2020 Jazz Releases, Vol. II

Nowadays, music production has become much easier. Besides, conservatories and music colleges produce a large amount of qualified musicians who want their work to be recognized. As a result, in the field of jazz and jazz-related genres, we currently have over 200 new releases per week!
This content supply is much higher than the demand of the relatively small number of jazz listeners, so the question is how the costs of such ventures are covered and, generally, how creative musicians can survive..
From the artistic point of view, however,  things are getting more and more interesting, thus, the presentation of young and remarkable musicians is a major concern of this website. The rest is left to our fervor and patriotism!
So, “listen and note”, as they used to say on the radio!

Listen to the playlist on your favorite music streaming service. Enjoy!

Find below information about the albums of the playlist:

Stavros Manthos – Colors in Motion 
Genre: Contemporary jazz, post-bop, modal jazz
Label: 1826829 Records DK
Country: Athens, Greece
Reviews: Modernjazz.gr
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

This debut album, by Greek alto saxophonist Stavros Manthos and his quartet, has been reviewed on a stand-alone post

Simon Nabatov Quintet – Plain
Genre: Modern jazz, avant-garde jazz
Label: Clean Feed
Country: N.Y., USA
Reviews: About
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Renowned Russian pianist Simon Nabatov and his stelar group play modern jazz with a taste of contemporary classical music, also demonstrating a passion for Herbie Nichols’ music.
With Chris Speed (ts, cl), Herb Robertson (tr, crt), John Hébert (b) and Tom Rainey (dr)

Antonio Adolfo & Leila Pinheiro – Vamos Partir Pro Mundo
Genre: Vocal jazz, Brazil
Label: Deck
Country: Brasil
Reviews: Vocal sound of jazz
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Another famous pianist, musical director, arranger and composer from Brazil, Antonio Adolfo and singer Leila Pinheiro with her distinctive voice, interpret the composer’s and Tibério Gaspar’s wonderful songs

Roberto Vally – Tranquila
Genre: Smooth jazz, r&b, latin
Label: Bad Note Records
Country: L.A., USA
Reviews: Smooth jazz daily, Smooth-jazz.de
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Relaxing, delicate grooves, on bassist Roberto Vally’s third album, featuring David Benoit (p), Tom Schuman (p), Peter White (g) and other guests

Makar Kashitsyn – Jazz Animals (2019)
Label: Rainy Days
Country: N.Y.,  USA
Reviews: All about jazz, Downbeat, Jazziz
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Debut album by talented, virtuoso alto saxophonist Makar Kashitsyn (19 y.o.) and an all-star Russian/American band, shining on dynamic, mostly up-tempo, original post-bop compositions.
With Josh Evans (tr), Chad Lefkowitz-Brown (ts), Alexey Polubabkin (g), Alexey Podymkin (p), Makar Novikov (b), Sasha Mashin (dr)

Alicia Waller & The Excursion – Some Hidden Treasure (EP)
Genre: R&b, neo-soul
Label: Innova
Country:  USA
Reviews: About, All About Jazz
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

With her warm and rich voice, the classically trained soprano with R&B/Soul roots Alicia Waller presents four songs of hers, on an ideal debut EP album.

Xavier Thollard Trio – (Re)Compositions
Genre: Modern jazz
Label: Parallel Records
Country: Paris, France
Reviews: Le Jars Jase Jazz
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Re-composed, almost unrecognizable jazz standards, even a Chopin’s prelude, by genius and skillful  pianist Xavier Thollard and his trio with Matyas Szandai (b) and Simon Bernier (dr)

Kandace Springs – The Women Who Raised Me
Genre: Vocal jazz
Label: Blue Note
Country: USA
Reviews: All About Jazz, Allmusic, NPR, Downbeat
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal, Video documentary

“Album of the month”, by vocalist/pianist Kandace Springs, Blue Note’s galloping horse of the race for a Grammy! Kandace has an earthy and spontaneous temperament, a highly expressive calibre and sincere feel. Supported here by top-class players, pays the dues to the women who have inspired her  with their lives and songs. Ι think it’s time to welcome this new Jazz Diva!
With Steve Cardenas (g), Scott Colley (b) and Clarence Penn (dr). Featuring also Christian McBride (b), Norah Jones (voc), David Sanborn (as), Avishai Cohen (tr), Elena Pinderhughes (fl, voc), Chris Potter (ts), as guests

