Jazz & world music albums of the year

From today’s Sunday Times [£], my favourite discs of 2012. Cabaret and folk make the cut too:


1 Ryan Truesdell — Centennial: Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans (Artistshare)  What better way to celebrate the centenary of one of the great arrangers?

The Hot Club of Detroit — Junction (Mack Avenue) After starting out as conventional gypsy jazzers, they now embrace everything from chanson to Ornette Coleman.

3 Diana Krall — Glad Rag Doll (Decca)  The Canadian diva-pianist takes a risky but compelling plunge into the bluesier end of the repertoire.

Meshell Ndegeocello — Pour une âme souveraine: A Dedication to Nina Simone (Naive)  Miss Nina casts a long shadow, but the bassist-singer isn’t overawed.

Bob Wilber & The Tuxedo Big Band — Rampage! (Arbors)  A restless octogenarian who learnt his craft from Sidney Bechet, the reedsman here links up with French swingers.

Matthias Schriefl — Six, Alps & Jazz (ACT)  The trumpeter and composer’s wilfully eccentric yet evocative celebration of his south German homeland.

Charles Mingus — The Complete Columbia & RCA Albums Collection (Sony)  A chance to hear the great bassist at his peak.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band — St Peter & 57th Street (Rounder)  A raucous 50th anniversary party, with Allen Toussaint, Trombone Shorty et al.

Kate Dimbleby and Naadia Sheriff — Beware of Young Girls: The Songs of Dory Previn (katedimbleby.com)  Pensive reworkings of songs by one of pop’s true mavericks.

10 Ian Shaw — A Ghost in Every Bar: The Lyrics of Fran Landesman (Splash Point)  The singer Ian Shaw does Landesman’s hipster gems justice.


1  Antibalas — Antibalas (Daptone)   The band who provided the seductive backdrop for the hit show Fela! — Lagos meets Brooklyn.

2 The Campbells — Fonn (Watercolour Music)  Who’d have thought that the Isle of Skye would be up there with the world-music exotica? The Campbell family take us on a celebration of community and the human voice.

3 Roberto Fonseca — Yo (Jazz Village)  The young pianist who made his name with the Buena Vista Social Club orchestra is a multifaceted virtuoso, soulful as well as quick-fingered.

Katy Carr — Paszport (Deluce)  Intrigued by her Polish ancestry, the singer embarks on a crash course in the country’s music and history.

Various Artists — Bossa Nova: La Sainte Trinité (Frémeaux)  Nowadays, sadly, bossa nova tends to be mistaken for tacky MOR. This superb double album sets the record straight.

Criolo — No Na Orelha (Sterns)  Rap doesn’t have to be one-dimensional. This collection fires off socially committed anthems, dipping into samba and funk along the way.

Melody Gardot — The Absence (Decca)  The extraordinarily gifted singer, pianist, guitarist and songwriter sets sail for the Mediterranean and South America. Hypnotic.

8 The Time Jumpers — The Time Jumpers (Rounder/Decca)  Fiddles, guitars and accordion meet as the Nashville-based western-swing band go a-jamming and a-singing.

Hannah James & Sam Sweeney — State and Ancientry (Rootbeat)  Two of the rising stars of British folk music continue their meditations on past and present.

10 Waldemar Bastos — Classics of My Soul (Enja)
An Angolan singer-guitarist who deserves a much wider audience over here, Bastos possesses a haunting voice.

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Chief theatre critic for The Times. Twitter: CliveDavisUK Facebook: www.facebook.com/clive.davis.10 Instagram: clivephotos
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