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Anthony Dean-Harris' Favorite Jazz Albums of 2013

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

I had a discussion with some folks at KRTU about the importance of year-end lists as moments of assessment, of looking at this moment in time in a century-year-old genre of music and say this is where the music was at this point of the narrative. At a time where we're analyzing the culture at large at a rate as fast as the lives we're living in it, it's sometimes necessary to sit down and make a list, as internet-y as that may be. So here I am, one voice of many in this art form we call jazz, looking at what I considered the high points of this year and how they all fit in the history we make everyday.

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Anthony Dean-Harris' Favorite Non-Jazz Albums of 2013

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

"...Keep in rotation." It's a term I happen to use a lot. Usually it means there's some album I just can't help but remove from my phone's memory when its space is wearing thin through week after week of constantly acquiring new music. This means a lot to me in jazz; it's my job, of course. But when I happen to say this in reference to a non-jazz work, those outside interests of mine that I love just as much but just don't have the time or the publication to sing its equivalent praises, that's when I know something is special. What follows are many of the albums that I may have loved as much as I may have sung the praises of Wayne Shorter's Without a Net or Now Vs Now's Earth Analog. They're just as addictive, adventurous, fascinating, and fun as any other jazz album I've heard this year.

There are some folks out there who think that genres are limiting, that they hold back what art can be. I fervently do not believe this is the case. Sometimes we have to be able to explain a work to another person. Sometimes we're just not in the mood for all things at all times just because "music is music". Sometimes a work shoots for a certain kind of mark and it totally makes it. Sometimes those marks are in different places than we're used to. Sometimes that mark is really a multitude of marks and it makes them all the same. Whatever a work is or what it tries to be or what one tries to call it, that doesn't make it any less marvelous. What follows are a group of albums that I found particularly marvelous and what I've enjoyed listening to more than anything else in the year of our Lord, 2013.