Imitonios – 2018 Jazz Releases, Vol. IX

Vibrant, as always, with lots of new names and a considerable amount of piano works, the demanding playlist of the month thoroughly guides us through the rich world of modern jazz discography. A serious listening is recommended, although moments of relaxation will also be present. Industry of jazz education keeps well and our favorite music is expanding in all possible directions, so, optionally, can be danced, just like in the past! Everything, finally, is a matter of feeling!

Listen to this modern jazz blend on


These are the albums contributing to the playlist:

Tom Barford – Bloomer
(modern jazz, post-bop) – London

Winner of the “2017 Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize”, promising saxophonist/composer Tom Barford releases his debut album, as a quintet, with smart compositions, likable sound on tenor saxophone and clear, well-formed soli.    All About Jazz review – Also on Bandcamp


Camille Bertault – Pas de géant
(vocal jazz)
On her second album, this cool and virtuoso French singer, Camille Bertault, mostly known for scat-singing famous jazz soli, like Trane’s “Giant Steps”, highlights the remarkable expressive potential of her warm voice, through a modern program, mainly with original compositions. Featuring Michael Leonhart (tr., arr.),  Dan Tepfer (p), Jeff Ballard (dr) and more guests.
London Jazz News review and on YouTube (with Nelson Faria)

 WONK – GEMINI:Flip Couture #1
(neo-soul, alt. hip-hop) – Tokyo

Wonk are trendy! They define themselves as an “experimental soul band”



Cristian Sperandir – Bons Ventos
(contemporary jazz, world fusion) – Brazil

Winner of the “Azorean Music Award – MPB/2013 Best Instrumentalist category” Cristian Sperandir is a shining pianist, influenced by Chick Corea, Michel Camilo, Brad Mehldau and the pioneers of Brazilian style


Justin Kauflin – Coming Home
(new jazz) – California
Smooth, “new jazz” mood on award-winning pianist and composer Justin Kauflin’s new album, produced by Quincy Jones and Derrick Hodge (b).
Featuring Alan Parker (g), Chris Smith (b), Corey Fonville (dr)
Broadway World review


 Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra – Down a Rabbit Hole
(modern jazz, big band) – Berklee, Boston

A protege of legendary Bob Brookmeyer, Singapore born Ayn Inserto is a top rank composer/arranger/conductor. Here, her inventive work is supported  by the great soloists Sean Jones (tp), George Garzone (ts,) and John Fedchock (trb)    Press release


Simon Spiess Trio – Towards Sun
(modern jazz) – Switzerland

Counting a decade of collaboration and on their seventh album, this saxophone/bass/drums trio is very comfortable with taking on new adventures
About – Also on Bandcamp


 Paula Champion – My World
(contemporary rnb/soul)

Paula Champion, with her gospel roots, when she does not soulfully serve classic jazz standards, she turns into a “neo-soul” singer/songwriter, as it is clearly indicated by the album cover


Tony Bennett & Diana Krall – Love Is Here To Stay
(vocal jazz)

Both full of maturity, 92 y.o. legendary crooner Tonny Bennett and respectable jazz lady Diana Krall, accompanied by Bill Charlap trio, celebrate 20 years of friendship, paying a tribute to George Gershwin.
All Music review


Sarah Reich – New Change
(jazz, tap dancing)

Original, modern repertoire from Sarah Reich (performer, choreographer, instructor, composer), who uses tap dancing as a musical instrument, honoring its history

Dance Magazine review


Art Hirahara – Sunward Bound
(modern jazz, post-bop) – Brooklyn

“Modern jazz sensibility, or straight forward playing, with some hard swinging highlights”, by today’s jazz masters
Art Hirahara (p) Donny McCaslin (ts), Linda May Han Oh (b),  Rudy Royston (dr)


Elements – The Alchemy
(world jazz) – San Francisco
Elements trio bridges delightfully the world of Jazz, with that of Indian classical music
George Brooks (ss), Kala Ramnath (vln) and Gwyneth Wentink (harp)
About (Six Degrees Rec.)  –  Also on Bandcamp