John Sneider – The Scrapper
Genre: Contemporary jazz, post-bop
Label: Cellar Live
Country: N.Y. USA
Reviews: All About Jazz
Listen: Deezer, Spotify,Tidal

Classy contemporary jazz with a mainstream approach, by trumpeter John Sneider and acclaimed collaborators: Joel Frahm (ts), Larry Goldings (keys), John Hart (q), Andy Watson (dr) and Andy Bey (voc), David Sneider (tp), as guests

Takeleave – Belonging
Genre: Hip-hop, broken beat, nu-jazz,  electronic
Label: Project Mooncircle
Country: Berlin
Reviews: Juno Download
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify,Tidal

Producer and multi-instrumentalist Takeleave  is a master of the today’s beats and grooves

Amanda Gardier – Flyover Country
Genre: Post-bop
Label: Green Mind Records
Country: Indianapolis
Reviews: The Jazz Kitchen
Listen: Deezer, Spotify,Tidal

Alto saxophonist, composer and educator Amanda Gardier’s  brings out her personal style, on a second album with her quartet.
Ellie Pruneau (p), Brendan Keller-Tuberg (b), Carrington Clinton (dr)

Andreas Schaerer, Hildegard Lernt Fliegen – The Waves Are Rising, Dear!
Genre: Modern jazz, vocal
Label: Act
Country: Berne, Switzerland
Reviews: About 
Listen: Deezer, Spotify,Tidal

Vocalist Andreas Schaerer and his 5-piece band  Hildegard Lernt Fliegen (meaning Hildegard learns to fly), on charming songs with complex arrangements and advanced soli
Benedikt Reising (bs, bcl), Mattias Wenger (reeds, fl), Andreas Tschopp (trb, tba), Marco Müller (b) Christoph Steiner (dr, mba)

Mayte Alguacil and Michael Kanan – Something I Dreamed Last Night
Genre: Vocal jazz
Label: Fresh Sound New Talent
Country: Spain
Reviews: About
Listen: Deezer, Spotify,Tidal

With a disarming simplicity, sensitivity and voice clarity, Mayte Alguacil sings classic jazz songs, accompanied by Michael Kanan on piano

Tony Saunders – Sexy Somethin
Genre: Smooth jazz
Label: San Francisco Records
Country: San Francisco
Reviews: JW Vibe
Listen: Deezer, Spotify,Tidal

When lightness is a necessity, smooth jazz can still offer solutions and bassist/composer Tony Saunders successfully works on that

Daniel Carter, Patrick Holmes, Matthew Putman –  Whoadie
Genre: Creative music
Label: 577 Records
Country: New York
Reviews: About
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify,Tidal

Virtuosity, musicality and inspiration by an out of tune piano, by the free jazz – rather underrated -legend Daniel Carter (saxes, cl, fl, tr),  Patrick Holmes (cl) and Matthew Putman (p)

Steve Hamilton – Hamland
Genre: Jazz-funk, smooth jazz
Label: Steve Hamilton Music
Country: UK
Listen: Deezer, Spotify,Tidal

Steve Hamilton is an award winning composer and saxophonist, here assigning the tuba to take the role of the bass instrument, on his funky arrangements

n’sawa-saraca – another town
Genre: New jazz
Label: Ropeadope
Country: Tokyo, Japan
Reviews: About
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify,Tidal

Yasushi Karasawa is a forward-thinking keyboardist, refreshing the sound of jazz, together with Osamu Inoue (ts), Yoshimasa Otsuka (b), Yosuke Hase (dr)

Sarah Murcia – Eyeballing
Genre: Modern jazz, progressive
Label: DStream
Country:  Paris, France
Reviews: All About Jazz
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify,Tidal

Double bass player, singer, pianist, composer and producer Sarah Murcia has a strong, innovative, personal style, combining modern jazz, poetry, prog-rock and beats, with the help from three fine musicians: Olivier Py (ts, ss), François Thuillier (tba),  Benoit Delbecq (e-dr, p)

Wayne Shorter, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis  -The Music of Wayne Shorter
Genre: Big band, post-bop
Label: Blue Engine Records
Country:  USA
Reviews: Glide Magazine
Listen: Deezer, Spotify,Tidal

