Just like every year, Latvian Music information centre and national recording company SKANi keep releasing the «JAZZ IN LATVIA» compilation album, which represents the fresh Latvian jazz music scene of the current year and includes recently released recordings of Latvian musicians.
While Latvia has a very strong jazz tradition (the first jazz concert by a touring band from the United States took place in the 1920s), its history in our land is full of challenges. By the end of the 1970s, the genre had gone so far underground that no one could have imagined that this music would rise again and become remarkably popular among the young and stylish crowds. Nowadays some of our musicians still stick to the jazz tradition, adding their own voice to it, meanwhile, the others blend it with modern jazz subgenres or classical music, or instead of it choose to compose and play contemporary jazz, folk, funk, spoken word, avant-garde or adhere with the concept of free improvisation.
This «JAZZ IN LATVIA 2022» compilation is supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation and Ministry of Culture, and produced in collaboration with the electronic magazine covering Latvian jazz — JAZZin.lv.
Jazz in Latvia 2022 is the latest in a series of compilations issued by the Latvian Music Information Centre. Whether or not a fully comprehensive survey of the Latvian scene (l can't claim expertise), this edifying two-disc selection of various artists certainly covers a lot of musical territory: alongside straight-ahead modern- mainstream jazz, there are tracks influenced by funk,r'n'b and Latino music, while others incorporate elements of folk and classical music. It would be a finicky listener who failed to find anything to enjoy.
BBC Music Magazine, 08/2022