We asked 136 jazz journalists to pick their favorite albums that came out this year. Out of over 700 nominees, here are their collective top 50 picks, along with top finishers in the Latin jazz, vocal, debut and reissue categories.
— Francis Davis, NPR Music
"The setting might be small, but in this clever arrangement by Jonathan Russell, we learn that a wind quintet, when called upon, can make a mighty and sonorous wail. Just listen to how the Imanis cap off 'Dances of the Young Girls' with the entire quintet in full cry (at about 4:30 into the video). The bassoon repeats a fat bass line while the clarinet runs its snaky scales. The piccolo, in piercing chirps, serves as a foil to a frenzied oboe and snarling 'whoops' from the French horn."
— Tom Huizenga, NPR Music