Best of Nu Jazz 2021


Nu jazz is a fuzzy category. It’s based on jazz, loosely or strongly, and usually features electronic music influence, and can also have hints of R&B, hip-hop, and other genres. I think it’s a fantastic genre, and here are my favourite albums of 2021!


Number Five: Portico Quartet – Monument


Art in the Age of Automation was one of my favourite albums from 2017, and Portico are back with yet another really strong album in Monument. This electro-jazz album is full of highlights and filled with delights, and if you missed it (what are you doing?), now’s the time to hop on the train!


Number Four: Sofra – Pockets


Sofra’s jazz-hop is on point on Pockets. Released early in 2021, this neo-soul, R&B-jazz record stayed on my mind all year long. Totally a discovery that ought to be made!


Number Three: Monobody – Comma


It’s not Monobody’s first ride, and it seems like they’re getting better and tighter with every shot. On Comma, the band feels as fresh as ever, and no second is wasted on this marvellous album!


Number Two: Panam Panic – Love for Humanity


Love for Humanity is one of the grand injustices of the year! I mean, why isn’t it talked about way more? This album has it all: the grooves, the chops, the licks… What’s there not to love, really?


Number One: Emma-Jean Thackray – Yellow


Previous Emma-Jean Thackray albums have ranked, for me, from great to amazing, and I’m excited to tell you that Yellow is on the latter end of that scale. This funk and soul-infused jazz is very, very, very good, and you should definitely have that one on your list as well!

Hover over foreign scripts for pronunciation and romanization.

Friday, 29 January

Sofra – Pockets

39:27
nu jazz, hip-hop
Philadelphia, New York
Independent

Tracklist (click to display)

Friday, 5 February

Elinor – Von Oben

44:54
nu jazz
Graz, Austria
Independent

Tracklist (click to display)


Wednesday, 3 March

Emanative & Liz Elensky – The Volume of the Light

43:25
nu jazz
UK
Independent

Tracklist (click to display)


Friday, 9 April

Steiger – The New Lady Llama

34:15
nu jazz
Ghent, Belgium
Sdban

Tracklist (click to display)


Friday, 23 April

Alfa Mist – Bring Backs

39:21
jazz-hop
UK
Anti

Tracklist (click to display)

Monobody – Comma

33:01
nu jazz
Chicago, Illinois
Independent

Tracklist (click to display)


Saturday, 8 May

Panam Panic – Love of Humanity

55:31
nu jazz
Paris, France
Independent

Tracklist (click to display)


Friday, 23 July

Emma-Jean Thackray – Yellow

49:11
nu jazz
London, UK
Movementt

Tracklist (click to display)

Slowly Rolling Camera – Where the Streets Lead

46:10
jazz-hop
Cardiff, UK
Edition

Tracklist (click to display)


Friday, 13 August

Aaro Laitinen Quintet – From 3 to 23

50:27
nu jazz, progressive rock
Finland
Eclipse

Tracklist (click to display)


Tuesday, 31 August

Ilili – Il

53:17
math rock, nu jazz
Japan
Independent


Tracklist (click to display)


Friday, 24 September

Echt ! – Inwane

34:27
jazz-hop
Brussels, Belgium
Sdban

Tracklist (click to display)

Fungi – Canicule

20:52
nu jazz
Paris, France
Jazztronicz

Tracklist (click to display)

Tauk – Chaos Companion

39:54
progressive rock
New York, New York
Independent

Tracklist (click to display)


Monday, 4 October

Fairtrade Narcotics – Spaced

22:11
jazz-hop
Melbourne, Australia
Independent

Tracklist (click to display)


Thursday, 7

박제신Deep Mind

25:19
nu jazz
Seoul, South Korea
Independent

Tracklist (click to display)


Friday, 8 October

Lucid Lucia – Lucid Lucia

28:48
jazz fusion, funk
Belgium
Sdban

Tracklist (click to display)


Friday, 12 November

Portico Quartet – Monument

43:56
nu jazz
London, UK
Gondwana

Tracklist (click to display)


Notable Releases


Best of 2021

01/01 – Best of Afrobeat
01/02 – Best of Atmospheric Black Metal
01/03 – Best of Avant-Garde Black Metal
01/04 – Best of Brutal Death Metal
01/05 – Best of Classical
01/06 – Best of Death Metal
01/07 – Best of Deathcore
01/08 – Best of Doom Metal
01/09 – Best of Folk
01/10 – Best of Grindcore
01/11 – Best of Hardcore
01/12 – Best Improvisation
01/13 – Best of Indie Rock
01/14 – Best of Jazz Fusion
01/15 – Best of Jazzcore
01/16 – Best of Math Rock
01/17 – Best of Mathcore
01/18 – Best of Metalcore
01/19 – Best of Modern Jazz
01/20 – Best of Noise Rock
01/21 – Best of Nu Jazz

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