Monday 19 December 2022

2022 in 100 Songs

We at Blue-in-Green:RADIO are increasingly enamoured by the amazing music we manage to get our hands on each year and are always compelled to celebrate such wonderful pieces of brilliance in any way we can.  So this year, we're unveiling 100 of our favourite songs that we were just over the moon about and desperate to share with you all.  

These year-end lists should always come with the caveat that this is naturally a celebration of the music we were actually able to get our hands on so that discovery will naturally continue into the new year.  Also, the list is compiled alphabetically so not ranked in any way.

Please let us know if there's any we may have missed though and we hope some of the below tracks will inspire you all to explore these catalogues and artists further.

1. 'A Thing Like You' by iogi & Rejoicer 

Too Much Too Soon; Raw Tapes

A track from a brilliant EP kicks us off which pairs singer-songwriter Yogev Glusman (iogi) with Raw Tapes founder and producer, Rejoicer.  The product of a five-day recording session, the EP features some strong tracks in line with the quality listeners should have come to expect from Rejoicer, iogi and of course Raw Tapes themselves.

2. 'Age of Ascent' by Kokoroko 

Could We Be More; Brownswood Recordings

An album anticipated by listeners for some time now, the debut release from the London collective Kokoroko more than lives up to its expectations.  Following the release of the band's debut EP in 2019, Kokoroko's blend of afrobeat, jazz and highlife made its mark on London's indelible jazz scene.

3. 'All I Do' by Julius Rodriguez featuring Mariah Cameron 

Let Sound Tell All; Verve Records

The New York-based pianist and drummer - who famously abandoned his studies at Juillard to tour with A$AP Rocky - earned himself the distinction of a Verve recording contract at the age of 22.  'Let Sound Tell All' sees Rodriguez tackle much of the album's writing and composition apart from when paying tribute to the fantastic Stevie Wonder-penned 'All I Do' featuring an excellent vocal from Mariah Cameron.

4. 'All We Know' [Shabaka Hutchings Remix] by Chelsea Carmichael 

All We Know EP

Chelsea Carmichael's excellent debut album 'The River Doesn't Like Strangers' resonated strongly with listeners instantly drawn to her abilities as a saxophonist and composer.  The gifts of Carmichael's debut extended beyond the album's nine tracks into two remixes by the mighty Shabaka Hutchings who reimagines 'All We Know' as well as 'Bone and Soil' from the album which are both incredible contributions to 2022.  The bass-heavy sonic workout that is 'All We Know' just takes the lead for the list however but definitely explore both remixes as you won't be disappointed!

5. 'Anything 4 Love' by The Producer's Workshop Ensemble

The Producer's Workshop Ensemble in Japan; Stay The Course Records

Born out of his time in Tokyo in 2020, Matthew Rivera assembled a small studio's worth of instruments and recording equipment from visiting second-hand stores and then secured studio time where possible to hone and develop his new sound.  Rivera's limitless talents see him credited throughout the album as playing everything from drums to flute, synthesizers, percussion, pianos... the music serves as a real testament to his own unwavering passion to create and perform bringing the music throughout the album up to staggering heights.

6. 'Away From You' by Charlotte Dos Santos 

MORFO; Because Music

Frankly, anything bearing the name 'Charlotte Dos Santos' should be considered an essential purchase!  The Norwegian singer-songwriter absolutely nails anything she turns her immaculate talents towards, be it the initial introduction of her 'Cleo' release on Fresh Selects, the 'Harvest Time' EP, her collaboration with Theo Croker... or certainly the 'Morfo' release of this year which boasts some awesome music from Ms Dos Santos.

7. 'Bad Mode' by Hikaru Utada 

Bad Mode; Epic

The fantastic new release from singer-songwriter Hikaru Utada is a real testament to her phenomenal music career that dates as far back as her debut in 1999.  'Bad Mode' is an infectious, high-energy and multi-faceted recording that benefits from three brilliant productions with the celebrated electronic music artist, Floating Points, who delivers some of the album's staggering high points.  MP3s of this one are readily available from the usual outlets but physical copies will have to be sourced from Japan, which is totally worth it!

8. 'Begin Again' by Archie the Goldfish 

Funkiwala Records

Headed up by guitarist Chris Bestwick and trumpeter Graeme Flowers, the duo set about this new musical venture during the pandemic lockdown in 2020 resulting in their debut 'Hidden Depths' released through Ropeadope Records that same year.  A steady flow of music has since followed including the sublime 'Water & Light' EP and two standalone singles for 2022 including 'Heart Wide Open'.  Music by Archie the Goldfish is indicative of the vast and vibrant styles and genres Bestwick & Flowers have celebrated over their lengthy careers and they consistently pull together the immeasurable wealth of experience accumulated between the two for some wonderful music.

9. 'Better Worlds' by Matt Wilde featuring Kissamile 

DeepMatter/Root Records

The last two years have seen a steady flow of singles and EP releases from the Manchester-based pianist and composer, Matt Wilde and his brilliant collection of music to date has ushered in an inspired perspective of intricately woven, multi-textured compositions that celebrated hip-hop's influence on contemporary UK jazz.  Wilde has also embraced collaborations across a range of artists from Rosie Turton and Natty Reeves and for 'Better Worlds', French duo Kissamilé provide a lush, understated vocal.

10. 'Birds' by Dorian Concept 

What We Do For Others; Brainfeeder

11. 'Blue Garden' by Kosmos Trio 

Brev Til En Ven; April Records

The music throughout the eight tracks on 'Brev Til En Ven' display an incredible skill and maturity seemingly far beyond the trio's comparatively young ages.  The album's beautiful compositions present the rich elegance of neo-classical pieces while still serving as inspired celebrations of ambient and free jazz. 

