2019 review

2019 in general wasn’t a bad year for jazz – great new releases, which will stand the test of time, and some wonderful concerts. Jazz, as in the previous year, will more or less have been 1 .1% of the worlds recorded music market. Streaming is giving our music a bit of a hard time, as Spotify, Deezer, etc. are not presenting jazz the right way and therefore migration of the jazz listener to the services is slow .. physical is still the dominant format globally for jazz and will stay as that for a few more years. The major record companies have lost a bit of interest in Jazz, with Sony hardly doing anything anymore, Warner as well and only Universal with Verve and Blue Note is a bit more active in producing and releasing jazz albums. The rest is moving to the independent labels … and some of them are really expanding and getting more interesting and widen their artist roster … like Edition Records in the UK, Ropeadope, Mack Avenue, Motema, Sunnyside, Smoke, etc in the US and Jazzland Recordings in Norway and many others around the globe. Jazz is alive and thriving … no matter what!!

As every year I will publish here a kind of ‘Best of 2019’ in terms of my personal choice of recordings and concerts from this year. I will put them in alphabetical order, as it is too difficult to select any of them as the best ….

Albums

Betty Carter – The Music never Stops

Haftor Medboe  Jacob Karlson   EP

Hays / Loueke – Hope

Holland / Hussain / Potter – Good Hope

James Brandon Lewis – An Unruly Manifesto

Joanna Wallfisch – Far Away From Any Place Called Home

Ketil Bjornstad – The World I Used To Know

Michael Leonhart Orchestra – Suite Extracts, Vol. 1

Rymden – Reflections & Odysseys

Zela Margossian – Transition

Live

Antonio Lizana & Arturo O’Farrill – Madrid, July

Branford Marsalis Quartet – Sevilla, March

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah – Madrid, November

Dhafer Youssef – Lyon, July

John Scofield & John Cleary – Madrid, November

Jose James / Melody Gardot – Madrid, July

Michael Leonhart Orchestra – New York, January

Rebekka Bakken – Madrid, November

Rymden – Rotterdam, July

The Bad Plus – Madrid, May and November

Details on these recordings and concert you can find in the various blog posts of mine from January to December.

Special mention deserve the two last recordings I delivered to Okeh/Masterworks as their A&R consultant, Branford Marsalis’ outstanding new quartet album ‘The Secret Between The Shadow And The Soul’, nominated for two Grammy awards, and Theo Croker’s ‘Star People Nation’, which as well is nominated for one Grammy award.

At the close of the year we remember all the wonderful artists, managers, agents, label representatives and friends that passed on in 2019 – they all left something within us and therefore will be remembered for a long time. May they all rest in peace.

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