2019/2020 Jazz Releases, Vol. I

Cool vibes, jazz hip-hop, some decent trumpeters, some pianists with personality, the rest of 2019, a bit of mainstream to tune in, a bit of avand-garde to keep us alert, and so discreetly, without anything at first glance particularly impressive, but of an overall high quality that made the final choice difficult, this first playlist of the year tries, as far as possible, to highlight the most expressive and original. So, be ready for pleasant surprises!

Click on any of the buttons below and have fun!

Information and brief comments about the 24 albums that contribute to the playlist:

No Hood, Zablon & La Jota – Journey (12/2019)
Genre: Neo-soul, hip-hop
Label: Colligence Records
Country: Paris, FR
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Pretty cool contemporary songs by No Hood, featuring La Jota Mora-Mir (voc.), Zablon (g)

Daniel Schenker Quintet feat. Chris Cheek – Times of Innocence (2020)
Genre: Contemporary jazz
Label: TCB The Montreux Jazz Label
Country: Switzerland
Reviews: (About)
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Swiss trumpeter Daniel Schenker’s quintet on original bop-style compositions and soli, featuring renowned Chris Cheek (ts, ss)

Elusive  – Ambient Void (12/2019)
Genre: Ambient, beats, electronic, experimental
Label: Alpha Pup Records
Country: L.A., USA
Reviews: 48Hills.org
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, Bandcamp

Charming, futuristic soundscapes on musician and producer Aaron Koslow’s (aka Elusive) latest work

L’Indécis – Second Wind (5/2019)
Genre: hip-hop, jazz-hop
Label: Chillhop Records
Country: Rotterdam, NL
Reviews: Interview
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, Bandcamp

Jazz hip-hop grooves by multi-instrumentalist and producer  L’Indécis (Grenoble, France)

Don Menza quartet – The Rose (2020)
Genre: Mainstream jazz
Label: Challenge Records
Country: USA
Reviews: (About)
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Great, touching tenor saxophone sound, by legendary 83 y.o. Don Menza (Buddy Rich Big band), who “sings” the ballads, supported by Oliver Kent (p), Johannes Strasser (b), Bernd Reiter (dr)

SUKISHA, kiki vivi lily  – Over the Rainbow (12/2019)
Genre: Art-pop, hip-hop
Label: SUKISHA × kiki vivi lily
Country: Japan
Reviews: Tokyo phonic
Listen: Deezer, Spotify

Fresh, smartly treated, melodic songs on today’s beats, by producer SUKISHA and  kiki vivi lily (voc)

Theo Hill – Reality Check (2020)
Genre: Modern jazz, post-bop
Label: Posi-Tone Records
Country: USA
Reviews: ( About ), Something else reviews, Downbeat
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Fast flowing compositions and soli, nearly danceable, by talented pianist and composer Theo Hill and his all-star group: Joel Ross (vbr), Rashaan Carter (b), Mark Whitfield Jr. (dr)

Captain Supernova – The Voyage Never Ends… (10/2019)
Genre: Contemporary soul/funk, new jazz, electronic
Label: Ropeadope
Country: L.A., USA
Reviews: Next bop, Jazz Revelations
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, Bandcamp

Keyboardist and producer Eric Borders (aka Captain Supernova) is a forward thinking entertainer

Le Groove de l’Empereur – Le Groove de l’Empereur (05/2019)
Genre: Jazz hip-hop, funk
Label: MAD
Country: Montpellier, FR
Reviews: longueur d’ondes 
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, Bandcamp

Le Groove de l’Empereur is a 7 member band,  successfully mixing jazz with modern grooves

Peter Knight  – Daughter’s Fever (12/2019)
Genre: Art-folk, ambient, electronic
Label: P K M
Country: Melbourne, AU
Reviews: (About)
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Trumpeter/composer Peter Knight’s sophisticated project, in collaboration with singer/songwriter Paddy Mann, sound artist Grand Salvo and other experimental/new jazz musicians

Stefania Tallini, Matteo Bortone, Gregory Hutchinson – Uneven (2020)
Genre: Modern jazz, post-bop
Label: Alfamusic
Country: Italy
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Stefania Tallini, acclaimed Italian pianist/composer, in her own words: “… my music (especially in recent times) has become rather irregular in its aesthetics. And this goes hand in hand with my way of understanding life. I love more and more irregularity, asymmetry, unpredictability. I believe that what is sudden and unexpected is much more interesting than the “already known”, for better or for worse, even with all the risks that this entails. In particular, referring to this new trio, it was a long time since I played with this jazz formation and the need to do it was born suddenly, because in reality I was going to take a completely different musical direction In this new project, as in all my projects, there is a synthesis of the musical genres I play: jazz, classical music and Brazilian music. Various influences will therefore be felt in these new compositions of mine. ” 

