Night Train: Best of 2015

Dec 24, 2015

Pessimists may say jazz is losing ground, but certainly not in terms of artistic vibrancy, diversity, and sheer beauty. This year's releases offered a host of different influences: mainstream, adventurous, soul and funk and second line inspired, classically rooted, world music based, creative approaches to big band, even a project inspired by Finnish folk songs. But far and away the most amazing album of the year came from Maria Schneider. Her meditation on her youth and nature (and the stunningly beautiful package in which it came) was artistically complex, yet (at times almost achingly) beautiful. Schneider is already regarded as one of the premier jazz composers, arrangers and orchestra leaders and her latest work only adds to her already sterling reputation. We'll be featuring these and other notable releases throughout January on the Night Train. --> Here's the list:

  1. Maria Schneider Orchestra - The Thompson Fields (ArtistShare)
  2. Charlie Haden/Gonzalo Rubalcaba - Tokyo Adagio (Impulse)
  3. Jose James - Yesterday I Had the Blues: The Music of Billie Holiday (Blue Note)
  4. Harold Mabern - Afro Blue (Smoke Sessions)
  5. Jacky Terrasson - Take This (Impulse)
  6. Rez Abbassi Acoustic Quartet - Intents and Purposes (Enja)
  7. John Ellis & Double Wide - Charm (Paradise Light)
  8. Dee Dee Bridgewater - Dee Dee's Feathers (OKeh)
  9. George Freeman/Chico Freeman - All in the Family (Southport)
  10. Oran Etkin - What's New (Motema)
  11. Kenny Werner - The Melody (Pirouet)
  12. Joyce Moreno/Kenny Werner - Poesia (Pirouet)
  13. Joey Calderazzo - Going Home (Sunnyside)
  14. Pat Metheny - Hommage a Eberhard Weber (ECM)
  15. John Scofield - Past Present (Impulse)
  16. Gilad Hekselman - Homes (Jazz Village)
  17. Stanley Clarke/Jean-Luc Ponty/Bireli Lagrene - D-Stringz (Impulse)
  18. Paquito D'Rivera - Aires Tropicales (Sunnyside)
  19. Jeff Benedict Big Big Band - Holmes (Tapestry)
  20. Albert 'Tootie' Heath - Philadelphia Beat (Sunnyside)
  21. Andrea Brachfeld - Lotus Blossom (Jazzheads)
  22. Julie Wood Quartet - Synkka Metsa (OA2)
  23. Mary Stallings - Feeling Good (High Note)
  24. Dave Stryker - Messin' with Mr. T (Strike Zone)
  25. Frank Catalano/Jimmy Chamberlin - God's Gonna Cut You Down (Ropeadope)
  26. Katie Thiroux - Introducing Katie Thiroux (BassKat)
  27. Akua Dixon - Akua Dixon (Akua's Music)
  28. Luis Munoz - Voz (Pelin Music)
  29. Bob McChesney - Chez Sez (Moco)
  30. Allan Harris - Black Bar Jukebox (Love Productions)
  31. Ben Williams - Coming of Age (Concord)
  32. Christian McBride Trio - Live at the Village Vanguard (Mack Avenue)
  33. Mike LeDonne - Awwlright! (High Note)
  34. Ben Paterson - For Once In My Life (Origin)
  35. Steve Davis - Say When (Smoke Sessions)
  36. Terell Stafford - Brotherlee Love (Capri)
  37. Jacques Lesure - Camaraderie (WJ3)
  38. Kevin Eubanks/Stanley Jordan - Duets (Mack Avenue)
  39. Bob Mintzer Big Band - Get Up! (MCG Jazz)
  40. Marcus Miller - Afrodeesia (Blue Note)