10 Albums You Need to Know: January 2022

The return of a legendary Motown vocal group; an exploration of the relationship between presence and nothingness; a celebration of iconic composer Leonard Bernstein. All this and more are in our list of ten new albums released this month (January 2022) that you need to know about.


Claire Dickson, Starland (self-released)

Release date: January 7

Conceived and created between the Arctic Circle and her Brooklyn apartment, Starland is the impressive seven-song concept debut album by 24-year-old vocalist/composer Claire Dickson. Her continuously transformed and creatively applied vocals are front and center of its immersive sonic landscapes, which shift between art-pop, jazz and ambient music. Order it here.


Fred Hersch, Breath By Breath (Palmetto)

Release date: January 7

Breath By Breath is the new album by pianist/composer Fred Hersch and his first full-length project where he pairs a jazz piano trio with a string quartet. The bulk of the record is an eight-movement suite reflecting on different aspects of his mindfulness meditation. Order it here.


Tony Malaby’s Sabino, The Cave of Winds (Pyroclastic)

Release date: January 7

The Cave of Winds finds saxophonist/composer Tony Malaby draws inspiration from the freedoms and sonic qualities he explored during his COVID-era sessions under a New Jersey turnpike. For this project, he also reconvened his Sabino quartet with guitarist Ben Monder, bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tom Rainey. Order it here.


Pete Malinverni, On the Town – Pete Malinverni Plays Leonard Bernstein (Planet Arts)

Release date: January 14

Pianist Pete Malinverni pays tribute to iconic composer Leonard Bernstein on his new album. On the Town finds him reinterpreting nine Bernstein favorites along with a new Malinverni original, all performed with his all-star trio with bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Jeff Hamilton. Order it here.


The OGJB Quartet, Ode to O (TUM)

Release date: January 21

The OGJB Quartet featuring saxophonist Oliver Lake, Graham Hayes on cornet and electronics, bassist Joe Fonda and drummer Barry Altschul draw on a variety of influences on Ode to O. The album finds each band member contributing compositions, including Altschul’s title track dedicated to Ornette Coleman, and collective improvisations. Order it here.


Christiane Karam, Nar (self-released)

Release date: January 28

On Nar, visionary vocalist/composer Christiane Karam melds Middle Eastern and Balkan aesthetics with contemporary jazz alongside her quartet with pianist Vadim Neselovskyi, cellist Naseem Alatrash, bassist Peter Slavov and percussionist Keita Ogawa. This is her first full-length release in nine years. Order it here.


Immanuel Wilkins, The 7th Hand (Blue Note)

Release date: January 28

The 7th Hand is Immanuel Wilkins’ follow-up to his acclaimed 2020 debut, Omega. It showcases the saxophonist’s compositional talent with a seven-movement suite exploring the relationship between presence and nothingness, performed by his original quartet with Micah Thomas, Daryl Johns and Kweku Sumbry, plus special guests. Order it here.


Mathis Picard, Live at the Museum (Outside In)

Release date: January 28

Pianist Mathis Picard explores early influences and his inner musical world on his new solo piano venture, honoring his roots in jazz, classical and electronic. Live at the Museum documents his live multimedia performance at the National Museum of Harlem in New York City, recorded on location by sound engineer Todd Carter. Order it here.


The Temptations, Temptations 60 (UMe)

Release date: January 28

Legendary Motown vocal group The Temptations group celebrate their 60th anniversary with a new album of nearly all-original material, headed by founding member Otis Williams and featuring special guest contributions. The album is described by the group as a “powerful fusion of hip-hop, smooth jazz and soulful flavors.” Order Temptations 60 here.


Tyler Mitchell Featuring Marshall Allen, Dancing Shadows (Mahakala)

Release date: January 28

Bassist Tyler Mitchell and saxophonist Marshall Allen, who worked together in the Sun Ra Arkestra in the ’80s, reunite on a new project described as “the perfect synthesis of freedom and constraint, hard bop and pure sonic texture.” Dancing Shadows includes sextet renditions of compositions by Mitchell, Allen, Sun Ra and a take on Thelonious Monk’s “Skippy.” Order it here.

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