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Europe Jazz Media Chart

August 2023


Krzysztof Komorek, Dono s kulturalny

Marek Pospieszalski: NO OTHER END OF THE WORLD WILL THERE BE (Clean Feed)

Pospieszalski’s album POLISH COMPOSERS OF THE 20TH CENTURY was unanimously hailed as the jazz album of the 2022 in Poland. And this project lived to see its continuation with a program dedicated this time to Polish female composers. There is no fooling oneself that this is easy music. But the genre weight of the album corresponds 100 per cent to its extraordinary artistic value. Confirming the reputation of the leader, the musicians involved and the publisher.

Jan Granlie,


This is, in many ways, a stellar example of how you don’t need a big, commercial name to be one of the world’s best guitarists (Tisziji Muñoz). And with Kresten Osgood and Bob Moses as “armors”, they have made a “guitar album” that should make many guitarists leave their guitar and let the professionals do the job. And here we meet one of the best and most unknown in superb interaction and “battle” with two of the world’s most outstanding drummers.

Dick Hovenga, Written in Music

Ben Van Gelder: MANIFOLD (DoYouMind?)

Dutch Ben van Gelder (s, comp) is a musical challenger. Surrounded by like-minded musicians, he constantly seeks musical adventure. He asked British Kit Downes (key) to be pivotal in a grand new piece of music in which the organ is the center. Challenge and organ, then the genius Downes is your man. In addition to Downes, van Gelder has once again brought together a fine company of musicians. With Fuensanta (voc), Joris Roelofs (b-cl), Hristo Goleminov (ts), Antoine Pierre (d) and Jean-Paul Estiévenart (tp) and van Gelder himself (as), he has found just the right international group of musicians for this music that leans heavily on classical from its freedom in jazz and slides into modern classical sounding as versatile as it is adventurous. MANIFOLD is a powerful and rich statement that sounds challenging, overwhelming, and international. Constantly looking beyond national borders, van Gelder has developed into an international musician, who prefers freedom and challenge and, as a result, can and may be counted internationally among the most important jazz musicians of his generation. MANIFOLD proves this big time!

Viktor Bensusan,

Fuat Tuaç: IMMIGRANT (Tuzu Kuru)

Fuat Tuaç gives a Bee Gees-atmosphere to jazz vocal, soft yet strong. As jazz has its roots in the music of the displaced, this album reflects the zeitgeist where most of us physically, mentally, or emotionally migrate with or without our own will.

Nuno Catarino,

Troll’s Toy: SYNESTHESIA (Vic Nic)

A power trio formed by Jorge Loura (barytone-g), Gabriel Neves (ts) and João Martins (d). The trio had so far released 18:05 (2019) and EKSTERORDINARE (2021, double vinyl). Now, the trio has teamed up with João Salcedo (p) for a studio session. If in the previous discs it was more concise and explosive, now it is no longer in a hurry, it is more exploratory. Always well structured, the music evolves and transforms over the course of a single 40-minute track. This encounter between Troll’s Toy and João Salcedo is a beautiful surprise, an exploratory journey that challenges the listener. The music was released in an original format (which is not even foreseen on Discogs): the album was released as a bottle of craft beer (including a download code), in a limited edition – available via Bandcamp.

Henning Bolte, freelance

Sanem Kalfa: MIRACULOUS LAYERS – LIVE AT BIMHUIS (Bimhuis, Reflex Series)

The concert recorded on this album in March 2022 was the kickoff of a – still continuing – series of BIMhuis-commissions called REFLEX. The title collates musical reflection and action-intervention towards grains of social and individual realities. The challenge is to find intervening forms of music making that not only reflect realities but also open undiscovered, unknown sides and views of it. Music as an art form does not talk about things or create symbolic imagery. It touches our souls, the flow and rapids of our moods, our feelings and own inner time by organized sounds, its energies, and dynamics.
     All pieces on this album come from a wondrous place and indeed connect among each other in miraculous modes. Fascinatingly Kalfa crosses the realms between whispers, cries, and deep canto (especially in the beauty of her dreamlike phrasing of Sait Maden’s poem Boslukta that gets a natural place here, and in her deeply touching a capella vocal duo with Fuensanta in Wound).
     Free improvisation, radical vocals, driving rhythmic vibrance and poignancy and balladeering emerge from a strong, elegant, and passionate undercurrent unified in a remarkable way. That constitutes something almost non-graspable and just due to it an enchanting new form with its own attracting ether and its challenging secrets. Kalfa not only has an amazingly flexible expressive voice and truthful way of making use of it. Her spontaneous lively dramaturgy and her performance intensity lift it all to a higher airy level while it actualizes effortlessly and organically with great surrender.
     The group comprises four female musicians of divers origin (Turkey, Poland, Korea, Mexico), key members (and bandleaders in their own right) of the new vibrant Amsterdam / Rotterdam scene plus two female artists from Istanbul: Sanem Kalfa (comp, voc, electr), Marta Warelis (p, voc), Fuensanta Mendez (b, voc), Sun-Mi Hong (d, voc), Kamucan Yalçin (cl, voc), Ilgen Arzik (decor, costumes).
     As an incidental feature of this album, you can also immerse into integral registration of the concert on BIMhuis TV. It’s a worthwhile extra rich pleasure. You can take the more condensed album as a stepping-stone for that.

