Best jazz albums of 2020 at the year's half way point

20/ JONATHAN BARBER and VISION AHEAD, LEGACY HOLDER 19/ DAYNA STEPHENS TRIO, LIBERTY 18/ GARY BARTZ AND MAISHA, GARY BARTZ AND MAISHA 17/ AARON PARKS LITTLE BIG II, DREAMS OF A MECHANICAL MAN 16/ JOHN SCOFIELD, BILL STEWART, STEVE SWALLOW, …

Published: 28 Jun 2020. Updated: 12 days.

20/ JONATHAN BARBER and VISION AHEAD, LEGACY HOLDER

19/ DAYNA STEPHENS TRIO, LIBERTY

18/ GARY BARTZ AND MAISHA, GARY BARTZ AND MAISHA

17/ AARON PARKS LITTLE BIG II, DREAMS OF A MECHANICAL MAN

16/ JOHN SCOFIELD, BILL STEWART, STEVE SWALLOW, SWALLOW TALES

15/ BENJAMIN MOUSSAY, PROMONTOIRE

14/ BRUNO HEINEN TRIO, OUT OF DOORS

13/ AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE, ON THE TENDER SPOT OF EVERY CALLOUSED MOMENT

12/ RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA, HERO TRIO

11/ MARCIN WASILEWSKI TRIO AND JOE LOVANO, ARCTIC RIFF

10/ WOJTEK MAZOLEWSKI QUINTET, WHEN ANGELS FALL

9/ IRREVERSIBLE ENTANGLEMENTS, WHO SENT YOU?

8/ JZ REPLACEMENT, DISRESPECTFUL

7/ KANDACE SPRINGS, THE WOMEN WHO RAISED ME

6/ TINEKE POSTMA, FREYA

5/ TIM BERNE AND NASHEET WAITS, THE COANDĂ EFFECT

4/ JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, SHANKAR MAHADEVAN, ZAKIR HUSSAIN, IS THAT SO?

3/ BYRON WALLEN, PORTRAIT: REFLECTIONS ON BELONGING

2/ KURT ELLING FT. DANILO PÉREZ, SECRETS ARE THE BEST STORIES

1/ GILFEMA, THREE

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Daniel Herskedal, Call For Winter

A familiar presence on his label's roster these last few years, tuba player and bass trumpeter Daniel Herskedal appeals to the ambient Nordic music listener most. Previous albums have highlighted the player's remarkable virtuosity. Here everything …

Published: 27 Jun 2020. Updated: 3 months.

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A familiar presence on his label's roster these last few years, tuba player and bass trumpeter Daniel Herskedal appeals to the ambient Nordic music listener most. Previous albums have highlighted the player's remarkable virtuosity. Here everything is stripped back to lonesome tuba and bass trumpet overdubs cast adrift in a no man's land of genre. You can't call this a jazz record, it shares practically nothing of the common language of contemporary jazz. But you'd also be hard pressed to attach any label to Call for Winter. It has its folk trappings and exists just as much as serious concert music. Worse it's not terribly exciting music, a little dreary in places, the sonorities of the instruments rumbling and ruminating but hardly ever escaping the limitations of the narrow vistas the settings allow for. Sometimes a beautiful melody will lift you up ('Ice Crystals' or 'The Cliff Nest' for instance) but there's little elsewhere to cling on to. Go back and listen to Herskedal's earlier albums The Roc or Voyage for a greater grasp of what the player is about. This is more of a cul de sac. Out now on Edition.