Jazz News
(aus dem Jazzinstitut Darmstadt)

6 - 19 May 2021 | Ausgabe 10/2021 (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 ...

Nathaniel Bahadursingh reports about star architect Frank Gehry's collaboration with saxophonist Wayne Shorter and bassist Esperanza Spalding as scenic designer for their opera "Iphigenia" (Archinect; New Music USA). --- Eric Easter talks to bassist Christian McBride about winning another Grammy, about the lack of attention to jazz in award shows and elsewhere, about recent losses in the jazz world, about his prediction for the future of touring and the festival world, as well as about how the pandemic affected him both business-wise and creatively (Washington Post).

Jeff Tamarkin talks to pianist Cameron Graves about wanting the aim for his latest album "to develop a record that’s got the same intensity as a metal record, but with me on piano", about his basic education in classical music, about his collaboration with saxophonist Kamasi Washington as well as about touring with bassist Stanley Clarke (Relix). --- A number of German actresses and actors made headlines recently criticizing the German government's reaction to the pandemic. They were soon criticized themselves, and now trumpeter Till Brönner voices his opinion, defending the actors' protest even if their content might not always have succeeded in its satirical goal (Der Spiegel). Brönner, by the way, just celebrated his 50th birthday (Radio RST).

Giovanni Russonello talks to saxophonist James Brandon Lewis about the importance of respect in his life and music, about some of his essays and poetry, about the influence of his hometown Buffalo, New York, on his art, about making a mark on the New York scene in the 2010s, as well as about his latest album "Jesup Wagon", a tribute to scientist and inventor George Washington Carver (New York Times). --- Tim Diovanni talks to Texas-born pianist and vocalist Aaron Myers about the influence of the church on his music, about his latest album, "The Pride Album", which refers both to his memory of church and to experiences with racism in the Black community, about Louis Armstrong's recording of "Gut Bucket Blues" which hooked him on jazz, as well as about continuing his political activism now that he lives in Washington, D.C. (Dallas News).

Peter Kemper talks to British saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings about his idea of "Blackness" as a connection to ancient African practices, about the energy of music, about what he learned by studying the recordings of Pharoah Sanders, about changes in structural racism over the decades and the reaction from Black Power to Black Lives Matter, about how dancing helps to grasp his music, as well as about his latest album "Black to the Future" by the band Sons of Kemet (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). --- Ulrich Stock talks to trumpeter Jamie Branch about having been a punk rocker at heart once, about practicing by playing long notes, about her latest album, a live recording from Zurich, about playing the mbira after she caught Covid in December, about her first concert after the lockdown in late April, but also, shortly, about her fight against heroin addiction (Die Zeit).

Richard Färber talks to British saxophonist and flutist Bob Downes (Haller Tagblatt). --- Marc Myers talks to Seattle-based dancer Bill Evans about a collaboration he had with Bill Evans (the pianist) in 1978/1979 (JazzWax). --- The former club owner Uwe Becker remembers meeting Peter Brötzmann at the local organic supermarket and announcing John Tchicai in his Wuppertal venue Exil (Westdeutsche Zeitung). --- Bob Krasner talks to singer Teddy Horangic (AMNY).

Lindsey Valich talks to pianist and physicist Philippe Lewalle (Rochester). --- Lukas Lautenbacher talks to German guitarist Max Clouth about the influence of Indian classical music on his art (Guitar). --- Andrew Maclean talks to members of the Beatnik Collective from Melbourne, Australia (Beat). --- Jason Berry explains how Economy Hall, a popular venue in early 20th century New Orleans, had an impact on the fight for Black freedom (America Magazine).

Lindelwa Dalamba and Phillippa Yaa de Villiers remember the South African saxophonist Zimasile 'Zim' Ngqawana who died ten years ago (The Conversation). --- Reinhard Köchl (Augsburger Allgemeine), Stefan Dege and Suzanne Cords (Deutsche Welle) as well as Hans-Jürgen Linke (Frankfurter Rundschau) celebrate the German saxophonist Klaus Doldinger on the occasion of his 85th birthday and the 50th anniversary of his band Passport. --- The banjo player Béla Fleck remembers the late pianist Chick Corea (Relix). --- Gozel Sakhatova writes about Turkmen percussionist Mourad Sadykov (Novastan).

John Edward Hasse remembers pianist and composer James P. Johnson on the 100th anniversary of his "Carolina Shout" (Wall Street Journal). --- Matt Pruznick talks to John Stormer, the director of production at Jazz at Lincoln Center, about the development of audio technology for jazz venues (AV Network). --- Ingrid Kelley talks to the daughter of the late pianist Ed Nuccilli who plans to restore her father's 1889 Steinway grand piano (Fox 2 Detroit).

