The Best Jazz Albums Of 2022 (In Our Opinion!)

best jazz albums of 2022

Take your jazz game to the next level with this round-up of the best jazz albums of 2022.. Jump in and find the perfect groove!

Our list of the Best Jazz Albums Of 2022 is sure to be a treat for jazz lovers everywhere! There were some great new releases from both established and emerging artists. Consequently, we can’t wait to hear what the future of jazz has in store for 2023. That said, from 2022, we have over thirty fantastic new releases from the likes of Robert Glasper, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Donald Byrd, and countless others.

No matter what your taste in jazz is, there’s sure to be something for everyone. From swinging trios to experimental free jazz, the sheer variety of excellent jazz albums from last year is sure to make your head spin. So dig in, jazz fans – 2022 was an amazing year for jazz!


RELATED: The Best (Our Favorite) Jazz Albums Of 2021: 27 Sensational Projects You Need To Hear!


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Qobuz

1. Immanuel Wilkins-“The 7th Hand”

Qobuz

“Alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins follows up his acclaimed debut, Omega, with another striking album featuring his remarkable quartet with pianist Micah Thomas, bassist Daryl Johns, and drummer Kweku Sumbry, plus appearances by flutist Elena Pinderhughes and the Farafina Kan Percussion Ensemble. It consists of an hour-long suite comprised of 7 movements that strive to bring them closer to complete vesselhood by the end, where the music would be entirely improvised and channeled collectively.”


2. Alison Shearer- “View From Above”

Qobuz

“Saxophonist Alison Shearer’s debut album makes a statement. A statement about loss, struggle, and the restorative power of music. Written soon after the passing of her father, famed photojournalist John Shearer, “View From Above” transports the listener to that liminal space between sky and earth, where the light shimmers and mundane matters seem small and far away.”


3. Robert Glasper- “Black Radio III”

Qobuz

“Robert Glasper’s highly anticipated third installment to the Black Radio album series. Black Radio III, much like both of its predecessors, is a cultural moment that celebrates black love and resilience, features an eclectic group of talented collaborators, and is composed by Glasper, who the New York Times proclaims is “probably the most prominent jazz musician of his generation”. An innovative and essential addition to Glasper’s seminal Black Radio series.”


4. Becca Stevens, Attacca Quartet- “Becca Stevens | Attacca Quartet”

Qobuz

“Nearly a decade ago, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and 2021 GRAMMY® nominee Becca Stevens was approached with an intriguing concept: to reimagine a selection of her songs with string arrangements for a performance at San Diego’s illustrious Mainly Mozart Festival. Little did she know, it would be a life-changing opportunity—introducing her to her future husband, the acclaimed violist, composer, and member of the GRAMMY® Award-winning Attacca Quartet, Nathan Schram. The concert would also inspire a career-spanning passion project—one which blossomed alongside her relationship with Nathan and resulted in the couple’s first collaborative album, Becca Stevens | Attacca Quartet.”


5. Cécile McLorin Salvant -“Ghost Song”

Qobuz

“Ghost Song features a diverse mix of seven originals and five interpretations on the themes of ghosts, nostalgia, and yearning. Salvant says, “It’s unlike anything I’ve done before—it’s getting closer to reflecting my personality as an eclectic curator. I’m embracing my weirdness!”Ghost Song opens and ends with a sean-nós (traditional Irish unaccompanied vocal style) performance by Salvant, recorded in a church. On track one, she transitions into Kate Bush’s 1978 classic “Wuthering Heights.” Salvant says of the song, “Wuthering Heights is a book that really struck me to my core as I made this album during the pandemic. And the best interpretation of the novel is Kate Bush’s song.”


6. Donald Byrd- “Live: Cookin’ With Blue Note At Montreux”

Qobuz

“A first-ever official release of Donald Byrd’s Live: Cookin’ with Blue Note at Montreux on what would have been the legendary trumpeter’s 90th birthday: December 9, 2022. In July 1973, Blue Note Records headed to Switzerland to showcase several of the label’s stars at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Live albums in the Cookin’ with Blue Note at Montreux series followed from Bobby Hutcherson, Ronnie Foster, Bobbi Humphrey, and Marlena Shaw, but Byrd’s remained unreleased until now.”


