The Quietus Best of 2014 list by Stewart Smith

With so much creative and exciting jazz and improvised music out there, no single list could hope to represent it all. So, a disclaimer: this top twenty is an entirely personal selection, determined by my own tastes, knowledge and access. It’s largely on the avant-garde side of things, but that doesn’t mean this music is inaccessible or overly cerebral. This is some of the most beautiful, inventive and passionate music I’ve heard this year, and there’s no shortage of great tunes, riffs or rhythms alongside the skronking and scraping. To reflect the global spread of this music, I’ve tried to cover a number of British, European and Japanese artists alongside the American masters. There will inevitably be great albums I’ve overlooked, so feel free to add your recommendations in the comments section below. We’ll be back in January with the regular roundup of new releases, reissues and event previews. But for now, party on and free the jazz!

-Wadada Leo Smith – Great Lakes Suite (Tum)
-Wadada Leo Smith – Red Hill (RareNoise)
-Akira Sakata & Giovanni di Domenico – Iruman (Mbari)
-Sakata, Berthling, Nilssen-Love – Arashi (Trost)
-Jemeel Moondoc – The Zookeeper’s House (Relative Pitch)
-Rodgrigo Amado Motion Trio & Peter Evans – The Freedom Principle / Live In -Lisbon (No Business)
-Billy Bang & William Parker – Medicine Buddah (No Business)
-William Hooker & Liudas Mockunas (No Business)
-Peter Brötzmann, Jason Adasiewicz, John Edwards, Steve Noble – Mental Shake (Otoroku)
-Kidd Jordan, Peter Kowald, Alvin Fielder – Trio And Duo In New Orleans (No Business)
CF301-Pharoah And The Underground – Spiral Mercury (Clean Feed)
-Large Unit – Erta Ale (PLN)
-Max Johnson, Ingrid Laubrook, Mat Maneri, Tomas Fujiwara – The Prisoner (No Business)
-Black Top feat Steve Williamson (Babel Label)
-Farmers By Nature: Gerald Cleaver, William Parker, Craig Taborn – Love & Ghosts (Aum Fidelity)
-Nicole Mitchell’s Sonic Projections – The Secret Escapades Of Velvet Anderson (Rogue Art)
-Raymond MacDonald & Marilyn Crispell – Parallel Moments (Babel Label)
-Alexander Hawkins – Song Singular (Babel Label)
-Alexander Hawkins Ensemble – Step Wide, Step Deep (Babel Label)
-East West Collective – Humeurs (Rogue Art)
-Nate Wooley, Hugo Antunes, Chris Corsano – Malus (No Business)
-Dave Liebman & Steve Dalchinsky (Rogue Art)
-Dead Neandthertals & Colin Webster – Prime (Gaffer Records)

http://thequietus.com/articles/16949-best-jazz-albums-2014

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