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Year in Review

Ludovico Granvassu's Garden Of Jazzy Delights 2022

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The depth and range of the music that jazz players have put on record in 2022 are so big that summarizing this "year in jazz" by selecting only ten albums feels akin to taking the photo of a breath-taking landscape with an ultra-low resolution camera... Ten years from now, how is one supposed to understand how 2022 sounded through a sonic picture consisting of just ten, very large, audio pixels?

So I much prefer a higher resolution image produced by casting a wide net, which has the added benefit of somewhat reducing the subjectivity of this "end of the year" listicle. However, since subjectivity cannot be entirely taken out of any exercise of this sort, rather than declaring what was the best jazz of the year, I confine myself to stating that these were the albums that brought me delight and will make me think back to 2022 as a jazz year to remember.

This approach favors the scene over the individual, the 99% over the 1%, the articulation over the sound-bite.

Below is a list of over 160 albums in alphabetical order, and grouped in various categories, which includes those that to these ears may have sounded indispensable, together with many more that may not have been as indespensable but, collectively, were as—if not more—important, at the very least because they proved that jazz remains the "sound of surprise." These records are just the tip of an ever growing jazz iceberg... a comforting thought at a time when real icebergs are actually melting.

A number of trends were particularly welcome this year: the further shortening of the average duration of records, with less 'filler tracks' than in the past; multiple-album series released over a relatively short period of time by a single prolific artist (from Steven Bernstein to Charles Lloyd, from Dave Douglas to Florian Arbenz) as a more meaningful way to release music in a 'thematically sound' manner; and, last but not least, while LPs and cassettes keep enjoying a second youth, the CD continues to experience its very long tail and remains alive and kicking despite its death having been declared several times already.

Overall positive surprise of the year: the sudden emergence of Pete Min's and Todd Dahlhoff's Colorfield Records, a label whose every new title suprises and fascinates and, in doing so, embodies the true spirit of jazz while bringing something really fresh to the table.

If you have not listened to the albums listed here yet... give them a spin, or listen to my radio show focusing on some of the best songs of 2022 contained in some of these albums: Part 1, Part 2. My guess is that you'll like them too!

Must Haves

Steven Bernstein & The Hot 9 feat. John Medeski, Arturo O'Farrill
Manifesto of Henrysms
Royal Potato Family


