(aus dem Jazzinstitut Darmstadt)
10 - 23 February 2022 | Ausgabe 04/2022 (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 ... 

Will Lavin talks to bassist and producer Stephen Lee Bruner a.k.a. Thundercat about being an anime nerd, about his collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, about growing up in a musical family and starting on the bass guitar at age 4, about his childhood friend, saxophonist Kamasi Washington, about working with rapper Mac Miller, about giving up drinking three years ago, as well as about some of his more recent projects (The Red Bulletin). --- Beth Feickert reports about the renaming of a portion of Jordan Avenue in Bloomington, Indiana, as David Baker Avenue honoring the late musician and educator (Bloomingtonian).

Dan Gross talks to pianist Vijay Iyer about growing up in the Rochester, NY, area, about "musicality" vs "what music is", about "what listening sounds like" and how to take care of the listener, about his music always having been political, about needing to establish a contact with the instruments he plays, about the learning experiences he's had musically, about some recent projects such as a piece for string quartet, music with his trio as well as collaborations with classical musicians (Rochester First). Cormac Larkin talks to pianist Vijay Iyer as well (The Irish Times). --- Hans-Jürgen Linke talks to German trombonist Janning Trumann about his instrument, about his compositional approach, as well as about his latest album, "Roots & Riots" (Frankfurter Rundschau).

Jeremy Steinberger watches the short documentary "IT IS A SOUL. A Portrait of Hailu Mergia" (Vimeo) to reflect about the Ethiopian pianist Hailu Mergia and the jazz history of his country (Document Journal). --- Tobias Ignée talks to pianist Patrick Bebelaar about the project "Ensemble fragile" with saxophonist Christoph Beck in which the two musicians want to address subjects that are historically relevant as well as remain important today: exclusion, flight, the loss of freedom or the merging of cultures. For their project they go to places connected with the stories and hope "to give jazz back its political statement and power as a form of lament" (SWR).

Kiki Volkert talks to trumpeter Fareed Simpson-Hankins about a video series he produced highlighting cultural parallels between New Orleans and Philadelphia with a focus on jazz music, and how he himself profited from the Community Music Scholars Program that he now promotes through his outreach (Temple Now). --- Bruce Phares talks to vocalist Diane Schuur about her latest activities as well as about her meeting people like Doc Severinsen, Frank Sinatra, and B.B. King (Vashon Beachcomber).

Mélanie Honegger reports about the club Bird's Eye in Basel, Switzerland, that had to close because it didn't follow Covid regulations and now is about to re-open, however will have to pay back some of the public funding it had received for concerts (Basler Zeitung). --- British saxophonist Art Themen bought a saxophone that used to belong to the late Ronnie Scott, himself tenor saxophonist and founder of the London club in his name (Henley Standard).

Laura Zornosa reports about musicians around pianist Albert Marquès who try to draw attention to the case of a prison inmate, convicted in the death of five other prisoners, who they believe deserves a new trial (New York Times). --- Earl Hopkins talks to trumpeter Miles Smith about getting into music because of his parents who are both professional musicians and named him after Miles Davis, as well as about working as a teacher in order "to inspire the young, Black kids to embrace their inner musician" (The Columbus Dispatch).

John Thomason talks to guitarist Pat Metheny about his role as a bandleader, about the fundamental political nature of improvised music, about the idea of genre in music, as well as about the impact of technology on his compositions (Boca). --- Andrew Gilbert talks to saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins about his latest album "The 7th Hand", about the influence of John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme", as well as about his musical approach working with cells and motifs (The Mercury News).

Patrick Varine talks to bassist Moppa Elliott about the latest album of the band Mostly Other People Do the Killing, named "Disasters, Vol. 1" on which each song is "named for a Pennsylvania town with a troubled past – think Three Mile Island, Johnstown, Centralia, etc.", adding "we called it Vol. 1 for a reason" (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review). --- Nate Chinen tells the story how the grave marker for trumpeter Lee Morgan had mysteriously vanished in the ground and was re-found last year by a fan (NPR).

Seleva Vazquez reports about a group of Atlantic City residents who try to preserve the city's jazz history (The Press of Atlantic City). --- Peter Padrutt remembers Swiss bandleader Hazy Osterwald on the occasion of his centennial (Blick). Peter Klucken, in conversation with promoter Bernd Albani, remembers Hazy Osterwald as well (Rheinische Post). --- Alan Scherstuhl listens to a new release of a historic Cecil Taylor concert from 1973 and talks to drummer Andrew Cyrille who was part of Taylor's group, and pianist Kris Davis (New York Times). Marc Myers reports as well (JazzWax).--- Joel Ballard reports about the Coastal Jazz & Blues Society in Vancouver, Canada, whose musician members called for its board members to step down after a chaotic general assembly (CBC). --- Jiawen Chen talks to drummer/pianist Brandon Guerra and singer/producer Nick Mery about their album "Deathbloom" inspired by an unprecedented snowstorm in Texas last year that killed hundreds of plants (Texas Public Radio). --- Graeme Strachan remembers a concert Duke Ellington gave in Dundee, Scotland, in 1967 (The Courier). --- Yoshi Kato talks to saxophonist Joshua Redman about a guest spot he had on the children TV series "Arthur", aired on PBS in 1999 (San Francisco Chronicle). --- Gary Estwick talks to guitarist Roland Gresham who once taught Jimi Hendrix (Daily News Journal). --- Jasmin Darznik remembers the actress and singer Fredi Wasdington (Messy Nessy Chic). --- We listened to an interview with French bassist Henri Texier (France Info). --- Martin Schmidt talks to guitarist Julian Lage (Gitarre & Bass). --- Bo Emerson talks to documentary filmmaker Brett Primack, producer Michael Cuscuna and trumpeter Terence Blanchard about Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (Atlanta Journal-Constitution). --- Martin Chilton remembers Brazilian singer Astrud Gilberto (The Independent). --- Brian Charette analyzes pianist Robert Glasper's piano style (Music Radar).


