10 Albums You Need to Know: August 2022

A revered drummer reflects on a life of encounters; a penetrating jazz portrait of one of the biggest cities in the world; a celebration of the enduring legacy of Charles Mingus. All this and more are in our list of ten new albums released this month (August 2022) that you need to know about.


Billy Drummond, Valse Sinistre (Cellar Music)

Release date: August 5

Drummer/composer Billy Drummond returns with his first album as a leader since 1996. Valse Sinistre is a multigenerational project featuring some of the most innovative voices on the scene today and offering a dynamic repertoire, including rarely-heard pieces and a sole original composition intercutting John Coltrane’s harmonic ideas with Thelonious Monk’s melodic leaps and tendencies.


Jazz Funk Soul, Forecast (Shanachie)

Release date: August 5

Veteran hit-makers saxophonist Everette Harp, keyboardist Jeff Lorber and guitarist Paul Jackson Jr. renew their collaboration on a new Jazz Funk Soul album, Forecast, featuring all original compositions. “By using our years of collective vocabulary we freely express ourselves musically using everything we have at our disposal,” shares Harp via a press release.


Mário Gaiotto, Cosmopaulista (self-released)

Release date: August 7

Brazilian drummer/composer Mário Gaiotto paints a jazz-infused portrait of São Paulo, Brasil, on his penetrating debut album as a leader, Cosmopaulista. Accompanied by pianist Daniel Grajew and bassist Sidiel Vieira, the trio presents ten original compositions which showcase and testify to the diverse influences that the city, one of the biggest in the world, is blessed with.


Emanuel Casablanca, Blood On My Hands (self-released)

Release date: August 19

Blood On My Hands, the album debut of singer/songwriter/instrumentalist Emanuel Casablanca, is a must for all fans of old-school blues, alongside a cast of venerable guests. Evoking the spirit of vintage recording and adapting it to his own artistic persona, Casablanca explains via a press release that “I made it a point with this album to try to explore the essence of an imperfect past.”


Al Foster, Reflections (Smoke Sessions)

Release date: August 26

On Reflections, revered drummer Al Foster revisits the work of several of his legendary peers, reflecting on a lifetime of encounters with jazz icons. The record features fresh takes on music by such jazz greats as Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, performed with an all-star quintet featuring Chris Potter, Nicholas Payton, Kevin Hays and Vicente Archer.


Ethan Philion, Meditations on Mingus (Sunnyside)

Release date: August 26

Bassist Ethan Philion celebrates the enduring legacy of Charles Mingus on the year of the jazz legend’s centenary via his latest album. Meditations on Mingus features strong, fresh arrangements of some of Mingus’ compositions, performed with an ensemble including Dana Hall and Russ Johnson, and serving, as Philion says, “as a call for the listener to change the evil in people and to end hatred.”


Julia Hülsmann Quartet, The Next Door (ECM)

Release date: August 26

World-renowned German pianist/composer Julia Hülsmann reconvenes her quartet from her 2019 album, Not Far From Here, for a new record almost entirely comprising original compositions. The Next Door is a fine showcase of her idiosyncratic pianism, recorded in the South of France in March 2022 and released as the band sets out to embark on a European tour.


Kalaha + Hilal Kaya with Aarhus Jazz Orchestra, Tuktu (April)

Release date: August 26

Multi-award-winning Danish quartet Kalaha collaborate with the world-renowned Aarhus Jazz Orchestra and guest vocalist Hilal Kaya on their most adventurous album to date. Showcasing their renowned open-minded approach to music-making, Tuktu offers an energetic fusion of jazz, Turkish psychedelic rock and ’80s-inspired synth-pop.


Miguel Zenón, Música de las Americas (Miel)

Release date: August 26

Musica de las Americas is one of saxophonist/composer Miguel Zenón’s most visionary recordings to date. A star-studded album of all-original music, the album is inspired by the tumultuous history of the American continent, representing the dynamism and complexity of America’s indigenous cultures, their encounters with European colonists and the resulting historical implications.


Yellowjackets, Parallel Motion (Mack Avenue)

Release date: August 26

Parallel Motion marks GRAMMY-winning jazz fusion giants Yellowjackets’ entrance into the fifth decade of their stellar career. A resilient response to the angst experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, they sound as fresh as ever on their new album, described via a press release as “a Technicolor portrait of a working band that’s still stretching its wings.”


Featured photo by Randy Cole.

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