2023 Jazz Releases, Vol. 4

As musicians themselves say, from a creative perspective, the lockdown had a positive impact in many cases. Therefore, in the post-covid era, we have several high-quality releases worthy of our attention. Samples of them will be found in this new playlist that covers the production of the last quarter. Ranging, as usual, from today’s beats to avant-garde “new music”, it’s a two-hour plus program that can withstand several spins!
By the way, modernjazz.gr has completed seven years of operation, thanks all of you who follow it, and wishes you a happy listening!


All about the albums contributing to the playlist:

Jazzrausch Bigband – Mahler’s Breakdown
Genre: Techno-jazz, big band, classical
Label: ACT
Place: Munich, DE
Reviews: RoughTradeParisMove
Listen: BandcampDeezer, SpotifyYoutube

The heretical Jazzrausch Bigband covers Gustav Mahler for the needs of dance clubs, dividing both the audience and critics

Steve Lehman, Orchestre National de Jazz – Ex Machina
Genre: Modern jazz, big band, avant-garde, electronics
Label: ONJ Records/Pi Recordings
Place: Brooklyn, NY
Reviews: AllAboutJazzJazzTrail
Listen: BandcampDeezer, SpotifyYoutube

Groundbreaking, multidimensional work by the saxophonist and composer Steve Lehman, utilizing Dicy2, a music artificial intelligence software. Collaborating are the Orchestre National de Jazz (Montreal) and the soloists Jonathan Finlayson (tr) and Chris Dingman (vibr)

Yami Maho & Shusty Bones – Quantum Fluctuation
Genre: exp.hip-hop, dub, folk
Label: Besser-Samstag
Place: Germany
Listen: BandcampDeezer, SpotifyYoutube

A production by the Besser-Samstag music collective, with many influences and an experimental disposition

Ivan Lins – My Heart Speaks
Genre: BPM, Vocal jazz
Label: Resonance Records
Place: ?
Reviews: AllAboutJazz, JazzWise, AllMusic
Listen: Deezer, SpotifyYoutube

The beautiful songs of Ivan Lins are showcased with the accompaniment of the Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra, orchestrated by Kuno Schmid. Featuring renowned contributors such as Dianne Reeves, Jane Monheit, Randy Brecker, and others

Yussef Dayes – Black Classical Music
Genre: Afrobeats, hip-hop, UK jazz
Label: Brownswood Recordings
Place: London, UK
Reviews: LondonJazzNewsPopMatters
Listen: BandcampDeezer, SpotifyYoutube

Debut solo studio album by the exceptional drummer Yussef Dayes, enriching contemporary rhythms with his virtuosity. It features notable collaborators from the British scene, such as Charlie Stacey, Venna, Shabaka Hutchings, Tom Mitch, and others

Hilario Duran And His Latin Jazz Big Band – Cry Me A River
Genre: Latin jazz, big band, post-bop
Label: Alma Records
Place: ?
Reviews: AllAboutJazzAllMusic, MakingAScene
Listen: Deezer, SpotifyYoutube

An enjoyable big band led by the distinguished Cuban-Canadian pianist, composer, and arranger Hilario Duran, featuring Roberto Occhipinti (b), Horacio ‘El Negro’ Hernandez (dr), Paquito D’Rivera (cl)

Jeff Lorber Fusion – The Drop
Genre: Smooth jazz, fusion, jazz-funk
Label: Shanachie
Place: USA
Reviews: AllMusicSomethingElseReviews
Listen: Deezer, SpotifyYoutube

Another album from the keyboardist, composer and producer Jeff Lorber with his band, the Jeff Lorber Fusion, which serves as a reference point for this accessible genre.
Jimmy Haslip (b), Gary Novak (dr), Cornelius Mims (b), Randal Clark (as), Paul Jackson Jr. (g), Mark Lettieri (g), and David Mann (horn arr.)