7. Marquis Hill- “New Gospel Revisited”

Qobuz

“New Gospel Revisited is the new album from the fearless and formidable American composer and trumpeter Marquis Hill. A live recording that revisits and reinterprets his debut 2012 album New Gospel, this time round employing a band of super-heavyweight musicians including Walter Smith III, Joel Ross, James Francies, Kendrick Scott and Harish Raghavan.”


8. Mary Halvorson- “Belladonna & Amaryllis”

Qobuz & Qobuz

“This Deluxe LP compiles her two new releases, “Belladonna” and “Amaryllis. “The two suites, which Halvorson describes as “modular and interlocking,” were performed at Brooklyn’s Roulette last fall and were produced and mixed by John Dieterich (Deerhoof). Amaryllis is a six-song suite performed by a newly formed sextet of master improvisers, including Halvorson, Patricia Brennan (vibraphone), Nick Dunston (bass), Tomas Fujiwara (drums), Jacob Garchik (trombone), Adam O’Farrill (trumpet). The suite showcases Halvorson’s many musical influences from jazz, experimental, new music, and beyond. Belladonna is a set of five compositions written for Halvorson on guitar plus the Mivos Quartet: Olivia De Prato (violin), Maya Bennardo (violin), Victor Lowrie Tafoya (viola), and Tyler J. Borden (cello). It is Halvorson’s first time writing for a string quartet. Mivos’ parts are through-composed and augmented by Halvorson’s guitar improvisations.”


9. Song Yi Jeon, Vinicius Gomes- “Home”

Qobuz

“Home is the debut album from South Korean vocalist Song Yi Jeon, and Brazilian guitarist Vinicius Gomes, two virtuosic musicians who come from completely different backgrounds and life experiences yet speak one language: jazz. The two instantly connected while living in Switzerland. They quickly discovered a similar aesthetic sense that emphasizes interaction, storytelling, and communication, and common influences that include Brazilian choro music, Hermeto Pascoal, Norma Winstone, and contemporary jazz. But their biggest influence is family and home. As the record came together, both artists penned pieces inspired by significant family members and developed unique interpretations of songs by composers that reflect their diverse backgrounds: Carlos Aguirre, Dominguinhos, Keith Jarrett, and Jimmy Rowles.”


10. Avishai Cohen Trio- “Shifting Sands”

Qobuz

“Shifting Sands – his brand-new album – proves he’s not resting on his laurels, but don’t take our word for it. Listen to ‘Intertwined’ – the charged opening track and the cornerstone of the record – and you’ll immediately feel that he raised the bar again. The message is loud and clear: it’s a new adventure on the DNA that you were already familiar with. Since the beginning of the century, Avishai Cohen has traveled a varied road. He appeared leading with orchestras, led smaller ensembles and even duets. But it is the Trio format that he always returns to.”


11. Melody Gardot & Philippe Powell- “Entre eux deux”

Qobuz

“Melody Gardot and acclaimed pianist Philippe Powell have recorded an intimate album of brooding jazz torch songs. Recorded in Paris in December 2021, this intimate new album showcases Melody and Philippe’s love of traditional jazz, taking the listener back to its golden age.”


12. Joey Alexander- “Origin”

Qobuz

It’s no coincidence two of the titles on the pianist, bandleader, and composer Joey Alexander’s inspirational debut on Mack Avenue Records, Origin, contain the words “rise” and “rising.”

“The Latin root of the word ‘origin’ is orire, which means to rise,” explains the restlessly searching musician, who has performed everywhere from the Obama White House to the Grand Ole Opry and has been nominated for three GRAMMY® awards. “During this pandemic, I think the first thing we should do is to start with being hopeful, which is the main theme of Origin. Instead of making it a source of frustration, I made it the source of inspiration to express myself in music.”

Good plan. On his sixth album as a leader, his first featuring all his own material, Alexander has stretched his imagination into new territory, challenging himself to write rich melodic and harmonic interplay without ever abandoning the emotional candor and transparency that have captivated crowds and catapulted his albums to the top of the jazz charts.


