The Sunday Jazz Brunch Presents

Best of 2022

Air Date: 1/1/2023 on 90.5 WICN 8am-12pm ET

When you tune in to the Best of 2022 show, it might take your breath away. The artistry you will hear is compelling jazz. The best kind. You will not be disappointed.

Let's get right to it. Here is the list, grouped by instrument, with distilled summary.

The List

Debut: Yvonne Flores

  • Aimee Allen - Love and the Catalyst: Refreshing originals and many contemplative numbers.
  • Courtney Freed - Crazy Love: A unique sound with huge emotion.
  • Daniela Soledade- Pretty World: Every song epitomizes the best in Brazilian jazz.
  • Jo Harrop - The Heart Wants: One of the richest set of pipes on a female vocalist.
  • Lindsey Webster - Reasons: Jazz and soul in one package.
  • Marilyn Scott-The Landscape:  Fabulous production quality and great songs.
  • Paul Marinaro - Not Quite Yet: The most original male vocalist to come along in some time.
  • Samara Joy - Linger Awhile: Don't mind if I do.
  • Tierney Sutton-Paris Sessions 2:  Delicious vocals with acoustic guitar.
  • Yvonne Flores: Sheer Bliss (debut): Very catchy Latin-tinged pop-jazz.
  • Eliane Elias - Quietude: She's been one of the best for a really long time.
  • Hil St. Soul - Back in Love:  An explosion of r&b, soul, and jazz.
  • Roberta Donnay - Blossom-ing: Such tender emotions.


  • Alberto Pibiri - Stardust: Technical wizard with classical influences.  
  • Amina Figarova - Joy: Original compositions and arrangements for septet.
  • Antonio Adolfo - Octet and Originals: Prolific pianist/composer/arranger with his annual superb release.
  • Craig Davis - Tone Paintings: Truly one of best piano trio releases of the year.  
  • David Janeway - Distant Voices: Ditto.
  • Lou Pomanti - Lou Pomanti and Friends:  An exciting mix of pop and jazz standards. 
  • Lynne Arriale - The Lights Are Always On:  Listen to the interview.
  • Pete Malinverni - On The Town: A thoughtful jazz tribute to Leonard Bernstein.


  • Dmitry Matheny - Cascadia: West-coast flugelhornist features Bill Anschell on piano.  
  • Eric Jacobson - Discover: Muscular trumpet playing, bebop style.
  • Rich Willey - Puttin' on the Ritz: Plays all horns in his four-part arrangements.


  • Kenny Shanker - Vortex: ASCAP composition award winner with longtime rhythm section.
  • Najee - Savoir Faire: The smooth/urban saxophonist at his best.


  • Chris Standring - Simple Things: More great groove from prolific guitarist.
  • Diego Figueiredo - Follow the Signs:  Possibly the most talented human on six strings.
  • Norman Brown - Let's Get Away: Urban guitar with heavy Wes influence.
  • Sergio Pereira - Finesse: Top shelf composing, arranging, and guitar playing.
  • Tim Fitzgerald - Full House:  Wes Lives!

Debut: Marcello Carelli


  • Hendrik Meurkens - Samba Jazz Oddysey with the WDR Big Band: Heir to Toots gets big band treatment.


  • Al Foster - Reflections:  In the tradition of The Greats, from one of them.
  • Marcello Carelli - The Era (debut): Student of Peter Erskine plays drums and writes exceptional arrangements.


  • David Bloom - Shadow of a Soul: Sophisticated sounds from Chicago renaissance man.

By the Numbers

I have reviewed all of the three-hundred-plus CDs released in 2022 and played on the Sunday Jazz Brunch. The list above contains 35 of those, or approximately 12 percent.

What fun it is to put together a 'best of' show! In prior years, I found that there was so much great jazz that I just had to include a high proportion of the releases we received at WICN. After all, I have already screened a release before I air it, and so just by being aired on the show means that a CD is, in my estimation, superior. 

This year I try something different, perhaps a bit more traditional. I'll whittle down further, and go a little deeper into the chosen material.

Definition of "Best" 

While in the end, we all know that the concept of "best" includes a very large proportion - if not the entire portion - of subjectivity. The subjective view is ultimately the deciding factor. When someone dares to proclaim anything to be the best, it is then up to the proclaimee to evaluate how well they might agree. As a listener of The Sunday Jazz Brunch, you already know my taste and have likely already decided where you agree and disagree - hopefully more of the former.

The evaluation is in the listening, and so I encourage you to listen to the show and judge for yourself. 


I do have some objective criteria that I subjectively apply.  I am partial to original compositions and/or the presentation of standards in new ways. It is a thrill to discover or rediscover a song through the ears of a creative artist who finds something different in the tune. An example would be Tim Fitzgerald's new CD, where songs written by Wes Montgomery are given a new lease by the addition of horns with  interesting arrangements, among other things (like Mr. Fitzgerald's playing).


And speaking of arrangements, I would like to give a nod to arrangers, who are often responsible for making a tune sound great. Typically, for an original, the composer is the arranger as well. Two nice examples are the Brazilian-American artists Antonio Adolfo and Sergio Pereira. In both cases I needed to check what instruments they play, because I look at both of them as primarily composer/arrangers. But what excellent sounds come from their respective instruments while playing their compositions that they arranged!


