2019 Jazz Releases, Vol. VII

Μodernjazz.gr has just completed three years of web activity and, deep down, it aligns with Thelonious Monk who allegedly stated that “writing about music is like dancing about architecture”. What a guy and what an ambiguous argument!
Things are already way out of hand and currently personal taste parties with marketing. Since the listener has, today, direct and free access to music, there is no need for literary recommendations any longer. A swift update is more preferable and modernjazz.gr tries – sometimes unsuccessfully – to follow this terse approach.
Apart from all that, the following playlist contains selected material of the last four months’ musical production, in order to shape a separate program with harmonious and rhythmic continuity, diversity and surprising alternations. Enjoy listening!

The playlist is available on Deezer and Spotify


All you need to know about the 32 contributing albums: 

Zac Zinger – Fulfillment
Genre: Fusion, smooth jazz, world
Label:  Zac Zinger
Country: ΝΥ, USA
Reviews: modernjazz.gr
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Bandcamp

Our playlist starts with two fine tunes, out from Zac Zinger’s debut album that was recently reviewed here in modernjazz.gr. “Cerberus” is a composition with extensive use of fourth intervals in melody and solo (see video and read analysis for music theory nerds..). “Koke Dera” comes next with a wonderful sakuhachi solo

Sergio Albacete – Ahora (2016/2019)
Genre: Contemporary jazz, post-bop
Label:  Blue Asteroid Records
Country: Spain
Reviews: Clasijazz
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Bandcamp

Saxophonist Sergio Albacete with his quartet, adroitly “walk between tradition and modernity”

Sinitus Tempo – Indigo Child
Genre: experimental hip-hop, nu-jazz, chill out
Label:  Sinitus Tempo
Country: Maryland, USA
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Bandcamp

Sinitus Tempo, an interesting producer 

Mashed Peas – Slightly Different
Genre: Contemporary jazz-funk, fusion
Label:  Bingosound
Country: Surheim, DE
Reviews: (about)
Listen: Deezer, Spotify

Max Rehrl (tp, keys, synth) sets a “slightly different”, entertaining 10-member band

Hikari Ichihara – Sings & Plays
Genre: Vocal jazz
Label: After Beat
Country: Japan
Listen: Deezer, Spotify

Trumpeter and vocalist Hikari Ichihara is cool, sweet and sensitive, on drumless interpretations of standards. (She herself is the daughter of a drummer.. Read this 2013 interview)

Lady Alma – Twilight 
Genre: Deep-house, R&B/soul
Label: Mashibeats
Country: Philadelphia, USA
Reviews: Global Soul
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Bandcamp

“Twilight is futuristic soul – syncopated beats infused with progressive electronic production”, describes Philadelphia’s Lady Alma.  “Renegade jazz and club music maverick” Mark de Clive-Lowe wrote the music and produced the album

Victor Gould – Thoughts Become Things
Genre: Modern jazz, post-bop
Label:  Blue Room Music
Country: NY, USA
Reviews: DLmediaDownbeatWrti.org
Listen: Deezer, Spotify

Advanced compositions and up to date, sophisticated solos on pianist Victor Gould’s praised third album, featuring renowned modern players, as Jeremy Pelt (tp), Dayna Stephens (ts), Godwin Louis (as), Anne Drummond (fl), Vicente Archer (b), Rodney Green (dr)

Kris Davis – Diatom Ribbons
Genre: Modern jazz
Label:  Pyroclastic Records
Country: NY, USA
Reviews: All about jazz, Pitchfork, Jazztrail
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Bandcamp

Another today’s modern jazz highlight by pianist Kris Davis and an all-star band: Tony Malaby (ts), JD Allen (ts), Esperanza Spalding (voc.) Nels Cline (g), Marc Ribot (g), Ches Smith (vbr),  Val Jeanty (turntable), Trevor Dunn (el. b), Terri Lyne Carrington (dr)

Bryony Jarman-Pinto – Cage and Aviary
Genre: Contemporary R&B, neo-soul, world/African
Label:  Tru Thoughts
Country: London, UK
Reviews: Popmatters
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Bandcamp

