A brief overview of the diversity of the music that falls under ever broadening umbrella that we call jazz.

As another year draws to a close it is once again time to look back at some of the albums from the last twelve months that have been reviewed on Jazz Views.

The selections below are very varied from each of our contributors and give a brief overview of the diversity of the music that falls under ever broadening umbrella that we call jazz.

Chris Baber

The past couple of top 10 lists have been remarkable for the various in which musicians have found to create music even when they have been prevented from physically sharing the same spaces.  This year has seen a different vibe in the compositions.

Musicians have been reflecting on the past couple of years and contemplating the state of the world – often with pessimism but sometimes with optimism or relief at getting back to playing live.  I’ve selected 10 albums which I have found provocative, interesting or just plain entertaining… The list isn’t in any particular order, and I recommend all of them.

New Jazz Releases:

  1. I Just Came From The Moon – Ånd Ud  (April Records)
  2. Jasper Høiby’s Planet B – What It Means To Be Human (Edition)
  3. Julie Tippets And Martin Archer – Illusion (Discus Music)
  4. Mark Lockheart – Dreamers (Edition)
  5. Michael Bardon – The Gift Of Silence (Discus Music)
  6. Shabaka – Afrikan Culture (Impulse! Digital Release)
  7. Steve Baker – Tonic  (Ubuntu)
  8. Tomas Fujiwara’s Triple Double – March (Firehouse 12 Records)
  9. Trish Clowes – A View With A Room (Greenleaf Music)
  10. Samo Salamon – Pure And Simple (Self-Released)


George Cole

Jazz emerged from the two-year pandemic as strong, imaginative and creative as ever, as this year’s crop of releases shows.

The classic jazz piano trio continues to surprise and delight, as exemplified by releases from Manuel Valera and Pasqua, Erskine and Oles.

The Trackers – a collaboration between keyboardist and drummer Gary Husband and Norwegian guitarist Alf Terje Hana – used a rotating cast of bassists to create an exciting set of jazz-rock trio numbers.

Drummer Simon Phillips is another artist who straddles jazz and rock, and the latest incarnation of his Protocol band was a delight to listen to. Tenor saxophonist Stephen Riley released an album featuring the last sessions of guitarist Vic Juris. The result was an excellent straight-ahead jazz album.

It was great to see jazz guitar legend Pat Martino honoured by more than a dozen guitarists, and even better knowing that Martino saw and heard the musicians play before he died months after the event.

Another jazz giant, Ron Carter, showed that at 85, there’s still plenty of energy and music in the man. It was also good to see young jazz musicians like Simon Oslender and the Hazelrigg Brothers releasing works which point to a healthy future for jazz.

British band Swift released their debut album 40 years after their formation, and the resulting mix of jazz-rock fusion and pop was well worth waiting for. Let’s hope it’s not another 40 years for their next one…

When it comes to classic/archive releases from the vaults, the standout release of the year for me was the three-disc Miles Davis set, covering part of his 1980s years at Columbia Records. The result was a mixed bag of excellent unreleased material, mediocre jams, exciting live tracks, and missed opportunities.

The Michael Brecker/Randy Brecker release documented an amazing night in Germany, when the stage was heaving with premier jazz talent. Grover Washington Jr scored hits and achieved popular acclaim with the public, although some jazz critics were less kind. But the three-disc release covering the year 1994-1997 (not exactly his golden period) has lots of good music and illustrates what a fine musician he was.

Joe Farrell and Larry Coryell had the opposite problem – no hits and profiles that deserved to be higher amongst the public consciousness. These releases go some way to redressing the issue and are well worth a good listen.

New Releases:

  1. Manuel Valera Trio – The Seasons (Movo)
  2. Hazelrigg Brothers – Songs We Like (independent)
  3. Stephen Riley – I Remember You (Steeplechase)
  4. Alternative Guitar Summit – Honoring Pat Martino Vol.1 (High Note)
  5. Simon Oslender – Peace of Mind (Leopard)
  6. The Trackers – Vaudeville 8:45 (Abstract Logix)
  7. Simon Phillips – Protocol V (Phantom Recordings)
  8. Ron Carter – Finding The Right Notes (In and Out Records)
  9. Alan Pasqua / Peter Erskine / Darek Oles – Live In Italy (Fuzzy Music)
  10. Swift – In Another Lifetime (Swift)

From the Vaults:

  1. Miles Davis – The Bootleg Series 7: That’s What Happened 1982-1985 (Sony Music)
  2. Michael Brecker Band/Randy Brecker Band – Live at Fabrik 1987 (Jazzline Classics)
  3. Grover Washington Jr – All My Tomorrows/Soulful Strut/Breath of Heaven (BGO)
  4. Larry Coryell – Live at the Sugar Club Dublin 2016 (Angel Air)
  5. Joe Farrell – Penny Arcade/Upon This Rock/Canned Funk (BGO)

Euan Dixon

My list this year contains a healthy mix of high profile major label releases from such luminaries as Jeremy Pelt and Christian McBride with what, sadly, may turn out to be Joey DeFranceso’s swan song.

All are excellent and superbly produced but the biggest surprises have come from less well known sources with Jim McNeely’s outstanding big band transcriptions of Stravinsky’s `Rite of Spring` featuring Chris Potter heading the `wow factor` category followed closely the remarkable duo performances from Nicki Adams and Michael Eaton.

On the re-issue front the Chet Baker Trio set is indispensable for Baker completists and the Buddy DeFranco twofer for everyone else.