Devra – Devra
Genre: Jazz-hop, neo-soul
Label: Root Records
Place: Milan, IT
Listen: BandcampDeezer, SpotifyYoutube

A classic recipe of jazz-hop from drummer and composer Fabio De Angelis (aka Devra), with the right blend of brass, provided by Francesco Fratini (tp), Lorenzo De Luca (ts) and Zeno Merlini (as), also featuring Sara Vanderwert on vocals

Maria João & Carlos Bica Quartet – Close to You
Genre: Vocal jazz
Label: JACC Records
Place: Coimbra, Portugal
Reviews: UngerMusic
Listen: BandcampDeezer, SpotifyYoutube

Recent live recordings of the one and only Maria João. She is accompanied with great skill and taste by Carlos Bica (b), João Farinha (p), Gonçalo Neto, or André Santos (el.g).

EMAMKAY – Love Is Energy
Genre: Jazz-rap/hip-hop
Label: Soundspore Records
Place: South Africa
Reviews: ApparelMusic
Listen: BandcampDeezer, SpotifyYoutube

The spiritual side of jazz-hop, brought to you by the talented musician, MC, and producer EMAMKAY and his crew

Pascal Le Boeuf – Ritual Being
Genre: Modern jazz, contemporary classical
Label: Le Boeuf Brothers Music
Place: New York
Reviews: AllMusic
Listen: BandcampDeezer, SpotifyYoutube

Intriguing hybrid works from the acclaimed pianist and composer Pascal Le Boeuf, featuring virtuoso performers and soloists from the worlds of jazz and classical music, namely the string ensembles Friction Quartet and Shattered Glass, along with jazz musicians Remy Le Boeuf (as), Ben Wendel (ts), Linda May Han Oh (b), Justin Brown (dr), and more

Mario Biondi – Crooning Undercover
Genre: Vocal jazz
Label: Beyond Srl
Place: ?
Reviews: SoundArts
Listen: Deezer, SpotifyYoutube

Mario Biondi delves into the classic jazz repertoire and delivers some exceptional performances. Among others, he is joined by Paolo Fresu (tp), Stefano Di Battista (ss), Fabrizio Bosso (tp) and Simona Trentacoste (voc), who reminded us of Roberta Gambarini

Justin-Lee Schultz – Just In The Moment
Genre: Smooth jazz, new jazz, fusion
Label: Shanachie
Place: USA
Reviews: TheJazzWorld
Listen: Deezer, SpotifyYoutube

The 16 y.o. pianist and multi-instrumentalist Justin-Lee Schultz unfolds his talent in a predominantly light program, featuring collaborations with Robert Glasper, Dave Koz and Richard Elliot

Carsten Dahl – The Solo Songs of Keith Jarrett
Genre: Modern jazz, avant-garde, neo-classical
Label: Storyville Records
Place: Denmark
Reviews: ProgressiveRockCentral
Listen: BandcampDeezer, SpotifyYoutube

Pianist Carsten Dahl creatively engages with the work of Keith Jarrett. His sound palette consists of the Ensemble Midtvest string quartet, and a jazz quintet complemented by Palle Mikkelborg (tp),  Fredrik Lundin (ts),  Nils Bo Davidsen (b) and Stefan Pasborg (dr)

Jonathan Suazo – Ricano
Genre: Latin jazz, afro-caribbean, fusion
Label: Ropeadope
Place: Boston, Massachusetts
Reviews: LatinJazzNet, JazzWeekly
Listen: BandcampDeezer, SpotifyYoutube

Debut album for the Puerto Rican saxophonist and composer Jonathan Suazo, who expertly showcases the melodic and rhythmic elements of his musical heritage, along with many other collaborators. Also appearing as soloists are Miguel Zenón (as) and David Sánchez (ts)

Leon Phal – Stress Killer
Genre: Jazz-hop
Label: Heavenly Sweetness
Place: Paris, FR
Reviews: UkVibe, OsoTao, BeatCaffeine
Listen: BandcampDeezer, SpotifyYoutube

