Europe Jazz Media Chart - January 2022

A selection of the hot new music surfacing across the continent this month by the top European jazz magazines and websites

Christof Thurnherr, Jazz’n’More (Switzerland)

FRED FRITH TRIO: Road (Intakt Records)

Jacek Brun, (Germany)

ARBENZ, VISTEL, MOUTIN: Conversation #4 - Vulcanized (Hammer Recordings)

Swiss drummer and percussionist Florian Arbenz, best known for his work with the trio VEIN or with American greats Dave Liebman and Greg Osby, has set out to release 12 albums with 12 different musicians. In his self-built Hammer Studio in Basel, he brings together musicians he has known for years as well as those he only admires from afar.Carefully planned, delicately curated, but ultimately dependent on the inspiration and creativity the musicians develop that day. Conversation #4, titled Vulcanized, featuring Cuban saxophonist Maikel Vistel and legendary French bassist François Moutin, was released on November 19. This album is a remarkable achievement. Despite the use of complicated means, the music is attractive and accessible in reception - there is a lively narrative, many extended solos by individual musicians with powerful charisma. This is how masters of their craft play. Another excellent album under the direction of the indefatigable Florian Arbenz, who continues to captivate us with his wonderful projects.

Madli-Liis Parts, Muusika (Estonia)

LEMBE LOKK: Secret Chords - Songs of Leonard Cohen (Le Furieux Music)

Anna Filipieva, (Russia)

IGOR BUTMAN: Only Now (Butman Music Records)

Russian saxophonist's first outing as a leader in five years (and the 18th in his discography) marks his 60th birthday and features drummer Antonio Sánchez (of "Birdman" movie and Pat Metheny Group fame) and guitarist Evgeny Pobozhiy throughout the album; others alternate between quartet with Matt Brewer on bass and quintet with the legendary bassist Eddie Gómez and pianist Oleg Akkuratov, who also sings in one track. Russia's jazz mogul is captured here in full force, mature as an oak-matured mead, and as stylistically diverse as anybody can dream on. The ripeness of his playing is supported by the diversity of his two-in-one band where each member is a star in his own right (whether world-renown, or still in transition from domestic fame to global recognition,) but it is the berserk intensity of Butman's ongoing rhythmic dialogue with Sánchez that makes this record so thoroughly engaging.

Jan Granlie, (Pan-Scandinavian)

RED KITE: Apophenian Bliss (Rare Noise Records)

A great records with. modern, electric jazz combined with rock. Just the way the Norwegian is doing it! 

Christine Stephan, JAZZTHETIK (Germany)

TRIOSENCE: Giulia (Sony Masterworks)

Viktor Bensusan, (Turkey)

GERRY GIBBS: Songs From My Father (Whaling City Sound)

A new bebop album is a big relief that joyful modernity is not something from the past. The album also turned out to be the last recordings of Chick Corea. The Gibbs family has a lot more to offer, it seems, to the ears and souls of the modern conservative jazz audience.

Henning Bolte, Written in Music (Netherlands)

STEVEN BERNSTEIN’S MILLENNIAL TERRITORY ORCHESTRA: Tinctures In Time (Community Music Vol. 1) (Royal Potato Family)

Trumpeter Steven Bernstein is the brass man deeply immersed in and nourished by those fundamental Southern heritages, its sounds and feels - as a player and a gifted arranger. He is the vital spirited man carving out tracks for raw, elegant and bumping grooves to enliven and stir up today’s musics and landmarking evergreen with hot shots of irresistible brass. For Little Richard’s first hits brass with heavy baritones were a matter of course and it found its way into the great midnite rumbles of the late period of Levon Helm and into a lot of Hal Willner’s imaginative hommages. “Tinctures In Time” is the first of a four-part cycle to be followed by “Good Time Music”, “Manifesto of  Henry-ism” and “Popular Culture”, all performed by the stellar line-up of the Millenium Territory Orchestra. Nothing more important in times of losing track in sprawling seas of sound …

Tony Dudley-Evans, LondonJazz News (UK)

EDQ (Elton Dean, Keith Tippett, Chris Laurence, Louis Moholo-Moholo):  They All Be On This Old Road: The Seven Dials Concert (Ogun Records)

Saxophonist Elton Dean (1945-2006) leads a tightly integrated quartet in this recording of a live date from 1976. His interaction with Keith Tippett is truly outstanding  here. This CD is a re-issue of an album originally issued on LP, but the new CD  and Bandcamp version has 40 minutes of newly discovered extra material: this album presents the whole concert. Dean's explorations of the areas between straightahead jazz, free improvisation and rock music are from a time when British jazz was in a fascinating transition between modern and free jazz, and between the generation of the 50s and 60s and that of the 70s onwards.

Patrik Sandberg, Jazz (Sweden)


Pianist Joel Lyssarides has quickly become an integral part of the contemporary Swedish jazz scene. His influences range from classical music via Swedish folk songs, Argentine tango and Greek folklore to modern piano jazz. Fingering in timing, phrasing and pausing is Lyssarides hallmark. The virtuoso pianist has a romantic touch and the unpredictable modulations are appealing.The dense soundscape that is the basis of their sound world leans towards the dreamy, the sweeping chords are embedded in a tasteful melody with great finesse. The many tempo shifts are well balanced by the sheer silence. Whether he will shoulder the mantle after Swedish giants such as Esbjörn Svensson and Bobo Stenson remains to be seen - but the conditions are definitely there. Stay Now is Lyssarides first release on the ACT-label. Release January 28.

Cim Meyer, Jazz Special (Denmark)

THOMAS CLAUSEN TRIO: Back 2 Basics (Stunt Records)

Lars Mossefinn, Dag og tid (Norway)


Matthieu Jouan, (France)

CANSU TANRIKULU W/ GREG COHEN, TOBIAS DELIUS: Kantoj De Fermiteco (LowSwing Records LOSW 07)

The whole record is an allegory for sidestepping, a secret and unannounced music. Or rather unexpected, but which finally arrives. Yes, we were eager to hear this record, but we just didn't know it before!

Axel Stinshoff, Jazz Thing (Germany)


Luca Vitali, Giornale della Musica (Italy)

INGAR ZACH/MICHELE RABBIA: Musique pour deux corps (Sofa Music)

Yves Tassin, JazzMania (Belgium)

NABOU: You Know (Outnote records)

Jos Demol, (Belgium)

BRAM DE LOOZE: Vice Versa (self-produced)

“With 'Vice Versa' Bram De Looze is realizing a dream he has long cherished: a trio CD under his own name. As his accompanists he fell on the American drummer Eric McPherson and the German bassist Felix Henkelhausen. After a series of projects, whether or not on his initiative (MixMonk, Septych, Dre Hocevar Trio), various guest contributions (including recently during Citadelic 2021 with the Devin Gray Trio) and a series of solo trips, the long-awaited CD is now available. “Finally,” the young pianist confirms during a conversation about 'Vice Versa'. "That's not to say that McPherson and Henkelhausen don't have input, but now I'm the only captain with all the responsibilities that this entails." (Georges Tonla Briquet)

Ivan Shelekhov, Meloport (Ukraine)

FOA HOKA: The Best Of Foa Hoka 1991 — 2021 (SKP Records)

This compilation is a try to document the metamorphosis history of an experimental music entity that arose the same year Ukraine gained it's independence. Always being eclectic, Foa Hoka had it's peculiar route of shifts and ups and downs from post-industrial rock creativity and electronic hometaping to funky acid grooves and somewhat jazz-flavoured psychedelia.