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2018 Jazz: Impossible to Characterize

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Friday December 14, 2018

From The Philadelphia Inquirer

The best part about jazz in 2018? It was impossible to characterize.
By: Shaun Brady

Though it’s always been the case to some extent, jazz has increasingly become more an approach to creating music than an easily definable style. Scanning over the year’s standout jazz releases, what’s most impressive is the divergent paths they take, each boldly different and incorporating a wide range of influences in distinctive ways.

[…] From these 10 albums, perhaps only Walter Smith III’s Twio and the Bad Plus’ rebirth, Never Stop II, would be recognizable to listeners in Coltrane’s era. The former is a tightrope-walking sax-bass-drums trio date in the Sonny Rollins mold, with the imaginative tenor saxophonist Smith unleashing torrents of bracing melody over the roiling rhythms of drummer Eric Harland and bassists Christian McBride and Harish Raghavan. The addition of Philly pianist Orrin Evans to the longstanding Bad Plus gave that impish trio a reinvigorating jolt of raucous power.

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