12. 'Breathe' by Searchlight featuring Tolü Makay 

Searchlight; Fallen Tree 1Hundred/1HX

The debut project from Irish drum & bass producers ZeroT and Beta2 sees the duo unveil their exciting new collective through Goldie's Fallen Tree 1Hundred label.  Despite the label's comparatively young age, Fallen Tree 1Hundred can boast some excellent releases over the last few years with Searchlight's fantastic take on the neo-soul/nu-jazz aesthetic ranking amongst their strongest albums to date.  Featuring a range of world-class vocalists and rappers throughout the album, Tolü Makay's contribution to three of the album's tracks delivers some of the album's strongest moments.

13. 'But What If We're Wrong' by Move 78 

Automated Improvisation; Village Live

Following music created by hip-hop producer Aver for his own solo projects at the time, musicians Doron Segal, Nir Sabag and Hal Strewe were recruited to build upon the sample-based concepts that formed the backbone of the music and introduce their own brand of improvisation and lush instrumentation.  Listening to anything that the foursome have since created - be it this debut full-length or last year's EP - it's certainly easy to deduce the magic that the collaboration subsequently spawned, thankfully, leading to a definitive union under the banner of 'Move 78'.

14. 'Buttermilk Sky' by The Soul Sound Collective 

Purple Moon EP

It's been another massively productive year for The Soul Sound Collective with the release of three standalone singles and a four-track EP.  Their inspired productions have found the gang just as adept at celebrating 70's jazz-funk as much as downtempo chillout numbers and it's a testament to their abilities that listeners can be ultimately left guessing as to what the next move from the Collective will actually be.  While any song from the 'Purple Moon EP' could have found its way onto this list, we had to give it up for the lush, drum & bass-inspired 'Buttermilk Sky'.

15. Change Around' by The Soul Sound Collective

16. 'Comedy' by Gen Hoshino featuring Kaidi Tatham & DJ Jazzy Jeff

Speedstar Records

Last year, the collaboration of DJ Jazzy Jeff and Kaidi Tatham on remix duties for Potatohead People's 'Baby Got Work' secured a slot within our Top 100 list; this year however, it's their work for Japanese vocalist Gen Hoshino for the massively infectious 'Comedy' that just as easily warrants a place.

17. 'Conjurer' by Tristan de Liege featuring Clear Mortifee 


Between his single releases, collaborative tracks with Asta Hiroki or the release of his 'Refractions' album, 2022 has served the tirelessly prolific Tristan de Liège exceptionally well.  'Refractions' in particular captures the producer's innate ability to create intimate and closely woven soundscapes that are incredibly immersive and nothing short of sublime.  'Refractions' is an awesome release with several songs that would have justified their inclusion on the list - like the brilliant 'The Passenger (featuring Nyah) - but we had to give it up for the majestic 'Conjurer' featuring Clear Mortifee who just sounds sensational!

18. 'Counterfeit' by FLOCKS 

You Were Probably Younger Then; Folded Music

Unveiled through Asta Hiroki's Folded Music, FLOCKS' distinct and unique amalgamation of jazz with twinges of electronica make a brilliant addition to the label's eclectic and dynamic roster.  At its core, the FLOCKS project is an experiment - a study into the harmony between man and technology with compositions that both celebrate and thrive on the indelible input of each.  And songs that showcase the unbridled energy of 'Counterfeit' and 'Find, Fix, Finish' are where the band are really able to excel.

19. 'Desperate Times, Desperate Measures' by Fredrik Lundin & Odense Jazz Orchestra 

It Takes All Kinds To Make A World; April Records

Danish saxophonist Fredrik Lundin finds some kindred spirits with the Odense Jazz Orchestra and it certainly makes for an exciting blank canvas when considering these two factions coming together with the intention of creating in a distinct and unique way.  The album does find its focus however by turning its attention towards matters that impact us all as individuals and as a global community and 'It Takes All Kinds To Make A World' finds inspired ways to convey and connect with that level of restlessness and unease.

20. 'Don't Connect The Dot$' by Lambda 77 

Music For Fantasy, Road Tripping & Day Dreaming; Q-Sounds Recordings

The project's 8 tracks are gloriously indicative of the "fantasy, road tripping and day dreaming" aesthetic with tracks capturing these phantasmical elements perfectly.  Their use of lush synths and psychedelic guitars paired with an expansive cinematic scope places you physically in the car along with our musical navigators (Sebastian Nagel and Albrecht Schrader) - where you're going is irrelevant, time isn't a consideration, all there is is the final moments of the day before the orange-tinged sky fully disappears and makes way for the solace of darkness.  Bliss.

21. 'Dry' by Kendra Morris 

Nine Lives; Karma Chief/Colemine Records

Spearheaded by the single 'This Life', Kendra Morris' new record has been on our "highly anticipated" list for some time.  A revered name within New York's funk & soul scene, there's a number of Morris' releases we've enthusiastically collected over the years and frankly everything pointed to 'Nine Lives' being a career defining highlight for the singer-songwriter.  And it absolutely is - packed with wonderful tracks across the album, you'd be hard-pressed to topple the giant that is 'Dry'.

22. 'Energy' [Blue Lab Beats Remix] by Amp Fiddler

With a track initially housed on Amp Fiddler's Bassmentality vol.3 EP from back in 2015, 'Energy' subsequently receives the remix treatment this year from the dream pairing of the Detroit music champion with London's Blue Lab Beats.  And while Fiddler is often more commonly perceived as a funk music artist, and the Blue Lab Beats duo associated with more of a jazz aesthetic, both acts share a strong affection for electronica-inspired soundscapes which is the gloriously happy medium this remix finds itself within.  (Also, the accompanying Waajeed Remix is certainly worth your time as well!)

