The 10 best jazz albums of 2023

Nikki Iles affirmed her flawless ear, Gretchen Parlato and Lionel Loueke finished each other’s sentences and Tyshawn Sorey rewrote standard-song interpretation
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Since the 1990s, the pianist and composer Nikki Iles has been a sought-after accompanist with a flawless anticipatory ear, a harmonically innovative composer and a piano improviser in the classic keyboard traditions of Bill Evans, John Taylor and Paul Bley. Face to Face joins her to Hamburg’s illustrious NDR Bigband, and a crop of terrific soloists including UK saxophonist Nigel Hitchcock and exhilarating guitarist Mike Walker. The exuberantly staccato and then blithely swinging Misfits, the smouldering Wild Oak and Iles’s Ivor Novello award-winning lockdown composition The Caged Bird are highlights of a fine and overdue set by a national jazz treasure.

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