Jazz News
(aus dem Jazzinstitut Darmstadt)

1 - 13 December 2021 | Ausgabe 01/2021 (English)

We read the morning paper for you!                                     

Dear jazz friends,

The Jazzinstitut's JazzNews keeps you up-to-date with news of the jazz world, which we collect, summarize, and issue via e-mail about once a week. This service can also be accessed on our website (www.jazzinstitut.de), where it is updated on a daily basis.

If you need bibliographies of the musicians named in our JazzNews, please click on our website’s Jazz Index page. This is a bibliographical reference to jazz-related books, magazines, journals and other sources that you can access without charge. If you don't find the name(s) you’re looking for, feel free to e-mail us! We will send you Jazz Index digests of articles about musicians as they make the news.

Now, have fun reading about the jazz week that was!

... brief news ...

Peter Crimmins talks to the Philadelphia-based composer Randy Gibson (WHYY). --- Reinhard Köchl talks to the saxophonist Branford Marsalis about the soundtrack for "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom", a Netflix production he composed the soundtrack for (Augsburger Allgemeine). Kevin C. Johnson talks to Branford Marsalis about the film, as well (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), while Zack Krajnyak is critical of Marsalis' soundtrack (Screenrant).

Giovanni Russonello looks back at jazz in 2020 between the effects of COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement, talking to musicians such as the trombonist Craig Harris, the vocalist Gelsey Bell, the bassist Endea Owens, and listening in on recordings and livestreams from other artists as well (New York Times). --- Nate Chinen looks back at 2020 and at how jazz musicians discovered new possibilities during the pandemic (NPR).

Jeremy Bembry watches the animated film "Soul" starring Jamie Foxx who lens his voice to the music teacher Joe Gardner, and he talks to violinist Regina Carter, saxophonists Ephraim and Ebban Dorsey, drummer Robert Shahid, trumpeters Nicholas Payton and Lewis 'Flip' Barnes, pianist Arturo O'Farrill, saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin as well as harpist Brandee Younger about the future of jazz as creative music (The Undefeated). --- John Lewis explains why he thinks that the film "Soul" finally got jazz right (The Independent). Ethan Iverson watches Pixar's latest feature, "Soul" from a jazz musician's perspective (The Nation).

Molly Given talks to Mark DeNinno, owner of Philadelphia's Chris Jazz Café which is in danger of closure due to the pandemic (Philly Metro). Matt Silver reports as well (WRTI). And Shaun Brady reports about a benefit festival for the club (The Philadelphia Inquirer). --- Kathrin Rosendorff talks to Michael Damm, the owner of Mampf, a jazz bar in Frankfurt, Germany, who worries about the future of his venue (Frankfurter Rundschau), and learns that the owner received donations enabling him to keep the bar running (Frankfurter Rundschau). --- St. Peter's Church, also known as New York's jazz church, suffered significant damage after a water main break (ABC New York).

Louis Krauss talks to musicians and club promoters in Baltimore, Maryland, about the effect of the pandemic on the local scene (Baltimore Brew). --- Madeline Wells talks to Jim Woods, owner of the Oakland, California, bar and jazz club Woods Bar & Brewery, which is closing permanently after seven years (San Francisco Gate). --- Russell Haythorn reports about the club Lion's Lair in Denver, Colorado, which started out as a jazz club and might be saved from closure by a crowdfunding campaign (The Denver Channel). --- Keith Spera reports about the closure of The Prime Example, New Orleans' only modern jazz venue (New Orleans Times-Picayune). --- Nick Garber reports about New York's legendary Birdland jazz club which is "on the brink" of closing (The Patch). --- Sean J. O'Connell reports about the closure of the Blue Whale in Los Angeles (Los Angeles Times).

Katie Robertson reports about the restart of the Village Voice, the legendary New York alternative newspaper which shut down two years ago after a 63-year run (New York Times). --- The historic Blue Bird Inn in Detroit is "off the endangered list" after having been formally designated historic by the city government (Detroit Free Press). --- Ethan Iverson listens to some stride recordings from his LP collection (Do the Math). --- Mira S. Alpers talks to the pianist and composer Angelica Sanchez (The Crimson).

Georg Spindler (Mannheimer Morgen) and Harald Berlinghof (Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung) pay tribute to the German drummer Mani Neumeier who turns 80 these days. --- Sharyn Alfonsi talks to the blind pianist Matthew Whitaker (CBS News).

David Bauder recognizes the neglect of Kansas City's main newspaper, the Kansas City Star, towards the city's Black life, Black history and Black community (The Kansas City Star), however, Gerald Dunn is not convinced and asks the newspaper to start to "un-write the wrongs to Black KC's ignored jazz legacy" (The Kansas City Star). --- Ben James talks to Annye Anderson, the stepsister of legendary blues musician Robert Johnson (NPR).

Petra Rieß talks to the German journalist Stefan Gerdes about changes in jazz programming at NDR radio station (NDR). --- Wesley Morris remembers Stanley Crouch (New York Times Magazine). --- The German jazz promoter Jürgen Deeg retired from his position at the culture department of Friedrichshafen, but not from organizing jazz concerts (Schwäbische Zeitung).