23. 'Energy' by Georgie Sweet 

Futuristica Music

New music from singer-songwriter Georgie Sweet was one of the year's best surprises.  Following the release of her revelatory debut album 'Misunderstood' in 2020, Futuristica Music had introduced its new star to a grateful audience completely taken in by the personality exuded by Sweet's incredible vocal.  Her natural versatility as a vocalist, creative penmanship and her overall presentation made her such a natural fit for Futuristica; the first single from her sophomore album, currently due in 2023, sees Sweet reconnect with producer Marc Rapson building upon their brilliant chemistry from 'Misunderstood'.

24. 'Equals' by Human Being Human 

Equals; April Records

Human Being Human marks a supergroup pairing with bassist Torben Bjørnskov, keyboardist and pianist Esben Tjalve and drummer Frederik Bülow uniting under the collaborative banner of Human Being Human.  Three artists with incredible careers and catalogues of music in their own right, ‘Equals’ proves to be a more than worthy project to exemplify each of their unique talents and an awesome project to demonstrate their distinct chemistry throughout the eight tracks on this album.

25. 'Every Avenue' by Gregg Green 


Hopefully serving as a teaser for a full-length record to come, this brilliant new single from singer-songwriter Gregg Green sees the artist partner with David Hanke's Bathurst to eschew this new stage of his lengthy recording career to date.  With production from Hanke himself, this excellent neo-soul number boasts a lush electronic tinge synonymous with Hanke and Bathurst.

26. 'Feel Like Making Love' by Kay Young 

Blue Note Re:Imagined II; Blue Note Records

With the double-disc release 'Blue Note Re:Imagined' from 2020, the iconic Blue Note Records had granted a premier selection of UK Jazz talent access to their hallowed vaults for them to interpret as they so wished.  The rousing success subsequently justified a volume 2 with another round of world class UK talent at the helm including Daniel Casimir, Nubiyan Twist and Oscar Jerome.  Kay Young's taken on this oft-covered classic injects some neo-soul-inspired energy generating a strong album highlight.

27. 'Find, Fix, Finish' by FLOCKS 

You Were Probably Younger Then; Folded Music

28. 'Gonna Get Love' by Randa & The Soul Kingdom

Put Your Hands Up

For the group's third album, Randa & The Soul Kingdom present a project that's more ambitious in its scope and broader within its musical palette than either of their previous, and excellent, releases.  The album opener 'Gonna Get Love' introduces exciting new concepts into Randa's music plunging her awesome vocal somewhere between classic rhythm 'n' blues and 60s psychedelic soul. 

29. 'Good Time' by Wild Bounce featuring Tanajah

Wild Bounce have released two brilliant singles in the build to the full-length album, currently due in 2023.  Along with the duo's second single, 'Green Lights' - featuring US rapper Bardo - the Barcelona-based Wild Bounce have captured a brilliant neo-soul meets hip-hop aesthetic leaving us incredibly keen for the album which will no doubt feature tracks to comprise next year's list.

30. 'Gravity' [V.B. Kühl Remix] by sUb_modU 

Tru Thoughts

The Italian-based and Berlin-born artist has carved out a fascinating niche for himself through his distinctive blend of jazz-inspired electronica.  With his debut EP release 'Circles' introduced in 2014 through BBE Records, sUb_modU now finds his home within the hallowed halls of Tru Thoughts who have blessed us with such sUb_modU releases as 'Descent to the Centre' (2021) and 'Pidgin Synths' (2020) amongst others.  This year saw awesome remixes by V.B. Kühl and Renegades of Jazz as they tackled tracks from the phenomenal 'Descent to the Centre'.

31. 'Green' by Sarah Williams White 

Unfathomable; First Word Records

Finally following up on her official First Word Records debut from back in 2015, the many talents of Sarah Williams White were masterfully put on display through the genre-defying and hugely enjoyable 'Unfathomable' album.  While we certainly hope album #3 won't take as long to materialize, listeners were also gifted this year with the album's accompanying remix EP featuring reimaginings by Allysha Joy, Don Leisure and Werkha.

32. 'Hearts In A Cage' [4 Hero Remix] by Natalie Duncan 

Fallen Tree 1Hundred/1HX

Singer, songwriter and pianist Natalie Duncan has had an incredibly busy year seemingly preparing for the release of her sophomore full-length for Fallen Tree 1Hundred.  With single releases 'Hearts In A Cage', 'Found Myself' and 'Let Go Release' unveiled this year, anticipation is running high for the official follow-up to 2020's 'Free'.  The treats have further come with remixes of the aforementioned tracks by luminaries Searchlight and WheelUP but 4hero's glorious return to classic form with 'Hearts In A Cage' is the scene-stealer.

33. 'Hold On' by K15, Lex Amor & Karun 

New Tangents in Kampala, London & Nairobi; Extra Soul Perception Records

34. 'Humble' [Kaidi Tatham Remix] by Erin Buku 

Lessons in Love EP; Hopestreet Recordings

The always versatile Hopestreet Recordings played host to the new EP from vocalist Erin Buku who delivered a warm, affectionate and creative take on neo-soul via her five-track EP.  Capturing a vast array of influences throughout, Kaidi Tatham's embracing of a broken beat backdrop for his 'Humble' remix provides an excellent new perspective on the already awesome track.

