(aus dem Jazzinstitut Darmstadt)
21 July – 3 August 2022 | Ausgabe 14/2022 (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 ...

Jens Uthoff talks to Berlin-based Ukrainian singer Ganna Gryniva about her decision to use the language of jazz and combine it with traditional Ukrainian singing practices, about how some of the songs she performs help Ukrainian refugees to ease their pain in view of the war. Gryniva had extended her repertoire long before the war by traveling through small towns and villages in her country, researching old melodies and collecting different versions of the same songs (die tageszeitung). --- Ben Sisario travels to Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, to visit the historic studio of Rudy van Gelder in which many historic jazz recordings were made since the 1960s. He talks to Maureen Sickler, Van Gelder's longtime assistant, whom he willed his property to and who together with her husband, trumpeter Don Sickler, and sound engineer Perry Margouleff plan to make it a full-service recording studio again. Sisario learns about the building itself, designed by an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, about some of the instruments that have been played by jazz legends over the years, and he relates some of the stories circulating about Van Gelder. And he talks to pianist Jon  Batiste who recorded there recently and encouraged the new owners to stick to acoustic jazz for the studio (New York Times).

Uli Fricker talks to German saxophonist and composer Bernd Konrad on the occasion of his 75th birthday about his musical aesthetic and about the standard repertoire of jazz which he mostly plays during the carnival season, about his career between bebop and jazz-rock, about his many years of teaching, as well as about his life circling around jazz, a music he is sure will be alive 100 years from now (Südkurier). Hans Kumpf sends his regards to Bernd Konrad as well (JazzPages). --- Phil Freeman talks to poet and musician Moor Mother about her latest album "Jazz Codes", about her approach to the musical setting of her songs, about some of the electronic tools, samples, software she uses, about meeting musicians she then collaborates with such as Jason Moran, about the track "Woody Shaw" and how she looks up to the pioneers of this music, about Amina Claudine Myers whom another track is dedicated to, about her band Irreversible Entanglements, about traveling so much automatically resulting in being involved in innumerable projects, as well as about her perception in different communities who relate to her work (Stereogum).

Allen Morrison talks to pianist Emmet Cohen about "Live from Emmet's Place", a weekly concert series streamed live from his living room in Harlem. It started during the Covid-19 lockdowns and has since evolved "from a ragtag live shoot using only an iPhone into a hi-tech, multi-camera production with pristine sound". Cohen talks about the idea for the webcast, about the financial support they received from their viewers, about the international impact regarding the visibility of his trio, as well as about the impact they had on many of their fans during the lonely and depressing lockdown phase of the pandemic (The Guardian). --- Ted Gioia's attempt to get the Pulitzer committee give the Pulitzer Prize in Music to Duke Ellington which he had been denied in 1965 is making progress (The Honest Broker). John McWhorter joins the chorus in a New York Times op-ed that discusses the quality of Ellington's  output from the 1920s through the 1960s and argues that even though The Pulitzer Prizes "did award Ellington a Special Citation" in 1999 commemorating the centennial of his birth, "the snub was so egregious that it needs to be undone more directly" (New York Times).

Rob Taylor Jr. talks to Alyce Claerbaut, nice of pianist/composer Billy Strayhorn, about the world premiere of "Sugar Hill – The Ellington/Strayhorn Nutcracker", a show that reimagines the collaboration between Strayhorn and Duke Ellington, and he learns about Strayhorn's personality, his political activism through music. Claerbaut also remembers her uncle showing up for a rehearsal of her high school jazz band, and she explains that a whole new generation was introduced to his music when Lady Gaga sang "Lush Life" (New Pittsburgh Courier). --- Alan Sherstuhl visits the New York jazz club Smoke which only recently reopened after having been closed for more than two years. He talks to club owner Paul Stache about the venue which opened in 1999 and the label Smoke Sessions which he co-founded in 2014, about saxophonist George Coleman who opened the club in 1999, played the first Smoke sets after 9/11 in 2001, and was featured at the reopening concert as well (New York Times).

Rob Baker reports about boxer Jack Johnson who owned several clubs, one of which, the Club Deluxe in Harlem, he sold to gangster Owney Madden in 1922 who renamed the venue "The Cotton Club"; the rest is jazz history (Flashbak). --- Linda Laban talks to T.J. English, author of a new book about "jazz and the underworld", learning that the jazz and the crime scene were connected in prohibition Chicago just as much as in postwar New York (New York Post).

Bruce Handy talks to 84-year-old saxophonist Charles Lloyd about his long career, about his "sabbatical" in Big Sur in the 1970s and 1980s, about his childhood home in Memphis where his mother often "boarded performers barred from Memphis's segregated hotels, Ellington among them", and how Ellington advised her mother not to let her son become a musician, about continuing to learn but touring becoming tiresome at his age, as well as about another reason for never having stopped making music being that "I never got good enough to quit" (The New Yorker). --- Shaun Brady talks to percussionist Kevin Diehl about how he discovered the loft jazz scene as well as Afro-Cuban drumming in 1970s New York, both of which influence the band Sonic Liberation Front which he founded in 2000 (The Philadelphia Inquirer).

