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Gillian Welch
Chris Barton's best jazz albums of 2014
Chris Barton's best jazz albums of 2014

At the end of a year seemingly marked by more tragedy and loss than usual, here are 10 jazz albums from 2014 to raise spirits. The Steve Lehman Octet, "Mise en Abîme" (Pi Recordings): Saxophonist Steve Lehman calls the sound explored here "spectral harmony," an ephemeral-sounding concept that involves overtones and microtones but better translates as an intricate and adventurous whole. Inside a latticework of horns from some of modern jazz's top talent, Lehman's swerving compositions sound grounded in the here-and-now, even while staying rooted in history through reinvented takes on two songs by Bud Powell. The Brian Blade Fellowship,...

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