(aus dem Jazzinstitut Darmstadt)
15 – 28 June 2023 | Ausgabe 12/2023 (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 ...
Matthew Richie talks to pianist Lonnie Liston Smith about jazz as American heritage music, about growing up with gospel music and being turned on to jazz when a friend's father put on a record by Charlie Parker, as well as about his latest album "Jazz Is Dead" (Passion of the Weiss). --- Lewis Porter continues his series on Art Tatum's "avant-garde" side listening to two more versions of "Body and Soul" (Playback with Lewis Porter).
Phil Freeman listens to recordings by specifically Peter Brötzmann with Moroccan Gnawa musicians and talks to Brötzmann about how that project came about (Burning Ambulance; this appeared before the news of Brötzmann's passing hit the news). --- Stephan Kunze talks to bassist/singer/songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello about the first three years of her life which she spent in Germany, about her recent activism as a Black artist and a queer person, about seeing her music as Black American Music instead of referring to specific genres, as well as about her latest album "The Omnichord Real Book" (Die Zeit).
Marcus J. Moore hears a new compilation of Horace Tapscott's music and remembers the pianist and composer as a driving force of the Los Angeles jazz scene in the 1960s where he founded the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra in 1961 and the Union of God's Musicians and Artists Ascension collective around the same time. Moore recalls Tapscott's career, touring with Lionel Hampton, his musical activism during the Watts riots of 1965, and he talks to singer Dwight Trible who performed with the Arkestra since 1987 and with drummer Mekala Sessions who leads the band today (New York Times). --- Nate Chinen watches a live stream of "Unearthed", composed by drummer Kendrick Scott as a memory of the Sugar Land 95, victims of convict leasing between 1878 and 1911 whose remains were discovered in 2018 in Sugar Land, Texas (The Gig).
Jim Johnson talks to bassist Christian McBride about growing up in Philadelphia, about moving to New York to study classical bass and soon being part of New York's lively jazz scene, about being the host of "Jazz Night in America" on NPR since 2014, as well as about his current band "New Jawn" (KGOU). --- Klaus Irler attends Elbjazz, a festival in Hamburg, Germany (die tageszeitung).
Lee Mergner lists his top ten of jazz solos on classic rock and pop hits, like Randy Brecker with Bruce Springsteen, Michael Brecker with Paul Simon, David Sanborn with David Bowie, Jaco Pastorius with Joni Mitchell, Phil Woods with Billy Joel, Wayne Shorter with Steely Dan, Sonny Rollins with the Rolling Stones, Dizzy Gillespie with Stevie Wonder, Chet Baker with Elvis Costello, Branford Marsalis with Sting (WBGO). --- Lewis Porter continues his series on Miles Davis composer credits with a discussion of "Nardis", credited to Miles with rumors that Bill Evans sold it to the trumpeter. Porter argues that the harmonic language of "Nardis" reflects Miles' harmonic interests at the time but also provides other reasons including Bill Evans' own statements that the piece was a Miles Davis composition (Playback with Lewis Porter part 1; Playback with Lewis Porter part 2).
John Edward Hasse celebrates the 75th anniversary of the long-playing record introduced in 1948 (Wall Street Journal), as does Jens Balzer (Die Zeit). --- Michael J. West talks to saxophonist David Murray about his latest quartet with pianist Marta Sanchez, bassist Luke Stewart, and drummer Russell Carter, about working in the jazz business since the mid-1970s and realizing that "almost all my guys are gone", as well as about the impact that the much younger musicians of his current band have on his own musical approach (Washington Post).
Lewis Porter posts the third part of an audio documenting a conversation from 1964 between critic Ira Gitler and drummers Tony Williams, Art Blakey, Cozy Cole, and Mel Lewis (Playback with Lewis Porter). --- We just received the DVD of "Talking to You. Christof Lauer", a documentation about the German saxophonist by filmmaker Lucie Herrmann (Talking to You). --- Ted Gioia explains how after first disliking the music of Steely Dan he eventually became a "Dan stan", i.e. a Stelly Dan fan (The Honest Broker).
