Thursday, December 8, 2022



The year 2022 has had its share of challenges for me, not the least of which was a decision to relocate from the Atlanta, GA area to the Pacific Northwest outside of Portland, OR in Washington state. That all-consuming decision gave me little time to pursue my passionate avocation- listening to and reviewing new and newly reissued or recently unearthed old jazz recordings that deserved note, acknowledgment, and in many instances praise. To try and establish a worthy list to create the traditional year-end recap of the best was, needless to say, a sprint in these last weeks. 

There is so much diversity that can easily fall into the ever-expanding category of jazz music. In addition, the overwhelming volume of material being so successfully produced, recorded, and released by a myriad of talented musicians makes it even more difficult to give them all the recognition they deserve. Let's face it, if you love good music, ratings are nothing but one person's guideline to possible avenues of interest and enjoyment. As for labels and categories, the lines have been blurred for quite some time. Purists who love specific categories will never be satisfied if an artist doesn't play music that fits specific rules of qualification. To me, the variety and creativity are what makes jazz so inclusive and so beautiful. Vive la differénce!  There seems to never have been more great music to choose from as was produced this year and the possibilities seem endless.

With no further delay, here is my admittedly limited list of the best of jazz for the year 2022, in no particular order of excellence or preference. I hope you will enjoy listening to these selections and are moved enough to get to know these artists better and support their musical efforts by purchasing their incredible work. Happy Holidays to all! 

    Best of Jazz 2022

Geoff Keezer and Friends: Playdate: MarKeez Records

Grant Geisman: Blooz: Mesa/Blueman Records 

w/Randy Brecker, Robben Ford, Tom Scott, Joe Bonamassa, Russell Ferrante, John Jorgensen, Jimmy Cox, Emilio Palame, David Garfield, Trey Henry, Kevin Axt, Ray Brinker, Bernie Dresel, Ricardo Pasillas, Kevin Winard.

Peter Erskine Trio: Live in Italy: Fuzzy Music

w Peter Erskine, Alan Pasqua & Darek Oles

The Tyshawn Sorey Trio +1 w Greg Osby: The Off-Off-Broadway Guide to Synergism

Pi Records w/ Tyshawn Sorey, Greg Osby, Aaron Diehl & Russell Hall

Dave Stryker: As We Are: Strikezone Records  

w Julian Shore, John Patitucci, Brian Blade, Sara Caswell, Monica K. Davis, Bennie van Gutzeit & Marika Hughes: 

Claudia Acuna: DUO : Ropeadope Records
w/ Kenny Barron, Christian McBride, Carolina Calvache, Fred Hersch, Russell Malone & Arturo O'Farrill

Boris Kozlov: First Things First : Positone Records
w Art Hirahara, Donny McCaslin, Benn Gillece, Rudy Royston

Jeff Coffin: Between Dreaming & Joy: Ear Up Records
w/ Vincente Archer, Tony Hall, Michael League, Stefan Lessard, Felix Pastorius, Alana Rocklin, Jonathan Wires & Chris Wood.

Steven Feifke & Bijon Watson present Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra: Cellular 20 Records

Reverso: Harmonic Alchemy: OutNote Records
Ryan Keberle, Frank Woeste, Vicent Courtois 

Gonzalo Rubalcaba & Trio D'ete: Turning Point: 5 Passion Records
w/ Matthew Brewer and Eric Harland

Mary Halvorsen : Amaryllis/Belladonna: NoneSuch Records
w/ Patrice Brennan, Nick Dunston, Jacob Garchik,  Adam O'farrill, Thomas Fujiwara, The Mivos String Quartet 

Flora Purim: If You Will: Strut Records
w/ Airto Moreira, Diana Purim, Claudia Villela, Krishna Booker, Jose Neto, Celso Alberti

Yellowjackets: Parallel Motion: Mack Ave Records 
w/ Bob Mintzer, Russell Ferrante, Will Kennedy, Dane Alderson 

Dave Liebman: Trust and Honesty: Newvelle Records
w Dave Liebman, John Hebert, Ben Monder

Martin Wind: New York Bass Quartet; AIR: Laika Records
Martin Wind, Gregg August, Jordon Frazier, Sam Suggs, Matt Wilson, Lenny White, Gary Versace

Giacomo Gates: You: Savant Records
w Tim Ray, John Lockwood, James Latini 

Pete Malinverni : On the TownPete Malinverni Plays Leonard Bernstein
w Pete Malinverni, Ugonna Okegwo, Jeff Hamilton: Planet Arts Records

Sara Gazarek: Vanity: 
w/  Sara Gazarek, Miro Sprague, Alex Boneham, Christian Euman, Michael Stever, Alan Ferber, Lenard Simpson, Daniel Torem, Adam Schroeder, Brad Allen Williams

Michael Blake: Combobulate: Newvelle Records
w/Michael Blake, Steve Berstein, Clark Grayton, Bob Stewart, Marcus Rojas, Alan Menard

Oz Noy, Ugonna Ukegwo, Ray Marchica :Riverside: Outside in Music Records

Pasquale Grasso: Be-Bop!: Sony Masterworks Records
 w/Pasquale Grasso, Ari Rolland, Keith Balla

Steve Cardenas, Ben Allison, Ted Nash: Healing Power: The Music of Carla Bley: Sunnyside Records 

The Eubanks Evans Experience: EEE Imani Records
w/ Kevin Eubanks and  Orin Evans

Miguel Zenon: Music de Las Americas: 
w/ Miguel Zenon, Luis Perdomo, Hans Glawischnig, Henry Cole & Paoli Meijas, Daniel Diaz, Victor Emmanuelli, Los Plenerous De La Cresta

Michael Dease: Best Next Thing: PosiTone Records
w/Michael Dease, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Alex Sipiagin, Rene Rosnes, Boris Kozlov, Rudy Royston.

Cecile McLorin Savant: Ghost Song: Nonesuch Records
w Cecile McLorin Savant, Sullivan Fortner, Aaron Diehl, Alexa Tarantino, Keita Ogawa,Marvin Sewell, James Chirillo, Paul Sikivie, Burniss Travis, Daniel Swenberg, Kyle Poole

JD Allen: Americana Vol 2: Savant Records
w/JD Allen, Gregg August, Nasheet Waites, Charlie Hunter

The Jon Cowherd Trio: Pride And Joy: LeCroq Records
w Jon Cowherd, John Patitucci, Brian Blades, Chirs Potter, Alex Acuna

Michael Wollny Trio : Ghosts: ACT Records
Michael Wollny, Tim Lefebvre, Eric Schaefer