The French New Jazz scene is well represented by saxophonist Leon Phal and his acoustic quintet with Arthur Alard (dr), Rémi Bouyssière (b), Gauthier Toux (Keys) and Zacharie Ksyk (tr)

Terrace Martin, James Fauntleroy – Nova 
Genre: Hip-hop/neo-soul, jazz-hop, new jazz
Label: Sounds of Crenshaw / BMG
Place: LA, USA
Reviews: BMG, SoulBounce, HotNewHipHop
Listen: Deezer, SpotifyYoutube

In this production, the acclaimed saxophonist and producer Terrace Martin collaborates with the four-time Grammy-winning singer/songwriter James Fauntleroy, featuring also Robert Glasper and Chief Adjuah (Christian Scott) as guests

Jennifer Wharton – Grit & Grace
Genre: Contemporary jazz, post-bop
Label: Sunnyside
Place: New York
Reviews: MakingAScene, JazzSensibilities
Listen: BandcampDeezer, SpotifyYoutube

Contemporary mainstream jazz from Bonegasm, a unique ensemble featuring four trombones, led by Jennifer Wharton on bass trombone. The lineup includes John Fedchock (trb), Alan Ferber (trb), Nate Mayland (trb), Michael Eckroth (p), Samuel Torres (perc) and others.

Nicholas Payton – DRIP
Genre: New jazz, r&b/soul/funk
Label: Paytone Records
Place: New Orleans / Los Angeles
Reviews: TheUrbanMusicScene
Listen: Bandcamp, Deezer, SpotifyYoutube

A mellow rendition of the spectrum of Black music by the trumpeter, keyboardist, and producer Nicholas Payton and his distinguished partners. Featuring drummer Lil’ John Roberts and the Senators, and Robert Glasper, Patrice Rushen, Michael Franks as guests

Ethan Philion – Gnosis
Genre: Modern jazz, free-bop
Label: Sunnyside
Place: Chicago / New York
Reviews: MakingAScene
Listen: BandcampDeezer, SpotifyYoutube

A dynamic piano-less quartet from award-winning young master bassist Ethan Philion on his second album, along with Greg Ward (as), Russ Johnson (tr) and Dana Hall (dr)

Laura Misch – Sample The Sky
Genre: Alt.pop, vocal jazz, electronic
Label: One Little Independent Records
Place: London, UK
Reviews: JazzSensibilities, LoudAndQuiet
Listen: BandcampDeezer, SpotifyYoutube

With her sax, synths and a sweet voice reminiscent of Somi, Tom Misch’s sister Laura Misch is inspired by Nature and earns a place in our collection. Featuring William Arcane (comp. synths, prod.), Marysia Osu (harp), Tomáš Kašpar (g)

Karl-Martin Almqvist, Carl Winther – A Ballad Moment: Second View
Genre: Mainstream jazz
Label: amm
Place: Denmark
Listen: Deezer, SpotifyYoutube

Saxophonist Karl-Martin Almqvist, with his beautiful, full-bodied sound, and the renowned pianist Carl Winther shape a quartet to masterfully bring out classic jazz ballads

Luigi Grasso, Orchestra Senzaspine, Tommaso Ussardi – Dantesca
Genre: Contemporary jazz, classical
Label: LP 345 Records / Diggers Factory
Place: Italy
Reviews: RadioFrance
Listen: Deezer, SpotifyYoutube

The symphonic side of jazz presented by the skilled soloist and composer Luigi Grasso (as) and the Orchestra Senzaspine (Bologna)

JGrrey – If Not Now?
Genre: Alt.r&b/soul/hip-hop
Label: Pace
Place: London, UK
Reviews: ClashMusic, Hunger
Listen: BandcampDeezer, SpotifyYoutube

Songs of the era from JGrrey who successfully communicates her concerns

For Free Hands, Alaa Zouiten – The passing on of the fire
Genre: World-jazz, fusion
Label: Laika Records
Place: Bremen, Germany
Reviews: JazzFun, JazzThing
Listen: BandcampDeezer, SpotifyYoutube

