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February 2024 | The best new jazz albums(Jazzwise)

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    Posted: 24 Jan 2024 at 6:44am
Featuring outstanding new albums from Ambrose Akinmusire, Joey Alexander, Mary Halvorson, Anaïs Reno and more  

Ambrose Akinmusire

Owl Song


Ambrose Akinmusire (t), Bill Frisell (g) and Herlin Riley (d)

This album uncovers a whole, tender world in the act of playing his instrument and its emotional vocabulary for him, having stripped away its distracting power. Owl Song explores his fundamental sound, squeezing out notes with a mournful, broken beauty as unmistakable as Miles’ muted, masculine soul... Nick Hasted   

Read the Jazzwise review 

Joey Alexander


Mack Avenue

Joey Alexander (p), Theo Croker (t), Kris Funn (b) and John Davis (d)

Joey Alexander's virtuosity and the warm embrace of jazz's celebrity aristocracy could have made him a retro artist, but he's already streets ahead of that... John Fordham

Read the Jazzwise review 

Chick Corea & Orchestra da Camera Della Sardegna



Chick Corea (p) with Orchestra da Camera Della Sardegna conducted by Simone Pittau

The Orchestra da Camera Della Sardegna perform Mozart as written, while Corea, who in another life could equally have been a major concert pianist, personalises his performance in a fascinating way, sometimes counterpointing, doubling or harmonising the orchestral tuttis, embellishing his solo lines and improvising the cadenzas, all touches Mozart himself is believed to have done... Stuart Nicholson

Read the Jazzwise review  

Paul Dunmall

Bright Light A Joyous Celebration

Discus Music

Paul Dunmall (ts, c, ss), Soweto Kinch (as, ts), Xhosa Cole (ts), Corey Mwamba (vb), Dave Kane (b) and Hamid Drake (d)

Drake is a powerhouse throughout, driving the performances with muscular verve and a deep sense of swing. The longest piece is a spontaneous group improvisation, which finds its way into a loping, reggae-ish vamp, with Kane eagerly and adroitly jumping on Drake’s deep groove. It comes as little surprise to discover all tracks are first takes. When something’s right, it’s right... Daniel Spicer

Read the Jazzwise review

Mary Halvorson



Mary Halvorson (g), Adam O’Farrill (t), Jacob Garchik (tb), Patricia Brennan (vib), Nick Dunston (b), Tomas Fujiwara (d) with Laurie Anderson (v)

Cloudward marks a leap forward into a new, more intuitive world. Unlike Amaryllis, Cloudward was thoroughly road-tested, so there’s an intimacy, a confidence this multi-gifted band has in its relationship with this often complex, yet ever-accessible music. Andy Robson

Read the Jazzwise review

Jasper Høiby's Three Elements


Edition Records

Jasper Høiby (b), Noah Stoneman (p) and Luca Caruso (d)

The intricate, information-dense linear arrangements and tightly plotted rhythm tracks that characterised Phronesis are here relaxed so that the music is allowed to flow and breathe, and the musicians audibly revel in the interplay allowed by this more expansive approach, especially in the short, mood-heavy improvised interludes between the main events... Eddie Myer

Read the Jazzwise review

Ethan Iverson

Technically Acceptable

Blue Note 

Ethan Iverson (p), Thomas Morgan (b), Kush Abadey (d), with Rob Schwimmer (Theremin), Simón Willson (b) and Vinnie Sperrazza (d)

Not everyone can be a Milhaud, Bernstein or Gershwin when fusing together ‘concert’ music and elements of jazz but Iverson with his through-composed three-movement piano sonata that closes the album – has done an excellent job. It’s an enjoyably colourful work that’s seamless in its joins between European and American art music. Selwyn Harris

Read the Jazzwise review

Andrea Keller Trio Strings and Voices

Flicker and Polar Bird


Andrea Keller (p), John Mackey (as), Miroslav Bukovsky (t, f), Véronique Serret (v), Rachael Thoms and Liam Budge (v)

