Looking for some new music to check out this month? Join us for a pick of 15 jazz releases this April, as picked or recommended by jazz magazines, blogs and websites around the world…
As always, Bandcamp is a great first stop if you want to support any of these artists by buying their music!
Trish Clowes My Iris: A View With a Room
Label: Greenleaf Music
“The youthful élan of Trish Clowes’ music is both affecting and beckoning; eloquent and fragile.
Her smoky alto imbues the lyrical writing with tremendous affection and questing beauty of tone. In very the breath of her lips seems songful, turning wide-slung melodic lines and dangling rhythms into buoyant musical utterances with mystical energy” – Raul da Gama of Jazz da Gama
Arbenz X Postma / Jerjen / Barradas
Label: Hammer Recordings
Swiss drummer Florian Arbenz is in the middle of a mission to release 12 albums with 12 radically different line ups from his studio in Basel.
Conversation #5 is out this month featuring renowned Dutch saxophonist Tineke Postma, accordionist João Barradas and Australian bassist Rafael Jerjen.
Kurt Rosenwinkel – The Chopin Project
Label: Heartcore Records
Legendary jazz guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel and acclaimed Swiss pianist Jean-Paul Brodbeck join forces on The Chopin Project, a historic collaboration which finds them reinterpreting the music of Chopin for jazz quartet.
Rosenwinkel and Brodbeck are joined by Lukas Traxel on bass, who plays in the Jean-Paul Brodbeck Trio, and Jorge Rossy, a stalwart member of the Spanish and American jazz communities.
“a historic collaboration reinterpreting the music of Fréderic Chopin for jazz quartet” – Jazz Guitar Today
Line Kruse – bånd
Label: In Focus Music / Continuo Musique
Danish French violinist Line Kruse presents an ambitious large-ensemble project which features a total of 24 musicians, built around her septet.
“I called the album a bånd (‘bound’ in English) because it makes so much sense right now. A tribute to everything that binds us together, to our countries of origin and adoption, to our cultures which are mutually enriched by our meetings and coincidences.”
Dominik Schürmann Trio feat. Max Ionata – Moons Ago
Label: Mons Records
A wise man once said that it doesn’t matter where jazz goes as long as it takes the tradition with it.
Swiss bassist and bandleader Dominik Schürmann pays homage to the classic sound of 1950s & 60s jazz, through 12 original compositions.
Steeped in the hard-bop era tradition, Schürmann rounds up two fellow leading lights from the blossoming Swiss jazz scene and tops it off with renowned Italian saxophonist Max Ionata.
“An open and luminous work… Remains and will remain the true and profound root of all jazz to come” – James @ Off Topic Magazine (Italy)
Label: April Records
United by a shared passion for explosive rebellion and freedom of expression, Danish collective Alawari’s debut release has already received rave reviews in the contemporary jazz world.
A raw, instrumental album at its core, the traditional rhythm section and 3-horn frontline is extended through live electronics, audio processing, spoken word, synth textures, and sampling, placing one foot firmly in the modern world.
“A remarkable record for our times and I can’t find a fault anywhere. 10/10” – Truth & Lies
Catherine Russell – Send For Me
Label: Dot Time Records
As the daughter of pioneering and legendary musicians Luis Russell, and Carline Ray, Catherine Russell was born into jazz royalty.
For her 8th album as bandleader she pulls together hard-swinging repertoire from the likes of Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Luis Russell, Betty Carter, Jack Teagarden and Louis Armstrong.
“Imagine a mix of Bessie and Dinah W with a touch of, but not too much, sophistication and you have a voice for all seasons” – Lance Liddle, Bebop Spoken Here (UK)
Joel Ross – The Parable Of The Poet
Label: Blue Note Records
“Vibraphonist Joel Ross releases his third album for Blue Note Records. The seven-piece suite is a prime example of how well Joel is capable of blurring the lines between melody and improvisation, as he is quoted.” – Matthias Kirsch, Gina Loves Jazz (Germany)
Filippo Deorsola’s ‘Anaphora’
Italian pianist Filippo Deorsola brings together his Anaphora piano trio this April for Lexicon 1, an album set on challenging the very jazz traditions that influence them.
