21st Century Modern

Jazz music community with review and forums

As we move into the new century, jazz artists continue to merge and blend pre-existing genres in ways that make it hard to find easy labels. Today's jazz artist is likely to pull from the avant-garde, post bop, 3rd stream and modern fusion all within the same piece. Yet as these artists draw from all these eclectic sources, we begin to see some similarities in a lot of new jazz in the 21st century.

The 21st Century Modern genre at JMA is for artists who do not easily fit into pre-existing genres such as the aforementioned, Post Bop, Avant-Garde, Fusion, or 3rd Stream, but whose music may contain elements of all those genres, as well as other elements from outside the jazz world.

Despite all these eclectic elements, we do find some things in common with many of the artists listed in our 21st Century Modern genre.

1)Many artists in this genre feature arrangements and composition in their music, along with improvisation based on chord progressions, or entirely freely improvised sections as well. Large scale pieces with multiple sections are often a part of this genre. There is an attempt in modern jazz to blend composition and improvisation in ways that make them hard to tell apart.

2)Larger ensembles (5 to 8 pieces) and 'mini-big bands' play a part in a lot of modern jazz. Instruments like the violin, cello and clarinet have made a comeback.

3)Rhythmically, modern jazz is all over the map, sometimes swinging, sometimes drawing on international fusion, and sometimes totally free, almost any style can happen.

4)Harmonically modern jazz is equally eclectic, ranging from the extended harmonies of post bop, to atonal free jazz, to the simple triad based harmonies of folk songs and hymns, once again, anything can happen.

21st century modern top albums

Showing only albums and live's | Based on members ratings & JMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

HENRY THREADGILL Henry Threadgill & Make A Move ‎: Where's Your Cup? Album Cover Henry Threadgill & Make A Move ‎: Where's Your Cup?
HENRY THREADGILL
4.52 | 3 ratings
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THE CLAUDIA QUINTET Royal Toast Album Cover Royal Toast
THE CLAUDIA QUINTET
4.40 | 6 ratings
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VIJAY IYER Vijay Iyer / Wadada Leo Smith : A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke Album Cover Vijay Iyer / Wadada Leo Smith : A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke
VIJAY IYER
4.45 | 3 ratings
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MYRA MELFORD Snowy Egret Album Cover Snowy Egret
MYRA MELFORD
4.50 | 2 ratings
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TYSHAWN SOREY The Inner Spectrum of Variables Album Cover The Inner Spectrum of Variables
TYSHAWN SOREY
4.50 | 2 ratings
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WADADA LEO SMITH America's National Parks Album Cover America's National Parks
WADADA LEO SMITH
4.48 | 2 ratings
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CRAIG TABORN Chants Album Cover Chants
CRAIG TABORN
4.45 | 2 ratings
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MARY HALVORSON Mary Halvorson Octet : Away With You Album Cover Mary Halvorson Octet : Away With You
MARY HALVORSON
4.43 | 2 ratings
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VIJAY IYER Vijay Iyer Sextet ‎: Far From Over Album Cover Vijay Iyer Sextet ‎: Far From Over
VIJAY IYER
4.43 | 2 ratings
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CRAIG TABORN Daylight Ghosts Album Cover Daylight Ghosts
CRAIG TABORN
4.24 | 4 ratings
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ANDREW CYRILLE Andrew Cyrille/Wadada Leo Smith/Bill Frisell : Lebroba Album Cover Andrew Cyrille/Wadada Leo Smith/Bill Frisell : Lebroba
ANDREW CYRILLE
4.07 | 3 ratings
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KRIS DAVIS Save Your Breath Album Cover Save Your Breath
KRIS DAVIS
4.02 | 2 ratings
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy JMA!

21st century modern online videos

21st century modern New Releases

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Ojos De Gato
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GIOVANNI GUIDI
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Code 2
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PETER MCEACHERN
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Echoes
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The News
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ANDREW CYRILLE
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Cool With That
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EAST AXIS (MATTHEW SHIPP / ALLEN LOWE / GERALD CLEAVER / KEVIN RAY)
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Bird with Streams
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JON IRABAGON
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Via
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PAUL TAYLOR (PIANO)
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Benoît Delbecq 4 : Gentle Ghosts
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BENOÎT DELBECQ
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No One Knows Where...
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ALEKSANDRA KUTRZEPA
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Shoes For Losers
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ANDY CHAMPION AND GRAEME WILSON
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Deflections
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OFFSET 5
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Everything Happens To Be
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BEN GOLDBERG
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NIKOLAJ HESS
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The Locomotive Suite
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Le Grand Jour
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SOPHIA DOMANCICH
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Reciprocity
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MARIA GRAND
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Idiom
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ANNA WEBBER
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Sankofa
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AMARO FREITAS
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Quartet (Standards) 2020
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ANTHONY BRAXTON
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Weavers
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MAKIKO HIRABAYASHI
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Paul Van Gysegem Quintet : Square Talks
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PAUL VAN GYSEGEM
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3, 5, 8
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A New Dawn
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Vale Tudo
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The Weight of Light
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21st century modern Music Reviews

PAUL VAN GYSEGEM Paul Van Gysegem Quintet : Square Talks

Live album · 2021 · 21st Century Modern
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snobb
Leaving aside stars of the past such as Django Reinhardt and Toots Thielemans, Belgian jazz is only fragmentarily known outside of their domestic scene. Besides classical music, most of what the outside world knows of Belgian music for the last couple decades is quirky non-conventional avant-rock bands.

