(aus dem Jazzinstitut Darmstadt)
30 March – 19 April 2022 | Ausgabe 07/2023 (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 ...

Russell Scarbrough publishes notes that he made while contemplating a book about cornetist, composer, and bandleader Thad Jones. For Jones' centenary he shares these notes which touch on his biography, his musical education, his work with Charles Mingus over the years, his time with the Count Basie Orchestra, working as a studio musician in New York, the ill-fated "Basie/Thad" record of 1965, the formation of the Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra in early 1966, Thad's move to Copenhagen in 1979 and the rumors around it, the band Eclipse that Thad had formed in Denmark, teaching gigs all over Europe in the early 1980s, his return to the U.S. to lead the Basie Orchestra after Basie had died, as well as his death of bone cancer in 1986 (Transitional Technology). Morgan Enos remembers Thad Jones as well (London Jazz News).

Ricky Riccardi reminds us of the recordings Louis Armstrong made with the King Oliver Creole Jazz Band 100 years ago (Louis Armstrong House). --- Lewis Porter continues his series on the recordings made by King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band with young Louis Armstrong in 1923, this time focusing on Lil Hardin's piano (Playback with Lewis Porter). --- John Edward Hasse remembers Louis Armstrong's first visit to the recording studio 100 years ago as well and tells the story of the Gennett label in Richmond, Indiana, and its impact on jazz history (Wall Street Journal). --- And Marcus A. Woelfle re-listens to "Chimes Blues", recorded 100 years ago by King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band with young Louis Armstrong on second cornet (BR Klassik).

Lewis Porter streams an interview that Swedish journalist Claes Dahlgren took with pianist Andrew Hill in 1966 and clears up that despite Hill's claim to have been born in Haiti and thus having "this Creole thing" in him he was actually born in Chicago, Illinois (Playback with Lewis Porter). --- Michelle Mercer talks to David Breskin, author of a 1981 interview with the late Wayne Shorter about how that interview came about, and she reprints that interview originally published in Musician magazine in July 1981 (Call and Response).

Victoriah Szirmai listens to a new release of pianist James Booker recorded live in East Berlin in December 1976, and reflects on the reception of blues in East Germany which started when Karlheinz Drechsel booked Lippmann+Rau's American Folk Blues Festival for GDR performances (Berliner Zeitung). --- Stefano Esposito talks to guitarist George Freeman about his earliest musical experiences on Chicago's South Side, hearing T-Bone Walker, about his start on the guitar, about performing with Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday, as well as about wanting to record one day with just a violinist (Chicago Sun-Times).

Richard Duckett talks to pianist Omar Sosa about the piano as an "extension of my body, soul, spirit, heart", and reports about "Omar Sosa's 88 Well-Tuned Drums", a new documentary by filmmaker Soren Sorensen (Worcester Magazine). --- Anthony Tidd talks to bassist Scott Colley about the beginning of his musical career as a teenager in Los Angeles (Premier Guitar).

Julia Goldberg talks to trumpeter Delbert Anderson about his quest into the role Native American musicians played in the history of jazz, as well as about his use of Navajo spinning songs in his music (Santa Fe Reporter). --- Marc Myers talks to pianist Gene DiNovi (JazzWax). --- Lewis Porter shares Pierre Crepon's research about Archie Shepp's involvement with the Mobilization for Youth organization in the 1960s (Playback with Lewis Porter).

Giovanni Russonello talks to musicians, scholars and critics about their favorite recording of pianist Mary Lou Williams. Responses come from Helen Sung ("Roll 'Em"), Courtney Bryan ("Taurus"), Fredara Hadley ("St. Martin de Porres"), Jason Moran ("Night Life"), Tammy Kernodle ("A Grand Night for Swinging"), Seth Colter Walls ("St. Louis Blues"), Carmen Staaf ("Olinga"), Daphne Brooks ("It Ain't Necessarily So"), Ethan Iverson ("Little Joe from Chicago"), Cory Smythe ("Lonely Moments"), Damien Sneed ("What's Your Story Morning Glory"), Giovanni Russonello ("Black to the Blues"), and Brandee Younger ("Ode to Saint Cecile") (New York Times). Ethan Iverson adds a transcription of "Little Joe from Chicago" on his own blog, and shares his thoughts about boogie-woogie played either on the piano or with a big band (Transitional Technology). -- Stephen Kallao visits Denton, Texas, to find out why this town has become a major jazz education center with its collegiate jazz program that started 75 years ago as the first in the US (NPR).

