Europe Jazz Media Chart - March 2021

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

Dick Hovenga, Written in Music (Netherlands)


Uma Elmo is an exceptional album boasting wonderfully elegant compositions performed by three musicians gelling with effortless mastery. Uma Elmo emphasises and exudes the remarkable and seemingly endless qualities of guitarist and composer Bro who manages to smoothly lead into greatness Rossy, and Henriksen in particular. Ulma Elmo is a one-of-a-kind album.

Peter Slavid, LondonJazz News (UK)

JOHN POPE QUINTET: Mixed With Glass New Jazz And Improvised Music Recordings (NEWJAiM 3)

When the 2020 Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music - like everything else last year - was cancelled, a new record label bravely emerged from the rubble. Supported by crowdfunding, New Jazz And Improvised Music Recordings (NEWJAiM) has already put out four excellent recordings. This one manages to create a lot of fun. The musicians all come from the North and North-East of England, led by Pope on the bass with Faye MacCalman on tenor sax and clarinet, Graham Hardy on trumpet, Jamie Stockbridge on alto sax and Johnny Hunter on drums. A very mixed bag of styles – there's definitely some Mingus influence, but also lots twisted melodies, broken rhythms, and plenty of individual and collective improv from a fine group of musicians.  

Patrik Sandberg, JAZZ/Orkesterjournalen (Sweden)

PAT METHENY: Road to the Sun (Modern Recordings)

Road to the Sun represents a new departure for Pat Metheny. The album contains recordings of two substantial multi-movement suites performed by five of today’s foremost classical guitarists Jason Vieaux and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (LAGQ). The new release  on the fresh label Modern Recordings marks Metheny’s recording debut as a chamber composer and the first on which he himself makes only a brief cameo. The recording continues the strong characteristic storytelling style that has long been a hallmark of the Metheny sound since his international debut in 1974. Release is set to 5th of Mars”.

Cim Meyer, Jazz Special (Denmark)

KNEEBODY: Chapters (Edition Records)

The quartet with six guests demonstrate superb musicianship and virtuosity like an experienced rock band (a few times too heavy) knowing the language of jazz. American music is still inventive and this genre-elusive team pushes the boundaries. Personnel: Ben Wendel (sax & effects), Shane Endsley (tp & effects), Adam Benjamin (keyboards), Nate Wood (drums and bass). Guests: Michael Mayo (vocals #2), Becca Stevens (vocals #4), Josh Dion (vocals, synth bass, drums #6), Gerald Clayton (piano #8), Gretchen Parlato (vocals #9), Kaveh Rastegar (bass #2-6, 8, 10).

Lars Mossefinn, Dag og tid (Norway)


Matthieu Jouan, (France)


Thirteen configurations for this trio and its radical binary approch of the rhythm and beat. Almost like being in trance in a train in a tunnel but it feels so good!

Axel Stinshoff, Jazz Thing (Germany)


Luca Vitali, Giornale della Musica (Italy)

HITRA (SGOBBIO, JENSSON, BERGER MHYRE, SKARBØ): Transparence (AMP Music and Records)

Madli-Liis Parts, Muusika (Estonia)

SUSANNA ALEKSANDRA: Siren (Eclipse Music)

Paweł Brodowski, Jazz Forum (Poland)

ZBIGNIEW SEIFERT: Live Recordings 1973 - 1976 (Jazz Haus)

This album is a historic gem. It saves from oblivion music from two sessions featuring the unsung hero of jazz violin Zbigniew Seifert.  The tapes were resting in the archives of Süd-West Rundfunk whose jazz deparatment was run by Joachim-Ernst Berendt. The first four pieces, recorded at the Donaueschingen Musiktage in October 1976, find Seifert duelling freely with the trombone giant Albert Mangelsdorff. The closing fifth number comes from a fusion session which took place three years earlier at the New Jazz Meeting in Baden-Baden, in December 1973. At this point of his career Seifert left the Tomasz Stanko Quintet (which had just dissolved) and was trying his first steps as a solo artist in the West. The Zbigniew Seifert Sextet included Jasper van’t Hof on electric piano and organ, and Philip Catherine on guitar. The album’s booklet features a fascinating essay by Ralf Dombrowski, titled “A Mystic of the String” helping us understand the importance of Zbigniew Seifert four decades after his untimely, tragic departure.

Mike Flynn, Jazzwise (UK)


Anna Filipieva, (Russia)

VAN QUARTET: Return (Jazz Club Esse)

Born in Armenia, pianist Vahagn Hayrapetyan graduated from Yerevan State Consevatory, honed his craft working in jazz clubs across the Middle East, and then matured them in the United States, where he studied with Barry Harris, and recorded with a wide array of jazz musicians in New Orleans. Currently living alternately in his native Yerevan and Moscow, Russia, Vahagn masterminded the VAN Quartet, an ethno jazz fusion outlet where his expertise in jazz connects with the rich Armenian folk legacy, channeled through consummate duduk playing by Emmanuel Hovhannisyan, and firmly supported by a strong jazz rhythm section made of percussionist Vartan Babayan and bassist Makar Novikov. Their debut album was recorded in early 2020, but its release was postponed due to pandemic; it's finally out in February, 2021, a much-welcomed sign of music scene's normal life determined to return.

Jan Granlie, (Pan-Scandinavian)

CHARLES MINGUS: Bremen 1964 and 1975 (Sunnyside Records)

I have a lot of recordings with Charles Mingus in my collection. But I do not put them on very often, for no apparent reason. But when I first do it, there are usually play two and three albums. And now there are four new records with excellent live recordings from two periods in Mingus' musical career, which takes a while before I place together with all the other Mingus records in drawers and cabinets. For these four records will buzz and go a few days ahead, and they reminds me of the fantastic musicians Mingus was working with here. This is four records you need to have in your collection. This is music from two periods of Charles Mingus' most creative periods, and where his genius as a composer and orchestra leader stands out very well. A classical box of fantastic music!

Christine Stephan, JAZZTHETIK (Germany)

JOE LOVANO TRIO TAPESTRY: Garden of Expression (ECM)

Viktor Bensusan, (Turkey)

LEONARDO COGHINI: Wellington Solos (Volume 1 - 2 - 3) (Skydeck Records)

Leonardo Coghini is a 23 year old jazz piano prodigy from Wellington, New Zealand. He recorded his 3 albums on a single day. They are pure improvisations; tunes having no names are just titled as "part"s from 1 to 25. The cover arts give you a clue, though, of the musically vegan feast you are about to indulge yourself with. Coghini is pianistically quite unique, occasionally you may feel glimpses of the explorative and inquisitive Keith Jarrett of 1970's, gymnopaedic Eric Satie and the rural folksy George Winston...