Michael Blake
Combobulate

Newvelle Records


Jakob Bro, Joe Lovano
Once Around the Room—A Tribute to Paul Motian

ECM Records


Marco Cappelli's Italian Doc Remix
Pandemonium
41st Parallel Records


Deadeye
Deadeye
Dox Records


Zeno De Rossi Trio
This Is Always
Hora Records


Designers
Designers
WeJazz


Francesco Diodati, Leïla Martial, Stefano Tamborrino
Oliphantre
Auand Records


Kahil El'Zabar
A Time for Healing
Spiritmuse Records


Flat Earth Society
R.I.P. -Twelve Funeral Songs
Igloo Records


Bill Frisell
Four
Blue Note Records


Anthony Fung
What Does It Mean to Be Free
Self-released


Heroes Are Gang Leaders
LeAutoRoiOgraphy
577 Records


Kansas Smitty's
We're Not in Kansas Anymore
Ever Records


Koma Saxo, Sofia Jernberg
Koma West
WeJazz


David Krakauer
Mazel Tov Cocktail Party
Label Bleu/Table Pounding


Julia Hulsmann Quartet
The Next Door
ECM Records


I Am Isaiah Collier, Michael Shekwoaga Ode
Beyond
Division 81 Records


Robin Holcomb
One Way or Another -Vol. 1
Westerlies Records


Jon Irabagon
Rising Sun
Irrabagast Records


Michael Leonhart Orchestra
The Normyn Suites
Sunnyside Records


Hans Lüdemann TransEuropeExpress Ensemble
On the Edges 1
BMC Records


Magic Malik
Ka Frobeat
Onze Heures Onze


Leyla McCalla
Breaking the Thermometer
Anti— Records


André Minvielle
Ti'bal Tribal
La C.A.D


Jun Miyake
Whispered Garden
Yellowbird


Billy Mohler
Anatomy
Contagious Music


Thandi Ntuli
Blk Elijah & The Children of Meroë
Next Music


Roberto Ottaviano, Alexander Hawkins
Charlie's Blue Skylight
Dodicilune


Fred Pallem & Le Sacre du Tympan
X
Train Fantôme


Stefan Pasborg
Ritual Dances
Sunnyside Records


Pipe Dream
Blue Roads
C.A.M. Jazz


Potsa Lotsa XL & Youjin Sung
Gaya
Trouble in the East


Eve Risser Red Desert Orchestra
Eurythmia
Clean Feed Records


Jimetta Rose & The Voices Of Creation
How Good It Is
Day Dreamer Records


Tom Skinner
Voices of Bishara
Brownswood Recordings


Gunter Baby Sommer & The Lucaciu 3
Karawane
Intakt Records


Tyshawn Sorey Trio
Mesmerism
Yeros7


Ken Stubbs
A Day A Way
CherryK


Micah Thomas
Piano Solo
LP3 45 Records


Unscientific Italians
Play the Music of Bill Frisell -Vol. 2
Hora Records


Daniel Villarreal
Panamá 77
International Anthem


Various Artists
Jazz sous les pommiers
Jazz sous les pommiers


John Zorn
Incerto
Tzadik


Debut albums


Revelations


Previously unreleased


Reissues


Remarkable


Ubridled Fun

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Tags

Year in Review Daniel Villarreal Ludovico Granvassu Dave Douglas Florian Arbenz Steven Bernstein John Medeski Arturo O'Farrill Royal Potato Family Michael Blake Newvelle Records Jakob Bro joe lovano ECM Records Marco Cappelli 41st PARALLEL RECORDS Deadeye Dox Records Zeno De Rossi Hora Records Designers WeJazz Francesco Diodati Leila Martial Stefano Tamborrino Auand Records Kahil El'Zabar Spiritmuse Records Flat Earth Society Igloo Records Bill Frisell Blue Note Records Heroes Are Gang Leaders 577 Records Kansas Smitty's Ever Records Koma Saxo Sofia Jernberg David Krakauer Label Bleu Table Pounding Julia Hulsmann Isaiah Collier Michael Shekwoaga Ode Division 81 Records Jon Irabagon Irrabagast Records Robin Holcomb Westerlies Records Michael Leonhart Sunnyside Records Hans Lüdemann BMC Records Magic Malik Onze Heures Onze Leyla McCalla Anti-Records André Minvielle La C.A.D Jun Miyake Yellowbirds Records Billy Mohler Contagious Music Roberto Ottaviano Alexander Hawkins Dodicilune Fred Pallem Train Fantôme Stefan Pasborg Pipe Dream C.A.M. Jazz Potsa Lotsa Xl Youjin Sung Trouble in the East Eve Risser Clean Feed Records Jimetta Rose Day Dreamer Records Tom Skinner Brownswood Recordings Gunter Baby Sommer Intakt Records Tyshawn Sorey Yeros7 Ken Stubbs CherryK Micah Thomas LP3 45 Records Unscientific Italians International Anthem Records Jazz Sous Les Pommiers Zoh Amba Tzadik Records Benny Bock Colorfield Records Anna Butterss Oan Kim Yu Nishiyama Mali Obomsawin OHMA Olga Raznichenko Dan Schnelle Miriam Elhajli Flash Pig Astérie Frazer City Slang King Klavé Manel Fortià Minino Garay Gabi Hartmann Komos Jazz Sun-Mi Hong Edition Records JOYFULTALK Constellation Records Claire Michael Blue Touch Records Sam Reider Slow & Steady Records Jeremy Rose Earshift Music Wabjie Urgence Disk Brian Auger Soul Bank Music Geri Allen Charlie Haden Paul Motian Somethin' Cool Paul Bley Ezz-Thetics Donald Byrd Miles Davis The Gathering The Village Elvin Jones Byard Lancaster Cristina Mazza Sean Bergin Daniele D'Agaro Bruno Marini Jean-Jacques Avenel Sangoma Everett Caligola Records Charles Mingus Resonance Records Esbjorn Svensson Jamaaladeen Tacuma Milt Ward Frederiksberg Records Strut Records Pablo Ablanedo Ben Allison Sonic Camera Records P&M Records Frank Kimbrough Palmetto Records Street Machine Kuneko Oneness of Juju Sun Ra Arkestra Salah Ragab Radka Toneff Steve Dobrogosz Odin Records Monica Nica Agosti Aut Records Lucian Ban Maher Beauroy Le Marion Dufresne Éditeur Kristin Berardi pernille bevort Gateway Music David Binney Ghost Note Records Wil Blades Charlie Hunter George Sluppick SideHustle Lucia Boffo ears&eyes Records Surya Botofasina Patricia Brennan Pyroclastic Records David Murray Brad Jones Hamid Drake Ilaria Capalbo Bluenord Records Terri Lyne Carrington Candid Records Andrew Cyrille William Parker Enrico Rava TUM Records Kit Downes Gui Duvignau Kurt Elling Peter Erskine Alan Pasqua Darek Oles Ghost Horse Avram Fefer Anthony Fung Tom Harrell Savant Records Pablo Held Maximilian Hering Klangraum Records Jean-Marc Foltz Stephan Oliva Visions Fugitives Ilmiliekki Quartet Jupiter Moserobie Lisbeth Quartett charles lloyd Nduduzo Makhathini Louis Matute Neuklang Records Makaya McCraven Cecile McLorin Salvant Nonesuch Records Jim McNeely Frankfurt Radio Big Band Double Moon Records Mostly Other People Do the Killing Hot Cup Records Rebecca Nash Whirlwind Recordings Gard Nilsssen Bill O'Connell Miles Okazaki Pi Recordings Leïla Olivesi Emile Parisien ACT Music Jeff Parker Eric Revis Nasheet Waits RogueArt Samora Pinderhughes Ropeadope Simone Prattico Zamora Fred Hersch Reverso Outnote Sylvain Rifflet Magriff Joel Ross Andreas Rotevatn John Scofield Alex Sipiagin Posi-Tone Records Ches Smith Snarky Puppy GroundUP Music Somi Salon Africana Luke Stewart Cuneiform Records Joona Toivanen Oded Tzur Jammin' Colors David Virelles Doug Wamble Halcyonic Records Immanuel Wilkins Amanda Withing Jazzman Records Deanna Witkowski MCG Jazz Michael Wollny Jeong Lim Yang Fresh Sound Miguel Zenon Miel Gyedu-Blay Ambolley Agogo Records Louis Cole Brainfeeder Records Harlem Gospel Travelers Colemine Records The New Mastersounds Color Red Records Shotnez Batov Records James Taylor Audio Network Various Artists

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