Ted Gioia tells the story of Mac McCormick's biography of blues guitarist and singer Robert Johnson, just published after 50 years (The Honest Broker). --- Christoph Irrgeher talks to trumpeter and author Sven Regener about writing novels, writing songs for the band Element of Crime, and having taken up the trumpet again in a jazz trio (Wiener Zeitung).

Jesse Steinmetz finds that Boston has a long and celebrated jazz history but is lacking in "dedicated jazz venues" today (WGBH). --- Lewis Porter reprints a 1986 Miles Davis interview in Andy Warhol's Interview magazine (Playback with Lewis Porter). Porter also discusses a recording project with compositions by Thelonious Monk, arranged by Benny Golson and played by brass ensemble plus bass and drums around John Coltrane and argues why the proposal might have been rejected (Playback with Lewis Porter). And Porter reports about a reunion album with Miles Davis and John Coltrane planned for 1967 that never happened because Trane died in July of that year (Playback with Lewis Porter).

Vinnie Sperrazza explores the legacy of Max Roach's legendary percussion ensemble M'Boom (Chronicles). --- Michelle Mercer remembers two articles she had written about jazz in 2002 and 2017 that touched upon the subject of sex or sexism and the reactions she received (Call & Response). Michelle Mercer also celebrates Herbie Hancock for his birthday with a brief interview clip about a piece from the album "River: The Joni Letters" (Call & Response).

Ted Gioia looks at the decline and fall of the hit instrumental song over the decades (The Honest Broker). Gioia also reflexts about jazz as romantic music (The Honest Broker). --- Ethan Iverson tells the story of recorded music from 78s to streaming services and asks about improvements (or not) (The Nation).

Julian Wolf talks to German saxophonist Günther Fischer about his career in former East Germany, about his longtime collaboration with singer Uschi Brüning, as well as about his road to jazz and to the saxophone (Sächsische Zeitung). --- Both Zachary Wolff (New York Times) and Nate Chinen (The Gig) attend the premiere of Terence Blachard's opera "Champion" at the New York Met that tells the real-life story of the boxer Emile Griffith.

Jill Rosen reports about a showcase at the Baltimore Museum of Art documenting Billie Holiday's childhood years in Baltimore, Maryland (Johns Hopkins Magazine). --- Tobias Lehmkuhl attends a concert by bassist William Parker in Berlin and is not completely convinced (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung).


We learned of the passing of Japanese pianist and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto at age 71 (New York Times, Süddeutsche Zeitung), vocalist Mary McMahon at age 74 (NYS Music), Canadian pianist Kay Denison at age 97 (Ottawa Citizen), pianist and vibraphonist Karl Berger at age 88 (Hudson Valley One), saxophonist Kidd Jordan at age 87 (New Orleans Times-Picayune), British clarinetist John Wurr at age 82 (The Guardian), bassist Harrison Bankhead at age 68 (Morgue Obituary), Swiss guitarist Chris Lange at age 81 (Tagblatt), German pianist Bibi Kreutz at age 86 (Badische Neueste Nachrichten), pianist Ahmad Jamal at age 92 (New York Times, The Guardian, Washington Post, The Honest Broker, BR Klassik), French sound engineer Yves Chamberland at age 90 (TSF Jazz), as well as Yugoslavian-German trumpeter Dusko Goykovich at age 91 (BR Klassik, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Donaukurier).

