(aus dem Jazzinstitut Darmstadt)

2 - 22 December 2021 | Ausgabe 23/2021 (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 ...

Jade Yamazaki Stewart talks to trombonist Julian Priester about teaching people the art of listening, about his goal as a musician to move his audience emotionally, about jazz as "spontaneous composition", as well as about music as a tool for emotional healing (The Seattle Times). --- Jakob Buhre talks to German trumpeter Till Brönner about his latest (Christmas) album and that he would have liked to have heard a Christmas album by Miles Davis or John Coltrane, as well as about the situation for musicians under current Covid conditions (Web).

Sam Adams talks to saxophonist Kenny G and film director Penny Lane about the new documentary "Listening to Kenny G", about criticism concerning the saxophonist's music, as well as about Kenny G's studio recording and editing process of his albums (Slate). Richard Brody watches Penny Lane's documentary about Kenny G as well which he calls an "ironic masterpiece" (The New Yorker). Juliet Pennington talks to Kenny G about his traveling both for work and leisure (The Boston Globe). --- Nina Cherry remembers pianist Margaret "Countess" Johnson whom she identifies as "one of the first women to lead a career as a jazz musician in Kansas City", whose only commercial recordings from 1938 are with Billie Holiday (Kansas City Magazine). Cherry also links to a database of Kansas City Women in jazz (Countess).

M.H. Miller tells the story behind Saint John Coltrane Church in San Francisco and talks to His Eminence Archbishop Franzo W. King, and the Most Rev. Supreme Mother Marina King about their spiritual awakening to Coltrane's music, about how a jazz club which they opened in their garage in 1964 eventually became the church, about the importance of Coltrane's music for the Black Power movement of the 1960s, about their mixed relationship with Alice Coltrane over the years, and they answer the question, Why among all the artists working with Christian themes Coltrane? King's answer: "What’s always struck me about Coltrane, and 'A Love Supreme' in particular, is how welcoming he is in his approach to spirituality, how lacking in judgment" (New York Times). --- Ammar Kalia talks to drummer Makaya McCraven about his latest album which re-contextualizes tracks from the Blue Note label's archive, about how he grew up in a musical family, as well as about the current young jazz scene in London (The Guardian). Hannah Edgar hears Makaya McCraven's current band at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago (Chicago Tribune).

Michael "Ice-Blue" Harris talks to drummer Terri Lyne Carrington about her latest album "New Standards" that will be honoring women composers, about the Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice which she founded, as well as about jazz being an "art form that will be with us forever" (Rolling Out). --- Joshua Barone talks to trumpeter Terence Blanchard whose opera "Fire Shut Up In My Bones" was just staged at New York's Metropolitan Opera and whose "so-called opera in jazz, 'Champion'" will be staged there in April 2023 (New York Times).

Drummer Stix Hooper talks about his new radio show, about how radio influenced him when he came up, about his career start in 1960s Los Angeles with the band Nighthawks that eventually became the Jazz Crusaders, about dropping the word "jazz" from describing their music, as well as about his new album, "Orchestrally Speaking" (California News Times). --- Ted Gioia looks at the music and musical philosophy of saxophonist Paul Winter (The Honest Broker). He also publishes an interview with Paul Winter talking "about everything from his role in bringing jazz to Russia to his collaborations with John Hammond and George Martin" (The Honest Broker).

Laura Kiniry remembers Louis Armstrong's visit to Ghana in 1956, met by an enthusiastic audience, and she asks around Accra's jazz scene today what remained of that visit more than 60 years ago, emphasizing that "jazz has formed the foundation for Ghana’s cultural and music scene" and continues to be the basis for many of the musical styles to be heard in the country (Atlas Obscura). --- Jerry Oppenheimer tells the story of singer Beverly Kenney who was virtually unknown during her short life (she committed suicide in 1960) but has had a comeback when her recording of "It's a Most Unusual Day" was featured in a widely-viewed car commercial last month (New York Post).