The son of trumpeter Keyon Harrold was falsely accused of stealing a woman's iPhone, and now Harrold has come forward publicly claiming another example of racism (CNN). --- Zachary Woolfe writes about the drummer and composer Tyshawn Sorey for whom 2020 was a busy year, and listens to some of his recent albums (New York Times). Adam Shatz talks to Tyshawn Sorey as well and writes an extensive feature on the drummer and composer for the newspaper's weekly magazine (New York Times Magazine).

James Shapiro remembers the 1939 Broadway production of "Swingin' the Dream", a jazz version of Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream" starring Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Maxine Sullivan and a number of other popular stars of the era, which closed after only 13 performances (The Guardian). Elisabeth Vincentelli picks up the story as well and talks to the artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company that plans to livestream a concert of some of the music that was heard in the show (New York Times). Sarah Hemming writes about the story as well and talks to the Royal Shakespeare Company's director Gregory Doran (Financial Times). ---- Georg Spindler and Stefan M. Dettlinger listen to German pianist Michael Wollny's latest album "Mondenkind" and discuss it from both a classical and a jazz perspective (Mannheimer Morgen).

Harriet Clifford and Richard Adams report about the case of British saxophonist Courtney Pine whose album "Back in the Day" had been the only example from a Black composer in the syllabus of a popular A-level music exam, but has been dropped amid Covid-related course changes along with the study of jazz (The Guardian). --- Seth Colter Walls talks to the composer, vocalist and multimedia artist Pamela Z (New York Times).

Ian Winwood talks to the pianist Mike Garson about working with David Bowie and how that affected his jazz career (The Telegraph). --- Howard Reich talks to the pianist Mike Jones about his first solo album (Chicago Tribune). --- Howard Reich also says farewell to his readers as he is retiring from his position as music critic of the Chicago Tribune (Chicago Tribune).


We learned of the passing of the saxophonist Jeff Clayton at the age of 66 (San Jose Mercury News), the pianist Stanley Cowell at the age of 79 (WBGO, Washington Post, New York Times), the Italian bassist Lelio Giannetto at the age of 59 (Palermo Today), the singer Miche Fambro at the age of 64 (Rochester City Newspaper), the multi-instrumentalist Zusaan Kali Fasteau at the age of 73 (Slippeddisc), the singer Debbie Duncan at the age of 69 (Twin Cities Pioneer Press, Minneapolis Star Tribune), the German bassist and owner of the Jazzkeller club in Frankfurt, Eugen Hahn, at the age of 79 (Journal Frankfurt, Frankfurter Rundschau), the jazz promoter Bernard Lockhart at the age of 59 (WBCR), the Turkish clarinetist Mustafa Kandirali at the age of 90 (Hurriyet), the Israeli-French violinist Ivry Gitlis at the age of 98 (AP News), the French pianist Claude Bolling at the age of 90 (Huffington Post, The Guardian, NPR, New York Times), the pianist Frank Kimbrough at the age of 64 (Do the Math, WBGO), the singer Carol Ann Leigh at the age of 83 (The Syncopated Times), the drummer Mars Scarazzo at the age of 90 (The Beaver County Times), the bassist Eugene Wright at the age of 97 (WBGO, The Guardian, New York Times), the singer Phyllis McGuire at the age of 89 (New York Times), the Bluegrass guitarist and singer Tony Rice at the age of 69 (The Guardian), the trombonist Burt Wilson at the age of 87 (The Syncopated Times), the radio host Tony Mowod at the age of 85 (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), the Swiss clarinetist Werner Keller at the age of 86 (Neue Zürcher Zeitung), the pianist Bobby Few at the age of 85 (France Musique), the tuba player and baritone saxophonist Howard Johnson at the age of 79 (Bass Magazine), as well as the pianist Diane Moser at the age of 60 (New Jersey Arts).

From the World of Jazz Research

The French researcher Dan Vernhettes has announced the publication of "Jazz Puzzles Vol. 4", the fourth volume of an excellent series documenting aspects of New Orleans jazz through biographies of musicians who created this music. A limited print edition of the book which will focus on the pre-jazz generation of musicians in New Orleans is planned for early 2021, pre-orders are accepted. More information: Jazzedit.

Just published: the latest volume of the French journal "Épistrophy", this one looking closer at the music of violinist Didier Lockwood. The academic journal is an open-access publication (Épistrophy).

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

The DAZZ festival (short for DArmstadt and JAzz) would have started 8 January 2021, however because of the pandemic and the critical rise in infections and deaths we decided to cancel the event. This year's DAZZ would have been the fifth annual event of its kind, a festival spanning all of Darmstadt, connecting the different venues, big or small with a program comprising international, national as well local acts. We were planning a hybrid or even only digital festival in December when the numbers of deaths on Germany caused by COVID 19 skyrocketed, by which time we thought it to be the wrong signal to go ahead, realizing that the festival time would be in a period when we all still have to cut back on social contacts. Mark your calendars, though: the 5th DAZZ festival will take place 14-23 January 2022 (DAZZ Festival).

Opening hours of the Jazzinstitut during the lockdown

The Jazzinstitut is closed to the public until 31 January 2021. However, we are available for research help or any other queries by phone, e-mail or video-call. If you would like to schedule a video call, please send an e-mail to make an appointment and give us an idea what you want to talk about. We will then reply with a link for a Webex video session for your meeting.

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The Jazzinstitut is an institution of the City of Sciences Darmstadt | Das Jazzinstitut ist eine Einrichtung der Wissenschaftsstadt Darmstadt