We can always remember 2020 as a year of great music! Thanks for all the votes in the 2020 KUVO Jazz CD Listeners Poll. Congratulations to Ron Miles for his project “Rainbow Sign,” selected #1 Jazz CD of 2020 by KUVO Jazz fans. Miles’ CD (his 12th as a leader) is truly a Colorado effort, recorded at the nearby Mighty Fine Studios, with Denver-raised Bill Frisell on guitar.

Irish trumpeter and music educator Dr. Linley Hamilton pulled together his quintet from both sides of the pond to create “For the Record,” ranked second by KUVO listeners. As sure-fire as vocalists get, Gregory Porter’s 2020 effort “All Rise” came in third on the strength of tracks like “Dad Gone Thing” and “Mister Holland.” Fourth was one of 11 projects released in 2020 by the Jazz at Lincoln Center factory, “The Music of Wayne Shorter.”

Fifth place was a four-way tie of big names in music, Christian McBride Big Band’s excellent tribute (“For Jimmy, Wes, and Oliver”), another recording from Jon Batiste’s 2018 residency at the Village Vanguard (“Chronology of a Dream”), Denver sax man and Denver East High School band director Keith Oxman’s smoky, soulful “Two Cigarettes in the Dark,” and Pat Metheny’s “From This Place.”

A forceful entry into the 2020 canon was the super-group ARTEMIS (Renee Rosnes, Anat Cohen, Melissa Aldana, Ingrid Jensen, Noriko Ueda, Allison Miller, Cecile McLorin Salvant). Their self-titled CD ranked ninth in the KUVO Listeners Poll. Rounding out the Top 10 of 2020’s “Top 20” is another of Denver’s bright stars on the mainstream jazz front, Bill Frisell’s “Valentine.”

Although it was not a full CD, the top vote-getter was a write-in single from trombonist John Hines for his recent release “Emergence.” What a fan base!

Here’s to more great music making and listening in 2021!

The full “Top 20 of 2020” KUVO Jazz Listeners Poll follows:

  1. Ron Miles – “Rainbow Sign”
  2. Linley Hamilton Quintet – “For the Record”
  3. Gregory Porter – “All Rise”
  4. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra – “The Music of Wayne Shorter”

Tied for 5. Christian McBride Big Band– “For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver”

Tied for 5. Jon Batiste – “Chronology of a Dream: Live at the Village Vanguard”

Tied for 5. Keith Oxman – “Two Cigarettes in the Dark”

Tied for 5. Pat Metheny – “From This Place “

  1. ARTEMIS – “Artemis”
  2. Bill Frisell – “Valentine”

Tied for 11. Black Art Jazz Collective – “Ascension”

Tied for 11. Christian McBride – “The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons”

Tied for 11. Jeff Hamilton Trio – “Catch Me If You Can“

Tied for 11. Kenny Barron & Dave Holland Trio – “Without Deception“

Tied for 11. Preservation Hall Jazz Band – “A Tuba to Cuba”

Tied for 16. Delfeayo Marsalis & the Uptown Jazz Orchestra – “Jazz Party “

Tied for 16. Harold Mabern – “Mabern Plays Mabern”

Tied for 16 Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra – “I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This”

Tied for 16. Maceo Parker – “Soul Food: Cooking with Maceo”

    1. Bobby Watson & New Horizon – “Keepin’ It Real”

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