... brief news ...
Ethan Iverson listens to the title track of Sonny Clark's 1958 album "Cool Struttin'", transcribes Clark's, Art Farmer's and Jackie McLean's solos and asks why they, here and elsewhere, especially in blues pieces, put their melodies slightly behind the beat (Transitional Technology). --- Ted Panken talks to pianist Jason Moran about his research into James Reese Europe and his importance for Black music in the early 20th century, about his personal reasons to dig into the past so strongly, about what he learned studying with Muhal Richard Abrams, about his interdisciplinary approach, as well as about how documents from music history can be valuable today (The Honest Broker).
Lewis Porter listens closely to a James P. Johnson recording of "If Dreams Come True" (Playback with Lewis Porter). Porter also posts the second part of a drum conversation journalist Ira Gitler led in 1963 with Tony Williams, Art Blakey, Cozy Cole and Mel Lewis (Playback with Lewis Porter). And Porter comments on an audio interview with Eric Dolphy, taken by Swedish journalist Claes Dahlgren in 1963 (Playback with Lewis Porter). --- Drummer Devin Gray talks about his road into music, about his musical approach as well as about his latest album, "Most Definitely" (15 Questions).
Ethan Iverson publishes an excerpt from drummer Billy Hart's upcoming autobiography (Transitional Technology). --- Ian Bell talks to vocalist Eugenie Jones (Vashon Beachcomber). --- Christina Fuoco-Karasinski talks to composer and percussionist Luis Muñoz (Tucson Weekly).
Allison Stewart talks to saxophonist Henry Threadgill (audio, WNYC). --- Jeff Caltabiano talks to Brazilian saxophonist Thiago França (Aquarium Drunkard; an earlier piece by Caltabiano on Brazilian percussionist Maurício Takara can be found here: Aquarium Drunkard). --- David McElhinney talks to Irish photographer Philip Arneill about his documentation of Tokyo jazz bars (Belfast Telegraph).
Vinnie Sperrazza reads Aidan Levy's new biography of saxophonist Sonny Rollins and writes about recordings Rollins made together with drummer Max Roach (Chronicles). --- Ted Gioia appreciates Doris Day, focusing not so much on her career as an actress but as a vocalist, and he explains that the honesty one feels when listening to her sing may also be the secret behind her successful movie career (The Honest Broker).
Marc Myers talks to Italian pianist Luciano Troja about his fascination with the music of composer Earl Zindars (JazzWax). --- Luis Raphael looks at the state of the jazz scene in San Francisco (Music in SF). --- German trumpeter Claus Reichstaller turns 60 and Roland Spiegel congratulates (BR-Klassik). --- Lee Mergner talks to producer Don Was about WasFest, a new festival planned for late June in Boston (WBGO).
Phil Freeman talks to South African pianist Bokani Dyer about his father, saxophonist Steve Dyer, about his latest project, "Radio Sechaba", about the subject of identity "that vexes many South African musicians", as well as about the perception of South Africans abroad (Stereogum). --- The German musicians' initiative Queer Cheer has just won the special award of the Deutscher Jazzpreis. Friede Merz and Erik Leuthäuser talk about the idea behind the initiative and their plans for a future festival as well as about their own music and how they reflect their queer identity (audio, SWR 2).
Pat Prescott talks to guitarist George Benson about memories of his childhood, about his fascination first with Charlie Christian, then with Charlie Parker, about some of his influences, about playing with organists Jack McDuff and Jimmy Smith, as well as about current activities and the people he is playing with today (WBGO). --- Josephine Johnson talks to vocalist Kurt Elling about music being like spiritual research, about his collaboration with guitarist Charlie Hunter, as well as about his latest album, "SuperBlue: Iridescent Spree" (Savannah Morning News).
Andrew Gilbert talks to drummer Akira Tana about his project "Music Makers: Bands Behind Barbed Wires", inspired by the legacy of George Yoshida who in 1942 as a teenager had been interned like his family and many other Japanese Americans after the Roosevelt administration had approved so-called "relocation camps for Japanese-Americans (The Mercury News). --- Pianist Karl Berger died in April and his friends have initiated a campaign in support for his family (Go Fund Me).
Xenia Reinfels talks to drummer, composer and educator Sascha Wild who has been appointed "Musikreferent" (head of music relations) to the city of Frankfurt and as such plans to both stay in tune with what's happening musically in all genres and find out what's missing and how the city can help create necessary spaces (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). --- On the 30th anniversary of Sun Ra's death Ted Gioia remembers the Afrofuturist pioneer, focusing on the singles Sun Ra issued over the years, pieces he picked for 45-RPM issues that, as Gioia explains, "had zero potential for radio airplay", recorded between the early 1950s and the 1980s. Gioia sums up, "Unlike many others who adopt that name - posers who take few genuine chances despite all their posturing - Sun Ra actually conducted real-time experiments in the recording studio. If his laboratory blew up, it was okay. He would be moving on to something else, no matter what" (The Honest Broker). Ssirus W. Pakzad remembers Sun Ra as well (BR-Klassik). [More information on Sun Ra, by the way, can be found in the vast research collection, Hartmut Geerken's Sun Ra Arkive, at the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt.]