Jazz News
(aus dem Jazzinstitut Darmstadt)

20 May - 9 June 2021 | Ausgabe 11/2021 (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 ... 

Anne Brice talks to the singer and jazz historian Kim Nalley about her musical upbringing, about the influence of Amiri Baraka, about jazz as protest music, as well as about being inspired by young saxophonist and singer Camille Thurman (Berkeley News). --- Hannah Schmidt writes about racism in the repertoire of classical music and asks to include George Russell's Lydian Chromatic Concept along with analyses of Bach's chorales in introductory musicological seminars (Die Zeit). Along the same lines Zachary Woolfe suggests to look to the young assistant conductors if you want more diversity at the head of classical orchestras (New York Times).

Aaron Tsangaris looks at the last years of trumpeter Miles Davis and listens to some of his recordings from that time (Rolling Stone). --- Michael J. West reports about a restart of the jazz scene in Washington, D.C., talking to musicians and programmers at local venues (Washington Post).

Jeff Lunden remembers Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle's revue "Shuffle Along" which opened in New York 100 years ago as the first big successful Black show to be produced on Broadway (NPR). John Edward Hasse tells the show's story as well and explains its success (Wall Street Journal). --- Paul Talbot talks to Mathieu Jaton, the CEO of the Montreux Jazz Festival, about marketing strategies for a festival today and how Montreux reacted to the pandemic restrictions (Forbes).

Matt Silver talks to harpist Gloria Galante about her long career in jazz, about her friendship with saxophonist Odean Pope, as well as about her latest composition, "Style de Verioullage: The Lockdown Suite" (WRTI). --- Lewis Porter looks closer at Thelonious Monk's composition "Round Midnight", listens to some fairly little known interpretations, among them an unaccompanied saxophone solo by Coleman Hawkins, and explains how a coda which Dizzy Gillespie invented for his recording of the composition in 1946 became both an introduction and coda, soon also used by Monk himself, making the piece an "illustration of the collaborative nature of jazz itself" (WBGO).

Dan Rodricks talks to pianist Cyrus Chestnut about his late father, a postal worker and self-taught pianist who introduced him to the instrument and taught him until he received lessons from a professional music teacher, to then study at Peabody Preparatory and Berklee College of Music. Chestnut will be on the keyboard for his father's funeral service (The Baltimore Sun). --- Peter Wiest talks to German trumpeter Thomas Siffling about his love for "melodious, comprehensible jazz that does not overwhelm people intellectually but takes them along on the musical ride", about the need to listen more to the audience, as well as about his latest album on which, for the first time in his recording career, he also sings (Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung).

Manfred Papst writes about Swiss pianist Irène Schweizer on the occasion of her 80th birthday, remembers the celebrations for her 70th anniversary, looks back at her growing up as the child of a local innkeeper in Schaffhausen, finds the roots of her percussive piano style and unusual fingering techniques, explains the importance of her friendship with some exiled south African musicians living in Switzerland, Dollar Brand (Abdullah Ibrahim) and Johnny Dyani among them, remembers her political engagement, and then listens to a private recording of Schweizer from 1960 imitating Erroll Garner (Neue Zürcher Zeitung). Florian Bissig listens to "Celebration", a new album by Irène Schweizer and percussionist Hamid Drake released around her 80th birthday (Neue Zürcher Zeitung). --- Ethan Iverson talks to drummer Jeff 'Tain' Watts about his background in classical percussion, about some of his early influences such as Billy Cobham, Harvey Mason, Mike Clark, Lenny White, about studying at Berklee College and some of the musicians who were at the school with him, such as Branford Marsalis, about playing in Wynton Marsalis' quartet together with Kenny Kirkland and others, about playing with older musicians such as Big Nick Nicholas and Milt Hinton, about a lesson learned from Ron Carter, as well as about some other drummers in jazz history such as Jo Jones, Art Blakey, Tony Williams, and Elvin Jones (Do the Math).

Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding talk to pianist Vijay Iyer about his latest album "Uneasy" and the political background to some of the pieces on it, as well as about trying to avoid the word "jazz" for his music (Vulture). --- Carine Zuber leaves after eight years as artistic director of the Swiss club Moods in Zürich (Neue Zürcher Zeitung). --- Victoriah Szirmai talks to German drummer Tilo Weber (Klangverführer) as well as saxophonist Tobias Meinhart (Klangverführer).

Marc Myers throws a spotlight on Dutch pianist Rob Madna (JazzWax). --- Chris Kies talks to guitarist Gilad Hekselman about his instruments (Premier Guitar). --- Andrea Shea talks to South African vocalist Naledi Masilo (WBUR). --- Jon Pareles talks to singer Georgia Anne Muldrow (New York Times).

Klaus Denzer attended this year's Moers Festival which took place partly as a livestream and partly as an open-air festival in front of a live audience (Wochen Magazin [1], Wochen Magazin [2]). Andreas Schnell reports as well (Neues Deutschland), as does Peter Kemper (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). The festival itself can still be viewed online (Arte Concert).

Marc Myers talks to trombonist Jennifer Wharton (JazzWax). --- Nicole Seipp-Isele talks to Swiss trumpeter Peter Schärli (Lokal Info Zürich). --- Alexander Nöbauer reports about frictions between the organizers of the nearly 50-year-old workshop in Burghausen, Germany, its founder and some of its longtime teachers (Passauer Neue Presse).

