Wondering Sound Best of 2014 list by Staff Contributor

To outsiders, jazz has the tendency to seem like an ossified genre — “serious” records for “serious” people, with anything significant having happened decades ago. If you needed any more proof that this thinking is absolutely ridiculous, this list is it. Here are 25 records from artists that are bold, brash, exciting and forward-thinking, unafraid of flirting with other genres, but reconfiguring them into something new and daring. The 25 Best Jazz Albums of 2014 represent the vanguard of contemporary music, pushing things forward one note at a time.

25. Rafael Karlen – The Sweetness of Things Half-Remembered (Pinnacles Music / CD Baby)
CF30324. Angles 9 – Injuries (Clean Feed)
23. The Cookers – Time and Time Again (Motema Music,Llc / Entertainment One Distribution)
22. Tyshawn Sorey Trio – Alloy (Pi Recordings)
21. Jane Ira Bloom – Sixteen Sunsets (Pure Audio)
20. Get the Blessing – Lope and Antilope (Naim Jazz / The Orchard)
19. Sam Newsome – The Straight Horn of Africa: A Path of Liberation (CD Baby)
18. Omer Avital – New Song (Motema Music,Llc / Entertainment One Distribution)
17. Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash Duo – Duologue (MCG Jazz)
16. The Bad Plus – The Rite of Spring (Masterworks)
15. John Ellis & Andy Bragen – MOBRO (MRI / The Orchard)
14. The Westerlies – Wish the Children Would Come On Home (Songlines Recordings / The Orchard)
13. Darius Jones and Matthew Shipp, Cosmic Lieder – The Darkseid Recital (AUM Fidelity / Virtual)
12. Billy Hart Quartet – One Is the Other (ECM)
11. Miguel Zenon – Identities Are Changeable (Miel Music / CD Baby)
10. Farmers By Nature – Love and Ghosts (AUM Fidelity / Virtual)
CF 2929. Kris Davis Trio – Waiting for You to Grow (Clean Feed)
8. Orrin Evans’ Captain Black Big Band – Mother’s Touch (Posi-Tone Records / The Orchard)
7. Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio – Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio (Concord)
6. Oliver Lake Organ Quartet – What I Heard (Passin’ Thru)
5. Mitchell/Taborn/Baku – Conversations II (Wide Hive Records)
CF3014. Pharoah & the Underground – Spiral Mercury (Clean Feed)
3. Trio 3 With Vijay Iyer – Wiring (Intakt)
2. Sean Jones – Im•pro•vise (Never Before Seen) (Mack Avenue / The Orchard)
1. Steve Lehman Octet – Mise en Abime (Pi Recordings)

http://www.wonderingsound.com/list/best-jazz-albums-of-2014/

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