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JANUARY 2016—iSSUE 165 YOUR fREE GUiDE TO THE NYC JAZZ SCENE NYCJAZZRECORD.COM ROVA SAXOPHONE QUARTET
JANUARY 2016—iSSUE 165
YOUR fREE GUiDE TO THE NYC JAZZ SCENE
NYCJAZZRECORD.COM
ROVA
SAXOPHONE QUARTET
A LONG HISTORY
JACKY
OKKYUNG
HUBERT
PEGGY
TERRASSON
LEE
LAWS
LEE

Managing Editor:

Laurence Donohue-Greene Editorial Director & Production Manager:

Andrey Henkin

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Staff Writers David R. Adler, Clifford Allen, Fred Bouchard, Stuart Broomer, Katie Bull, Thomas Conrad, Ken Dryden, Donald Elfman, Kurt Gottschalk, Tom Greenland, Alex Henderson, Marcia Hillman, Terrell Holmes, Robert Iannapollo, Suzanne Lorge, Marc Medwin, Russ Musto, Joel Roberts, John Sharpe, Elliott Simon, Andrew Vélez, Ken Waxman

Contributing Writers Duck Baker, Phil Freeman, Anders Griffen, Mark Keresman, Ken Micallef, John Pietaro

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Heike Liss, Alan Nahigian, Gabriel Rodes, Sebastian Sighel, Robert I. Sutherland-Cohen, Jack Vartoogian nycjazzrecord.com
Heike Liss, Alan Nahigian, Gabriel Rodes, Sebastian Sighel, Robert I. Sutherland-Cohen, Jack Vartoogian nycjazzrecord.com
I. Sutherland-Cohen, Jack Vartoogian nycjazzrecord.com JANUARY 2016—iSSUE 165 New York@Night interview : Jacky

JANUARY 2016—iSSUE 165

New York@Night interview : Jacky Terrasson Artist feature : Okkyung Lee On The Cover :
New York@Night
interview : Jacky Terrasson
Artist feature : Okkyung Lee
On The Cover : ROVA Saxophone Quartet
Encore : Hubert Laws
Lest We forget : Peggy Lee
LAbel Spotlight : MPS
VOXNEWS
in Memoriam
festival Report
CD Reviews
Best of 2015
Miscellany
Event Calendar
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by russ musto

by john pietaro by ken waxman by alex henderson by andrew vélez by ken waxman by suzanne lorge by andrey henkin

Another year has passed. 12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days. 8,760 hours. 525,600 minutes. 31,536,000 seconds. We hope that you’ve spent a good number of those listening to jazz we sure have. And the prize for all that listening is presenting our annual Best Of selections, spreading the finest in albums, musicians, clubs and assorted categories across our glorious skyline. Before 2016’s seconds and minutes and hours and days and weeks get away from you, peruse our selections for ‘old’ favorites and new discoveries. The flipside to all that time passing is the jazz folk who have joined that great concert in the sky. For a full list, please go to page 12 and take a few moments to remember all these valuable contributors (we also have a section of CD reviews, pgs. 40-41, from artists who passed in the last year).

But enough nostalgia. 2016 starts out with a bang, or a toot of a NYE horn. The ROVA Saxophone Quartet (On The Cover) celebrates nearly 40 years of music-making with a week at The Stone and appearance at Winter Jazzfest. Pianist Jacky Terrasson (Interview), who just turned 50, is at Smoke. And cellist Okkyung Lee (Artist Feature), in her fourth decade, has a three-night residency at a Best of 2015 venue JACK and appearances at The Stone.

We thank you for spending some of your 2015 with us and look forward to 2016

On The Cover: ROVA Saxophone Quartet (Jon Raskin, Bruce Ackley, Steve Adams, Larry Ochs, left to right. Photo by Myles Boisen)

All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission strictly prohibited. All material copyrights property of the authors.

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NEW YORK @ NiGHT

In December 2015, the 50th anniversary year of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians drew to a close—a year that had seen the reconvening of pianist and AACM founding member Muhal Richard Abrams’ Experimental Band at the Chicago Jazz Fest, as well as ancillary events in New York (where many AACM players have made their

home since the early ‘70s). Brooklyn venue Roulette has long presented AACM concerts and featured a double bill of new music from trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith (a string quartet with trumpet and piano and a chamber work with dancer Miriam Parker) and reed player Douglas Ewart’s seven-piece ensemble Quasar (Dec. 10th). The latter group featured vocalists Thomas Buckner and Mankwe Ndose while J.D. Parran filled out the woodwinds, standing with a tree of auxiliary percussion and homemade and modified flutes. Warren Smith moved between drum kit, concert bass drum and marimba, stirred by the ruminative postbop grace of Adegoke Steve Colson’s piano and the laptop of Stephen Goldstein. Throughout a lengthy suite, which began with an ode to homelessness and closed with a paean to AACM visionaries, the ensemble triangulated voice, theatrical movement and tonal color—sometimes with bebop inflections, at other instants given to spiky chamber improvisation. The group closed with a keening processional, Ewart eventually nudging the group into hushed tones that hung in Roulette’s vaulted

ceilings.

—Clifford Allen

ALAN NAHIGIAN
ALAN NAHIGIAN

Douglas Ewart @ Roulette

Daniel Carter celebrated his 70th birthday in December 2015 and sometime collaborator, Italian- born and Brooklyn-based drummer Federico Ughi also celebrated 15 years of living and working in New York. It was a fitting choice to combine both events into one three-day festival at Williamsburg’s Scholes Street Studios (Dec. 12th-14th) under the aegis of Ughi’s 577 Records imprint. The first evening’s concerts included sets from Japanese pianist Eri Yamamoto; poet/rabble- rouser Steve Dalachinsky; Ughi’s quartet with saxophonist David Schnug, trumpeter Mike Irwin and the homemade electronics of Jeff Snyder; and a flinty trio of tenor saxophonist Stephen Gauci, bassist Reuben Radding and drummer Todd Capp. Of course, the icing on the cake was the closing set, an absolutely gorgeous trio of Carter, bassist William Parker (doubling on shakuhachi) and Ughi, spreading their inventions across four improvisations. Carter moved effortlessly between piano, tenor, alto and soprano saxophones, clarinet and trumpet, often singing pensive, delicate lullabies with his arsenal. Carter’s musicianship is such that a shift between instrumental families retains and expands on the continuous flow of his ideas— moving from skirling tenor to spiky piano volleys, for example—and the result is a collage of loquacious and

expressionistic melody. Parker and Ughi are a fantastic team, with the latter’s distillation of Billy Higgins, Ed Blackwell and Elvin Jones making him a formidable

(CA)

actor in the drum chair.

Guitarist Mary Halvorson seems to sweeten her sound, rounding out the angles, as her bands get bigger. At The Jazz Gallery (Dec. 15th) , she debuted her expanded octet, fresh from rehearsals, ready to record her latest (as yet untitled) compositions for Firehouse 12 Records. The opening set of the two- night/four-set residency began gently, Halvorson setting the tone with languid arpeggios and looping figures on her big-bodied Guild guitar, soon joined by the lush chorale textures from the four-horn frontline of trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, alto saxophonist Jon

Irabagon, tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and trombonist Jacob Garchik. All of that artistic firepower was mostly kept in check during the course of the set, though each horn player enjoyed a brief space to improvise; Laubrock, in particular, made her presence felt during a solo flight on the set’s fifth number. Bassist John Hébert and drummer Ches Smith provided impetus, the former expounding a long soliloquy at the opening of the second composition, the latter favoring muted timbres and peppery snare drum bites. The group’s newest member, pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn, added fresh colors to the sonic palette, from loud raspy ejaculations to swooping theremin-like glissandi. Halvorson’s charts contained subtle interplay between the horn lines, like something Bach may have written for a choir, but with an outward ethos. Robust trombone supplied the solitary closing

statement.

—Tom Greenland

PETER GANNUSHKIN/DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET
PETER GANNUSHKIN/DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET

Mary Halvorson @ The Jazz Gallery

When bassist Ben Williams, resplendent in a bright white, wide-winged suit, brought his 12-piece band (including a classical string quartet) to the Harlem Stage Gatehouse (Dec. 11th) to perform “Dearly Beloved—The Music of Prince”, the audience had to wonder if this was going to be a lot of jazz and a little bit of Prince, or the other way around. Fortunately, it was both. Eschewing the hits, Williams instead covered choice songs from the Minneapolis maestro’s diverse catalog, including: “If I Was Your Girlfriend” and “Do Me Baby”, both sung by guest ingénue Goapele; “All the Critics Love U in NY”, amped by W. Ellington Felton’s spoken word artistry; “The Cross”, sung by Christie Dashiell over Williams’ punchy horn arrangement; and closing with Bilal crooning “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker”. Interspersed between mini- sets were clips from Prince’s 1984 movie Purple Rain, establishing new moods for the songs to follow. After a father/son scene, for example, Williams played a sensitive solo on acoustic bass. No Prince tribute would be complete without a funk romp, so Williams (sans white suit) and company got the cabaret crowd out of their seats for a medley with singer/keyboardist Frank McComb, though the funkiest funk came later on a cover of “Sign ‘O’ the Times” served up go-go style, a nod to Williams’ Washington D.C. roots. The show proved that, like Prince, Williams is an out-of- the-box thinker, bringing new funk to jazz and vice (TG)

versa.

Marquis Hill has had quite a good year, give or take a month: on Nov. 10th, 2014, he won the Thelonious Monk Trumpet International Competition; Sep. 3rd, 2015 saw him open up his hometown Chicago Jazz Festival; and just last month he made his major jazz club leader debut at Dizzy’s Club (Dec. 7th). The quintet was split between his Windy City compatriots and Big Apple hired guns, Christopher McBride (alto) and Makaya McCraven (drums) the former, pianist Victor Gould and bassist Eric Wheeler the latter. Not quite the exploratory set to which he treated Chicagoans (which included several guest vocalists and MCs), the Dizzy’s set nodded more to the tradition-mindedness of the Monk competition, via five originals—a few from his DePaul University days—and Bill Lee’s “Again Never” from the 1990 film Mo’ Better Blues (released when Hill was three years old). What did remain from the Chicago show was the fabulous rapport that exists in the frontline. The trumpeter and saxophonist have been working together since their teens and recall such now- legendary pairings as Lee Morgan-Wayne Shorter or Donald Byrd-Jackie McLean. However, neither is averse to modernity and they are the rare young musicians whose ideas (brains) and abilities (fingers) are perfectly in sync. More importantly, Hill knows how to write melodies and arrange tunes; the latter can be taught but as for the former, you either have it or you don’t. Hill has it and a bright, bright future ahead of him. —Andrey Henkin

© 2015 JACK VARTOOGIAN/FRONTROWPHOTOS
©
2015 JACK VARTOOGIAN/FRONTROWPHOTOS

So the story goes that back when they were in their teens, the mothers of Freddie Bryant (b. 1964) and Peter Bernstein (three years his junior) met on the Upper West Side (the guitarists lived on adjacent blocks in the high 80s but attended different schools), discovered their offspring’s shared passion and arranged a literal playdate. Moving forward some 30+ years and about 20 blocks north, the pair reconvened at Smoke (Dec. 9th) for a relaxed set of their favorite uncommon standards and one Bryant original. Both men are now respected practitioners in the middle of successful careers and chose a rhythm section fitting that description: bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash. Bryant’s style is informed by his extensive classical guitar studies while Bernstein is a left-of- straightahead player. In performance, their styles were highly complementary, Bryant more at a boil, Bernstein spending his time at a simmer. They had fun in breaks with Nash during the opener, Jesse Greer-Raymond Klages’ “Just You, Just Me”, and rested comfortably on the pillowy groove of Lee Morgan’s “Mr. Kenyatta”. Bryant switched to classical guitar for a lush and smoky take on Bruno Martino-Bruno Brighetti’s “Estaté”, demonstrating the axiom that the best jazz players know how to play slow as well as fast. Bryant stayed on classical guitar for his “Alone”, a light samba where he was the warm sand and Bernstein the cool breeze, and the set closed with a ‘50s-style burn on Charlie Parker’s “Ah-Leu-Cha”, just two kids having fun. (AH)

Rudresh Mahanthappa, back at the Miller Theater for the first time since his 2012 Hurricane Sandy week concert, found a much larger crowd to hear his band perform (Dec. 12th). Playing selections from the award- winning Bird Calls (ACT Music), the saxophonist explained that his Charlie Parker-inspired compositions were not a tribute, but more a “devotion” to the iconic alto saxophonist’s pioneering musical perspective. And while each of the program’s pieces was based on a particular Bird classic, the quintet’s improvisations owed more in temperament to post-Parker revolutionary Ornette Coleman’s perspective, with trumpeter Adam O’Farrill’s solos frequently melding terse jagged phrases in a manner clearly reminiscent of Don Cherry. Opening with “Bird Calls #1”, the leader blew a thick-toned, robust raga-like line over Thomson Kneeland’s droning arco bass, soon buoyed by Matt Mitchell’s rumbling piano and Dan Weiss’ malleted cymbals. Segueing into “On The DL”, mottled-toned trumpet came to the fore, complementing Mahanthappa’s clarion sound on the “Donna Lee” derived song. Throughout the night Mahanthappa and O’Farrill dialogued intensely, trading lithe melodic lines converging in thick harmonic confluence, as on the first set’s freebopping “Chillin’”, based on “Relaxin’ At Camarillo”, and dirge “Talin Is Thinking”, a variant of “Parker’s Mood”, on to the second half’s “Now’s The Time” and “Confirmation” spinoffs “Maybe Later” and “Sure Why Not”. —Russ Musto

© R.I. SUTHERLAND-COHEN / JAzzExPRESSIONS.ORG
©
R.I. SUTHERLAND-COHEN / JAzzExPRESSIONS.ORG

Rudresh Mahanthappa @ Miller Theatre

Since the 2007 passing of founding member Michael Brecker at the tragic age of 57, the band Saxophone Summit has forged ahead with Ravi Coltrane joining co-founders Dave Liebman and Joe Lovano to fill out the three-man frontline. This year’s edition of the ensemble found alto saxophonist Greg Osby stepping into the Brecker slot for the group’s annual Birdland residency, giving the sextet a new sound, one which remained faithful to its original late-period John Coltrane inspiration. With its longtime rhythm section of pianist Phil Markowitz, bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Billy Hart driving the saxophones, the powerful aggregation opened its Friday night second set (Dec. 4th) with Markowitz’ “Point”, an edgy outing with Liebman’s sinewy soprano, Lovano’s ethereal tenor and Osby’s tart alto coming together in strident harmonies recalling the ‘60s Miles Davis Quintet in its cerebral intensity. Lovano’s “Alexander The Great” had horns swinging straightahead on “Bye Bye Blackbird” changes over walking bass and explosive drums. The mood mellowed on Hart’s “Reneda”, an appealing melody spurring lyrical improvisations from the saxophone trio and Markowitz, whose rhapsodic piano lent an Ellington-ian elegance, enhancing the song’s beauty. Two Coltrane pieces, “Reverend King” and “India”, had Lovano’s alto clarinet and tenor, Liebman’s wood flute, tenor and soprano and Osby’s alto sax joining forces in joyous sonority to close out the show. (RM)

WHAT’S

NEWS

The latest round of Grammy Award nominations has been announced. Relevant categories are: Best Improvised Jazz Solo:

Joey Alexander; Christian McBride; Donny McCaslin; Joshua Redman; John Scofield. Best Jazz Vocal Album: Karrin Allyson; Denise Donatelli; Lorraine Feather; Jamison Ross; Cécile McLorin Salvant. Best Jazz Instrumental Album: Joey Alexander; Terence Blanchard Featuring The E-Collective; Robert Glasper Trio; Jimmy Greene; John Scofield. Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album: Gil Evans Project; Marshall Gilkes & WDR Big Band; Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra; Maria Schneider Orchestra; Patrick Williams. Best Latin Jazz Album: Eliane Elias; The Rodriguez Brothers; Gonzalo Rubalcaba; Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet; Miguel Zenón. Best Historical Album: Erroll Garner. Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella: Bob James; John Fedchock. Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: Tony Bennett & Bill Charlap. Best Contemporary Instrumental Album: Bill Frisell; Wouter Kellerman; Marcus Miller; Snarky Puppy & Metropole Orkest; Kirk Whalum. Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media:

Antonio Sanchez; Justin Hurwitz. Best Instrumental Composition:

Arturo O’Farrill; Bob Mintzer; David Balakrishnan; Rich DeRosa; Marshall Gilkes. Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals:

Shelly Berg; Maria Schneider; Jimmy Greene. For more information, visit grammy.com.

The Grammy Hall of Fame has inducted the following jazz albums, meeting the criteria of recorded more than 25 years ago and having “qualitative or historical significance”: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong—Ella And Louis (Verve); John Coltrane— Lush Life (Prestige); and Miles Davis Quintet—Miles Smiles (Columbia). For more information, visit grammy.com/news/

grammy-hall-of-fame-class-of-2016.

The JazzConnect Conference, featuring workshops, panel discussions and concerts, takes place Jan. 14th-15th at Saint Peter’s Church. For more information, visit sites.google.com/site/

jazzconnect2014/home-1.

Concrete plans (pardon the pun) for the construction of a Bix Beiderbecke museum in the trumpeter’s hometown of Davenport, IA have been made, with a target opening date in 2017, in time for the annual Beiderbecke festival.

Jazz at Lincoln Center announced the opening of Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Atrium, a mixed-use space in Frederick P. Rose Hall.

Much has been made of the fact that legendary rock vocalist/ composer/multi-instrumentalist David Bowie’s newest album, Blackstar, was made with jazz musicians, specifically locals Donny McCaslin, Ben Monder, Mark Guiliana, Jason Lindner and Tim Lefebvre. But Bowie’s 1974 Live and 1975 Young Americans albums included David Sanborn, 1982’s Let’s Dance and 1984’s Tonight included Mac Gollehon, Lenny Pickett, Stan Harrison, Steve Elson and Sammy Figueroa, 1986’s Labyrinth included Ray Russell, Will Lee and Ray Warleigh, 1987’s Never Let Me Down included Earl Gardner, Laurie Frink, Steve Elson and Lenny Pickett and 1992’s Black Tie White Noise included Lester Bowie. Still, good for him.

Locksmith Isadore, the freebop trio of bass clarinetist Jason Stein, bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Mike Pride, have been opening up shows for comedienne Amy Schumer on her recent tour. Stein and Schumer are half-siblings as it turns out and the latter is a fan of improvised music. The tour comes to Madison Square Garden Jun. 23rd.

Pianist Herbie Hancock will have a role in the upcoming sc-fi film Valerian, a feature adaptation of the French 1967 graphic novel.

The Rutgers University Institute of Jazz Studies has announced the recipients of its Berger-Carter Jazz Research Awards: Andrea Jackson-Alexander, Dylan Lagamma, Zach Streeter, Andrew A. Vogel, Elise Wood, Rashida K. Braggs, Lucas Henry, Brian Lefresne, Zachary T. Wiggins and Deanna Witkowski. For more information, visit libraries.rutgers.edu/news/institute-jazz-studies- announces-berger-carter-jazz-research-awards.

The 2016 Next Generation Jazz Festival, presented by the Monterey Jazz Festival, is now accepting applications. Middle school big bands, high school big bands, combos, vocal jazz ensembles and composers and college big bands, combos and vocal jazz ensembles may apply by Jan. 15th. For more information, visit montereyjazzfestival.org.

As part of its annual grant cycle, the National Endowment for the Arts has given funds to the following local organizations to promote their jazz programming: Arts for Art, Inc.; Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, Inc.; Central New York Jazz Arts Foundation, Inc.; Jazz Foundation of America, Inc.; The Jazz Gallery; and Jazz at Lincoln Center, Inc. For more information, visit nea.gov.

