(aus dem Jazzinstitut Darmstadt)
28 June – 12 July 2023 | Ausgabe 13/2023 (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 ...

Thomas Lindemann talks to singer-songwriter Tara Nome Doyle, saxophonist Inga Rothammel, vocalist Zoe Wees, pianist Johanna Summer, and DJane Sarah Wild about femininity in music (FAZ). --- Chris Richards attends a concert by Herbie Hancock at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and reflects about the pianist's ability to constantly reinvent his music by means of his improvisational vocabulary (Washington Post).

Veronica Rose reports about the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designating three buildings connected to jazz history, namely Dizzy Gillespie's former residence on 37th Street, the Hotel Cecil & Minton's Playhouse in Harlem, as well as a building on St. Nicholas Avenue that once was home to both Duke Ellington and Noble Sissle (CitylandNYC). --- Meike Kolodziejczyk reports about pianist, composer and arranger Jim McNeely who will leave his position as conductor of HR Bigband in Frankfurt, Germany, after 11 years next June (Frankfurter Rundschau).

Ted Gioia reads Stephanie Stein Crease's new book about Chick Webb and reflects about the drummer's biography and musical influence (The Honest Broker). --- Marc Myers talks to saxophonist Harry Allen about growing up in D.C. and Rhode Island, about the influence of his father's love for jazz on his own musical taste, about his fascination with Paul Gonsalves and Scott Hamilton, about his first professional gig in the New York area to which no other than Dizzy Gillespie showed up, about studying at Rutgers University, as well as about his latest album "With Roses" (JazzWax).

Ethan Iverson looks at Ornette Coleman's recording of "Enfant" from the LP "Ornette on Tenor" and provides a transcription of the piece (Transitional Technology). --- Ethan Iverson also listens to Duke Ellington's "In a Mellotone" from 1940 and is fascinated by the Duke's voicings in the introduction (Transitional Technology). --- Ethan Iverson looks at Ferde Grofés "Grand Canyon Suite" and how jazz musicians took the movement "On the Trail", making it first a pop song, then a standard for jazz improvisation. Iverson transcribes pianist Wynton Kelly's piano solo, and he listens to saxophonist Jimmy Heath's version of it (Transitional Technology).

Lewis Porter continues his series about "Every film clip of Charlie Parker" with a tiny silent clip shot during Bird's tour of Sweden in 1950 and then tells the story of a joke a Swedish journalist wrote in 1958 about Parker playing for cows, a spoof that ended up being reported as truth in Ken Burns "Jazz" documentary and other sources (Playback with Lewis Porter). --- Lewis Porter also starts a new series discussing "Every film clip of Lester Young" with a preview of a 1958 clip, actually the only footage in which Prez actually speaks (Playback with Lewis Porter). --- Lewis Porter concludes his series on the origin of Miles Davis' composition "Nardis", suggesting a possible inspiration for the tune in "Misirlou", a composition recorded in 1927 by Greek musician Tetos Demtriades (Playback with Lewis Porter).

Marcus J. Moore asks to eleven musicians, critics and writers about their favorites, when it comes to avant-garde jazz. This is what they chose: Ana Roxanne (Barre Phillips, John Surman), Julia Holter (Jeanne Lee), Laura Warren (Sonny Sharrock), Zoh Amba (Frank Wright), Elucid (Ornette Coleman), Chad Clark (Jeff Parker), Melanie Charles (Rahsaan Roland Kirk), Amirtha Kidambi (Max Roach/Abbey Lincoln), Marcus J. Moore (Cecil Taylor), V.C.R. (Pharoah Sanders), Carlos Niño (Albert Ayler) (New York Times). --- Nate Chinen reports about trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire who will be the next Artistic Director of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance (WRTI).

Nate Chinen attended the opening of the new Louis Armstrong Center, just across the street from Armstrong's house on 107th Street in Queens, New York. He talks to Ricky Riccardi, Director of Research Collections, and quotes pianist Jason Moran who sees the museum a bit like Armstrong's first passport picture, naïve and innocent: "This is Day One. So then, OK, we'll do the next 30 years" (The Gig). Jason Moran's exhibition "Here to Stay" is promoted on the Louis Armstrong House Museum's website (Louis Armstrong). --- Colin Marshall remembers his fascination with smooth jazz as a teenager when he worked as a radio announcer back in college (The New Yorker).

Kaylee Poche reports about the former home of jazz legend Buddy Bolden that has been cited for demolition by neglect by the New Orleans historic commission (The Gambit). --- Ethan Iverson pays tribute to the late ragtime pianists Max Morath and David A. Jasen as well as very much alive pianist Dick Hyman (Transitional Technology). In a separate post Iverson then dissects Hyman's interpretation of Zez Confrey's "Dizzy Fingers" (Transitional Technology).

Mark Savage reports about the jazz memorabilia collection of the late Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts that includes several Charlie Parker items and is being auctioned together with first editions F Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound Of The Baskervilles (BBC, Christie's). --- Garth Cartwright remembers pianist and singer Blossom Dearie, talks to her friend Arlene Corwin, fellow vocalist Georgie Fame, and drummer Spike Wells, and listens to a new boxed set documenting her 1966-1970 London recordings (The Guardian).

