Dec 31 2019
Now up: Best Jazz on Bandcamp in 2019
And here we go.
It was pretty much an impossible task to cobble together a Best of 2019 list for Bandcamp, limited, as I was, to just 15 slots. Too many great recordings in 2019, too few opportunities to train a spotlight on them. Rather than do a typical ranking, I went with the approach of presenting a cohesive picture of the modern jazz landscape, a snapshot of its diversity and how that leads to new and exciting forms of expression… including many that leave the 1950’s bop sound far behind.
Some of these albums will be familiar to you from the monthly recommendations columns to already hit The Bandcamp Daily, but there are also a few that will be new to this column. 2019 was the best year ever, and this list is just a fraction of the evidence supporting that claim.
And on that note, let’s begin.
Follow this LINK to read those recommendations and listen to music from each album.
Check out past recommendations by running through my contributor archives.
Have fun going through the list!
Feb 12 2020
Best of 2019 #11: Laura Jurd – “Stepping Back, Jumping In”
When I originally wrote about Stepping Back, Jumping In for The Bandcamp Daily, I talked about how Laura Jurd has hopscotched around the modern jazz landscape, from the chamber jazz of her debut Landing Ground, to the intoxicating mix of brass harmonies and indie-rock tunefulness on Human Spirit, and the electronic fusion she explores with her ensemble, Dinosaur. On Stepping Back, Jumping In, it’s as if Jurd has taken a survey of all she’s done before, and created a cohesive landscape from its components. The end result is something entirely different, completely new, and arguably her most fascinating work to date.
I become more impressed with this recording the more I listen to it. It also reveals more sources of enjoyment. It’s a recording that rewards a listening state of full engagement, with its tiny surprises and masterful subtleties just waiting to be discovered. But there are times I just let it all go, immersing myself in daydreams or kicking back with a new book, and even in my state as a detached listener, the music sweeps me off to a new place. It’s presence is that strong. It’s sway is even stronger.
It’s been a treat hearing Jurd’s development over the years, and after this retrospective statement, the curiosity for what comes next is already burning strong.
Your album personnel: Laura Jurd (trumpet), Raphael Clarkson (trombone), Alex Paxton (trombone), Martin Lee Thomson (euphonium), Soosan Lolavar (santoor), Rob Luft (banjo, guitars), Elliot Galvin (piano), Anja Lauvdal (synth, electronics), Conor Chaplin (double bass), Liz Exell (drum kit), Corrie Dick (drum kit), and The Ligeti Quartet of Mandhira de Saram (violin), Patrick Dawkins (violin), Richard Jones (viola), and Cecilia Bignall (cello).
Released on Edition Records.
Music from London, UK.
I wrote about the album for The Bandcamp Daily.
Listen | Read more | Available at: Bandcamp – Amazon
By davesumner • Recap: Best of 2019 • 1 • Tags: Best Jazz of 2019, Edition Records, Laura Jurd, London