Imitonios – 2017/2018 Jazz Releases, Vol. I

The other day, as I was anxiously going through all the decent lists with the “Best Jazz Albums of 2017”, in case something important has eluded me, the Spirit of Jazz appears and says to me confidentially:
– Here, take this “Divine Golden” amulet “JuJu”, made by “The Man I Love”; you know, the one with the “Angel Eyes” ! You ‘ll see that you will get this “Expressive Idea” you are looking for, after you realize that “Peace Starts Inside you” ! And I, you should know, just like “Eleanor Rigby”, “The Only Thing I Do is Think of You” so that you can transform this Balkan “Dance Suite” in a “Tumbao Cachao” rhythm, in front of the “Hidden Corners” of “Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Lues-Are”, the historic blues/hotel in “Metropole”, where Thelonious used to hang out, because of baroness Nica.
In case of “Danza Impossible”, It explains “Tenderly”, it doesn’t matter. You just “See the Pyramid”,  but watch out; she is “Dangerous” like a pair of “Dark Eyes” “Into the Night”! But soon after, “A Chinese Butterfly” will appear and with “A Pat on the Shoulder” she will ask for “El Agua Y La Miel ”. Give them to her and she will take you along to “A Night in Tunisia”. And just before you leave “Get the Money” that I have kept somewhere near to where “The Water Rises”!
So the Spirit spoke and It vanished… It didn’t take long for me to understand that It had given me tips for the new playlist ! In order to thank It, I got down to work (that’s what it’s called now 🙂 ) and here is the outcome!

(listen to the full playlist for free, via the music streaming services, Spotify misses track. 24 of 25)

For more information about the 25 albums of 2017 and 2018 that appear in the playlist, read below:


At the very start, we get in tune with the alternative Dede’s hip-hop. Then comes, having great chops, 75 yo Dr. Lonnie Smith, who records every year at Blue Note. After him, Coppe’ – the Mother of Japanese electronica – plays around smartly with some standards, while Margo Rey shines on the classic repertoire, supported by a wonderful latin jazz band.


João Barradas is a 25 year old accordionist from Portugal, introduced to us by his tutor, the experienced freebop saxophonist Greg Osby, followed by the well known flutist Nicole Mitchell with her spiritual, neo-modal, multi-styled band. After that comes, the successful German trumpeter Till Brönner, who, together with bassist Dieter Ilg, perform exquisitely as a duet and Joel Levine, Dr. of biology, on an amazing jazz performance with a humble recorder, together with veteran drummer Lenny White’s sophisticated  band.


Kolsmcha, on the other hand, is a world famous contemporary klezmer quintet, including a flute and an amazing clarinet, composing here ballet music for a full symphonic jazz orchestra. Oscar Cartaya freshens up the latin tradition, which requires bassists being leaders and Jano is an Italian group with consistency and a distinct style.
In 2017, a forgotten recording for the film Les Liaisons Dangereuses, by the eternally modern Thelonius Monk quartet, was released in Paris.


The fresh NuJazz, dance, electronic sound comes from the band ‘Anomalie’; pianist Maria Sanchez, with her latest modern quintet album, is included in many ‘Best of 2017’ lists, our beloved and well known guitarist Gilad Heckelsman reaches a high level of skill and aesthetics, accompanying lusciously Lilly’ s voice, while saxophone champion Walt Weiskopf, with his unique sound, style, skill and power is on a European tour, together with pianist Carl Winther’s super trio, already having released a new album.


Fresh Selects  is a recording company from Oregon, specialized in modern alternative beat and after that, we have the quartet of Bilal Karaman, a Turk rising virtuoso guitarist who plays, of course, world, swing-gypsy jazz; the Italian band Gazzara serving diligently, for the last 20 years, acid jazz while the respectable pair Chick Corea and Steve Gadd put up a band, so that they can recall the past and refresh our memory with new and old compositions.


The Real Thing band (lending their cover to our playlist) is an experienced and impeccable Hammond B quartet, that insists on classical style.
We have already paid tribute to talented Silvana Estrada; the Spaniards Skalone is a dynamic band that every jazz club would like to have them on stage for a weekend live session and for the award winner Marquis Hill’s new album, our friends have already been informed.

The list concludes with the forthcoming success of the famous and productive Kronos Quartet, this time hosting Laurie Anderson. I hope you have two delightful hours, just like I had, listening to this rich, contemporary program.



Imitonios ©