Editor’s Choice: December 2022/January 2023 | The best new jazz albums

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Featuring outstanding new albums from Ron Carter, Dezron Douglas, Laura Jurd, Maria Mendes and more

Ron Carter

Finding The Right Notes


Ron Carter (b) with Jimmy Greene (ts) Renee Rosnes, Ronald Vega, Jon Batiste (p), Russell Malone, Bill Frisell (g), Stanley Clarke (eb), Christian McBride (b), Payton Crossley (d) and WDR Big Band, Koln

'Their beautifully balanced ‘Flamenco Sketches’ shows just how Ron has moved from a consummate sideman to a bassist who dictates the pace and atmosphere of his own band.' Alyn Shipton

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Dezron Douglas


International Anthem

Dezron Douglas (b), George Burton (p, el p), Emilio Modeste (s), Joe Dyson Jr (d) and Melvis Santa (v, perc)

'Across the whole album, he and his crew present an unapologetically no-holds-barred vision of modern jazz that's entirely contemporary but not in thrall to any current passing fashions.' Eddie Myer

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Laura Jurd

The Big Friendly Album

Big Friendly Records

Laura Jurd (t, ct, p), Martin Lee Thomson (euph), Danielle Price (tab), Alex Haines (g), Ruth Goller (b), Corrie Dick (d) with Mark Lockheart (ss), Finn Peters (f), Frode Haltli (acc), Dylan Bates and Mandhira de Saram (vn)

'The Big Friendly Album wears its artfulness lightly, but there's a sense of detail, a deft handling of time changes and harmonic weavings that may not get noticed beneath the sweeping arc of its tunefulness.' Andy Robson

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Marilyn Mazur’s Shamania


Clap Your Hands

Marilyn Mazur (comp, perc, bale, kalimba), Josefine Cronholm (v), Sissel Vera Petterson (v, as), Hildegunn Øiseth (t, goat horn) Lotte Anker (ts, ss) Lis Wessberg (tb), Makiko Hirabayashi (tr), Ida Gormsen (b), Lisbeth Diers (perc) and Anna Lund (d)

'Brimming with creativity, strafed with witchy magic and life-affirming verve, this fabulous recording returns the veteran Danish percussionist/composer to her career origins, pre-Miles, way before Jan Garbarek.' Jane Cornwell

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Maria Mendes

Saudade, Colour of Love

Challenge Records

Maria Mendes (v, a), John Beasley (cond, a, kys), Cédric Hanriot (p, ky), Jasper Somsen (b), Mário Costa (d, perc) plus the Metropole Orkest

'A love letter both to fado and to jazz, and the boundless possibilities that come from marrying the two, Saudade, Colour of Love represents a stunning achievement.' Peter Quinn

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Hedvig Mollestad & Trondheim Jazz Orchestra

Maternity Beat

Rune Grammofon

Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen (g, v), Martin Myhre Olsen (s), Petter Kraft (ts), Thomas Johansson (t), Trine Knutsen (f), Ståle Storløkken (org, ky, syn), Adrian Loseth Waade (vn), Ellen Brekken (b), Torstein Lofthus (d), Ingvald Andre Vassba (perc), Mae Elise Solberg, Ingebjorg Loe Bjornstad (v) and Erlend Skomsvoll (cond)

'This is full-on complex polyphonic music, sometimes evoking Live/Evil Miles, with Mollestad privileging space for soprano and tenor sax solos that are as in your face as those big themes she lays down for the ensemble.' Andy Robson

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Howard Riley / Keith Tippett

Journal Four

No Business

Howard Riley (p) and Keith Tippett (p)

'It feels perfectly crafted, as if two artists had covered a canvas together to produce one immaculate painting.' Tony Benjamin

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Read the reviews of all of these albums – and many more – in the December 2022/January 2023 issue of Jazzwise magazine. Never miss an issue – subscribe today

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