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The Best Jazz Albums of 2015

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Monday December 14, 2015

From The Boston Globe

The Best Jazz Albums of 2015
By: Jon Garelick

VIJAY IYER TRIO

“Break Stuff” Working with bassist Stephan Crump and drummer Marcus Gilmore, pianist-composer (and MacArthur “genius” and Harvard prof) Iyer has fully incorporated electronica and hip-hop into the jazz vocabulary. Despite the album’s odd, layered meters, you couldn’t ask for a more swinging version of Thelonious Monk’s “Work,” or a more delicate, moving solo-piano treatment of Billy Strayhorn’s “Blood Count.”

3. THE BAD PLUS JOSHUA REDMAN “The Bad Plus Joshua Redman” No walking-bass swing, no Afro-Latin groove, no blues. So what else is new? Jazz’s foremost unclassifiable, prog-damaged piano trio combined forces with one of its most charismatic saxophone soloists, exploring the trio’s gleaming, knotty structures, informed by Redman’s searing introspection, the occasional pop hook — even an affecting ballad with brushes

5. JOE LOVANO & DAVE DOUGLAS SOUND PRINTS

“Live at Monterey Jazz Festival” Saxophonist Lovano and trumpeter Douglas were ostensibly “inspired by” the music of Wayne Shorter. But this is a showcase for the writing of the two leaders, and a great band (with pianist Lawrence Fields, bassist Linda Oh, and drummer Joey Baron), playing with a spontaneous, fluid sense of form. The one Shorter “cover” is a new piece written expressly for this group to perform at the 2013 Monterey Jazz Festival.

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