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Andrew Cyrille, William Parker, Enrico Rava – 2 Blues for Cecil (TUM Records)
Three living free-spirited legends commemorate improviser Cecil Taylor by making music in their own style. Passing through the new doors they have opened using unique melodies, rhythms and harmonies, the listener experiences the pleasure of traveling in the dark waters of free improvisation, guided by three warrior. The T-shaped composition piece, measuring 190×190 in the cover photo, by Finish artist Ahti Lavonen. The design language of Finnish record label TUM, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year, will impress you when you hold the album, which will impress album collectors.
Avishai Cohen – Shifting Sands (naïve/believe)
Every musician have ups and downs in the career. From time to time, they cannot record albums that will satisfy their listeners. At this point, Avishai Cohen is out of the category. For his loyal listeners, each album is better than the last, and quality is, simply we can say quality guaranteed. When I first listened to Shifting Sands, I thought I liked the trio combination very well for Cohen. Azerbaijani pianist Elchin Shirinov and young female drummer Roni Kaspi have a very good chemistry with Avishai. A cult Avishai Cohen album with the unique sound signature of Swedish Nilento Studio was on the showcase this year.
Charles Mingus – The Lost Album from Ronnie Scott’s (Resonance Records)
This year, albums were released on the occasion of the 100th birthday of legendary Mingus, one of the leading figures of music. One of the most remarkable of these albums was the recording of his performance in London in 1972, released via Resonance Records. Along with the recording of approximately 2 and a half hours in two sets, the 64-page booklet also includes interviews, contribution articles of many important names such as Charles McPherson, Christian McBride and Eddie Gomez and unprecedented photographs. I add this album, which is of indisputable importance in terms of being a historical document, as the medal of honor on the my best of jazz list.
Dave Liebman – Trust and Honesty (Newvelle Records)
In Trust and Honesty Dave Liebman’s trio album released via Newvelle Records, Ben Monder on guitar and John Hébert on double bass accompanyed him. An intimate and humble portrait of a jazz master at the peak of his musical prowess. In Trust and Honesty, the trio reinvents well-known ballads such as Stella by Starlight, Blue in Green, Bye Bye Blackbird and new material in their unique way. A gem that will whisper softly to your soul.
Esbjörn Svensson – HOME.S. (ACT Music)
For European jazz lovers, Esbjörn Svensson is uniquely unique. Released via ACT Music label, HOME.S. Esbjörn Svensson’s solo piano album allowed us to hear the irreplaceable musician’s music that we have never heard before, years after his unexpected death. HOME.S. While listening to his recording, you hear that he made extensive use of his favorite classical music works. You can feel Esbjörn’s breath in the room you are in when you hear the unique improvisations that can easily be caught on the radar of the long-time followers of the group.
Gonzalo Rubalcaba – Turning Point/Trio D’ete (5 Passion Records)
Having spent his 35-years of career very productively, pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba released an exquisite recording with Matt Brewer and Eric Harland, two of the top caliber musicians of his generation. Especially the improvised solos are the kind that will showcase Rubalcaba’s flamboyant style. Rubalcaba’s piano style is characteristic and distinct, but the variety of productions is one that will never repeat one another. Turning Point/Trio D’ete is a Gonzalo Rubalcaba album that is about to become a classic with its modern sound, innovative attitude and strict adherence to its jazz roots.
JD Allen – Americana Vol. 2 (Savant Records)
After moving to New York, Michigan born JD Allen more than deserved to enter the pantheon of giants by working with all the top jazz musicians. It is a magnificent album with its deep tone, bluesy performance and deep breath that will make make you feel the Americana music tradition to your bones. It is an extremely hot proof that the concept of journey to the roots is a timeless resource. Outstanding sound quality from Savant Records as their sound signature, and top notch musicianship by Charlie Hunter, Gregg August and Rudy Royston. A musical satisfaction at the peak of pleasure awaits you with the technical perfection that JD Allen borrows from Dexter Gordon’s phrasing.
Kurt Rosewinkel – Plays Piano (Heartcore Records)
Kurt Rosenwinkel, who was almost as influential as Pat Metheny in the formation and development of the modern jazz guitar genre, puts his guitar aside and performs his own compositions on the solo piano. The project is characterized as a living retrospective of his spiritual and compositional connection to the piano, commemorating the death of his father, Lester Rosenwinkel.
Michel Petrucciani – Solo in Denmark (Storyville Records)
The history of jazz is full of surprise treasures that delight the listener. It is the recording of the concert performed by Michel Petrucciani, one of the most inspiring pianists of his time in terms of his lyrical approach and expressiveness, at Silkeborg Church in 1990 as part of the Riverboat Jazz Festival. A beautiful recording from one of his most energetic periods, when he was making his music as a hopeful music servant, despite his difficult years of struggling with growth retardation and muscle pains due to congenital osteogenesis imperfecta disease. Pay particular attention to his little rhythmic and melodic tags, which are little hints that make you smile for if you have well-trained ears.
Miguel Zenon – Musica de Las Amaricas (Miel Music)
Nominated for this year’s Best Latin Grammy Album, alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon’s album is a project prepared by focusing on the history of the American continent before and after colonization, by translating the data obtained into the language of music. The album features Luis Perdomo, Hans Glawisching and Henry Cole, as well as Paoli Mejias, Daniel Diaz, Victor Emmanuelli and Los Pleneros de La Cresta. Stunning melodies, upbeat rhythms and improvisations that both swinging and astonishing with their solos. The muses flew from the America of our planet and inspired Zenon for creating this wonderful latin jazz album.
Oz Noy, Ray Marchica, Ugonna Okegwo – Riverside (Outside in Music)
New Yorker jazz musicians Oz Noy, Ray Marchica and Ugonna Okegwo’s album “Riverside” is their first album as a trio. Released on January 21, 2022, via Outside in Music. Three experienced and creative souls have come together to record a new perspective on the New York jazz and blues tradition. Musically and mentally, they made a life-saving record that was also uplifting in many ways. Featuring world-class jazz craftsmanship, this record is the perfect companion for any moment of the day.
Tyshawn Sorey Trio – Mesmerism (Self-released)
As one of my favorite drummers in the world of modern jazz drummers, wise man Tyshawn Sorey has exceeded my expectations with his album Mesmerism. It is an album that is faithful to the jazz tradition and woven with sterile sensuality, and potentially to be a masterpiece. Top musicians like Tyshawn Sorey, Aaron Deihl and Matt Brewer can reconstruct a new style while playing in their own compositions as we all know, but in Mesmerism they prefer to create their new world in compositions that we all know. I can’t decide which is my favourite, but Muhal Richard Abrams’ Two Over One and Rem Blues might be my favorite tracks from the album. All in all, I’m sure it will become a classic and will be remembered for decades to come.
- Bob James Trio-Feel Like Making Live!
- Charles Owens: Golden Moments
- Cory Weeds- Just Coolin’
- David Murray/Brad Jones/Hamid Drake – Seriana Promethea
- Hal Galper Ivory Forest Redux
- Henri Texier-Heteroklite Lockdown
- Pepper Adams with Tommy Banks Trio- Live at Room at the Top
- Pete Malinverni – On the Town: Pete Malinverni Plays Leonard Bernstein
- Steven Feifke and Bijon Watson – Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra
- Sun Ra Arkestra – Living Sky
- Tenor Time – Scott Burns / John Wojciechowski / Geof Bradfield
- Walter Smith III & Matthew Stevens – In Common III