... brief news ...
In the first entry of his new blog Ted Gioia looks back at the flu pandemic of 1918-1920 which was followed, as he titles his essay "by eras of festivities and cultural broadening", similar to the "partying and cultural expansion" which he already seems to detect in the casinos of Las Vegas, or in festival ticket sales in Britain. Gioia then connects the development of early jazz to the flu pandemic, finding that, although the death rate in New Orleans had been twice that of the rest of the county, the music recorded only a little later by New Orleans musicians sounds "exuberant and fun-loving". About which he asks: "Coincidence or causality?" Looking back at reports of even earlier pandemics he suggests that "every sign indicate a faster revival of partying, nightlife and entertainment than the pundits predicted" (Culture Notes of an Honest Broker). --- Steve Provizer talks with author Ted Gioia about new approaches to publishing about jazz and how they affect the old ways (ArtsFuse).
Kristopher Gee talks to the composer and performer Paul Cornish about having been named Make Jazz Fellow at the 18th Street Art Center in Santa Monica, as well as about trying to push the boundaries of jazz by using electronics but that the music is really being made by humans (Spectrum News). --- Johanna Pichler talks to the German saxophonist Claus Koch about his initiation to jazz, about his activities during the pandemic, as well as about the competition in the music business (Süddeutsche Zeitung).
Richard Scheinin talks to this year's NEA Jazz Master Phil Schaap about the neighborhood he grew up in and which jazz musicians lived there, about meeting the drummer Jo Jones and being able to sing Lester Young's solo on "Taxi War Dance" when he was 5 years old, about his friendship with the trombonist Eddie Durham, about essential tracks by Young, Charlie Parker, Ornette Coleman, about Louis Armstrong's "West End Blues", about an eating contest he had with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, about a concert he produced at The West End in New York, at which only two people were in the audience, Sun Ra and Steve Lacy, as well as about other music that he presented at the West End between 1973 and 1992, and about his long-running radio show on WKCR (SFJazz). --- Tiana Kennell talks to the pianist John Beasley about living in Shreveport, Louisiana, after his family moved there at age 8, about declining an oboe scholarship from Juilliard to play Los Angeles clubs with older and seasoned musicians, about the importance of Thelonious Monk for his music and his MONK'estra project, as well as about having used the Covid-19 break to pursue new lessons in music technology and even take piano classes (Shreveport Times).
Allie Miller (Philly Voice) and Dave Cantor (New York Times) report about a long-presumed lost recording by the pianist Hasaan Ibn Ali, recorded in 1965, which has resurfaced and will now be released as "Metaphysics. The Lost Atlantic Album". Cantor talks to the saxophonist Odean Pope who took part in the recording, and he relates the pianist's story and his importance for the Philadelphia jazz scene. Miller explains that the album had been put on hold when Ali had been arrested on drug charges and completely forgotten after a warehouse fire had destroyed many of the label's original tapes in 1978. Tom Moon hast Ali's story as well (NPR), and Marc Myers talks to pianist and musicologist Lewis Porter and producer Alan Sukoenig about the rediscovery of the tapes (JazzWax). --- Patrick Varine remembers the pianist Earl Hines who will be formally recognized by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission with a historical marker in his hometown Duquesne (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review).
Mike Kanan and Ethan Iverson look at original sheet music as basis for the interpretation of two dozen jazz standards, namely: "After You've Gone", "All of Me", "All the Things You Are", "April in Paris", "But Not for Me", "Bye Bye Blackbird", "Come Rain or Come Shine", "Gone With the Wind", "How Deep Is the Ocean", "I Could Write a Book"; "I Fall in Love Too Easily", "I Hear a Rhapsody", "I Remember You", "I Should Care", "It Could Happen to You", "I Wish I Knew", "Just Friends", "Just One of Those Things", "Lush Life", "Memories of You", "My Ideal", "Prelude to a Kiss", "Stella By Starlight", and "Willow Weep for Me" (Do the Math). --- Clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre would have turned 100 these days, and we read a number of features about his music's impact on jazz (Hans-Jürgen Schaal in Neue Musikzeitung, Thomas Mießgang in ORF, Alex Dutilh in France Musique).