Submit news to info@nycjazzrecord.com

iNTERViEW

PHILIPPE LEVY-STAB
PHILIPPE LEVY-STAB

Jacky Terrasson had already earned widespread notice in the mainstream jazz community for impressive work with Betty Carter and Art Taylor prior to stepping into the spotlight in 1993 as winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. Over the next decade and a half the European- born pianist turned out a series of mostly acoustic trio albums for Blue Note, demonstrating a growing eclecticism reflected in his repertoire, which included forays into the realms of classic and contemporary popular music. More recently his wide-ranging influences have come center stage with the addition of electric keyboards to his instrumental arsenal and collaborations with artists from outside the jazz milieu. His latest efforts Gouache and Take This are kaleidoscopic in their range, with percussion-driven arrangements of compositions from Amy Winehouse and Justin Bieber to Bud Powell and Dave Brubeck.

The New York City Jazz Record: You were born and grew up in Europe. Do you feel that affected your appreciation of the American art form of jazz?

Jacky Terrasson: Things that are exotic generally excite my curiosity. The art from a Spanish painter, the writing of Gabriel Garcia Márquez, the foods from Asian countries, cultures from elsewhere. On top of loving the music, the fact that it came from the USA made it even more attractive to me.

TNYCJR: You came up playing with singer Betty Carter and drummer Art Taylor. What are some of the lessons you learned from them and how did working with them affect your development?

JT: Both of them helped me grow musically. With A.T., it was all about band sound and the concept of the rhythm section being a unit, a musical machine! He had played with all my heroes. We spent hours rehearsing in his living room. Betty taught me so much. Young musicians have a tendency to play everything and more. I was no exception. Betty taught me about space, about peace, about the air in the music. I remember learning how to comp for her on ballads at slower tempi than Shirley

Horn. I also learned about putting a set together, telling

a story not only throughout a tune but throughout a set. More like going on an adventure. She would get mad if you fell into a routine.

TNYCJR: You recorded your audition for the Thelonious Monk piano competition in Bradley’s, where you played and listened to others. What did you take away from the experience leading up to winning the award?

JT: Wow! You’re taking me back 25 years! I remember doing the demo at Bradley’s with [drummer] Leon [Parker] and [bassist] Ugonna [Okegwo]. A friend and fan, Richard Salter, had convinced me to participate.

I was reluctant at first because the word competition did

not resonate well with jazz music. I had done a few of those while studying classical music in Paris. The other

JACKY

TERRASSON

by russ musto

players were amazing. I remember nailing it quite strongly on the semifinals. Being a young broke musician at the time, I stayed at my sister’s friend’s place the night before the finals and was kept awake all night by a cat that kept jumping on the couch I crashed on. I don’t think my performance on the finals was as strong and I’m thankful that the jury evaluated me on both days, I guess.

TNYCJR: For many years you worked almost exclusively as a leader with a steady trio while backing various horn players as a sideman. How do you approach those roles differently?

JT: I have not been a sideman for over a decade now and while I’ll admit that it is not entirely my cup of tea when there is a lack of freedom, but the idea of a collaboration where every musician had the same importance and contributes to the arrangements and writing is quite appealing. When I am the leader—I like conductor better—I like to have the other musicians very involved and bring their musical personality to the bandstand.

TNYCJR: What are some of the positive and negative aspects of having a steady band versus working with different players?

JT: For obvious reasons, sticking together allows you to build a repertoire and develop a group sound. This said, playing with musicians that you are not familiar with, finding each other musically, is a lot of fun and sometimes playing for the first time together creates very exciting moments.

TNYCJR: Your eclecticism, while always there, seems to have grown in recent years, culminating in your most recent recordings, where you’re playing electric keyboards along with piano, and your repertoire has spilled out to include selections from the popular music canon. Explain your musical philosophy and development.

JT: Think of a painter who would want to create a very colorful piece. His palette would be quite busy and he will have the freedom of choosing the tones that fit better at any given time. I like to add the Rhodes because it adds to my musical palette. As far as repertoire, my philosophy is that if there is melody, form, harmony, it’s worth messing with to express your own musical ideas. It can come from the Great American Songbook, from classical music, from pop, from soul, from church, from any culture or style. I do take lots of pleasure in transforming things.

TNYCJR: You’ll have a new band working with you at Smoke in January. Let’s hear how you put this group together. You’ve played with [bassist] Ben Williams before. Like you, he’s a Monk Competition winner. How did you hook up with him?

JT: I have a policy of when I’m looking for a drummer, I ask the bass player who he likes and vice versa. At the time I was playing with Jamire Williams and he recommended Ben. My philosophy is that if the drummer likes the bass player, usually they’re going to hook up and they’re going to let me fly. So I totally trusted Jamire and I remember at the first rehearsal with Ben everything just flowed naturally, very musically and very tranquilly, with passion, excitement and grace.

TNYCJR: Justin Faulkner, who I’ve heard with Branford [Marsalis], will be playing drums on this gig. How did you decide to use him?

(CONTINUED ON PAGE 54)

on this gig. How did you decide to use him? (CONTINUED ON PAGE 54) 6 JANUARY
on this gig. How did you decide to use him? (CONTINUED ON PAGE 54) 6 JANUARY

ARTiST fEATURE

SEBASTIAN SIGHEL
SEBASTIAN SIGHEL

The music envelops the listener like a postmodern mosaic: auras of color engulfed in shadow battle the very framework, expanding the boundaries while reveling in them. Cellist Okkyung Lee is tempting the limits again, inventing new means of performance practice within and in spite of the conventional. Brandishing technical skills honed from years of classical training, Lee traverses the realms of contemporary composition, free improvisation and raw sound. “I began piano studies at age three,” explained Lee. “This is very common in Korea. The music was Western classical. And then when I turned six, my mother bought me a cello and said: ‘Okay, so you’re playing cello now.’ And that was it!” she offered, laughing. “I hated it for years, practicing three to four hours every day. We had tests in school. As a child, the instrument felt like a symbol of oppression.” Still, the proficiency Lee demonstrated early on guided her through adolescence. By her teenage years, the instrument had become a part of her but she still hadn’t committed to it. “I wanted to become a sound engineer instead, so I traveled to Boston to study at Berklee [College of Music], taking my cello along, but hoping to leave it in the case. Others in the class would ask me to play for their recording projects, so it remained a part of my daily routine.” Becoming frustrated with the technical aspects of engineering, Lee reconsidered her instrument after engaging in improvisation sessions with the Berklee jazz majors. This opened new realms for her as a cellist. Soon, she switched her focus to composition, earning a double major in film scoring and arranging, but the improv had intrigued her enough to expand upon this too. Moving to New England Conservatory (NEC), Lee embarked upon graduate studies in contemporary improvisation, through which she became fixated on the expanse of new music. “This was a big break for me. I’d submitted a tape of two solo improvisations as part of my audition and was accepted into the program. But at NEC I learned extended techniques and a breadth of music I hadn’t been exposed to before.” More importantly, within the contemporary music community at NEC, Lee finally developed a visceral connection to her instrument, making full use of her strict classical training or rejecting it soundly, as needed. Likewise, she began to draw on the Korean pop songs she’d secretly enjoyed as a child and experiment with the very timbre of the cello’s natural acoustics when exposed to other instruments including electronics. “This can seem limitless, but offers its own limitations such as the cello’s volume constraints. So I had to find my own place within the limits and go out from there.” Lee began performing within Boston’s new music circle and encountered trumpeter Dave Douglas, who encouraged her relocation to New York. After graduating from NEC in 2000 she came to Manhattan and was quickly immersed in the scene around Tonic.

OKKYUNG

LEE

by john pietaro

“I thought it would just be a visit; I had no plans to

stay in the U.S. But Tonic was an incredible place where

I made many friends who remain important to me. It

was so open. One night Thurston Moore would play post-punk electric guitar pieces, the next night it would be Matthew Shipp’s trio performing!” Lee’s involvement immediately grew from spectator to participant when she played with John zorn’s Cobra, a band whose lineup included Douglas, Mark Dresser and Ikue Mori, the latter whom Lee has since worked with frequently. Rapidly, the word on the hip new cellist in town spread throughout the experimental music scene. Lee became an integral part of Butch Morris ensembles, playing locally and in Europe. Looking back on this association, she commented fondly, “He was one of the greatest. One of a kind and still so missed.” And via the Morris connection, she came to know and play with pianist Vijay Iyer and his vast range of associates. Over the past 15 years, Lee has encountered the music’s royalty as well as its young lions and found a home in this sonic landscape of contemporary classical, free jazz and “noise” musics. With a performance calendar that frequently takes her across time zones, Lee maintains a home in New York as well as roots in Korea. It might be said that she is truly a global resident as shown by the stages she’s graced and the luminaries with whom she creates music. These include trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, violinist/ performance artist Laurie Anderson, saxophonists Evan Parker and John Butcher, electronic music composer David Behrman, turntable virtuoso Christian Marclay, guitarist Fred Frith, vocalist Jenny Hval, experimental rock band Swans as well as the aforementioned zorn and many others. As a leader, the cellist has an array of handpicked associates to choose from and has released numerous discs offering tapestries of genre and texture. The music bears the imprint of Lee’s range of influences, from classic Downtown restlessness to quasi-Eastern meditations, the harsh edge of expanded bowing techniques to contemplative if almost sedate aural encounters and the rush of sound waves to the sparseness of atmospheric beauty. “It’s all part of my vocabulary,” she added. After recording two powerful ensemble albums for zorn’s Tzadik label, Nihm and the particularly compelling Noisy Love Songs, Lee’s latest release further pushes the limits of the solo cello canon. Ghil, a limited release on the EditionsMego/Ideologic Organ label, was recorded in and around Oslo in unorthodox locations with crude equipment to capture the instrument’s natural rawness. Other recent projects include the ensemble Trio Alive and work with trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire. “And I have plans to build a quartet, which pairs drummer Ches Smith and I with a traditional Korean singer and traditional

Korean percussionist. If I can get the four of us together,

I can already foresee just where this can go.” v

For more information, visit okkyung.wordpress.com. Lee is at The Stone Jan. 1st and 9th and JACK Jan. 6th-8th. See Calendar.

Recommended Listening:

Tom Abbs—The Animated Ventures of Knox (482 Music, 2005)

Okkyung Lee—Nihm (Tzadik, 2005)

Okkyung Lee/Peter Evans/Steve Beresford— Check for Monsters (Emanem, 2008)

Evan Parker ElectroAcoustic Septet— Seven (Victo, 2014)

C. Spencer Yeh/Okkyung Lee/Lasse Marhaug— Wake Up Awesome (Mexican Summer/Software, 2012)

Frank Gratkowski/Achim Kaufmann/ Wilbert De Joode/Okkyung Lee—Skein (Leo, 2013)

Kaufmann/ Wilbert De Joode/Okkyung Lee— Skein (Leo, 2013) “Best Jazz Venue of the Year” NYC JAZZ
“Best Jazz Venue of the Year” NYC JAZZ RECORD ★“Best Jazz Club” NY MAGAZINE+CITYSEARCH FRI-SUN
“Best Jazz Venue of the Year” NYC JAZZ RECORD ★“Best Jazz Club” NY MAGAZINE+CITYSEARCH
FRI-SUN JAN 1-3
LOU DONALDSON QUARTET
ERIC JOHNSON - PAT BIANCHI - FUKUSHI TAINAKA
MON JAN 4H CLOSED FOR PRIVATE EVENT
TUE JAN 5
JOHN HÉBERT’S
RAMBLING
CONFESSIONS
JEN SHYU - ANDY MILNE - BILLY DRUMMOND
WED JAN 6
MATT MITCHELL QUARTET
CHRIS SPEED - CHRIS TORDINI - DAN WEISS
THU-SUN JAN 7-10
ALI JACKSON
PRESENTS
CLASSIC
THE
QUINTETS
EMMET COHEN - MARCUS PRINTUP - CRAIG HANDY - YASUSHI NAKAMURA
TUE-SUN JAN 12-17
STILL DREAMING
WITH
JOSHUA REDMAN-RON MILES
SCOTT COLLEY-BRIAN BLADE
TUE-WED JAN 19-20
JALEEL SHAW QUARTET
LAWRENCE FIELDS - LINDA OH - JOE DYSON
THU-SUN JAN 21-24
JOHN ABERCROMBIE
ORGAN QUARTET
CHRIS CHEEK - JARED GOLD - ADAM NUSSBAUM
TUE-THU JAN 26-28
BILLY CHILDS’
“MAP TO THE TREASURE:
REIMAGINING LAURA NYRO”
FEATURING
BECCA STEVENS & ALICIA OLATUJA & THE PARKER STRING QUARTET
FRI-SUN JAN 29-31
JIMMY GREENE QUARTET
RENEE ROSNES - JOHN PATITUCCI - JEFF “TAIN” WATTS
HHHMINGUS MONDAYSHMINGUS MONDAYSHHH
MON JAN 11, 18 & 25
MINGUS BIG BAND
JAZZ FOR KIDS WITH THE JAZZ STANDARD YOUTH ORCHESTRA EVERY SUNDAY AT 2PM - DIRECTED BY DAVID O’ROURKE

ON THE COVER

ROVA SAXOPHONE QUARTET A LONG HISTORY by ken waxman HEIKE LISS
ROVA SAXOPHONE
QUARTET
A LONG HISTORY
by ken waxman
HEIKE LISS

Someone once described ROVA as The Grateful Dead

of jazz. A comparison to The Rolling Stones would be

more accurate. For more than 38 years, with only one change in personnel 27 years ago, the Bay area-based saxophone quartet has created high quality music. However, unlike the venerable British rockers, ROVA continues to evolve and experiment.

This month’s series of concerts at The Stone offers a retrospective of classic material as well as new works. Some sets will feature guest musicians, some of whom have never played with the band before. Before that, an expanded ROVA ensemble will perform Electric Ascension, a 21st Century reimagining of John Coltrane’s classic work as part of Winter Jazzfest. Concurrently, RogueArt will release Channeling Coltrane: a live performance of Electric Ascension from the 2012 Guelph Jazz Festival on DVD and Blue-ray;

a CD of the music; and Cleaning the Mirror, a

documentary mixing the story of ROVA’s adaptation with a history of Coltrane’s seminal session. “It’s a challenge to work on the older material,” admits ROVA soprano and tenor saxophonist Bruce Ackley, 67. “We mastered these pieces at one point and now we’re playing them in a different way”. In preparation for the retrospective, the group has been rehearsing old and new material since September. The saxophonist can easily vouch for ROVA’s long-term capabilities. After all it was for a concert during the 1978 San Francisco Free Music Festival that he, sopranino and tenor saxophonist Larry Ochs, 66, alto and baritone saxophonist Jon Raskin, 62, and original member Andrew Voigt first performed as ROVA. Ackley had already been part of a wind trio and had decided that for experimental music, “It seemed

pretty natural to stay clear of a rhythm section. Without

a piano you didn’t have chord progressions and

without a bass and drums there were no time keepers.” Each musician had been impressed by the harmonies created on Steve Lacy’s 1974 Saxophone Special LP with Evan Parker, Steve Potts and Trevor Watts and the cut on Anthony Braxton’s New York Fall 1974 LP that included Oliver Lake, Julius Hemphill and Hamiet Bluiett. “Once we heard the harmonic and rhythmic possibilities of the four reeds and the interactive methods we evolved, we liked what we were hearing,” remembers Ackley. “We realized we could stretch things out for a long time.” Around the same time, Ochs recorded some of the tunes that became Cinema ROVAté, the band’s first LP on Ochs’ Metalanguage

label, and sent a tape of it to the Artistic Director of the Moers Music Festival in Germany. Ochs says the director played the tape when Braxton happened to be

in his office. Hearing the tape Braxton became so

excited by the sound that he insisted: “Hire those guys” and ROVA was booked. With this “carrot” as Ochs calls it, in front of them, the band was encouraged to seek out other performing opportunities and also began commissioning new works by the likes of Braxton, Terry Riley, Pauline Oliveros, Fred Frith, Lindsay Cooper and John Carter. “Being on the West Coast has kept the band together

all these years,” suggest Ochs. “There was less pressure to make it. We were sort of isolated and there weren’t a billion musicians out here.” ROVA soon became established enough that in 1983 the band were the first American improvisers to tour the Soviet Union, documented on hatART as Saxophone Diplomacy. Acclaimed elsewhere, Ackley suggests the Bay area situation was different. “When we started we were thought of as unusual, as heretical. We didn’t fit in the [notated] avant garde realm because we didn’t have degrees from Yale and we weren’t really in the jazz realm. Our music was idiosyncratic.” Determined to expand the audience, the non-profit organization ROVA:Arts was created in 1986, administering the ensemble’s activities, producing shows, commissioning new works and applying for funding. “Grants let a lot of things happen,” states Ochs firmly. “There would be no Electric Ascension without a grant.” ROVA faced another challenge in 1988 when Voigt left the band. Although alto and sopranino saxophonist Steve Adams, 63, technically stepped in as a sub just before a seven-week European tour, he’s been with the band ever since. A former member of composers collectives and Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet in Boston, Adams has similar interests to the other members: “ROVA has a creative approach to structure in improvised music and when I first heard it I found it was the only group in jazz—in its broadest sense—that was able to erase the differences between composition and improvisation. The group’s openness excited me when I joined, though playing in ROVA was like picking up a new language.” Original material from all members will be played during The Stone residency and Adams is also “rearranging and renovating” Ochs’ 1994 eight- saxophone composition “Figurer 8”, since three of the four other participants weren’t on the original recording and play different saxophones. “Figure 8” is just one of the many older pieces that will be part of the retrospective. Another is John Carter’s “Colors”. Recently ROVA has de-emphasized scores in favor of improvising, reports Ackley, so it’s been a challenge to play something like “Colors”. Over the years ROVA has revelled in this kind of challenge as well as forming ad hoc ensembles with other musicians. “It’s really important to have people we play with who really push it and we’re always looking for that,” says Ochs. Seeking a new challenge is what convinced the band in 1995 to tackle the iconic Ascension after both of Coltrane’s recorded versions were released in one CD package. Reading the booklet notes, Raskin was shocked to realize that Coltrane’s 11-member ensemble had never performed the piece live. “This is such a good piece of music,” he recalls thinking, “ROVA should do it.” Transcribing the arrangement from the record with the exact instrumentation “was pretty simple,” he says. “When we got to the end the first time we played it I was amazed to see how the form was really a jazz composition. The form decides the shape of the piece. There’s an exposition, the melody and four chords to improvise on. Coltrane was involved

in letting individual players go out and be free and that’s why you end up with that wonderful cacophony.” A few years after the acoustic Ascension was performed and recorded, Raskin and Ochs thought of recasting the piece for ROVA’s 25th anniversary celebration. Figuring that Coltrane would have moved with the times and investigated the possibilities of using electric instruments, the piece was then arranged for electric guitar, bass and processing. “We imagined what Trane would have done 30 years later,” says Raskin. “Ascension isn’t a dead end. If you take something, move on it and make it your own, that’s what’s involved in jazz. How many versions of ‘All the Things You Are’ exist, for instance?” Adds Ackley:

Ascension has been very important in my life. When I first heard it I couldn’t imagine how intense it was. And now there are times I walk on stage and can’t believe that I’m going to play it.” San Francisco producer/director John Rogers was involved for many years in filming Cleaning the Mirror but all the music he had was hand-held-camera cutaways of the ROVA Orchestra performing the suite. A multi-camera concert performance with high-quality sound was needed and the 2012 Guelph Jazz Festival show was ideal. “I’m usually the guy who has to face all the worry and stress when arranging something like this,” recalls Ochs. “But when I was on stage [in Guelph] listening to the performance, I said ‘this is a great concert’. Steve Lacy once said that when you play you should lift the bandstand and it happened several times during that concert.” Ochs is also excited about a particular feature of the Blue-ray disc, which allows viewers to follow one musician’s playing throughout. Ochs is the ROVA member most involved in other projects. “Braxton once said play or die,” he relates. “And that’s what I do. I like to be on the road or in the recording studio.” Although the others also work in other local ensembles, none imagines ROVA dissolving any time in the near future. “I don’t see any reason for us to stop,” says Ackley. “We’re still all very enthusiastic.” Yet perhaps Raskin describes the situation most profoundly: “When you hear the band you know we’ve been together for a long time. It shows in the nuances in our playing. After 38 years it’s obvious we’ve been working on things for a long time and working to make them better.” v

For more information, visit rova.org. ROVA is at Le Poisson Rouge Jan. 17th as part of Winter Jazzfest and The Stone Jan. 19th-24th. See Calendar.