35. 'I See You' by Folly Tree 

Remedies; Raw Tapes

Our second visit to Israel's Raw Tapes for this year's list sees us celebrate the exquisite release from Folly Tree.  A follow-up of sorts to her debut some years prior, now aligned with Raw Tapes, 'Remedies' hosts Folly Tree's incredible vocal, songwriting and production and leaves us eagerly anticipating new music.  Boasting a few tracks that could have happily found a home on this list, we've opted for the glorious 'I See You' which has us hitting the repeat button every time.

36. 'I Should Have Let You Be' by Lee Fields 

Sentimental Fool; Daptone Records

37. 'In A Dream' by Yarni featuring Emily Marks 

Pigna; EMK

‘Pigna’ marks the third full-length album release from producer and multi-instrumentalist, Benjamin “Yarni” Harris.  For an artist who openly professes to fear being placed within a box or known for just one style of music, Yarni's commitment to reinvention through each album release is a complete inspiration.  While many of the album’s ten tracks still showcase some of those signature electronica-fuelled sensibilities, Yarni has created a record deep in its celebration of jazz and a record that pushes beyond any preconceived notions of what “Yarni” music is supposed to sound like. 

38. 'In The Morning' by Carmy Love 

Big AC Records

As a vocalist for New Street Adventure - whose debut release with Acid Jazz came in the form of 'No Hard Feelings' in 2014 - Carmy Love is accustomed to sharing the studio and stage with premier London-based talent within the realms of funk and soul so the recent transition to solo star in her own right is absolutely a welcome move.  Having amassed a series of incredible singles for the London-based Big AC Records including 'Thinkin' About You', 'Together Again' and 'Rebel', Carmy's fantastic vocal sits right at home over the blissful 60's-style, horn-heavy soul soundscapes

39. 'Koma Kaprifol' by Koma Saxo with Sofia Jernberg 

Koma West; We Jazz

Petter Eldh's debut Koma Saxo album from 2019 delivered a phenomenal offering in one of the most intricate and fascinating records we had heard in some time.  And in between producing for a host of other artists including saxophonist Otis Sandsjo and vocalist Lucia Cadotsch, as well as releasing the first of his projected 'Projekt Drums' series in 2021, Eldh has found the time to deliver another record under the banner of Koma Saxo.  Striving to steer the music towards new directions, vocalist Sofia Jernberg helps to reveal a sublime new dimension to the Koma Saxo aesthetic.

40. 'Let it Grow' by Inkswel & The Snaglepuss featuring Talib Kweli, Erin Buku & Baba Israel

41. 'Lost' by Amanda Whiting 

Lost in Abstraction; Jazzman Records

Harpist Amanda Whiting follows up on last year's 'After Dark' with an equally sensational release that beautifully builds upon the groundwork established by her Jazzman debut.  Backed by an incredible line-up of artists - including Chip Wickham on flute - Whiting's immaculate compositions bask in the sublime as her supremely rich textures continue to endear her to listeners captivated by her music.  Although 'Lost' represents a more uptempo number from the album, it's no less captivating as it's infectious groove is elegantly punctuated by Whiting's playing.

42. 'Love is Everywhere' by Mark de Clive-Lowe & Friends 

Freedom; Soul Bank Music/!K7

With ‘Freedom’ serving as de Clive-Lowe’s second release recorded at Los Angeles’ Blue Whale jazz club, you really do have to remind yourself that the flawless and meticulous performances throughout this album are actually the result of a live concert. Performing live has become something of an art form in of itself for Clive-Lowe – boasting an unrivalled precision that is more machine-like than anything else.  And helping to bring the glorious catalogue of Pharoah Sanders to life is a star-studded line-up of long-time MdCL friends and collaborators which include Teodross Avery on saxophone, Corbin Jones on bass, Tommaso Cappellato on drums and Carlos Nino on percussion. Vocalist Dwight Trible injects his inimitable spirit across several of the album’s songs, delivering a stand-out performance on 'You've Got to Have Freedom', 'The Creator Has A Master Plan' and 'Love is Everywhere'.

43. 'Maleda' by Kibrom Birhane 

Here and There; Flying Carpet Records

Los Angeles has served the Ethiopian-born Birhane well over the years – if nothing else, it has provided the artist with an exceptional group of like-minded musicians that have helped to facilitate his vision of spiritual jazz melding with his Ethiopian heritage and music.  While much of Birhane’s compositions serve as an amalgamation of styles including psychedelic soul, spiritual jazz with twinges of afrobeat, his commitment to waving his cultural flag, paying homage to the music’s heritage while presenting progressive and forward-thinking ideas is inspired and what ultimately elevates ‘Here and There’ into something incredibly special.

44. 'Mama's Chest' by 7th Sense featuring Miruna Maria, Alex Arcus, Liam Shortfall & Will Fry 

Light in Chaos

The debut release from the Romanian collective, 7th SENSE, genuinely marks one of the year's brightest highlights.  With compositions inspired by a mix of jam sessions and treated as a collaborative experience between the band members, there is a free-flowing, almost effortless energy that carries across the album's tracks which is an openness that warmly extends towards the project's numerous guest contributors who each bring further thrilling dimensions to the album's aesthetic.

45. 'Mariella' by Khruangbin & Leon Bridges 

Texas Moon EP; Dead Oceans/Night Time Stories

The match-made-in-heaven combination of psychedelic soul trio Khruangbin paired with fellow Texan, soul vocalist Leon Bridges, delivered a gem in their introductory collaboration 'Texas Sun' back in 2020.  Almost crazy to think that was an EP that could be topped but 'Texas Moon' delivers to an equally high standard with the flawless masterpiece 'Mariella' leading the charge.

