2020/2021 Jazz Releases, Vol. 1

Winter aids us in concentration; and, in a sense, lockdown does so even more. So, now is the time to follow and enjoy more demanding and abstract forms of Musical Art, which, quite incidentally, are being released in abundance during this season.
And so, without further ado, in this small collection, “avant-garde jazz”, “free improvisation”, “new music” and “contemporary cross-genre sounds” have prevailed. Happy listening!

Enjoy the playlist on music streaming services

(misses two tracks)

A remarkable album that can not be included in the playlist

The Warriors Of The Wonderful Sound – Soundpath (2020)
(Composed by Muhal Richard Abrams)
Genre: avant-garde/free, free-bop, big band
Label: Clean Feed
Place: Philadelphia, US / Lisbon PT
Reviews: AllAboutJazz, JazzTrail
Listen: Bandcamp

A 40-minute musical work that vividly sketches the contribution of free jazz to the evolution of music, with The Warriors Of The Wonderful Sound (a big band by Bobby Zankel) who played historical pianist and composer Muhal Richard Abrams’ (1930 – 2017) last composition, and improvised between its six written parts. The counterpoint logic, the continuous moving forward and the other musical elements are explained in detail by the conductor, saxophonist Marty Ehrlich, in the review on AllAboutJazz. This important document is available for listening and purchase, exclusively on Bandcamp, and therefore can not be included in the playlist

Information about the 11 albums contributing to the playlist

Nicolas Repac – Rhapsodic
Genre: Electronic, World
Label: No Format!
Place: Paris, FR
Reviews: –
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify, YouTube

Guitarist and producer Nicolas Repac edits pioneering ethnomusicologist Charles Duvelle’s musical material and mixes it with modern sounds to create an original and interesting result

Aki Takase, Christian Weber, Michael Griener – Auge
Genre: Experimental jazz, free improvisation
Label: Intakt Records
Place: Berlin, DE / Zurich, CH
Reviews: AllAboutJazz, JazzTrail
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify

A dynamic and adventurous trio, by the renowned pianist Aki Takase, being active for more than 40 years in the international scene of improvised music

Apifera – Overstand
Genre: Fusion, beats, electronic
Label: Stones Throw
Place: Los Angeles
Reviews: NarcMagazine, LoudAndQuiet
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify, YouTube

Nature-inspired, composite, organic soundscapes, on a debut album by Israeli group Apifera.
(Nitai Hershkovits – keys, Yuval Havkin, aka Rejoicer – keys, Yonatan Albalak – b, Amir Bresler – dr)

Wayne Alpern – Jukebox 
Genre: Jazz, classical
Label:  Henri Elkan Music
Place: New York
Reviews: JazzWeekly, BebopSpokenHere, MichaelDoherty’sMusicLog
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, YouTube

Dorian Wind Quintet plays Wayne Alpern’s classical arrangements of jazz and pop standards.
Gretchen Pusch (flute), Gerard Reuter (oboe), Benjanim Fingland (clarinet), Karl Kramer-Johansen (horn), Adrian Morejon (bassoon) 

Veronika Harcsa, Anastasia Razvalyaeva, Márton Fenyvesi – Debussy Now! 
Genre: Jazz, classical, vocal, electronic
Label: BMC Records
Place: Hungary
Reviews: JazzJournal,  BMCrecords
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, YouTube

” … Harpist Anastasia Razvalyaeva, singer Veronika Harcsa, and guitarist and sound designer Márton Fenyvesi made contemporary transcriptions from Debussy’s finest chansons in which everything becomes possible …”

Alexander Hawkins, Evan Parker, Riot Ensemble – Togetherness Music
Genre: avant-garde/free jazz, contemporary classical
Label: Intakt Records
Place: UK / Zurich, CH
Reviews: LondonJazzNews,  Intaktrecords
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify

Contemporary symphonic sketches, by pianist and composer Alexander Hawkins and the legendary saxophonist Evan Parker as a soloist

Bram de Looze – Colour Talk (2020)
Genre: Modern jazz, classical
Place: Ghent, Belgium
Reviews: LondonJazzNews, JazzJournal
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify, YouTube

Modern piano-fantasies by talented Bram de Looze who plays a revolutionary grand piano designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly

Xavier Belin – Pitakpi
Genre: Modern jazz, fusion
Place: France
Reviews: ParisMove,  FranceMusique
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, YouTube

Αward-winning pianist Xavier Belin incorporates the rhythmic tradition (ti-bwa clave, tak-pi-tak-pi-tak) of his homeland Martinique, into the modern, Chick Corea/Gary Burton style of his quartet, complemented by Alexis Valet (vib), Elvin Bironien (b), Tilo Bertholo (dr)

Natsuki Tamura, Satoko Fujii, Ramon Lopez – Mantle
Genre: Avant-garde/free jazz
Label: Not Two Records
Place: Japan
Reviews: AllAboutJazz(1),  AllAboutJazz(2), SomethingElseReviews
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, YouTube

Trumpeter/composer Natsuki Tamura with his advanced technique, the iconic figure of free jazz, pianist Satoko Fujii and Spanish drummer Ramon Lopez, on a creative outburst, just after their 2019 Japan tour

Gazelle & the Bear – Weird Shaped Clouds
Genre: Hip-hop, neo-soul, new jazz
Place: Vienna, AT
Reviews: Hennesy
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify, YouTube

Cool and groovy songs of the time, from the fruitful collaboration between singer/songwriter Ines Kolleritsch and drummer/producer Julian Berann

Emmet Cohen – Future Stride
Genre: Contemporary jazz, post-bop
Label: Mack Avenue Records
Place: New York
Reviews: AllAboutJazz, GlideMagazine, JazzFM
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, YouTube

Winner of “2019 American Pianists Awards”, acclaimed pianist Emmet Cohen presents a contemporary version of stride piano, along with some more contemporary repertoire.
Ft. Russell Hall (b), Kyle Poole (dr), and Marquis Hill (tp, #2, 3, 7, 10), Melissa Aldana (ts, #2, 3, 7) as guests

Go to the playlist

(misses two tracks)

More new releases are listed below (links to Deezer)








  • Daniel Humair – Drum Thing
  • Ernesto Zeppa – Afuera (Club de Disco)
  • Arthur Hnatek Trio – Static (Whirlwind)
  • Will Glaser, Matthew Herd, Liam Noble  – Climbing in Circles  (Ubuntu)
  • Diego Pinera – Odd Wisdom
    [Donny McCaslin, Ben Monder, Scott Colley]