Another very important characteristic of a great song is the emotion it seeks to convey. In all cases one can say that if a song makes you feel a strong emotion (other than "this is crap - turn it off") then it is likely a good song. Isn't that true for all artistic endeavor?

Artist Development

What I wish to convey is that a release can be very good, and then when it is discovered that it is the debut CD of an artist, then that fact alone can increase your appreciation of the song and make it all the more satisfying to listen to. One example is 22-year old drummer Marcello Carrelli, whose debut contains some very nifty tracks that he wrote and arranged. Pretty good drummer, too.

How Many Good Songs

When you purchase a CD, how many tracks to you listen to a lot? Often just a few. Maybe just one!

I look at the quality of the release partly by determining how many good songs are on it. A CD with lots of choices to play on SJB will get strong consideration.

In today's Spotified/Pandorafied world, the concept of a CD goes out the window, sort of, and so you often get just a collection of songs without much regard to the CD it came from. But artists often put CDs together purposefully, and their work deserves to be considered whole.

Recording Quality 

A recording of subpar quality is a huge liability, from my point of view. I have previously written about issues that I have noticed in particular with the sound recording of piano and bass. These are difficult instruments to properly record. If the music is exceptional, perhaps low quality recording could be excused. This is not typical, however.

Standard Disclaimer 

I know that I have not previewed all of the jazz CDs that were released this year, and I am sure I missed some good ones. I hope I didn't miss any killer releases! But I do apologize for not being able to review all the CDs. However, I think I got the majority.


I look forward to more great jazz in 2023. May you have health and happiness in the new year.


Illustration by Graph+sas, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo of Marcello Carelli by Matthew Valencia.

HOUR ONE: Contemplative Morning 2022

Pete Malinverni\On the Town 2022\Somewhere
Dmitri Matheny\Cascadia 2022\After the Rain
Al Foster\Reflections 2022\Alone and I
Jo Harrop\The Heart Wants 2022\04_I Think You'd Better Go
Tierney Sutton\Paris Sessions 2 2022\August Winds
David Janeway\Distant Voices 2022\In Passing
Marilyn Scott\The Landscape 2022\Summer Night
Lynne Arriale Trio\The Lights Are Always On 2022\Loved Ones
Diego Figueiredo\Follow The Signs 2022\Infinite
Craig Davis\Tone Paintings  2022\Opus No. 5
Aimee Allen\Love and the Catalyst 12 Worlds Collide
Kenny Shanker-Vortex 2022-03 Winter Song
David Bloom\Shadow of a Soul 2022\Fatal Honey

HOUR TWO: New For You 2022

Amina Figarova-Joy 2022-08 Only Peace Liberates
Roberta Donnay\Blossoming 2022\04 Inside a Silent Tear
Rich Willey\Puttin on the Ritz 2022\ 07 Song For Janet
Alberto Pibiri Trio\Stardust 2022\My Heart is With You
Samara Joy-Linger Awhile 2022-02 Guess Who I Saw Today
Eric Jacobson\Discover 2022\New Combinations
Craig Davis\Tone Paintings 2022\4 Escape
Marcello Carelli - The Era 2022-08 What Makes Me Smile
Tim Fitzgerald\Full House 2022\Far Wes
David Janeway\Distant Voices 2022\Brigitte

HOUR THREE: Brazil/World 2022

Sergio Pereira\Finesse 2022\Give Me Five
Eliane Elias\Quietude 2022\Saveiros
Antonio Adolfo\Octet and Originals 2022\Toda Moderna
Paul Marinaro\Not Quite Yet 2022\Searching (E Luxo So)
Hendrik Meurkens\Samba Jazz Oddysey with  WDR Big Band 2022\Prague in March
Daniela Soledade\Pretty World 2022\Down in Brazil
Diego Figueiredo\Follow the Signs 2022\Delicate Samba
Eliane Elias-Quietude 2022-03 Bahia Com H (Bahia With H)
Courtney Freed\Big Crazy Love 2022\No More Blues
Sergio Pereira\Finesse 2022\Morning Mist
Yvonne Flores\Sheer Bliss 2022\Boracay
Tierney Sutton\Paris Sessions 2 2022\Triste

HOUR FOUR: Groove, Baby 2022

Najee\Savoir Faire 2022\02 - Najee - Luna (Featuring Mark Harris)
Lou Pomanti & Friends-Lou Pomanti 2022-10 Déjà Vu feat vocalist Dione Taylor
Lindsey Webster\Reasons 2022\I'm Ok (feat. Nicholas Payton)
Chris Standring\Simple Things 2022\And The Show Goes On
Courtney Freed\Big Crazy Love 2022\Big Crazy Love
Norman Brown\Let's Get Away 2022\L.A. Chill
Hil St. Soul\Back in Love 2022\One Life
Lindsey Webster\Reasons 2022\Stay With Me (Soul Jazz Mix) (feat. Randy Brecker)
Marcello Carelli - The Era 2022-05 Nuthin' To Do Blues
Chris Standring\Simple Things 2022\Shadow of Doubt
Jo Harrop\The Heart Wants 2022\Everything's Changing
Craig Davis\Tone Paintings  2022\A Ditty for Dodo


Popular posts from this blog