We learned of the passing of saxophonist Bob Martin at age 74 (London Jazz News), percussionist Tom Nicholas at age 85 (Organissimo), ragtime pianist Max Morath at age 96 (New York Times), German saxophonist Peter Brötzmann at age 82 (TAZ, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, NPR, Nowhere Street, The Guardian, The Blue Moment, Le Monde, SWR, Die Zeit: one of his last interviews), trombonist Dave Martell at age 63 (YouTube), Spanish pianist Lucky Guri at age 73 (ES Euro), Spanish guitarist Emili Baleriola at age 71 (El Punt Avui), Italian critic Adriano Mazzoletti at age 87 (Giornale della Musica), journalist Robert Gottlieb at age 92 (Washington Post), Cuban guitarist Martin Rojas at age 79 (Nation World News), drummer Jackie Williams at age 90 (Syncopated Times), as well as trombonist Tim Williams at age 65.
From the World of Jazz Research
Louis Armstrong Center
The Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona, Queens, New York, has long been an attraction for many visitors interested in the history of African American music or fascinated by Satchmo's recordings. The Louis Armstrong Center will open on 6 July, just across the street from the house museum, the former home of the trumpeter and singer. The center will offer interactive events to bring the archives of Satchmo and his wife Lucille alive. The Center includes a venue for performances, lectures, films and educations experiences. The first exhibition "Here to Stay" at the Center, curated by pianist Jason Moran, will look at Armstrong as both an incredible artist and an archivist who "documented his life's journey through a variety of media: cameras, typewriters, reel-to-reel recorders, and his iconic music" (Time Out, Louis Armstrong Center).
Last Week at the Jazzinstitut
(New) books we read
Among the books on our desk the last couple of weeks was "Vergnügen in Besatzungszeiten. Begenungen in westalliierten Offiziers- und Soldatenclubs in Deutschland, 1945-1955", by Lena Rudeck (see the Jazzinstitut's book review page).
We are hiring:
Director of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt
Job posting still open till 12 July: The city of Darmstadt is looking for a new director of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt, a municipal cultural institution with international connections. If you subscribe to this newsletter, you know of the scope of our work as an archive, a documentation and information center, a lobbying organization for jazz and improvised music in Germany and beyond, a partner to regional activities, an organizer of conferences, workshops and concerts, a publisher of books and articles, an instigator and supporter for research and other activities related to jazz. It's just three of us (plus some volunteers), but with the support of the city we get a lot done. Due to reaching the mandatory retirement age, the current leadership will step down in late January. The job posting for Director of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt is online since 7 June, with a deadline for applications set for 12 July 2023. We are searching internationally, however, as this is a municipal (not an academic) position the job posting asks for "spontaneous and fluent command of the German language, both written and spoken (C-1 level or higher)". More about the task ahead can be found in the job posting; you can also contact us directly if you have any questions regarding the work scope itself, or you can contact the city's human resources department for details about your application. (https://karriere.darmstadt.de/stellenangebot.html?yid=1637)
Darmstadt Music Talk
New Music / Jazz: Who Cares?
This year both the Darmstadt Summer Courses for Contemporary Music and the Darmstadt Jazzforum are taking place, two internationally acclaimed events in which a lot of music is heard, but also the present and future of contemporary music is discussed. At the Darmstädter Musikgespräch (Darmstadt Musik Talk), moderator Thomas Schäfer (Internationales Musinstitut) asks composer Arne Gieshoff (Akademie für Tonkunst), musicologist Melanie Wald-Fuhrmann (Max Planck Institut für empirische Ästhetik) and jazz researcher Wolfram Knauer (Jazzinstitut Darmstadt) what genre designations such as jazz or new music actually still mean in the 21st century, how they are perceived within the different music scenes and what meaning they have for the audience. The Darmstadt Music Talk will take place in the former home and studio of composer Hans-Ulrich and artist Roma Engelmann, Ludwig-Engel-Weg 15 (Rosenhöhe), 64287 Darmstadt. Date: Wednesday, 28 June 2023 (yes, that's today!), 8-9:30 p.m. Admission: free (Darmstädter Musikgespräch).
