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Europe Jazz Media Chart

February 2023


Henning Bolte, Written in Music

George Dumitriu: MONK ON VIOLA (Evil Rabbit)

When thinking of viola, composers as Morton Feldman or György Ligeti come to mind. Thelonious Monk is not the most obvious match. Dumitriu has changed it in fascinating ways and sheds light on Monk’s depth of form and sense for essential detail to make music enthralling and living on. This album is about how the Monk substance emerge from the rich sonorities of the viola. Dumitriu achieves and illuminates it by playing with process and result in a dialectical way. Monk is maybe the most played jazz composer every night on this planet. Dumitriu contributes and gives us a recording that we can repeatedly listen to with pleasureful astonishment night by night for a while.

Sebastian Scotney, LondonJazz News

Sebastian Rochford, Kit Downes: A SHORT DIARY (ECM)

This is an album of and about grieving. And how a musician finds solace through music. It has real class and is going to be one of my albums of the year.
On a personal note, and since I share the same Christian name as the composer... I noticed that ECM released it – I believe completely by accident! – on St. Sebastian's Day January 20.

Patrik Sandberg, Jazz

Lakeija Benjamin: PHOENIX (Whirlwind)

Alto saxophonist and composer Lakecia Benjamin fourth studio album as a bandleader. Terri Lyne Carrington is behind the production and an iconic list of special guests that she respects and has been mentored by as Wayne Shorter, Dianne Reeves, Patrice Rushen and Angela Davis appears on the album. It is a deeply personal outing for Lakecia and presents mostly all original compositions and arrangements.

Cim Meyer, Jazz Special

Fredrik Lundin & Odense Jazz Orchestra: IT TAKES ALL KINDS TO MAKE A WORLD (April)

A large untraditional orchestra with excellent musicians, fabulous compositions and the biggest agendas imaginable. Excerpt from the liner notes: “The music on this album celebrates all that, which is different, peculiar, special, exclusive, incompatible, singular, deviant, strange distinct, extraordinary, unfamiliar, elusive, odd, and incongruous.”
“Diversity is a prerequisite for sustainable life on this our beautiful but suffering blue green globe.” Fredrik Lundin and cohorts make a strong and sobering case!

Lars Mossefinn, Dag og tid

Eyolf Dale Trio: THE WAYFARERS (Edition)

Matthieu Jouan,

Anja Lauvdal: FROM A STORY NOW LOST (Smalltown Supersound)

By taking her inspiration from the 19th century Norwegian pianist Agathe Backer Grøndahl (a musician who, because she was a woman, did not become a household name), Anja Lauvdal is also doing something political. There is a halo of sound texture that surrounds each piece, a backdrop on which the composer projects the film of her music. Sometimes a few muffled beats come to punctuate by spurts the sound layers. Airy and evanescent, this record is a magnificent success.

Axel Stinshoff, Jazz thing

Kenny Barron: THE SOURCE (Artwork)

Luca Vitali, Giornale della Musica

Holsen & Cassiers: WALKING IN CIRCLES (Stroom)

Yves Tassin, JazzMania

Esbjörn Svensson: HOME.S (ACT)

“A jewel, a treasure for fans of the pianist!” (Jean-Pierre Goffin)

Jos Demol,


“The link between Hildegard von Bingen, Robert Schumann and Tom Jobim? The duo Lilly Joel aka Lynn Cassiers and Jozef Dumoulin who effortlessly bridge cultures and centuries with vocals, electronics, and church organ.” (Georges Tonla Briquet)

Christof Thurnherr, Jazz’n’More

London Brew: LONDON BREW (None)

Kaspars Zavileiskis,

Auziņš – Čudars – Arutyunyan: TUTTI OFF DUTY (SKANi)

A Latvian contemporary jazz trio at the peak of its strength. At the beginning of this year, this their third album was launched. The title is a reference to the time of the pandemic, when all the duties of musicians were indeed postponed, but there was no desire to turn off the creation of new music. This is also not possible for Kārlis Auziņš (s / b-cl), Matīss Čudars (g) and Ivars Arutyunyan (d). All three have studied at jazz schools in different countries and are musicians full of creativity, who like to connect on the same wave from time to time to improvise together and watch what will happen. The new album reflects both rural and urban landscapes in a Northern European flowing manner, using extended techniques and electronic effects in the creation of the sound, but also maintaining the melodiousness. This is the first jazz album released by the Latvian National classical and choral music label SKANi, and probably not the last.

