... brief news ...
Ken Fountain talks to drummer and composer Kendrick Scott about a new composition commemorating the "Sugar Land 95", 95 individuals buried in a historic cemetery in Sugar Land, about 25 miles southwest of Houston, Texas, who are believed to be a part of a convict-leasing program that began in the late 1800s and lasted through around 1910 (The Fort Bend Star). Andrew Dansby talks to Kendrick Scott as well (Houston Chronicle). --- Oliver Ohmann reports about the last meeting of the Jazz Spinners a Berlin-based group of jazz fans meeting regularly to listen to lectures, records and live music (BZ).
Lewis Porter listens to a TV show featuring Charlie Parker in October 1950 for which the audio is preserved, however the video is not (Playback with Lewis Porter). --- Stefan Michalzik attends a concert by pianist Andrey Shabashev who just had received the Arbeitsstipendium Jazz of the city of Frankfurt (Frankfurter Rundschau).
Florian Sievers talks to pianist Nduduzo Makhathini, journalist and producer Dave Durbach, pianist Thandi Ntuli, pianist and guitarist Xaba, and guitarist Vuma Levin about the current situation of jazz in South Africa and how music in their country has very specific political undertones (Die Zeit). --- David Rolland talks to bassist Alphonso Johnson about the idea behind the band Jazz Is Dead! that reimagines songs by The Grateful Dead as jazz standards, about his personal connection to the rock group, as well as about trying not to categorize music (Miami New Times).
Ammar Kalia talks to pianist Lonnie Liston Smith about his involvement in jazz-funk-fusion music of the 1970s, about his love for the Fender Rhodes piano, about having been introduced to jazz through the music of Charlie Parker, about working with Miles Davis in 1972, as well as about his recent return to the studio for a new album (The Guardian). Annie Parnell talks to Lonnie Liston Smith as well (VPM / NPR). --- Ken Abrams talks to saxophonist Kamasi Washington about plans for a project with Joe Russo's Almost Dead, a Grateful Dead cover band, about having performed at the Newport Jazz festival three times already and how playing a festival is different from other gigs, about jazz as part of hip-hop's DNA from the start, as well as about an album by Moroccan musician Ami Taf Ra he has been producing which brings jazz elements together with North African traditions and more classic Arabic music (What's Up Newport). Paul Robicheau hears Kamasi Washington's eight-piece ensemble in person (The Arts Fuse). And Arun Starkey references Kamasi Washington in an essay outlining why contemporary music is "obsessed with jazz", by "contemporary music" meaning contemporary popular music (Far Out Magazine).
Lewis Porter shares the first part of a panel discussion New York journalist Ira Gitler conducted with drummers Cozy Cole, Art Blakey, Mel Lewis, and Tony Williams in 1963, both the published Down Beat article as well as the audio of the actual interview (Playback with Lewis Porter). --- Michelle Mercer shares a liner essay she wrote for the late trumpeter Ron Miles' album "I Am a Man" (Call and Response).
David Renshaw reports about King Charles III's coronation that was attended (among others) by Karl Jenkins, former saxophonist and composer for British jazz-rock band Soft Machine (The Fader). --- Maxi Broecking talks to drummer Terri Lyne Carrington about the Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice she initiated in 2018 and the anthology "New Standards – 101 Lead Sheets by Women Composers" she published in 2022, about her own definition of a jazz standard in 2023, about different compositional approaches of men and women, about the Next Jazz Legacy project she started in 2021, funding female and non-binary students, about her own experiences with sexism, as well as about the complex connections between race, gender, power and suppression in the United States (taz).
Tim Gorbauch talks to Raimund Knösche and Leo Wölfel, a father and son team who initiated the new Magnet Festival in Wiesbaden, Germany, presenting contemporary jazz, electronic music, and avant-garde fusion projects (Sensor Wiesbaden). --- Berlin-based marimba player Taiko Saitō will receive this year's Jazzpreis Berlin award (Berlin). Saitō, by the way, will be one of the teachers at this year's Darmstadt Jazz Conceptions workshop (Jazz Conceptions).
Michelle Mercer talks to pianist and composer Rachel Z about sex, sensuality and "love addicts in music" while looking back at her time with Steps Ahead, about fashion and the choice of photos for her record covers, about ageism especially in regard to female musicians, as well as about her own involvement in exploring how the "erasure of women's history makes us think that guys did all the fantastic things". Mercer also opens up about her own writing, an article from 2017 for instance about the sexism in a conversation between Robert Glasper and Ethan Iverson, and how she "ended up getting problematized by much of the music world" (Call & Response). --- Lewis Porter provides the backstory to an article from 1958 written by the night manager of the Colony Record Shop in New York who talks about some of his customers and the records they bought, such as the Baroness Nica Rothschild de Koenigswarter (Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins), Sammy Davis Jr. (Bing Crosby), cartoonist Charles Addams (Screamin' Jay Hawkins)), Charlie Parker (Tennessee Ernie Ford), Lester Young (Frank Sinatra, Kay Starr), Dmitri Shostakovich (Charlie Parker), Duke Ellington (Frederick Delius), and Miles Davis (Khachaturian) (Playback with Lewis Porter).
Dwight Garner reads saxophonist Henry Threadgill's new autobiography, written with Brent Hayes Edwards (Jazzinstitut review to follow shortly) (New York Times). --- Nicky Schrire talks to trumpeter and vocalist Leala Cyr about how she deals with being a mother and a jazz musician at the same time (London Jazz News).