Recommended Listening:

ROVA—Cinema ROVAté (Metalanguage, 1978)

ROVA—Favorite Street (ROVA Plays Lacy) (Black Saint, 1983)

ROVA—Saxophone Diplomacy (hatART, 1983)

ROVA—The Works, Vol. 1-3 (Black Saint, 1994-97)

ROVA & Nels Cline Singers— The Celestial Septet (New World, 2008)

ROVA—Electric Ascension (Live at the 2012 Guelph Jazz Festival) (Rogue Art, 2012)

ENCORE

HUBERT LAWS

by alex henderson

More than half a century has passed since Hubert Laws featured a young Chick Corea as a sideman on his debut as a leader, The Laws of Jazz (Atlantic), back in 1964. If Laws’ long recording career teaches us anything about the veteran flutist (who turned 76 on Nov. 10th),

it is that he has never been comfortable playing one

type of music exclusively.

Laws is one of the most influential jazz flutists of the last 50 years—young flutists in jazz often cite Laws and the late Herbie Mann as primary influences—yet he also has a long list of classical credentials. Over the years, the Houston native (who now lives in Los Angeles) has turned his attention to everything from John Coltrane’s “Moment’s Notice” and The Beatles’ “Let It Be” to the works of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Stravinsky. In 2015, Laws’ relationship to both jazz and classical music was underscored when arranger Steve Barta employed him on an orchestral reworking of French pianist Claude Bolling’s Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio. When Bolling produced the original version of the seven-movement suite in 1975, only four musicians were included: himself, flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal (the well-known classical musician from France), bassist Max Hédiguer and drummer Marcel Sabiani. For Barta’s 2015 remake, a jazz quartet (Laws, pianist Jeffery Biegel, bassist Mike Valerio and drummer Michael Shapiro) joined forces with a string quartet and a full orchestra. “Steve decided that he would revisit this piece by Claude Bolling, but he wished to do it with an orchestral arrangement,” Laws explains. “So when Steve conceived this, he asked me to participate and to replace Jean-Pierre Rampal—who was the original flutist. Jean-Pierre did not improvise. All the parts for the flute were actually written out with the exception of some places where I took the liberty to improvise.

It was written as a suite for flute and jazz piano and it’s

really the piano that’s doing most of the jazz playing. The flute is playing all the written parts. So when I was asked to do it, I think that what Steve Barta had in mind was taking it to a different level as far as adding some jazz inflections to the flute part—which I tried to do.”

being able to improvise is a very special gift.” During the ‘70s, Laws was known for playing everything from jazz to classical to funk and hasn’t grown any less eclectic in recent decades. Laws (brother of the late saxophonist Ronnie Laws and singers Debra and Eloise Laws) paid homage to the iconic singer/

For more information, visit hubertlaws.com. Laws is at

 

Laws embraced Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio

pianist Nat King Cole in 1998 on Hubert Laws Remembers

long before Barta recruited him for the 2015 remake:

the Unforgettable Nat King Cole, and was mindful of the

in

the ‘70s, he performed it live with Bolling himself.

European classical tradition on Hubert Laws Plays Bach

“I

played some concerts with Claude in New York and

for Barone and Baker in 2005 and Flute Adaptations of

San Francisco during that period of time,” Laws recalls. “That was without any orchestral accompaniment: it was just me with piano, bass and drums. And we played one of the movements on The Johnny Carson Show, as I recall.” Laws continues: “Of course, I was familiar with the piece in the ‘70s. But I had to reorient myself. It had been some years since I’d played it. The piece is demanding because you’re following a script. It’s difficult because it’s like someone has written the script for you and you try to deviate from the script and add your own personality. When you have a lot of notes already written, it makes it very difficult. In jazz, you have an outline, but you put the meat on the bone yourself, so to speak. But here, the meat’s already on the bone—and you have to follow the pattern as given.” Laws’ relationship with the European classical tradition goes back to his youth. As a student at the Juilliard School of Music in the early ‘60s, Laws studied with the famous classical flutist Julius Baker. But when he recorded The Laws of Jazz in 1964, it was evident that he was quite capable of playing straightahead jazz.

Rachmaninov and Barber in 2009. Laws stresses that as the music world enters 2016, his main concern will continue to be not the style or genre of the music, but the quality. “To me, music is just music,” Laws asserts. “What appeals to me in the jazz idiom or the classical idiom— or any idiom—has to be the spirit of the music or the music itself. Music is like people in that it incorporates cultures and I think that people from various cultures have validity. Doing the music from these different cultures shows that you have a broad-range view of the world and you are not narrow-minded. It shows that you don’t think that one type of music is superior and that’s all you’re going to do. I never did feel that way. I get quite a bit of enjoyment out of playing and presenting various music to and from different cultures.” v

Baruch Performing Arts Center Jan. 10th as a guest of the New York Flute Club in its tribute to Harold Jones. See Calendar.

Along the way, Laws stresses, he has learned how blessed he was to have the ability to improvise

Recommended Listening:

proficiently. “When I went to the Juilliard School of Music,

Hubert Laws—The Laws of Jazz/Flute By-Laws (Atlantic-Rhino, 1964)

I

was preparing myself to play in a symphony

Hubert Laws—Crying Song/Afro-Classic/

CTI All-Stars—California Concert: The Hollywood

orchestra,” Laws explains. “I thought that by going there I could learn to play classical music. But I have an innate gift for improvisation that’s very special and

The Rite of Spring (CTI-BGO, 1969-71)

Paladium (CTI-Sony Masterworks, 1971)

I just took it for granted. I spent a lot of time working

Milt Jackson—Goodbye (with Hubert Laws) (CTI, 1973)

out the difficulties in playing flute sonatas and flute concerti, but I would have spent more time on

Hubert Laws—In The Beginning (CTI - Columbia/Legacy, 1974)

improvising if I’d had the realization that I have now:

Stanley Turrentine—If I Could (MusicMasters, 1993)

LEST WE fORGET

PEGGY LEE

by andrew vélez

Sultry-voiced and elegant, Peggy Lee began life as Norma Deloris Egstrom on May 26th, 1920 in Jamestown, Ohio. Enchanted by jazz and dance bands on the radio, by 17 she was on her own and soon became a veteran of many territorial bands and radio stations. At 22, while singing at a nightclub in the Ambassador Hotel in Chicago, she met bandleader Benny Goodman, who was staying there and looking

for a replacement for vocalist Helen Forrest. Years later he recalled that first hearing of Lee: “I thought she had

a terrific quality.” Shortly afterward she was signed

and began making big band history with her first recording session of “Elmer’s Tune”. Those early years with Goodman (1941-43), which included hits like “Blues in the Night” and “Why Don’t You Do Right”, established her as a blues singer who knew how to swing. Years later fellow jazz singer Cleo Laine observed, “…(She) came from the big-band era and knew how to swing. …She knew how to sing on the beat when necessary. A lot of people don’t know how to do that. Her simplicity had a lot of nuances.” In the mid ‘40s she was married to and eventually divorced from guitarist Dave Barbour. Together they

wrote songs including big hits like “It’s A Good Day” (1947), “Mañana” and “Fever” (1958), all part of her song catalogue, which, among others, included “He’s

A Tramp” from her score for Disney’s Lady and the

Tramp, “There’ll Be Another Spring”, “Johnny Guitar” and “The Shining Sea”. They established her as one of the great 20th century popular composers. For a couple of decades beginning in the mid ‘40s and onward, Lee recorded dozens of popular albums for Capitol and Decca while always returning to jazz formats. Among those of particular note is her classic Black Coffee (Decca, 1953), which featured a memorable 12-bar blues title track. She drew upon the best of jazz players to accompany her, in this case featuring trumpeter Pete Candoli and the then-young pianist Jimmy Rowles. There was even a brief flirtation with movie roles, most notably in Pete Kelly’s Blues (1955), which earned her an Academy Award nomination. Lee loved to entertain and that, combined with her ability to connect so potently with a live audience, accounted for why, despite an opening night when a blizzard blanketed the city, she could draw a 1960 sell- out crowd to pack New York City’s then-hot new jazz club Basin Street East. They were drawn by her voice and sophisticated style, which radiated bluesy sensuality with just a dash of hip Mae West wit, which Lee could convey by merely raising an eyebrow and the hint of a smile. Glamorously garbed as was her custom, she was the epitome of popular jazz singing.

When she passed on Jan. 21st, 2002, Nat Hentoff observed: “She was subtle and enticing in contrast

with the belters who show off everything but their musicianship. Her main quality was a marvelous sense

of subtlety

Perhaps André Previn’s observations are as potent as any: “For the singing of popular songs, Peggy Lee was about as good as you can get, with the exception of Billie Holiday. Her sense of rhythm was unbeatable, sensational. And when she sang a song of unrequited love, she really got to you.” More than 13 years on, Lee’s husky-voiced sensuality remains as alluring as ever. v

you can hear her voice after it stops.”

Peggy Lee tributes are at Birdland Jan. 12th and The Appel Room Jan. 21st. See Calendar.

Recommended Listening:

Peggy Lee—The Complete Recordings 1941-1947 (Columbia-Legacy, 1941-47)

Peggy Lee & June Christy—The Complete Capitol Transcription Sessions (Capitol-Mosaic, 1945-49)

Peggy Lee—Black Coffee (Decca-Jasmine/Verve, 1953/1956)

Peggy Lee (with George Shearing)— Beauty and the Beat! (Capitol, 1959)

Peggy Lee—Is That All There Is? (Capitol-EMI, 1967-69)

Peggy Lee—Love Held Lightly (Angel-EMI, 1988)

LABEL SPOTLiGHT

MPS

by ken waxman

Christian Kellersmann is now facing one of the most demanding yet satisfying challenges of his quarter- century career in the recording business. As director of Content and Creative for Berlin-based Edel: Kultur since late 2014, it’s his task to decide which items in the legendary MPS catalogue will be reissued. Besides sessions available on LP, analog tape and CD, twice each month two to five items are made available in digital form, exclusively on iTunes for a two-month period, then on all download platforms. “This will be the first time in the history of the label that the entire jazz catalogue will be available in digital form,” he explains. “These timeless chapters in jazz will also be accompanied by online documentation.” MPS (Musik Produktion Schwarzwald [Black Forest]) Records was the label founded by industrialist/ audio engineer Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer (1927- 2004) in the ‘60s initially to record pianists, most prominently Oscar Peterson, in high-quality sound. By the time Brunner-Schwer sold the label in 1983, among its 430 or so discs were ones recorded in New York and Berlin as well as at Brunner-Schwer’s famous Black Forest studios. The eclectic catalog features big band and small group recordings by the likes of Jim Hall, Count Basie, The Singers Unlimited, Jean-Luc Ponty, Wolfgang Dauner, Rolf Kühn and Albert Mangelsdorff. Besides classic jazz titles, artists like Tony Scott and John Handy put out discs experimenting with what

later would be dubbed world music. Brunner-Schwer initially sold MPS’ rights and masters to Polygram/Universal, with Hamburg-based Edel AG taking ownership in early 2014. Kellersmann formerly worked for Polygram/Universal, leaving as Managing Director of Classics and Jazz. In that position, besides signing artists such as Till Brönner and Barbara Dennerlein, he initiated popular CD reissue programs. One was dubbed “Mojo Club presents Dance Floor Jazz” and then there was a classical club-series called the “Yellow Lounge”. During that time he met and worked with Brunner-Schwer and Gigi Campi, who produced many Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band LPs. “Although they were both much older than me we were like soul brothers,” Kellersmann recalls. What this background means is that in his tenure at Edel: Kultur, Kellersmann is a veteran dealing with familiar music. However, his marketing philosophy is different from that of the label’s original owners. “I learned a lot reintroducing jazz to a new audience in the beginning of the ‘90s,” he states. “My ambition was and still is, to reach a new, younger audience. With MPS the challenge is still valid: reaching the core audience as well as young, new consumers.” He continues: “Universal Music was only focusing on the top titles. In the meantime many people have been waiting to get access to all the music. We will release according to our resources and based on the quality of artists and productions. Each release should be something very special.” The MPS reissue program began in May 2014 with Exclusively For My Friends, an Oscar Peterson boxed set available on CD, vinyl and digitally. At this point about 250-odd sessions have been reissued as digital

point about 250-odd sessions have been reissued as digital Exclusively For My Friends Oscar Peterson Remembrance

Exclusively For My Friends Oscar Peterson

as digital Exclusively For My Friends Oscar Peterson Remembrance The Elvin Jones Jazz Machine Alive &

Remembrance The Elvin Jones Jazz Machine

Oscar Peterson Remembrance The Elvin Jones Jazz Machine Alive & Jumping Lionel Hampton downloads, with the

Alive & Jumping Lionel Hampton

downloads, with the entire catalogue projected to be available sometime in 2017. So far, the most popular sessions have been dates featuring piano masters Peterson and George Shearing and surprisingly enough what Kellersmann calls “hidden champs”, pianist Monty Alexander and late vibraphonist Dave Pike. Before a title is made available the label consults with experts, including customers, record collectors and distributors. “MPS was always a very open-minded label. It was never restricted to any specific genre,” Kellersmann explains. “Brunner-Schwer was a music- lover without limitations, except bad quality. Jazz was the main genre on MPS but you also find classical music, pop, schlager, bossa nova, Indian music etc. We want to keep and follow this tradition for music and quality.” As it stands now the majority of digital-reissues consist of extant LPs without additional material. “In the cases where we find bonus tracks that are good we will add them to the session,” notes Kellersmann. “But the best music was released already…at least according to Brunner-Schwer.” So far the only discovery has been tracks by Peterson not part of his original MPS LPs but now included in the boxed set, labeled Lost Tapes 1 and Lost Tapes 2. “On the last you can hear Oscar Peterson sing,” reveals Kellersmann. Part of the reason Edel: Kultur hasn’t yet been able to discover many bonus tracks is how the company received the tapes. “We got the original audio tapes from Universal Music in packing cases, some with good documentations, but mostly without graphic material,” he remembers. “We had our own research team, who searched for liner notes and the original artwork. But

(CONTINUED ON PAGE 54)

notes and the original artwork. But (CONTINUED ON PAGE 54) Invitation The Singers Unlimited Flamenco-Jazz Pedro

Invitation The Singers Unlimited

But (CONTINUED ON PAGE 54) Invitation The Singers Unlimited Flamenco-Jazz Pedro Iturralde Quintet VOXNEWS JAZZ CHiLDREN

Flamenco-Jazz Pedro Iturralde Quintet

VOXNEWS

JAZZ CHiLDREN

by suzanne lorge

Almost 25 years ago, Sheila Jordan played a gig at Kimball’s East in Oakland, California and San Francisco radio host Bud Spangler happened to capture the performance on tape. Alan Broadbent was the pianist, Harvie S the bass player. There Records has just released the live recording of nine tunes from that evening—Better Than Anything, a too-short reprise of some of Jordan’s finest standards. Jordan performs the title cut, one of her signature numbers, in characteristic fashion—at a spry clip, interpolating the melody with snatches from other tunes (in this case, “Oh, Dear, What Can The Matter Be?”) and improvising sung messages directed at her sidemen and the audience. Jordan usually performs with spare accompaniment, frequently only Cameron Brown’s bass, an unerring vocal line standing in bas-relief against a minimalist musical background. Her vocal lines remain one of the best examples of bebop mastery today; she is hardly ever not improvising and has at her disposal a seemingly endless supply of musical ideas. This album is a thrilling example of Jordan’s best work. New York- based Jordan last appeared here when she sang at Cameron Brown’s birthday gig at Cornelia Street Café

in December. She will be in Austria for much of January. But catch her in February when she celebrates the release of Better Than Anything at Cornelia Street Café (Feb. 14th) and joins with Cameron Brown and WORKS Trio at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music (Feb. 20th). The Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) convention comes to New York City every January, offering workshops on intriguing topics (for example, “Our Global Community: What is the Role of the Arts Presenters in a Community in Crisis?”) and giving up-and-coming artists the opportunity to perform for industry professionals. Engaging swing singer Svetlana Shmulyian and her band the Delancey Five will be one of the featured acts as will singer Allan Harris. Alas, the conference is open to members only, but all jazz artists might consider joining. (There’s always next year.) New York City also hosts Winter JazzFest each January and many fine singers will be at the mic during this five-day music marathon. On Jan. 15th Roberta Gambarini performs at The New School Auditorium; Alicia Hall Moran first and Chargaux later at The Greene Space; Tierney Sutton at Subculture; Charenée Wade at The New School Jazz Building; Hilary Gardner at Greenwich House School; René Marie at zinc Bar; Nicole Henry at The Django at Roxy Hotel; Kennedy in ”Sarah Vaughan & Clifford Brown Reimagined” and KING at The Bitter End; and Joey Arias at Le Poisson Rouge. On Jan. 16th Theo

Bleckmann plays at The New School Tishman Auditorium; José James is at Le Poisson Rouge; Sofia Rei performs at The New School Glass Box Theater; Véronique Hermann Sambin at The Django at Roxy Hotel; Tongues In Trees followed by Carolyn Leonhart and Angel Rogers with Jay Rodriguez Evolutions at zinc Bar; and Michael Mwenso and Brianna Thomas in a tribute to Louis (Armstrong) and Ella (Fitzgerald) at Greenwich House School, followed first by Tatiana Eva-Marie and later by Tamar Korn and Molly Ryan. One-day passes that allow entry to all the day’s events are $45 in advance and two-day passes are $75—a phenomenal bargain, given the talent on offer. Jane Monheit opens the New Year with several New York gigs: at Birdland (Jan. 16th) she’s singing Ella’s songbook, then at The Appel Room (Jan. 21st) she’s singing Peggy Lee’s songbook (with Rebecca Parris, Nellie McKay, Spencer Day and Barb Jungr). She closes out the month with a run at Blue Note (Jan. 28th-31st) as a guest of David Benoit. Exceptionally talented, largely unknown, Pittsburgh-based singer Maureen Budway passed away a year ago this month. Her final CD, Sweet Candor (MCG Jazz), with New York pianist David Budway, was released posthumously in 2015. It deserves many listens. In closing, I extend my thanks to singer Katie Bull as I accept the VOxNews baton from her talented hands. The conversation continues. v

iN MEMORiAM

IN MEMORIAM 2015

AL AARONS EMERSON ABLE CLIFFORD ADAMS ANTHONY AGRESTA WILLIE AKINS VAN ALEXANDER JAMES ALKIRE DAEVID ALLEN BOB ALLEN ARCHIE ALLEYNE ERIK AMUNDSEN DIETER ANTRITTER KILLER RAY APPLETON UMBERTO ARLATI WEBSTER ARMSTRONG BEN ARONOV ARA ARSENIAN PAUL BACON PHILIP BARKER GIL BARRETTO PA PA JOE BASILE HAROLD BATTISTE TONY BAZLEY GEORGE BEAN BOB BELDEN MARCUS BELGRAVE SÁNDOR BENKÓ ABDELHAÏ BENNANI JOHN BERG MIRIAM BIENSTOCK JÓN PÁLL BJARNASON BRENT BLACK AL BLOCK GEORGE BOUCHARD BUDDY BOUDREAUX DAVID BOURNAZIAN CEPHAS BOWLES LENNY BOYD JENNY BROWN ALLAN BROWNE OWEN BRYCE MAUREEN BUDWAY THOMAS BUHÉ LES BULL MANFRED BURZLAFF PAPA JOE BUSCHMANN GEORGE CARIOTE CARLOS CARLI JOE CAVALLARO RICK CHAMBERLAIN MADHAV CHARI EMILE CHARLAP ORNETTE COLEMAN MICK COLLINS AUGUSTA LEE COLLINS JEROME COOPER KEITH COPELAND B.J. CROSBY RON CROTTY ALICIA CUNNINGHAM ALBERT D’ANNIBALE RICK DAVIES ADELE DAVIS DONNA DAVIS ALAIN DE GROSBOIS JOHN T. DEVECCHIS MANFRED DIERKES SAM DISTEFANO DON DOANE ERIC DONEY EMILO “MONK” DUPRE BUDDY EMMONS WILTON FELDER ERNIE FELICE GARRISON FEWELL VIC FIRTH DALE FITZGERALD NIELS FOSS DICK GAIL HAL GAYLOR KEN GIBSON JEFF GOLUB COLERIDGE GOODE SILVANO GRANDI MAX GREGER DONALD GRIFFIN MAHMOUD GUINIA JOHN GUMPPER HARRY HACH DAVE HATFIELD JOHNNY HELMS RUSSELL HENDERSON JUDITH HENDRICKS HERBIE HESS TRAVIS HILL DORIS HINES HAJO HOFFMAN MARILYN HOLDERFIELD DON HURLESS JØRGEN INGMANN DON INNES PAUL JEFFREY ORVILLE JOHNSON RUSTY JONES IVAN JULLIEN BILL JUPP RAYMOND KATARZYNSKY JOHNNY KEATING ORRIN KEEPNEWS RAY KENNEDY GARY KEYS MASABUMI KIKUCHI MIKE KING MILTON KLEEB AL KOHN HEINZ KRETZSCHMAR BILL LACY