Czech clarinetist and bandleader Gustav Brom would have turned 100 these days (Radio Prag). --- The Chicago home of blues legend Muddy Waters is considered for official landmark status (City of Chicago). --- Cat Zhang explains the different aspects of Asian-American music (Pitchfork).

Andrian Kreye celebrates pianist Erroll Garner on the occasion of his 100th birthday (Süddeutsche Zeitung). --- Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts turns 80 and is celebrated beyond rock circles (Schwäbisches Tagblatt, Frankfurter Rundschau). --- Jeff McGinnis remembers the little-known but legendary guitarist Arv Garrison and talks to Garrison expert James Harrod (Toledo City Paper).

Marc Myers remembers pianist Marty Napoleon on his centennial (JazzWax). --- Titus Arnu talks to Swiss Alphorn player Eliana Burki (Süddeutsche Zeitung). --- Tim Parsons talks to drummer Dan Weiss (Tahoe Onstage). --- Manfred Papst listens to "Black to the Future", the new album of the British band Sons of Kemet around saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings (Neue Zürcher Zeitung).


We learned of the passing of the promoter Arthur Pomposello at the age of 85 (New York Times), the bandleader Sam Marabella at the age of 95 (WFMZ), the German pianist Achim Pils at the age of 77 (Göttinger Tageblatt), the French promoter and artistic director of Jazz à Juan Jean-René Palacio at the age of 67 (Nice Matin, France Info), the trumpeter Keith Johnson at the age of 80 (Register Guard), the Swiss guitarist Urs Vögeli at the age of 45 (Aargauer Zeitung), the drummer Scott Laningham at the age of 61 (Austin 360), the trumpeter Johnny Trudell at the age of 82 (Macomb Daily), the soprano saxophonist Stan McDonald at the age of 85 (Syncopated Times), the German drummer Peter Hollinger at the age of 76 (Berliner Zeitung), the German journalist Manfred Miller at the age of 78 (Jazz City), the Japanese-born composer and artist Yoshi Wada at the age of 77 (New York Times), the actor Clarence Williams III (grandson of pianist and composer Clarence Williams) at the age of 81 (WCAX), the South African drummer Mabi Thobejane at the age of 74 (New Frame), as well as the singer Pervis Staples at the age of 85 (New York Times).

From the World of Jazz Research

Dizzy Gillespie Collection at Vanderbilt University
Ann Marie Deer Owens reports that Vanderbilt Heard Libraries have acquired the Dizzy Gillespie Collection, containing "a rich collection of portraits, personal scrapbooks, signed albums and more from the life and career of Dizzy Gillespie" (Vanderbilt News).

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

(New) books we read
Among the books on our desk the last couple of weeks were "This Uncontainable Feeling of Freedom. Irène Schweizer – European Jazz and the Politics of Improvisation", by Christian Broecking (translated by Jeb Bishop) (see the Jazzinstitut's book review page).

Darmstadt Jazzforum conference on "Roots | Heimat: Wie offen ist der Jazz?"
The program for our 17th Darmstadt Jazzforum is out. Our conference in late September / early October will deal with questions of identity and representation in jazz, it will be asking how jazz can be both an African-American music and represent discourses relevant to German and/or European communities. We asked a number of colleagues – most of them new to the Jazzforum series – to present papers and participate in panel discussions addressing matters that have become a subject of concern in the music scene as well – as can be seen in a newly launched website addressing "various forms of structural discrimination" (Musicians for). As for the 17th Darmstadt Jazzforum, find out more about the who, when and what (Roots | Heimat).

Deutscher Jazzpreis (German Jazz Award)
The Deutscher Jazzpreis was awarded last week in no less than 31 categories (Deutscher Jazzpreis, Initiative Musik). Arndt Weidler has been a member of the advisory board for the award, and Wolfram Knauer was involved as a jury member. The press praised the idea and the stylistic diversity of the winning artists, but was less impressed with the show which instead of the planned 2 hours lasted 3 1/2 (Berliner Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Zeit, JazzCity). Criticism came from some musicians who argue for more intersectionality both in the advisory board and the jury (Musicians for).

William Claxton exhibition
Our exhibition with photos by William Claxton taking during his 1960s trip through the United States with Joachim Ernst Berendt and resulting in the book "Jazz Life" is open again. The show is accompanied by audiovisual material accessible through the QR reader of your smart phone. Appointments for visiting the exhibition, which was curated by Doris Schröder, at the Jazzinstitut's gallery are necessary (Claxton exhibit).

Louis Armstrong
He would have turned 120 in August, and he died exactly 50 years ago in July. Just two of many reasons to remember Louis Armstrong, the first big star of jazz, a virtuoso trumpeter, one of the most influential musicians, a memorable singer, and an honest and authentic human being. The Jazzinstitut's Wolfram Knauer wrote a new biography about Satchmo that will be out in mit-June and that will come with a link list to recordings discussed in the book (Reclam). He also published the German translation of a lecture he recently gave at Columbia University about "the political" in Armstrong's music in the summer issue of Jazz Podium.

Current opening hours of the Jazzinstitut
The Jazzinstitut is open to the public by appointment. 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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