Europe Jazz Media Chart - March 2020

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

Anna Filipieva, (Russia)

KRUGLOV-SOOÄÄR QUARTET: Tchaikovsky (ArtBeat Music)

The second time the international Russian-Estonian quartet co-led by saxophonist Alexey Kruglov and guitarist Jaak Sooäär is focusing on the music written by Russian classical composers, since the 2015 "The Mighty Five". This time, all music by none other than Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who was not only a great composer, but also a fierce music critic, famous for trashing performers who did not play up to his strict standards. Three Estonians and one Russian did not stay overly true to the letter of Tchaikovsky's scores, but nevertheless they comprehended the composer's spirit: his crowd-pleasing aspirations come in the form of intensely controlled avant jazz rock fusion drama. Hopefully, Tchaikovsky the critic would be satisfied.

Jan Granlie, (Pan-Scandinavian)


We speak Molde Jazz on the westcoast of Norway. There is certainly rain and wind in the air and it is on July 19, 2018, and on the stage of Theatret Vårt is a mastodont of a band led by drummer Paal Nilssen-Love. The Large Unit debuted in Molde at the festival in 2013, and after that they have toured and performed concerts all over the world, in Ethiopia, Brazil, Japan, USA and many places in Europe. They have done a number of recordings, and the collaboration with the Ethiopians in the band Fendika is in many ways a new way to go for the band. For here they do not play songs by the band members or by Paal Nilssen-Love, but mainly traditional music from Ethiopia, which is treated in a very unique and strong way by Large Units. Of course, this band constellation should be played wherever there is a big enough stage to present this connection of musicians, singers and dancers. For this constellation, I am convinced that it is helping to make the world a better place. It is music that gets smiles at the sourest of the laughing stock among us, the members of the Swedish Democrat Party, the American Republicans or Fremskrittspartiet in Norway. It is music that unites and creates understanding, which makes us as listeners happy at heart, and it is only to the extent that this reviewer does not pull up from the chair to take any free-range dance steps while "firing it loose”. A wonderful live recording, with a raw band, which together with Ethiopian Fendika and Terrie Ex, really found the tone this evening in the Teatret Vårt in Molde. And I'm pretty sure the sun was shining from a clear sky as when we moved out of the theater in Molde that evening!

Christine Stephan, JAZZTHETIK (Germany)

KADRI VOORAND: In Duo With Mihkel Mälgand (ACT)

Viktor Bensusan, (Turkey)

SARAH LANCMAN: Parisienne (Jazz Eleven)

Sarah Lancman is unique in her compositions while she is walking firmly on the footsteps of her legendary namesake, Sarah Vaughan, in interpretation... Her musical partner, romantic Italian pianist Giovanni Mirabassi is a great asset along with her impeccable vocal texture.

Patrik Sandberg, OrkesterJournalen (Sweden)

PAT METHENY: From This Place (Nonesuch)

From this place is Pat Methenys first record as a bandleader since Kin (Nonesuch) from 2014. One element that really holds Methenys music together and makes it accessible to more than jazz fans is that it he makes tunes that really get stuck and have substance. Meheny is joined by Antonio Sanchez, Gwilym Simcock, Linda May Han Oh and guests Meshell Ndegeocello and Gregory Mairet on this epic storytelling album.

Cim Meyer, Jazz Special (Denmark)

SATOKO FUJII ORCHESTRA BERLIN: Ninety-Nine Years (Libra Records)

Lars Mossefinn, Dag og tid (Norway)

GARD NILSSEN SUPERSONIC ORCHESTRA: If You Listen Carefully The Music Is Yours (Odin)

Matthieu Jouan, (France)


A delicate illustration of poetry in movement, in sound, in colour. A quirky duo that confirms the timelessness of the piano-vocal duo.

Axel Stinshoff, Jazz Thing (Germany)


Luca Vitali, Giornale della Musica (Italy)

CHRISTINE ABDELNOUR/MAGDA MAYAS: The Setting Sun Is Beautiful Because Of All It Makes Us Lose (Sofa Music)

Madli-Liis Parts, Muusika (Estonia)


Paweł Brodowski, Jazz Forum (Poland)

MARTA WAJDZIK QUARTET: Marta Wajdzik Quartet (Zadymka Multiproduction)

This a debut album by the latest discovery of Polish jazz. The 19-year old saxophonist is one of the best jazz artists of her generation, a winner of several national competitions, including last year’s Grand Prix of Młyn Jazz Festival, where she received a grant to attend the  NYU Summer Jazz Improvisation Workshop in Steinhardt this summer. Influenced by Kenny Garrett, she has a fully formed sound, improvisational flair and a mature approach to music. On her first album, filled up with her original compositions, she is supported by three of  the leading musicians of the Polish jazz scene today. The lineup is Marta Wajdzik - saxophones, flutes, programming; Paweł Tomaszewski - keyboards, programming; Robert Kubiszyn - bass guitar, double bass; Paweł Dobrowolski - drums. The record has been produced and released by Bielska Zadymka Jazzowa, the great international jazz festival organized in Marta’s home city Bielsko-Biała in southern Poland.

Mike Flynn, Jazzwise (UK)

WAKO: Wako (Øra Fonogram)