As 2022 came and went, there were many events that affected me on a personal level. Amidst all the turmoil, music served as a constant source of comfort and stability. Among the various genres, jazz music stood out to me as a beacon of hope and progress.
As such, I have compiled a list of the top five jazz albums released in 2022, according to my personal taste and preferences.
Ghost Song – Cécile McLorin Salvant
March 2022 / Nonesuch Records
Cécile McLorin Salvant’s album “Ghost Song” is a haunting and evocative collection of 20th-century songs, including the Kate Bush classic “Wuthering Heights,” that showcases her immense talent as a vocalist and storyteller. Her voice is a marvel, conveying a range of emotions and stories with remarkable power and nuance. Her work on “Ghost Song” has firmly established her as one of the foremost voices in contemporary jazz.
Grief – Samora Pinderhughes
March 2022 / Stretch Music
The original songs featured on “Grief” are part of a larger multimedia project (The Healing Project) created by pianist, vocalist, and activist Samora Pinderhughes through interviewing hundreds of colored individuals who were wrongfully impacted by the criminal justice system.
The 7th Hand – Immanuel Wilkins
January 2022 / Blue Note
Immanuel Wilkins’ “The 7th Hand” serves as a sequel to his widely discussed Blue Note debut album, “Omega,” which was released in 2020. With the same quartet, Wilkins takes things to the next level. The album is a captivating blend of jazz, classical, and contemporary music that showcases his talent as a saxophonist, composer, and bandleader. Immanuel Wilkins has established himself as a promising talent in the jazz world, and one to keep an eye on in the coming years.
In These Times – Makaya McCraven
September 2022 / XL Recordings
Makaya McCraven’s 2022 album “In These Times” is a fusion of jazz, hip-hop, and electronic music that tackles themes of social justice, community, and resilience. The album features an impressive range of musicians and showcases McCraven’s skill as an arranger, collaborator, and drummer.
Linger Awhile – Samara Joy
November 2022 / Verve Records
“Linger Awhile” features covers of classic jazz songs and original compositions, showcasing the singer’s beautiful timbre. Standout tracks include “Guess Who I Saw Today,” “Round Midnight,” and a beautiful closing rendition of George Gershwins’ “Someone to Watch Over Me.” Overall, the album is a beautiful tribute to the genre and its influences.
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