In this third of our four year-end lists, a wide range of jazz people: musicians, writers, promoters from the UK, France, Germany, and South Africa have named and proclaimed their recorded sounds if the year. Pianists Keith Jarrett and Elliot Galvin were each nominated twice. You can add your own choices in the comments section. These 2016 contributions have been compiled by Peter Bacon:

Mike Westbrook and the Uncommon Orchestra A Bigger Show (ASC Records): A grooving, epic circus-cum-fairground phantasmagoria of hungry mischief, prayerful beauty and heroic blowing. (review) – Rob Adams

Michael Chillingworth Scratch & Sift (Two Rivers Records): As a label boss it’s risky choosing just one but I can’t imagine anyone would disagree that this debut is a thing of genius. – Alya Al-Sultani

Siya Makuzeni Sextet Out of This World (Siya Makuzeni Sextet): Intelligent compositions and arrangements from singer/trombonist Makuzeni and an empathetic, skilled crew that paint a succession of parallel musical universes from African polyphony to infectious mainstream-style melodies to out-of-this-world looping abstract vocalese. – Gwen Ansell

Avishai Cohen – Into The Silence (ECM): A quietly bold and, I think, important album. (thejazzbreakfast review) – Peter Bacon

Vincent Peirani & Michael Wollny – Tandem (ACT): Two strong virtuosic musical personalities: German pianist Wollny’s gothic eeriness balanced perfectly with French accordionist Peirani’s melodic warmth. (review) – Alison Bentley

Pete Hurt Jazz Orchestra A New Start (Trio Records): Wonderful writing  from Hurt totally free from big band cliches, heavy without being dry and obtuse, realised by a band of rising players,male and female, mixed with more familiar names like Henry Lowther Noel Langley Jim Rattigan and Mick Hutton. (review) – Brian Blain

Jakob Bro – Streams (ECM): Bro’s music has the airiness and transiency of fleeting clouds but also induces perpetual subliminal burning open to slowly developing outbursts. (thejazzbreakfast review) – Henning Bolte

Sam Crockatt – Mell’s Bells (Whirlwind): Artfully distilled compositions delivered with verve by a fantastic quartet seems to have kept this in the playlist all year/ Mike Collins

Robert Stillman – Rainbow (Orindal Records): In heavy rotation all year along with Matthew Bourne’s moogmemory (The Leaf Label), both are intoxicating, beautiful, disquieting and really individual recordings. – George Crowley

Elliot Galvin Trio – Punch (Edition Records): The trio fizzes with nervous energy in a strong set ranging from the unsettling drunk glock of Mack The Knife to the baptismal whimsy and whistle of Cosy via the unforgettable double microtonal melodica lurch of Blop. (thejazzbreakfast review) – AJ Dehany

Maghreb meets Cameroon meets Munich meets jazz – one of my most inspiring interviews this years with Majid Bekkas and Biboul Darouiche, talking about what the world needs now. – Ralf Dombrowski

Lloyd Swanton Ambon (Bugle Records): This double CD presents the homage by Lloyd Swanton, the bass player with The Necks, to his uncle who died in a prisoner of war camp in Indonesia during the Second World War. – Tony Dudley-Evans

Vimala Rowe & John Etheridge – Out Of The Sky (Dyad): Sublime musicianship and sincere emotion from a brilliant shining singing star and a master of the guitar in so many settings. (review) – David Gower

Keith Jarrett – A Multitude Of Angels (ECM): I’ve heard  many good records this year, but among those which I think will stay with me is this. A remarkable collection. (review) – Patrick Hadfield

Matt Wilson and Jeff Lederer at Pizza Express Dean Street
Photo credit: Victor Hugo Guidini

Matt Wilson’s Big Happy Family – Beginning Of A Memory (Palmetto Records): Great compositions and improvisations, and a great spirit and sense of fun (Photos and LJF gig report). – Alan Hayward

Keith Jarrett A Multitude Of Angels (ECM): Heavenly stuff from 1996 that will leave you speechless and explains why Jarrett needed to take the next two years off. (review) – Martin Hummel

Casey Golden Miniature (Scrampion Records): For its billowing baroque melodies of great elegance and loveliness, dawn-of-Midi meets Bach. (review) – Mary James.

