Although it’s still early in the year, there are already a few frontrunners for the Best Jazz Albums of 2022. Ivo Perelman’s latest release, (D)IVO, is certainly as intense as it is perfect. Another early favorite is Michael Bisio and Matthew Shipp’s Flow of Everything. The duet completes each other so amazingly; it is stunning. Blue Note Records additionally listed two albums, The 7th Hand and Bells On Sand by Immanuel Wilkins and Gerald Clayton. What a start!
The albums are listed in order of release date.
Note that if you’re looking for the best jazz of 2022, then there are a few things to keep in mind. For starters, make sure to check out some of the up-and-coming artists in our monthly selections. Additionally, don’t forget to check out our playlist to keep yourself updated with all the new sounds. Finally, if you want to stay on top of the latest trends, then be sure to sign up for our next reviews and selections:
Best Jazz 2022 (so far)
Immanuel Wilkins – The 7th Hand
The 7th Hand
(Blue Note Records)
“The album consists of an hour-long suite comprised of seven movements that strive to bring the quartet closer to complete vesselhood by the end, where the music would be entirely improvised, channeled collectively.”
Read the full review.
Immanuel Wilkins: alto saxophone; Micah Thomas: piano; Daryl Johns: bass; Kweku Sumbry: drums | Guests – Elena Pinderhughes: flute; Farafina Kan Percussion Ensemble
Release date January 28, 2022
Michael Bisio & Matthew Shipp – Flow Of Everything
Flow Of Everything
Michael Bisio: bass; Matthew Shipp: piano
Release date January 21, 2022
Andrew Cyrille, William Parker, Enrico Rava – 2 Blues For Cecil
2 Blues For Cecil
“The three musicians share one major link in their respective careers. Namely, they all have at different times been members of Cecil Taylor Unit or other ensembles of the legendary late pianist and bandleader Cecil Taylor. Rava, Parker, and Cyrille first performed together as a trio in a tribute to Cecil Taylor, with Taylor himself present, at the Whitney Museum in April 2016 as part of an exhibit/program under the heading “Open Plan: Cecil Taylor.” 2 Blues For Cecil was recorded on February 1 and 2 at Studio Ferber in Paris following the trio´s concert on December 31, 2020, under the heading “Tribute to Cecil Taylor” as part of the Sons d’hiver festival in Paris.”
— TUM Records
Discover more about this release.
Andrew Cyrille: drums; William Parker: double bass; Enrico Rava: flugelhorn
Release date January 21, 2022
Rob Mazurek Quartet – Father’s Wing
Father’s Wing is a tribute to Mazurek’s late father. Through an hour of music dispersed amongst nine tracks, the quartet beautifully connects to the other side. Read the full review here: Father’s Wing
(D)IVO Saxophone Quartet – (D)IVO
It seems impossible to grasp how much talent and inspiration were needed to achieve such perfection in these four saxophones’ alignment, as well as in their non-alignment. How is it possible? Maybe this is like looking up to the celestial bodies gravitating around each other through forces that are elusive to us, and yet there it is, magnificent and—thankfully for us—here for a very long time. Read the entire review here.
Ivo Perelman: tenor saxophone; Tony Malaby: soprano saxophone; Tim Berne: alto saxophone; James Carter: baritone saxophone
Released February 18, 2022
Lisa Ullén, Elsa Bergman, Anna Lund – Space
(Relative Pitch Records)
It is like the musicians are the voice of something bigger—not space, but maybe emptiness, in a frightening way. Read more here.
Lisa Ullén: piano; Elsa Bergman: double bass; Anna Lund: Drums
Release date March 4, 2022
Punkt.Vrt.Plastik – Zurich Concert
“The album’s “laboratory” aspect demanded that the compositions remain separate, musically “uncontaminated” by one another. Yet clearly, for the musician on stage as for the friendly experiencer, live performance does not behave the same way as an album: it cannot be stopped, started, rewound, shuffled, and so on. Here, then, we witness the trio forging different architectures from those we know from the tunes’ studio incarnations. The tight woven fabric is stretched, and now the light now shines through the fibres.”
–Alexander Hawkins, liner notes
Kaja Draksler: piano; Petter Eldh: bass; Christian Lillinger: drums
Release date March 18, 2022
Dave Douglas – Secular Psalms
“In a visual sense, the piece begins in the space of the outer panels, with muted colors and dank interiors. Subsequent sections explore the inner panels, full of light, showing people from all walks of life. With Edge of Night, the piece returns to the mysterious and darker panels of the Arrival, where Van Eyck’s Gabriel and Mary play out this mystery for all eternity.”
Dave Douglas: trumpet, voice; Berlinde Deman: serpent, tuba, voice; Marta Warelis: piano, prepared piano, pump organ; Frederik Leroux: guitars, lute, electronics; Tomeka Reid: cello; Lander Gyselinck: drums, electronics
Release date April 1, 2022
Gerald Clayton – Bells On Sand
Bells On Sand
Another stunning Blue Note release, as good as it can get on this fabulous label.