46. 'Monkey Potatoes' by Koshi Group 

Two Days After Yesterday (pt.3); Fluid Ounce Records

47. 'My Everything' by Kutiman featuring Dekel 

Open; Siyal Music

From the unrivalled genius that is Kutiman, 'Open' marks the prolific musician and producer's sixth album release and, as aptly described on his Bandcamp page, is a "crunchy twelve-track psych-pop trip around classic soul and Middle Eastern psychedelia".  Featuring a hefty dose of contributions from Funk’N’Stein vocalist Dekel, 'Open' has been massively well-received and also serves as a great introduction to the Kutiman catalogue if you have yet to immerse yourself within it.

48. 'Near' by Blackadder featuring Rea 


Another Bathurst entry on our list that solidifies what an exceptional year the German label has had in 2022, this standalone single from the UK-based producer Benjamin Blackadder is a lush union of downtempo electronica, neo-soul and an acoustic aesthetic that again whets appetites for a full-length release hopefully due in 2023.

49. 'Never Let You Down' by Magro featuring Leona Berlin


Rarely short on inspiration, the Berlin-based drummer and producer Magro unveils another phenomenal offering in his ever-burgeoning catalogue.  Progressive, beaming with creativity and continuing to forge his own path, 'II' absolutely warrants your attention and is bolstered by some fantastic tracks and collaborations as he expertly navigates a sensational musical course that veers from jazz, neo-soul and hip-hop.

50. 'New World Shuffle' [DJ Spinna Remix] by Nicola Conte & Gianluca Petrella featuring Bridgette Amofah 

Schema Records

Stemming from the collaborative full-length release from Nicola Conte and Gianluca Petrella from 2021, the eclectic 'People Need People' has spawned a wave of remixes throughout this year with some real gems coming from the wonderful minds of Tall Black Guy, DJ Andrés and Anthony Nicholson but for this list we're showing love to the mighty talents of DJ Spinna and his take on 'New World Shuffle'.

51. 'Optimistic Voices/No Love Dying' by Cecile McLorin Salvant 

Ghost Song; Nonesuch/Warner

52. 'Orquesta Es Vedra' by Glenn Fallows & Mark Treffel 

The Globeflower Masters Vol.2; Mr Bongo

Acting as an incredibly swift follow-up to the duo’s debut outing a mere thirteen months prior – ‘The Globeflower Masters Vol. 1’ – Fallows and Treffel have clearly stumbled onto a winning and creatively satisfying formula that sees them employ their years embedded within their respective funk & soul music scenes and transforming them into a series of lush, cinematic soul-infused soundscapes.

53. 'Out Of My Hands' by Robert Glasper featuring Jennifer Hudson 

Black Radio III; Loma Vista Recordings

The third installment of Robert Glasper's 'Black Radio' series is notably the first not executed in its entirety by the Robert Glasper Experiment.  Instead, the pianist and composer opts for a revolving door selection of musicians paired alongside the typically guest-heavy line-up of vocalists now attributed to these projects.  With some excellent artists contributing to some even more excellent songs, our list features three inclusions from this release including this Terrace Martin co-produced gem with Jennifer Hudson.

54. 'Over' by Robert Glasper featuring Yebba 

Black Radio III; Loma Vista Recordings

55. 'Pain' by 7th Sense featuring Ioana Selaru, Ilinca Aurora Gota & Victor Sandu 

Light in Chaos

56. 'Pardon Me' by Bright Dog Red 

Under the Porch; Ropeadope Records

Renowned as an improvising collective from New York, Bright Dog Red's new album, 'Under the Porch', continues to present the band's unique vision for an all-encompassing approach to modern-day jazz celebrating inspirations from hip-hop, electronica and spiritual jazz.  Thanks to their long-running association with one of the leading labels for contemporary and forward-thinking jazz music, Ropeadope Records, Bright Dog Red continue to deliver music that both challenges and inspires and 'Under the Porch' marks an exciting inclusion within the band's ever-expanding catalogue.

57. 'Paris Sur Le Toit' [DJ Spinna Remix] by Alina Bzhezhinska & The HipHarp Collective featuring SANITY and Tom TheyThem 

BBE Records

Released in anticipation of Alina Bzhezhinska's 'Reflections' album, this EP saw reworkings of the 'Paris Sur Le Toit' single courtesy of DJ Spinna and Sly Johnson.  Seeking to raise the prominence and redefine conceptions of the harp, Bzhezhinska's approach has resulted in a strong year of music courtesy of the excellent BBE Records.

58. 'Rebels in the Dark' by Rob D. Vulosic 

Music For Riots, Revolutions & Showdowns; Q-Sounds Recordings

'Music For Riots, Revolutions & Showdowns' is a project put together by musician and producer Rob D. Vulosic with more than a little help from label co-founder and musician Norman Smuggler.  Over the course of the album's twelve tracks, there's something gloriously uncompromising in its approach - song titles like 'Out The Pigs !', 'Patrol Car On Fire' and Kill The President' venture beyond the simple notion of mere protest but actual revolution in the gritty and abrasive sense of the word.

59. 'Root in 7-4 Plus' by Jazzanova 

Strata Records: The Sound of Detroit; BBE Records

In collaboration with London's BBE Records and New York's 180 Proof Records, this project serves as the glorious pay-off for not just legions of die-hard Strata fans the world over but also for 180 Proof Records founder, Amir Abdullah.  With 180 Proof having secured the rights to reissue Strata releases for more than ten years now, to be involved with the recreation of the eleven tracks presented here must not only serve as an incredible thrill but also an immeasurable challenge when dealing with the weight of expectations from Strata's loyal enthusiasts.  And the decision to have Jazzanova helm the music on this project is no less than inspired.

