Rolling Stone: 20 Best Jazz Albums of 2018

JP Schlegelmilch, Jonathan Goldberger and Jim Black, ‘Visitors’

From 2000 through 2013, drummer-composer Jim Black melded exploratory jazz and atmospheric rock on a brilliant series of albums with his group Alasnoaxis. This year, some of those ideas resurfaced on this striking and ultimately unclassifiable set, a collaboration with keyboardist JP Schlegelmilch and guitarist Jonathan Goldberger, who split compositional duties. Springing as much from gritty prog and wide-eyed psychedelia as from adventurous contemporary improv, the music on Visitorscombines gripping melodic invention with deep textural intrigue. That the album could appeal as much to a Bowie or King Crimson fan as a listener steeped in the jazz sphere these three players inhabit says a lot about the seamlessness of Visitors’ ingenious stylistic blend.