“Each musician on the record represents a different aspect of the axis of time and its shifting sands, […] My father and Charles Lloyd, who has been a mentor figure to me, reflect new permutations of my past, and the lineage of elders who have shaped my development; Justin Brown, being my contemporary and musical brother, represents my present; and MARO represents the future—she is part of the next generation, and points to a brand new collaboration.”
Gerald Clayton: piano; Charles Lloyd: saxophone; John Clayton: bass; Justin Brown: drums; MARO: vocals
Release date April 1, 2022
Fergus McCreadie – Forest Floor
Amazing jazz artists in the United Kingdom are not all based in London. First, there was this month Alabaster DePlume from Manchester; now, there is Fergus McCreadie from Scotland. His first album was self-released in 2018 and garnered the full attention of the jazz world, as well as several prizes on a national level. Cairn, released in 2021 and published by Edition Records, was also a success, and Forest Floor comes only one year after to clearly confirm how talented this pianist and composer is.
Fergus McCreadie: piano; David Bowden: double bass; Stephen Henderson: drums
Release date April 8, 2022
Mary Halvorson – Amaryllis / Belladonna
Amaryllis / Belladonna
Two new suites by Mary Halvorson, which she describes as “modular and interlocking,” for her debut on Nonesuch Records, with amazing musicians (see hereafter) playing amazing music.
Mary Halvorson: guitar; Patricia Brennan: vibraphone; Nick Dunston: bass; Tomas Fujiwara: drums; Jacob Garchik: trombone; Adam O’Farrill: trumpet | The Mivos string quartet
Mary Halvorson: guitar; The Mivos Quartet: Olivia De Prato: violin; Maya Bennardo: violin; Victor Lowrie Tafoya: viola; Tyler J. Borden: cello
Release date May 13, 2022
David Murray Brand New World Trio – Seriana Promethea
When three jazz masters get stuck in south Europe due to a world lockdown, they manage to make the best out of it: they take the opportunity to play together for the first time, to perform a few concerts, and to crystalize this fabulous moment–Seriana Promethea–in a nearby studio. Read the full review.
David Murray: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Brad Jones: bass; Hamid Drake: drums
Release date May 20, 2022
Nduduzo Makhathini – In the Spirit of Ntu
In the Spirit of Ntu
After Modes of Communication: Letters from the Underworlds became a part of our Best Jazz 2020 selection, Nduduzo Makhathini came out with his second Blue Note release.
It is, quite simply, magnificent. Read the full review here.
Nduduzo Makhathini: piano; Linda Sikhakhane: saxophone; Robin Fassie Kock: trumpet; Dylan Tabisher: vibraphone; Stephen de Souza: bass; Gontse Makhene: percussions; Dane Paris: drums | Special guests vocalists Omagugu and Anna Widauer, and saxophonist Jaleel Shaw.
Release date May 27, 2022
Best Jazz 2022 (so far):
- Immanuel Wilkins – The 7th Hand (Blue Note Records)
- Michael Bisio & Matthew Shipp – Flow Of Everything (Fundacja Słuchaj)
- Andrew Cyrille, William Parker, Enrico Rava – 2 Blues For Cecil (TUM Records)
- Rob Mazurek Quartet – Father’s Wing (Rogue Art)
- (D)IVO Saxophone Quartet – (D)IVO (Mahakala Music)
- Lisa Ullén, Elsa Bergman, Anna Lund – Space (Relative Pitch Records)
- Punkt.Vrt.Plastik – Zurich Concert (Intakt Records)
- Dave Douglas – Secular Psalms (Greenleaf Music)
- Gerald Clayton – Bells On Sand (Blue Note)
- Fergus McCreadie – Forest Floor (Edition Records)
- Mary Halvorson – Amaryllis / Belladonna (Nonesuch Records)
- David Murray Brand New World Trio with Brad Jones and Hamid Drake – Seriana Promethea (Intakt Records)
- Nduduzo Makhathini – In the Spirit of Ntu (Blue Note)
2022 – New Releases Month by Month
- January 2022 (feat. Alexander Hawkins, Emile Parisien, Tim Berne…)
- February 2022 (feat. Stefan Pasborg, Kit Downes, Binker and Moses…)
- March 2022 (feat. Tomas Fujiwara, Noël Akchoté, Hugo Carvalhais…)
- April 2022 (feat. Tord Gustavsen, Fergus McCreadie, Myra Melford…)
- May 2022 (feat. Ches Smith, Nduduzo Makhathini, David Virelles…)
- June 2022 (feat. Anteloper, Gabby Fluke-Mogul, MC3…)
- July 2022 (feat. Allison Miller, Sasha Berliner, Kirk Knuffke…)
Listen to the dedicated Spotify playlist “Best Jazz 2022” with all the monthly new release selections.