CYNTHIA LANE STEVE LANE JAMES LAST BRUCE LAWRENCE MICHAEL LEONARD MONICA LEWIS CARL LINDBERG ERIK LINDSTRÖM VANJA LISAK EDDY LOUISS BRUCE LUNDVALL GENE LYNN JOHN MAIMONE BRENT MOORE MAJORS ROBERT MARTIN ZEN MATSUURA CORKY MCCLERKIN MARY MCGOWAN WILLIAM T. MCKINLEY HAROLD BAXTER MEAD LOTHAR MEID TERRI MERSEREAU SEPP MITTERBAUER JAMES L. MOONEY RICHARD O. MOORE BUDDY MORENO NINO MORREALE MARK MURPHY BOB MURPHY ZANE MUSA RENE NAN MARTY NAPOLEON MUSA AFIA NGUM PETER NIEUWERF HERMANN NIEWELER GENE NORMAN FATHER PETER O’BRIEN KJELL ÖHMAN HAROLD OUSLEY BOB PARLOCHA STEVE PECK NAT PECK CONFREY PHILLIPS DAVE PIKE STEVE POUCHIE RICHIE PRATT GEORGE PROBERT HUGO RASMUSSEN MARGO REED TED REINHARDT JOERG REITER DON RENDELL SLIM RICHEY EMMANUEL RIGGINS DANA LYNN ROGERS PETER ROSE DOUDOU N’DIAYE ROSE LARRY ROSEN EARL S. ROSS BRUNO RUB GUILLERMO RUBALCABA HOWARD RUMSEY TOMMY RUSKIN WOLFGANG SAUER DON SCALETTA PETER SCHMIDLIN UNGE SCHMIDT GUNTHER SCHULLER HAZEN SCHUMACHER AMBROS SEELOS PAUL SERRANO RALPH SHARON LEE SHAW CHESTER SHEARD JACK SIX BENJAMIN LOUIS SMALLEY BILL SMITH JOSEPH SOARES, JR. LEW SOLOFF BARRY SOULSBY MARC STECKAR GEORGE STELL ROWENA STEWART BERNARD STOLLMAN CHARLES “BUTCH” STONE ETTORE STRATTA STEVE SWANN WARD SWINGLE MARCO TAMBURINI SANDY TAYLOR JOHN TAYLOR CLARK TERRY MARC THOMAS JOSEPH TORREGANO ALLEN TOUSSAINT REIN VAN DEN BROEK BENNY VASSEUR ROBERT VEEN NORBERT VOLLATH MURRAY WALD BENGT-ARNE WALLIN JEAN WARLAND RAY WARLEIGH BOBBY WATLEY LEE WESTENHOFER BOB WHITLOCK KEN WILLIAMS LEOLA KING WILSON EMILY ANN WINGERT WILMER WISE KARL WLASCHEK JÜRGEN WÖLFER PHIL WOODS NOAH YOUNG RICHARD YOUNGSTEIN STEVE ZEGREE JEROME ZEIRING

GENE NORMAN

by andrey henkin

STEVE ZEGREE JEROME ZEIRING GENE NORMAN by andrey henkin C lub owner and record producer Gene

Club owner and record producer Gene Norman, whose career in jazz came through work on the radio, then concert promotion, and continued with Crescendo, his Los Angeles club, and his eponymous label GNP (Gene Norman Presents), died Nov. 2nd at 93. Norman (né Nabatoff) was born in Brooklyn on Jan. 30th, 1922. After graduating from college in Wisconsin, he moved first to San Francisco and then Los Angeles. It was on the West Coast that he turned a childhood love for jazz, spurred by visits in his youth to Manhattan clubs, into the beginnings of a career,

first as a disc jockey for various radio stations and then producing concerts at venues like the Shrine Auditorium and Hollywood Bowl. Soon Norman opened his own club on the Sunset Strip (a stretch of Sunset Boulevard passing through West Hollywood), which hosted many major jazz and comedy acts, such as Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Bob Newhart and Lenny Bruce. In 1954, GNP was founded with a series of 10” LPs by Charlie Ventura, Buddy DeFranco, Gerry Mulligan, Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Brown and Max Roach, the debut by alto saxophonist Frank Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Lionel Hampton, Tenors West (Bob Cooper, Jimmy Giuffre, Harry Klee and Bob Enevoldsen with the Marty Paich Octet) and many others (some recorded live at Crescendo, which Norman sold in 1963 in order to focus his energies on the label). However, and presciently reflecting the label’s future eclecticism, GNP also released discs like Hukilau Hulas, Josephine Premice Sings Calypso, Tito Puente’s Cha Cha Cha for Lovers and a number of sessions by Cuban bandleader Rene Touzet. The ‘60s saw GNP move away from jazz into movie soundtracks, via the James Bond franchise, novelty banjo records, Western-folk outfits like The Moms & Dads and the album Dylan Jazz, credited to the Gene Norman Group and including saxophonist/flutist Jim Horn and a young Glen Campbell on guitar. Norman’s son Neil took over the label and moved it even further away from jazz. The label’s online shop currently only offers a number of historical recordings by Louis Armstrong, Art Tatum, Charlie Ventura, Cleo Laine, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, Stan Kenton and others. These days GNP is much better known by Trekkies, the label having acquired the rights to the music of Star Trek films and TV shows and releasing them for the first time. In a 2014 interview with Variety, Norman summed up what he considered the secret to his success and longevity in the music business: ““The most important

skill is to have ears

There are very few releases on the

label that I wouldn’t still listen to and enjoy. We just went with what we liked, and if you do that enough, eventually you’ll hit one out of the park.”

that enough, eventually you’ll hit one out of the park.” AL AARONS (Mar. 23rd, 1932—Nov. 17th,

AL AARONS (Mar. 23rd, 1932—Nov. 17th, 2015) The trumpeter was a fixture in the ‘60s Count Basie bands and also worked under Sarah Vaughan, Kenny Burrell, Eddie Harris, Stanley Clarke, Ella Fitzgerald and zoot Sims, among others, to go along with occasional pop, rock and soul credits through the ‘80s and a single 1995 album as a leader, organized and released by the Los Angeles Jazz Society. Aarons died Nov. 17th at 82.

LOTHAR MEID (Aug. 28th, 1942— Nov. 3rd, 2015) The German bassist was a member of the jazz-rock bands Amon Düül, Embryo and Klaus Doldinger’s Passport and later moved into a parallel career as a film score composer. Meid died Nov. 3rd at 73.LOTHAR MEID

BUDDY MORENO (Jul. 14th, 1912— Nov. 29th, 2015) The vocalist was featured in the ‘40s band of Dick Jurgens, then moved on to greater exposure with Harry James’ band and leading his own orchestra through the ‘60s before devoting himself to radio work. Moreno died Nov. 29th at 103.

himself to radio work. Moreno died Nov. 29th at 103. KJELL ÖHMAN (Sep. 3rd, 1943—Nov. 5th,

KJELL ÖHMAN (Sep. 3rd, 1943—Nov. 5th, 2015) The Swedish pianist/organist released a handful of albums under his own name from 1966 into the new millennium and worked with fellow Scandinavians like Rune Gustafsson, Bengt-Arne Wallin, Mads Vinding, Monica zetterlund and ex-pat drummer Ed Thigpen to go along with a far more voluminous career as a session musician for Swedish pop acts. Öhman died Nov. 5th at 72.

musician for Swedish pop acts. Öhman died Nov. 5th at 72. ALLEN TOUSSAINT (Jan. 14th, 1938—

ALLEN TOUSSAINT (Jan. 14th, 1938— Nov. 10th, 2015) The New Orleanais royalty, though an accomplished pianist and performer, earned his jazz credits indirectly, his songs performed by artists such as Lou Donaldson, Al Hirt, David “Fathead” Newman, Jimmy Smith, Robin Kenyatta and Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, as well as via production credits for Ramsey Lewis and Eric Gale, more recent performing appearances on albums by Madeleine Peyroux and Oz Noy and his own 2008 album The Bright Mississippi, wherein he played ragtime pieces and music by Ellington and Monk with such modern jazz players as Brad Mehldau, Don Byron, Marc Ribot, Nicholas Payton and Joshua Redman. Toussaint died Nov. 10th at 77.

Payton and Joshua Redman. Toussaint died Nov. 10th at 77. BENGT-ARNE WALLIN (Jul. 13th, 1926—Nov. 23rd,
Payton and Joshua Redman. Toussaint died Nov. 10th at 77. BENGT-ARNE WALLIN (Jul. 13th, 1926—Nov. 23rd,

BENGT-ARNE WALLIN (Jul. 13th, 1926—Nov. 23rd, 2015) The Swedish trumpeter has a leader discography going back to the late ‘50s on Vik, Dux, Sonet and Dragon and numerous sideman/arranging credits with Georg Riedel, Arne Domnerus, Ernestine

Anderson, Quincy Jones, Lars Gullin, Friedrich Gulda, Monica zetterlund and Hans Koller. Wallin died Nov. 23rd at 89.

RICHARD YOUNGSTEIN (Oct. 30th, 1944—Nov. 9th, 2015) The bassist’s discography includes separate work with both Paul Bley and Carla Bley (including the latter’s massive opus Escalator Over The Hill) as well as credits with Bobby Naughton, Frederic Rzewski, Roswell Rudd and single album as a leader (released under the name Noah Young), 1975’s Unicorn Dream. Youngstein died Nov. 9th at 71. v

Young), 1975’s Unicorn Dream . Youngstein died Nov. 9th at 71. v 12 JANUARY 2016 |

fESTiVAL REPORT

DR JAZZ fESTiVAL

by suzanne lorge

GABRIEL RODES
GABRIEL RODES

Pedrito Martínez

Each weekend guitarist Emmanuel Peña travels more than four hours from his home in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, to teach at FEDUJazz, a not-for-profit music school in Cabarete, a small town on the north coast of the country. The school—its handful of classrooms just a short walk from the beach—offers free music classes to students of

all ages and seeks to instill both artistic discipline and

a sense of personal accomplishment in its nascent

musicians. Peña’s dedication to the school is not unusual among its teachers, all professional musicians

who volunteer their time to the hundreds of children annually who attend workshops. The Dominican Republic Jazz Festival (Nov. 4th-8th), which sponsors FEDUJazz, attracts leading jazz performers from Latin America, Europe and the

U.S. for a series of free concerts across five nights each fall, this year in the towns of Santiago, Sosúa, Puerto Plata and Cabarete. During the daytime hours of the festival, these jazz masters give the students classes in jazz history, performance techniques and the intricacies of polyrhythms. At the core of these classes is the understanding that Latin musical forms, an integral part of everyday life in the Dominican Republic, have

as much to offer the jazz world as jazz training has to

offer the students. Part of the festival’s mission, says Lorenzo Sancassani, the Vice Minister of Tourism for the Northern Coast and founder of the festival 19 years ago, is to make jazz more popular among Dominicans. Despite the cultural debt that jazz owes to Latin America, jazz isn’t a mainstream art form in the Dominican Republic. But local interest in jazz is growing as Dominican musicians study and perform abroad and return with their own Dominican-inflected forms of the music. More than 12,000 people attend the festival each year—most of them tourists from other regions of the Dominican Republic—and a known quantity (merengue, Latin pop tunes) is what they turn out to hear. As the festival continues to evolve, however, Sancassani wants to introduce more contemporary jazz acts to the festival roster. To this end, Sancassani entered into a partnership this year with saxophonist Marco Pignataro and woodwind player Matt Marvuglio of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI), who will be curating the festival with Sancassani going forward. The first question that the curator of a Latin jazz festival must answer is one of basic identity: is the festival’s goal to

promote Latin American musicians on the global stage

or to bring big jazz names to the Latin American stage?

Either way, designing a program that strikes the right balance between local and international musical

(CONTINUED ON PAGE 55)

WE JAZZ fiNLAND

by stuart broomer

TANJA AHLSTéN
TANJA AHLSTéN

H elsinki’s We Jazz launched in December 2013 as a novel approach to the traditional jazz festival, emphasizing unusual venues and sometimes-novel approaches to the music itself. The event’s artistic director, DJ Matti Nives, stresses that it’s a kind of environment, a happening, even a utopia: in its brief history, it has defined a format for itself that works in the special terrain of the Finnish capital as winter approaches. The days are cold and short and it’s often raining, but We Jazz goes against the grain to stress movement, seeking out some of the city’s unusual places. It’s a novel idea—using jazz to discover the city and the city to discover jazz. It began in an ancient concert hall and ended in a rock palace, along the way presenting concerts on a moving tram and in a small apartment. As it has in previous years, We Jazz (Dec. 7th-13th) launched at the Aleksanterin Theater. Opened in 1880, it’s an insistent visit to the past, a tribute to Saint Petersburg that looks Austrian, as visually rich as a Viennese layer cake but with its gold-painted plaster rosettes showing signs of wear and some bulbs out in the chandeliers. Its history extends from Russian rule to a post-WWI home for the National Opera and Ballet. As in previous years, the first night included a visiting headliner (this time pianist Vijay Iyer’s trio with bassist Stephan Crump and drummer Tyshawn Sorey, whose gunshot bass drum added a special contemporary touch) and an ambitious local project, drummer Teppo Mäkynen’s Teddy’s West Coasters. The latter octet includes many of the city’s most notable musicians, among them trumpeter Jukka Eskola and saxophonist Jukka Perko, but what’s remarkable is the style: a loving homage to the cool jazz of ‘50s California, creating airy, shifting textures from an ensemble that includes tuba, baritone saxophone, clarinet and flugelhorns playing music largely composed by Mäkynen and arranged by Jussi Lampela. A driving arrangement of Harold Arlen’s “Out of this World” summoned up memories of the John Coltrane recording. It became an apt feature for Eskola’s cascading trumpet lines. A few nights later, Lampela conducted his score to Before the Face of the Sea, a full-length supernatural melodrama from 1926, which is a significant early entry in Finnish cinema history. Lampela gave a moody resonance to the film with a starkly dissonant score for winds and accordion, using some of the same musicians (reed player Ville Vannemaa and tuba player Miika Jämsä) who had worked their way through the sunnier California visions of Teddy’s West Coasters. The score featured trumpeter Verneri Pohjola as soloist, bringing both depth and facility to the role. Pohjola possesses

(CONTINUED ON PAGE 55)

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CD REViEWS Solo Trombone Recor d George Lewis (Sackville-Delmark) The Loneliness of the Long Distance

CD REViEWS

CD REViEWS Solo Trombone Recor d George Lewis (Sackville-Delmark) The Loneliness of the Long Distance Improviser
CD REViEWS Solo Trombone Recor d George Lewis (Sackville-Delmark) The Loneliness of the Long Distance Improviser

Solo Trombone Record George Lewis (Sackville-Delmark) The Loneliness of the Long Distance Improviser Steve Swell (s/r) Axiom Andreas Schickentanz (Jazzhaus Musik) by Fred Bouchard

Trombones strike us as singularly festive and traditional celebrants during the holiday season. Bright bell-like brass horns have heralded grand occasions in forms largely unchanged for many centuries. In the realm of performance art, trombonists present lots of visual action. That said, these three niche products fall under the rubric of remarkable feats of technical accomplishment and were undertaken as projects whose raison d’être might be answered ‘because they can.’ Primarily brass geeks, diligent students, curious and respectful compatriots and discographical completists will play and study them. At 24 in 1976, George Lewis exercised his musical genius and conceptual originality with Solo Trombone Record, waxed under the auspices of clarinet guru Bill Smith in Toronto. Lewis’ in-your-face confabulations on thrice-overdubbed “Toneburst” encourage pleasurable aural free-association: after the opening of shooting stars whizzing across a clear night sky comes aural images of frogs pondside, swooning doves, clucking chickens, marching band tuning up, medieval chorale and West Coast cool brass reunion. “Phenomenology” breathlessly blows eight minutes of straight-eighths, endlessly fertile, funny, frenetic. “Dream Sequence” roams free and fantastic hornscapes. Lewis’ reading of Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life” is no cantabile romantico, rather punchy planned spatterings in a mechanical étude, devoid of emotional impact. Here’s a relevant quote from a Lewis essay: “My practice as an improvising musician has taught me that although all art must involve improvisation, improvisation itself moves beyond the purview of both art and craft.” He elsewhere remarked that though playing pieces from the recording seemed to help his students, he soon after “stopped doing solo trombone pieces… I haven’t revisited the form since and most likely never will.” Nonetheless Lewis’ utter horn mastery and musicianship prove a tough act to follow among this trilogy. A 40-year veteran of the New York scene, Steve Swell’s recent collaborations include Ken Vandermark, Dave Burrell, Jemeel Moondoc and Frode Gjerstad. On The Loneliness of the Long Distance Improviser, Swell, 61, avails himself of no toys or extraneous effects one can detect—just raw horn over 15 arbitrary, endlessly variegated cuts. Honesty trumps artistry: the spate of lurching ideas he pours forth, unvarnished and unedited, runs thin and thick. Swell’s brass catalog runs towards the random, discontinuous, pungent, unprettied, sometimes funny. His drolly pointed Harmon-muted dedication to Kenneth Patchen captures wisps of that poet’s cosmic cantankerousness. “Keep Your Head Low” spouts outraged staccato mutterings; “Cogitation” could well accompany a lively animated cartoon. Informal structures gain momentum towards the end: “Tongue Memory” hollers over a staccato bass pattern, then “Blue Spirit” recalibrates it with Dicky Wells and Roswell Rudd shout-outs. Andreas Schickentanz’ Axiom shows the 52-year- old Dortmunder to be an old-school melodist who has mastered lots of technical toys. Despite the electronic gadgetry and innovations at his command, discernible meter, melody and harmony are primary considerations. Let’s review but a few of his dozen tracks, many wittily titled in German. An initial buzzsaw-meets-metal-

chimes yields to multiphonic triads, taut but sliding into fuzz-bomb static. Avant-bop improv with free- mixed subtones, multiphonics, New Orleans blues cries, speed-demon arpeggiations. Gothic apse-echoed chorale turns romantic balladic ramble. Leisurely ‘medium swing’ trio of overdubs in three voices, open and Harmon-muted, slips into a fuzzy dreamscape of tight one-man section work accomplished with Harmonizer and queasy pitch-sliding. Just when Schickentanz seems to go fussy and academic (the title track), he leans louche and jokey with echoing Harmon mutes on “Hundetraum”—dog dreams indeed!

Ultimately, the set goes soothing, spacy and cinematic,

as effects like flutter-tongue filigree take a swoon dive

and final triad loops fade into taped schoolyard chatter.

For more information, visit delmark.com, steveswell.com and jazzhausmusik.de. George Lewis is at The Stone Jan. 2nd. Steve Swell is at The Stone Jan. 1st and 9th and Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center Jan. 7th. See Calendar.

Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center Jan. 7th. See Calendar. Double Arc Resonance Ensemble (Not Two) Before
Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center Jan. 7th. See Calendar. Double Arc Resonance Ensemble (Not Two) Before

Double Arc Resonance Ensemble (Not Two) Before The Code Made to Break (Trost) by John Sharpe

Chicago-based reed player Ken Vandermark maintains

a bewildering roster of projects. They embrace a

mixture of improv aggregations, one-off collaborations and vehicles for his invigorating composition. In this last arena he has lately been investigating a modular compositional process, which allows his parts to emerge from the group interaction in new and unfamiliar ways both on the large and small scale. In its relative longevity his Resonance Ensemble has outlasted many of its large-scale precursors, which were by economic necessity short-lived adventures. That’s all the more remarkable when you factor in the multi-national character of the outfit, comprising players from five countries in this incarnation. Double Arc captures the culmination of the Ensemble’s five- day residency during the 2013 Krakow Jazz Autumn, consisting of two versions of the titular piece built around Austrian laptop artist Christof Kurzmann. The familiar Vandermark strengths remain on view in stimulating charts containing forceful themes, ensemble counterpoint, varied settings for soloists and sequences of small-group communion. There’s a wide range of dynamics from full orchestra to near silence, but generally so much happens given the cinematic sweep of the writing that description is a thankless task. It’s possible to pick out some recurring figures, such as the jaunty staccato in “Arc One: section G”, which reappears in “Arc Two: section C”, to gain an insight into Vandermark’s construction methods. Kurzmann uses lloopp software designed to facilitate live improvising. “Arc One: section E” presents not only one of the most exciting sequences, but also fully incorporates Kurzmann’s snaking swirling line, which blurs the sonic signature of saxophone and guitar and duels with saxophone and drums. But that doesn’t mean that the rest of the allstar cast (bassist Mark Tokar, trumpeter Magnus Broo, tuba player Per- Å ke Holmlander, trombonist Steve Swell, drummers Tim Daisy, Michael zerang and reed players Dave Rempis, Mikołaj Trzaska and Wacław zimpel) don’t get to strut their stuff. “Arc Two: section D” notably features blistering interplay between Swell and Broo. Kurzmann also plays an integral role in

Vandermark’s Made To Break. Before The Code

constitutes their fourth and most accomplished outing

to date. It’s a band that stretches the boundaries, where

electronics and post-punk riffs vie with improv and skronk. Newly joined Dutch electric bassist Jasper Stadhouders (notably of power trio Cactus Truck) proves a strong addition, imparting a heavy visceral energy to the hard-driving sections and a melodic upper register to the more atmospheric passages. On drums Tim Daisy brings a tight execution married to an unruly conception, which finds unpredictable pitches melded into killer rhythms. The combustible vamps would make good accompaniment for the freeway, although Kurzmann’s contributions would have you pull over and book into the garage for a diagnostic examination. He mixes repetitive mechanical noises with insectoid hums, howling winds and what at one point sounds like a hyperspeed accordion. He also indulges in real time manipulation and distorted playback of the leader’s horns, resulting in exhilarating exchanges during the

latter stages of the lengthy “Window Breaking Hammer”. In “Dial the Number”, an explosive start of interlocking motifs suddenly morphs into tappy percussion and slabs of electronic clamor swirling between the speakers. Later in the same cut, Vandermark demonstrates his mastery of the resources

at his disposal, as first Stadhouders and Kurzmann

trade textures before finally he takes up his clarinet for

a scratchy keening duet with Daisy’s tattoo. Both

bands remain essential for anyone interested in the continuing evolution of creative music.

For more information, visit nottwo.com and trost.at. Vandermark is at The Stone Jan. 3rd and 5th-10th, including Made to Break Jan. 10th. See Calendar.

R

• Juhani Aaltonen/Iro Haarla— Kirkastus (TUM)

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• Autres Voix De Piano (Patrick Defossez/ Anne-Gabriel Debaecker/Daniel Erdmann/

c

o

m

Benny Sluchin)—Quatre = Onze ==(7) (Neos)

• Kaja Draksler/Susana Santos Silva— This Love (Clean Feed)

• Jessica Jones Quartet—Moxie (New Artists)

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• Mundell Lowe/Lloyd Wells/Jim Ferguson— Poor Butterfly (Two Helpins’ o’ Collards)

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• Aruán Ortiz Trio—Hidden Voices (Intakt)

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d

e

• Oscar Pettiford & Friends— Blues in My Mind (Sonorama)

• Valery Ponomarev Jazz Big Band

(with Benny Golson)— Our Father Who Art Blakey (ZOHO)

• Dave Scott—Brooklyn Aura (SteepleChase)

Torbjörn Zetterberg & Den Stora Frågan— Om Liv & Dod (Moserobie) Laurence Donohue-Greene, Managing Editor

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n

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• B.O.A.T. (The Bureau of Atomic Tourism)— Hapax Legeomena (Rat )

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• Michiel Braam/Bo Van De Graaf— Olanda in Due (Live at Novarajazz Italy 2015) (Icdisc)

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• Stanley Cowell—Juneteenth (Piano Solo) (Vision Fugitive)

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• Free Jazz Group Wiesbaden— Frictions/Frictions Now (NoBusiness)

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• Hashima—Tideland (s/r)

• Guus Janssen—Meeting Points (Bimhuis)

• Jessica Jones Quartet—Moxie (New Artists)

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• Megalodon Collective— Megalodon (Gigafon)

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• Adam Rudolph/GO: Organic Guitar Orchestra—Turning Towards The Light (Cuneiform)

Spinifex—Maximus (TryTone) Andrey Henkin, Editorial Director

e

s

A Little Off The Top Giovanni Di Domenico/Peter Jacquemyn/ Chris Corsano (NoBusiness) This Is Our
A Little Off The Top Giovanni Di Domenico/Peter Jacquemyn/ Chris Corsano (NoBusiness) This Is Our

A Little Off The Top Giovanni Di Domenico/Peter Jacquemyn/ Chris Corsano (NoBusiness) This Is Our Language Rodrigo Amado (Not Two) by Ken Waxman

Drummer Chris Corsano converted to free music after witnessing performances by Cecil Taylor and William Parker and brings the same animation and restraint to these discs as he has used with Evan Parker, Paul Flaherty and Akira Sakata. Without compromising his style, he’s crafty enough to forge a different strategy for each CD. Italian pianist Giovanni di Domenico is a player to whom Corsano can easily relate. Like a fundamentalist preacher’s sermons, his playing makes no space for hesitation or fragility. Nearly every note on A Little Off The Top is splashed out with a power-lifter’s determination, textures clashing together like Mahjong tiles and glissandi hammered into ferocious blurs. His playing isn’t without humor though. On the extended “Golondrina” hints of boogie-woogie and balladic pacing sneak in, then vanish, like insect chirps before a storm. Belgian bassist Peter Jacquemyn is no musical milksop either. Adept at col legno and other extended string techniques, his speed-of-light string slashes, bumps and shakes often join inner-piano-string plucks to create pulsating rhythmic drones. Faced with bulky tone-propelling from his partners, Corsano takes the

bulky tone-propelling from his partners, Corsano takes the opposite approach. His response is to sweep and

opposite approach. His response is to sweep and pat corrosive accents from his knit, working these gestures into a constantly flowing course of downplayed but swinging pressure points. The paramount instance of this is “Tibutòn”. With Corsano breaking up the time alongside Jacquemyn’s rich viola-de-gamba-like tone,

di Domenico jabs staccato sounds into the continuum

like flies landing on, but not sticking to, flypaper. This Is Our Language is a high-energy sound eruption with Corsano, Portuguese tenor saxophonist Rodrigo Amado, Joe McPhee on pocket trumpet and alto saxophone and bassist Kent Kessler. The four press ahead with ferocity that makes the above album seem like a chamber trio. But there’s also discipline beside the ferocity. Corsano’s deliberate polyrhythms and Kessler’s propulsive thumps aren’t even heard until the second track. Before that McPhee and Amado use their saxophones to tease out the undulating theme as

if slowly unrolling a carpet. The former’s idiosyncratic style has developed over the years, but there are points

of congruence with the latter’s technique. Although

more mellow in execution, as demonstrated on the

introductory “The Primal Word”, Amado is a pointillist, building up his solos in bites and slices until it jells into a gratifying whole. Perhaps because his initial instrument was trumpet, McPhee relies more on quick tonguing and repeated vibrations. Corsano’s aptitude

is given its showcase on “Ritual Evolution”: as the

horn players splatter tones, he underscores the color scheme with rumbles from hands and brushes so as not

to upset the scene. Later, as Kessler holds onto the beat,

the drummer splashes out a tapestry of constantly undulating polyrhythms alongside him.

For more information, visit nobusinessrecords.com and nottwo.com. Corsano is at The Stone Jan. 5th and JACK Jan. 6th. See Calendar.

is at The Stone Jan. 5th and JACK Jan. 6th. See Calendar. Skullduggery Universal Indians w/Joe

Skullduggery Universal Indians w/Joe McPhee (Clean Feed) by Stuart Broomer

Universal Indians is an Amsterdam-based trio of American-born tenor saxophonist John Dikeman and

Norwegian bassist Jon Rune Strøm and drummer Tollef Østvang. If the name raises question marks, even

a cursory listen will suggest Albert Ayler’s 1967

composition from Love Cry! Dikeman’s allegiance to Ayler is a strong one, his playing often marked by vocal extremes, but he has his own resources as well,

sometimes creating continuous multiphonics, which include lines resembling throat singing. Dikeman is in ideal company with Joe McPhee. Already 74 when this concert was recorded at the zuiderperhuis in Antwerp

in

2014, McPhee is a direct link to the musical ferment

of

the ‘60s and his work, whether on pocket trumpet or

saxophone, testifies to its power and ongoing relevance. The improvisations sometimes generate firestorms

of sound, at others slip into subtle sonic play and

pointed conversation. Sheer force comes to the fore in the intense wailing on the extended “Yeah and?” and

the title track, which moves from energy music to blues

to a Dikeman jeremiad standing as a benchmark for

how much emotion can be forced out of a saxophone. There’s an empathy between Dikeman and McPhee that sometimes has them exchanging identities—the former’s ferocity, the latter’s elegance—whether the

moment is characterized by heat or light. The quartet’s greatest strength is that it plays

genuinely four-way music, with Strøm and Østvang rarely far from a listener’s immediate attention. Strøm is frequently prominent, whether conversing with rapid trumpet sonics, bowing with reed-like fluency or plucking with a force that has the strings slapping against the fingerboard. For his part, Østvang is equally at home providing sympathetic accents to a dialogue or propelling the music forward, all the way to the unison riffing and walking bass that suddenly emerge to conclude the final “Wanted”.

For more information, visit cleanfeed-records.com. Joe McPhee is at The Stone Jan. 6th and Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center Jan. 14th. See Calendar.

UNEARTHED

GEM

UNEARTHED GEM An Evening Wit h Joe Albany (SteepleChase) by Mark Keresman T he life of

An Evening With Joe Albany (SteepleChase) by Mark Keresman

The life of Joe Albany (born 92 years and died 28 years ago this month) has parallels with other legendary—and tragic—jazz pianists. Albany was a tremendous player, respected by Charlie Parker and Lester Young, both with whom he’d worked. Albany spent much of his life battling heroin addiction and that and prison time interfered with his career. In 2014, the movie Low Down, based upon a memoir by his daughter Amy-Jo, was released. Yet Albany had great triumphs amid the tragedies and one of them was the night of performances that eventually became the album An Evening With Joe Albany. The first volume’s liner notes mention it was recorded at the Jazzhus Montmartre in Copenhagen, May 1973, but there is no audience sound. Like Art Tatum, a major influence, Albany flourished in solo rather than group contexts; also like Tatum, Albany had an ornate style that could be breathtaking. Evening… is Albany unaccompanied on a program of standards. A medley of Vernon Duke tunes, “Autumn in New York/April in Paris/I Can’t Get Started”, immerses the listener into Albany’s sonic world. He respects the melodies, injecting many rich flourishes along with his mercurial improvisations. Albany’s sense of swing is more than a bit old- school, jaunty rather than driving, favoring elegance over breakneck tempos. Albany does “All the Things You Are” wonderfully, making you feel as if you’re in someone’s living room, then jolts you into a jazz bistro after midnight by playing some gracefully percussive notes. With “As Time Goes By”, Albany takes you from Humphrey Bogart’s Casablanca to his very own, affectionate deconstruction of the melody, teasing the ear with shards of the song, his little asides hinting to intrigues as yet unrevealed. The Gershwins’ “Our Love is Here to Stay” begins almost serenely, then Albany shows that love can be equal parts reverence, reverie and high-wire balancing act, the latter displayed by his knotty, witty improvisations, yet never losing the song’s innate sweetness. Ellington medley “In A Sentimental Mood/Prelude to A Kiss/In My Solitude” is essayed with such a rhapsodic intensity it can only be described as ravishing.

For more information, visit steeplechase.dk

GLOBE UN i TY:SERB i A Polar Szilárd Mezei Septet (Not Two) Ornaments Vladan (s/r)

GLOBE

UN i TY:SERB i A

GLOBE UN i TY:SERB i A Polar Szilárd Mezei Septet (Not Two) Ornaments Vladan (s/r) Tideland
GLOBE UN i TY:SERB i A Polar Szilárd Mezei Septet (Not Two) Ornaments Vladan (s/r) Tideland
GLOBE UN i TY:SERB i A Polar Szilárd Mezei Septet (Not Two) Ornaments Vladan (s/r) Tideland

Polar Szilárd Mezei Septet (Not Two) Ornaments Vladan (s/r) Tideland Hashima (s/r) by Tom Greenland

In the heart of southern Europe’s Balkan Peninsula, a flashpoint for political and cultural unrest, Serbia has embraced jazz through its festivals, clubs and talented young musicians. Polar captures violist Szilárd Mezei’s septet live at the Kanjiža Jazz Festival, with flutist Andrea Berendika, reed player Bogdan Ranković, trombonist Branislav Aksin, pianist Máté Pozsár, bassist Ernő Hock and drummer István Csík. Blending contemporary classical approaches with jazz improvisation and folk music, Mezei’s pieces are complex and multi-layered, yet with an underlying buoyancy and simplicity, as on the mischievous title track, which features Ranković’s stuttering bass clarinet; the swinging ensemble figures of “Hep 25”; or latter half of “Wandering – By Then”, where the puckish viola playing suggests Roma ebullience. “Hep 22” and “So No” also have attractive lines, with

a lightness at odds with the more abstract moments

of “98%”, opening of “Hep 25” and elsewhere. Some

of the sonic detail (particularly in the bass and drums)

is muted in the recorded mix, but the interactivity is

intense and overall effect highly successful. Like Mezei, Vladan synthesizes classical, jazz and folk musics; Ornaments, his solo piano debut, is an expansive portrait of his unique style. The opening notes of the rhapsodic title track evoke the romanticism of Chopin, delivered with a gracefully loose but precise touch, accompanied by distinctive figurations that reveal his heritage of Serbian and Romani folk music, heard in the melodramatic ‘tugs’ and quick flourishes decorating his melodic lines. “Rock and Folk”, “Leoland” and “Homeland” show his facility with percussive diatonic vamps, two hands playing off each other like a conguero, double- time passages erupting over a strong pulse. If the latter track veers towards ‘easy’ listening, “Biljana”, the following track, is comparatively uneasy, even if its impatient atonal opening later develops into an elegant melody. Vladan makes his deepest impressions on the restful “Serbian Leaves” and in his inspired flights over “Improv IV”. Hashima, a Belgrade-based quartet led by guitarist Igor Mišković, is named for the abandoned Japanese island that was once a forced labor camp, now only a concrete graveyard. The cover of Tideland, their debut, features this ghostly prison, towering above a steep seawall, a visual metaphor for the stark but richly laminated music contained within.

Mišković’s archtop electric guitar, filtered through

deep reverb and wet, washy signal processing, creates

a distinctive sonic thumbprint; his unusual chords

are ambiguous yet richly suggestive, tremolo strumming more textural than declarative. Tenor saxophonist Srđan Mijalković adds more familiar jazz elements while bassist Vanja Todorović and drummer Aleksandar Hristić bring a harder edge to the sound. Among many compelling moments, “Muted” stands out for its interactivity and angular lyricism.

For more information, visit nottwo.com, vladan.com and thehashima.com

information, visit nottwo.com, vladan.com and thehashima.com A Room Forever Aaron Irwin Quartet (s/r) by Donald Elfman

A Room Forever Aaron Irwin Quartet (s/r) by Donald Elfman

Clarinetist Aaron Irwin has recorded a stunningly beautiful collection of tunes inspired by and reflecting upon the stories of short-lived West Virginia writer Breece D’ J Pancake. With a band of Matthew McDonald (trombone), Pete McCann (guitar) and Thomson Kneeland (bass), Irwin has created a work of gorgeous delicacy, large in scope yet intimate, adventurous but straightforward melodically and harmonically. The opening title track is haunting, McCann playing the melody solo, soon joined by Irwin. With ghostly punctuation from McDonald and Kneeland, the piece becomes a brief hymn to loneliness. “In the Dry” has a swinging lilt, led by Kneeland’s powerful and direct bassline, the horns playing a heartbreakingly bittersweet chant, followed by McCann and Irwin improvising deliriously over the pulsating rhythm. Fluttering clarinet propels the melody stated by trombone on “The Salvation of Me”. McDonald weaves his way beautifully with bass and guitar giving persuasive foundation. The two stringed instruments solo, briefly and emphatically, without ever overstating their cases. Turn to any piece and you will find a constancy of purpose, which also allows for true distinctiveness. And Irwin and his cohorts truly understand space—in “The First Day of Winter”, the day and the season seem to emerge out of a vast landscape, the players filling in the painting with individual brushstrokes. This is a session where the musicians have listened deeply to each other and play in a way suggesting all have had a part in the project’s evolution. Each piece is nuanced and individual but also a part of the overall world of the stories.

For more information, visit aaronirwin.com. This project is at St. John’s Lutheran Church Jan. 9th. See Calendar.

is at St. John’s Lutheran Church Jan. 9th. See Calendar. Time River Miho Hazama (Sunnyside) by

Time River Miho Hazama (Sunnyside) by Mark Keresman

At risk of hyperbole, Tokyo-born, NYC-based pianist Miho Hazama may be an heir to Gil Evans and shoulder-to-shoulder with contemporaries Maria Schneider and Carla Bley. Like them, Hazama uses a big band as her palette: she is influenced by classical music like Evans; coaxes vividly beautiful textures from her band like Schneider; and is stylistically quirky (without being arch) like Bley. The program commences with “The Urban Legend”—amid gently clattering percussion, a Latin- hinted melody swoops in, enriched by a small bank of strings and a wiry counter-melody. Pianist Alex Brown then takes a spare, punchy but lyrical solo until the horns engage in a bit of Phillip Glass-style repetition before a (recurring) cinematic passage swells, and vibraphonist James Shipp and drummer Jake Goldbas

pick up on the minimalist motif. It might seem like a bunch of seemingly incongruous elements all mashed together, but Hazama’s expertise makes it flow. “Under the Same Moon” begins with unaccompanied accordion by Gil Goldstein, soft and ever-so-slightly discordant. Soon the orchestra gently billows like a fog bank rolling in at dusk, gradually building to a gorgeous ‘50s swing melody. Accordion returns to take the lead, much as a crooner fronting a big band, followed by a soaring soprano saxophone solo from Ryoji Ihara, punctuated by the orchestra, until the urbane theme returns. It ends as it begins, accordion and strings providing a gracious and enigmatic denouement. Closer “Magdelena” is the only non-original here, composed/performed by progressive rock band A Perfect Circle. Structured somewhere between a march and a dirge, the piece is driven by a massive, apocalyptic theme that virtually pummels the listener. There’s a rollicking, hard-swinging Andrew Gutasauskas baritone saxophone solo over the seething orchestra, before wry motifs and sinuous, classical- sounding strings trading off and a massed saxophone chorus where the phrasing distorts in a manner not unlike an electric guitar. Then, as a storm can, it ends as suddenly as it began. There’s plenty of hot musicianship herein, but no showboating. Hazama’s compositions are about the stories they tell and one can feel she writes for the strengths of the musicians in her orbit, a big part of her establishing such an outstanding style. Time River is much like its cover art—a slightly noir-ish, beautiful mini-portrait of the leader.

