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Jazz May 2021

What to expect in Jazz during this month? You will find here our selection “Jazz May 2021” of albums already released or to be released this month (What to Wait For?). 10 albums – or EPs, or Singles – that got our full attention and should be worth your time.

A playlist with one track per selected album is available at the end of the post.

New Jazz Releases May 2021

Jazz May 2021 – Selection

James Brandon Lewis, Red Lily Quintet - Jesup Wagon

James Brandon Lewis, Red Lily Quintet

Jesup Wagon
(TAO Forms)

What James Brandon Lewis is offering here, is poetry. Nothing less. As poetic as A Love Supreme? without a doubt. As major? let’s hope.

Read the full review here: James Brandon Lewis, Red Lily QuintetJesup Wagon

James Brandon Lewis: tenor saxophone; Kirk Knuffke: cornet; William Parker: bass, gimbri (#2 & #7); Chris Hoffman: cello; Chad Taylor: drums, mbira (#6)
Release date May 7, 2021


Sons of Kemet

Black to the Future
(Impulse! Records)

Read our full here: Sons of KemetBlack to the Future

Sons of Kemet returns in 2021 with their new album Black To The Future. This release finds the UK-based quartet at their most dynamic – showcasing harmonically elegant arrangements and compositions, coupled with fierce, driving material that will be familiar to initiated fans. This album features prominent UK vocalists and a strong emphasis on lush compositions and arrangements. Guest artists include Kojey Radical, Moor Mother, & more.”
— Impulse!

Shabaka Hutchings: saxophone, clarinet; Tom Skinner: drum; Theon Cross: tuba; Eddie Hick; drum
Release date May 14, 2021

María Grand - Reciprocity

María Grand

(Biophilia Records)

The track “Creation: Interlude” says it all: “J’ai remarqué que c’était toujours dans les actes que la clé des problèmes se trouvait, alors qu’on essaie trop souvent d’analyser” (I noticed it was always in the actions the key to problems was to be found, while we too often try to analyze).

This album is sublime, just play it here on Spotify or play/purchase it here on Bandcamp. The act of listening will be a perfect key.

María Grand: tenor saxophone and voice; Kanoa Mendenhall: acoustic bass and voice; Savannah Harris: drums and voice
Release date May 14, 2021

Archer, Keeffe, Pyne - Hi Res Heart

Martin Archer, Charlotte Keeffe, Martin Pyne

Hi Res Heart
(Discus Music)

It will captivate and hypnotize your brain for hours, as even the abstruse can be comfortable.
“Nevertheless, that feeling that even at its most abstract, the blues is never too far away from this music, pervades the current work.”
– Martin Archer

Read the dedicated post: Martin Archer, Charlotte Keeffe, Martin PyneHi Res Heart

Martin Archer: sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor, baritone saxophones, Bb and bass clarinets, flute, bass harmonica, electronics; Charlotte Keeffe: trumpet, flugelhorn, electronics; Martin Pyne: drums, percussion, vibraphone, toy piano.
Release date May 14, 2021


Chris Potter Circuits Trio

Sunrise Reprise
(Edition Records)

“One of the most prolific improvisers of his generation returns with the follow-up to his 2019 Circuits album: a powerful and cathartic record featuring keyboardist James Francies and drummer Eric Harland.”
— Edition Records

Chris Potter: tenor and soprano saxophones, clarinets, flutes, sampler/keyboard; James Francies: piano, keyboards; Eric Harland: drums
Release date May 14, 2021


Jaimie Branch

(International Anthem)

“Full flight capture of the full Fly or Die suite, parts 1 & 2 compounded & flawlessly communicated in a singular epic of raw cosmic brilliance.”

Jaimie Branch: trumpet, vocals, vibraslap; Lester St. Louis: cello, vocals, tiny cymbal; Jason Ajemian: bass, vocals, egg shakers; Chad Taylor: drums, vocals, mbira
Release date May 21, 2021

Ralph Peterson - Raise Up Off Me

Ralph Peterson

Raise Up Off Me
(Onyx Music)

“I meant what I played … did you?”
— Ralph Peterson

Read our album review: Ralph PetersonRaise Up Off Me

Ralph Peterson: drums, trumpet, percussion; Zaccai Curtis: piano, keyboard; Luques Curtis: bass; Jazzmeia Horn: vocals (7, 8, 13 on digital/LP); Eguie Castrillo: percussion
Release date May 21, 2021

Anna Webber - Idiom

Anna Webber

(Pi Recordings)

Read our full review: Anna WebberIdiom

“Idiom is a series of six pieces, each of which is based on a specific woodwind extended technique — a broad term meaning any non-traditional way of producing sound on an instrument, including the use of multiphonics, alternate fingerings, key clicks, overblown notes, and the like — that she has taken from her own improvisational language.”
— Pi Recordings

Disc One
Anna Webber: tenor saxophone, flute; Matt Mitchell: piano; John Hollenbeck: drums
Disc Two
Anna Webber: tenor saxophone, flute, bass flute; Nathaniel Morgan: alto saxophone; Yuma Uesaka: tenor saxophone, clarinet, contra-alto clarinet; Adam O’Farrill: trumpet; David Byrd-Marrow: horn; Jacob Garchik: trombone; Erica Dicker: violin; Joanna Mattrey: viola; Mariel Roberts: cello; Liz Kosack: synthesizer; Nick Dunston: bass; Satoshi Takeishi: drums
Release date: May 28, 2021

Guido Spannocchi - Perihelion

Guido Spannocchi

(Not on Label)


Guido Spannocchi’s aim is to “sonically accompany any part of your day & night”; well, we all wish our days & nights to feel like that forever. Read the dedicated post: Guido Spannocchi Perihelion

Guido Spannocchi: alto sax; Jay Phelps: trumpet; Sylvie Leys: tenor sax; Robert Mitchell: Wurlitzer and piano; Michelangelo Scandroglio: double bass; Tristan Banks: drums.
Release date May 28, 2021


Dave Holland

Another Land
(Edition Records)

“Another Land is the new album from the all-star trio featuring Dave Holland, Kevin Eubanks, and Obed Calvaire and a power-packed set of originals. This is a potent studio set of fluid themes developed by the band and forged in the furnace of live performance.”
— Edition Records

Dave Holland: bass and bass guitar; Kevin Eubanks: guitar; Obed Calvaire: drums
Release date May 28, 2021

Jazz May 2021 – Albums’ List:

+ 3 extra reviews


Listen to those tracks on our Spotify playlist “2021 (so far”).


Discover the Best of Jazz – Year 2021 full post.

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