Tracks featuring the trio of trumpeter Miroslav Bukovsky and saxophonist John Mackey linger longer - the attention-grabbing 'Polar Bird' manages to be both intimate and immense - while 'I Am A Little Church', all spacious grace and yearning vocals, feel cleansing, powerful. An essential work by Andrea Keller, a truly extraordinary artist... Jane Cornwell

Read the Jazzwise review

Billy Marrows and A Grande Familia



Billy Marrows (g), Terese Macedo Ferreira (vla), Dijan Mbanu (f), Jonas Mbanu (b), Angus Bayley (p), Gustavo Clayton Marucci, Chris Williams, Tom Ridout  (woodwinds), Mike Soper (t), Olli Martin (tb), Anna Drysdale (frhn) and Greg Sanders (shaker)

The full band tracks are interspersed with solo guitar pieces that condense Marrow’s contrasting preoccupation with melodic directness and harmonic and rhythmic ingenuity. All proceeds go to the World Child Cancer charity which is an excellent reason for purchase, but the music is reward enough... Eddie Myer

Read the Jazzwise review

Luiz Millan

Brazilian Match

Jazz Station Records

Luiz Millan (p, v, comp) with various all star ensembles draw from 33 musicians including Randy Brecker (t), Dave Sanborn (as), Eddie Daniels (cl), Mike Mainieri (vb), Mark Egan (b), Danny Gottlieb (d), New York Voices, Giana Viscardi, Ellen Johnson and Alice Soyer (v)

This is an album that functions well as both quality background music and absorbing foreground music from a singer songwriter who can safely be mentioned in the same breath as Jobim, Bonfá, and Lins... Stuart Nicholson

Read the Jazzwise review

Verneri Pohjola

Monkey Mind

Edition Records

Verneri Pohjola (t), Kit Downes (p), Jasper Høiby (b), Olavi Louhivuoro (d), Tuomo Prättälä (elec), Linda Fredriksson (as, bs), Jusu Berghäll (af) and Raoul Björkenheim (g)

Høiby’s inimitable tone, precision and sheer relentlessness are an important ingredient throughout, patiently holding things together in tandem with Louhivuoro and there are notably tight trio sections with trumpet and then piano in the middle of 'Bebe'... Tony Benjamin

Read the Jazzwise review

Anaïs Reno

At PizzaExpress Live - In London

PX Records

Anaïs Reno (v), Pete Malinverni (p), Dave Green (b) and Josh Morrison (d)

As anyone who heard Swiss-born, NYC-based vocalist Anaïs Reno’s debut album, Lovesome Thing, will know, her musicality at the age of 16 (having co-arranged all of the material with pianist Emmet Cohen) was nothing short of remarkable. Reno’s follow-up release on PX Records, which opens with one of Cole Porter’s most memorable standards, ‘It's De-Lovely’, from his 1936 musical, Red Hot and Blue, merely serves to confirm all of her great qualities: flawless pitch, impeccable time feel and a pleasingly rich timbral quality. Peter Quinn

Read the Jazzwise review

Julia Werup

Dear Frances


Julia Werup (v), Svend Erik Lundeqvist (p), Johnny Åman, Matthias Petri, Niclas Campagnol (b), Thomas Blachman (d, prog) and Andreas Kleerup (v)

'Bird' is a well-told, insanely catchy account of a relationship in trouble; 'Rain' is beautifully terse; 'Just Let Him Know You Love Him' is a deliciously spicy jazz throb, all empty space and woozy electronics; and 'Time Of Life' is melodic glitchtronica that demonstrates Blachman's talents as an arranger and producer; I would love to hear him working with more artists... Kevin Whitlock

Read the Jazzwise review

Read the reviews of all of these albums, and many more, in the February issue of Jazzwise.  

from www.jazzwise.com

Edited by snobb - 24 Jan 2024 at 6:47am
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