Best Of 2021

Best jazz album (smaller group): Fred Johnson/Andre Weiss ‘Duo’

Fred Johnson/Andre Weiss ‘Duo’

Vocalist Johnson, long a Bay area treasure, cut this unpretentiously soulful and swinging album in Nashville with guitarist Weiss. The 9-track program features straightforward versions of decades-old standards—“All of Me,” “Autumn Leaves,” “Stormy Weather” and the like—save for one original, the simmering confessional “Unconditional Love,” the record’s standout track. The spare instrumentation showcases Johnson’s remarkably powerful, pliable and rangy pipes. At age 70, Johnson’s vocal prowess is a marvel.

See all the winners from Best of the Bay 2021