(aus dem Jazzinstitut Darmstadt)
8 – 21  September 2022 | Ausgabe 17/2022 (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 ...

Bob Krasner talks to guitarist and composer Elliott Sharp about how his music might affect listeners ("listening to me is a process of psycho-acoustical chemical change"), about first influences when he started making music, about some of his self-developed instruments, as well as about getting ideas for new compositions while walking along the East River (The Villager). --- Marcus J. Moore talks to poet Morgan Parker, writer John Morrison, scholar Tammy Kernodle, critic Giovanni Russonello, composer Courtney Bryan, and musicians Taja Cheek, Lakecia Benjamin, Meshell Ndegeocello, Surya Botofasina, Brandee Younger, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Angel Bat Dawid about which recording from the oeuvre of Alice Coltrane specifically moves them (New York Times).

Lewis Porter speculates about the reason for Miles Davis's hoarse voice which might have resulted from vocal cord polyps that he had at least since 1955, an ailment he struggled with till the end of his life and that even made him think about giving up his career as a musician in 1957 (Playback with Lewis Porter). --- Ted Gioia remembers how the record label Columbia tried to rebrand Thelonious Monk, first as an underground hero, then by plans of a recording with the rock band Blood, Sweat & Tears. That group had been asking concert promoters to put Monk on the same bill with them and quotes his "I Mean You" in their recording of "40,000 Headmen" (The Honest Broker). Lewis Porter meanwhile looks at a story often told that when Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell were arrested for possession of drugs, Monk "took the rap" (the punishment) for Powell. Porter summarizes findings by Powell biographer Peter Pullman and Monk biographer Robin Kelley about the incident and then explains how the story (which is not true) originated, probably with Monk's wife Nellie, and how it made it into the newspapers through her friend Maely Dufty (Playback with Lewis Porter). On another note, Lewis Porter also discovers the moment when Monk knocked over a glass of beer while recording with Miles Davis (Playback with Lewis Porter).

Jennifer Gould reports about a Upper West Side townhouse in New York on the market now for $14 million with a special history: Billie Holiday lived here until her death in 1959 (New York Post). --- The passing of Queen Elizabeth II makes Ted Gioia remember "The Queen's Suite", composed by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn in 1959. "A single golden disc was made", explains Gioia, "and sent to Buckingham Palace. In order to ensure that no other copies were released, Ellington reimbursed Columbia, his label, some $2,500 in production costs, and thus retained personal ownership of the master tapes." After Ellington's death the piece was released to the general public together with other Ellington suites. The Queen's reaction is not known, however in an interview from 2019 she mentioned Ellington as a musician she admired (The Honest Broker). Will Friedwald reports about Duke Ellington's "The Queen's Suite" as well and especially describes the nature connections of the compositions' movements (Wall Street Journal). And, to leave royalty and focus on republican issues, Lewis Porter speculates why The Pres, that is saxophonist Lester Young did not join Duke Ellington's band in 1942 as was reported in Down Beat that year (Playback with Lewis Porter).

Ayana Contreras talks to drummer Terri Lyne Carrington about how she was planning an event featuring pieces by female composers and discovered how difficult it was to find sheet music which prompted her to publish "New Standards. 101 Lead Sheets by Women Composers" as well as an album featuring 11 of its selections. Among the pieces selected are compositions by Lil Hardin Armstrong, Mary Lou Williams, Alice Coltrane, Abbey Lincoln, Geri Allen, Dorothy Ashby, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Nicole Mitchell, Cassandra Wilson (and by German pianist Anke Helfrich), but also a graphic score by the late Jaimie Branch (New York Times). Crystal B. Shepeard talks to Terri Lyne Carrington as well (Billboard), as does Kate Hutchinson (The Guardian). --- On the occasion of Jean-Luc Godard's death Olivier Lamm looks at the French filmmaker's use of music in his films that ranged from classical to jazz and pop, and finds that when it came to jazz Godard preferred free jazz (Libération).

