Our Editor


Matthew Ruddick

Author of Funny Valentine, an acclaimed new biography of the jazz trumpet player and singer, Chet Baker.
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Friday, 30 December 2016 09:22

Top Picks Of 2016

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At the end of the year, we ask our reviewers for their top picks of the year. Last year, there was a lot of crossover, but this year, everyone highlighted different albums - such was the diverse range of fantastic new music. The CDs below range from the classic jazz trio to jazz-funk, cool European sounds to experimental free jazz, soul-jazz to retro. In short, there's something for everyone. We hope you enjoyed our CD and gig reviews throughout the year, and our interviews too. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support, and wish you all the best for 2017.


Matthew Ruddick

Keith Jarrett - A Multitude Of Angels: Jarrett's last lengthy solo recordings from 1996. One of his career highlights.

Ian Shaw - The Theory Of Joy: Shaw’s best album yet – a well paced set, mixing some unexpected covers and excellent originals. Review here

John Ellis - Evolution: Seeds And Streams: Jazz, electronics and Malian music combine, as The Cinematic Orchestra pianist/composer comes into his own.


Rob Mallows

Daniel Karlsson - At the Feel Free Falafel: Swedish prize-winning keyboardist follows up first two albums with another sucker punch of Nordic nu-jazz. Review here

Snarky Puppy - Kulcha Kulcha: A real hodge-podge of sounds and grooves on this latest cut. A subtle shift towards the darker, but an album that grows on you with time. Review here

Eyolf Dale - Wolf Valley


Sammy Stein

Tom Harrison - Unfolding in Tempo: If you like Ellington and Strayhorn, you will like this, if you like great playing, you will like this. Actually strike that. If you like music you will like this. Review here

Paul G Smyth and and Chris Corsano - Psychic Armour: This CD is a master class in how to improvise, how this music speaks, communicates and above all entertains – absolutely. Review here

Pressure 75 -  Meltdown: Ben Greenslade-Stanton and Sam Eastmond have created something which is listenable from start to finish and something rather special. Review here


Simon Cooney

Jack DeJohnette/Ravi Coltrane/Matthew Garrison – In Movement: A spellbinding , sassy and affirming slice of modern music. Review here

Hedvig Mollestad Trio – Black Stabat Mater: Glass ceiling breaking free jazz guitar with black metal shadings from Norway

Tubby Hayes – Split Kick: Live in Sweden 1972: Another unheard live bullseye from the late great maestro.


Erminia Yardley

Marcus Strickland's Twi-Life -  Nihil Novi: Innovative, intense, beautiful jazz.

Peter Horsfall - How Can We Know: Still the most delicious voice this side of the Universe! Review here

Jason Rebello - Held: Intense and fragile. Review here


Fernando Rose

Resolution 88 - Afterglow: I'm an avid fan of the British Jazz Funk scene, especially if there's a Fender Rhodes and smooth clean percussions.  2017 brings a bright future for Tom O'Grady and the rest of this young collective. Review here

Ashley Henry Trio - 5Live: Ashley came onto my Jazz radar late 2016 when I went to Ronnie Scotts to see the Terrance Blanchard E Collective. The Ashley Henry Trio have an approach to jazz that merges into a neo-funk style.

Dr Lonnie Smith - Evolution: This wise musician has a knack for either playing what's ‘in’ or creating a hunger for his style of funky jazz. Again a virtuoso on the Fender Rhodes and full of 'cool'. Review here


Hilary Robertson

Dave Arch - Coming Home: A stimulating and diverse collection of songs, rooted in jazz, which takes the listener along an exciting journey through uplifting big band/orchestral compositions, retro style rock big band and modern jazz rock.

Carla Bley - Andando El Tiempo: One of those albums which improves with age. There are depths of composition and nuances of performance which jump to the ear only over time. Review here

Fatima - Yellow Memories: It gives voice to that indefinable space between jazz and soul with a beautiful rendition of her songs alongside experimental producer Floating Points. Review here

Read 3621 times Last modified on Friday, 30 December 2016 10:35

Our Contributors


Rob Mallows

London Jazz Meetup owner and fan of ‘plugged in’ jazz.

Simon Cooney

By day a full time Londoner in tv news. By night jazzaholic

Fernando Rose

I love my jazz and I bless the funk. I play percussion for all and sundry and go by @Mr Cool.

Grae Shennan

Laboratory scientist with a love of evolving music that defies boundaries. 

Hilary Robertson

Jazz-obsessed freelance writer and saxist.

Kim Cypher

Saxophonist, vocalist, composer, band leader and radio show presenter. Follows dreams and loves to celebrate great music and musicians.

Fiona Ross

Fiona is the founder of the award winning organisation Women in Jazz Media. She was the guest editor in chief for the 2020 edition of Jazz Quarterly and writes for many publications across the globe.

Wendy Kirkland

Jazz pianist and singer with wide musical tastes spanning latin through fusion to bebop and swing. Cat fanatic.

Elana Shapiro

From Manchester, currently living in Berlin. Lover of jazz, RnB, and soul inspired music.