Yellowjackets – Raising Our Voice
(contemporary jazz, vocal)
Grammy winner, classy Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza sets the mood on this Yellowjackets latest album
Personnel: Russell Ferrante (p), Bob Mintzer (ts, ss), Dane Alderson (b), William Kennedy (dr), Luciana Souza (voc)
All Music review


Kim Waters – What I Like
(smooth jazz)

Eminent, “smooth urban jazz” saxophonist Kim Waters, is romantic, but also funky and plays himself the bass, guitar and the keys, almost on every track of this new recording
Smooth Jazz Ride review


Miguel Zenón – Yo Soy La Tradición (feat. Spektral Quartet)
(modern jazz, world, classical) – Chicago
One of the most distinguished alto saxophonists of our times, Miguel Zenón has composed a sophisticated work for alto saxophone and string quartet, where Ravel-like “harmolody”, is matched with his masterful improvisation on folkloric Puerto Rican lines, that mixture of African, native and Spanish influences. All about Jazz review


 Fazer – Mara
(modern jazz) – Munich

Fazer are five young musicians (two drummers, bass, guitar, trumpet) playing African and Latin inspired, complex, yet mesmerizing, rhythmic patterns, leaving space for modal improvisation. Also on Bandcamp


Mark Masters – Our Métier
(big band, free-bop)
Mark Masters, the well-known bandleader/composer/arranger, this time effectively works on the “free-bop” jazz genre, scoring for an all star, cross-generation Sextet (Tim Hagans, Oliver Lake, Gary Foster, Mark Turner, Putter Smith, Andrew Cyrille), plus a 12 piece Ensemble (with vocals, vibraphone and french horn included). Read Lynn René Bayley’s harsh review on his blog, THE ART MUSIC LOUNGE

Diego Franco – Chilacantongo
(modern jazz) – Mexico

A fine, latino-groovy and melodic jazz quartet featuring young cat Diego Franco (ts), together with Roberto Verástegui (p., nord), Gustavo Nandayapa (b), Benjamín  García (dr)

Review (ES)

 Now vs Now -The Buffering Cocoon
(Electronic, fusion)
Original electronic groove, or, as they proclaim, “progressive live-electro-future-wave”, from the acclaimed “new music” modernist, keyboard player Jason Lindner and his trio “Now vs Now, this time featuring bassist Panagiotis Andreou and drummer Justin Tyson.
Liner notes (Jazzland. Rec.)


Martin Joey Dine – Throwback to Childhood
(contemporary jazz) – France/Philadelphia

An exotic, swinging solo piano set of jazz standards from skillful Martin Joey Dine
Also on Bandcamp



Peter Gall – Paradox Dreambox
(modern jazz) – Berlin

An excellent quintet plays meaningful compositions on drummer/composer Peter Gall’s debut album

Read more details and listen also on Bandcamp


Jazzrausch Bigband – Dancing Wittgenstein
(big band, techno, fusion) – Munich

“The Jazzrausch Bigband is the world’s first resident big band of a world-renowned techno club”…, where “the creativity and sound diversity of a jazz big band meets the impressive clarity of a techno club – always surprising, always danceable!”  Find them on Facebook!


Kind Folk – Why Not
(modern jazz) – New York

Kind Folk is a piano-less, elegant and creative group of four rising stars, straight from the heart of modern jazz scene
John Raymond (tp), Alex Lore (as), Noam Wiesenberg (b), Colin Stranahan (dr)   All About Jazz review  –  Something Else Reviews


 Cecile McLorin Salvant – The Window
(vocal jazz)
Two Grammies winner, genius, talented and extraordinaire Cecile McLorin Salvant has released her fifth album. She duets with marvelous pianist Sullivan Fortner, and she has already faced some negative criticism from All About Jazz, arguing that this can’t be an everyday listening, although an exceptional one. On the sensational track “The Peacocks“, that our playlist wraps up with, Melissa Aldana on tenor saxophone!  All Music Review – Watch them on a recent Tiny Desk Concert

Playlist is available for free streaming, on


You may also be interested in these latest recordings from the top shelf:

Have a nice jazz time!