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Europe Jazz Media Chart

November 2021


Jacek Brun,

Olga Konikova: OPEN SECRET (Losen)

Olga Konikova (p / el-p), Per Mathisen (b) and Gary Husband (d). It is an album whose beauty lies in the details and in the fascinating and mysterious musical story. Beautiful and extremely captivating. Somewhere in this music a true and undiscovered treasure is hidden ... it is worth searching for it.

Madli-Liis Parts, Muusika

Pent Järve Trio: 3+2 (Sound @ Data)


Paweł Brodowski, Jazz Forum

ZK Collaboration: SLOW FOOD (Polskie Nagrania)

„Z” stands for Zagórski and „K” for Kądziela. Adam Zagórski (d) and Maciej Kądziela (ss / as / bs) are co-leaders of this fusion group. SLOW FOOD is their second album, just released in the venerable Polish Jazz series.
Adam and Maciej first met as students at a Music Academy in Odense, Denmark. Some seven years ago they coopted a few like-minded young guns to form a quintet, whose current lineup also includes Mateusz Gawęda (key), Jakub Mizeracki (g), and Roman Chraniuk (b).
This newest project was cooked without haste over several years and recorded meticulously, with attention to detail – hence the title. Generally, this is a tasteful meal, and the ingredients include vintage fusion, jazz-rock, hard rock, and free. Its culinary associations are reflected in the titles of the compositions: Crispy, Salty, Cheesy, Sweety, Crusty, Spicy, Fizzy... There’s rock energy, jazz finesse, melodic invention, and sheer passion.


Anna Filipieva, Jazz.Ru

Nikolai Mishcenko: AMBERFLECTION Vol. 2 (Luch)

Mishchenko (p) is only 23 years old, but this is already his second album as a leader, this time not in a solo setting, like Volume 1, but with his Moscow, Russia-based trio with Nikolai Olshansky (b) and Mikhail "Mike" Fotchenkov (d). On a sublime verge of modern jazz / power trio sound and Russian classical tradition, the pianist is striving to seek his own path, to find it, and not to yield. The results are promising: to follow Nikolai seeking and finding turns out to be quite captivating.


Jan Granlie,

Andreas Røysum Ensemble: FREDSFANATISME (Motvind)

Røysum is, without a doubt, one of the most socially engaged jazz musicians in Norway today. Not only has he been at the forefront of the fight against the Kongsberg group, which conducts arms exports to countries we would rather not compare ourselves with, and Kongsberg Jazz Festival. He is also a driving force in the entire Motvind organization with record company, publishing house, jazz club and festival. In addition, he is an excellent clarinetist, who creates exciting music in the landscape of Sun Ra and the Art Ensemble of Chicago. To a large extent, this is music where community and the collective expression are the most important. But sometimes there are some of the musicians who go hard to the left and deliver brilliant solos, and all the time Henriette Eilertsen’s flute is almost like a mainstay in the music. But if you listen carefully, you discover Røysum’s clarinets in different versions, as the one who controls it all with extremely hard discipline. And if you absolutely want some highlights, then I choose some of the contributions by Ivar Myrset Asheim (d), Henriette Eilertsen (fl) and Røysum himself. But it is not important in this context. The important thing here is the common expression this band creates, and which goes beyond a lot you get today served from younger musicians, both in Norway and in other countries it is natural to compare yourself with. A brilliant recording with an ensemble that will never play at Kongsberg Jazz Festival, and if this band is not soon on the program of, for example, Klub Primi in Copenhagen, I may react more strongly than maybe I should. And if there is no peace when you hear this fantastic music, then there will never be!


Christine Stephan, JAZZTHETIK

F.S. Blumm & Nils Frahm: 2x1=4 (Leiter)


Viktor Bensusan,


Social and political turmoil continuously inspire since they don’t ever really expire... Meder who mixes jazz standards with his originals has used the ideas of Spanish Civil War-era philosopher Miguel de Unamuno as his muse palette to describe the current political spectrum around us. And deep down, we feel the sophisticated romance he exposes as an award-winning jazz pianist of recent years.


Dick Hovenga, Written in Music

Vels Trio: CELSTIAL GREENS (Rhythm Section)

This trio proves that bands with great musical ambition keep emerging from the New Wave Of British Jazz. Also, bands that go their own musical way and make no concessions and therefore also make an extra impression. CELESTIAL GREENS is an overwhelming adventurous flow of jazz, fusion, electronics and hip-hop based and funky grooves.


Sebastian Scotney, LondonJazz News

Kansas Smitty's PLUNDERPHONIA (7K!)

