My Favorite Things: The Top 9 Releases of 2019

My Top 9 releases of 2019 and only a five word comment about each. More to come!
Reissues/From the Vault:
Alice Clark ‘Alice Clark’: Essential soul you’ll regret skipping
Frank Zappa ‘Zappa in New York’ 40th Anniversary 5CD Deluxe Edition: Best live Zappa since Roxy
Van Morrison ‘The Healing Game’ 3 CD Deluxe Edition: Best archival release of 2019
Frank Marino ‘Live at the Agora’ Blu Ray/DVD: Guitar hero transcends guitar heroes
Various Artists ‘J Jazz Volume 2: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969-1983’: This ain’t your grandad’s jazz.
New Releases:
Chrissie Hynde ‘Value Bone Woe’: Unexpected jazz greatness Pretenders-style
Joel Ross ‘KingMaker’: Gen Z makes vibraphones cool
Muriel Grossmann ‘Reverence’: Spiritual grooves meet polyrhythmic dreams
Umphrey’s McGee ‘Hall of Fame 2018’: Scaring pop fans since 1998

Muriel Grossmann ‘Reverence’

One of my most eagerly awaited releases of 2019 and it has exceeded every expectation! Muriel Grossman’s ‘Golden Rule’ was one of my favorite (and best) jazz releases of 2018. On her new record ‘Reverence’, she’s painting with even more colors and a wider variety of brushes. The key word: POLYRHYTHMS. If ‘Golden Rule’ set out to explore the cosmos, ‘Reverence’ is about exploring the multiple heartbeats of the earth, while retaining a strong propensity for soaring skywards. The rhythmic DNA of each track sets the tone, and from there the melodies, interplay and improvisations are built, deconstructed and rebuilt, sometimes with subtlety and sometimes with a passion that’ll make your own heart beat a little bit faster. Muriel alternates between tenor, alto and soprano sax, leading her expanded group across the eight original compositions. The “newbie” of the group is Hammond B3 ace Llorenc Barcelo, augmenting her core working group which includes longtime collaborator Radomir Milojkovic-guitar, Gina Schwarz (no relation)-bass, and Uros Stamenkovic-drums. The digital album is released on 12/12 and there’s a limited edition vinyl available RIGHT NOW at RRGEMSRECORDS.COM but like her previous record there are only 1,000 available and they are going FAST. If you like the notion of a record that combines the spiritual vibes of mid-60s @johncoltrane, combined with rhythms that draw from African roots along with some interesting “drone” layers a la Alice Coltrane’s ‘Journey to Satchidananda’ album, this album is gonna blow you away. It’s released a bit late this year to make a lot of ‘Best of 2019’ jazz lists which is a shame because it belongs there @murielgrossmann