2021 Jazz Releases, Vol. 4

This is a cool and balanced collection that came out of the harvest done from the middle of April to the end of May. It is an overview of what happens today in the international jazz music scene. As always, it serves the needs of both our information and our auditory pleasure, in the shortest and most comprehensive way possible. It enables an in-depth exploration towards all directions, while briefly cataloging more notable releases. This is truly hard to find. Happy listening!

Listen to the playlist on music streaming services


All you need to know about the 19 albums contributing to the playlist


Jennifer Wharton – Not a Novelty
Genre: Contemporary jazz
Label: Sunnyside
Place: New York
Reviews: AllAboutJazz, JazzTrail
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify, Youtube

Four trombones at the front line is nothing new, there is a historical precedent.
Jennifer Wharton (bass trb), John Fedchock (trb), Nate Mayland (trb) Alan Ferber (trb), Michael Eckroth (p), Evan Gregor (b), Don Peretz (dr) and Samuel Torres (perc. – #1, #8), Kurt Elling (voc. #10), as guests

Alex Conde – Descarga for Bud
Genre: Contemporary jazz, flamenco jazz
Label: Sedajazz Records
Place: Valencia, Spain
Reviews: DownBeat, LatinJazzNet, MakingAScene
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Youtube

Was Bud Powell in his previous life, perhaps, a Spanish flamenco-composer? An album by amazing Alex Conde (p), Jeff Chambers (b), Colin Douglas (dr), John Santos (perc) and guests

Skúli Sverrisson with Bill Frisell – Strata (2018/2021)
Genre: Guitar jazz
Label: Newvelle Records
Place: Reykjavík, Iceland
Reviews: NewvelleRecords, AllAboutJazz, GlideMagazine
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify, Youtube

A veterans’ guitar duet, with a nice sound and lyrical mood.
Skúli Sverrisson – Electric & Acoustic Bass Guitar, Bill Frisell – Electric & Acoustic Guitar

Blue Lab Beats – The Sounds of Afrotronica
Genre: Acid Jazz, jazztronica
Label: Blue Adventure – AllPoints
Place: London, UK
Reviews: JoeBoothby
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Youtube

Producer Kaidi and multi-instrumentalist NK-OK are the successful and highly productive duo Blue Lab Beats, which can attract renowned guests, such as the trumpeter Theo Croker, among others

Sven Hammond – Sphere
Genre: Jazz-hop, soul
Label: Virgin Music Label And Artist Services Benelux
Place: NL
Reviews: Nieuweplaat, BluesMagazine
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Youtube

Hip-hop and soul in the blender with Thelonius Monk’s hard bop jazz, by Hammond organist Sven Figee and his group, Sven Hammond 

Rubén Blades, Roberto Delgado & Orquesta – SALSA PLUS!
Genre: Latin, salsa, vocal, big band
Label: Ruben Blades Productions
Place: New York
Reviews: JazzpressGpointAudio
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify, Youtube

The living legend of Latin music and winner of 17 Grammys, 74 y.o. Ruben Blades is in great shape, along with the hot Roberto Delgado Orquesta

John Daversa Jazz Orchestra featuring Justin Morell – All Without Words: Variations Inspired by Loren
Genre: Modern jazz, classical
Label: Tiger Turn
Place: Miami
Reviews: AllWithoutWordsAllAboutJazzMakingAScene
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Youtube

Inspired by his communication with his autistic son, Justin Morell composed this twelve-movement trumpet concerto, featuring John Daversa backed by a full orchestra of jazz and classical musicians, plus a choir

Aubrey Logan – Standard
Genre: Vocal jazz
Label: MWO Records/The Fuel Music
Place: L.A.
Reviews: Fye
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Youtube

Expressive and energetic, multi-talented Aubrey Logan sings, composes, arranges, and plays the trombone in a varied program full of surprises

Glenn Close & Ted Nash – Transformation: Personal Stories of Change, Acceptance, and Evolution
Genre: Modern jazz, big band, spoken word
Label: Tiger Turn
Reviews: LydiaLiebmanAllAboutJazzMakingAScene, LondonJazzNews
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Youtube

A multi-disciplinary work from saxophonist/composer Ted Nash, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, and iconic actress Glenn Close’s narration

Blue Lab Beats – We Will Rise
Genre: Hip-hop, Jazz-hop, electronic
Label: Universal Music Division Decca Records France
Place: London, UK
Reviews: BlueNote
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Youtube