For more information, visit sunnysiderecords.com. Hazama is at Symphony Space Leonard Nimoy Thalia Jan. 10th with New York Jazzharmonic. See Calendar.

papo vazquez mighty pirates Troubadours Papo Vázquez – Trombone / Willie Williams – Tenor Sax
papo vazquez
mighty pirates Troubadours
Papo Vázquez – Trombone / Willie Williams – Tenor Sax
Rick Germanson – Piano / Dezron Douglas – Bass
Alvester Garnett – Drums / Anthony Carrillo – Percussion
Carlitos Maldonado – Percussion / Gabriel Lugo – Percussion
Special Invited Pirates
Sherman Irby - Alto Sax, Flute / Orlando “Maraca” Valle - Flute
Victor Jones - Drums / Pete Nater - Trumpet
Roberto Quintero - Tambores Culo de Puya, Maracas
Piaroa Chaman, Rufino Po’nare - Canto de Cascada
Deep in the world of the
invisible, each of us and all of
us are animated by a
mysterious characteristic
known as spirit.
They are spirit warriors
wielding insight,
imagination and ingenuity
with an undying
integrity to enrich us with
art crafted for the ages. They
never, ever leave
the battlefield.
That is Papo.
—Wynton Marsalis
BEST OF 2015
THE NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD
BEST OF 2015
BEST LATIN RELEASES
papovazquez.com
From a spark lit by the NY free jazz fire of the 1960s to Havana
From a spark lit
by the NY free jazz
fire of the 1960s
to Havana in
the last days of
the embargo
BOBBY KAPP
Bobby Kapp began as a
pioneer in the ‘60s Free Jazz
movement in NYC. In the summer
of 2014 he revisited the style in
“Themes 4 Transmutation.”
The musicians for the session
were given only single concepts
to improvise from, leading to
creativity without borders.
Two months later, along with Cuban
pianist Gabriel Hernandez, Kapp
recorded “Cilla Sin Embargo”,
days before the embargo was lifted.
Kapp did the vocals while
Hernandez assembled a group
of Cuba’s top jazz musicians.
Dedicated to a love lost to illness,
it is jazz with a bi-cultural soul.
THE NEW YORK CITY
JAZZ RECORD
BEST OF 2015
With: Matt Shipp piano
Tyler Mitchell bass
Ras Moshe tenor/soprano sax/flute
Check out a video clip at:
BEST DEBUT RELEASES
http://youtu.be/_kZsUghyQbA
available at
bobbykappjazz.com
Rez Abbasi DownBeat’s Top-Ten Guitarists - 2015 Critics Poll THE NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD
Rez Abbasi
DownBeat’s Top-Ten Guitarists - 2015 Critics Poll
THE NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD
2015 Best New Releases
Intents & Purposes (enja)
Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet (RAAQ)
with Bill Ware-vibraphone/
Stephan Crump-bass/Eric McPherson-drums
“Abbasi’s compositions are slippery
but engaging, and he’s judicious with
his impressively fluent technique.”
- New York Times
“In his hands, the globe’s music feels
relentlessly new and progressive.”
- Los Angeles Times
Upcoming NYC Performances:
·Rez Abbasi’s Junction at WinterJazzFest:
Saturday, January 16 - 10:40pm
The New School Glass Box Theater
w/Mark Shim-tenor sax & midi windcontroller/
Ben Stivers-keyboards/Kenny Grohowski-drums
·Rez Abbasi’s Invocation at Asia Society:
Saturday, January 23 - 8pm
w/Vijay Iyer-piano/Elizabeth Means-cello/
Rudresh Mahanthappa-alto sax/Dan Weiss-drums/
Johannes Weidenmueller-bass
RezTone.com
Proximity Enrico Pieranunzi (CAM Jazz) 60 Out of Shape Jesper Lundgaard Trio (Storyville) The Music
Proximity Enrico Pieranunzi (CAM Jazz) 60 Out of Shape Jesper Lundgaard Trio (Storyville) The Music
Proximity Enrico Pieranunzi (CAM Jazz) 60 Out of Shape Jesper Lundgaard Trio (Storyville) The Music

Proximity Enrico Pieranunzi (CAM Jazz) 60 Out of Shape Jesper Lundgaard Trio (Storyville) The Music of Enrico Pieranunzi Brussels Jazz Orchestra/Bert Joris/Enrico Pieranunzi (W.E.R.F.) by Ken Dryden

Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi has spent much of his career leading trios with a bassist and drummer. Proximity is a dramatic shift in a new direction, pairing the contrasting voices of trumpeter Ralph Alessi and saxophonist Donny McCaslin with bassist Matt Penman and no drummer. The resulting quartet’s chemistry is quickly apparent as they interpret the pianist’s diverse compositions. “Line For Lee” is an intricate bop line reminiscent of Lee Konitz’ masterful reworking of chord changes into new songs, as the composer and Penman provide stimulating support for whimsical tenor and sassy cornet. The wistful ballad “Sundays” features McCaslin on soprano and Alessi on flugelhorn, alternating in a conversation growing more emotional with each chorus. “Simul” is an angular waltz where Pieranunzi adds a Monk-like descending line, evolving into a whirlwind duet by the pianist and trumpeter. A portion of the title track detours into freeish territory, utilizing a brief theme as a launching pad, then seeing where the group’s improvisations takes it. Hopefully, this quartet will reassemble for future recordings. Only the CD’s

MIKE NOCK ON FWMRECORds now available on BandCamp BEGINNING and ENd of KNOWING - FWM006
MIKE NOCK ON FWMRECORds
now available on BandCamp
BEGINNING and ENd of KNOWING - FWM006
Mike Nock / Laurence Pike - duo improvisations
recorded Rainbow studios, Oslo
TWO-OUT - FWM005 -
Mike Nock / Roger Manins - duo playing standards
HONORABLE MENTION - NEW RELEAsEs (2015)
THE NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORd
sUITE sIMA - FWM004 -
Mike Nock Octet - Jazz Ensemble of the Year
2015 Australian Bell Awards
KINdREd - FWM003 -
Mike Nock / Laurenz Pike - duo improvisations
HEAR and KNOW - FWM002 -
Mike Nock Trio-Plus ( 5 stars - The Australian, 2012)
An ACCUMULATION of sUBTLETIEs - FWM001 -
Mike Nock Trio ( 2 Cd set ) -
Best Australian Contemporary Jazz Album
2011 Bell Awards
FOR MORE INFORMATION vI sIT MIKENOCK. COM

47-minute length is disappointing, leaving the listener wanting more. Pieranunzi is found in a supporting role for the live CD 60 Out of Shape, recorded on Danish bassist Jesper Lundgaard’s 60th birthday at Jazzhus Montmartre in Copenhagen. Pieranunzi is, of course, prominent, as is veteran Danish drummer Alex Riel, who began appearing at the original club back in its early days. The venue’s intimacy, with its maximum seating of 75 attentive audience members, inspired these explorations of familiar standards and jazz gems. One of the joys of hearing top-caliber musicians is their ability to find fresh, often surprising approaches to such well-known songs. “Autumn Leaves” is a bit tentative and mysterious at first, with Pieranunzi’s glistening introduction leading into a powerful bop setting negotiating the periphery of the theme. The band doesn’t settle for Dizzy Gillespie’s famous B-flat introduction to “All The Things You Are”, opting instead for a constantly shifting aural kaleidoscope, with Lundgaard’s masterful solo as its centerpiece. Pieranunzi uses waves of sound and a samba undercurrent to change the texture of “My Funny Valentine”, waiting until well into the performance to reveal its melody. Only “Oleo” follows anything close to a traditional arrangement, though Pieranunzi’s explosive attack, along with aggressive arco bass, helps unveil new sinews in this old warhorse. Pieranunzi is also a prolific composer, though his music has been infrequently performed by large ensembles. Frank Vaganée, Director of the Brussels Jazz Orchestra, corrected this oversight by recruiting the pianist and trumpeter Bert Joris as guests for two concerts, both of which were recorded. With Joris contributing the arrangements and trumpet solos, Pieranunzi’s music benefits from the larger canvas and its many colors. While the focus is often on the pianist, Joris and the rhythm section of bassist Jos Machtel and drummer Toni Vitacolonna, the orchestra is a major force when present, with a few excellent (though unidentified) soloists. Joris’ creative use of reeds and brass in the elegant “Fellini’s Waltz” gives the soloists strong support. The darting horns and reeds in “Newsbreak” bring to mind the hectic nature of the old newsrooms shown in films while Pieranunzi’s intense improvisation fast-forwards the piece to the modern world. The gorgeous ballad “Distance From Departure” provides Pieranunzi with an opportunity to show off his considerable chops, with orchestra providing a pulsating backdrop for Joris’ equally striking solo.

For

storyvillerecords.com and dewerf.be. Pieranunzi is at Village Vanguard Jan. 12th-17th. See Calendar.

camjazz.com,

more

information,

visit

See Calendar. camjazz.com, more information, visit Dancing on the Inside Whirlpool (with Ron Miles)

Dancing on the Inside Whirlpool (with Ron Miles) (ears&eyes) by Ken Micallef

Who says New York City is the center of the jazz universe? Denver (by way of Indianapolis) native and cornet player Ron Miles has been a significant jazz inspiration to many for years, endowing such now- popular players as drummers Rudy Royston and fellow cornet player Kirk Knuffke with guidance, motivation and a swift kick in their modus operandi. His many records include 1999’s Ron Miles Trio, 2013’s Circuit Rider and the current Dancing on the Inside by the band Whirlpool, as hip as any Williamsburg

group of hirsute musicians and vastly more entertaining. Whirlpool is a surprisingly mature collective, each member but guest Miles contributing material. In that way Miles goes beyond mentor to benefactor, the assembled musicians—alto saxophonist/vocalist Caroline Davis, guitarist Jeff Swanson and drummer Charles Rumback—performing with subtlety and power in a handful of evocative compositions. Well- oiled and simpatico, this quartet travels a unique musical path. With many of their compositions of the through-composed variety, Whirlpool is thoughtful in execution and measured in delivery. Miles’ pungent tone and swift delivery glue the performances together, his mature talent at both allowing the band great freedom while invisibly nudging them forward part of his silent yet provocative skill-set. The slow-mo wailing tones and melody of “All Of Your Secrets” has something of a Klezmer feeling to its compact structure. Conversely, “The Crew” swings like an outtake from one of Shelly Manne’s At the Blackhawk dates, Rumback kicking it off with explosive brush swipes and assaults, followed by the frontline’s hardbop unison delivery, which changes mood when joined by Swanson’s flowing chordal work. A beatnik- worthy blowout. Rumback’s ride-cymbal pulse is especially delicious here, a shimmering saucer full of swing. Then Whirlpool tilts the boat, with Davis lending her soulful, pretty vocals to the dissonant dancing samba “Right Where”. Album closer “Ridges” ends too soon, Whirlpool rumbling in an Ennio Morricone-tinged rubato intro, then gliding through a hovering, heaving pulse as arid as the big Denver sky.

For more information, visit earsandeyesrecords.com. Miles is at Jazz Standard Jan. 12th-17th. See Calendar.

What’s New: Reimagining Benny Goodman Oran Etkin (Motéma Music) by Joel Roberts C larinetist Oran

What’s New: Reimagining Benny Goodman Oran Etkin (Motéma Music) by Joel Roberts

Clarinetist Oran Etkin’s previous albums have tilted towards world music but for his latest release, he heads in a much different direction, looking back to the music of the King of Swing, Benny Goodman. His ties to Goodman run deep. Etkin came to the U.S. from Israel at four and one can hear touches of Yiddish and Eastern European melodies in his playing, much like Goodman, also the son of Jewish immigrants. Both men were also impacted at an early age by Louis Armstrong, whose influence Etkin (who says he first heard Armstrong when he was nine and then listened to nothing else for the next five years) calls life-changing. Etkin, however, is no mere revivalist. He’s not interested in recreating Goodman’s signature swing sound, but rather in reimagining it in his own way. He takes familiar Swing Era standards like “King Porter Stomp”, “Where or When” and “Sing, Sing, Sing” and gives them a decidedly personal twist, even delving into near-Ornette Coleman territory on a raucous reading of “Dinah”. A handful of original compositions also pay tribute to Goodman, including “Be Good Lady”, based on Goodman’s introduction to “Lady Be Good”, and soulful “When Every Voice Shall Sing”,

inspired by James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and written in recognition of Goodman’s important role in the fight against segregation. Etkin has assembled a superb quartet (marvelous young stride pianist Sullivan Fortner, vibraphonist Steve Nelson and drummer Matt Wilson) following the instrumentation of Goodman’s classic ‘30s group (Teddy Wilson, Lionel Hampton and Gene Krupa), famed for its furious brand of swing, as well as one of the first popular jazz bands to break the color barrier. Singer Charenée Wade is also heard to fine effect on a fiery romp through “Why Don’t You Do Right” and sultry stroll through “After You’ve Gone”. It may be eight decades since the Swing Era, but Etkin shows that there’s still something new and exciting to be said about the music of Benny Goodman.

For more information, visit motema.com. This project is at Birdland Jan. 14th. See Calendar.

This project is at Birdland Jan. 14th. See Calendar. Accortet Michael Bisio (Relative Pitch) by Phil

Accortet Michael Bisio (Relative Pitch) by Phil Freeman

Bassist Michael Bisio has been operating at the fringes of the jazz and improvised music scene for years, first from his base in Washington State and now from the

New York area, often as a collaborator with pianist Matthew Shipp. Accortet is his first album in quite a while as a leader and the lineup features a surprising choice of instrumentation: Kirk Knuffke on cornet, Art Bailey on accordion and Michael Wimberly on drums. The tone of the album is set immediately, with its opening track “AM”. Bisio’s playing is much more groove-oriented than it has ever been with Shipp; he sets up a throbbing pulse atop which Knuffke’s rich, full lines soar and swoop. The accordion sounds remarkably like a hockey-rink organ when in the background (though Bailey’s solos are quite boppish, an initially odd sound that quickly becomes highly enjoyable). Wimberly has a light, deft touch while moving things forward with insistent vigor. “Henry’s Theme” finds Bisio picking up the bow, the drummer adding evocative booms on the floor tom. Knuffke’s solo starts out melodic and sorrowful, but expands into the realm of extended technique, inserting soft puffs and hisses without ever vanishing into mere sonic exploration at the expense of the larger piece. Hilariously titled “I Want to Do to You What Spring Does to Cherry Trees” is one of the most purely lovely pieces of music in recent memory. Bailey is in full French café mode and Knuffke’s solo is a lyrical wonder. Bisio does little but chug along beside them, as Wimberly maintains a gentle, brushed rhythm. The quartet splits in half toward the disc’s conclusion:

“Livin’ Large (A&D)” is a wild, free accordion-drums duel while “Livin’ Large (C&B)” is much gentler, cornet and bass dancing around each other rather than crashing head-to-head like battling rams.

For more information, visit relativepitchrecords.com. Bisio is at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center Jan. 14th and 21st and Dizzy’s Club Jan. 20th with Matthew Shipp. See Calendar.

Dizzy’s Club Jan. 20th with Matthew Shipp. See Calendar. STANLEY BEST OF 2015 THE NEW YORK
STANLEY BEST OF 2015 THE NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD BEST OF 2015 COWELL JuNETEENTh
STANLEY
BEST OF 2015
THE NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD
BEST OF 2015
COWELL
JuNETEENTh (PiANO SOLO)
(ViSiON FugiTiVE)
ALbum OF ThE YEAr
For performances,
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Many A New Day: Karrin Allyson Sings Rodgers & Hammerstein Karrin Allyson (Motéma Music) by
Many A New Day: Karrin Allyson Sings Rodgers & Hammerstein Karrin Allyson (Motéma Music) by

Many A New Day: Karrin Allyson Sings Rodgers & Hammerstein Karrin Allyson (Motéma Music) by Andrew Vélez

Way back when, releasing a collection focusing on a single songwriter’s work from the “Golden Age” of the Great American Songbook was a fairly common event. Ella Fitzgerald set a very, very high benchmark with her now classic Songbook series. Sarah Vaughan cut her share of enduring Gershwin and Ellington sessions. Today, however, it seems as if singers no longer come out of a musical culture, one which would enable them to express the great songs credibly. Only the occasional distaff songbird such as Stacey Kent seems able to do it deliciously. And, as is clearly evident on Karrin Allyson Sings Rodgers & Hammerstein, the four-time Grammy nominee knows of what she sings. Beginning with “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” from Oklahoma!, Allyson and her cohorts, NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron (piano) and John Patitucci (upright bass), seem to weave a single new whole out of the songs. Starting with a toy piano sound from Barron and a smile in her voice, Allyson ambles through the opener. Soon they are joined by joyful plunking from Patitucci, Barron cuts loose with some down-home chords and Allyson scats some down

the road. Her ability to scat comes out further with a spin on “Happy Talk”, which culminates with soaring high notes. She is totally believable. When she sings “happy”, her feeling is right there, just as she can express seductiveness when she purrs the chorus to “I Cain’t Say No” while drawing out a final “no” that sounds much more like yes. These artists are remarkably in sync throughout. Patitucci’s simple opening chords and then Barron coming in form the perfect intro to express the loneliness of “Bali Ha’i”. By the time Allyson gets to her alluring, “come to me, come to me”, she has swept us under her spell. “Hello, Young Lovers” from The King and I shakes us awake, beginning with some church bell-like peals from Barron before Allyson slips in and soon they are all whirling off into the joy of this celebratory waltz. It’s sterling, sterling work by all.

For more information, visit motema.com. Allyson is at Birdland Jan. 17th. See Calendar.

motema.com. Allyson is at Birdland Jan. 17th. See Calendar. Nocturnal Lisa Hilton (Ruby Slippers Productions) by

Nocturnal Lisa Hilton (Ruby Slippers Productions) by Marcia Hillman

Pianist Lisa Hilton’s new release is about exploring

“a night of personal emotions” by means of nine of her originals plus Ann Ronell’s “Willow Weep For Me” and cover of The Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind?”. Joining her on this exploration are tenor saxophonist J.D. Allen, trumpeter Terell Stafford, bassist Gregg August and drummer Antonio Sanchez. The feelings Hilton touches upon are anger, confusion, sadness, desire, love and hope, reflected in the titles: “Whirlwind”, “Where Is My Mind”, “Willow Weep For Me”, “Desire”, to mention only some. Her compositions are melodic and flow easily, as does her pianistic style. Hilton has the ability to convey emotions by way of the chord changes she writes as well as with the dynamics of her playing. She shows off her classical background with “Midnight Sonata”, written in three sections for traditional piano trio, following the classic sonata format but including improvisation, blues and other jazz techniques, creating a fresh approach to the form. The musicians joining Hilton make notable contributions. Allen’s warm tenor sound enriches the title track while Stafford’s flowing trumpet style adds much to “Willow Weep For Me”, wherein there is a wonderful musical conversation among Hilton, Allen and Stafford. Sanchez shows off on the Latin-flavored “A Spark In The Night” and on the “Twilight” section of “Midnight Sonata”. August contributes a lyrical bass on the slow, sensual “Seduction”, which also has classic trio instrumentation. This offering should be listened to as a whole, rather than for one track or another. The music is meant to cover one night’s parade of feelings and Lisa Hilton has done a remarkable job of achieving that goal.

For more information, visit lisahiltonmusic.com. Hilton is at Weill Recital Hall Jan. 17th. See Calendar.