Destination Unknown: The Future of Jazz
While the program stands for our 18th Darmstadt Jazzforum conference, we still regularly talk about its main theme, i.e. how do we envision the future for jazz. Once again: The Jazzforum's dates: 27/28-30 September 2023. More info here: Destination Unknown as well as on the corresponding blog that outlines some of our own thoughts on the subject. The main conference language will be German.
Congratulations to Wolke Verlag
Our cooperation with Wolke Verlag goes back until even before the Jazzinstitut was founded. The Hofheim-based publisher of books on jazz and on contemporary composer music has been our partner in all 17 volumes of the "Darmstädter Beiträge zur Jazzforschung" (Darmstadt Studies in Jazz Research), a series of books documenting our Darmstadt Jazzforum conference. Now Peter Mischung, founder and head of the small independent publishing house, has been awarded the Hessischer Verlagspreis (Hesse Publishers Award) which comes with a grant of 20,000 Euro. The jury statement points out that Peter Mischung "impressively demonstrated the wide range and high quality of publishing work in Hesse with publications that cover an enormous spectrum – both with big names and discoveries. He is honored for the quality of individual titles and the beautiful design of many volumes, as well as for its consistent program." We are happy and proud and will definitively cheer him when he receives the award from the State of Hesse's minister for science and culture in mid-July (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wolke Verlag).
Virtual visit to Paris
We took part in a one-day conference at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris, organized by Laurent Cugny, Jérôme Fronty and Martin Guerpin about jazz archives and dealing with public jazz collections. Among the speakers were Anne Legrand (about the acquisition of the Charles Delaunay collection), Pierre Fargeton (about the collections of André Hodeir and Hugues Panassié), Yavier Prévost (about the André Francis archive at Radio France), François Lacharme about the Francis Paudras archive), Hugo Rodriguez (about the Toots Thielemans collection at the Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique), John Edward Hasse (about the collections at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History), Martin Guerpin (about BiblioJazz, and an anthology of French writings about jazz, 1918-1929), Stéphane Audard (about the fonds pédagogique Jean-Louis Chautemps), as well as independent collectors and researchers such as Philippe Baudoin, Dan Vernhettes and Alexandre Litwak. John Hasse and Wolfram Knauer were brought in via ZOOM with Knauer talking about "Window to the Past, Enabler for the Present. A jazz archive as a source for scholars and discourse space for the music".
R.I.P. Tom Nicholas
He was a presence of smile and laughter... and of timing, everywhere, in life and music. Percussionist Tom Nicholas who died 16 June 2023 at age 85 had the rare ability to make everyone around him feel happy. Born in Philadelphia he moved to California after his army service, performing with the likes of John Handy, Kenny Burrell, Dewey Redman, Pharoah Sanders and many more. He moved to Europe in 1977, became part of trombonist Lou Blackburn's Mombasa ensemble, then of Peter Giger's Family of Percussion. He settled in Darmstadt, playing with local musicians such as Jürgen Wuchner, Christopher Dell and later in the Black & White Cooperation, a quartet with Anke Schimpf, Christoph Paulsen and Georg Göb with which he recorded several albums. For a while he gave regular percussion classes at the Jazzinstitut's performance space, and he made sure to swing by whenever he was in the neighborhood to exchange some stories about his long musical career or about music he had heard on the internet recently. His visits always came with jokes, directed at everybody including himself and usually cracking us up for the day. He was a joyous presence, and when he drew back some time ago because of his illness, we already missed him terribly. He kept in touch with his many friends through social media. Now he's gone. We mourn, and yet: his smile and laughter will live on.
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.
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