JAZZIZ Critics’ Picks Playlist: The Best Songs of 2019

Pianist Brad Mehldau topped the list of the songs we couldn’t stop spinning in 2019. (Photo: Courtesy the artist)

Here at JAZZIZ, we have a few longstanding holiday traditions: seeing who can eat the most candy canes at work, wearing Kenny G hoodies around the office and, of course, making end-of-year lists. We’ll leave you to your own Christmas candy binges and ugly sweater parties, but we’re more than happy to provide you with our list of the Best Jazz Songs of 2019.

Now, you may have seen our annual Critics’ Picks list in the most recent issue of JAZZIZ Magazine (available in digital form here), in which we list our favorite albums of the past 12 months. But reading about the year’s best jazz is one thing. Listening to it is another. Our Critics’ List 2019 playlist collects all the songs we couldn’t stop spinning in 2019. With more than 80 tracks, it’s more than enough music to keep you swinging from now to New Year’s Eve. Enjoy.

Listen on: qobuz

The Garden
Brad Mehldau
Finding Gabriel

12 Little Spells (thoracic spine)
Esperanza Spalding
12 Little Spells (Deluxe Edition)

Absolute Zero (feat. Jack DeJohnette)
Bruce Hornsby, Jack DeJohnette
Absolute Zero

Boomtown
Otmaro Ruiz, Jimmy Branly, Jimmy Haslip
Elemental

Cosmic
Daniel Szabo, Peter Erskine, Edwin Livingston
Visionary

Bicycle
Dominic Miller
Absinthe

Hope
Tom Harrell
Infinity

Ronneby
Paolo Fresu, Richard Galliano, Jan Lundgren
Mare Nostrum III

Usher
Jamie Cullum
Taller (Expanded Edition)

I Heard You Singing (feat. Becca Stevens & Chris Thile)
Jacob Collier, Becca Stevens, Chris Thile
Djesse Vol. 2

Pretty Beauty
Andrew Cyrille, Wadada Leo Smith, Bill Frisell
Lebroba

London, Pt. 1
Evan Parker, Kinetics
Chiasm

Reflections of My Heart Feat. Jamison Ross
Jazzmeia Horn, Jamison Ross
Love And Liberation

Folklorism
Fabian Almazan Trio
This Land Abounds with Life

Black and Tan Fantasy
Don Byron, Aruan Ortiz
Random Dances & (A)Tonalities

The Way
Matthew Shipp Trio
Signature

Affective Affinities
Brian Lynch Big Band, Regina Carter
The Omni-American Book Club

Two Thirds Radial
Mario Pavone Dialect Trio
Philosophy

A Call Beyond
Paul Nedzela, Dan Nimmer, David Wong, Aaron Kimmel
Introducing Paul Nedzela

On the Red Clay
Nancy Kelly
Remembering Mark Murphy

Groove For Peace
Oscar Hernandez, AlmaLibre
Love the Moment

Las Tumbas
Miguel Zenón
Sonero: The Music of Ismael Rivera

This is Not America
Camila Meza
Ambar

Mas
Josean Jacobo & Tumbao
Cimarron

I Didn’t Know What Time It Was
Bob Sheppard
The Fine Line

Voa
Sofia Ribeiro
Lunga

El Cantante
Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Rubén Blades
Una Noche Con Rubén Blades

Touched By An Angel
Joel Ross
KingMaker

Yesterdays
Jimmy Cobb
This I Dig of You

Summon The Fire
The Comet Is Coming
Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery

Armando’s Rhumba
Chick Corea, The Spanish Heart Band
Antidote

The Climb
Flying Lotus, Thundercat
Flamagra

You’re Gonna Hear from Me
Veronica Swift
Confessions

Wildwood Flower / Save The Last Dance For Me
Bill Frisell, Thomas Morgan
Epistrophy (Live At The Village Vanguard, New York, NY / 2016)

Nos Miraran Pasar
Guillermo Klein
Los Guachos Cristal

Xavi
Snarky Puppy
Immigrance

SJL
Kirk Whalum, Keiko Matsui
Humanité

Adrift at Sea
Flow, Will Ackerman, Fiona Joy (Hawkins), Lawrence Blatt, Jeff Oster
Promise