Hilton is at Weill Recital Hall Jan. 17th. See Calendar. 20 JANUARY 2016 | THE NEW
Hilton is at Weill Recital Hall Jan. 17th. See Calendar. 20 JANUARY 2016 | THE NEW
January 16 – 18, 2016 @7PM $25PER NIGHT $65SERIES Craig Harris 3 INTIMATE EVENINGS OF
January 16 – 18, 2016 @7PM $25PER NIGHT $65SERIES Craig Harris 3 INTIMATE EVENINGS OF
January 16 – 18, 2016 @7PM $25PER NIGHT $65SERIES
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Bob Stewart – Tuba
Curtis Stewart – Violin
Jerome Harris – Guitar
Randall Haywood – Trumpet
Nick Finzer – Trombone
JAN 18 TH DALEY SMITH ROBINSON TRIO
Joseph Daley – Tuba/Euphonium
Scott Robinson – Reeds
Bob Stewart
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Warren Smith – Percussion
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The Tuba Trio Chronicles Joseph Daley/Warren Smith/Scott Robinson (JoDa Locust Street Music) by George Kanzler

The Tuba Trio Chronicles Joseph Daley/Warren Smith/Scott Robinson (JoDa Locust Street Music) by George Kanzler

This is a fond tribute to the late tenor saxophonist and Loft Scene pioneer (Studio RivBea) Sam Rivers, recreating and expanding on the instrumentation of one of his ‘70s bands, a Tuba Trio that featured Joseph Daley and a drummer. Filling that latter role here is Warren Smith, who played in one of the original Tuba Trios. Smith and multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson, who completes this trio, also contribute to its expanded nature: the former by adding various percussion instruments, including vibraphone and marimbas, various drums such as timpani, plus cymbals and hand percussion, the latter bringing in a variety of wind instruments as well as his Theremins. And Daley, besides playing tuba and euphonium, programs in processed sounds on one track. No attempt is made to recreate the original trio sound, as all but one of the seven tracks here are originals, written and/or spontaneously created by Daley and his fellow musicians. It may sound oxymoronic, but a lot of ‘free’ jazz is too unfocused and devoid of any kind of structure, over-reliant on raw energy. Not so here, where Daley

over-reliant on raw energy. Not so here, where Daley and his cohorts bring internal focus to

and his cohorts bring internal focus to their creations, as well as congruent sonic form. Bookending the album are pieces described as “explorations of Sam Rivers’ concepts”, alternating free improvisation with episodic lines and stricter tempos. They include march rhythms on “Interplay”, pairing euphonium with tenor saxophone, and processional and semi-rubato rhythms on “Proclamation”, featuring tuba and bass saxophone. Other originals create attractive sonic atmospheres, cinematic in their strong impressionism. “Modality” is

a brooding modal line delivered by the dark tones of

tuba and bass saxophone, along with bass marimba. “Emergence” is a vivid, Jackson Pollack-like aural canvas of many hues and textures, employing euphonium with eccentric horns such as contrabass sarrusophone and jazzophone (a hybrid, two-belled sax with trumpet mouthpiece and Harmon mute), all surrounded by timpani, cymbals and bass drum. Rivers’ ballad “Beatrice” is also enticingly sumptuous, with tuba and bass flute sharing the theme with vibraphone, Robinson adding a tenor solo reminiscent of the Tristano School. “Terrarium”, the CD’s centerpiece and longest track (20 minutes plus), takes its form from processed sounds created by Daley, as each trio member creates a personal solo using all the tools at his disposal.

For more information, visit jodamusic.org. This project is at Harlem Safe House Jazz Parlor Jan. 18th. See Calendar.

is at Harlem Safe House Jazz Parlor Jan. 18th. See Calendar. Tout va monter Joëlle Léandre/Benoît
is at Harlem Safe House Jazz Parlor Jan. 18th. See Calendar. Tout va monter Joëlle Léandre/Benoît
is at Harlem Safe House Jazz Parlor Jan. 18th. See Calendar. Tout va monter Joëlle Léandre/Benoît

Tout va monter Joëlle Léandre/Benoît Delbecq/ Carnage the Executioner (Nato) 14 Rue Paul Fort, Paris Joëlle Léandre/Benoît Delbecq/François Houle (Leo) Ink Benoît Delbecq 3 (Clean Feed) by Kurt Gottschalk

Some 75 years after composer John Cage first inserted bits of rubber and metal between the strings of a piano, the ‘preparation’ of the instrument has become commonplace enough no longer to survive by novelty alone. The instrument has its masters and it has its users, the former class seemingly dominated by French speakers. Jacques Demierre and his students Sylvie Courvoisier and Eve Risser have each developed idiosyncratic ways of playing through (not in spite of) the alterations, as from a different stream has the Parisian Benoît Delbecq. Still rare in the realms of free improvisation, however, is the human beatbox. Napoleon Maddox— who has recorded with Clare Daly, Roy Nathanson and Archie Shepp—may have been the first to bring oral percussion over from the hip-hop realm (where it is

largely, as it happens, a thing of the past) and, in fact, might have held that court alone until the emergence of Carnage the Executioner (né Terrell Woods),

a member of the Ill Chemistry crew (a spoken word/

beatboxing/hip-hop group based in Minneapolis), who has been working in the rap world for the last decade. He joins Delbecq and the extraordinary bassist Joëlle Léandre in the fast-paced Tout va Monter. It’s a good bit of fun, never quite taking shape and never

falling apart. Delbecq and Léandre have worked surprisingly little together (at least on record) considering how compatible players they are and their geographical proximity. Both find great musicality in unorthodox techniques and both favor long, luxurious lines. Mr. Executioner is rather the odd man out. The three embrace and work the tension but they don’t quite get over it. Delbecq and Léandre’s trio with Vancouver

clarinetist François Houle is quite the opposite; they know instinctively where they’re going and the results are relaxed and sublime. Houle has a magnificent tone on the instrument and knows well its properties (too often the clarinet is picked up as a second instrument and played like it’s a saxophone). There may be no surprises for dedicated followers on their 14 Rue Paul Fort, Paris, but top to bottom it is beautifully played. Part of Delbecq’s magic is how gracefully he negotiates sudden changes, between registers or between prepared and non-prepared areas of the instrument. In his own group, however, he takes a more traditional approach. Ink is a classic piano trio (with liner notes by fellow pianist Fred Hersch, no less) and in a more straightahead setting it’s easier to hear what an exquisite sense of timing Delbecq has. While the playing is never aggressive, the rhythm section is always propulsive, which is hardly unexpected. Drummer Emile Biayenda draws influence from the heavy rhythms of Congo and bassist Miles Perkin (replacing the late Jean-Jacques Avenel in the trio) is a Mingus aficionado. Delbecq and Perkin have worked together in other settings and the trio benefits from experience. Delbecq finds plenty of room to play within this more traditional framework—although traditions, of course, are fluid things. Bill Evans defined the contemporary piano trio in 1960, whereas Cage prepared his first piano in 1938. Delbecq, in any event, quite successfully finds his way into and claims a place in both lineages.

For more information, visit natomusic.fr, leorecords.com and cleanfeed-records. Delbecq is at Greenwich House Music School Jan. 18th and Cornelia Street Café Jan. 21st. See Calendar.

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The Conduct of Jazz Matthew Shipp Trio (Thirsty Ear) by Clifford Allen E ven if

The Conduct of Jazz Matthew Shipp Trio (Thirsty Ear) by Clifford Allen

Even if the name on the proverbial marquee and overarching concept remain consistent, changing just one member of an ensemble can significantly alter the shape. After all, the John Coltrane Quartet was a very different beast when Roy Haynes or Pete La Roca sat in for drummer Elvin Jones. Pianist Matthew Shipp’s trio has shifted personnel a few times over the last decade, though the focus throughout has been on a composite field of unified invention. He and bassist Mike Bisio have been at the group’s core since 2009, with Newman Taylor Baker recently taking over the drum chair from Whit Dickey. The Conduct of Jazz is this particular variant’s first outing and finds them working through seven of the pianist’s originals. Baker has a dry and particulate approach to the kit, snappy and allover and can work in loose, airy parallel to the actions of bass and piano as well as create a web of delicate play. Listening to how he shapes rhythm around the driving, Mal Waldron-like hook of “Blue Abyss”, it’s striking that Baker’s ride cymbal almost disappears, hanging back as Shipp stomps out the lower register theme and, as the pianist’s hands tessellate upward in a brief soloistic

eddy, the drummer locks into a fluid, shimmering backbeat with Bisio providing a harmonic edge. On the second piano solo, as Shipp’s cubes dance and tumble, Baker gives chase with a thin, galloping bedrock, supplanted by the occasional triple-time chunky fill. On the closing “The Bridge Across”, connections between rolling, jaunty keyboard progressions and rumbling pizzicato are drawn through easy, concise patter as broadly accented strokes canvass Shipp and Bisio’s intertwined harmonic rabbit-holes, shaping the trio’s needling improvisations. All three musicians are traditionalists and collective tugs often find resolution in boppish tempo sections or the caress of melody against subtonal growls. In essence, a trio is a study in refereed counterpoint and depending on where one’s ears go, the path followed may be towards a deep recognition of cooperative dialogue behind the soloist or divergent trails of lopsided drama.

For more information, visit thirstyear.com. This project is at Dizzy’s Club Jan. 20th. See Calendar.

This project is at Dizzy’s Club Jan. 20th. See Calendar. What Is This All About? João

What Is This All About? João Lencastre’s Communion (Auand) by Elliott Simon

Although the subject of What Is This All About? is left unsaid, Lisbon-based drummer João Lencastre’s Communion may be referring to itself. Their focus, beginning with their 2006 debut, has been Lencastre’s creative interactions with established NYC musicians, like-minded in their eclectic approach, but differing in the routes that got them there. Tunes from and beyond the jazz canon served as platforms for novel treatments. Early on, material from Coltrane to Coleman to Coldplay provided safe harbor. On this, the band’s fourth release, with the exception of pianist Jacob Sacks’ exquisite interpretation of Bach’s “Opus 39, N. 9”, the band discovers itself. Back are Sacks, alto saxophonist David Binney, trumpeter Phil Grenadier, guitarist André Matos and bassist Thomas Morgan. These sidemen have played with each other often but not necessarily under Lencastre’s leadership. Those experiences add to the diversity, give the session its NYC feel and eliminate indecision as the music horizontally expands through styles and formats. Lencastre’s job is not an easy one but he herds these cats, all leaders, with a long leash. Morgan’s inclinations are very much in sync with the approach, a measured raggedness resulting from how he and Lencastre fluidly assume their roles as architects, time-keepers, clear respondents, equivocators and colorizers. On the very loose “Picture” they respond to Binney and Grenadier’s explorations by sanctioning dissonant punctuation while they maintain “The Game’s” elegance by not allowing it to stray out of bounds. Matos expands the sound with searing leads on the title track but Sacks uses the opposite approach to open up the borders of a paean to director Stanley “Kubrick”. Each is given their own space, Sacks on the Bach piece and Matos on gorgeous session closer “Alma”, but the listener is left wanting more. While the synthy electronics on a few of these cuts disturbs the organic flow, the answer to the titular inquiry is unquestionably the music.

For more information, visit auand.com. Lencastre is at SEEDS Jan. 20th, The Firehouse Space Jan. 21st and Ibeam Brooklyn Jan. 29th. See Calendar.

Sat, Jan 2 JACOB SACKS QUINTET 9 & 10:30PM Ellery Eskelin, Tony Malaby, Michael Formanek,
Sat, Jan 2 JACOB SACKS QUINTET 9 & 10:30PM Ellery Eskelin, Tony Malaby, Michael Formanek,
Sat, Jan 2
JACOB SACKS QUINTET 9 & 10:30PM
Ellery Eskelin, Tony Malaby, Michael Formanek, Dan Weiss
Wed, Jan 6
Thu, Jan 7
Fri, Jan 8
BASS FEST
MATT BREWER QUINTET 8PM
Charles Altura, Aaron Parks, Ben Wendel, Justin Brown
PETER BRENDLER QUARTET 8PM
Rich Perry, Peter Evans, Vinnie Sperrazza
MATT PAVOLKA THE HORNS BAND 9PM & 10:30PM
Kirk Knuffke, Loren Stillman, Jacob Garchik, Mark Ferber
Sat, Jan 9
TONY MALABY’S APPARITIONS 9PM & 10:30PM
Ben Gerstein, Michael Formanek, Billy Mintz, Randy Peterson
Sun, Jan 10
Mon, Jan 11
Tue, Jan 12
ISRAELI JAZZ FEST
ODED TZUR QUARTET 8PM
Shai Maestro, Colin Stranahan
EDAN LADIN GROUP 9:30PM
Dayna Stephans, Desmond White, Daniel Dor
YOTAM SILBERSTEIN/GILAD HEKSELMAN DUO 8PM
GADI LEHAVI BAND 9:30 PM
Tal Mashiach, Shachar Elnatan
DIDA 8PM
Tal Ronen, Rodney Green
ZIV RAVITZ TRIO 9:30PM
Shai Maestro, Gilad Hekselman
Wed, Jan 13
Thu, Jan 14
Fri, Jan 15
JORGE ROEDER DUO FEST
SOFIA REI 8PM / JULIAN LAGE 9:30PM
SHAI MAESTRO 8PM / ZIV RAVITZ 9:30PM
MIGUEL ZENÓN
9PM
Sat, Jan 16
Sun, Jan 17
SAM NEWSOME/ANDREW CYRILLE DUO 9PM & 10:30PM
TOM GUARNA’S WISHING STONES PROJECT 8PM
Linda Oh, Jon Cowherd, E.J. Strickland
STEPHAN CRUMP’S RHOMBAL 9:30PM
Ellery Eskelin, Adam O’Farrill, Tyshawn Sorey
Mon, Jan 18
Tue, Jan 19
Wed, Jan 20
SAX FEST
PAUL JONES, SHORT HISTORY BAND 8PM
Alex LoRe, Matt Davis, Sullivan Fortner, Johannes Felscher
JEREMY POWELL QUINTET 9:30PM
Jonathan Powell, Vitor Conçalves, Sam Trapchak, Allan Mednard
JON IRABAGON QUARTET 8PM
Luis Perdomo, Yasushi Nakamura, Rudy Royston
JON IRABAGON TRIO 8PM
Mary Halvorson, Nasheet Waits
Thu, Jan 21
BENOIT DELEBECQ’S THE CONVERSATION 8PM
Mark Turner, John Hébert, Gerald Cleaver
THOMAS MORGAN TRIO 9:30PM
Pete Rende, Dan Weiss
VOCAL FEST
Fri, Jan 22
Sat, Jan 23
Sun, Jan 24
Mon, Jan 25
JEN SHYU 8PM
SARA SERPA & ANDRÉ MATOS 9:30PM
AUBREY JOHNSON SEXTET 9PM
Tomoko Omura, Michael Sachs, Matt Aronoff, Jeremy Noller
LEALA CYR GROUP 10:30PM
Hailey Niswanger, Elias Meister, Francesco Marcocci, Sheldon Thwaites
ASARAN EARTH TRIO 8PM
Anne Boccato, Astrid Kuljanic, Artemisz Polonyi
ALICE RICCIARDI 9:30PM
Pietro Lussu
JULIA PATINELLA 8PM
Andreas Arnold
Tue, Jan 26
Wed, Jan 27
THE WESTERLIES 8PM
Riley Mulherkar, Zubin Hensler, Andy Clausen, Willem de Koch
DAN RUFOLO TRIO 9:30PM
Marty Kenney, Philippe Lemm
JOCHEN RUECKERT QUARTET FEATURING MARK TURNER 8PM
Mike Moreno, Orlando Le Fleming
Thu, Jan 28
Fri, Jan 29
Sat, Jan 30
Sun, Jan 31
BRAZILIAN EXPRESSIONS FEST
JASON ENNIS 8PM
Michael O’Brien, Yayo Serka
EDUARDO BELO GOUP 9:30PM
Sergio Krakowski, Livio Almeida, Alejandro Aviles, Dan Pugach
RUBENS SALLES GROUP 9PM
John Clark, Michel Gentile, Leco Reis, Kenny Grohowski
ROGERIO BOCCATO AND
AFTER BOSSA NOVA PROJECT 10:30PM
Nando Michelin, Dan Blake, Jay Anderson
BILLY NEWMAN QUINTET 9PM
Ben Holmes, Michaël Attias, Leco Reis
LIVIO ALMEIDA QUINTET 10:30PM
Adam O’Farrill, Michael O’Brien, Zack O’Farrill
BRAZIL EXPRESSIONS FEST: ARTHUR KAMPELA 8PM
O’Farrill BRAZIL EXPRESSIONS FEST: ARTHUR KAMPELA 8PM Renaissance (A Journey From Classical to Jazz) Bucky

Renaissance (A Journey From Classical to Jazz) Bucky Pizzarelli (Arbors) by Alex Henderson

Many musicians have fused jazz and European classical elements over the years yet veteran guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli chooses to keep them separate on Renaissance: A Journey from Classical to Jazz. The disc opens with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s three-part, 21-minute “Tedesco Concerto No. 1 in D Opus 99”, which finds Pizzarelli joined by a 10-piece classical ensemble (conducted by Dick Lieb) and playing an acoustic six-string classical guitar instead of his usual electric. Born in Florence, Italy in 1895, Castelnuovo-Tedesco was one of Italy’s most famous classical guitarists of the 20th Century. Henry Mancini, André Previn and other Hollywood film composers were influenced by his work. Pizzarelli sounds perfectly comfortable on the concerto; he does not improvise at all in a straightahead classical performance, but his playing isn’t any less expressive than it would typically be in a jazz environment. The rest of Renaissance is swing all the way, with Pizzarelli on electric guitar in a series of duets with fellow guitarist and long-time collaborator Ed Laub (who, at 16, became one of his students back in 1968). Pizzarelli and Laub embrace a variety of familiar standards, turning their attention to everything from Tin Pan Alley with Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart’s “Have You Met Miss Jones” and the Duke Ellington- Billy Strayhorn songbook with “Satin Doll” to Stephen Sondheim. Many jazz improvisers have shied away from the latter’s songbook, which they insist can be notoriously difficult to play, but Pizzarelli’s three- minute performance of “Send in the Clowns” sounds effortless. Another highlight is Pizzarelli’s acknowledgement of the late Philadelphia-born composer David Raksin, performing the themes from two of his best known film scores, 1944’s Laura and 1952’s The Bad and the Beautiful. Pizzarelli is also quite impressive on Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust”, Sir Charles Thompson’s “Robbin’s Nest” and Gordon Jenkins’ “Goodbye”. Both the classical and jazz sessions were recorded in early 2015, when Pizzarelli was 89. Jan. 9th marks Pizzarelli’s 90th birthday. When we should be giving him gifts, he presents us with one with Renaissance.

For more information, visit arborsrecords.com. Pizzarelli’s 90th Birthday Bash is at 92nd Street Y Jan. 27th. See Calendar.

Birthday Bash is at 92nd Street Y Jan. 27th. See Calendar. Last Tour Steve Lacy Quintet
Birthday Bash is at 92nd Street Y Jan. 27th. See Calendar. Last Tour Steve Lacy Quintet

Last Tour Steve Lacy Quintet (Emanem) Tips (featuring Irene Aèbi) Steve Lacy/Steve Potts (hatHUT-Corbett vs. Dempsey) by Robert Iannapollo

Soprano saxophone innovator Steve Lacy had a long and illustrious career from the ‘50s until his death in 2004. During his youth, when he performed with Cecil

Taylor, Gil Evans and his hero, Thelonious Monk, he was pretty much the only modernist playing the instrument. We are thankful he left behind a massive discography, over 125 albums as a leader or co-leader. It’s an intimidating oeuvre well worth investigation. During the last 30 years of his life Lacy devoted a large amount of time to his quintet/sextet. The Last Tour presents the final iteration of the ensemble. It was initially assembled after his move back to the States to interpret his Beat Suite and included longtime collaborators: singer Irene Aebi, bassist Jean-Jacques Avenel and drummer John Betsch. Trombonist George Lewis was a replacement for alto saxophonist Steve Potts, a fixture of Lacy’s ensembles for 25+ years. The quintet was coming into its own on this tour, expanding their repertoire, performing two selections from the aforementioned suite, adding classic Lacy compositions including “The Bath”, “Blinks” and “Train Going By” as well as a new piece, “Baghdad”. They play with an audible energy and enthusiasm and the rhythm section is very in sync both with each other and backing soloists. Lewis is particularly impressive, drawing on his complete instrumental vocabulary, especially deft with his mute (check out “Naked Lunch”). Lacy’s lines are full of soaring grace and his almost obsessive stepwise motion. The weak link here is Aebi, who sings on five of the eight tracks. Her voice seems a bit ragged and timing a bit off on occasion but her interludes are fairly brief. It should not deter the listener from what is otherwise one of the finer late Lacy discs. Few know Lacy’s music better than Aebi, his wife and member of his groups since the late ‘60s. Tips comes from Lacy’s late ‘70s purple patch, when he seemed to be churning out an album a month. But even within this profligacy, Tips is unique. A trio recording with Potts and Aebi, it’s a setting of the musings of artist Georges Braque, sung by Aebi. Here she is in fine form singing in her unique cabaret style, suiting Lacy’s music perfectly. Each brief vocal interlude is matched with composed saxophone lines. They are then explicated upon by Lacy and Potts, dovetailing and swirling around each other in brilliant counterpoint. There are solos from each saxophone as well. Tips is unique in that it borders on art-song territory but also incorporates long sections of improvisation, pulling it towards jazz. It’s an excellent fusion of both, sacrificing the impact of neither. While not one of the more frequently cited recordings from Lacy’s oeuvre, this reissue (a complete reproduction of the hatHUT original) should bring more listeners to one of Lacy’s more unique works.