New Releases:

  1. Jeremy Pelt – Soundtrack (High Note)
  2. Jim McNeely -Rituals (Double Moon)
  3. Hal Galper – Invitation to Openness (Origin)
  4. Opus 5 – Swing on This (Criss Cross)
  5. Nicki Adams & Michael Eaton – Paraphrase (SteepleChase -Lookout)
  6. Joey DeFrancesco – More Music (Mack Avenue)
  7. Brian Molley – Intercontinental (BGMM)
  8. Gerald Clayton – Bells on Sand (Blue Note)
  9. Christian McBride -Live at the Village Vanguard (Mack Avenue)
  10. Connie Han – Secrets of Inanna (Mack Avenue)


From the Vaults:

  1. Chet Baker Trio – Live in Paris, The Radio France Recordings (Elemental)
  2. Buddy De Franco – The Be-Bop Years (Acrobat)
  3. Gary Burton – Something’s Coming/The Groovy Sound of Music/The Time Machine (BGO)
  4. Oscar Peterson – A Time for Love, Live in Helsinki, 1987 (Mack Avenue)
  5. Brew Moore – Special Brew (SteepleChase)

Jack Kenny

A year of reaffirmation. The Blakey/Monk is a continuing delight.  Blakey brought the best out of Monk and the extra tracks are valuable. Tracey and Petrucciani are amongst the greatest pianists, and they reinforced their reputations. It is important to have more recordings of the short lived Mulligan Concert Jazz Band.

Albums by Martial Solal and Art Themen are testimony to their vitality. The Gil Evans album showed that laurels are not for sitting on. The Complete Hopbine ‘69 is Hayes at his vital best. It is also produced lovingly by Jazz in Britain who continue to mine the riches of British jazz.

New Releases / From the Vaults:

  1. Tubby Hayes Quartet – The Complete Hopbine ‘69 (Jazz In Britain)
  2. McCoy Tyner and Freddy Hubbard – Hamburg 1986 (Fabrik)
  3. Charles Mingus Trio (Atlantic)
  4. Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk (Atlantic)
  5. Art Themen/Dave Barry – Hanky Panky Trio
  6. Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band (Steeplechase)
  7. Martial Solal – Live in Ottobrun (Edition Collage)
  8. The Gil Evans Orchestra – Live at Fabrik (Fabrik)
  9. Stan Tracey – The 1959 Sessions (Resteamed Records)
  10. Michel Petrucciani – Solo in Denmark (Storyville)

Nick Lea

What is there to say but so much great music released in 2022 that making the end of year selection seems to get tougher and tougher. The above selections are not in order of preference but simply listed alphabetically by artist.

Of the new releases, my fondness for duos was met with two fine recordings.

The first by Enrico Rava and Fred Hersch who made their debut recording together for ECM in a fascinating set that gives the illusion of a much larger ensemble yet retaining that unique sense of communication that occurs between two musicians who are totally in tune with each other.

This quality also prevails in the lovely album by Fleur Stevenson and Pete Billington. An intuitively intimate album that brings forth the beauty in the songs in which Fleur imbues each with a poignancy that enhances the lyric delivering a thoughtful and fresh interpretation of the repertoire.


Another ECM release of particular importance was further concert from Keith Jarrett caught in concert during a tour of Europe with the Bordeaux Concert, and an equally impressive album from Espen Berg in a live concert recording that ensures that solo piano improvisation is in safe hands.

The only re-issue in my list apart from the essential Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk, but the joys of delving into record company vaults is again proving to be highly rewarding.

Any new music unearthed by pianist Stan Tracey is always worth hearing, and The 1959 Sessions does not disappoint. The Albert Ayler set was indeed a revelation to me to the extent it has made me re-evaluate my view of the saxophonist’s work and listen with fresh ears to other albums of Ayler’s that I felt I knew well.

The thirst for any new Miles seems unquenchable, and The Bootleg Series 7: That’s What Happened 1982-1985 adds a little more to the story of the trumpeter’s thinking of the eighties.

Miles-Davis-the bootleg series vol7-

New Releases:

  1. Betty Accorsi Quartet – Growing Roots (Betty Accorsi Music)
  2. Espen Berg – The Trondheim Concert (NXN Recordings)
  3. Alexander Bryson Trio (Hard Bop Records)
  4. Joy Ellis – Peaceful Place (Oti-O Records)
  5. Sheila Jordan – Live At Mezzrow (Cellar Live)
  6. Wendy Kirkland – Latin Lowdown Live (Blue Quaver Records)
  7. Nicki Leighton-Thomas – One Good Scandal (33jazz)
  8. Scottish National Jazz Orchestra – Where Rivers Meet (Spartacus Records)
  9. Fleur Stevenson & Pete Billington – For All We Know (PB1002)
  10. Gareth Williams – Short Stories (Miles Music)


  1. Keith Jarrett – Bordeaux Concert
  2. Benjamin Lackner – Last Decade
  3. Enrico Rava & Fred Hersch – The Song Is You
  4. Fred Thomas – Three Or One
  5. Oded Tzur – Isabela

From the Vaults:

  1. Albert Ayler – Revelations: The Complete ORTF 1970 Foundation Maeght Recordings (Elemental Music)
  2. Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk (Atlantic)
  3. Miles Davis – The Bootleg Series 7: That’s What Happened 1982-1985 (Sony Music)
  4. Stan Tracey – The 1959 Sessions (Resteamed Records)