... 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).