Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

TOP 10 jazz albums of 2023 so far

Updated here's what we reckon the 'A' List of Top 10 albums overall this year is shaping up as: 10/ Protect Your Light - September 9/ Colour of Sound - July 8/ Street of Minarets - February 7/ Black, Brown, And Blue - February 6/ Dream Box - …

Published: 10 Jul 2023. Updated: 8 months.

Updated here's what we reckon the 'A' List of Top 10 albums overall this year is shaping up as:

10/ Protect Your Light - September

9/ Colour of Sound - July

8/ Street of Minarets - February

7/ Black, Brown, And Blue - February

6/ Dream Box - June

5/ Refract - September

4/ The Omnichord Real Book - June

3/ Sphere - February

2/ Love in Exile - March

1/ Kings Highway - July

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Uriel Herman, Different Eyes, Ubuntu ***1/2

Featuring trumpeter Itamar Borochov whose mesmerising 'Abraham' is currently track of the week on marlbank and incredibly atmospheric on opener 'Jerusalem,' Different Eyes from Israeli pianist Uriel Herman includes a cover of the classic 'Nature …

Published: 10 Jul 2023. Updated: 11 months.

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Featuring trumpeter Itamar Borochov whose mesmerising 'Abraham' is currently track of the week on marlbank and incredibly atmospheric on opener 'Jerusalem,' Different Eyes from Israeli pianist Uriel Herman includes a cover of the classic 'Nature Boy' again Borochov all over the piece while Herman takes a deftly passive role in accompaniment. And when the pianist eases into the melody it seems natural but then becomes more flamboyant - his inner Rachmaninoff emerges.

Michael Jordan tribute 'MJ' rolls in with more of a pastoral feel. And the whole album suddenly becomes more chamber jazz before taking a classical tilt at the beginning of 'Luiza' and later there is even more Romanticism when Herman shows his big technique paying homage to Chopin. Certainly the album is a showcase of extravagant and impressive ability. When it settles into subtler moments - 'Paris' is beautiful reminiscent of a Georges Delerue soundtrack a tiny bit - it is at its most convincing and powerful. The passages with Borochov are most satisfying. Flautist Uriel Weinberger also makes his presence felt admirably. An unlikely cover of Nirvana's 'Polly' from 1990s grunge classic Nevermind is also folded into the mix and works very well, a nod inescapably, it seems to us, to the long established Brad Mehldau playbook here in the approach looking to the rock and pop canon for an alternative point of departure and paradigm shift.