Blue Lab Beats – Voyage (10/2019)
Genre: Beats, hip-hop, new jazz, neo-soul
Label: AllPoints
Country: London, UK
Reviews: Entertainment focus
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, Bandcamp

Blue Lab Beats, the two young producers, plus guests, infuse jazz in DJ music

Eric Vloeimans’ Gatecrash – Party Animals (2020)
Genre: Fusion, funk, world
Label: V-Flow
Country: Netherlands
Reviews: (About)
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Renowned trumpeter Eric Vloeimans and his group Gatecrash on a live recording, with “golden era fusion” and some Spanish flavored instrumental songs

Erik Jekabson Sextet III – One Note at a Time (2020)
Genre: Contemporary jazz, post-bop
Label: Wide Hive Records
Country: Bay Area, California
Reviews: (About)
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Minor, modal moods by trumpeter Erik Jekabson’s  Sextet, featuring Dave Ellis (ts, ss) and John Santos (perc)

Sabine – In a Key of Monk (2020)
Genre: Contemporary jazz
Label: Sage West Music Group
Country: L.A., USA
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Sounding so perfect on her Steinway piano, Russian-American pianist and composer Sabine interprets Thelonious Monk in her own, impressive way, out of an advanced classical technique

Alessandro Fabbri – Five Winds (12/2019)
Genre: Modern jazz
Label: Caligola Records
Country: Italy
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

A four-voices wind ensemble with a piano-less rhythm section, led by drummer Alessandro Fabbri, play interesting, “cool style” compositions. Featuring Pietro Tonolo (sax)

Elliot Galvin – Live in Paris, at Fondation Louis Vuitton (2020)
Genre: Contemporary classical, modern jazz
Label: Edition Records
Country: London, UK
Reviews: All about jazz, London jazz news
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Virtuoso pianist/composer Elliot Galvin is considered as a rising star of UK jazz

Gregory Porter – Spiritual Songs (2020)
Genre: Vocal jazz
Label: UMG Recordings, Inc.
Country: USA
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Gregory Porter’s warm and earthy voice, on three spiritual songs

Les Amazones d’Afrique – Amazones Power (2020)
Genre: World, afro-beat, hip-hop, vocal
Label: Real World Records
Country: Paris, FR
Reviews: (About), NPR
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, Bandcamp

Les Amazones d’Afrique is a pan-African female “supergroup”, musically dealing with political and social issues

Lito Vitale – Sólo Piano: Reflexiones  (2020)
Genre: Modern jazz, classical
Label: Ciclo 3
Country: Buenos Ayres, AR
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Pianist Lito Vitale’s  vibrant improvisations on classical, romantic moods

Jeff Rupert – The Ripple (2020)
Genre: Mainstream jazz
Label: Rupe Media
Country: Florida, USA
Reviews: Lemon Wire
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Conversation between two tenors, speaking the truth,  by Jeff Rupert (reminding of Stan Getz) and legendary stylist George Garzone

Vincent Courtois – Love of Life (2020)
Genre: Modern jazz
Label: La Buissonne Studios
Country: Paris, FR
Reviews: ECM
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

An unusual, sonic-stimulating trio by cellist Vincent Courtois and two reed-men, Robin Fincker (cl, ts) and Daniel Erdmann (ts)

Jun Miyake – Les traducteurs, Bande originale du film (2020)
Genre: Soundtrack
Label:  L’R du Trésor
Country: Paris, FR
Reviews: Cinezik
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

A soundtrack for a mystery film, by Jun Miyake who does not hide his inspiration from the historic “The individualism of Gil Evans”

Juno – Young Star (2020)
Genre: Jazz rap/hip-hop, prog-rock
Label: Jazzland recordings
Country: Trondheim, NOR
Reviews: ( About ), Prog jazz NL
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

JUNO is a 5 member youthful group from Norway, consisting of two vocalists, sax, bass and drums, with their own perspective, out of a wide variety of influences

Listen to the playlist below:

More recent albums that you may be interested in:




  • Hermine Deurloo – Riverbeast
    (ft. Steve Gadd, Kevin Hays)








  • Jason Kao Hwang, Carl Berger – Conjure






Hope you enjoy it!