Mark Allan Williams talks to John Fowler, a founding member of the Left Bank Jazz Society in Baltimore, Maryland, about events the association hosted from 1964 through the early 2000s, remembering concerts by Duke Ellington (1972) and John Coltrane (short before his death in 1967). Fowler talks about the venue The Famous Ballroom where most of the events were being held, about the audience and the family atmosphere at the concerts, as well as about an audio archive of nearly 300 tapes he has archived of musicians who performed for the society (The Baltimore Banner). --- Wolfgang Sandner celebrates Manfred Eicher, founder and head of German record label ECM, on his 80th birthday (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). Roland Spiegel sends his regards as well (BR Klassik).


We learned of the passing of German saxophonist Jochen Arp at age 78, pianist Evans Thompson at age 75 (died in February already, The Village Sun), pianist Peter Nero at age 89 (New York Times), promoter Rick Sanchez (KrisTV), Dutch composer Ruud Bos at age 87 (AD), radio host Don Kennedy at age 93 (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), Israeli radio host and festival promoter Dubi Lenz at age 76 (World Music Central), trumpeter Howie Shear at age 68 (Legacy), German saxophonist Ernst Ludwig Petrowsky at age 89 (Berliner Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), as well as jazz scholar Larry Reni Thomas at age 73 (Star News Online).

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

We are hiring:
Director of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt
When you're reading this, you only have a couple of hours left to throw in your hat for the position of 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 (midnight). 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)

Jazzpects no 6: "To Erwin and Margie". About a special pen friendship
When William Engelleitner emigrated to the USA in the mid-1950s, he kept in touch with his friends, a married couple from Darmstadt. And because they were all jazz lovers, he kept enclosing autographs of jazz musicians he heard in the clubs of New York, Chicago, Washington, Pittsburgh and elsewhere with his letters. The collection of nearly 200 autographs of famous musicians from Sarah Vaughan to Eddie Condon to Chet Baker, Blue Mitchell or Erroll Garner found its way to the Jazzinstitut a few years ago. In the latest edition of our Jazzpects you learn about the history of the collection and see some autograph examples (Jazzpects).

Destination Unknown: The Future of Jazz
Preparing our 18th Darmstadt Jazzforum conference we also observe the current discourses within the German jazz scene. Last week during Jazzwoche Berlin musicians in the German capital talked about the genre "jazz" in general, about rehearsal space in Berlin, about safe spaces within the scene and why they are necessary, about what it needs to be creative, about curating jazz concerts and festivals, as well as about fair fees for musicians (Jazzwoche Berlin). In Mannheim Sophie Emilie Beha, Gabriele Maurer, Angelika Niescier and others were part of a panel about "Refocus Herstory", the importance of being aware of the women instrumentalists in German jazz (Refocus Herstory). And in Marburg the Deutsche Jazzunion will celebrate its 50th anniversary this week with concerts and talks about the reality of musicians' lives these days (Jazzforum der Deutschen Jazzunion).

You might see our 18th Darmstadt Jazzforum in the fall about "Destination Unknown: The Future of Jazz" as a summary of discourses such as these, perhaps even more focused and if only because we actually have three days to talk, discuss, develop ideas together. These are the dates: 27/28-30 September 2023. And more information is available 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.

Jürgen Wuchner's compositions
Wolke Verlag has just published "Serendipity. Jürgen Wuchners Kompositionen", a book celebrating the compositions of the late Darmstadt bassist and composer Jürgen Wuchner. Wuchner's widow Monika Schießer-Wuchner hat initiated the tome, a beautiful book containing memories by fellow musicians such as Rudi Mahall, Uli Partheil, Ole Heiland, Valentin Garvie, Christopher Dell, Bob Degen, Karl Berger, Wollie Kaiser, Thomas Cremer, Wolfgang Puschnig, Bülent Ates, Jörg Fischer, and Christof Thewes. The second half of the book is Wuchner's compositions, lead sheets of some of his "hits" and lesser-known pieces, chronologically sorted from 1976 through 2019. If you have ever heard one of Jürgen's pieces, you know about their catchiness which he achieves no matter how complex the music is. Uli Partheil who edited the pieces for publication explains how each of them is unique, containing a different degree of freedom. Some of them seem simple, he writes, but one has to find one's own access to the music. Partheil relates from his own experience how often Jürgen's pieces were changed, altered and adapted to the respective playing situation. At some point however, he says, Jürgen said "Now it's enough," because he felt that no more changes were necessary. For those of us who knew him, the richly illustrated book is a beautiful reminder of the bassist, composer, friend Jürgen Wuchner. For his students, his workshop participants, it records in lead sheets what they may have played together once or would like to play someday. For all others it is a source of exciting pieces that can enrich one's repertoire (Serendipity – Wolke).

Peter Brötzmann / Ernst Ludwig Petrowsky
The recent deaths of Peter Brötzmann and Ernst Ludwig Petrowsky hit hard in the jazz scene and with us as well. Apart from being two of the most important, influential, encouraging, and risk-taking musicians Germany has produced, Peter and Luten were human beings with humor, a strong opinion and – each in a very different fashion – a way with words. Peter could come across as gnarly at times, but once his interest was roused he was both self-confident of what he wanted to do artistically and curious about why others did what they did. Luten was full of humor, knowing that his quips, even in face of authority, provided him with a certain freedom in the cagey oppressive system of former East Germany. They were both international musicians, Brötzmann taking pride in the fact that he may well have been the most successful German jazz musician outside of Germany, and Petrowsky traveling by far not that much but seeing his colleagues whenever they performed in Berlin. Brötzmann's other passion was visual art; his artwork has been documented in a number of publications. Petrowsky was a masterful scribe whose letters were full of self-irony, yet at the same time deep with knowledge and experience. Both of them shaped how jazz sounded in Germany, East and West. We miss them very much.

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