George Grella asks how safe it is to visit the jazz clubs that are slowly reopening in New York after the long lockdown (The Red Hook Star-Revue). --- We read an interview with French clarinetist and composer Michel Portal about coping with the pandemic and his latest album "MP85" (Mediabask). --- Anthony Tommasini talks to pianist Dan Tepfer about his approach to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach (New York Times). --- Jeffrey Mifflin reflects about the reverberations of the photography of jazz (History News Network).


We learned of the passing of the French washboard player Jeff Guyot at the age of 73 (Objectifgard), the soul singer Lloyd Price at the age of 88 (NBC), the literary scholar and Duke Ellington expert Ted Hudson at the age of 99 (McGuire Services), the trombonist Curtis Fuller at the age of 88 (GPB, Washington Post, Süddeutsche Zeitung, New York Times, Detroit Metro Times, London Jazz News), the producer Bob Koester at the age of 88 (Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, New York Times), the pianist Norman Simmons at the age of 91 (WBGO), the Canadian vibraphonist Frank Wright at the age of 92 (Mark Miller, via Facebook), the bassist Mario Pavone at the age of 80 (WNPR), the jazz promoter Penny Tyler, the Russian jazz expert Alexey Batashev at the age of 86 (Jazz.ru), the British saxophonist and bassist Conrad Cork at the age of 80 (Conrad Cork), the Swiss trumpeter Hans Kennel at the age of 82 (Neue Zürcher Zeitung), as well as the trumpeter Bob Ransom at the age of 88 (Wavy).

From the World of Jazz Research

CfP: Jazz, Globalisation, and Communities
The University of Paris Nanterre issued a call for papers for a publication about "Jazz, Globalisation, and Communities" (Call for Papers), with the new deadline being 30 June 2021.

Eberhard Weber Exhibition / Podcast
In 2018 the Jazzinstitut showed Eberhard Weber's electric bass in an exhibition about the instrument in general. Now the municipal museum of Esslingen focuses on Weber as one of the city's famous sons – the bassist was born in Stuttgart but grew up in Esslingen (Gelbes Haus). The show was organized in collaboration with the association Deutsches Jazzmuseum. While during the current lockdown the exhibition is still closed to the public, a podcast has Weber talking about his career and music (Studio Gelbes Haus).

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

(New) books we read
Among the books on our desk the last couple of weeks were "Garage wunderlich. Aus der Nische in die Mitte – 25 Jahre Jazz in E.", edited by Thomas Melzer, and "ABÉCÉDAIRE Jacques Demierre AB C BOOK", by Jacques Demierre (see the Jazzinstitut's book review page).

Darmstadt Jazzforum conference on "Roots | Heimat: Wie offen ist der Jazz?"
We have pretty much finalized the program for our conference in late September/early October. The conference will deal with questions of identity and representation in jazz, asking how jazz can be both an African-American music and represent discourses relevant to German and/or European communities. We will keep you posted – our next JazzNews should contain a link to more details in the program.

Social Media
While for some reason we still shy away from Twitter, we have been active on other social media platforms for long. Recently we have sped up our Facebook and Instagram activities, making sure to inform our followers about activities the Jazzinstitut's activities, about gems from our collection, or about more general discourses relevant to our national or the international jazz scene.

Sun Ra collection
Last week we received a major collection on Sun Ra and his Arkestra, a truckload full of boxes containing tapes, books, writings, clippings, photos and much more. The collection comes from Hartmut Geerken who may be the most knowledgeable expert in all things connected to Sun Ra, with several major publications about him and a personal friendship to many of the Arkestra's musicians. We will unpack and examine the content, and we will let you know more about the collection soon (Hartmut Geerken).

Deutscher Jazzpreis (German Jazz Award)
The Deutscher Jazzpreis will be awarded in no less than 31 categories (Deutscher Jazzpreis, Initiative Musik). As the nominees have been announced already and the date for the digital award show has been set (3 June), we are preparing ourselves as well. Arndt Weidler has been a member of the advisory board for the award, and Wolfram Knauer was involved as a jury member and will participate in the press conference announcing more details on 20 May 2021.

Current opening hours of the Jazzinstitut
The Jazzinstitut has re-opened to the public, even though by appointment only. Research slots will be given out with exact time slots for one visitor at a time. At the same time we continue our offer for research help 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