In 2015, the formidable 81 y.o. Master joined the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis onstage for three unforgettable nights. Some parts where immediately available on YouTube and were praised on one of the first posts of modernjazz.gr. Now, the full document is available on all platforms and formats

Rejoicer – Spiritual Sleaze
Genre: Hip-hop, ambient, electronic
Label: Stones Throw
Country:  L.A. USA
Reviews: About
Listen: Bandcamp. Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Producer Rejoicer (Yuvi Havkin), from Tel-Aviv, is definitely on the cool side

Giorgi Mikadze – Georgian Microjamz
Genre: Microtonal music, fusion, folk
Label: RareNoiseRecords
Country:  L.A., USA
Reviews: The progressive aspectSomething else reviews
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify,Tidal

Microtonalists’ gang striked again!
Giorgi Mikadze (microtonal keys), David Fiuczynski (fretless guitars), Panagiotis Andreou (fretless bass), Sean Wright (drums)

Ola Onabule – Seven Shades Darker (2011)
Genre: R&b/soul
Label: Rugged Ram Records
Country:  UK
Reviews: Soultracks
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify,Tidal

British-Nigerian singer/songwriter Ola Onabule’s highly recommended album (2011) stands here by mistake, as it was just released on Deezer and I thought it was new..

Jazzrausch Bigband – Beethoven’s Breakdown
Genre: Crossover jazz, big band, techno
Label: ACT Music
Country:  Germany
Reviews: About, All about jazz
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Rising to fame, Jazzrausch Bigband, with trombonist Roman Sladek and guitarist Leonhard Kuhn as leaders, transcribes Beethoven to fit dance clubs needs. Featuring Nils Landgren (trb)

Witch Prophet- DNA Activation
Genre: Jazz hip-hop, world/Ethio
Label: Heart Lake Records
Country:  Toronto, Canada
Reviews: Daily bandcamp, Now Toronto
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Producer SUN SUN sets modern sound environments for the Ethiopian originated, singer/songwriter Witch Prophet, dealing with sociopolitical issues

Roscoe Mitchell, Ostravaska Banda – Distant Radio Transmission
Genre: Avant-garde, experimental, classical, electronic
Label: Wide Hive Records
Country: USA
Reviews: About, N.Y. Times
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, best known as a founding member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, is also a creative composer of 21th century music

Chicago Yestet – Not There Yet
Genre: Big band, contemporary jazz
Label: Chicago Yestet
Country:  Chicago, USA
Reviews: Black grooves
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Original compositions, with plenty of harmony and syncopated grooves, spoken word and vocals, by the Chicago Yestet band, that has “a mind to social consciounsness”

Elsa Nilsson – Hindsight
Genre: Modern jazz
Label: Bumblebee Collective
Country:  N.Y., USA
Reviews: Jazziz, Textura.org
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal 

Lyrical, yet filled with tension compositions, serving as a political protest through music, by awarded Swedish-born flutist/composer Elsa Nilsson and her quartet. Jeff McLaughlin (g), Alex Minier (b), Cody Rahn (dr, perc)

Aubrey Johnson – Unraveled
Genre: Vocal  jazz
Label: Outside in Music
Country: N.Y, USA
Reviews: About, All about jazz
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Tidal 

Sweet songs from a noble soprano voice, the acclaimed Aubrey Johnson, a both classically and jazz educated singer/song-writer, arranger and bandleader, on her debut album

Jonathan Bousquet – Tiny Circus
Genre: Jazz hip-hop, broken beat
Label: 1799832 Records DK
Country: Massachusetts, USA
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify, Tidal 

Melodic lines, over modern groovy textures, by saxophonist Jonathan Bousquet and his band, Tiny Circus

Frank Gratkowski, Simon Nabatov, Dominik Mahnig – Dance Hall Stories
Genre: Avand-garde/free
Label: Leo Records
Country: Cologne, DE
Reviews: About
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify, Tidal

Improvised sessions by the experienced Frank Gratkowski (reeds) – Simon Nabatov (p) duo/trio with Dominik Mahnig (dr)

Listen to the playlist on your favorite music streaming service. Enjoy!












  • João Barradas – Portrait
    (ft. Mark Turner)


  • Antonio Serrano – Tootsology
    (ft. Toots Thielemans)







Have a nice Jazz time!