60. 'Roses' [XL Middleton Remix] by Lynda Dawn & Bes Kept 

New Tangents in Kampala, London & Nairobi; Extra Soul Perception Records

With the original version of Lynda Dawn and Bes Kept's 'Roses' appearing on the 2020 EP - released as a prelude to this full-length that would follow in 2022 - the always reliable XL Middleton injects his typical West Coast influences into the reimagined  version of the track.  As a project that brought together artists from Kenya, Uganda and the UK to record sessions in Nairobi, this ground breaking project can't be celebrated enough for its progressive and inspired results. 

61. 'RUNNING' [Marc Rapson Remix] by Deborah Jordan & K15 

Futuristica Music

In support of the fantastic 'Human' collaborative album between Deborah Jordan and K15 (more on this further down the list), the album's well-deserved and rapturous reception has thankfully resulted in more life left to give with the revisiting of the album's opening track, 'RUNNING', courtesy of the architects of Futuristica's soundscapes, Marc Rapson and Simon S.  Rapson, once again, takes the time to demonstrate his affection for the genius of Jay Dee with his sensational offering, akin to his 90's-inspired remix of Jordan's seminal 'I'll See You Again'.

62. 'Scribbled Paper' by The Bttrfly Quintet 

Coast; Mocean Records

The BTTRFLY Quintet incredibly pulls together five leading names from Denver, Colorado's revered music scene who clearly share a diverse yet focused perspective on their music going forward.  A super group of sorts, the BTTRFLY Quintet pulls together band members from eclectic outfits including Lettuce, Break Science and Big Gigantic for an incredibly diverse record.  The album closes with an ingenious take on Little Dragon’s ‘Scribbled Paper’ which transforms the ambient noir jazz aesthetic of the original into an undeniable groove-filled dare-you-to-sit-still gem. 

63. 'Shouffle' by Fradinho 

Broken Beach EP; Eclectic Beats Music

64. 'Sleeping Lions' by TC & The Groove Family 

First Home; Worm Discs

Headed up by bandleader, drummer and founder, Tim “TC” Cook, the Leeds-based, ten-piece ensemble find a suitable recording home within the esteemed walls of Worm Discs.  Across the eight tracks presented on ‘First Home’, we’re introduced to a series of exciting songs that showcase the band’s unwavering personality and charm across instrumental numbers and also tracks where group vocalist Pariss “Elektra” Joseph leads the charge in spectacular fashion with a vocal that knows when to command with authority as she does in ‘Bossfight’ while also being able to deliver an affectionate and graceful performance as in ‘Sleeping Lions’.

65. 'Slide' by Fermented Spirits

Uncle Miles; Dumhi Records

The release of 'Uncle Miles' now seeks to extend producer and Dumhi label founder Haj's limits to an even greater musical plateau - with the majority of his productions to date revolving around the art of meticulous and skilful sampling, the compositions for 'Uncle Miles' stem from more live instrumentation with Haj at the helm resulting in some fantastic music with none greater than this neo-soul gem which pairs Haj with long-time collaborator, vocalist Michele QJ, under the guise of Fermented Spirits.

66. 'Slonnie Tendo' by Underground Canopy 

Séquences; Menace

'Séquences' is a fantastic EP that showcases the Parisien band's expansive styles and disciplines across the ever-broadening scope of contemporary jazz.  Boasting their affections for the hip-hop-inspired productions of Jay Dee to the more contemporary stylings of, say, Thundercat or Terrace Martin; Underground Canopy infuse all of these inspired elements into a series of unique and distinctive live performances that further solidify their own remarkable voice within today's jazz music scene.  A special mention goes to the follow-up release from this year, the incredible 'Uncut Gems' project!

67. 'Somethin'' by Theo Croker featuring Ego Ella May 

Love Quantum; Masterworks

Trumpeter and composer Theo Croker has really hit an inspiring stride with his music in the last couple of years - 'Blk2life / A Future Past' was released in 2021 with a supremely guest-heavy cast assembled which has been repeated for 2022's 'Love Quantum'. With Jill Scott, Gary Bartz and Ego Ella May amongst the line-up, another mouth-watering array of talent are in place but none overshadowing Croker's continual brilliance as a composer and performer.  

68. 'Space Travel' by Yarni featuring Sheila Lee 

Pigna; EMK

69. 'Some Place Else' by Ivan Radivojevic Quartet 

In Plain View; A.MA Records

Trumpeter Ivan Radivojevic introduced his Quartet ensemble to the studios of A.MA Records via his debut album demonstrating his distinct tone and vision for his music.  The nine minute gem of the album, 'Some Place Else', showcases the world class standard on display for 'In Plain View'; the song traverses a variety of styles and pace, and captures an inspired energy that's hard to rival as the album's centrepiece.

70. 'Spaceless Odyssey' by Ipocontrio 

Children's Soul; A.MA Records

The Ipocontrio trio have certainly walked a long road together in their journey towards their now third album release.  Comprised of pianist Bruno Salicone, double bassist Francesco Galatro and drummer Armando Luongo, Ipocontrio's pure-of-heart celebration of jazz and improvisation has long defined the trio's overall aesthetic and approach to music-making and composition.

71. 'Spirit Beat' by Richard Spaven 

Spirit Beats; Fine Line Records

The phenomenally talented Richard Spaven blessed listeners with the awesome four-track 'Spirit Beats' EP in March 2022.  Featuring contributions from frequent collaborator Jordan Rakei and rapper Barney Artist, the lush compositions throughout hark back to an early Spaven masterpiece by way of his 'Whole Other*' album release.  A really gorgeous release, any of the EP's tracks could have found pride of place within this list but you can't go wrong with 'Spirit Beat'.

