WBGO's Daytime Hosts Share Their Favorite Jazz Albums of 2018

Dec 26, 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, Gary Walker, Rhonda Hamilton and Bill Daughtry share their favorite jazz albums of the year. 

Gary Walker, host, Morning Jazz 

"Blackbird" by Joey Alexander from Eclipse

"Eclipse proved that Joey was here and the real deal. It's interesting to note, born in 2003, how he referenced and chose the music of Lennon and McCartney."

"America" by Bobby Sanabria & the Multiverse Big Band from West Side Story Reimagined

"Whenever he takes on a project, be it a small project with his quartet or something with the Multiverse Big Band, you pay attention. They call this record 'West Side Story Reimagined.' Part of the proceeds are actually going to Puerto Rico for hurricane damage and to bring things back. It's all part of what we wish we were right here in America."

"Chinese Butterfly" by Chick Corea and the Steven Gadd Band, from Chinese Butterfly

"They have traveled around the world together, although their first meeting was over five decades ago. I hosted a show in Cleveland, Ohio during his Three Quartets era. They've been meaning to get together since those first days of Return to Forever."

"Dat Dere" by Stefon Harris & Blackout from Sonic Creed

"His creed as an educator and as a performer is to look back and honor the forefathers in our music. Something for the next year to give us hope for this music to be celebrated."  

Rhonda Hamilton, host, Midday Jazz

"Middleground" from the DIVA Jazz Orchestra's 25th Anniversary Project

"It's hard for me to believe that it has been 25 years since this orchestra was founded. This is one that was written by Janelle Reichman, she's a saxophonist in the band but she also plays clarinet. She arranged this one along with bassist Noriko Ueda."

"Attitude Manouche" by The Django Festival All Stars from Attitude Manouche

"This is a feel-good recording. All of the recordings by this band communicate that feeling of joie de vivre. Each member of the Django Festival All Stars really has their own unique musical voice and personality." 

"Fly With the Wind" by Benito Gonzalez, Gerry Gibbs and Essiet Okon Essiet from Passion Reverence Transcendence

"Gerry, Essiet and Benito have brought us this beautiful recording that captures the passion, reverence and transcendence of the music of McCoy Tyner."

"My Funny Valentine" by Erroll Garner from Nightconcert

"It was a thrill to get this previously unreleased material from Erroll Garner. It was recorded in Amsterdam in November 1964. Everytime Erroll Garner sat down at the piano, you got the sense that he couldn't wait to play. He loved to make music, and you never knew where he was going to take you."

Bill Daughtry, host, Afternoon Jazz

"Thriller" by Alfredo Rodriguez from The Little Dream

"A lot of wonderful artists came through and played here at the station this year. One of them was Alfredo Rodriguez, who had an outstanding album out this year. This selection is from our session on Afternoon Jazz, and it was like it was on loudspeaker for the whole entire building. There was a certain kind of energy, a different kind of vibe going through Park Place on that particular day."

"My Guy" by Radam Schwartz from Two Sides of the Organ Combo

"It's two different groups that play on this CD, which has a 'smooth' side and a 'groove' side. Child of Motown that I am, immediately I see 'My Guy,' the Smokey Robinson classic made famous by Mary Wells, redone on Two Sides of the Organ Combo by Radam Schwartz."

"Tenor Madness" by Brian Charette from Groovin' with Big G

"Brian Charette came in for a studio session here, and he brought Big G with him, the great, legendary George Coleman. Being in the room with him for that session was spectacular. When you hear this quartet on the Sonny Rollins composition, it's just a great experience."

"The Feel Goods" by Henry Conerway, III from With Pride for Dignity

"An album by a great drummer, another artist that I met this year. His bassist is Kevin Smith, Kenny Banks is their pianist, produced by Michael Carvin. This is my favorite cut, the one that caught my eye right away."

Produced by Sarah Kerson