Jacek Brun,

Tony Lakatos: BLUE CHILI (Skip)

Despite all the diversity of inspirations, Tony Lakatos and his fellow musicians always remain themselves, leading a narrative rich in surprising solutions, but at the same time communicative and full of authentic emotions. An inspiring, uncompromising album that will appeal to both avant-garde and traditional jazz fans.

Madli-Liis Parts, Muusika

Eyolf Dale Trio: THE WAYFARERS (Edition)

Paweł Brodowski, Jazz Forum

Marek Pospieszalski: POLISH COMPOSERS OF THE 20TH CENTURY (Clean Feed)

This demanding and daring album is a surprise winner of “Jazz Forum” magazine’s annual Crictics’ Poll 2022 as the Album of the Year. Marek Pospieszalski was voted Musician of the Year. His reputation had spread abroad as he was chosen as one of the 25 most promising musicians in Europe by the German magazine JazzThing.
Released by the Portuguese avant-label Clean Feed, this is his first effort as a leader. This double album features variations on themes by 12 Polish classical composers, each piece bearing the name of a particular composer: Krauze, Kotoński, Baird, Rudziński, Stachowski, Krenz, Serocki, Palester, Szalonek, Panufnik, Sikorski, Schaeffer. The pieces, arranged by Pospieszalski are in fact not so much variations but rather new works loosely connected with the original scores. The performing ensemble is an octet including some of the finest musicians of the new jazz scene in Poland deserving wider attention: Pospieszalski (s / cl / fl / tape), Piotr Chęcki (ts), Tomasz Dąbrowski (tp), Tomasz Sroczyński (vla), Szymon Mika (g), Grzegorz Tarwid (p), Max Mucha (b), Qba Janicki (d & soundboard).
Almost two hours of compelling music worth a listen.

Mike Flynn, Jazzwise

Conic Rose: HELLER TAG (Self released)

Jan Granlie,

Bruun – Kjærgaard – Westergaard: THĒSAURŌS (ILK)

The Danish trio with Peter Bruun (d), Søren Kjærgaard (p) and Jonas Westergaard (b) have collaborated occasionally since they left the Rhythmic Conservatory in Copenhagen years ago. But since they do not live in the same city, or country, and all three are very busy with other musical projects, the trio has not been given the highest priority. THĒSAURŌS is one of the finest records I can remember hearing from a piano trio since the records with Bill Evans Trio from the early 1960s. Here we get music that speaks to the inner self, performed by three musicians, who know each other very well, who have the same ideas about music, and can manage Peter Bruun’s compositions in the very best way. A true treasure trove of a trio recording. And one of the many reasons why we are spending so much time listening and writing about jazz and other strong music for free. Has this year's best record already arrived?

Christine Stephan, JAZZTHETIK

Sunna Gunnlaugs: BECOMING (Sunny)

Viktor Bensusan,

Esbjörn Svensson: HOME.S (ACT)

And we thought that we had heard everything from him, yet the late Esbjörn had more to teach us. Let’s start with the Alpha, Beta, Gamma of it until we roll right down to the Eta, Theta, Iota of it...

Nuno Catarino,

Rita Maria – João Mortágua – Mané Fernandes: QUANG NY LYS (Roda)

Three magnificent musicians and sound explorers from Portugal came together to create an unclassifiable piece of music. Rita Maria (voc), João Mortágua (s) and Mané Fernandes (g) shine.





© 2012 JAZZ Special