

8. Myra Melford’s Snowy Egret, The Other Side of Air (Firehouse 12)

9. Endangered Blood, Don’t Freak Out (Skirl)

10. Mary Halvorson, The Maid With the Flaxen Hair (Tzadik)


11. Honest John with Ab Baars, Treem (Clean Feed)

12. Ambrose Akinmusire, Origami Harvest (Blue Note)

13. James Brandon Lewis & Chad Taylor, Radiant Imprints (Off)

14. Ingrid Laubrock, Contemporary Chaos Practices—Two Works for Orchestra With Soloists (Intakt)

15. Magnus Broo Trio, Rules (Moserobie)

16. Maria Faust, Machina (Stunt)

17. Sons of Kemet, Your Queen is a Reptile (Impulse)

18. Jonas Cambien, We Must Mustn’t We (Clean Feed)

19. Hanna Paulsberg Concept & Magnus Broo, Daughter of the Sun (Odin)

20. Jacob Sacks, Fishes (Clean Feed)

Best debut album:

Quin Kirchner, The Other Side of Time (Astral Spirits)


Best Latin album:

David Virelles, Igbó Alákorin (The Singer's Grove) Vol. 1 and II (Pi)


Best Vocal jazz album:

Cécile McLorin Salvant, Windows (Mack Avenue)



1. John Coltrane, Both Directions at Once: the Lost Album (Impulse)

2) Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet, The Complete Lansdowne Recordings 1965-1969 (Jazzman)

3) Milford Graves, Babi (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Today's playlist:

Cikada String Quartet, In due tempi: Saariaho/Cage/Maderna (ECM)

Le Rex, Wild Man (Cuneiform)

Poing & Maja S.K. Ratkje, Wach Auf! (Øra Fonogram)

Jil Jilala, Chamaâ (Blue Silver)

Mathias Spahlinger, Inter-Mezzo/128 Erfüllte Augenblicke/In Dem Ganzen Ocean von Empfindungen eine Welle Absondern, sie Anhalten (Wergo)