Europe Jazz Media Chart

November 2020

Lars Mossefinn, Dag og tid

Eple Trio: Ghosts, NXN


Sebastian Scotney, London Jazz News

Tom Smith: Gecko, Basho

No, not tenor saxophonist Tommy Smith (born Edinburgh, 1967), but alto saxophonist Tom Smith (born South London, 1995.) Two-time finalist in the BBC Young Jazz Musician Competition, and the only UK musician in Maria Schneider’s 2018 Generations Band in Frauenfeld (CH). Gecko is a trio with vibes player Jonny Mansfield and pianist Will Barry. Both were part of his student cohort, all three are wonderfully confident and communicative players. Tom is a natural big band lead alto player, with a real gift to play melodies assertively and clearly. Another aspect of his work is LGBT issues. He founded a band called Queertet, and he has a strong and persuasive voice on these important issues too.


Matthieu Jouan, citizenjazz.com

Sylvain Rifflet: Rebellion(s), BMC

In this stressful period of isolation and capitalist cynicism, it is important to celebrate the voices that embody rebellion, as jazz has always done. Sylvain Rifflet and Jon Irabagon stand with their horns and ring the alarm.


Axel Stinshoff, Jazz thing

Dino Saluzzi, Albores, ECM


Luca Vitali, Giornale della Musica

Cristina Zavalloni: For the living, Encore


Madli-Liis Parts, Muusika

Brian Melvin: As It Is, Yama


Paweł Brodowski, Jazz Forum

Sylwester Ostrowski & Jazz Forum Talents feat. Bobby Watson,

Logan Richardson, Keyon Harrold: Jammin’ with KC, Agora

This unique album is a result of an expedition to Kansas City, the birthplace of Charlie Parker, undertaken in February 2020, just before the pandemic outbreak. The mastermind of the project, tenor saxophonist Sylwester Ostrowski, put together a constellation of young Polish guns selected at Jazz Forum Showcase, which was held in Szczecin in October last year. Jazz Forum Talents are: Kasia Pietrzko (p), Maciek Kadziela (as), Kacper Smoliński (hca), Tomasz Chyła (vln), and Kuba Mizeracki (g). At a spontaneous session in Omaha, Nebraska, they joined forces with Kansas City luminaries – Bobby Watson and Logan Richardson (as), Dominique Sanders (b), as well as Eric Allen (drummer now living in Poland). Keyon Harrold’s trumpet part was later added to the mix. Jammin’ with KC is a fiery blend of different elements: bebop, hardbop, free, funk, hip-hop, and a touch of classical romanticism.


Mike Flynn, Jazzwise

Christian Scott & Atunde Adjuah: Axiom, Ropeadope


Anna Filipieva, Jazz.Ru

LRK Trio: Memory Moment, Losen

It is a masterpiece. The Moscow-based trio continues their productive work with the Norwegian label, coming up with their third release on the imprint: a mature, diverse, and powerful recording, both delightfully modern in sounds and rhythms, and excitingly Russian in the melody department. What Evgeny Lebedev (p), Anton Revnyuk (b) and Ignat Kravtsov (d) achieve equals to Pyotr Tchaikovsky meets Esbjorn Svensson and Sergei Prokofiev, and they go... not to a bar, it's the 21st century: they put on their running shoes and go for a three-mile run.


Jan Granlie, salt-peanuts.eu

Mary Halvorson’s Code Girl: Artlessly Falling, Firehouse 12

I would argue that this is one of the most original bands coming from the US these days. And the guitar playing of Halvorson, is very original. No one does it like her. She had colleague Joe Morris as a teacher some years ago, and him, combined with maybe Bill Frisell (with whom she did the great album The Maid with the Flaxen Hair on John Zorn's company, TZADIK, last year), are, maybe, the two I think about that are closest in the way she treats the guitar. And this version of Code Girl is nothing but a gem of a band, where all the elements of Halvorson’s world of ideas are connected in a brilliant way. And with the master, Robert Wyatt, as guest vocalist on three of the songs, this is some of the toughest I have heard of relatively free, but still very organized jazz in a very long time!


Christine Stephan, JAZZTHETIK

Keith Jarrett: Budapest Concert, ECM


Viktor Bensusan, jazzdergisi.com

Tim Garland: Refocus, Edition

Literally strings attached, this album Getz you to Stan’s album of half a century ago, Focus, as a revisit to the perennial longing of jazz meets strings. Bird did it, Wes did it, even dedicated Chet did it...


Dick Hovenga, Written in Music

Thunderblender: Stillorgan W.E.R.F.

Stillorgan is a wonderful restless affair that leaves you on the tip of your seat and completely intrigues with its unpredictability. Thunderblender is a fascinating new trio.


Patrik Sandberg, JAZZ/Orkesterjournalen

Blue Note: Re:imagined, Blue Note

High-profile names from the British jazz, r&b and soul scene give a number of Blue Note originals a new innovative twist. Nubya Garcia breathes new life into Joe Henderson's A Shade of Jade, Alfa Mist injects inventive cosmic grooves into the Eddie Henderson Galaxy, Shabaka Hutchings transforms Bobby Hutcherson's Prints Tie into urban, streetsmart contemporary jazz.


Cim Meyer, Jazz Special

Fred Hersch Trio: Live In Europe, Palmetto