Multinational quartet For Free Hands meets oud player Alaa Zouiten to creatively mix Western and Eastern musical styles

Chineke! Orchestra, Andrew Grams – The Nutcracker Suite
Genre: Big band, crossover, orchestral, classical
Label: Decca Music Group Ltd.
Place: UK
Reviews: Chineke!, AppleMusic
Listen: Deezer, SpotifyYoutube

Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Suite” famous arrangement by Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn for big band, is recorded here for the first time in Jeff Tzyik’s transcription for full orchestra, by the remarkable Chineke! Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Grams

M O R E   N E W   R E L E A S E S
(that you may be interested in)


  • Luciana Souza, Trio Corrente – Cometa (Sunnyside)
  • Lezlie Harrison – Let Them Talk (Cellar Live)
  • Benjamin Boone – Caught in the Rhythm (Origin)
  • muva of Earth – align with Nature’s Intelligence (Brownswood)
  • Veronica Swift – Veronica Swift (Mack Avenue)
    (ft. Troy Roberts, Alex Claffy, ..)
  • Michelle Lordi – Two Moons (Imani)
    (Orrin Evans, Eric Revis, Matthew Parrish, Nasheet Waits, Caleb Wheeler Curtis)
  • Astghik Martirosyan – Distance
  • JD Walter – The Last Muse (Arcadia)
    (Jean-Michel Pilc, Becca Stevens, Julius Rodriguez, Ari Hoenig, ..)
  • Ana Carla Maza (+vlc) – Caribe
  • Bob Dorough – More Talents!
  • Yilian Cañizares (+vln)Habana-Bahia
  • säje – säje
    (ft. Sara Gazarek, Jacob Collier, Ambrose Akinmusire, Regina Carter, Terri Lyne Carrington, Michael Mayo, ..)




  • Nils Landgren, Michael Wollny, Lars Danielsson, Wolfgang Haffner – 4 Wheel Drive II (ACT)





  • Johnathan Blake – Passage (Blue Note)
    (Immanuel Wilkins, Joel Ross, David Virelles, Dezron Douglas)
  • Han Bennink – Ammü Quartett
  • Joel Haynes – The Return (Cellar Live)
    (ft. Seamus Blake, ..)
  • Mike Clark – Kosen Rufu
  • Rob Garcia – Natural Bounce (Fresh Sound New Talent)
    (Leo Genovese, Noah Preminger, Kim Cass)
  • Gregory Hutchinson – Da Bang (Warner)
    (ft. Kurt Rosenwinkel, Christian Scott, Nicholas Payton, ..)
  • Anthony Fung – FO(U)RTH
    (ft. Mark Turner, ..)
  • Allison Miller – Rivers In Our Veins (Royal Potato Family)
    (ft. Jason Palmer, Ben Goldberg, ..)


  • Simon Moullier – Inception (Fresh Sound New Talent)




  • Harper Trio – Passing By
    (Maria-Christina Harper, Josephine Davies, Evan Jenkins)




FEATURING GREEK ARTISTS (visit keepjazzin.gr)

  • Georges Kontrafouris Trio, Laurent Maur Vin doux
  • (ft. Giotis Damianidis, Petros Damianidis, Stephanos Chytiris, ..)
  • Stavros Lantsias (p) Quartet – My Ennio Morricone
    (ft. Andreas Polyzogopoulos, Michael Kapilidis, ..)
  • Kostas Patsiotis (b) October
    (Yiannis Papadopoulos, Michalis Tsiftsis, Dimitris Klonis)
  • Yiannis Despotakis (dr, voc), Agamemnon Moustakas (p), Dimitris Pantelias (sax)Invocations Transfigured
  • George Nazos (g)Wave
  • Paris Gagastathis (p)Introspective (Jazz Breeze)
    (Dimitris Papadopoulos, Dimitris Tsakas, Manos Loutas, Nikos Skomopoulos)
  • Antoine Karacostas (p)Frames