Jazz News
(aus dem Jazzinstitut Darmstadt)

10 – 23 June 2021 | Ausgabe 12/2021 (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 ...

Ulrich Stock attended the 80th birthday celebrations for Swiss pianist Irène Schweizer. He hears saxophonist Co Streiff and accordionist Rüdiger Carl perform, he hears the city officials and the laudatory speech by Bert Noglik, and then he recalls the pianist's career with the help of articles he wrote about Schweizer since 1989, a remix of text blocks and memories, before getting back to the celebration in Zurich which was limited to 50 people due to the pandemic, and which ended with Irène Schweizer shortly sitting down at the piano herself (Die Zeit). --- Keith Spera reports about the reopening of Preservation Hall in New Orleans, more than 15 months after it had to close due to the pandemic (New Orleans Times-Picayune).

Gordon McIntyre hears 96-year-old singer (and pianist) Eve Duke who used to sing and record with Duke Ellington under the name Yvonne Lanauze in the early 1950s, and he learns of how the Duke hired her after an audition in Washington, D.C., and how she quit touring, settled in Vancouver and married award-winning director and producer Daryl Duke (Vancouver Sun). --- David Skipwith talks to New Zealand drummer Frank Gibson about his almost 70 year career in jazz (Stuff).

Nate Chinen talks to saxophonist and composer Anthony Braxton about ZIM Music – "his latest structural model in a lifelong pursuit to locate clarity within chaos", about drawing inspiration from Walt Disney, about his work which for a long time was considered "not Black" enough, as well as about his work never having been a rejection but rather an affirmation of tradition (NPR). --- Rick Horner talks to vibraphonist Harry Wilson about touring with Sun Ra for four years, about the influence of Milt Jackson, as well as about how he dealt with the pandemic (Potomac Local News).

Thomas Lindemann talks to German pianist Michael Wollny and bassist Tim Lefebvre about their latest album "XXXX" with saxophonist Émile Parisien and drummer Christian Lillinger, which as Wollny explains, gives the musicians the most of freedom, but also shows inspiration by Krautrock and Ibiza Techno, and at times feels like a video game, in which the players need to constantly figure out new rules, find new doors or a treasure (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). --- The German city of Hamburg has a new jazz concert hall, simply called "Jazz Hall", part of the jazz department of the Hamburg Music University, and in a trailer we hear from Germany's  vice chancellor (formerly mayor of Hamburg and chancellor candidate in the next federal elections) Olaf Scholz, from Ernst A. Langner who sponsored the hall, from the university's president Elmar Lampson, from trombonist Nils Landgren, and from Wolf Kerschek, the head of the jazz department (NDR).

Ken Eisner talks to pianist Helen Sung about a new project in which she will celebrate the music of bebop pioneer Bud Powell, about her teaching experience and how everything changed during the pandemic, when she found time to consider what she really wants to do (The Georgia Straight). --- Christian Weidner talks to German bassist Robert Landfermann about a solo project he focused on during the pandemic, about his road to music in general and to jazz in particular, about having been part of a "golden generation" of musicians in Cologne that helped form a creative community in that city, as well as about his goal in music being "peace of mind", coming "to terms with myself or my life" (Monheim Triennale).

We learned that in May the corner of Broad and William Street in Newark, New Jersey, was named Woody Shaw Jr. Plaza in honor of the late trumpeter Woody Shaw (Woody Shaw). --- Peter Wiest talks to German singer Jutta Glaser (Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung). --- Wolfgang Sandner reports about the German pianist Christof Sänger who will receive the 2021 Hesse Jazz Award (Hessischer Jazzpreis) (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung).

Frank Heer talks to singer Lisa Simone, daughter of the legendary Nina Simone (Neue Zürcher Zeitung). --- Manfred Papst talks to Christian Jott Jenny about his double role as a local politician and promoter of a major festival in St. Moritz, Switzerland (Neue Zürcher Zeitung). --- Karl Lippegaus remembers pianist Erroll Garner on his centenary (Deutschlandfunk), as do Ernst Burger (Neue Musikzeitung, JazzZeitung) and John Edward Hasse (Wall Street Journal).

Philippe Henry talks to Franco-German bassist Pascal Niggenkemper (Centre Presse Aveyron). --- Reinhard Köchl talks to pianist Vijay Iyer about his latest album "Uneasy" and its connection to real-life America today (Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung). --- Hans Hielscher looks at the varied history of George Gershwin's composition "Summertime" in and beyond jazz (Der Spiegel).

In a series on Philadelphia's "homegrown" jazz heroes, Suzanne Cloud talks to bassist Tyrone Brown (WRTI), Shaun Brady to trumpet player Alonzo Demetrius (WRTI), and Richard Conde to saxophonist Yesseh Furaha-Ali (WRTI). --- Ted Gioia celebrates the Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal on the occasion of his 85th birthday (Culture Notes of an Honest Broker).


We learned of the passing of the promoter Linda Smith at the age of 72 (Morristown Daily Record), the bassist Al Doane at the age of 82 (Press-Herald), the German drummer Christian Scheuber at the age of 60 (Mannheimer Morgen, Jazz Pages), the Japanese saxophonist Nobuo Hara at the age of 94 (Kyodo News), as well as the Brazilian trombonist Raul de Souza at the age of 86 (Süddeutsche Zeitung).