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

(New) books we read

Among the books on our desk the last couple of weeks was "At Home in Our Sounds. Music, Race, and Cultural Politics in Interwar Paris", by Rachel Anne Gillett (see the Jazzinstitut's book review page).

Jazz Ahead

The whole Jazzinstitut crew is prepared to leave for Bremen next week to attend JazzAhead, the world's most important trade fair around jazz. You will be able to meet us at the Deutsche Jazzpreis award show on Thursday evening, 27 April, as well as at Messe itself and the showcase concerts during JazzAhead (JazzAhead). Look out for Marie Härtling, Arndt Weidler and Wolfram Knauer, and grab a flyer with details about our Jazzforum conference in the fall (see below). Jazzahead, by the way, has a new artistic director in Götz Bühler (JazzZeitung) – congratulations!

Destination Unknown: The Future of Jazz

In the last two editions of our JazzNews we unveiled the preliminary program of the first and second day of our fall conference. Here, then, is its third day.

Saturday, 30 September 2023, starts with a session entitled TAKING PART IN CHANGE. Benjamin Burkhard discusses whether and how jazz is suitable for platforms that we perceive as future but would hardly have attributed to jazz so far, TikTok for example. Monika Herzig reports on the recently released collection "New Standards", which includes compositions written specifically by female musicians, and asks what the path to gender equity in jazz might look like. Basel bassist Kasper von Grünigen presents the "People's Initiative for More Music Diversity" as an action from the Swiss grassroots, outlining public music funding not based so much on political interests and aesthetic discussions, but focused on socio-cultural aspects.

Saturday's afternoon session is titled IT'S ABOUT THE WHOLE! For a reflection on some of the subjects discussed during the previous days we have invited author, DJ and musician Thomas Meinecke who, in conversation with Peter Kemper, will reflect on the future and the limits of jazz as a genre and perhaps present us with an image of jazz that we cannot yet imagine. Saxophonist Uli Kempendorff reflects on flaws in the discourse at music departments, looks at solutions from neighboring countries, and asks what one should be able to expect from an artistic education today. And at the closing panel we will discuss jazz as part of a current social discourse, asking what aspects of the practice of improvised music can help engage us in the present and the future? Participants will include vibraphonist and urban development researcher Christopher Dell, who has intensively studied improvisation as a model of social coexistence; violinist Sabine Akiko Ahrendt, who will report on the intersection of music and political activism; and Ukrainian cultural manager Mariana Bondadrenko, who will reflect on the role that jazz, music, and culture in general play in times of war (moderator: Sophie Emilie Beha).

The 18th Darmstadt Jazzforum will end with a double bill at Bessunger Knabenschule featuring Les Marquises with Emilie Škrijelj, Tom Malmendier plus Christine Abdelnour, and Penumbra with Christian Lillinger and Elias Stemeseder.

That's all, folks? No! There will also be an exhibition during the Darmstadt Jazzforum that we will talk about in our next newsletter.

All of the above is subject to change. You will shortly find the current program including titles, biographies and more detailed abstracts, on our website. You may want to already mark the conference date: 27/28-30 September 2023. And keep revisiting our website (Destination Unknown) together with a corresponding blog that outlines some of our own thoughts on the subject. By the way: the main conference language will be German.

32nd Darmstadt Jazz Conceptions 2023

Our summer workshop is cooking already, and it hasn't even begun. The application form went online on 2 April, and a week later we already had more than 35 prospective participants. As the Jazz Conceptions is an ensemble workshop, there is a limit to participants playing rhythm section instruments. All bass spots have already been taken, there still is one open spot for piano and three spots for drums. The workshop will take place all day from 24 to 29 July 2023, with concerts and sessions all over town every evening. This year's teachers are: Matthew Bookert (sousaphon), Daniel Guggenheim (saxophone), Johannes Lauer (trombone), Laura Robles (cajon), Taiko Saito (mallets), as well as Uli Partheil (piano). Partheil is also the artistic director after the workshop founder Jürgen Wuchner's death in 2020.

More info: Darmstadt Jazz Conceptions.

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
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