Blue Lab Beats strike again, this time with an EP, featuring Ghetto Boy, saxophonist Braxton Cook, and others

Olivier Holland’s Gjazz 5 – Olivier Holland’s Gjazz 5
Genre: Funk, fusion, post-bop
Label: Timezone
Place: DE
Reviews: TimeZone, Album Teaser
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Youtube

“Funk, afro-style, hip-hop, disco, salsa, odd time signatures, ballads, and much more, in a dazzling mix of genres infused with jazz, that simply needs to be checked out!” – Timezone Records
Olivier Holland (b), Geoffrey Keezer (p), Terreon Gully (dr), Denis Gaebel (ts), Roger Manins (ts) and Joscho Stephan (g) as guest

Saki Kato – Anything Blue
Genre: Vocal Jazz, Pop
Label: Owl Pop
Place: Japan
Reviews: PRTimes
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Youtube

An interesting vocal jazz set with original compositions and jazz covers, by Saki Kato with the skilled voice and the quirky tone

Pierre Bertrand – Colors
Genre: Contemporary jazz, fusion
Label: Cristal Records
Place: France
Reviews: CristalRecords, ParisMove
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Youtube

Also known as a founding member of the Paris Jazz Big Band (1998), saxophonist/composer Pierre Bertrand is in search of a personal aesthetic in the modern jazz narrative, on the occasion of paintings by Jean-Antoine Hierro, a plastic artist who also signs the cover.
Starring Anders Bergcrantz (tp), Alain Gouach (keys), Christophe Wallemme (b), Laurent Robin (dr)

Alfa Mist – Bring Backs
Genre: Jazz-hop
Label: Anti/Epitaph
Place: UK
Reviews: Daily.Bandcamp, RiotMag, LoudAndQuiet
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify, Youtube

A commercially successful album of this collection – mutatis mutandis – by a producer, self-taught pianist, and rapper, with a constant presence in the playlists of modernjazz.gr. The admittedly talented Alfa Mist proves that the mixing of simple, soulful jazz with modern beats can have a strong impact, particularly on young audiences

Chris Potter Circuits Trio – Sunrise Reprise
Genre: Modern jazz, fusion, new jazz
Label: Edition Records
Place: New York
Reviews: DownBeat, JazzWise, JazzTrail, JazzTimes, SomethingElseReviews
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify, Youtube

A great master of the saxophone, 48-year-old Chris Potter develops his inexhaustible phraseology over the whole curriculum, in a modern, relentless rhythmic environment, created by the rising keyboardist James Francies and the famous drummer Eric Harland

Ralph Peterson – Raise up off Me
Genre: Contemporary jazz
Label: Onyx Music Label
Place: New York
Reviews: DownBeat, JazzTrailGlideMagazine, Jazz.fm
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Youtube

The latest recording of the unforgettable drummer, composer, and bandleader Ralph Peterson (1962 – 2021) depicts his solid and exuberant style, the one that immediately attracts attention and gets the blood pumping. He plays in a trio with his protégés, brothers Luques Curtis (p) and Zaccai Curtis (b). On three tracks, we can also hear the young diva Jazzmeia Horn (voc).  Eguie Castrillo (perc, # 6) also participates for the needs of latin style.
We will always remember with love the contribution of this “young lion” and Art Blakey’s protégés in the revival of hard-bop during the ’80s, not to mention his catalytic presence in the Greek jazz scene

Alex Sipiagin – Upstream
Genre: Modern jazz, post-bop
Label: Posi-Tone Records
Place: New York
Reviews: Posi-Tone, TheJazzWorldMakingAScene, JazzTimes
Listen: Deezer, Spotify, Youtube

This acclaimed trumpet player and the whole group are a reference point for today’s  jazz scene.
Alex Sipiagin – trumpet, flugelhorn, Art Hirahara (p), Boris Kozlov (b), Rudy Royston (dr)

Waves de Aché – Triptych Continuum
Genre: Contemporary jazz, jazz-hop, fusion
Label: Will Strickler Music
Place: Columbus, Ohio
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify, Youtube

A pleasing album with melodic orientation and a wide range of rhythmic elements, by Waves de Aché, a young trio by bassist Will Strickler and other participants in voice, trumpet, sax, guitar, and percussion

