10 Albums You Need to Know: February 2022

The anticipated third installment of an acclaimed and GRAMMY-winning series; a celebration of the legacy of a funk pioneer; a fusion of the sound and expression of Portuguese fado with the vocabulary of jazz. All this and more in our list of ten albums released this month (February 2022) that you need to know about.


Stro Elliot, Black & Loud: James Brown Reimagined by Stro Elliot (UMe)

Release date: February 4

Producer Stro Elliot celebrates the legacy of James Brown via ten new remixes of some of the funk pioneer’s most iconic tracks. “There are genres and subgenres that wouldn’t exist today without him,” he says via a statement. “Whatever genre one might place me is included. This is a dissection and celebration of that.” Order Black & Loud here.


Cecil Taylor, The Complete, Legendary, Live Return Concert (Oblivion)

Release date: February 15

A long-thought lost recording of master improviser Cecil Taylor, documenting his epic 1973 return to live performance in full, including an 88-minute “Autumn/Parade” and more. The concert featured the pianist alongside Cecil Taylor Unit members Jimmy Lyons and Andrew Cyrille, plus Sirone on bass. This digital-only release is accompanied by a 23-page booklet.


Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, Cold As Weiss (Colemine)

Release date: February 11

Seattle-based soul-jazz groove machine Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio returns with its latest virtuosic showcase of feelgood, magnetic music. On Cold As Weiss, organist Delvon Lamarr and guitarist Jimmy James are joined for the first time on record by drummer Dan Weiss, also known for his work with soul-funk collective The Sextones. Order it here.


Ethan Iverson, Every Note Is True (Blue Note)

Release date: February 11

Pianist/composer Ethan Iverson expands on his own musical history by revisiting the pop-rock-inflected jazz style of his influential trio, The Bad Plus, by leading a session with two of the most in-demand jazz players around: bassist Larry Grenadier and legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette. Every Note Is True is Iverson’s debut for Blue Note Records. Order it here.


Kit Downes, Vermillion (ECM)

Release date: February 11

On his sophomore chamber music-oriented album as a leader for the ECM label, pianist Kit Downes offers an assorted piano trio program with collaborators bassist Petter Eldh and drummer James Maddren. Vermillion treads gentle lyricism and bold creative outbursts in equal measures and with a strong penchant for melody. Order it here. 


Avishai Cohen, Naked Truth (ECM)

Release date: February 25

Israeli trumpeter/composer Avishai Cohen leads the way on a music-of-the-moment quartet session taking the form of an extemporaneous suite, which he describes via an official statement as a “two-year meditation.” Naked Truth features his longtime comrades,  pianist Yonathan Avishai, bassist Barak Mori and drummer Ziv Ravitz. Order it here.


Blue Lab Beats, Motherland Journey (Blue Note)

Release date: February 25

Fast-rising London-based duo Blue Lab Beats continue to refine their characteristic jazztronica on Motherland Journey, a 17-track tour-de-force featuring notable guest vocalists and instrumentalists, fusing several genres and influences. Emerging from a multi-year-work, Motherland Journey marks Blue Lab Beat’s Blue Note Records debut. Order it here.


Curtis Stigers, This Life (Pandemic Poodle)

Release date: February 25

Singer/songwriter/saxophonist Curtis Stigers revisits some of his earlier hits, including from his 1991 eponymous debut, and puts a distinct jazz spin on them on his new album. In addition to reinterpretations of his own songs, This Life includes his cover versions of classic tunes, including by Nick Lowe, the Gershwins, Leonard Cohen and more. Pre-save here.


Júlio Resende, Fado Jazz (ACT)

Release date: February 25

In-demand pianist/composer Júlio Resende is regarded as a musical ambassador of his native Portugal. On the aptly titled Fado Jazz, he blends the sound and expression of fado with the vocabulary of jazz. The record, almost all the tracks of which are original compositions, marks Resende’s debut release on ACT Music. Order it here.


Robert Glasper, Black Radio III (Loma Vista)

Release date: February 25

Pianist/producer/composer Robert Glasper offers an idiosyncratic blend of jazz, hip-hop, soul, gospel and R&B on the third installment of his GRAMMY-winning Black Radio series. The album is enriched by a diverse team of guest collaborators, including Esperanza Spalding, Q-Tip, Common, Musiq Soulchild, Yebba, Jennifer Hudson, Gregory Porter and more. Order Black Radio III here.


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