13. Nduduzo Makhathini- “In The Spirit Of Ntu”

Qobuz

“On his milestone tenth studio album, In the Spirit of Ntu, the visionary South African pianist, composer, improviser, and healer Nduduzo Makhathini condenses the thematic, sonic, and conceptual notions explored over his catalog into a layered yet accessible 10-track album. In addition to Makhathini’s influences such as John Coltrane, Bheki Mseleku, McCoy Tyner and Abdullah Ibrahim, In The Spirit of Ntu pulls his most foundational cultural Influences into a space where the sounds of the South African landscape are placed at the center of the nation’s evolving jazz songbook.”


14. Jakob Dinesen Quartet- “Unconditional Love”

Qobuz

“Apart from pianist Gary Allen’s title track, Unconditional Love, the album features mostly original works written by Dinesen – created for the deep, poetic universe the quartet brings to life and explores together. All the songs sparkle with emotional honesty, taking the listener on a journey that offers plenty of room for each of the four talented musical personalities to shine brighter than ever before.”


15. Dave Douglas- “Overcome”

Qobuz

“Overcome is a new Dave Douglas recording, alongside vocalists Fay Victor and Camila Meza, trombonist Ryan Keberle, bassist Jorge Roeder, and drummer Rudy Royston, who banded together over a period of months to create a new album of songs. A statement of purpose, an acknowledgment of forebears, and an exhortation to activism. Overcome involves the six musicians in an emotional and powerful statement of human engagement toward justice: Racial justice. Climate justice. Voting justice. Gender justice.”


16. Joel Ross- “The Parable Of The Poet”

Qobuz

“Acclaimed vibraphonist and composer Joel Ross returns with his third Blue Note album, The Parable of the Poet, an expansive album-length suite comprised of seven evocative movements. The suite is performed by a dynamic 8-piece ensemble with Ross joined by Immanuel Wilkins on alto saxophone, Maria Grand on tenor saxophone, Marquis Hill on trumpet, Kalia Vandever on trombone, Sean Mason on piano, Rick Rosato on bass, and Craig Weinrib on drums.”


17. Dezron Douglas- “ATALAYA”

Qobuz

“Regular International Anthem listeners will remember Dezron Douglas’s contributions to Makaya McCraven’s Universal Beings and from Force Majeure, his sublime duo record with harpist Brandee Younger, which compiled the best of their weekly livestream performances from lockdown 2020. That album reflected the speed and feeling of the moment while somehow simultaneously distracting from the harsh reality of it. Atalaya, similarly, wasn’t processed in the lab but rather captured in the room. The difference is the energy level. Again, let’s defer to Dez here: “Welcome to the Black Lion rocket ship.” Welcome indeed. Prepare for liftoff, and watch your head as the pendulum swings wide on this one. Free and dissonant, sweet and consonant, sweeping and pure. This is the band you hope is playing every time you walk into a club.”


18. Alexander Claffy- “Music From Big Orange”

Qobuz

“With Music From Big Orange, his latest album as a bandleader, “Claffy” serves as his own Executive Producer, as well as Composer/Arranger on all of the songs. He switches seamlessly from acoustic bass to electric depending on the sonic flow of any given tune, and even layers in some auxiliary keyboard parts, further underscoring his penchant for harmonic depth and density. As a lyricist, he leans into his personal experiences to lend to the storytelling, which showcases an admirable comfort in expressing his vulnerability – something many artists never delve deep enough to display, but Claffy has been willing to bare since his very first album as a bandleader.”


19. Various Artists- “Blue Note Re:imagined II”

Qobuz

“Legendary labels Decca Records & Blue Note have joined forces for Blue Note Re:imagined; a new collection of 16 classic tracks, reworked and newly recorded by a selection of the UK scene’s most exciting young talents. A bridge between the ground-breaking label’s past and future, the project features contributions from a rollcall of acclaimed jazz, soul and R&B acts like Shabaka Hutchings, Ezra Collective, & more, as well as Jorja Smith, whose version of St Germain’s Rose Rouge released in June.”


20. The Bad Plus- “The Bad Plus”

Qobuz

Twenty-one years after making their landmark debut as a genre-exploding piano-bass-drums trio, the always adventurous group has reinvented themselves as a dynamic quartet.


21. Camilla George- “Ibio-Ibio”

Qobuz

“Saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and innovator Camilla George makes a stunning return with her third album ‘Ibio-Ibio’ – a rich, cultural journey dedicated to her Ibibio tribe of southeastern coastal Nigeria.”


