Jazz May 2022
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Jazz May 2022

What should you expect in Jazz this month? This is our May 2022 Selection of albums that have already been released or have yet to be released this month (What to Wait For?). These albums got our full attention and should be worth your time.

The albums are ordered by the release date.

Jazz May 2022

Selection May 2022

Ches Smith Interpret It Well

Ches Smith

Interpret It Well
(Pyroclastic Records)

The music is like the lines of ink on the cover art, which cannot be reduced to a single impression. It contains the contemplation, the storm, and so many other things.

Read the full review: Interpret It Well

Ches Smith: drums, vibes; Craig Taborn: piano; Mat Maneri: viola; Bill Frisell: guitar
Released date May 6, 2022

Whit Dickey Quartet Astral Long Form Staircase In Space

Whit Dickey Quartet

Astral Long Form: Staircase In Space
(TAO Forms)

“The interaction between players is perfect. Entrances, exits, the spaces between sound and silence, all meeting at the right moment. This is great human music that will stand up to any dark forces in any universe.”
–William Parker

Whit Dickey: drums, composition; Rob Brown: alto saxophone; Mat Maneri: viola; Brandon Lopez: bass
Release date May 6, 2022

Mary Halvorson Amaryllis Belladonna

Mary Halvorson

Amaryllis / Belladonna
(Nonesuch Records)

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

Jonathan Barber & Vision Ahead poetic

Jonathan Barber & Vision Ahead


It is a very fine release that surprises and satisfies, as much as it positively harmonizes its surroundings.

Don’t believe us? Just give it a try:

Jonathan Barber: drums; Taber Gable: Fender Rhodes; Matt Dwonszyk: bass; Godwin Louis: alto saxophone; Andrew Renfroe: guitar
Release date May 13, 2022

Jacob Garchik Assembly

Jacob Garchik

(Yestereve Records)

Before discovering this album, I read an intriguing note: “No song starts where you think it will end.”

This perfectly sums up Assembly, and the musical experience that you are about to dive into.

Jacob Garchik: trombone; Sam Newsome: soprano saxophone; Jacob Sacks: piano; Thomas Morgan: bass; Dan Weiss: drums
Release date May 13, 2022

Brandon Seabrook In The Swarm

Brandon Seabrook

In The Swarm
(Astral Spirits)

The second release by this trio is so very good, as well as so very unique. It’s somewhere between psychedelic avant-garde, acid bluegrass, and clean trash jazz.

Brandon Seabrook: guitar, banjo; Gerald Cleaver: drums, electronics; Cooper-Moore: diddley bow
Released date May 20, 2022

Daniel Villarreal Panamá 77

Daniel Villarreal

Panamá 77
(International Anthem)

Panamá 77 somehow reminds us of In the Moment by the one and only Makaya McCraven. Also released by International Anthem, it manages to create a new universe, which is immersive, mesmerizing, and so perfectly produced. Let’s wish Daniel Villarreal as much success as McCraven is getting!

Daniel Villarreal: drumkit, bells, congas, handclaps; Anna Butterss: double bass; Aquiles Navarro: trumpets; Bardo Martinez: bass guitar, synthesizers, electric guitar, vocals; Cole DeGenova: organ, farfisa, mellotron, hammond organ; Dave Vettraino: air organ; Elliot Bergman: baritone saxophone, electric kalimba; Gordon Walters: bass guitar; Jeff Parker: electric guitar; Kellen Harrison: bass guitar; Kyle Davis: rhodes piano; Marta Sofia Honer: violin, viola; Nathan Karagianis: electric guitar
Release date May 20, 2022

David Murray Brand New World Trio Seriana Promethea

David Murray Brand New World Trio with Brad Jones and Hamid Drake

Seriana Promethea
(Intakt Records)

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

Nduduzo Makhathini

In the Spirit of Ntu
(Blue Note)

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, which seems to be another wonder. Lucky us!

Read the full review: In the Spirit of Ntu

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

David Virelles Nuna

David Virelles

(Pi Recordings)

Nuna is Cuban-American pianist and composer David Virelles’ first solo-piano recording. Nuna is also “a metaphor for the piano as an ancient instrument,” but Nuna is mostly an incredible album.

David Virelles: acoustic piano (Steinway Model D), Marimbula | Special Guest Julio Barreto: percussion (3, 9, 14)
Release date May 27, 2022

May 2022 – New Albums Selection

  • Ches Smith – Interpret It Well (Pyroclastic Records)
  • Whit Dickey QuartetAstral Long Form: Staircase In Space (TAO Forms)
  • Mary HalvorsonAmaryllis / Belladonna (Nonesuch Records)
  • Jonathan Barber & Vision AheadPoetic (Self-release)
  • Jacob GarchikAssembly (Yestereve Records)
  • Brandon SeabrookIn The Swarm (Astral Spirits)
  • Daniel Villarreal Panamá 77 (International Anthem)
  • David Murray Brand New World Trio with Brad Jones and Hamid DrakeSeriana Promethea (Intakt Records)
  • Nduduzo MakhathiniIn the Spirit of Ntu (Blue Note)
  • David Virelles Nuna (Pi Recordings)

Discover the Best Jazz 2022 (so far) selection.


Listen to these tracks on our Spotify playlist, “Best Jazz 2022”.

Any thoughts or comments you would like to add to this post?