Rune Klakegg & Scheen Jazzorkester – Fjon (Losen Records): For the sheer beauty and inventiveness of the compositions. (review) – Peter Jones

Eve Risser White Desert Orchestra – Les Deux Versants Se Regardent (Clean Feed Records): Logically, the best record because of the stunning sparklings of sounds and the strength of the intent. (citizenjazz review) – Matthieu Jouan

Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus The Distance (ECM) (review) – Hans Koller

Daniel Karlsson – At the Feel Free Falafel (Brus): This Swedish keyboardist’s third album showcased a range of sounds and grooves which make for utterly compelling listening – Rob Mallows

Peter Jones – Utopia (Howlin’ Werewolf): London’s own Peter Jones’ second album is a treasure trove of first-class jazz, new lyrics to old classics, great solos from a stellar band and a punchy sound mix – a recording I first heard in January and am still humming today. (review) – Mark McKergow

Snowpoet – Snowpoet (Two Rivers Records): The latest eponymous release captures Lauren Kinsella and Chris Hyson’s vision with such moving charm and beauty. (album launch) – Steve Mead

Andre Canniere – The Darkening Blue (Whirlwind Recordings): The very first listen to this third album from trumpeter Andre Canniere, as leader – a great line-up including Tori Freestone and Brigitte Beraha, interpreting the poetry of Rilke – reminded me of original contemporary jazz’s astounding ability, without warning, to coax wide-ranging, often tear-welling emotions from deep within. – Adrian Pallant

Resolution 88 – Afterglow (Splash Music): I’ve yet to find a person – and I’ve been looking – who doesn’t love this. (bandcamp) – Matt Pannell

Brad Mehldau Trio – Blues & Ballads (Nonesuch / Warner) – Bruno Pfeiffer

Elliot Galvin Trio – Punch (Edition Records) – Simon Purcell

Kate Williams Four + Three (Kwjazz): A masterful and highly musical project that sounds as good live as it does on record. (album launch) – Steve Rubie

Iiro Rantala – How Long Is Now? (ACT): Declaration of interest: I wrote the sleevenote and the press text, but getting to know it much better since release has remained a pure pleasure. – Sebastian Scotney

Laura Jurd’s Dinosaur Together, As One (Edition Records): Impossible to sum up in a sentence apart from to say it’s wonderful. (review) – Amy Sibley-Allen

Maisha Welcome To A New Welcome (jazz re:freshed): It’s a sensational calling card. – Adam Sieff

Piero Bittolo Bon’s Bread & Fox – Big Hell On Air (Auand): Italian jazz in general has been a revelation this year and Piero Bittolo Bon, who is well respected in Italy but is almost unknown in the UK, delivered this really surprising, quirky music. – Peter Slavid

Jane Ira Bloom Early Americans. (Outline): Undersung hero of the soprano sax and brilliant composer in a superb trio set with long-time associates Bobby Previte and Mark Helias, who understand her needs perfectly. – Jon Turney

Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis Live In Cuba (Blue Engine): Superb music, brilliantly executed and much appreciated by the local population. – Peter Vacher

Part of the car chase scene from Miles Ahead

Miles Ahead – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Columbia/Legacy): Miles Davis’s Back Seat Betty repurposed as blaxploitation chase music. (review) – John L. Walters

ICP Orchestra – Restless in Pieces (ICP): The Dutch band (50 years old in 2017) maintains its balance of tightness, surprise and freedom showing that the spirit of Misha Mengelberg is alive and well. – Oliver Weindling

David Bowie – Blackstar (ISO vinyl): On the turntable it never loses its visceral, emotional impact as an album of exceptional quality and production values, drawing in the talents of jazz musicians who include Ben Monder, Mark Guiliana and Donny McCaslin to anchor its sound, and sharing the writing credit with Maria Schneider on the stunning Sue (or in a Season of Crime), who said of him, ‘I think he understood that jazz is a collaboration, a communication’ – and I would also love to mention Jack DeJohnette’s solo piano vinyl album, Return (Newvelle) (review), which is a desert island disc for me! – Geoff Winston

Categories: miscellaneous

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