Sebastian Scotney, LondonJazz News


There is a clue in the title: Austrian David Helbock (p) reveres Joe Zawinul. Here Helbock plays ONLY Rhodes, synthesizers & effects, finding joyous sounds as if he has time-travelled back to the 1970s and 1980s when it was all new and still being discovered, while leaving ALL the piano duties to another musician he has huge respect for: His teacher and mentor, American Peter Madsen, a real musician's musician. This album, which has some star guests such as Lakecia Benjamin, Maria João, Fred Wesley and Dhafer Youssef is the most joyous and communicative album that Helbock has made, the most personal (as he says, “this is close to my heart”). And I would say his best. Some reviewers don’t listen to albums expecting fun, so for them all I can misquote Bobby McFerrin: “Don't worry, be miserable".    

Patrik Sandberg, Jazz

Pat Metheny: DREAM BOX (BMG)

Dream Box features Chris Fishman (p) and Joe Dyson (d) and pushes the bandleader’s boundaries of musical exploration once again. The goal for the soon 69-year-old guitarist has in recent years been to work with musicians from a younger generation with whom he nevertheless feels a kind of kinship – like the role Metheny himself had when Gary Burton brought him into his band and let him develop there. The material is based on forgotten recordings, a discovery during a deep dive into his hard drive on his laptop. Once again, the guitar legend demonstrates his sophisticated and unfailing ability to make every note ring with great meaning.

Cim Meyer, Jazz Special

Simone Graziano: FRONTAL SEXUALITY (Auand)

Keybordist Simone Graziano, featuring Dan Kinzelman (ts), Reinier Baas (g),Gabriele Evangelista (b) and Stefano Tamborrino (d, voc), has made a release that makes me think of Steve Reich, Terry Riley and the other minimalists.
     The voices weave between each other and make sense. Intense and colorful with insistent rhythms and stubborn riffs in the fast-paced pieces. Typical of the Florentine artist, there are often scene changes where rhythms, themes and dynamics suddenly change.
     You don't have to “understand” what they're playing. You can just let yourself slip with the album’s meditative, kaleidoscopic collection of voices.

Lars Mossefinn, Dag og tid

Endre Ruset, Stian Omenås Og Jon Balke: NORIAKI (Nye nor)

Axel Stinshoff, Jazz thing

Meshell Ndegeocello: THE OMNICHORD REAL BOOK (Blue Note)

Luca Vitali, Giornale della Musica

Marc Ribot – Ceramic Dog: CONNECTION (Knockwurst)

Yves Tassin, JazzMania

La Jungle: BLURRY LANDSCAPES (Black Basset)

The duo widens their possibilities and nothing seems to stop them. Simply grandiose! (Claudy Jalet)

Jos Demol,

Niclas Knudsen Trio: MIGRATING SONGS (NK)

We recommend to guitar lovers of the finest class playing as in the primal spirit of Philip Catherine and Jim Hall. (Bernard Lefèvre)

Christof Thurnherr, Jazz’n’More

Marc Ribot – Ceramic Dog: CONNECTION (Knockwurst)

Kaspars Zavileiskis,

The Adam Larson Trio: WITH LOVE, FROM NEW YORK (Outside In Music)

Adam Larson is a bright representative of the American jazz generation in their 30s, one of the creators of the modern transoceanic jazz sound. The new album, which finishes a trilogy dedicated to the most important cities in Adam Larson’s life (Chicago, Kansas City, New York), proves that he is both a passionate tenor saxophonist and composer, and a delicate innovator, who is not afraid to cruise into new jazz waters. The record dedicated to New York was played together with two representatives of the jazz scene of the Big Apple:  Matt Clohesy (b) creative player with a great vibe, and Obed Calvaire (d) with a right feeling for subtle jazz playing. Doing without the presence of a harmonic instrument, all three feel free to swing and groove, and the album never feels like something is missing. A brilliant modern jazz LP in 2023.

Jacek Brun,

Efrat Alony: HÄNDEL FAST FORWARD (Dot Time)

Alony has succeeded in capturing this universal musical imprint and in making something far more profound out of the fusion of different traditions than a superficial weaving of classical motifs into jazz structures. Even the title of the album suggests not only a cross-border connection between musical spaces, but also their continuity. Another great work from this exceptional artist.

Madli-Liis Parts, Muusika

Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band: KINGS HIGHWAY (Stone Hill)


Mike Flynn, Jazzwise

Matthew Halsall: AN EVER CHANGING VIEW (Gondwana)


© 2012 JAZZ Special