2015 Festive 50 – 40-31

The next ten of 2015’s favourites includes more from Germany and Norway as well as a couple of prime examples of the excellent jazz being recorded by young London-based musicians. Two of the ten are ones I haven’t reviewed on this site but have been listening to a lot for reasons that are explained below. Today’s list is bookended by albums featuring very fine male singers.

a clear midnight40

Julia Hülsmann Quartet with Theo Bleckmann

A Clear Midnight: Kurt Weill In America


Even Mack The Knife is forged anew. Full review here.

new ansonia39

Misha Mullov-Abbado

New Ansonia


Young bassist with a fine pedigree is joined by his London chums, including trombonist Tom Green. Full review here.

plus joshua redman38

The Bad Plus…

…Joshua Redman


The tremendous three become the fabulous four. Full review here.


Monkey Plot

Anående Omstendigheter Som Ikke Seg Nedtegne


I didn’t review this but have author of The Sound Of The North, Luca Vitali, to thank for the tip-off. Minimalism with a Norwegian twist. The band’s website is here.

a room somewhere36

Liam Noble

A Room Somewhere


Solo piano played with great intelligence and wit. Full review here.

surrounded by sea35

Andy Sheppard Quartet

Surrounded By Sea


I heard this live in the marvellous acoustic of the Sendesaal in Bremen, part of an ECM night. Look out for more to follow. Full review here.

human spirit34

Laura Jurd

Human Spirit

(Chaos Collective)

Each song has enough ideas to make a suite. Full review here.

bird calls33

Rudresh Mahanthappa

Bird Calls


Charlie is beneath the surface of this Indo-American jazz. Full review here.


Michael Wollny



I haven’t reviewed this new trio disc but have always admired the German pianist, even more so since I heard his late-night set with harpsichordist Tamar Halperin in the Hauptkirche St Katharinen as part of ElbJazz in Hamburg. Full review of Elbjazz here.

passion world31

Kurt Elling

Passion World


Around the world in a few love songs. Full review here.

Categories: Festive 50

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