Little Black Dress
Lisa Addeo, Steve Cole
Listen to This

It Happened Once Before
Mark Winkler
I’m with You: Mark Winkler Sings Bobby Troup

Painted on Canvas
Judy Wexler
Crowded Heart

You Better Run
Mindi Abair
No Good Deed

The Windmills of Your Mind
The Tierney Sutton Band
Screenplay

Chega de Saudade
Scott Wilkie
Brasil

How Deep Is The Ocean (feat. Rick Braun)
David Benoit, Rick Braun
David Benoit And Friends

Before Sunrise
The Rippingtons
Open Road

Ochún
Chucho Valdés
Jazz Batá 2

Ripple Effect (feat. Ganavya Doraiswamy)
Rajna Swaminathan, Ganavya Doraiswamy
Of Agency and Abstraction

Jabula
Abdullah Ibrahim
The Balance

The Green Book Blues
Harriet Tubman
The Terror End Of Beauty

real/unreal (for ursula k. le guin)
Taylor Ho Bynum 9-tette
The Ambiguity Manifesto

La Casa Azul
Kassa Overall, Roy Hargrove
Go Get Ice Cream and Listen to Jazz

The Windup
Branford Marsalis Quartet
The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul

Abre Tus Ojos
Melissa Aldana
Visions

5th Ray: Knowledge
Jerry Bergonzi
The Seven Rays

I’m All Smiles  – From “The Yearling”
George Cables
I’m All Smiles

Flip the Script
Orrin Evans, Captain Black Big Band
Presence

Lined With A Groove
Larry Fuller, Hassan Shakur, Lewis Nash
Overjoyed

I Hear a Rhapsody
Luke Gillespie
Moving Mists

Spirit Lake
Joe Lovano, Marilyn Crispell, Carmen Castaldi
Trio Tapestry

Along Came Betty
Ralph Peterson and The Messenger Legacy
Legacy Alive, Vol. 6 at the Side Door

Los Muñecos
Javier Colina, Pepe Rivero
El Pañuelo de Pepa

Dreams Foretold
Luis Muñoz, Lois Mahalia
The Infinite Dream (feat. Lois Mahalia)

Oyá
Daymé Arocena
Sonocardiogram

Blue Train
Poncho Sanchez
Trane’s Delight

Odeon
Carlos Barbosa-Lima
Delicado

Habana De Noche (Havana At Night)
Jane Bunnett, Maqueque
On Firm Ground/Tierra Firme

Breaking Down The Door
Santana, Buika
Breaking Down The Door

Dindi
Duduka Da Fonseca, Helio Alves
Samba Jazz & Tom Jobim

Cordeiro de Nana
Trio Elf, Marco Lobo, Margareth Menezes
The Brazilian Album

Today, Not Today
Miho Hazama
Dancer In Nowhere

The Colors That You Bring
Damon Locks, Black Monument Ensemble
Where Future Unfolds

We Are Starzz
Angel Bat Dawid
The Oracle

particle / spectra
Ambrose Akinmusire
Origami Harvest

The Shiver
Nature Work
Nature Work

Chasin’ Kendall
Stefon Harris, Blackout
Sonic Creed

Fiasco
Russ Lossing
Motian Music

Live Normal
Nick Sanders
Playtime 2050

Old Melody
Marilyn Mazur
Shamania

Black Arthur’s Bounce (in memory of Arthur Blythe)
Mark Dresser Seven
Ain’t Nothing but a Cyber Coup & You

Oxide
Ralph Alessi, Ravi Coltrane, Andy Milne, Drew Gress, Mark Ferber
Imaginary Friends

Mitote
Cochemea
All My Relations

Zigsaw
Noah Preminger
Zigsaw

Zero Point Five
Chris Lightcap
SuperBigmouth

Shir Eres (Lullaby)
Avishai Cohen, Yonathan Avishai
Shir Eres (Lullaby)

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