The wonderfully expressive and focused drumming of Jas Kayser brings a wholly new dimension to Kansas Smitty’s. Kayser is Berklee-trained, where she learned from Neil Smith, Ralph Peterson and Terri Lyne Carrington, and all those influences are combined: she is a revelation. A great example is the track Water Games where Ravel’s Jeux d'Eau from Joe Webb (p) is contrasted with her complex yet crafted sound. Also check out the rolling groove she brings to Mamanita. Saxophonist Giacomo Smith often talks about the joy of “throwing yourself into a new environment” and he certainly defies expectation here. People who know him as a player in the more traditional mold will certainly be surprised. The album has been very well recorded on vintage equipment in Durham Sound Studios in Camden Town.


Patrik Sandberg, Jazz

Jazzmeia Horn and Her Noble Force: DEAR LOVE (Empress Legacy)

American Jazzmeia Horn took the jazz world by storm after the 2017 acclaimed and Grammy-nominated debut album A SOCIAL CALL (Prestige).
She won the hearts of both audiences and critics with her Sarah Vaughan and Betty Carter-inspired voice. Jazzmeia Horn is a singer who takes on the jazz tradition with an open mind, she has learned the idiom by listening to the great jazz singers, but is at the same time clearly influenced by both gospel and R&B artists such as neo-soul singer Erykah Badu. On the debut album, Jazzmeia Horn’s ambition was to increase awareness of social injustices through her music. The songs consisted exclusively of the singer’s absolute favorite songs in jazz, soul and spirituals. At the 2019 LOVE AND LIBERATION (Concord), she was instead completely alone as the songwriter for most of the album’s songs where love and liberation were a recurring theme. This concept also appears on her third album as a bandleader with the apt title DEAR LOVE. Jazzmeia Horn has tried to find songs that best describe her reality as a black woman but which people who are not part of her culture can still relate to. She went through lots of songs and looked for those that really describe love in many ways – the love for her surroundings, culture, partner, children and for her love for herself. The selected songs are love letters to all of us.


Cim Meyer, Jazz Special

Anne Mette Iversen: ROUND TRIP (Brooklyn Jazz Underground)


Lars Mossefinn, Dag og tid

John Coltrane: A LOVE SUPREME LIVE IN SEATTLE (Impulse!)


Anne Yven,


Simply powerful. A lesson of dramaturgy with no discord and sense of filling space and dancing with silence only with the right perfect sound. Tanaka has been presented as an up-and-coming piano talent in Norway for ten years, and today she can clearly claim to be one of the best. It is the second release of her trio – formed with Christian Meaas Svendsen (b) and Per Oddvar Johansen (d). The music is stripped down to the elementary and still, once you have seen them on stage, you can use no other word than “captivating”.


Axel Stinshoff, Jazz thing

Marc Johnson: OVERPASS (ECM)


Luca Vitali, Giornale della Musica



Yves Tassin, JazzMania

Eskina: WE WERE THE MOON (Challenge)

Young, talented, ...


Jos Demol,


“Here she is solo, an introspective approach that allows her to best probe her personality, her sensitivity. This project saw the daylight in 2019, thanks to a carte blanche offered by Jean-Pierre Bissot at the Gaume Jazz Festival. She decided to continue this solitary approach for Igloo.” (Claude Loxhay)


Katherine Zyabluk, Meloport (Ukraine)

Horse Orchestra: THE MILKMAN COMETH (self-released)

THE MILKMAN COMETH by the pan-Nordic ensemble Horse Orchestra could be named THE ANTHOLOGY – recordings from different performances from 2018 collected under one cover and represent an essential mood of that bright and forward-thinking band. Chaos, playfulness combined with a great technique and advanced compositional forms – it is the main trait, which is immediately audible. Having control over the musical chaos, Horse Orchestra slightly oscillate between original compositions by Jeppe Zeeberg (p), Petter Hängsel (tb) and Nicolai Kaas Claesson (b) – and arrangements of George Gershwin’s and David Whittaker’s compositions.
There is a lot of fun – we can hear the laugh of the audience, quizzical melodies from musicians, unpredictable changes in dynamics. As it should be on a good live recording. The only sad thing is that we can’t notice their behavior and style through the recording.


Christof Thurnherr, Jazz’n’More

Barney Wilen: FRENCH BALLADS (Elemental)

This is a reissue of the Album of 1987 remastered by Hervé Le Guil, who recorded the original sessions, including four previously unissued alternate takes and with new liner notes by Ashley Kahn.

© 2012 JAZZ Special