Lawrence Cosentino talks to the trombonist Michael Dease about celebrating his "relationship with jazz through a blues tinged lens", about his musical and educational career, as well as about his latest album "Give It All You've Got" (Lansing City Pulse). --- Marc Myers talks to the pianist Jon Batiste about what it meant to grow up in New Orleans, about getting turned on to music through videogames, about the music connections in his family, about starting his band, Stay Human, as well as about his bond to dogs (Wall Street Journal).
Ed Morales talks to the vocalist Rubén Blades about extending his stylistic vocabulary and seeing music as subversive in general, because it changes perspectives, about a new project in which he celebrates the connections between Afro-Cuban music and jazz, as well as about some other projects he has been and is currently involved with (New York Times). --- Adam Gustafson examines how Ella Fitzgerald recorded "Wacky Dust" the same year as her hit "A-Tisket, A-Tasket", coupling her innocent girl image with a song about cocaine (Wausau Pilot and Review).
The saxophonist Sam Reed talks about how he chose his instrument, about his mentor Jimmy Heath, about the Philadelphia jazz scene over the years, about performing with some of the stars of the music such as Teddy Pendergrass and Billie Holiday, as well as about feeling lucky to still be around (at the age of 85) and by now mentoring another generation of future musicians (6ABC). --- Rita Charleston talks to the trumpeter Terell Stafford about his start in music and how he got into jazz, as well as about the need to prepare young musicians "because this is not an easy career" (Philadelphia Tribune).
Len Lear talks to the visual artist Mikel Elam about his art, but also about his friendship with Miles Davis whom he got to know well during the trumpeter's last years, painting together and exchanging artistic ideas (Chestnut Hill Local). --- Andy Beta reports about the exhibition "Organic Music Societies: Don and Moki Cherry" currently shown at the Blank Forms gallery in Brooklyn, and then tells the story of how trumpeter Don Cherry met Monika Karlsson in Sweden, found mutual interest in music, fashion and visual arts but also "envisioned a new kind of concert experience, audience and band seated at the same level and close to each other". Beta finds her work accompanying Cherry's career, and he talks to musicians such as percussionist Hamid Drake and singer Neneh Cherry (daughter of Moki and Don) about her artistic impact on her husband and beyond (Washington Post).
Colin Fleming writes about the bassist Jimmy Blanton and his impact on how his instrument is since being seen and used in jazz (The Smart Set). --- The German pianist, composer and bandleader Hannes Zerbe will receive this year's Berlin Jazz Award (City of Berlin). --- Listening to his latest album "Uneasy", Sanjoy Naranyan explains why he considers the pianist and composer Vijay Iyer so precious to contemporary jazz (Mint). --- Brandee Sanders reports about a Louis Armstrong documentary in the works (NewsOne). --- Andy Cush looks back at the career of guitarist Sonny Sharrock, focusing on his final album "Ask the Ages" (Pitchfork). --- Steve Krakow remembers the saxophonist Gene Barge and his influence in Chicago R&B (Chicago Reader). --- Detlef Kinsler reads Rainer Wieczorek's literary biography of German saxophonist Heinz Sauer (Journal Frankfurt). --- The German bassist Peter Schwebs talks about his activities during the pandemic (NDR Kultur). --- Tom Taylor reflects on the magic of Count Basie's music (Far Out Magazine). --- This year's EJN Award for Adventurous Programming goes to the Jazzfest Berlin (Europe Jazz Network). --- John Edward Hasse remembers the late percussionist Cándido Camero on the occasion of his 100th birthday (Wall Street Journal). --- Keith Spera reports about re-discovered tapes of historic performances from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (New Orleans Times-Picayune). --- T.R. Ramakrishnan tells the story of the Indian jazz promoter Soli Sorabjee (The Hindu). --- Stuart Derdeyn talks to the saxophonist Cory Weeds about his label Cellar Live (Vancouver Sun). --- The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music has launched its Jazz Leaders Fellowship, a program designed to support Black women and non-binary leaders in jazz music (Brooklyn Reader). --- The Cologne-based gallery JUBG will show an exhibition of paintings and objects by saxophonist/visual artist Peter Brötzmann, starting 14 May (JUBG, Peter Brötzmann). A belated celebration of Brötzmann on the occasion of his 80th birthday (in March) is planned for late August in Wuppertal (Insel).