Jazz News
(aus dem Jazzinstitut Darmstadt)

11 - 24 February 2021 | Ausgabe 04/2021 (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 ...

Matthias Jordan talks to Sybille Kornitschky, the project manager for JazzAhead, about plans for a mostly digital trade fair this year of the annual jazz fair in Bremen, Germany (Kulturnews). --- Karl Letschke remembers the Paramount recording studio in Grafton, Wisconsin, where a number of blues sessions were recorded during the 1920s and 1930s (WTMJ-TV).

John Lewis talks to saxophonist Sonny Rollins about the changing New York scene from his childhood through the 1960s, about time served at Riker's Island prison in 1950, as well as about how Charlie Parker helped him get off drugs (Uncut). --- Amy Hogan remembers the bassist Slam Stewart for the local radio station of Binghamton, the city Stewart lived in since the 1970s (WICZ).

Jean-Marc Le Scouarnec talks to the French bassist Joëlle Léandre about the art of improvisation, about how free jazz fascinated her in Paris of the 1970s, about her classical studies having provided the technical basis for her playing, as well as about the need to continue searching (La Depeche). --- Stephan Wuthe and Mascha Drost remember the Austrian saxophonist Hans Koller on his centennial (Deutschlandfunk Kultur).

Michael Powell reports about a debate on racism, musicology, free speech and the music theorist Heinrich Schenker (New York Times). --- Norbert Krampf talks to the German pianist Yuriy Sych about his different musical projects, about his classical education in West Ukraine where he was born, about his first fascination with jazz, about the Contrast Trio/Quartet he has been working with since its inception in 2006, as well as about feeling musically at home in Frankfurt, Germany (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung).

Andreas Hartmann talks to the harpist Kathrin Pechlof, the trumpeter Nikolaus Neuser, and the guitarist Olaf Rupp about some of the problems German avant-garde musicians face during the pandemic, about the funding measures provided by the German government, as well as about their hopes for the time after the pandemic (die tageszeitung). --- Manfred Papst talks to the Swiss saxophonist Nicolas Masson about his road to jazz, about his latest album which he recorded during the lockdown, unaccompanied and without any overdubs, as well as about the changes his kids brought to his life and musical philosophy (Neue Zürcher Zeitung).

Michael Lightstone talks to the Canadian pianist Joe Sealy about growing up in Montréal, about living and working in Toronto, as well as about the Black neighborhood of Halifax which inspired him to write his "Africville Suite" in 1996 (Halifax Today). --- Jenn Pelly talks to the singer Barbara Dane about the political activism inherent in her music, about her record label Paredon, "the 50 albums that Paredon released from 1970 to 1985 form a staggering archive of art and dissent, of resilience and sung histories within histories", as well as about her hope that the label might hold "lessons for the era of Black Lives Matter and surging conversation about democratic socialism" (New York Times).

Ulrich Habersetzer talks to the Swedish trombonist Nils Landgren on the occasion of his 65th birthday (NDR). --- John Edward Hasse recounts the story of Billy Strayhorn's composition "Take the 'A' Train" first recorded 80 years ago (Wall Street Journal).

Mark Segraves reports about the owner of DC's legendary Blues Alley jazz club looking for a new location after negotiations about the lease of the Georgetown venue stalled (NBC Washington). Mikaela Lefrak has the Blues Alley story as well (DCist). --- Elisa Bray talks to Louise Paley and Nina Fine of the Women in Jazz initiative in the United Kingdom about some of the reasons for gender inequality in jazz, and they talk to drummer Jas Kayser and singer Celeste about their own experiences in a predominantly male music world (iNews). Tina Edwards reports about a study focusing on women on the UK jazz scene, finding that female musicians "face discrimination and sexual harassment (...), from requests to 'sex up' their album covers to tokenism, maternal discrimination and scepticism about their musical capabilities", and talks to the singer-songwriter Amahla, the trumpeter Yazz Ahmed, the saxophonist Tamar Osborn, the researcher Sarah Raine and Louise Paley of the Women in Jazz initiative about the findings and their personal experiences (The Guardian). Meanwhile the topic is hardly limited to the UK. Bettina Bohle and Laura Block present the results of a study initiated by Deutsche Jazzunion, the German jazz musicians' interest group, about gender equality on the German jazz scene (Neue Musikzeitung).

