(aus dem Jazzinstitut Darmstadt)
18 – 31 May 2023 | Ausgabe 10/2023 (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 ...

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.]


We learned of the passing of German promoter Klaus Dieter Krawitz at age 86 (Badische Zeitung), bassist Bill Lee at age 94 (New York Times), singer Tina Turner at age 83 (New York Times, The Gig), Turkish pianist Ilhami Gencer at age 100 (Daily Sabah), drummer Isaac 'Redd' Holt at age 91 (Pitchfork), German graphic designer Günther Kieser at age 92 (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), German-Austrian clarinetist, saxophonist and promoter Renald Deppe at age 67 (ORF, Der Standard), as well as Swedish saxophonist Bernt Rosengren at age 85 (Göteborgs Posten, Burning Ambulance).

From the World of Jazz Research

Jazz Encounters (conference). Call for Papers
The eighth Rhythm Changes conference Jazz Encounters, will take place at the Institute for Jazz Research (University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz, Austria) from 3 to 6 April 2024. The Organizers invite submissions for papers and panels that may focus on gendered encounters, jazz in times of crisis, well-being, digital encounters, people and places, or other topics.

More information: Institut für Jazzforschung Graz.

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

Kathrin-Preis for Robert Lucaciu
Robert Lucaciu was presented with the 2023 Kathrin-Preis on 20 May during an award show at Wolf-Werk, the huge workshop of steel sculptor Georg Friedrich Wolf. Lucaciu and his band Fallen Crooner with Laura Totenhagen, Pascal Klewer, Shannon Barnett, Sofia Salvo, and Moritz Baumgärtner, played an inspired concert for a full house in which they managed to do all they had planned to do: approach important social issues such as toxic masculinity, heteronormativity or everyday racism with humor and irony. Frank Schindelbeck took some photos of the event which can be viewed on the award's website (Kathrin-Preis).

Moving boxes
We are so grateful to the moving company colleagues who managed to pack more than 400 boxes this week, containing LPs, CDs, 78-RPM records, photos, books and so much more, to bring them from an annex on the outskirts of town to the newly built Kunstdepot Darmstadt (art depot, see Neues Kunstdepot). And while such a move in itself sounds like a lot of work, there is even more involved: As the new annex also houses valuable art work from the municipal Museum Mathildenhöhe as well as a huge part of the historical city archive we are required to undertake all measures to make sure that no uninvited visitors travel along. All boxes, thus, are subjected to integrated pest management. Some of the material will be frozen before being moved to its final destination. Other, non-freezable material (78s, tapes or film material of all sorts) will be quarantined and closely inspected before being moved on. Our colleague Marie Härtling has been in charge of organizing the move, and we look forward to working in the new, state-of-the-art archival space. Our main location, though, will remain the historic Kavaliershaus in Darmstadt's Bessungen neighborhood where most of the material people come to see or research, can be viewed in person.

Destination Known: The Past of Darmstadt Jazzforum
While we are in the middle of organizing our 18th Darmstadt Jazzforum (see below) we took some time to look back at an unusually long cooperation with our graphic designer Roland Stein that started in 1991 and has been going on till today. Roland has designed all of the posters, flyers, playbills for our conference/festival, but he is also responsible for the Jazzinstitut's logo, for the layout of a number of traveling exhibitions over the years, for the header of our website and so much more. Reminiscing about a 32 year cooperation we share the poster motifs of the Darmstadt Jazzforum from 1991 through 2023 and tell some of their back stories (Jazzforum: Die Plakate).

Destination Unknown: The Future of Jazz
The 18th Darmstadt Jazzforum is constantly on our mind. There will be some minor changes to the program that we will let you know on our Jazzforum website. Just keep the date in mind: 27/28-30 September 2023. More info here: Destination Unknown as well as on a corresponding blog that outlines some of our own thoughts on the subject. The main conference language will be German.

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