Lovely debut album by Bryony Jarman-Pinto, an “expressive and adventurous singer-songwriter, combining harmonious vocals and mesmerising jazz-fused melodies with personal and complex lyrics”. Her style and warm voice reminds us of Somi

Nikita Kana – It’s Time to Speak (2014/2019)
Genre: Contemporary jazz
Label:  Multiza Distribution Audio
Country: Moscow, RU
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Bandcamp

Awarded, young and promising saxophonist and composer Nikita Kana runs through a variety of styles, keeping it smooth and interesting

Jazz Workshop Orchestra meets Enrico Intra – Ennio Morricone Jazz Tribute
Genre: Contemporary jazz, big band
Label:  Urban Flamingo Records
Country: Italy
Listen: Deezer, Spotify

Pianist, composer and conductor Enrico Intra’s  nice arrangements for a surprisingly Good, (not) Bad, and (nor) Ugly Italian big band 🙂

Jesse Fischer – Cross Currents (EP)
Genre: Fusion, new Jazz
Label:  Soul Cycle Music
Country: Brooklyn, NY
Reviews: Nextbop
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Bandcamp

Keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist Jesse Fischer’s new album “reaffirms his tenure as one of the coolest dudes to serve up jazz-based neoteric soundscapes”Featuring Marcus Strickland (ts) and Nate Smith (dr)

Jazzmeia Horn – Love And Liberation
Genre: Vocal jazz
Label: Concord Jazz
Country: USA
Reviews: (about)All About Jazz, Allmusic, NPR
Listen: Deezer, Spotify

Following the success of her debut album “Social Call” (2017), by which she earned worldwide recognition and a Grammy nomination, 28 y.o. talented Jazzmeia Horn, with the rich, skillful voice and the vivid temperament, continues with this year’s “Love And Liberation”, where she also signs eight of the twelve album songs, along the tracks of the tradition, with A-class collaborators.
Victor Gould / Sullivan Fortner (p), Ben Williams (b), Jamison Ross (dr,  voc), Stacy Dillard (ts), Josh Evans (tp)

Sunband – FaceLift
Genre: Fusion, jazz-funk, new jazz
Label:  Pennave. Records
Country: Virginia, USA
Reviews: The Perfect Play
Listen: Deezer, Spotify

Modern, jazzy grooves by young cats

Roxy Coss – Quintet
Genre: Contemporary jazz
Label: Outside in Music
Country: USA
Reviews: All about jazz, Jazz Times
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Bandcamp

Roxy Coss (ss, ts), acclaimed saxophonist, composer and activist, is on her fifth album, giving us the opportunity to check all of her potential, through a mainstream program

Shakatak – In the Blue Zone
Genre: Smooth jazz
Label:  Secret Records
Country: UK
Reviews: Smooth Jazz Europe (search –> reviews –> Shakatak)
Listen: Deezer, Spotify

Veterans of the UK’s Jazz-funk/smooth-jazz scene, Shakatak cook tastefully, following their own old  but successful recipe. Till Bronner (tp) joins as guest

Kefaya, Elaha Soroor – Songs Of Our Mothers
Genre: Ethnic/world, fusion
Label: Bella Union
Country: London, UK
Reviews: (about)Financial Times, Bandcamp Daily
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Bandcamp

Afghan refugee, singer Elaha Soroor meets award-winning music/producer duo Kefaya, on stylish interpretations of traditional Afghan songs, passing from mothers to daughters

Michele Hendricks – Another Side
Genre: Vocal jazz
Label: Cristal records
Country: FR
Reviews: (about)Paris Move
Listen: Deezer, Spotify

A significant voice serving the demanding straight-ahead genre, Michele Hendricks plays it hot!

Grazie Wirtti, Matías Arriazu – Caçador de Infância
Genre: Vocal, Brazil
Label:  ECM Records
Country: Brazil/Argentina
Reviews: (about)Δισκορυχείον
Listen: Deezer, Spotify

A guitar/voice duo that brings magic! (Egberto Gismonti’s production)

Confusion Project – How To Steal A Piano? (2014/2019)
Genre: Modern jazz, fusion
Label:  Soliton
Country: Poland
Reviews: Polish Jazz Blog
Listen: Deezer, Spotify

Can’t resist to a virtuosic “Caravan” by Confusion Project, a bright piano-trio

Jazzkantine – Mit Pauken und Trompeten
Genre: Contemporary RnB/Soul/Funk
Label: Rap Nation Records / Monofon GmbH
Country: Braunschweig, DE
Reviews: musicheadquarter.de, uk-promotion.de
Listen: Deezer, Spotify

Twenty five years of Jazzkantine on the entertainment services!