Still, even for local jazz fans, seasoned bassist Paul Van Gysegem is hardly a household name. Omniscient Google says he's a sculptor and shows some examples of his art. Still, one can find out that in the magical, for jazz, year of 1971, Van Gysegem released a free jazz album on the renown French label, Fortuna, plus a few more albums during the next half-a-century.

"Square Talks" is Paul Van Gysegem's extremely rare release as a leader. Recorded live in 2019, he leads a sextet of seasoned Belgian musicians (trumpeter Patrick De Groote even played with Van Gysege on his above mentioned debut in 1971!) plus younger generation Czech ex-patriate drummer Marek Patrman.

I listened to this album during the last few days, when the weather outside was really freaky - the snow was falling day after day in the end of April, which isn't usual, even for us living in Northern Europe. It recalled for me the times when I was much younger, probably a teen, when winters were much colder and much longer. "Square Talks" music fitted pretty well to this deja vu feeling.

Van Gysegem's band doesn't demonstrate virtuosity or technical equilibristic at all. They play mature mid-tempo chamber avant-garde jazz as if it is still early 70s outside. Warm wooden bass, excellent sound and an almost non-existing anymore atmosphere of freedom, and escape with a touch of lyrical melancholy. Yeah, we all know that this world doesn't exist anymore, but what a beautiful world it was!

During some last years I found out some excellent artists, playing music without even a touch of some of the modern trends of the few last decades - fusion, hip-hop, electronics, even funk. Free-jazz, coming straight from the late 60s, plus some European chamber traditions, sometimes local folk elements. These artists are often based outside of the world's jazz capitols, as New York or London, and playing their own jazz in such different places such as Sardinia or Serbia. That absence of whole musical layers or decades of influence makes their music sound very special. Paul Van Gysegem's music works the same way, it's a nowadays recording but with a well-preserved spirit of European late 60s without being nostalgic or self-parodying at all. Not sure, if it works for those knowing about 70s from internet and movies only, probably to feel that spirit one needed to experience it in one way or another from living when it was the elixir of the day.

Those with still a strong memory will recognize it in this music quite soon , others can just try, why not?

VIJAY IYER Vijay Iyer Sextet ‎: Far From Over

Album · 2017 · 21st Century Modern
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snobb
Pianist Vijay Iyer is one of the more important figures on the American creative jazz scene for the last two decades. During this time, he built the solid reputation of a precise player who connects Indian roots, jazz tradition and modernity in one, usually unpredictable, complex but accessible mix, attractive for a wide range of listeners. Better known by his solo or small band recordings, his new sextet is a real triumph, probably his highest success till now.

Combining regular jazz trio (with star-drummer Tyshawn Sorey on board) with a brass trio on the front of the sound, Iyer offers a high-energy mini-big band, playing some of his most memorable compositions (all originals). Radically different from Iyers' regular acoustic trios, this new sextet sounds a lot like Miles' early fusion bands, just framed with modern chamber jazz-influenced composition. Iyer himself switches from acoustic piano to Rhodes, on some extended soloing, together with another first-range star - altoist Steve Lehman (who already played with Iyer and Sorey as Fieldwork trio).

To finish the mix, add some hip-hop and funky rhythms, and what you get is an excellent today's jazz album, containing no fillers, and sounding BIG, as revitalizing the times when jazz was really BIG. Almost a masterpiece.

MATT PANAYIDES Field Theory

Album · 2021 · 21st Century Modern
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js
Today’s installment in the ongoing series on jazz musicians who deserve wider recognition brings us to guitarist Matt Panayides. Matt spends a lot of his time in NYC as well as South Korea and China where he works with some of the top musicians in each location. Matt has been leading his own groups and composing original music since 2016 which leads us to his latest album, “Field Theory”. Matt’s approach is high energy as he draws from post bop, jazz rock and free jazz in his solos and in his compositions. Matt can fire off high speed runs that never sound gratuitously flashy, and he provides enough interesting twists and turns so that expected clichés are avoided. Despite his well developed technique, there is something appealingly rough and gritty about his playing that recalls Michael Gregory Jackson and the youthful version of John McLaughlin. Helping Panayides out on this album are synth reed player Matt Vashlishan, tenor sax player Rich Perry, Robert Sabin on bass and Mark Ferber on drums. These guy’s credits as accompanists range from Wadada Leo Smith to Norah Jones and Lee Konitz, plus many more. Vashlishan’s contributions on synth reed in particular add some interesting colors to the group’s sound.

