Skip Navigation
NPR News
cover art to Inheritance ( )

Top 10 Jazz Albums Of 2012

by Patrick Jarenwattananon
Dec 13, 2012

See this

The Vijay Iyer Trio is Marcus Gilmore (left, drums), Iyer (center, piano) and Stephan Crump (right, bass).

Hear this

This text will be replaced
Launch in player

Share this

Explore this

Reported by

Patrick Jarenwattananon

For the better part of this year, I haven't been able to shake a certain phrase from the back of my mind. It was written by the pianist and composer Vijay Iyer in the liner notes to his brilliant trio album Accelerando: "[T]his album is in the lineage of American creative music based on dance rhythms."

It's one of the more precise descriptions I've encountered for my favorite jazz records, in this year or any. None of them sing the blues the same way. But deep down, they all feel how rhythm is fundamentally movement. They all represent the utmost levels of creativity. They all plug into the wisdom of a tradition which precedes them, and they all aim to build upon it.

Here, in alphabetical order, are my top ten albums in the great lineage of jazz and improvised music of 2012.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR

Visitor comments


NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.