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Music Feature: The Best Jazz Albums and Live Shows of 2023

Compiled by Bill Marx

December 20, 2023

The magazine’s jazz critics look back over the past year and highlight their favorite albums and live shows.


Alan Michie

Here are some of my favorites from the new releases in 2023. I’m not saying that all of them are necessarily timeless classics, and I’m certainly not saying that I had the time to give every possible release equal consideration. They’re just the ones that I personally enjoyed for one reason or another, and I think you might enjoy them, too.

Marc Jordan, Waiting for the Sun to Rise (Linus)

In my review for the Arts Fuse, I wrote: “There are plenty of other rewarding musical moments throughout the album — the lush arrangement of an elemental melody on “The Downtown Lights,” hallucinatory lyrics that accent the slinky jazz feel of “Coltrane Plays the Blues,” the inventive chord progressions and piano harmonies on “Cradle to the Grave,” and the brief instrumental interludes that make this more of a concept album than a collection of tunes. On the title song, the poetic lyrics fit perfectly into the rises and falls of the melody, which track like natural speech patterns…. Waiting for the Sun to Rise is an elegant discovery, and it only gets better with repeated listening. This is an album to grow old with.”


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