Imitonios – 2018 Jazz Releases, Vol. XII

The end of the year brought to light several albums without any special promotion, or recognition, and this playlist, perforce made from rare materials, is yet another opportunity to ascertain the high level of today’s jazz, turning us optimistic about the future!
Let us also hope that all of this artistic overproduction will find its audience, and all of us can give it a push! You may start listening right away, there is some fine jazz to be discovered again, here!

Listen for free on music streaming services


(playlists are not identical, as Spotify misses two albums)

Find information about contributing albums: 

Marcus Lewis Big Band – Brass and Boujee
(Big band, rap/hip-hop) – Kansas City, Missouri
[ Review 1 ]   [ Review 2 ]    [ Bandcamp ]

The highlight of our current playlist is “Brass and Boujee“, by trombonist and bandleader Marcus Lewis, who made these arrangements for two “dapper” rappers, Kadesh Flow (a trombonist, also, himself) and Kemet the Phantom. As a result, hip-hop is unusually matched with jazz/rnb big band sound, on a tasteful coexistence that demonstrates the continuity of black music and follows the tendency of blending styles

Igor Yakovenko Trio – Troika
(contemporary jazz) – Moscow, Russia    [ Bandcamp ]

Interesting reharmonizations of standards and some originals, by virtuoso pianist Igor Yakovenko and his trio



Allison Au Quartet – Wander Wonder
(modern jazz) – Toronto.  [ AAJ review ]   [ Βandcamp ]

Modern, kind of Wayne Shorter/Steve Coleman compositions and inventive phraseology, by young and skillful Canadian saxophonist Allison Au and her JUNO-awarded quartet


Tom Neale – The Realm
(fusion, electronic) – London, UK  [ Bandcamp ]

Cool, mostly electronic groove, by saxophonist and composer Tom Neale



Dave O’Higgins Trio + Max Ionata – Tenors of Our Time
(contemporary jazz) – London, UK  [ Interview ]   [ Bandcamp ]

Anglo-Italian collaboration and contemporary hardbop, by two remarkable sax players with hammond organ support. You can find their soli on “You’re Nicked”, transcribed by the famous Steve Neff


Joel Holmes – Expansion
(contemporary jazz-funk/rnb/neosoul) – [ Review ]

An enjoyable program of contemporary black music, by renowned pianist and composer Joel Holmes, holding a rich bio



Anıl & Batuhan Şallıel – Şallıel Bros
(fusion, world jazz) – Turkey

Electric fusion quintet, by two brothers, hot saxophonists Anıl and  Batu Şallıel



Candice Reyes Quintet – Your Way
(vocal jazz) –  El Paso, Texas    [ Review ]

A fine treated “Speak Lοw”, with the participation of master Christian McBride (b) and Nathan Eklund (tp), calls for attention on this cute vocalist, Candice Reyes and her quintet, featuring saxophonist Abel Mireles


Magnus Bakken Quartet – Cycles (2015/2018)
(modern jazz, postbop) – Norway.  [ Review ]

Legendary George Garzone introduces his student, Magnus Bakken, who has already taken his own way


Anguish – Anguish
(prog rock, experimental hip-hop, free-jazz, electronic)
[ Review ]

Dark and impressive soundscapes under the responsibility of RareNoiseRecords, featuring, also, free-jazz saxophonist Mats Gustafsson


Lana Janjanin – A Minute of Love
(vocal jazz, neosoul) – Zagreb, Croatia

Wide-range composer, singer and pianist Lana Janjanin has an interesting personal style, with support of a large group



Scottish National Jazz Orchestra – Sweet Sister Suite (by Kenny Wheeler)
(big band)  [ SNJO press release ]

Saxophonist Tommy Smith conducts and plays with SNJO, on a work by the unforgettable trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, commissioned in 1996 by this orchestra, now featuring soloist Laura Jurd (tp), and Irini Arabatzi (voc)
(not available on Spotify)


Vuxelle Vume – Snowbalena
(nu jazz, rap)

No information was found for this obscure album, where vocals and rap blend properly with mainstream jazz sound!
(not available on Spotify)



Art Bop Jazztet – L’art abstrait
(contemporary jazz, latin jazz) – France

Melodic, latin-bop jazz, with nice arrangements and appropriate soloing, by Art Bop Jazztet



Nico Marziliano – Alone in Action!
(contemporary jazz) – Italy

Mature solo piano interpretations of standards, with a taste of classical music, by Nico Marziliano


Charlie Porter – Charlie Porter
(contemporary jazz) – Portland, Oregon.
[ AAJ review 1,  review 2 ]     [ Bandcamp ]

Debut album by Charlie Portera rising trumpeter with brilliant, a la Wynton Marsalis sound, superb technique and remarkable credits.
Featuring John Nastos (as, ss), George Colligan (p), Chuck Israels (b) and many more

More releases you may be interested in: