Editor choice

The best new jazz albums | Editor’s Choice: December 2021 / January 2022

Featuring great new releases from Chick Corea Akoustic Band, Abdullah Ibrahim, Christian McBride and more…

Adam Baldych Quintet with Paolo Fresu



Along with 10 original, mood-accurate compositions plus Björk’s “Hyperballad”, the compositions that offer the greatest spaces for improvisation – “I Remember” and “Open Sky” – are among the highlights of the album, along with tracks such as “Grace” using a Renaissance violin (almost a 7th below a violin, whereas a viola is a fifth below) whose tone adds a sense of gravity and depth in Bałdych’s hands. Stuart Nicholson

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Chick Corea Akoustic Band with John Patitucci and Dave Weckl


Concord Jazz

This album was already in the works at the time of Corea’s sudden and unexpected death on February 9, 2021. On it, Corea contributes liner notes where he references a two-day whirlwind when the trio reunited in January. 2018 after a long break for a quick rehearsal and two shows the following evening. This two-CD set is the result. Stuart Nicholson

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Abdullah Ibrahim

Solitude: My journey My vision


This is a record to be listened to in one go, retracing his journey in all its detail, and remembering each of the themes he weaves before us, for they will surely reappear, modified and rethought, as time goes by. trip. A masterful achievement. Alyn Shipton

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Badly considered

liminal space

new floor

Ill Considered has followed an underground route, releasing nine improvised raw albums – including a Christmas LP, of course – in three years. With new bassist Liran Donin (Led Bib and his own 1000 Boats project), Liminal Space takes a leap forward in the studio, with the trio’s wild improvisation now the basis for additional arrangements and musicians. Drummer Emre Ramazanoglu’s production simmers thickly layered arrangements until star guests such as Theon Cross and Sarathy Korwar become mere ingredients in an innumerable ferment; yet the sense of space is still sharply defined, like claustrophobic dub. Nick Hasted

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David Linx

Be My Guest: The Duos Project

Crystal Records

By turns visceral, touching, transporting and enlightening, this set of 15 duets featuring Paris-based Brussels singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist David Linx is a collection that stays with you long after the final bar of the extraordinarily powerful ‘Como La Cigarra’ fades. Written by Argentine writer and composer Maria Elena Walsh, Linx is accompanied on this particular song by the magnificent playing of pianist Gustavo Beytelmann. Pierre Quinn

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Christian McBride & Inside Straight

Live at Village Vanguard

Avenue Mac

As well as demonstrating the continued vitality of the tradition in the right hands, this album also celebrates the longevity of Inside Straight, proudly highlighting their annual Vanguard appearances since 2007 – a run only halted in 2020. McBride does just a few solos, but the strength of the other soloists (including Allen) is such that you’re barely aware of the head-solo-head structure of these vibrant originals. Brian Priestley

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