Alfred Lorinius, Stormfågel – The Picture
Genre: Modern jazz, fusion, new jazz
Label: toppkonst
Place: Karlstad, Sweden
Reviews: BlueBirdReviews
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, Spotify, Youtube

Where originality is a constant priority, bassist Alfred Lorinius and his sextet, Stormfågel, create a modern sound environment that doesn’t  lack intensity

Listen to the playlist on music streaming services


More new releases are listed below


  • Bob Mintzer & WDR Big Band Cologne – Soundscapes (Jazzline)
  • Aki Takase & Daniel Erdmann – Isn’t It Romantic?
  • Anthony Joseph – The Rich Are Only Defeated When Running for Their Lives
  • GoGo Penguin – GGP/RMX
  • Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas Sound Prints – Other Worlds (Greenleaf)
  • Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band – Soul Conversations (Outside in Music)
  • James Brandon Lewis – Jesup Wagon
  • Tower Of Power – 50 Years of Funk & Soul: Live at the Fox Theater, 2018
  • Gaël Horellou – Organ Power! (Fresh Sound)
  • Eric Séva – Résonances
  • Tim Berne, Chris Speed, Reid Anderson & Dave King – Broken Shadows (Intakt)
  • Benito Gonzalez – Sing to the World
    (ft. Nicholas Payton, Christian McBride, Jeff “Tain” Watts, ..)
  • Billy Bang – Billy Bang Lucky Man
  • Greg Germann – Tales of Time (Origin)
    (ft. Donny McCaslin, Luis Perdomo, Yasushi Nakamura)
  • Brian Bromberg – A Little Driving Music
    (ft. Dave Koz, Marion Meadows, Everette Harp, Nick Colionne, ..)
  • James Francies – Purest Form (Blue Note)
    (ft. Immanuel Wilkins, Joel Ross, Bilal, ..)
  • Edmar Castaneda – Family
  • Carl Winther – Live in La Paz
  • Taylor Eigsti – Tree Falls
  • Yiannis Papadopoulos – Mirrorself (Puzzlemusic)
  • Nils Landgren Funk Unit – Funk Is My Religion (ACT)
  • Obed Calvaire, Kevin Hays, Bob Franceschini & Orlando Le Fleming – Whole Lotta Love: The Music of Led Zeppelin (Chesky)
  • Dave Holland – Another Land (Edition)
    (ft. Kevin Eubanks, Obed Calvaire)
  • Mike LeDonne – It’s All Your Fault (Savant)
  • George Cables – Too Close for Comfort (HighNote)
    (ft. Essiet Essiet, Victor Lewis)
  • Portico Quartet – Terrain (Gondwana)
  • Florian Pellissier Quintet – Rio
  • Shawn Maxwell – Expectation and Experience (Jazzline)
  • Sons of Kemet – Black To The Future (Impulse!)
  • Noah Haidu – Slowly: Song For Keith Jarrett (Sunnyside)
  • Mark Soskin – Ballad for a Rainy Afternoon (SteepleChase)
    (ft. Rich Perry, Jay Anderson, Matt Wilson)
  • Dmitry Baevsky – Soundtrack (Fresh Sound)
  • Carlos Vega – Art of the Messenger (Origin)
  • Fabia Mantwill Orchestra – EM.PERIENCE (XJAZZ)
  • Keith Brown Trio – African Ripples
  • Willie Jones III – Fallen Heroes
  • Sophia Domancich – Le Grand Jour (PEEWEE!)
  • Marc Antoine – Something About Her (Shanachie)
  • Anna Webber – Idiom (PI)
  • Manuel Valera Trio – Live at Diese Onze
    (ft. Hans Glawischnig, Clarence Penn)
  • Lars Danielsson Liberetto – Cloudland (ACT)
  • Marius Neset – A New Dawn (ACT)
  • Michael Wollny, Emile Parisien, Tim Lefebvre & Christian Lillinger – XXXX (ACT)
  • Vincent Herring – Preaching to the Choir (Smoke Sessions)
    (ft. Cyrus Chestnut, Yasushi Nakamura, Johnathan Blake)
  • GoGo Penguin – Totem, James Holden Remix
  • Spike Wilner Trio – Aliens & Wizards (Cellar Live)
  • Jeff Kashiwa – Sunrise
  • Dimitris Tsakas – Back of Beyond
  • Zurich Jazz Orchestra – Dedications (Mons)