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Once again, our KMUW music hosts have run down the best in music (and books about music) for 2016. You can find the complete lists below.You can also hear some of year's best in music. Join KMUW's music hosts throughout January on Global Village, Strange Currency, Night Train, Crossroads, Soulsations and Straight No Chaser for a month-long feature of the Best of 2016. See individual show pages for more information on upcoming shows and to listen to past shows through the streaming archive.Along with show favorites, Chris Heim was invited to be a voting member for the NPR Jazz Critics Poll again this year. You can see the results and Chris's ballot here.Enjoy.

Night Train: Best of 2016

Night Train | Best of 2016

  1. Charles Lloyd – I Long to See You (Blue Note)
  2. Brad Mehldau Trio – Blues and Ballads (Nonesuch)
  3. Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom – Otis Was A Polar Bear (The Royal Potato Family)
  4. Hristo Vitchev Quartet – In Search of Wonders (First Orbit Sounds Music)
  5. Nels Cline – Lovers (Blue Note)
  6. Herlin Riley – New Direction (Mack Avenue)
  7. Jack DeJohnette/Ravi Coltrane/Matthew Garrison – In Movement (ECM)
  8. George Coleman – A Master Speaks (Smoke Sessions)
  9. Ed Cherry – Soul Tree (Posi-Tone)
  10. Chico Freeman 4-Tet – Spoken Into Existence (Jive Music)
  11. Catherine Russell – Harlem On My Mind (Jazz Village)
  12. Charlie Hunter - Everybody Has A Plan Until They Get Punched In The Mouth (Ground Up)
  13. Joshua Redman & Brad Mehldau – Nearness (Nonesuch)
  14. Luis Perdomo – Montage (Hot Tone)
  15. Rene Marie – Sound of Red (Motema)
  16. Florian Hoefner Group – Luminosity (Origin)
  17. Branford Marsalis Quartet – Upward Spiral (OKeh)
  18. John Beasley – Presents Monk’Estra Vol. 1 (Mack Avenue)
  19. Edward Simon – Latin American Songbook (Sunnyside)
  20. Bill Charlap Trio – Notes from New York (Impulse)
  21. Benny Golson – Horizon Ahead (High Note)
  22. Greg Abate & Phil Woods with the Tim Ray Trio – Kindred Spirits (Whaling City Sound)
  23. Phil Norman Tentet – Then & Now (MAMA)
  24. Joe Chambers – Landscapes (Savant)
  25. Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble – Havana Blue (316 Records)
  26. Dave Stryker – Eight Track II (Strikezone)
  27. Dr. Lonnie Smith – Evolution (Blue Note)
  28. Frank Catalano, Jimmy Chamberlin & David Sanborn – Bye Bye Blackbird (Ropeadope)
  29. Corey Christiansen – Factory Girl (Origin)
  30. Revolutionary Snake Ensemble – I Want That Sound! (Innova)
  31. Christian Tamburr – People Talk (CTM)
  32. Dan Cray – Outside In (Origin)
  33. Brian Marsella's Imaginarium - Chapter One: The Clocks Have Gone Mad (Red Palace Records)
  34. Mike LeDonne & the Groover Quartet – That Feelin’ (Savant)
  35. Steve Gadd Band – Way Back Home Live from Rochester NY (BFM Jazz)


  1. Shirley Horn – Live at the 4 Queens (Resonance)
  2. Bill Evans – Some Other Time (Resonance)
  3. Erroll Garner – Ready Take One (Octave Music/Legacy)
  4. Abbey Lincoln – Love Having You Around (High Note)
  5. Sarah Vaughan – Live at Rosy’s (Resonance)
Chris Heim produces and hosts Global Village, a nationally and internationally distributed world music show; the nightly jazz show Night Train, and Crossroads, KMUW’s twice-weekly blues and R&B show. Chris is also a critic and freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Utne, Global Rhythm, Dirty Linen, and Option, among others.