Wanubalé – Phosphenes
Genre: Jazz-funk/hip-hop
Label:  Agogo Records
Country: Berlin, DE
Reviews: (about)
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Bandcamp

Α 9-piece youthful band, one of those refining the club culture..

Nalaya Brown – Let’s Get Personal
Genre: Vocal jazz, R&B/soul
Label: La Cúpula Music
Country: Ibiza, ES
Listen: Deezer, Spotify

Expressive, passionate and sensual, Nalaya is an awarded Spanish diva, musician and composer, with jazz, r&b, soul and Latin music influences

Humberto Ramirez – 8 Doors
Genre: Latin jazz
Label: Nilpo Music
Country: Puerto Rico
Reviews: metro.pr
Listen: Deezer, Spotify

Trumpeter and maestro Humberto Ramirez  is an outstanding figure of Latin jazz. During his long career, he has received several awards, he was four times Grammy nominated, having also played in the White House for Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama

Jungle Brown – Full Circle
Genre: rap/hip-hop
Label:  Mr Bongo
Country: UK
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Bandcamp

Quality and soulful rap/hip-hop

Joe Kaplowitz – Organic Intelligence
Genre: Contemporary jazz, big band
Label:  Aquarius Rec.
Country: Croatia
Reviews: mixer.hr
Listen: Deezer, Spotify

Joe Kaplowitz, a musician with a remarkable career in NY, here plays hammond organ and leads the Croatian Radio-Television Orchestra – with the good soloists – into nice, 60s jazz-grooves

Hiromi – Spectrum
Genre: Fusion, classical
Label: Telarc
Country: Japan
Reviews: (about)All About Jazz, Wiki
Listen: Deezer, Spotify

Extraordinary skilled pianist Hiromi “records the sound of her 30s” on a solo album – as always breathtaking!

Dosage – Theory of Pink
Genre: Electronica, avant-garde
Label: Les Disques du Festival Permanent
Country: Paris, FR
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Bandcamp

With a delightful experimental sound and sophisticated songs, Japanese composer, singer, musician, poet and performer Sayoko and her band, Dosage, manage to be unpredictable

John Coltrane – Blue World (1964/2019)
Genre: Jazz
Label:  Impulse
Country: USA
Reviews: All about jazz, NPR, Wiki
Listen: Deezer, Spotify

Time to remember the sound of the legendary John Coltrane Quartet, as a previously unreleased recording (1964) is on air. It had served as a soundtrack to French-Canadian director Gilles Groulx’s art film  “Le chat dans le sac” (The Cat in the Bag), containing versions of John Coltrane’s classics, plus a tune named “Blue World”, very similar to the well known “Out of this World”. Master’s solo here reminds of those on “Crescent” and on “Acknowledgement” (of “Love Supreme”) that came out just before and after this recording, respectively.

Juls – Colour
Genre: world/african, rap/hip-hop
Label: Lost Ones
Country: U.K.
Reviews: Elevator Mag
Listen: Deezer, Spotify

Contemporary danceable club music, by Canadian DJ and producer Juls

Peter Hand Big Band – Hand Painted Dream
Genre: Mainstream, big band
Label:  Outside in Music
Country:  NY, USA
Reviews: (about)
Listen: Deezer, Spotify

Guitarist Peter Hand’s new arrangements of jazz classics, with renowned collaborators. The Secret String Quartet contributes to a nice, original tittle track

Lady Donli – Enjoy Your Life
Genre: World/African, neo-soul, rap/hip-hop
Label: Makiyayi
Country: Lagos, Nigeria
Reviews: pulse.ng
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Bandcamp

Ending up with Lady Donli’s enjoyable debut album

Find again the playlist, here:


More 2019 releases are listed below:













F/b page: modernjazz.gr