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Noah Schaffer remembers trumpeter Milt Ward who had been active on the Boston jazz scene in the 1970s and his album from that time, "Milt Ward and Virgo Spectrum", the music of which Schaffer describes as "Kool & The Gang meets Sun Ra" (WBUR). --- Ethan Iverson remembers pianist Jaki Byard and listens closely to his albums "Hi-Fly" (1962) and "The Jaki Byard Experience" (1968), watches a Byard concert in Berlin (1965), and re-reads Byard's notes for Charles Mingus' album "Portrait" (1965) in which the pianist remembers both Mingus and Eric Dolphy. He also listens to some recordings on which Byard is present as a sideman with Eric Dolphy, Booker Ervin, Don Ellis and Sam Rivers, and he explains how "Byard's legacy also is visible in the work of his two most famous students: Jason Moran and Fred Hersch" (Do the Math). Finally he links to a 20-minute documentary on the pianist from 1980 (YouTube).
Nate Chinen talks to Ukrainian pianist Vadim Neselovskyi about his latest album entitled "Odesa. A Musical Walk Through a Legendary City" which he recorded in 2020, about how the meaning of "being from the Ukraine" started changing during the Orange Revolution in 2005, about witnessing the ongoing war from afar, as well as about feeling the urge sometimes "to go home, take up arms and join the fight" but then realizing that he can do more by raising funds through concerts (NPR). --- Ethan Iverson talks to bassist Anthony Cox about choosing his instrument and taking up the upright bass after hearing Charles Mingus in concert. Cox talks about his teachers Richard Davis and Dave Holland, his first record with Milo Fine, about New York (and especially the club Bradley's) in the early 1980s, about performing with Sadik Hakim, about the band Third Kind of Blue, about his connection to Steve Coleman and M-Base, about playing with Stan Getz for three weeks, about colleagues such as Geri Allen, Joe Lovano, Billy Hart, Ed Blackwell, Dewey Redman, James Newton, as well as about his current activities as a musician and a teacher (Do the Math).
Nate Chinen talks to pianist Vijay Iyer about albums and artists that had deeply influenced him over the years, such as John Williams' "Star Wars", recordings by The Police, Prince, A Tribe Called Quest, Nina Simone, the Antipop Consortium, Abida Parveen, Wadada Leo Smith, Tyshawn Sorey, and Igor Levit (Pitchfork). --- Barry Davis talks to vocalist Rebecca Zola who is working on a PhD project looking at aspects of gender and jazz and relates some of her own experiences both on the New York jazz scene and in Israel where she studied and worked as a musician (The Jerusalem Post).
Larry Blumenfeld talks to British saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings about focusing on his shakuhachi playing during the pandemic, about the influence both of his Barbados heritage and the British jazz scene, about the idea behind his three groups, Sons of Kemet, the Comet Is Coming, Shabaka and the Ancestors, as well as about his lastest album "Afrikan Culture" which he sees as ritual music in the sense that "there's a ritual engaged in the creation of the music". Hutchings also reveals that he plans to end the Sons of Kemet band in order to focus on new projects (Tidal). --- Hannah Edgar remembers a number of jazz clubs on Chicago's South Side that featured drag shows between the 1930s and 1960s and "attracted patrons of all races and sexual orientations". She points out the Cabin Inn where clarinetist Jimmie Noone performed for drag shows, the Kitty Kat Club where a young Ahmad Jamal could be heard, the Queen's Mansion where Sun Ra and his Arkestra backed drag contests. She remembers Finnie's Masquerade Ball, an annual drag event founded in 1935. She talks to drummer Earl 'Teddy' Thomas who accompanied the Jewel Box Revue in the early 1960s where performers impersonated Sarah Vaughan or Dinah Washington, and to sociologist William Sites who explains that both the ambience and the clientele at such shows may very well have influenced Sun Ra's repertoire of the time, "which was a lot of Broadway show tunes in elaborate – you might even say flamboyant – arrangements" (Block Club Chicago).
Robert Bell remembers the Pythodd Club in Rochester, New York (Democrat & Chronicle). --- On the occasion of German violinist Helmut Zacharias' centenary Hamburg's Staatsbibliothek shows a small exhibition documenting his life and music (Hamburger Abendblatt). --- German saxophonist Matthias Butzlaff has given up his "day gig" as a successful bank manager to play jazz full-time (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung).
In the first part of a three-part essay, Ted Gioia looks at the art and aesthetics of Frank Zappa (The Honest Broker). --- John Murph talks to DJ and producer Louie Vega about the impact of his music on the LGBTQIA+ community (Tidal). --- Alan Scherstuhl talks to Patricia Nicholson about this year's Vision Festival (The Village Voice).
Wolfgang Kehle talks to guitarist John McLaughlin (Gitarre & Bass). --- Nick Vadala reports about the radio host Bob Perkins who will retire after nearly 60 years on-air (The Philadelphia Inquirer). --- Andreas Hartmann talks to Klaus Söhnel, one of the volunteer organizers of "Jazz im Palmengarten" in Frankfurt, Germany, the oldest open-air concert series in the world (Frankfurter Rundschau).