2019 Jazz Releases, Vol. IV

Pretty voices, sophisticated saxophones and the necessary dose of “grooves & beats” complete the program of this month of fasting. Thus, we’ ll be able to remember April, whenever we need to go back to the past, searching for some meaning, carefully kept on these pages, courtesy of our well-known Spirit of Jazz. In other words, a bit of fresh and tasty jazz is to follow!

Listen on music streaming services:


(the two playlists are not identical, as Spotify is short of one album)

Learn more about the albums appearing in the playlist:

Smacktalk – Servin’ It Hot
(new jazz, neo-soul) – Seattle, Washington [Bandcamp][Review]

Fresh and rich sound from a youthful quintet, led by alto saxophonist Sidney Hauser



David Berkman Sextet – Six of One
(post-bop) – [Review]

Advanced post-bop, with polyphonic arrangements, rhythmic complexity and enough space for collective improvisation, by the inventive pianist David Berkman and his distinguished collaborators:  Dayna Stephens (ts, ewi), Adam Kolker (ss, bcl), Billy Drewes (as, cl),  Chris Lightcap (b), Kenneth Salters (dr). Guests: Tim Armacost (ts), Rogerio Boccato (perc)

Simon Sammut, Omar Vázquez – Gravity
(fusion, world) – [Review]

Simon Sammut (Malta) and Omar Vázquez (Mexico) are both bass players, who met each other on social media to groove together, with the help of some more musicians coming from their homelands


Hip Sista – Meets Horace Silver
(vocal jazz) – Argentina – [Video]

Hip Sista is a buoyant, impeccable and well-accompanied vocal group



Andy Emler, David Liebman – Journey Around the Truth

This time David Liebman (ss, ts, fl) meets Andy Emler (church organ) creating ambient soundscapes with a harmonic content reminding of Olivier Messiaen’s works


Ben Sluijs Quartet – Seasounds
(contemporary jazz) – Nederlands

Influenced by Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane and Dave Liebman, also classically educated, skillful alto saxophonist Ben Sluijs has acquired his own musical identity


(jazz, rock, electronic) – [Bandcamp]  –  [Press Release]

Today’s most cult drummer and his group show that people and robots ought to co-exist in our new hybrid world



J.Lamotta – Suzume
(neo-soul) – Berlin,  [Bandcamp]  [Interview] – [Review]

Sophisticated neo-soul, created by vocalist/producer J.Lamotta, supported by many other musicians



Jerry Bergonzi – The Seven Rays
(modern jazz, post-bop) [Review] – [Savant Records]

The album of the month comes from a great jazz master and his superb quintet!
71 y.o. saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi has never been awarded by the music industry, but he is a three times recipient of a NEA grant. Mostly known to the academic community, rather than to the wide jazz audience, Jerry Bergonzi’s playing runs through jazz history and – imho – his compositions, phraseology, maturity and means of expression are only comparable to those of Wayne Shorter..
The Seven Rays” refer to seven different jazz styles and their names come from inner philosophy and the function of the seven, bottom to top human energy centers: Intention, Magnetism, Creation, Harmony, Knowledge, Devotion and Order,  finishing up with a “Sun Worship Ritual”

Featuring Phil Grenadier (tr), Carl Winther (p), Johnny Aman (b), Anders Mogensen (dr)

Samadhi Quintet – Re:issued 
(modern jazz, fusion) – London – [Bandcamp]

Samadhi Quintet is led by drummer/composer Sam Gardner, for an album “combining the rhythms of Indian and Latin American music, with the beats of hip-hop and the language of Jazz, to create a truly unique sound…” Featuring  percussionist Sam Bell
(This album is not available on Spotify, so we have a tune of it only on Deezer’s  playlist)

Nana Caymmi – Nana Caymmi Canta Tito Madi
(world, Brasil)

Genuine Brazilian idiom, by 77 y.o. diva Nana Caymmi, who sensationally interprets Tito Madi’s  beautiful songs



SFJazz Collective: Music of Antônio Carlos Jobim & Original Compositions – Live: Sfjazz Center 2018
(modern jazz, latin jazz) – [Review] 

Every year, the famous San Francisco Jazz Collective makes a tribute to a different composer, this time was Antônio Carlos Jobim’s turn, while the program of their concert is always filled with new compositions for their world tour

Miguel Zenón (as), David Sánchez (ts), Etienne Charles (tr), Robin Eubanks (trb), Warren Wolf (vib), Edward Simon (p), Matt Brewer (b), and Obed Calvaire (dr)

Risa Branch – I Thought About You
(vocal jazz, rnb) – ΝΥ

On her debut album, with her bluesy, spicy voice Risa Branch goes back to the roots



Quiana Lynell – A Little Love
(vocal jazz) – [Review]    [Concord rec.]

Terence Blanchard protégéQuiana Lynell, is the winner of the “2017 Sarah Vaughan International Voice Contest”. A classy, rounded voice, interpreting jazz standards and more, with ease and sweetness
Featuring Cyrus Chestnut (p), Jamison Ross (dr), Ed Cherry (g), George DeLancey (b) and Monte Croft (vib)


Herlin Riley – Perpetual Optimism
(contemporary jazz) – New Orleans – [AAJ review]

Best known as Ahmad Jamal’s and Wynton Marsalis’ sideman, a member also of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, experienced drummer Herlin Riley, on his first, mainstream album, highlights the melodic aspect of the drum set, mainly by his own compositions.
Featuring Emmett Cohen (p), Russell Hall (b), Godwin Louis (as), Bruce Harris (tr)

Listen to the playlist here:


Discover some more recent releases, by well-known jazz artists:



  • Alex Sipiagin – Nofo Skies
    (ft. Will Vinson, Chris Potter, John Escreet, Matt Brewer, Eric  Harland)
  • Alex Tassel – Past&Present / A Quiet Place
    (ft. Rick Margitza/Viktor Nyberg/Julien Charlet – Manu Katché/Reggie Washington/Christophe Panzani)
  • Raynald Colom – The Barcelona Session
    (ft. Lluc Casares, Danny Grissett, Joe Sanders, Greg Hutchinson)
  • Warren Vaché – Songs Our Fathers Taught Us
  • Jeremy Dumont (5tet) –  Eretz
    (ft. Gordon Louis)








email: imitonios@modernjazz.gr