Ten Best Jazz Albums of 2022 | Bill Milkowski
- by Bill Milkowski
- Feb 28th, 2023
My favorite jazz album of 2022 was Franco Ambrosetti’s Nora. On this magnificent collection of romantic ballads, the 80-year-old Swiss trumpeter and flugelhornist evokes Charlie Parker with Strings from 1950 and Clifford Brown with Strings from 1955. With Grammy-winning arranger Alan Broadbent conducting a 22-piece string orchestra while the core group consists of pianist Uri Caine, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Peter Erskine, Ambrosetti takes his time and tells a story on each one of these melodic gems (there are also some solo contributions from guitarist John Scofield). In the vein of other classic partnerships like Miles Davis with Gil Evans or Frank Sinatra with Gordon Jenkins, Ambrosetti embraces Broadbent’s gorgeous arrangements with rare intimacy and grace, delivering golden tones on his flugelhorn like those other great singers of songs. Recorded in February 2022 at Sear Sound Studio in Manhattan by Jim Anderson and mixed by Anderson and assistant engineer Ulrike Schwarz, Nora has a rich, creamy sound that enhances the allure of tender offerings like “Falling in Love,” “Autumn Leaves,” and a sumptuous reading of John Coltrane’s “After the Rain.” Playback options include 5.1 surround sound. Look for an analysis of the sonics of Nora in Andrew Quint’s immersive sound feature in the next issue of TAS.
1. Franco Ambrosetti: Nora. Enja.
2. Bill Frisell: Four. Blue Note.
3. Julian Lage: View with a Room. Blue Note.
4. Charles Lloyd Trios: Chapel. Blue Note.
5. John Scofield: John Scofield. ECM.
6. Pasquale Grasso: Be-Bop! Sony Masterworks.
7. Enrico Rava/Fred Hersch: The Song Is You. ECM.
8. Al Foster: Reflections. Smoke Sessions.
9. The Jon Cowherd Trio: Pride and Joy. Le Coq.
10. Seamus Blake: New York Factor Vol. 1. Self-released.
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