... brief news ...
Giovanni Russonello talks to bassist, vocalist and composer Esperanza Spalding and saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter about their opera "Iphigenia", about the collaboration process for which Spalding took a year off from teaching at Harvard, about the decision to form their own opera company for the project, supported by architect Frank Gehry who also drafted the set designs. Shorter had moved into Gehry's empty home after his own house had been riddled with toxic mold, writes Russonello, and he learns that the whole composition project seemed to restore Shorter's health. "Iphigenia" will be premiered these days in Boston with following performances in Washington, Berkeley and Los Angeles (New York Times). Jay N. Miller (The Patriot-Ledger) and Andrea Shea (NPR) report about Wayne Shorter's and Esperanza Spalding's new opera as well.
Oliver Hochkeppel talks to German drummer Wolfgang Haffner about some of the projects he participates in, about his trio and the choice of musicians (Randy Brecker, Bill Evans, Christopher Dell) for a dream band he currently tours with, about his decision to move back to Germany from Ibiza where he had lived for eight years, as well as about the start of his career in Munich in the early 1980s (Süddeutsche Zeitung). Michael Schleicher talks to Wolfgang Haffner as well (Münchner Merkur). --- Maxi Broecking talks to Dutch drummer Han Bennink about his dislike of the term "free jazz" (he prefers "improvised music"), about traveling mostly with his sticks and a snare drum, about the ICP Orchestra which he co-founded as a collective in 1967, about national differences in improvised music of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as about his connection to ideas of the neo-dada and fluxus art scenes of that time (die tageszeitung).
Ben Ratliff listens to live recordings of saxophonist John Coltrane's gig at the Village Vanguard in New York between 24 October and 5 November 1961 as proof that Trane's music is a "work by a band in which process obliterates product and the power of the ensemble eclipses that of the leader", then tries to put all of that into perspective by making connections to both musical and non-musical events of 1961, concluding that perhaps jazz musicians "carried this news of ambivalent possibility better than almost anyone else. (...) It wasn't clear where the music was headed, but certain musicians knew this situation constituted a presence, not an absence" (Washington Post). --- Jem Aswad reports about John Coltrane's album "A Love Supreme" which just received platinum status, the plaque for which Trane's son and daughter, Ravi and Michelle Coltrane received during a presentation at the John & Alice Coltrane Home in Dix Hills, Long Island (Variety).
Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and his former business partner Ronald Markham were sentenced to 18 months in prison each for steering "more than $1.3 million from the New Orleans Public Library Foundation to themselves, largely by funneling it through the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, which Mayfield founded" (NPR). --- Reinhard Köchl talks to German bassist Eberhard Weber about his latest album titled "Once Upon a Time" which he originally wanted to call "Last Stroke" referring to the stroke he suffered in 2007 after which he remained unable to play, about not planning to release any more previously unreleased recordings, about not really having looked for his own sound, but finding it accidentally and by experiment, as well as about the difficulties of a life with a handicap (Die Zeit).
Mike Hobart talks to British pianist and composer Mike Westbrook about working with poems by William Blake, about his development as a composer, as well as about "getting (...) more accomplished at being able to make things work with very few resources" (Financial Times). --- Elizabeth Aubrey talks to singer Gregory Porter about only learning that his father had an incredible singing voice at his funeral, about the encouragement in his career that he received from his mother, about losing his brother and several close friends to Covid-19, about racism then and now, as well as about his ability to turn negatives into positives coming "from remembering solutions to the darkness, solutions to loneliness I’ve [experienced] and willing myself through" (The Independent).
Concord Records issued a press release announcing a virtual cooperation between saxophonists Stan Getz and Kenny G. Ted Gioia is perplexed, recalls seeing Getz regularly while the saxophonist who died in 1991 taught at Stanford University, and he doubts that Getz would have approved. What we can expect, he explains, is no less than a duet between Kenny G and Stan Getz, even though "the text of the announcement clearly states that the track relied on 'sample notes to create this brand new melody never before played by Stan'". Gioia calls the project "truly a Frankenstein conception, stitched together from bits and pieces" (The Honest Broker). Andrian Kreye has the story as well and decides it's a case of "disturbance of the dead rest" (Süddeutsche Zeitung). --- Brian Blueskye talks to saxophonist Kamasi Washington about the importance to perform this music live, about some of his influences, about his creative process, about changes both in technology and music, as well as about genres which "are good for organizing a playlist or something like that", however him never wanting to be put "in any kind of box" (The Desert Sun).
Amanda Kuyper talks to trumpeter Theo Croker (NRC). --- Eric Volmers talks to Nigerian-born saxophonist Perpetual Awele Nwaefido aka Perpie (Calgary Herald). --- Marc Myers talks to drummer Joe LaBarbera about his time playing with the last Bill Evans Trio in the late 1970s (JazzWax). --- Sandy Kenyon reports about singer Paul Robeson's childhood home in New Jersey which is about to be restored (ABC Eyewitness News). --- Sam Kemp remembers singer and dancer Josephine Baker (Far Out Magazine). --- Kathya Alexander remembers the singer Ernestine Anderson (South Seattle Emerald). --- Peter Hum talks to Canadian clarinetist Virginia MacDonald (Ottawa Citizen). --- Raquel Rodriguez talks to Indian pianist Charu Suri (Scroll In).