Rita Charleston talks to the pianist Eric Wortham (The Philadelphia Tribune). --- Brooke Ruth and Julia Dixon Evans talk to the saxophonist Charles McPherson about some of his favorite music, or specifically about Charlie Parker's recording of "Tico Tico", Billie Holiday's "You've Changed", Béla Bartók's "The Miraculous Mandarin Suite", and Charles Mingus' "Portrait" (KPBS).

In a very personal article, the German drummer Erwin Ditzner talks about his activities during the pandemic lockdown (Wochenblatt Reporter). --- Eddie Dean talks to the Duke Ellington expert David Berger about his fascination with the Duke, about the need for further – and deeper – analysis of his work, about his five-volume book project "The Ellington Effect", about "Rockin' in Rhythm" being about sex ("afterwards, you smoke a cigarette"), as well as about none other than Thad Jones making him aware of Ellington's status as a composer and bandleader (Washington Post Magazine).

Nicolette Baker talks to the pianist Mark McCutchen (Southeast Arrow). --- Andrew Jeffrey remembers the Canadian singer Judi Singh (CBC). --- Pete Mason remembers the New York Hickory House on 52nd Street (NYs Music). --- Robert Ito (New York Times) and Lauren Cochrane (The Guardian) watch a new biopic about the singer Billie Holiday. --- Natalie Kreisz talks to the German pianist Ursel Schlicht (SWR2).


We learned of the passing of the trumpeter Pauly Cohen at the age of 98 (South Florida Sun-Sentinel), the drummer Milford Graves at the age of 79 (NME, The Guardian [1], The Guardian [2], Pitchfork, New York Times), the Austrian DJ and promoter Erich Zawinul at the age of 54 (Der Standard), the flutist and bandleader Johnny Pacheco at the age of 85 (New York Times, Der Tagesspiegel, WBGO), the German clarinetist Billy Gorlt at the age of 94 (Süddeutsche Zeitung), the French pianist and broadcaster Claude Carrière at the age of 81 (Huffington Post), the pianist and vocalist Martin Rucker at the age of 37 (Columbia Chronicle), the US-Canadian trumpeter Denny Christianson at the age of 78 (CBC), the British-US-American producer Rupert Neve at the age of 94 (New York Times), the saxophonist Richie Perez at the age of 87 (KGET), as well as the pianist Chick Corea at the age of 79 (New York Times, NPR, The Guardian, Time, FAZ, Le Monde, Do the Math).

From the World of Jazz Research

Click Corea talks Erroll Garner
We listened to the jazz researcher and author Robin D.G. Kelley talking to the late pianist Chick Corea in August 2020 about the album "Closeup in Swing" by Erroll Garner (Erroll Garner Uncovered).

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

"Something Else" – Wie offen ist der Jazz?

We are preparing our 17th Darmstadt Jazzforum conference the title of which has been changed to "Something Else – Wie offen ist der Jazz?" (How open is jazz?). The conference which will be in German and English takes places 30 September – 2 October 2021 and will discuss aspects of the idea of "Europe" which had a lasting influence on aesthetics and ethics, the presentation and the reception of jazz. We will ask how a possibly Eurocentric perspective has changed and continues to shape our perception of what jazz stands for, how it connects both to the music’s African American origins and to our own individual cultural environment. Our discussions may start with the name "jazz", we may look at historical examples of Eurocentric tendencies, and we may take into account the current discourse about the relevance of jazz in non-African American communities. We will talk about racism in jazz, reflect on how exclusion and different forms of othering are present in today’s jazz scene, and look at alternate readings of how the example of African American culture has changed and enriched the understanding of music all over the world. We won’t limit the discussion to jazz but also look at similar debates about Eurocentrism or African-Americanism in contemporary composed music or pop culture.

We received a number of proposals for presentations and also prepare for some panel discussions looking at the subject from many different sides, from personal experience, cultural analysis, the perspectives of musicians, promoters, educators. Currently we are fine-tuning the schedule and preparing for all eventualities: hopefully an in-person conference, probably hybrid presentations, if need be an online-only event. We hope to be able to give you more information in about two months; should you have any questions, feel free to contact us. All current information about the planning stages will eventually be published on our website (17th Darmstadt Jazzforum).

We received the band book of German trumpeter Gerhard Vohwinkel, as well as a mallet and a drum stick which Lionel Hampton hat presented a fan with many years ago.

Opening hours of the Jazzinstitut during the lockdown
The Jazzinstitut is closed to the public during the lockdown. 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