I have been procrastinating, but want to gather my favorite music of 2021 before the end of the year. I’ll start with a few of my favorite Jazz records of 2021, not including reissues, or new releases from the vault. There were plenty of those and I’ll share those choices later.
First is a record that I have come back to play more often than others this year. Bassist Dave Holland’s Another Land with guitarist Kevin Eubanks and drummer Obed Calvaire on Evidence records. It’s groovy and inventive jazz-funk that rewards more with every spin.
DAVE HOLLAND - ANOTHER LAND
Next, from Leeds, UK, saxophonist Tony Burkill’s band Work, Money, Death. The name of Burkill’s debut album is now apparently the name of his band. Two album length tracks of phenomenal spiritual jazz.
WORK, MONEY, DEATH - THE SPACE IN WHICH THE UNCONTROLLABLE UNKNOWN RESIDES, CAN BE THE PLACE FROM WHICH CREATION ARISES
I hesitate to put this one on my jazz list because it really defies categorization, but it features the great Pharaoh Sanders, so it has to go somewhere. Electronic music composer Sam Shepherd AKA Floating Points has produced a masterpiece with variations on a memorable motif that repeats and transforms throughout the entire program. Set aside 45 minutes, go to your listening room or put on your headphones and be prepared for an out-of-body experience. Stunningly beautiful.
FLOATING POINTS, PHAROAH SANDERS & THE LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA - PROMISES