For more information, visit emanemdisc.com and corbettvsdempsey.com. A tribute to Lacy is at The Stone Jan. 21st. See Calendar.

A tribute to Lacy is at The Stone Jan. 21st. See Calendar. 24 JANUARY 2016 |
Samuel Blais / Dave Liebman André Leroux Emie Roussel trio Gilles Bernard FND137 FND140 FND139
Samuel Blais / Dave Liebman
André Leroux
Emie Roussel trio
Gilles Bernard
FND137
FND140
FND139
FND143
new release
in nomination for best album of
the Year at OPUS price, Quebec
best jazz album of the year at
l’ADISQ, Quebec
new release
“BEST OF THE YEAR”
Honorable Mention
- New releases 2015 NYCJR -
Pierre Labbé sextet - Tromper Eustache
FND142
Skate Board Park Joe Farrell (Xanadu-Elemental Music) by Duck Baker T his is not only
Skate Board Park Joe Farrell (Xanadu-Elemental Music) by Duck Baker T his is not only

Skate Board Park Joe Farrell (Xanadu-Elemental Music) by Duck Baker

This is not only one of reed player Joe Farrell’s strongest leader dates, but one decades overdue for reissue. It is not perfect, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. Skate Board Park was recorded at the end of the ‘70s, a decade that saw Farrell achieve crossover popularity, first as a member of Return To Forever and then leading dates for CTI, which were a cross between RTF-oriented fusion and the straightahead styles Farrell had mastered earlier in his career. Whether any of these were equal to the classic dates he had done as a sideman with the likes of Elvin Jones, Jaki Byard or Andrew Hill are a matter of taste, but they were interesting and well received. After his brush with success, Farrell made a couple of forgettable, purely commercial records in the late ‘70s, but with Skate Board Park he delivered the first of several very desirable dates, marking a sort of indian summer in his all-too-short career (he died 30 years ago this month at 48). Farrell is joined by erstwhile boss Chick Corea (piano and electric piano), Bob Magnusson (bass) and Larance Marable (drums) for a program of three originals, two standards and Corea’s “High Wire -- The Aerialist”. The latter and Farrell’s “Bara-Bara”

are fine examples of period pieces, which use fusion elements to enliven the modal style prevalent when Farrell was an up-and-comer, but the rambunctious title track takes things even further, throwing funk and bebop elements into the mix. Farrell also uses all these stylistic ingredients in his soloing; like Art Pepper, he was making an honest effort to make positive use of devices that, in other hands, seemed like mere pandering to prevailing public tastes. All of this makes for engaging, even exciting listening, but the record suffers from the awful sound Magnusson got from his bass, using a pickup with the action set low and constantly sliding and/or sustaining notes where there’s no good reason to do so; all of this was thought of as very ‘with it’ in 1979, of course. His solos work well enough, but many will find his ensemble playing distracting. Nonetheless, fans of Farrell and Corea will be overjoyed to have this one back in print.

For more information, visit elemental-music.com

in print. For more information, visit elemental-music.com The Jazz Giants Wild Bill Davison (Sackville-Delmark) by

The Jazz Giants Wild Bill Davison (Sackville-Delmark) by John Pietaro

Concepts of cool are born of a moment in time on which the industry machine feeds before the next

whimsy strikes us—or is engineered to do just that. Once upon a time, jazz was drenched in the blues, marching to the strain of freely contrapuntal music that tore loose the constraints of the day. Such “traditional jazz”, born most excitedly in New Orleans but really in many places, cast seedlings universally. By the ‘20s some of its greatest exponents ventured northward, inspiring the so-called Chicago school. By 1968, when cornet player Wild Bill Davison (born 110 years ago this month) brought The Jazz Giants to Toronto, he’d trumpeted in the tradition, so to speak, for more than four decades, braving the ire of booking agents and modernists alike. For Davison, the classic instrumental lineup was all that was necessary and here it was comprised of woefully under-recorded clarinetist Herb Hall (brother of Edmond), trombonist Benny Morton (big band royalty), pianist Claude Hopkins (of Wilbur Sweatman’s early ‘20s band and Josephine Baker), Louis Armstrong All-Stars bassist Arvell Shaw and drummer Buzzy Drootin, a regular at Eddie Condon’s nightclub and name bands alike. “Struttin’ With Some Barbecue”, fittingly, opens the disc. The spirit of Chicago resounds but also that of the Armstrong Hot 5. Hear time-honored titles like “Them There Eyes”, “Black and Blue”, “I Surrender Dear” plus one that harkens back to a groundbreaking 1928 Condon session, “I Found a New Baby”. The mix keeps it fresh, the features for the members spreads the wealth. And for those squeamish about the “Dixieland” moniker, listen to the free interactions between horns out front and an ignited rhythm section—and enjoy the fact that Albert Ayler and other revolutionists rode the tradition right into New Thing fire music.

For more information, visit delmark.com

(CONTINUED ON PAGE 30)

music. For more information, visit delmark.com (CONTINUED ON PAGE 30) 26 JANUARY 2016 | THE NEW
music. For more information, visit delmark.com (CONTINUED ON PAGE 30) 26 JANUARY 2016 | THE NEW
www.trost.at TrosT reCorDs & Cien fuegos Winter 2015 www.cienfuegosrecords.com The Thing MaDe gusTafsson/ shake
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BEST Of 2015 BEST Of 2015 BEST Of 2015 BEST Of 2015 BEST Of 2015

BEST Of 2015 BEST Of 2015 BEST Of 2015 BEST Of 2015 BEST Of 2015 BEST Of 2015

ALBUMS Of THE YEAR

REZ ABBASI ACOUSTIC QUARTETIntents and Purposes (Enja) STEVE COLEMAN AND THE COUNCIL OF BALANCESynovial Joints (Pi) VIJAY IYER TRIOBreak Stuff (ECM) JULIAN LAGEWorld’s Fair (Modern Lore) CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE TRIOLive at the Village Vanguard (Mack Avenue) RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPABird Calls (ACT) MYRA MELFORDSnowy Egret (Enja) MATT MITCHELLVista Accumulation (Pi) MARIA SCHNEIDER ORCHESTRAThe Thompson Fields (ArtistShare) RYAN TRUESDELL’S GIL EVANS PROJECTLines of Color: Live at Jazz Standard (Blue Note/ArtistShare)

RYAN TRUESDELL’S GIL EVANS PROJECT — Lines of Color: Live at Jazz Standard (Blue Note/ArtistShare) -

-David R. Adler

HOWARD ALDENGuitar Solo (K2B2) DAVID CHESKY JAZZ IN THE NEW HARMONICPrimal Scream (Chesky) JACK DEJOHNETTEMade in Chicago (ECM) SCOTT DUBOISWinter Light (ACT) MARY HALVORSONMeltframe (Firehouse 12) LE POTHera (Everest) CHARLES LLOYDWild Man Dance (Blue Note) LARRY OCHSThe Fictive Five (Tzadik) MATTHEW SHIPP TRIOThe Conduct of Jazz (Thirsty Ear) KAMASI WASHINGTONThe Epic (Brainfeeder)

-Laurence Donohue-Greene

STANLEY COWELLJuneteenth (Piano Solo) (Vision Fugitive) JACK DEJOHNETTEMade in Chicago (ECM) ANDREW DRURYContent Provider (Soup and Sound) FREE NELSON MANDOOMJAZZAwakening of a Capital (RareNoise) JACOB GARCHIKye Olde (s/r) MARY HALVORSONMeltframe (Firehouse 12) KONSTRUKTLive at Tarcento Jazz (Holidays) PULVERIZE THE SOUNDEponymous (Relative Pitch) MIKE REED’S PEOPLE PLACES & THINGSA New Kind of Dance (482 Music)

THE SOUND — Eponymous (Relative Pitch) MIKE REED’S PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS — A New Kind

JOHN ZORNThe True Discoveries of Witches and Demons (Tzadik)

-Andrey Henkin

UNEARTHED GEMS

MILES DAVISMiles Davis at Newport 1955-1975:

The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4 (Columbia-Legacy) BENGT NORDSTRÖM, SVEN-ÅKE JOHANSSON, ALEXANDER VON SCHLIPPENBACHStockholm Connection (Umlaut) MIKE OSBORNEDawn (Cuneiform) HOWARD RILEY/JAKI BYARDR&B (SLAM) LUCKY THOMPSON & BARNEY WILENFour Brothers (Sonorama)

LARGE ENSEMBLE RELEASES

STEVE COLEMAN AND THE COUNCIL OF BALANCESynovial Joints (Pi) JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRALive in Cuba (Blue Engine) ARTURO O’FARRILL & THE AFRO-LATIN JAZZ ORCHESTRACuba: The Conversation Continues (Motéma) ADAM RUDOLPH/GO: ORGANIC GUITAR ORCHESTRATurning Towards The Light (Cuneiform) KAMASI WASHINGTONThe Epic (Brainfeeder)

LATiN RELEASES

GABRIEL ALÉGRIA AFRO-PERUVIAN SEXTET10 (zOHO) CARLOS HENRIQUEZThe Bronx Pyramid (Blue Engine) ARTURO O’FARRILL & THE AFRO-LATIN JAZZ ORCHESTRACuba: The Conversation Continues (Motéma) CHUCHO VALDÉSTribute to Irakere (Live in Marciac) (Jazz Village) PAPO VAZQUEZ MIGHTY PIRATES TROUBADOURSSpirit Warrior (Picaro)

ORiGiNAL ALBUM ARTWORK

TOM BLANCARTE/PETER EVANS/ LOUISE DAM ECKARDT JENSEN/DAN PECKThe Gauntlet of Mehen (Destiny Records) JOHN ELLIS & DOUBLE-WIDECharm (Parade Light) BÉLA SZAKCSI LAKATOS/TIM RIES/ROBERT HURST/ RUDY ROYSTONClimate Change (BMC) SCOTT ROBINSON SPACETETTEMission in Space (Sciensonic Laboratories) SLOBBER PUPPole Axe (RareNoise)

(BMC) SCOTT ROBINSON SPACETETTE — Mission in Space (Sciensonic Laboratories) SLOBBER PUP — Pole Axe (RareNoise)

THE NEW YORK C

REiSSUES

KENNY BARRONAt the Piano (xanadu-Elemental) JOHN COLTRANEA Love Supreme:

The Complete Masters (Impulse!-Verve) FREE JAZZ GROUP WIESBADENFrictions/Frictions Now (LST-NoBusiness) ERROLL GARNERThe Complete Concert By The Sea (Columbia-Legacy) LAST EXITIron Path (Virgin-ESP-Disk’)

BOXED SETS

JOE CASTROLush Life (Clover-Sunnyside) OSCAR PETERSONExclusively For My Friends (MPS) VARIOUS ARTISTS3 Nights at Café Oto (Matchless) VARIOUS ARTISTSThe Complete Dial Modern Jazz Sessions (Dial-Mosaic) VARIOUS ARTISTSTurtle Records: Pioneering British Jazz 1970-1971 (Turtle - Cherry/RMP)

VOCAL RELEASES

DUCHESSEponymous (Anzic) CÉCILE MCLORIN SALVANTFor One to Love (Mack Avenue) JEN SHYU & JADE TONGUESounds and Cries of the World (Pi) MARY STALLINGSFeelin’ Good (HighNote) CASSANDRA WILSONComing Forth By Day (Legacy)

DEBUTS

BANDA DE LOS MUERTOSEponymous (Barbès) JACKSON HARDAKERWatering Can (s/r) METTE HENRIETTEEponymous (ECM) BOBBY KAPPThemes 4 Transmutation (s/r) KAMASI WASHINGTONThe Epic (Brainfeeder)

TRiBUTES

STEFAN PASBORGThe Firebirds (ILK Music) MATTHEW SHIPP TRIOTo Duke (Rogue Art) CHARENÉE WADEOffering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson (Motéma) CASSANDRA WILSONComing Forth By Day (Legacy) NATE WOOLEY QUINTET(Dance To) The Early Music (Clean Feed)

HONORABLE MENTi

Admiral AwesomeMakeout Music for Modern Lovers (Gateway Music) • All IncludedSatan in Plain Clothes (Clean Feed) • Bar Fred AndersonQuintessential Birthday Trio, Vol. II (Asian Improv) • Richard AnderssonSplitting up in Boston (Hobby Horse) • Tim Berne’s Snakeoil You’ve Been Watching Me (ECM) • Andrew Bishop De Profundis (Envoi) • Raoul Björkenheim eCsTaSy Out of The James Brandon LewisDays of FreeMan (OKeh) • Rodriguez BrothersImpromptu (Criss Cross) • Jean-Luc Cappozzo/Douglas R. Ewart/Joëlle Larry CoryellHeavy Feel (Wide Hive) • Marilyn Crispell/Gerry HemingwayTable of Changes (Intakt) • Steve CromityAll M Patrick Defossez/Anne-Gabriel DebaeckerQuatre = Onze ==(7) (Neos) • Benoît Delbecq 3Ink (Clean Feed) • Aaron Kaja Draksler/Susana Santos SilvaThis Love (Clean Feed) • Paul Dunmall/Tony BiancoHomage to John Coltrane (SLAM) • Oran EtkinWhat’s New: Reimagining Benny Goodman (Motéma) • Charles EvansOn Beauty (More is More) • Orrin EvansThe Evolution of One Erik FriedlanderIlluminations (Skipstone) • Erik FriedlanderOscalypso (Tribute to Oscar Pettiford) (Skipstone) • Satoko Fujii TobiraYamiyo Ni Albert “Tootie” Heath TrioPhiladelphia Beat (Sunnyside) • Thomas Heberer/Pascal NiggenkemperMiner’s Pick (FMR) • Mark Helias Op Paul Hubweber/Frank Paul Schubert/Alexander von Schlippenbach/Clayton Thomas/Willi KellersIntricacies (NoBusiness) • Dick HymanHouse of Darius Jones QuartetLe Bébé de Brigitte (Lost in Translation) (AUM Fidelity) • Jessica Jones QuartetMoxie (New Artists) • Kirk KnuffkeThe LadybugsEponymous (s/r) • Ingrid LaubrockUbatuba (Firehouse 12) • Le RexWild Man (Cuneiform) • Liberty ShipThe Wide Open Suite & N Russ LossingEclipse (Aqua Piazza) • Joe Lovano/Dave Douglas Sound PrintsLive at Monterey Jazz Festival (Blue Note) • Megalodon Collective Mostly Other People Do the KillingMauch Chunk (Hot Cup) • The NecksVertigo (Northern-Spy) • Mike Nock/Roger ManinsTwo - Out (FW Eric PersonDuoscope (Distinction) • PlatformAnthropocene (Va Fangool) • Rara AvisEponymous (Not Two) • Rempis John Russell/Steve Beresford/John Edwards/Ståle Liavik SolbergWill It Float? (Va Fongool) • Christian Sands/Thomas Fonnesbæk/Alex RielIrène Schweizer/Han BenninkWelcome Back (Intakt) • Secret KeeperEmerge (Intakt) • Sonny Simmons/Moksha SamnyasinNomad Tiziano Tononi/Awake Nu QuartetThe (CherryCo)mpany (Nu Bop) • Gebhard Ullmann Basement ResearchHat And Shoes (Between The Lines) • The Upp Nate Wooley/Dave Rempis/Pascal Niggenkemper/Chris CorsanoFrom Wolves to Whales (Aerophonic) • Nate Wooley/Ken VandermarkEast by Northw

iTY JAZZ RECORD

BEST Of 2015 BEST Of 2015 BEST Of 2015 BEST Of 2015 BEST Of 2015 BEST Of 2015

CONCERTS Of THE YEAR

VIJAY IYER/LIBERTY ELLMAN/ REGGIE WORKMAN/TYSHAWN SOREY The Stone, January 22nd CHARLES LLOYD NEW QUARTET Jason Moran, Reuben Rogers, Eric Harland Village Vanguard, March 15th CHARLES LLOYD Jason Moran, Joe Sanders, Eric Harland, Sokratis Sinopoulos, Miklós Lukács Metropolitan Museum of Art Temple of Dendur, April 18th MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS/ROSCOE MITCHELL/ GEORGE LEWIS AACM50: Bohemian National Hall, April 29th MATTHEW SHIPP/MICHAEL BISIO zürcher Gallery, May 27th NASHEET WAITS EQUALITY Darius Jones, Aruán Ortiz, Mark Helias Cornelia Street Café, June 13th DARIUS JONES QUARTET Sean Conly, Pascal Niggenkemper, Gerald Cleaver Rendall Memorial Presbyterian Church, October 13th WADADA LEO SMITH SEXTET Bobby Naughton, Yuko Fujiyama, Brad Jones, Reggie Nicholson, Thurman Barker AACM50: Community Church of New York, October 16th GEORGE LEWIS IMPROMPTUS Thurman Barker, Eli Fountain, Tyshawn Sorey AACM50: Community Church of New York, October 23rd THE TURBINE! Harrison Bankhead, Benjamin Duboc, Ramón López, Hamid Drake and guest Steve Swell zürcher Gallery, November 17th

Laurence Donohue-Greene

LABELS Of THE YEAR

CLEAN FEED (cleanfeed-records.com) HIGHNOTE (jazzdepot.com) INTAKT (intaktrec.com) MOTÉMA (motema.com) SONORAMA (sonorama.de)

TROKER “El Tiburón” Santillanes, Samo González, Gil Cervantes, Frankie Mares, Christian Jimenez, DJ Zero Winter Jazz Fest, Bowery Electric, January 10th CHARLES LLOYD NEW QUARTET Jason Moran, Reuben Rogers, Eric Harland Village Vanguard, March 15th JULIAN LAGE TRIO Scott Colley, Eric Harland Jazz Standard, April 15th LARRY OCHS/NELS CLINE/GERALD CLEAVER JACK, May 26th JACOB GARCHIK’S YE OLDE Mary Halvorson, Brandon Seabrook, Jonathan Goldberger, Vinnie Sperrazza Joe’s Pub, July 20th LETIERES LEITE AND ORKESTRA RUMPILEZZ WITH GUESTS ARTURO O’FARRILL, STEVEN BERNSTEIN Damrosch Park, July 30th PHILM Dave Lombardo, Gerry Nestler, Pancho Tomaselli The Stone, August 3rd THE THING Mats Gustafsson, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Paal Nilssen-Love Roulette, September 29th STEVE WILSON/LEWIS NASH Jazz at Kitano, October 10th NONOKO YOSHIDA SOLO The Stone, November 11th

—Andrey Henkin

VENUES Of THE YEAR

JACK (Fort Greene) THE JAZZ GALLERY (NoMad) ROULETTE (Boerum Hill) THE STONE (Alphabet City) VILLAGE VANGUARD (West Village)

RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA BIRD CALLS Adam O’Farrill, Matt Mitchell, Chris Tordini, Rudy Royston Winter Jazz Fest, Minetta Lane Theater, January 10th VIJAY IYER TRIO Stephan Crump, Marcus Gilmore