January 2023
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Jazz January 2023

What should you expect from jazz this month? Welcome to our January 2023 selection of albums that have already been released or will soon be released this month (“What to Wait For”). These albums got our full attention and are worth your time. They are listed in order of release date.

Jazz January 2023

January 2023 Selection

Jason Moran From the Dancehall to the Battlefield

Jason Moran

From the Dancehall to the Battlefield
(Self-release)

From the Dancehall to the Battlefield is a concept album about the life and legacy of American ragtime musician and early jazz bandleader James Reese Europe.

The album opens with words by Jason Moran himself to introduce the hero of the release:

The entire album is astonishing. First, it successfully manages to go back to one of the very roots of Black-American music and to enlighten us with crucial cultural history in a serious but profoundly pleasant way. Second, the music perfectly embodies the greatness of Europe in his approach to music, extending the scope in a constant mix hardly heard before of jazz’s ways and tunes, from before it was even named jazz, all the way to today’s modern jazz.

Jason Moran: piano, voice; Tarus Mateen: bass; Nasheet Waits: drums; Logan Richardson: alto saxophone; Brian Settles: tenor saxophone; Darryl Harper: clarinet; David Adewumi: trumpet; Reginald Cyntje, Chris Bates: trombone; Jose Davila: tuba, helicon
Release date January 1, 2023


Fred Frith Susana Santos Silva Laying Demons To Rest

Fred Frith, Susana Santos Silva

Laying Demons To Rest
(RogueArt)

On Laying Demons To Rest, the two artists create music that cannot be reduced to a mere guitar-trumpet release. The scope of textures, expressions, and impressions gathered here is just phenomenal; the dance between solo and accompaniment is so blurred and so delectable; the tightness of the music is so very sharp and consistent.

Read the full review at Laying Demons To Rest

Fred Frith: electric guitar; Susana Santos Silva: trumpet
Release date January 20, 2023


Andrew Cyrille Music Delivery Percussion

Andrew Cyrille

Music Delivery / Percussion
(Intakt Records)

Strangely enough, considering Andrew Cyrille’s massive discography, he had so far released only two solo albums in his entire carrier:

  • What About? (BYG Records) in 1969
  • The Loop (ICTUS Records) in 1978

So, a new solo release by Andrew Cyrille is surely quite an event!

Read the full review Music Delivery / Percussion

Andrew Cyrille: drums, percussion
Release date January 20, 2023


Sebastien Rockford Kit Downes A Short Diary

Sebastien Rochford, Kit Downes

A Short Diary
(ECM)

A Short Diary is a drum-piano duet that takes the exact opposite direction of the ones we usually feature for these selections. Far from the free-jazz form, or the accumulation of strokes, this release reduces them to the bare minimum, thereby creating an etheric atmosphere, perfectly in line with its purpose—grief.

“This “short diary (of loss)”, as drummer Sebastian Rochford calls it, is offered as “a sonic memory, created with love, out of a need for comfort.” It is dedicated to Rochford’s father, Aberdeen poet Gerard Rochford, 1932-2019, and to his family. Seb, one of ten siblings, wrote most of the music shortly after Gerard’s death and delivers it here, in performances of deep feeling and hymn-like clarity, together with pianist Kit Downes.”
–ECM Records

Read the full post at A Short Diary.

Sebastian Rochford: drums, composition; Kit Downes: piano
Release date January 20, 2023


Kawashima Mochizuki Henritzi Chinmoku wa ishikure ni yadoru bouryoku

Kawashima, Mochizuki, Henritzi

Chinmoku wa ishikure ni yadoru bouryoku
(Trost Records)

The three tracks of Chinmoku wa ishikure ni yadoru bouryoku are inspired by Georg Trakl’s “Night Song”:

Night Song
by Georg Trakl

Over nocturnal dark floods
I sing my sad songs,
Songs which bleed like wounds.
However, no heart carries them to me again
Through the darkness.

Only the nocturnal dark floods
Rush, sob my songs,
Songs which bleed from wounds,
They carry them to my heart again
Through the darkness.

The entire album is as dark as this verse and as intense as the “Georg Trakl” Google image search photos. The tracks, for which each part was recorded separately during lockdown in 2021, feel like a ghost story and lead one to wonder how vibrations and experiences across time and space can synchronize so frighteningly well and tell a story from shouted whispers so essentially and bewilderingly.

Makoto Kawashima: alto saxophone; Harutaka Mochizuki: alto saxophone; Michel Henritzi: lap steel, guitar feedback
Release date January 20, 2023


Bill Laurance Michael League Where You Wish You Were

Bill Laurance & Michael League

Where You Wish You Were
(ACT Music)

“Spanish resident and North Africa enthusiast Michael League draws colorful musical landscapes on oud, bass, and guitar. And Bill Laurance, otherwise also known to us, especially for dense walls of sound on keyboards and synthesizers, transfers their sound palette to the acoustic world of the piano. Musical escapism, world jazz 2.0, and an invitation to a place where we wish to be.”
–ACT Music

Bill Laurance: acoustic piano, voice; Michael League: oud, fretless acoustic guitar bass, fret-less baritone electric guitar, ngoni, voice
Release date January 27, 2023


Lakecia Benjamin Phoenix

Lakecia Benjamin

Phoenix
(Whirlwind Recordings)

Phoenix is as flamboyant as the cover art suggests. This is pure jazz, combined with all the extravagance that American pop and even hip-hop music can produce in an entertaining and clever way.

“The album was produced by the multi-Grammy-award winning Terri Lyne Carrington and features a star-studded line up of specially curated guests Dianne Reeves, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Patrice Rushen, Sonia Sanchez, Angela Davis, and Wayne Shorter.”
–Bandcamp page

Lakecia Benjamin: saxophone, vocals, synths, sound design; Victor Gould: piano, organ, Rhodes; EJ Strickland: drums; Ivan Taylor: double bass, electric bass; Josh Evans, Wallace Roney Jr: trumpet; Anastassiya Petrova: Rhodes, organ; Orange Rodriguez: synths; Nêgah Santos: percussion; Jahmal Nichols: double bass; Josée Klein, Laura Epling: violin; Nicole Neely: viola; Cremaine Booker: cello | With special guests: Georgia Anne Muldrow, Patrice Rushen, Dianne Reeves, Sonia Sanchez, Angela Davis, Wayne Shorter
Release date January 27, 2023


Jazz January 2023 – New Records Selection

  • Jason MoranFrom the Dancehall to the Battlefield (Self-release)
  • Fred Frith, Susana Santos Silva – Laying Demons to Rest (RogueArt)
  • Andrew Cyrille Music Delivery / Percussion (Intakt Records)
  • Sebastien Rochford, Kit DownesA Short Diary (ECM)
  • Kawashima, Mochizuki, HenritziChinmoku wa ishikure ni yadoru bouryoku (Trost Records)
  • Bill Laurance & Michael LeagueWhere You Wish You Were (ACT Music)
  • Lakecia BenjaminPhoenix (Whirlwind Recordings)
  • Casey MoirTraction (HearHere Records)

Next, discover the selection of our Best Jazz Albums 2022.

Playlist

Listen to these tracks on our Spotify playlist ↗.


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