72. 'Starchild' by Sean Khan featuring Heidi Vogel 

Supreme Love: A Journey Through Coltrane; BBE Records

73. 'Stranger to Myself' by Alpacas Collective

Seven Wisdoms of Plutonia

The debut album's playful title track demonstrates much of the Belgian musical ensemble's charm and personality.  While tracks like 'Flugzeug String Machine' and 'The Chase' continue in conveying more of the band's positive and uplifting energy, 'Stranger to Myself' delivers as another of the album's high points and an exquisite example of Alpacas' ability to deliver equally sensational pieces of music amidst a more introspective nature.

74. 'Sunes Hit' by Alawari 

Alawari; April Records

With their beginnings as a musical venture dating back to 2016, the accomplished Alawari sextet, based in Copenhagen, are steadily cultivating their reputation as not only an incredible live act but for being a “no rules” jazz collective fully embracing every prefix of jazz that someone could conjure up from “folk-”, “free-” and even “neo-classical-” jazz.

75. 'The Astral' by Yarni 

Pigna; EMK

76. 'The Bottle' by Nautilus 

Nautilus/Nautiloid Experience & Anna Sato x Toshiyuki Sasaki; Oonops Drops

Comprising the launch of the Oonops Drops FLIP series, the intention is to have two sets of artists basically share an album together - and what a start this release proves to be!  With the Japanese jazz trio, Nautilus, helming the album's first five tracks and featuring some incredible covers of iconic tracks by William DeVaughn, Gil Scott-Heron and Azymuth, vocalist Anna Sato  takes centre-stage alongside Nautilus drummer Toshiyuki Sasaki for a selection of tracks from their prior full-length releases.

77. 'The Gardens' by Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad featuring Garrett Saracho 

Jazz is Dead #15; Jazz is Dead

Although pianist Garrett Saracho holds the distinction of having had a full-length album released through Impulse! Records (‘En Medio’, 1973), unfortunately, the album didn’t make the impact that would have been needed to warrant further releases.  But now the subject of Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad's Jazz Is Dead series, the duo inject new life into Saracho's music that has to date criminally flown under the radar.  ‘The Gardens’ proves to be a particular favourite – sublime in its pace and execution, the soul-drenched ballad is elevated by its orchestration and horn section as well as Saracho’s commanding piano playing.

78. 'The Griot' by Ali Shaheed Muhammad & Adrian Younge featuring Henry Franklin 

Jazz is Dead #14; Jazz is Dead

With appearances on well over a hundred varied projects dating back to the 1960s, the double bassist Henry Franklin solidified his career through an assortment of collaborations ranging from Hugh Masekela to Stevie Wonder, as well as serving as an artist in his own right.  Over the course of Franklin's Jazz is Dead entry alongside Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, we’re presented with some really fantastic compositions from the sublime nostalgia of ‘Memories Lost’ to the vivacious energy of ‘The Griot’.

79. 'The Persistence of Memory' by Emily Jane Roberts featuring Alice McCarthy 

The Persistence of Memory

Establishing herself amongst a wave of UK talent that seek to stretch the boundaries of contemporary jazz, London-based guitarist Emily Jane Roberts has been poised for success for some time now.  Leading the charge over the course of the EP’s five tracks, Roberts - guitar in hand - excels in the role of the project’s composer and producer.  Spearheaded by the blissful title track, ‘The Persistence of Memory’ features versatile vocalist Alice McCarthy who connects brilliantly – and effortlessly – with the intricacies of the composition and matches its subtle shifts in tone and pace establishing the collaboration as a real gem for the project.

80. 'The Place Between' by Jake Leckie 

The Guide; Ropeadope Records

Upright bassist Jake Leckie released an album from his new trio project this year through Ropeadope Records.  Partnering with Elizabeth Goodfellow and Nadav Peled, Leckie's 'The Guide' is a real testament to the three musicians and their vastly different backgrounds, styles and experiences that have come together to create an exquisite record bolstered by songs like the rousing 'The Gatekeeper' and 'Adobe' or the sublime, scene-stealing and somewhat magical 'The Place Between'.

81. 'The Rough' by Allie Wilding 

The Love-Chord

'The Love-Chord' marks the debut EP release from the immeasurably talented Allie Wilding.  Serving as the project's producer, composer and saxophonist, Wilding presents a selection of fantastic tracks rooted, as she describes, within 'the intersection of storytelling and sound' that really seek to forge their own musical path.  Having grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and now residing in Washington, the educator, writer and musician conveys such a unique perspective through her art that just bursts with creativity and personality.

82. 'The Thump Live' [Makaya McCraven Remix] by Marquis Hill

83. 'This Is Me' by Flora Purim 

If You Will; Strut Records

'If You Will' marks the new full-length release from Brazilian singer, musician and producer, Flora Purim, who unveils her first new studio recording in 17 years. Dubbed the “Queen of Brazilian Jazz”, Purim's staggering career began in the 1960s and would see her amass an incredible catalogue of releases since then as a solo artist and frequent collaborator.  If this album is to serve as your introduction to the music of Flora Purim then it’s a really fantastic starting point. Purim still sounds incredible, inspired and passionate about the music that has created a long-lasting legacy for herself as well as the lineage of Brazilian jazz music. 

84. 'Time To Time' by Tize 

Begin Again EP; Pasqua Records S.A.

Tize's incredible interpretation of afro-centric soulful house has been steadily garnering significant praise and adulation over a comparatively short space of time.  With the release of 'Begin Again', Tize once again raises the bar within his own exquisite, dancefloor-friendly house treasures.  On track to becoming a genuine master of his craft, Tize's compositions masterfully showcase his uncanny ability to create club-friendly music while serving as deeply intimate pieces at the same time.