22. Alina Bzhezhinska, Hip Harp Collective-“Reflections”

Qobuz

“Alina creates a unique sound on the harp with layered effects and electronics, combining original works and covers to pay homage to some of jazz, funk and hip-hop’s greatest innovators. Throughout the record, she draws from a variety of influences, including the likes of Dorothy Ashby’s ‘Afro-Harping’, Alice Coltrane’s spiritual outputs, Joe Henderson’s free-form jazz experimentation, 90s Acid Jazz and Trip-Hop.”


23. Various-“Here It Is: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen”

Qobuz

“Producer Larry Klein pays tribute to his friend Leonard Cohen with an album that presents stunning new renditions of the legendary singer-songwriter’s compositions performed by an extraordinary line-up of vocalists. The guest artists are backed by what Klein calls “a group of the most prescient and forward-looking musicians in the jazz world.” The album’s 12 tracks offer a broad range of Cohen’s songs drawn from his 1967 debut Songs of Leonard Cohen through his final album, You Want It Darker.”


24. Mark Guiliana-“the sound of listening”

Qobuz

“The title and idea behind ‘the sound of listening’ is taken from the book ‘Silence’ by Thích Nhất Hạnh, which considers, as Mark explains, ‘the inner silence required to truly observe the world.’ In ‘the sound of listening’ the entirety of the compositional breadth of Mark’s acoustic and electronic influences is brought together, interspersed with miniature vignettes in a unified voice: the album speaks of Mark’s own journey and thinking with his relationship to music – to see the world and his presence within it through a zoomed out lens, where differences are unified and perspectives aligned.”


25. Maria Mendes, Metropole Orkest, John Beasley-“Saudade, Colour of Love (Live)”

Qobuz

“This album […] is a result of a long-awaited dream. A live recorded album represents the truthful and thrilling opportunity to expand the music in ways you cannot when recording in a studio. New songs and new orchestrations were specially written for this material, premiered and recorded […] in May 2022. On stage: an exceptional team of thirty musicians – my band and the Metropole Orkest conducted by John Beasley. […] I believe in music as an unlimited language that can defy stylistic boundaries and can trigger […] surprise and enchantment. This music is about how I feel Fado and how I love it, free of definitions, free of limitations. This is no Fado album. This is no traditional Jazz music. This is an adventure that is real and can be felt by everyone. As love is.” (Maria Mendes)


26. Connie Han-“Secrets of Inanna”

Qobuz

“Secrets of Inanna is Han’s third album with Mack Avenue following 2020’s breakthrough Iron Starlet. The entire project is inspired by the Sumerian mythology of ancient Mesopotamia, specifically the goddess of love, sensuality, beauty, fertility, and also war: Inanna. The Descent of Inanna chronicles the goddess’ journey into the underworld from her domain in heaven. Along the way, she must confront her older sister Ereshkigal, the Dark Queen of the Underworld, and her own inner darkness; in the process, Inanna is killed and reborn as the Morning Star, eventually to be echoed in later tales of Venus, Ishtar, and Aphrodite.”


27. Chick Corea-“The Montreux Years (Live)”

Qobuz

“CHICK COREA: THE MONTREUX YEARS showcases some of the legendary pianist’s remarkable Montreux Jazz Festival live performances. Combos featured include Chick Corea Quartet, Chick Corea New Trio, Chick Corea Freedom Band, Chick Corea Akoustic Band, and Chick Corea Elektric Band, plus an appearance by The Bavarian Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra.”


28. Makaya McCraven-“In These Times”

Qobuz

“In These Times is a collection of polytemporal compositions inspired as much by broader cultural struggles as McCraven’s personal experience as a product of a multinational, working-class musician community. It’s the recording that he’s been trying to create for 7+ years, as it’s been consistently in process in the background while he’s put forth a prolific run of releases, including: In The Moment (2015), Highly Rare (2017), Where We Come From (2018), Universal Beings (2018), We’re New Again (2020), Universal Beings E&F Sides (2020), and Deciphering the Message (2021). With contributions from over a dozen musicians and creative partners from his tight-knit circle of collaborators – including Jeff Parker, Junius Paul, Brandee Younger, Joel Ross, and Marquis Hill – the music was recorded in five different studios and four live performance spaces while McCraven engaged in extensive post-production work at home.” 


