Across 81 studio albums as a leader, another 25 live recordings as a leader, and then scores of albums as a sideman, Corea was an unerringly superb pianist, a thrilling soloist, a propulsive and sensitive accompanist, and a band member even though he was a superstar.
Wynton Marsalis is one of the most prolific instrumentalists of the last 40 years. A virtuoso in both jazz and Western classical music, he has recorded as many as 75 times as a leader.
Eclectic guitarist Nels Cline expands his long-standing improvising band to create a small orchestra that plays with a combination of freedom and discipline on Share the Wealth.
During the new-year season of best-of-the-year lists, I find myself looking backward—even at a year as difficult as 2020. Time was dilated—I thought I had too much of it but, as usual, there was too little for all the great music.
Here are six of the key jazz trends of the last 20 years, defined by 20 of the best 2020 recordings that made us see, again, why this music is in midst of such a thrilling patch of creativity.