85. 'Times' by DoomCannon featuring Lex Amor 

Reminisce; Brownswood Recordings

86. 'Tumbélé' by As Valet 

Canne à Sucre; A Night on Canopy

A spiritual reconnection as well as a musical one with As Valet's archetypal penchant for hip-hop-inspired production having found new inspiration alongside the music and legacy of La Martinique.  The results for 'Canne à Sucre' make for an incredible journey that absolutely does pay respects to the music and culture's lineage while also empowering the DJ and producer to decidedly look forward to create with confidence.

87. 'Tunnel Vision' by Reuben James featuring Frida & Daley 

Tunnel Vision

88. 'Two Chords & The Truth' [David Mrakpor Remix] by Myele Manzanza 

DeepMatter Records

Released mere months before Volume 3 of the drummer and producer's 'Crisis & Opportunity' series saw Myele Manzanza return to more of his broken beat and electronic roots, a fantastic remix of a track from 2021's Volume 2 was released helmed by David Mrakpor of London's Blue Lab Beats fame.  A great year for Manzanza who also signed off his 'Crisis & Opportunity' trilogy in flawless fashion.

89. 'Two Minutes of the Year' by Perfect Angels 

Exit From The Ultra-World; Kudos Records

90. 'Ubunye' by Ubunye 


Spearheaded by the singles ‘Ubunye’ and ‘Meet You in the Morning’, Ubunye have created such strong anticipation for their eight-track full-length debut recording based on years of live performances and having graced stages across the country. As much as their reputation as fierce live performers precedes them, their pure of heart intentions has also served as a defining characteristic when considering Ubunye’s music – with ‘ubunye’ translating to a derivative of the word ‘unity’, everything about the band is geared around this presentation of togetherness and music as a healing and unifying force within the world.

91. 'Universal' by L'Orage 


With improvisation making up a strong element of L’Orage’s compositions, the seven tracks as presented here are an incredibly inspired and somewhat unpredictable reflection of the Swiss trio.  The exciting prospect of L’Orage is the notion of three distinctly different and unique voices creating something so brilliantly and effortlessly cohesive that it reflects each of their varied personalities and characteristics.

92. 'Waltz' by Max Kochetov Quartet 

Altered Feelings; A.MA Records

For his first release with A.MA, saxophonist Max Kochetov unveils a hugely ambitious project that sees him and his wonderful team of musicians present a 42 minute suite of tracks split over eight compositions.  Recorded live - and in one take - at Serbia's FNS Studio between the 7-9th June 2021, this inspired perspective lends itself to an equally inspired narrative that embraces varying styles and genres as its respective story progresses.

93. 'We Change (Part II)' by Brandon Coleman featuring Keyon Harrold, Ben Williams & Marcus Gilmore 

Interstellar Black Space; Brainfeeder

94. 'What You Wanted' [Kiefer Remix] by Moonchild 

Tru Thoughts

Moonchild have had the luxury of securing some world-class names for remix duties over the years including two by the legends DJ Jazzy Jeff & James Poyser and another by Eric Lau & Kaidi Tatham.  In support of the group's 'Starfruit' album from earlier in the year - their fifth to date - the hip-hop wizardry of producer Kiefer now adds itself to the LA horn trio's dream line-up.

95. 'What's Gonna Kill Me First?' by Antares Flare

Antares Flare; Wicked Wax

Displaying such a dynamic take on contemporary jazz, The Netherlands-based sextet describe their musical outlook on their Bandcamp page as offering "a musical journey through the Congo rainforest, South-American magic realism and the psychedelic European realm of the 60's".  It's a fantastic description of a thrilling and unhindered perception of your music that seems to thrive in showcasing music that challenges the listener but also challenges the artist in its creation as well. 

96. 'Why We Speak' by Robert Glasper featuring Esperanza Spalding & Q-Tip 

Black Radio III; Loma Vista Recordings

97. 'With You' [Ash Walker Remix] by Sly5thAve featuring Denitia 

Tru Thoughts

Tracks originally housed on Sly5thAve's 2020 sophomore album 'What It Is' received a new lease of life  early this year thanks to remixes by Tru Thoughts label mate Hemai who tackled 'C-Side' and Ash Walker who remixed 'With You'.  The quintessential groove of an Ash Walker cosmic gem is undeniable here however resulting in a brilliant collaboration between the two musical masterminds.

98. 'Words Left Unspoken' by Jasmine Myra 

Horizons; Gondwana Records

What an unbridled joy this record is!  Saxophonist and composer Jasmine Myra has released a stunning piece of music via her partnership with Gondwana Records through an eight-track project produced by Matthew Halsall.  It's sublime, it's elegant and definitively one of the year's strongest releases.

99. 'Yearning' by Deborah Jordan & K15

Human; Futuristica Music

Vocalist Deborah Jordan and producer K15 cement their long-time collaborative history with a fantastic full-length release for Futuristica.  The album beautifully embraces the array of styles that both have become attributed to - from the brilliant Culross Close-esque production of album opener 'Running' to the twinges of broken beat found in 'Innervision' and the more acoustic, piano-driven tracks like 'Change'.  The masterful production on 'Yearning' is both sparse and intricate affording Jordan's typically incredible vocal the appropriate space to explore these sonic soundscapes in her own inimitable way.

100. 'You Should Know Me Better' by OTOOTO featuring Lucky Lo

Dosage; April Records

It's been just over a year since the Danish quintet OTOOTO introduced themselves to the world via their debut full-length 'This Love is For You'.  For their sophomore release, the quintet boldly seek to reinvent their sound and are able to conceive a second album that finds entirely new inspiration within an even more eclectic soundscape.  Vocalist Lucky Lo guests on two of the album's tracks but this sythny-sonic gem was the clear standout.

No comments:

Post a Comment