10 Albums You Need to Know: December 2021

A collection of mesmerizing solo harp improvisations; a late piano great’s interpretation of John Coltrane music; a forward-looking album performed by an ensemble with nine dynamic guitarists. All this and more are included in our list of ten albums released this month (December 2021) that you need to know about.


Adam Rudolph’s Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra, Resonant Bodies (Meta)

Release date: December 3

Resonant Bodies is a new forward-looking album by world music pioneer Adam Rudolph that aims to highlight 21st-century innovation and hybrid voices. This is a new full-length with his groundbreaking Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra with nine dynamic guitarists, including Nels Cline, Liberty Ellman, Joel Harrison, Jerome Harris, Miles Okazaki, Damon Banks,  Marco Cappelli, David Gilmore, Kenny Wessel. Order Resonant Bodies here.


Harold Mabern, Mabern Plays Coltrane (Smoke Sessions)

Release date: December 3

Mabern Plays Coltrane presents a set of previously unheard recordings of the late great pianist Harold Mabern performing the music of John Coltrane. The record features an all-star quintet and is culled from the final three nights of a three-week residency from 2017-2018 at New York’s Smoke Jazz & Supper Club’s annual year-ending John Coltrane Festival. Order Mabern Plays Coltrane here.


Jacqueline Kerrod, 17 Days in December (Orenda)

Release date: December 3

17 Days of December is a set of mesmerizing solo harp improvisations by Jacqueline Kerrod. The pieces are drawn from a month-long series of daily improvisations on both acoustic and electric harp that she undertook in the basement of her home at the height of the COVID lockdown. “In retrospect, these 17 improvisations feel like a personal celebration,” she explains. Order 17 Days of December here.


Nori, Nori (Go Stop)

Release date: December 3

Austin-based, genre-bending Neo Jazz quintet Nori will release a self-titled compilation of ten of their favorite songs, which they wrote from 2015 to 2021. Released exclusively and for the first time ever on vinyl, these songs showcase their diverse sound and pointed lyrics, addressing important topical themes of identity, activism, racial tensions, racism and love. Order Nori here.


Rich Halley, Boomslang (Pine Eagle)

Release date: December 3

Boomslang finds acclaimed saxophonist Rich Halley leading his quartet on a set of original compositions and spontaneous improvisations. Recorded in Portland, Oregon, in December 2019, the full-length showcases the depth and inventiveness of his group with cornetist Dan Clucas, bassist Clyde Reed and drummer Carson Halley. Order Boomslang here.


Sara Serpa and Emmanuel Iduma, Intimate Strangers (Biophilia)

Release date: December 3

Creative music and literature meet on a new collaborative record by Portuguese singer/composer/improviser Sara Serpa and Nigerian author Emmanuel Iduma. Their Intimate Strangers, which documents a live multimedia performance, explores such themes as travel, migration and displacement. You can find out more about this record in our JAZZIZ Travel podcast interview with Serpa, and order the album HERE.


Various Artists, Remixes JID101 (Jazz Is Dead)

Release date: December 3

So far, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge’s inaugural run of their Jazz Is Dead series has featured collaborations with such greats as Gary Bartz, Azymuth and Roy Ayers, among others. They close it out with this new remix album, revisiting the label’s catalog via the work of such critically-acclaimed producers as Cut Chemist, DJ Spinna, Georgia Anne Muldrow and more. Order Remixes JID010 here.


Jeff Parker, Forfolks (International Anthem)

Release date: December 10

Jeff Parker follows his critically acclaimed 2020 LP Suite for Max Brown with Forfolks, a new set of solo guitar works. The album includes two covers and six new originals, many of which marry melodic improvisation with electronic textures. As Parker explains via a press release, “I am trying to create a sonic world for me to wander around in.” Order Forfolks here.


Josh Sinton, b. (FiP)

Release date: December 10

Josh Sinton presents a series of free-form solo baritone saxophone improvisations on b., which strikes for its soulfulness as well as its intellectual rigor. “The world has more than enough solo saxophone albums. Of all kinds,” Sinton explains via a press release. “It took me a long time to discover what I could offer, what I could put in the public square that wasn’t there already.” Order b. here.


Majid Soula, Chant Amazigh (Habibi Funk)

Release date: December 10

Habibi Funk’s latest LP is a collection of disco-leaning instrumentals with plenty of synths and driving drums by Algerian music artist Majid Soula. The songs showcase a unique blend of Arab-disco, highlife and funk, and were previously released on cassette, either self-released or released via small record labels in the ’80s. Order Chant Amazigh here.


Like this article?  Get more when you subscribe.

Join Our Newsletter
Join thousands of other jazz enthusiasts and get new music, artists, album, events and more delivered to your inbox.

The Authoritative Voice in Jazz