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Last Updated: 25 December 2020

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A year which was terrible in so many respects proves that music has the power to soothe us when stress, pick us up off the floor when spirits are low, and bring us together even when we are apart. As film releases stall, studios still manage to deliver new albums into the world, with many artists sharing gems that have come from lockdown-inspired creative bursts. It has been a sublime year for women in Rock, with the likes of Phoebe Bridgers and Fiona Apple making brilliant, genre-pushing music. There's also been plenty of disco despite the lack of dance floor, with amazing releases from Jessie Ware, Roisin Murphy, Dua Lipa and Moodymann. Meanwhile, trap, hip-hop and grime music continue to break barriers with artists like Medhane, Bad Bunny and Jay Electronica leading the charge. But perhaps some of the best music has come from artists who defy being put into genre, like spectacularly eerie double albums from both Big Thief singer Adrianna Lenker and Moses Sumney, or wonderfully slippery music which comes from Bartees Strange, Perfume Genius and MIKE. Whatever your taste, Best 50 Albums from this year have something for everyone.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Keith Jarrett - Budapest Concert

Keith Jarrettwhose, recent announcement that he suffer two debilitating strokes in 2018 casts severe doubt on the likelihood of his performing againis, already on record as saying that he now considers the new Budapest Concert, recorded in the Hungarian capital in 2016, gold standard among his solo live albums. Why, listeners might wonder, does the pianist deem this particular recital to be worthier than his Munich 2016 settaken from the same tour and release year agoor, for that matter, his 1975 landmark Koln Concert? Virtually all of Jarrett's solo releases approach impeccability, remarkable achievement considering that he takes the same risk each time he enters the Concert hall, engaging in pure improvisation and trusting his creative impulses. Is Budapest truly pinnacle, or is Jarrett just responding to the thrill of the new? Who know, but it up there with his finest, that much is for sure. As with the Munich Concert, and numerous other solo recordings, some dating back nearly half a century, Jarrett dispenses with titles, instead dividing his suite of spontaneous creations into parts: There are 12 of them in the Budapest Concert, ranging in length from just under three minutes to nearly 15. Each part is intended both as a distinct movement and an essential slice of the whole pie; each exudes its own personality, but some naturally exert themselves more convincingly. Part I, longest on two-disc set, presents the widest range of hues, tempos, and complexities: one second deceptively simple, next twisted flurry of notes, Its wild ride. Part VII, first track hand over to streaming services as teaser, is linear, serene, and accessible. Only one of 12 parts, last, receives the subtitleBluesand that is precisely what it is, joyous, fiercely play, irony-free boogie-woogie and welcome surprise. Two encores, borrowed compositions Its Lonesome Old Town and Answer Me, both of which also appear in Munich 2016, are blissful enough, sure, but having just heard Keith Jarrett rock roadhouse-style, bit of a letdown.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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