Highly original and frequently unexpected, 11 compositions pull at the threads of avant-garde, straight-ahead jazz, contemporary classical music and even the blues, leaving the listener guessing at every turn.
“At first, the music evokes Punkt.Vrt.Plastik, but it quickly heads towards another kind of experience. Anaphora switches and mixes several genres and rhythms in an incredibly mastered and enjoyable way, thereby managing to create their own uniqueness” – Best of Jazz
Mirja Mäkelä Trio – So Far, So Me
Label: Eclipse Music
Renowned Finnish vocalist Mirja Mäkelä presents her fifth album which, aside from a Joni Mitchell tune, showcases her original music inspired by Finnish poems.
Her compositions combine jazz rhythms and harmony, highlighting the fact that she was the first jazz vocalist in Finland to obtain a Master’s degree in jazz, back in 1999.
Daniel Erdmann & Christophe Maguet – Pronto!
Label: Mélodie en sous-sol
The decade-long working relationship between French drummer Christophe Maguet and saxophonist Daniel Erdmann continues in 2022 with the release of Pronto!
On it, the join forces with Bruno Angelini (piano) and Hélène Labarrière (bass) for a set of original compositions that mix the tradition of jazz with the spirit of discovery.
“Bewitching. There is indeed something of magnificence, of transport” – Matthieu Jouan, Citizen Jazz (France)
Malcolm Earle Smith – Vocal Intent
Best-known on the British jazz scene as a trombonist and educator, Vocal Intent fulfils Malcolm Earle Smith’s long held desire to make a vocal album.
‘Leaving my horn respectfully in its case this time has given me more space to develop my vocal style’, he says. ‘In particular, I’ve always had a passion for scat singing, and for this recording I’ve explored making a closer connection between vocal improvisation and the mood of the song’.
“Few jazz instrumentalists were consummate jazz vocalists, most notably Louis Armstrong (who invented the art), Fats Waller, Nat Cole and Louis Jordan. Among trombonists, quality warblers are even rarer, the most memorable being Jack Teagarden, James ‘Trummy’ Young and, the most commercially successful, Billy Eckstine. But here’s a new contender: Malcolm Earle Smith” – Leonard Weinreich, London Jazz News
Heidi Bayer – KORSH
Label: Tangible Music
European jazz of the highest level by German trumpeter, composer and bandleader Heidi Bayer.
Recorded live at Maarweg Studio 2 in Cologne, the trumpet/sax frontline of this quintet are prodded and nudged along not just by solid partnership of Robert Landfermann (bass) and Oli Steidle (drums), but also by the accordion of Kalle Moberg.
“A celebration of contrasts, light years away from any comfort zone” – Jazzthing
Gerald Clayton – Bells On Sand
Label: Blue Note Records
Six-time Grammy-nominated pianist Gerald Clayton explores the impact and abstraction of time on his second Blue Note 2nd album.
It features his mentor Charles Lloyd on saxophone, his father John Clayton on bass, longtime friend and peer Justin Brown on drums, and new collaborator MARO on vocals.
Majamisty TriO – Wind Rose
Hot on the heels of their internationally acclaimed 2020 release Organic, standout Serbian pianist Maja Alvanovic and her trio present their fourth studio album, Wind Rose, this April 7th.
A further exploration into the interactive, contemplative and dynamic style they’ve come to be known for, Wind Rose balances the comforting and familiar with the unconventional and surprising for a truly enchanting listen.
“Majamisty ‘s subtle compositions and lyrical melodies follow in the footsteps of everyone from Bill Evans to the Esbjörn Svensson Trio” – Verhoovens Jazz
Thanks for reading and listening!
If you have other April 2022 album discoveries to share, feel free to use the comments section here.
You can also find many of these tunes – and more – on our weekly New Jazz Releases playlist.