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Wunderkind Tops In New Modern Jazz Playlist

From virtuoso wunderkinder to seasoned pros with decades of dedication to the art form, there’s something for all jazz lovers here.

Relax and enjoy these ten new jazz tracks today.

Winter Blues

Album: Origin
Artist: Joey Alexander
Label: Mack Records

Joey Alexander’s sixth album comes in the childhood prodigy’s last year as a teen.

Winter Blues features Joey on Fender Rhodes, with Larry Grenadier [bass], Kendrick Scott [drums], Gilad Hekselman [guitar], and Chris Potter [tenor saxophone].

Most remarkable about the track is the maturity of Joey’s comping and deftly constructed, swinging solo on Fender Rhodes.

This is a musician maturing into a giant.

Listen up here.

Nigeria II

Album: Return From The Stars
Artist: Mark Turner
Label: ECM

The instantly recognizable sound recording quality of an ECM release.

Nigeria II (a playful nod to Sonny Rollins’ Airegin) features Jason Palmer, trumpet, Joe Martins, bass, and, Jonathon Pinson, drums.

Burning solos from Palmer and Turner over a relentless eighth-note drum and bass (REAL drums and bass) propelled groove.

Open your ears and listen in here.



Album: 7th Hand
Artist: Immanuel Wilkins
Label: Blue Note Records

Featuring Wilkins’ alto sax and an extended drum solo underneath a lovely lyrical vamp that transitions to a rubato outro, Lighthouse, is part of a seven movement suite.

Just as ritual plays a huge part in religion, Wilkins’ tries to define the ritual of performing with a band.

I’m trying to write music that facilitates a space for us to be religious vessels for the music—have us actually act as vessels for Jesus.

Immanuel Wilkins

Open your ears and listen in here.

The Bluest Eye

Album: 12 Stars
Artist: Melissa Aldana
Label: Blue Note Records

The Bluest Eye from tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana, is the fifth track on her latest Blue-Note records release, 12 Stars.

It features Lage Lund [guitar] and [producer], Sullivan Fortner [piano] and Fender Rhodes, Kush Abadey [drums], and, Pablo Menares [bass].

Named after a novel by Toni Morrison, Aldana’s dry sound and judicious use of space make her a sought-after artist on the international jazz festival and club circuit.

Listen up here.

She Won’t Forget Me

Ethan Iverson

Album: Every Note Is True
Artist: Ethan Iverson
Label: Blue Note Records

Along with Jack DeJohnette [drums], and Larry Grenadier [bass], She Won’t Forget Me has a quirky, playful quality to it that makes me happy.

Jazz? Sure, why not?

After the opening theme, Jack DeJohnette lays it down with his unmistakable sound and feel, which sets the groundwork for Iversons’ solo.

A well-constructed tune with a pop-like theme, excellent solos, and a neat and tidy ending.

Listen up here.

The Honeymoon

Peter Erskine

Album: Peter Erskin Live In Italy
Artist: Peter Erskine
Label: Fuzzy

One of the most prolific drummers in the modern era, Peter Erskine’s latest is a trio recording featuring Alan Pasqua [piano] and Darek Oles [bass].

Recorded live in concert at the end of their first post lockdown tour, The Honeymoon is a straight-ahead uptempo tune that follows the time honored tradition of the piano trio.

Audiophile recording quality on the whole albu,

Listen up here.

Second To None

David Binney

Album: Tomorrow’s Journey
Artist: David Binney

The genre-defying alto saxophonist has released a double LP/CD entitled “Tomorrow’s Journey” on Ghost Note records.

It’s “the most musically intricate acoustic project I’ve worked on thus far,” Binney says of his latest release.

If the track Second To None is any indication of the direction David Binney is taking jazz, we are in good hands.

With standout solos by Binney and Luca Mendoza, this is thoroughly modern, cutting-edge acoustic jazz from a group of dynamic musicians from a new generation of Los Angelinos.

Listen up here.

Ice -911

Greg Smith

Album: Cluster
Artist: Greg Smith
Label: Brooklyn Jazz Underground

Greg Smith’s 2021 release Cluster shows off the Berlin/Rotterdam-based drummer/composer’s chops.

Ice 911 is almost a suite, with several sections evolving into solos by alto saxophonist David Binney and Alex Maksymiw guitar-synth.

A mature piece of modern jazz.

Listen up here.

Honest I Do

John Scofield

Album: John Scofield
Artist: John Scofield
Label: ECM

For over five decades, John Scofield has never released a solo guitar album, until now.

He recorded Honest I Do in his home attic/studio during the pandemic lockdown. It’s great to hear him in such a totally intimate setting.

A beautiful song with Sco’s signature sound and feel.

Listen up here.


Pasquale Grasso

Album: Be-Bop
Artist: Pasquale Grasso
Label: Sony

Italian jazz virtuoso Pasquale Grasso pays homage to the giants of bebop, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie on his sixth album release entitled Be-Bop.

Cheryl is a twelve-bar blues from the classic era of Bird and Diz.

If you’re a fan of the great jazz guitar trios and sound of Joe Pass, et al., Grasso’s album will be right up your alley.

Listen up here.