My Top 5 Jazz Albums Of 2018

2018 wasn’t a particularly exciting year for me in Jazz. I wasn’t too much impressed with Cecile McLorin Salvant’s and Shai Maestro’s releases this year, so I didn’t even bother to review then. And overall, this was probably the year of my lowest number of Jazz album reviews since I started this blog.

I also checked out the Top 2018 lists of many other reviewers, and didn’t see anything standing out there (except for the latest Wayne Shorter which I still have to check out).

Nevertheless, here are my 5 favorite Jazz albums of the year. Note a big victory for ECM with 3 out of my 5 albums coming from their great label.

You may also want to check out my Top 5 Jazz albums from 2017, 2016, and 2015, as well as my Top 5 Classical albums of 2018.

Melody Gardot Live in Europe

Melody Gardot Live In Europe (24/48) 2018 Decca

My favorite live album of the year. And no, I didn’t just pick this for the cover. Check it out, Melody is at her best here. See my original review here.

Marcin Wasilewski Trio – Live

Marcin Wasilewski Trio Live ECM 2018 24 96

A lot of live albums this year. 3 out of 5. I completely forgot to review this. Marcin Wasilewski plays what regular readers by now understood to be my favorite trio style: intimate with beautiful melodies.

You can find it here (Qobuz)

Keith Jarrett Trio – After The Fall

Keith Jarrett Gary Peacock Jack DeJohnette After The Fall ECM 2018 24 44

Not really a new recording, just a new release. But one really worth having. See my original review here. The only downside is the recording quality which is not on par with the regular ECM pristine sound.

Tord Gustavsen – The Other Side

Tord Gustavsen Trio: The Other Side (24/96) ECM 2018

Good to see that Gustavsen is back in trio format. This reminds me very much of The Ground, my favorite Gustavsen album. You’ll find my original review here.

Joey Alexander Christmas

A Joey Alexander Christmas Motema 2018

Joey Alexander is my discovery of the year. Hence the mention of this short EP, which I reviewed here.

You’ll find the download links to the albums in the respective original reviews.

Author: Musicophile

I'm not a professional musician, I don't work in the music industry, I'm just what the name says, somebody who loves music. I've been in love with music for all of my life, took piano lessons for nearly 10 years, and played in several amateur Jazz groups. I go to concerts, both classical and Jazz, quite regularly. And I collect music previously on vinyl and CDs, now on my computer, and am slightly OCD on my music collection. You can reach me at Musicophile1(AT)

3 thoughts on “My Top 5 Jazz Albums Of 2018”

  1. Dear Musicophile,

    I must admit that Cecile McLorin Salvant’s album disappointed me whereas Shai Maestro’s record is one of my favorite…tastes and colours, no worry and be happy !
    Here is my Top 5 from the list below : Shai Maestro (surprise !), Thomas Fonnesbaek Trio, E. J. Strickland Quintet, Sumrrà and Reis-Demuth-Wiltgen.

    Yours faithfully,


    Thomas Fonnesbaek Trio Sharing
    Enrico Pieranunzi & Thomas Fonnesbaek Blue Waltz
    Enrico Pieranunzi Wine & Waltzes
    Enrico Pieranunzi Trio Monsieur Claude (a Travel with Debussy)
    Jeremy Hababou Nuances
    Sumrrà 6 Mulleres
    Lars Jansson Trio Just This
    Reis-Demuth-Wiltgen Once in a Blue Moon
    Phronesis We are All
    Xavi Torres Trio Jamboree Live 11
    Abade Rabade Trio Doravante
    Claudio Filippini Before the Wind
    Emil Brandqvist Trio Within a Dream
    Brad Mehldau After Bach
    Brad Mehldau Trio Seymour Reads the Constitution
    Shai Maestro (trio) The Dream Thief
    Emmet Cohen Masters Legacy Series vol. 2 : Ron Carter
    Espen Eriksen Trio Perfectly Unhappy
    European Jazz Trio West Village
    Fred Hersch Live in Healdsburg
    Fred Hersch Trio 97@The Village Vanguard
    Fred Hersch Trio Live in Europe
    Fred Hersch Trio Heartsongs
    Kamasi Washington Heaven and Earth
    Tord Gustavsen Trio The Other Side
    Kenny Barron Quintet Concentric Circles
    Joel Lyssarides Dreamer
    Marcin Wasileswki Trio Live
    Alex Monfort Trio Introspection
    Omer Klein Trio Our Sea (single)
    Alfredo Rodriguez The Little Dream
    Cyrus Chestnut Kaleidoscope
    EST Live in London
    Espen Berg Trio Bolge
    John Nazarenko Trio Some Other Time
    Lewis Porter Beauty & Mystery
    Joey Alexandre Eclipse
    Thomas Bramerie Trio Side Stories
    E.J.Strickland Quintet Warriors for Peace

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Alain, thanks for your feedback. There are some albums here I need to check out especially Reis Demuth, as I liked their previous release. Thanks so much for sharing!


  2. Listening to the Wasilewski trio. Very nice. Had to listen hard to get the “Message in a Bottle” melody. As feedback, I wish you had more sax, fewer piano albums. I’m not anti-piano but sax is such a primary instrument in jazz. Or maybe the other choices have that, haven’t gotten there yet. (And yeah, I know you play piano. I probably favor guitar for the same reason.) And what’s with that woman with that picture? It doesn’t offend me but… why?


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