29. Terri Lyne Carrington-“New Standards Vol. 1”

Qobuz

“For the 2018 opening celebration of the Berklee Institute for Jazz and Gender Justice, Teri Lyne Carrington asked her students to select and perform songs from the famed jazz Real Book – a compilation of lead sheets or scores of jazz standards – written by women composers. When she realized there was only one in the entire book, Carrington set out to shift the narrative. Over the next several years, Carrington assembled New Standards (Hal Leonard Sept 2022) a book of 101 jazz compositions written by women. new STANDARDS Vol. 1 captures 11 of these compositions.”


30. Samara Joy-“Linger Awhile”

Qobuz


“Simply put, Samara Joy is next. At just 22 years old, her Verve debut `Linger Awhile’ shows that with a voice, tone, and phrasing that harkens back to the most legendary jazz vocalists, Samara belongs in the company of iconic labelmates from Ella Fitzgerald to Sarah Vaughan to Billie Holiday. Samara is remarkably savvy on TikTok and Instagram, fostering a community of devoted followers through fully organic means. She is poised to be a household name, synonymous with timeless jazz music.”


31. Wayne Shorter, Terri Lyne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding-“Live At The Detroit Jazz Festival (Live)”

Qobuz

Wayne Shorter is arguably the greatest living jazz composer and a key participant in some of the most iconic jazz recordings of all time


32. Yellowjackets-“Parallel Motion”

Qobuz

“Parallel Motion is a true testament to the longevity and resilience of a band that debuted over 40 years ago. Consistently reinventing themselves through elevated instrumentation in their signature electro-acoustic soundscape, the current lineup consisting of Bob Mintzer (tenor & soprano saxophone/EWI), Russell Ferrante (piano/keyboards), Will Kennedy (drums, keyboards), and Dane Alderson (electric bass, MIDI Sequencing) showcases a collective at their prime.”


33. DOMi & JD BECK-“Not Tight”

Qobuz

“DOMi & JD BECK release their highly anticipated debut album NOT TiGHT on Anderson .Paak’s new label, APESHIT INC in partnership with Blue Note Records. Featuring special guests Anderson .Paak, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Herbie Hancock, Thundercat, Mac DeMarco, and Kurt Rosenwinkel, the album exemplifies their trailblazing take on jazz. The New York Times hailed them as simultaneously “freakishly complex and virtuosic” and “relentlessly melodic.”


34. Art Hirahara-“Verdant Valley”

Qobuz

“Pianist Art Hirahara unearths the heavenly landscapes of “Verdant Valley” on his eighth album for Posi-Tone Records. Searching for new realms of engaging expression, Hirahara perseveres steadily along on his personal journey of musical unfoldment. The program is eminently lyrical and clearly suggestive of a modern jazz sensibility, while the focus remains melodically straightforward with a steady flow of thoughtful interplay and hard-swinging highlights. With an amazing combination of talents and an evocative program of brilliant performances, “Verdant Valley” will bring bright moments of intense delight to serious listeners and jazz fans everywhere.”


35. Mark De Clive-Lowe-“Freedom – Celebrating the Music of Pharoah Sanders”

Qobuz

“Electronic jazz pioneer, pianist, producer, re-mixer Mark de Clive-Lowe has an envious reputation as a cross-genre creative artist who blends acoustic, electronic, and world music exploring themes of belonging and identity. Equal parts jazz, house, hip hop, and broken beat artist, Jazziz summed him up perfectly – “way before jazz hybridity became a worldwide phenomenon, de Clive-Lowe was busy designing its blueprint.”


36. Revelators-“Revelators Sound System”

Qobuz

“REVELATORS is the collaborative musical project of MC Taylor (Hiss Golden Messenger) and Cameron Ralston (Spacebomb House Band). A meditation on community that caroms from root-down Avant-funk to solitary cosmic minimalism and twinkling dubby ambiance. Most importantly, it is a deeply emotional record, the running soundtrack to a world in confusion.


Our Best Jazz Albums Playlist (Tidal):


Qobuz

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