“Field Theory” opens with the tough modern hard bop of “Kite Flying”, but from there Matt keeps things unpredictable as the next three tracks mix modern jazz with arrangements that may remind some of avante garde math rock. Title track, “Field Theory”, in particular has a rock like energy that has Panayides putting some distortion and overdrive on his ‘axxe’. “Energy Mover” is just that as the band swings into high octane neo be-bop with rapid fire solos from the three man front line. The last half of the album wanders a bit as the band swerves from short free jazz segments to folkish tunes and a couple more open ended fusion jams. A big plus throughout the whole album is drummer Mark Ferber’s beats that recall Jack DeJohnette’s ability to swing while smacking a rocking backbeat at the same time. If you are familiar with Jack’s playing on Miles Live at the Fillmore you’ll know what I mean.

Matt Panayides’ guitar has enough ‘shredding’ to appeal to the fusion fans, but also enough swing and melodic invention for the jazzers. His compositions are complex and full of unexpected twists and are very much on top of what is happening in jazz today. Overall this CD displays an excellent balance between clever intellect and hard workin sweat.

YUJI MUTO & NANA OMORI Vale Tudo

Live album · 2021 · 21st Century Modern
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DamoXt7942
Delicious.

This album "Vale Tudo" (in Portuguese, anything is alright), released on January 16 2021, was created / produced by Yuji MUTO & Nana OMORI, the third free / improvised jazz duo project of Yuji. The material for this creation has been recorded live on August 22 2020 at Jazz Club Intersat. Yuji's recorded and released other two albums in collaboration with great drummers like Mieko SAKAI or Mako KIMATA, and we have been looking forward to his forthcoming opus cooperated by a pianist of multiplicity Nana. Yes they do not betray our expectations.

Just curious how Nana synchronizes Yuji's kaleidoscopic guitar plays, and we can notice two musical cogwheels can engage with each other in a complex and perfect manner. Already we know well Yuji plays the guitar diversely (jazz, rock, metal ... and so on) but Nana's piano sound launching should not be defeated at all. Take a listen to the first track "Introduction" and we can get immersed in his smooth, sliding guitar plays, followed by Nana's sensitive but vivid piano performances. The power of their combination expands dozens of times actually. "Bloodshed On The Desert" is another revolution of sound, lyrically combined with two talented activities just like a fireworks display. Via the three Improvisations we can enjoy their natural appearances in the air. Wondering why they can work together quite smoothly and precisely. And another highlight: In "Desert Yellow" Nana's heavy desert piano oscillations are completely chasing Yuji's metallic dissonant guitar paranoia. On the contrary, the last "Someday My Prince Will Come" is soft and quiet, as if they would appreciate the prince, namely the upcoming era we will be safe and sound.

Sounds exactly like the two virtuosi say 2021 will not be bad. Believe them, and make a toast for the new year with such a tremendous creation.

WAYNE SHORTER Beyound the Sound Barrier

Live album · 2005 · 21st Century Modern
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Steve Wyzard
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Recorded between November 2002 and April 2004 before very enthusiastic crowds, Beyond the Sound Barrier can best be described as a collection of tour highlights. I hope that doesn't sound too disparaging, because we are treated to some truly awe-inspiring performances. Yet at 61:17, it seems obvious that Verve Records didn't want to put out a double-disc set of a full concert. Instead, they have given us a "best of" selection without duplicating any titles from the previous live album, Footprints Live (2002).

When you are Wayne Shorter, you don't have to settle for just anybody, or whoever happens to be available when putting together a touring ensemble. If Wayne is on the line, nobody says, "Let me check my schedule." With John Patitucci on bass, Danilo Perez on piano, and Brian Blade on drums, Shorter would have been very hard-pressed to find more qualified players. These are all world-class performers of jaw-dropping virtuosity, and an excellent live mix makes sure every note comes through perfectly. Patitucci in particular shines extra brightly on this album.

So what do we get in a mere 61:17? "As Far as the Eye Can See" and "On Wings of Song" are both faded early in mid-performance. "Beyond the Sound Barrier" is faded in, then faded out. "Tinker Bell" is a brief trio improv with Shorter sitting out. The remaining 4 tracks are all complete performances. Shorter devotes far more time to the soprano sax than the tenor, but we aren't complaining. Don't miss his and Patitucci's amazing solos on "Joy Ryder", or Perez's stunning work on "Adventures Aboard the Golden Mean". The listener is almost tempted to take Blade's drumming for granted, but he never allows us to do just that.

This disc could have accommodated 18 more minutes of music, but for unknown reasons, Verve decided we could do without. That alone prevents this album from a higher ranking, because the actual performances could not be topped. Had I known about the truncated recordings, I would still have bought the album, as I am a huge fan of all the players involved. And while it does leave one to wonder what remains languishing in "the vaults", let us be thankful for what we do have here, especially for those of us who've never seen these guys live.

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Artists with 21st Century Modern release(s)

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
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Blue Train Hard Bop
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My Favorite Things Hard Bop
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