Correction: Peter Hollinger whose death we reported in the last edition of our newsletter was only 67 at the time of his death, not 76. He committed suicide after having been given notice to vacate his apartment, a victim of gentrification in Kreuzberg, a trendy Berlin neighborhood (Tip Berlin).

From the World of Jazz Research 

Louis Armstrong interview from 1971
Ricky Riccardi, director of research collections at the Louis Armstrong House Museum, published a story about an interview Louis Armstrong and his wife Lucille gave to Miriam Sandford for the German illustrated magazine Jasmin shortly before his death. The story includes a facsimile of the original publication plus an English translation sent to Lucille by Sandford (Virtual Exhibits, Louis Armstrong House Museum).

Palm label
Pierre Crepon tells the story and publishes a playlist of French pianist Jef Gilson's 1970s record label Palm which recorded quite a number of important American and French free jazz musicians, such as saxophonists Byard Lancaster, Frank Lowe, David Ware, André Jaume and François Jeanneau, trumpeters Baikida Carroll and Butch Morris, drummer Jacques Thollot and others (The Wire Playlist).

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

(New) books we read
Among the books on our desk the last couple of weeks was "The Many Faces of Harry Beckett", by John Thurlow (see the Jazzinstitut's book review page).

Darmstadt Jazzforum conference on "Roots | Heimat: Wie offen ist der Jazz?"
We are still making slight adjustments to the program of our 17th Darmstadt Jazzforum conference in late September / early October. It focuses on questions of identity and representation in jazz, especially as it refers to current discourses relevant to German and/or European communities. Read about the content, about who is coming, what they will be talking about, and more (Roots | Heimat). The Jazzforum is planned as a live conference with audience; however we plan to go hybrid and livestream most of the event as well.

Africa! Back to the Roots?
This edition of the Mainzer Jazzgespräche (Mainz Jazz Talks) had originally been planned for May 2020, then postponed a number of times, but now it finally happened: In the Jazzinstitut's cooperation with the music department of Gutenberg University in Mainz, we invited Gambian kora player, singer and griot Aziz Kuyateh, German pianist Hans Lüdemann and the Mainz-based ethnologist Hauke Dorsch for a discussion of the importance of African traditions for jazz musicians today, about the meaning of "jazz" in different parts of Africa, as well as about the inspiration which can happen when creative musicians from different cultural traditions meet. Aziz Kuyateh and Hans Lüdemann also performed, solo and together. It was the first event before a small live audience since the lockdown for the music department, however the complete one-hour show was also livestreamed and can be viewed on the YouTube channel of the Mainz Music Department (Mainz YouTube)

We received a nearly complete digital run of the Russian magazine "Jazz.ru" from Cyril Moshkow which will be part of the Jazzinstitut's growing digital archive. While these sources are not available online, their digital presence makes it much easier for researchers in Darmstadt to find specific information. You can find a current listing of all magazines and journals at the Jazzinstitut's archive on our website.

Jürgen Wuchner memorial / Darmstadt Jazz Conceptions
Jürgen Wuchner who was a firm but calm anchor of our city's jazz scene, died more than 13 months ago on 1 May 2020. Now, with the lockdown lifting, finally a memorial concert took place at Romanfabrik, Frankfurt, bringing together some of Jürgen's closest friends and colleagues, pianist Uli Partheil, saxophonist Wollie Kaiser, trumpeter Daniel Schmitz, drummer Bülent Ates, with the bass part played by Dieter Manderscheid. The quintet performed some of Jürgen's characteristic compositions, and the evening before a small and tested audience was livestreamed and can be viewed online (Romanfabrik YouTube). Stefan Michalzik sums up: "Not an evening of overflowing solos. In a compelling way, music was made entirely along the lines of Wuchner's structure-conscious, anti-expressive thinking" (Frankfurter Rundschau).

Besides being a brilliant bassist and a composer of complex yet always ear-catching music, Jürgen also was an inspiring educator. In 1992 he initiated Darmstadt Jazz Conceptions workshop together with the culture initiative Bessunger Knabenschule and the Jazzinstitut. He had fully planned the 2020 summer courses at the time of his death, which however had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. Now we are looking ahead again: Under the artistic direction of pianist Uli Partheil, the 2021 edition of Jazz Conceptions will be smaller in scope and group size, however feature the popular nightly open-air concerts all over the city again. Besides Partheil the teachers for 2021 are saxophonist Peter Back, bassist Maike Hilbig, trumpeter Stephan Meinberg, and drummer Axel Pape. The workshop is sold out already; should you want to attend the sessions between 19 and 24 July 2021, check with the respective outdoor venues for their registration policies (Darmstadt Jazz Conceptions).

Louis Armstrong
Wolfram Knauer's new biography of Louis Armstrong is in the stores from today (Reclam). A playlist of recordings discussed in the book can be downloaded on the publisher's website or directly here.

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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Jazzinstitut Darmstadt
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The Jazzinstitut is an institution of the City of Sciences Darmstadt | Das Jazzinstitut ist eine Einrichtung der Wissenschaftsstadt Darmstadt