Michael Paulson reports about the difficulties translating a musical like "Hamilton" into German and keeping meaning, inner rhythms and hip-hop connotations alive (New York Times). --- Stefan Hochgesand talks to German singer Erik Leuthäuser about the connections between freedom in jazz and freedom in sex,  about his own experiences with various sex drugs, and how it affected his life and his music, about his "other" business making gay porn videos that earns him as much in a month as two or three concerts would, as well as about the reaction from the jazz world to his "sex work" that lies somewhere between respect and criticism (Berliner Zeitung).


We learned of the passing of British drummer Trevor Tomkins at age 81 (London Jazz News), drummer Frank Katz at age 55 (Facebook), singer Mable John at age 91 (New York Times), pianist Ramsey Lewis at age 87 (New York Times), Fisk Jubilee Singers musical director Paul T. Kwami at age 70 (New York Times), broadcaster Eric Jackson at age 70 (WGBH, Arts Fuse), saxophonist Brian Horton at age 46 (NCCU, The News & Observer), as well as Dutch saxophonist Dick Vennik at age 82 (Jazzism).

From the World of Jazz Research

The Routledge Companion to Jazz and Gender
The new "Routledge Companion to Jazz and Gender" is out, edited by James Reddan, Monika Herzig and Michael Kahr. In over 500 pages and 38 chapters the authors – the Jazzinstitut's Wolfram Knauer among them – discuss various aspects of the construct of gender in all forms of jazz, jazz culture and education, focusing on historical perspectives, identity and culture, society and education, and policy and advocacy (Routledge). Our own book on the subject, by the way, was published in 2016 and is still available, titled "Gender and Identity in Jazz" (Wolke Verlag).

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

(New) books we read
Among the books on our desk the last couple of weeks were "Komeda. A Private Life in Jazz", by Magdalena Grzebałkowska, and "Komeda on Records", by Dionizy Piątkowski (see the Jazzinstitut's book review page).

Kathrin Preis
The Kathrin Preis is a biennal award that comes with a one-week residency and a concert at the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt. The nominated candidates suggest specific projects for their residency, one of which is then selected by a jury made up of musicians and jazz experts. The award is named for the German saxophonist Kathrin Lemke who died in 2016 at the age of 44. Previous winners were percussionist Joss Turnbull and saxophonist Luise Volkmann. In early September the jury selected the next winner who will be publicly announced on 27 September, Kathrin Lemke's birthday. More info in our next JazzNews or on the award's website: Kathrin-Preis.

Jazz and Improvised Music to School
We have been part of the advisory board for "Jazz und improvisierte Musik in die Schule", an educational project initiated by Stiftung Polytechnische Gesellschaft in Frankfurt since its inception ten years ago. In a recent advisory board meeting the program's manager Sascha Wild explained what steps JIMS took to bring music to young students during the lockdown and what plans there are for the future of the project (SchuljazzFFM).

Destination Unknown: The Future of Jazz
Speaking of "future": We just published the proceedings of our last Darmstadt Jazzforum conference ("Roots | Heimat. Diversity in Jazz", Wolke Verlag). Which traditionally means that we have started preparing our next conference to be held from 28-30 September 2023. Inspired by Hartmut Geerken's Sun Ra Archive which we took over last year, we have selected a Sun Ra title to illustrate both the uncertainness and the daring nature of the music we are dealing with: "Destination Unknown. The Future of Jazz". A preliminary Call for Papers has been published on our website (Destination Unknown) and a corresponding blog will outline some of our own ideas on the subject over the next couple of months.

If you want to be part of the conference as an active or passive participant, let us know. If you have any ideas for a paper or a panel, write to us. If you want to know what happened at the Jazzforum conference over the years, browse the website of our publisher (Wolke Verlag, Jazz).

Current opening hours of the Jazzinstitut
The Jazzinstitut is open to the public by appointment. We also offer 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
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The Jazzinstitut is an institution of the City of Sciences Darmstadt | Das Jazzinstitut ist eine Einrichtung der Wissenschaftsstadt Darmstadt