The New Orleans city council debates a street currently named after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee to be renamed after pianist and songwriter Allen Toussaint (AP News). --- Tom Gsteiger reports about the Bird's Eye club in Basel, Switzerland, the owners of which disobeyed the state Covid restrictions and thus had been forced to close the club. He also reports about other Covid and vaccination sceptics within the Swiss jazz scene (Der Bund). --- John Edward Hasse remembers lyricist Ira Gershwin on his 125th birthday (Wall Street Journal). --- Giovanni Russonello listens to some recent duo album and talks to saxophonist Sam Gendel, producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad, pianist Sylvie Courvoisier, and bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck (New York Times). --- British pianist and singer Jamie Cullum reveals that he finally started having piano lessons during the Covid lockdown (Daily Mail). --- Nate Chinen, Larry Blumenfeld, Harmony Holiday, Marcus J. Moore, Stephanie Jones, and Shannon J. Effinger look back at the year 2021, pick their favorite releases or events, and find (in the words of Chinen) that "2021 proved that improvisation is a life strategy" (NPR).


We learned of the passing of photographer Sepp Werkmeister at age 90 (BR Klassik), the British trombonist Mike Pointon at age 80 (The Guardian), the Austrian journalist Herbert Uhlir at age 71 (ORF), the critic Greg Tate at age 64 (NBC News, Tidal, The Village Voice, New York Times, Die Zeit), the pianist and teacher Barry Harris at age 91 (NPR, New York Times, Washington Post, Detroit Free Press, The Nation; funeral celebration: New York Times), the singer Kurt Reichenbach at age 68 (Los Angeles Times), the German composer Karl Heinz Wahren at age 88 (Süddeutsche Zeitung, Der Tagesspiegel), the bassist Stephen Maskaleris at age 94 (Patch), the singer Denise Perrier at age 82 (Denise Perrier), the Canadian saxophonist Don Palmer at age 82 (CBC), the German pianist Walter Lang at age 60 (Süddeutsche Zeitung, BR Klassik), the trumpeter Cortez Harmon Jr. at age 74 (Berkeleyside), the drummer Billy Conway at age 65 (Billboard), as well as the trumpeter Burgess Gardner at age 85 (Chicago Sun-Times).

From the World of Jazz Research

Adam Shatz talks with composer, musicologist, intellectual George E. Lewis about creolization in the field of contemporary music and other topics concerning his different activities within the fields of music and musicology, but also about his own road into music (NYIH Conversations).

Rutgers University's president Jonathan Holloway talks to Vincent Pelote, senior archivist and digital preservation strategist at the Institute of Jazz Studies who has been working for that institution since 1978, about the scope of the collection and the inclusiveness of jazz (Rutgers).

Johannes Lau reports about a multinational research project focusing on music used by populist parties and politicians, about which he talks to André Doehring, musicologist from Graz, Austria, and head of the Graz-based Institute of Jazz Research (Der Standard).

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut 

Christmas Spirit and New Year Ahead
This is the second year without our annual Xmas jam session ringing in the holidays. At least there were other concerts in our performance space this winter, and if only for a limited audience. We keep planning ahead nevertheless: 2022 will start with the DAZZ festival, a regular event connecting the many different venues of our city. DAZZ stands for DArmstadt jaZZ; the program includes both mainstream jazz and avant-garde, with a generous mix of film ("Billie") and dance in between. Some of the events have already been cancelled, and to keep track of what happens when and under what conditions it is wise to check the festival website. The Jazzinstitut's performance space, for instance, will be filled with the music of Bauhauskapellentraum and a music/art dialogue between guitarist Ronny Graupe and graphic artist Nicole Schneider (DAZZ Festival).

Niklaus Troxler: Jazzgeschichten in Rot und Blau
Swiss graphic designer and concert promoter Niklaus Troxler's talk at the Darmstadt Jazzforum in early October is now part of the exhibition shown at the Jazzinstitut's gallery which otherwise presents many of his posters. Come and see it during our regular opening hours, make sure to make an appointment first, though (see below).

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. We ask our visitors to be either fully vaccinated; recovered or officially tested (3G regulation). 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.

Happy holidays
We wish all of you happy holidays and a wonderful, creative and healthy 2022. While the pandemic is still all around us, don't forget that jazz is live music and that musicians continue to struggle during these times. Looking for a last-minute present? Contact some local musicians about CDs or your local club for concert tickets. However you are spending the holidays, stay safe! See you in 2022!!

Wolfram, Doris and Arndt
The staff at Jazzinstitut Darmstadt

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Jazzinstitut Darmstadt
Bessunger Strasse 88d | 64285 Darmstadt | Germany
The Jazzinstitut is an institution of the City of Sciences Darmstadt | Das Jazzinstitut ist eine Einrichtung der Wissenschaftsstadt Darmstadt