We learned of the passing of singer (and Miles Davis' ex-wife) Betty (Mabry) Davis at age 77 (Rolling Stone, New York Times, Neue Zürcher Zeitung), banjo player Mike Currao at age 82 (Naples News), British composer Joseph Horovitz at age 95 (BR Klassik), guitarist Kenneth Tucker at age 87 (The Eastern New Mexico News), bassist Reggie Dennis at age 52 (The Charlotte Observer), drummer Howard Grimes at age 80 (NPR), pianist Robert Merlin Davis (Buffalo Rising), pianist Alan Swain at age 94 (The Record North Shore), bassist Mickey Bass at age 78 (New York Amsterdam News), Austrian violinist Toni Stricker at age 91 (RAI News), pianist Neal Chandek at age 66 (Shepherd Express), South African vocalist Joseph Zolile Tshiyembe at age 80 (Dispatch Live), Maltese drummer Charles Gatt at age 77 (Times of Malta), timpanist, conductor and composer William Kraft at age 98 (Los Angeles Times), Cameroonian saxophonist Ben's Belinga at age 67 (Facebook), promoter Sidney Miller II at age 89 (New York Times), as well as Irish flutist Brian Dunning at age 70 (The Irish Times, Independent).

From the World of Jazz Research

FMP = Free Music Production / Anthony Braxton (and more)
We are closely connected to Wolke Verlag, a small German publishing house that mostly publishes books about contemporary music of different genres. Our own book series ("Darmstadt Studies in Jazz Research") has been published by Wolke since 1990, and Peter Mischung proved to be the best lector/lay-outer/organizer for it. It may be a small publishing house, but with his quality publications Mischung reaches a readership that values the intellectual input, well-researched documentations about important personalities or current debates of and in the music scene. After Timo Hoyer's comprehensive study of the life and music of saxophonist/composer Anthony Braxton which was published few months ago (Hoyer: Braxton), Wolke Verlag has now published Markus Müller's coffee-table-sized documentation of the activities of the legendary FMP label (Free Music Production), based upon an exhibition at Haus der Kunst in Munich in 2017, showing rare posters, photos and other documents as well as telling the story of the record label that single-handedly documented the European free jazz scene of the 1970s and 1980s and managed to become a focus point for East-Western collaborations as well (Müller: FMP). Meanwhile the next volume of the Darmstadt Jazz Studies series is in the works, documenting the last Jazzforum conference about "How open is Jazz?", to be published early this summer.

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

Planning ahead...
While concert life and physical visitors to the Jazzinstitut are still not up to the numbers before the pandemic, we have increased our digital services, not the least because of the demand from our customers. We are continuing to digitize big parts of the collection, like Hartmut Geerken's Sun Ra Archive, the Werner Wunderlich papers or the Hans Blüthner files. We are constantly adding scans to the digital collection of our periodical archive. Accordingly, the Jazz Index grows, our bibliographical search tool that helps us and our users to find specific information about our or their research topics. While none of these digital files are online, a mail to us will enable you to learn more about how to access the material, or how to order scans. Feel free to ask for a jazz index bibliography on any subject your choice – we send these by e-mail free of charge, and we get quite a number of requests for them on a daily basis.

Apart from archival work we are preparing for our next exhibition, Duo:log, documenting Nicole Schneider's duo project with guitarist Ronny Graupe in January. For this project our small art gallery under the Jazzinstitut's roof will become an informal sound and videoscape, showing results of Nicole's work and explaining the creative process that led to it. The Jazzinstitut's Doris Schröder is currently coordinating the show together with the artist. Date of the exhibition: 11 March – 11 June 2022.

Nicole Schneider's Duo:log was the first project in our residency series heimat@jazzinstitut. The next projext will be a young band from the region, Quartertone, that will prepare for its participation in a national contest, get band coaching from a well-known German musician, all of which will result in a concert at the Jazzinstitut's concert venue on 8 April. Arndt Weidler has been coordinating with the band members and their prospective coach, and he is also working on the next residency which in May will present saxophonist Angelika Niescier and her Hidden Tune project with her trio and the eight-piece Orang Orang Dance Theatre from Malaysia.

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.

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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