J.R. Nelson and Leor Galil talk to trombonist Jeb Bishop about moving back to Chicago after a ten-year absence (Chicago Reader). --- Hans-Jürgen Linke listens to Swiss-German saxophonist Daniel Guggenheim's latest album (Frankfurter Rundschau). --- David Daniel talks to music promoter Alex Lemski (Arts Fuse).

Harry Nutt uses the example of Blue Note founders Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff to counter current discussions about cultural appropriation by arguing that cross-cultural inspirations have always been important sources for cultural creativity (Berliner Zeitung). --- Vocalist Lauren Newton, born in Oregon and living in Germany since the 1970s, has been awarded the lifetime achievement award of the Jazz-Preis Baden-Württemberg (Baden-Württemberg).

Meaghan Kacmarcik remembers the radio deejay Felix Grant who hosted a much-listened-to radio show in Washington, D.C., and whose collection is now at the University of the District of Columbia (Boundary Stones). --- Ted Gioia pays tribute to the art of street musicians and focuses on Gene Palma who played the drums in New York's streets but also gave references to some of the great jazz drummers, an act that even made it into Martin Scorsese's 1976 film "Taxi Driver" (The Honest Broker).


We learned of the passing of bassist Michael Henderson at age 71 (Stereogum, Soul Tracks, New York Times), pianist Tony Gulizia at age 72 (Omaha World-Herald), pianist Sidney Kirk at age 78 (Memphis Commercial Appeal), pianist and arranger Sy Johnson at age 92 (Facebook), actress and singer Nichelle Nichols at age 89 (New York Times), as well as German composer Hans-Werner Hespos at age 84 (JazzPages).

From the World of Jazz Research

Joachim Ernst Berendt @ 100
Critic, producer, promoter, "Jazz Pope": One of Germany's most influential writers about jazz would have turned 100 on 20 July, and especially the radio remembered him. For a one-hour Deutschlandfunk feature, Michael Kuhlmann talks to Michael Rüsenberg, Martin Pfleiderer, Guenter Huesmann, Friedhelm Schulz and Wolfram Knauer, and he lets Berendt talk himself, in snippets from his many radio shows. Berendt's collection ended up being the foundation for the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt's archive. Berendt, who died in 2000, appreciated the work of the Jazzinstitut, he was proud that his collection became alive through our different services and activities. Kuhlmann shows the many facets of Berendt the author, the producer, the promoter, and he stresses both his importance for jazz in Germany and his own feeling of importance. Listening to Berendt's voice, re-listening to some of his many productions and radio shows, we find ourselves missing him, his critical, also self-critical opinions, his vast knowledge and his ability to explain the complex to a broad audience. (Deutschlandfunk). Film director Frederik Steiner, who plans a film about Berendt's 1960 "Jazz Life" trip to the USA with photographer William Claxton, adds a nice tribute to Berendt (Zeit Online).

Identities in Jazz
The 43rd conference of the association Radio Jazz Research (Lübeck, 8-10 September 2022) will address discussions about identity in culture and society. The topics of the conference range from the support of young talent to questions of gender disparity and the exclusionary factor of queerness, to more general discussions of the concept of identity and its expansion following the concept of transculturality, which was put up for debate by philosopher Wolfgang Welsch. Finally, pianist Sebastian Sternal will play a special role at the conference with an attempt to demonstrate on the grand piano in a very practical way the complexity of defining an identity for a musician. More info: Radio Jazz Research.

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

(New) books we read
Among the books on our desk the last couple of weeks were "1.000 Tage Savoy. Eine Dokumentation. Drei Jahre geballter Kulturbetrieb in Braunschweig – 1986 bis 1989", by Bärbel Mäkeler; "Barrelhouse Jazzband. The Untold Story 1953-2023", by Rainer Erd, as well as "Was ist damit nur gemeint? 'Geheimnisse' und Geschichten zu populären Musiktiteln aus dem Jazz- und Unterhaltungsbereich", by Gerhard Klußmeier (see the Jazzinstitut's book review page).

Darmstadt Jazz Conceptions
Last week the 31st Darmstadt Jazz Conceptions took place, an annual ensemble workshop conceived by the late bassist Jürgen Wuchner in 1992 and based on the idea that jazz musicians develop a very personal conception of their approach to music. This year's teachers were viola player Rabie Azar who practiced some Arab scales with as well as original compositions by his students, trumpeter Heidi Bayer who collectively with her group worked up two longer compositions from scratch, vibraphonist Christopher Dell who had his band perform parts of his compositional project "The Working Concert", drummer Angela Frontera whose band played Latin-inspired pieces, double-bassist Christian Ramond whose ensemble performed compositions by Ornette Coleman and Charles Mingus, as well as pianist (and the Jazz Conceptions' artistic director) Uli Partheil who had brought some of his own pieces to the workshop. All ensembles showed the results of their rehearsals in concerts on Friday and Saturday, and the workshop ended with a joined performance by all teachers. It is somehow surprising, and yet an experience we have make for the last 32 years, how the students ensembles (mostly amateur musicians) develop a band feeling and find their own place within the ensemble during that week and how the students' performances seem to be hard to follow by anyone, teachers included. Nevertheless, the multicultural teachers' combo ended the last evening with an exciting mix of Arab sounds, Latin percussion, free improvisation, a Jürgen Wuchner "hit" as well as the blues (More info on the Darmstadt Jazz Conceptions, Darmstädter Echo)

Current opening hours of the Jazzinstitut
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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