(aus dem Jazzinstitut Darmstadt)
21 September – 7 October 2023 | Ausgabe 18/2023 (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 ...

German filmmaker Tilman Urbach has finished the documentary "Tastenarbeiter" about pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach that will have its world premiere at this year's Jazzfest Berlin (Salzgeber). --- In the third part of his short series on Charles Ives and jazz Ethan Iverson examines blues elements in Ives' music (Transitional Technology); in the fourth part he looks at two early symphonies by Ives and Igor Stravinsky (Transitional Technology).

Kim Mousseau talks to saxophonist/vocalist Camille Thurman about starting to study geology at Binghamton University, about one of the highlights of her career so far having been to perform with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, as well as about juggling teaching and a busy touring schedule (Binghamton). --- Vinnie Sperrazza appreciates Vernel Fournier's drumming on Ahmad Jamal's album "At the Pershing. But Not for Me", traces his beat back to New Orleans, and finds it in later recordings, for instance by drummer Idris Muhammad (Chronicles).

Alexander Varty talks to saxophonist Donny McCaslin about his latest album "I Want More" that he thinks challenges conventional jazz settings (Create a Stir). --- We discovered Klaus Wildenhahn's documentary about organist Jimmy Smith's European tour in the mid-1960s including lots of banter between the musicians (Quentin Warren, bass, Billy Hart, drums), talks with Dizzy Gillespie and his musicians who were on the same bill for lots of the tour, dressing room, rehearsal, sound check and airport scenes, and lots of music, too (YouTube).

Fuad Alakbarov looks at the history and presence of jazz in Baku, Azerbaijan (Daily Sabah). --- Canadian-German singer Judy Rafat participated in the German casting TV show "The Voice of Germany" (WAZ). --- Andreas Schnell watches the Danish film documentary "Music for Black Pigeons" (ND). --- Lewis Porter continues his series on John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" by focusing on overdubbed passages in the recording (Playback with Lewis Porter).

Allison Rooney talks to Indian violinist Arun Ramamurthy about Indian classical music, about his interest in popular music and jazz, as well as about his approach to Carnatic music inspired by the energy and spirit of jazz (Highlands Current). --- Marshall Terry talks to bassist Brandon Lopez about a recent project with scholar Fred Moten and drummer Gerald Cleaver, about his latest album, as well as about the influence of Afro-Caribbean music on his playing (WFAE 90.7).

Richard Scheinin remembers the importance of Studio Rivbea, saxophonist Sam Rivers' East Village   venue, as well as the impact of Rivers' art, talking about it with pianist Jason Moran, tuba player Joseph Daley, author Ed Hazell, and bassist William Parker (New York Times). --- Richard Williams remembers British saxophonist Mike Osborne (The Blue Moment).

After the weather impact on the Burning Man festival Michelle Mercer asks how to "festivate in an era of severe climate events", remembering the weather-induced postponement of a Charles Lloyd concert in Greece and how the saxophonist reacted to it (Call and Response). --- Google Doodle celebrated South African pianist, composer and journalist Todd Matshikiza (Mint).

Nicole Sweeney talks to pianist Robert Glasper about his month-long residency at New York's Blue Note jazz club in October, about his fascination with pianist Kenny Kirkland, about Norah Jones whom he went to jazz camp with when they both were in 11th grade, about his collaboration with Terrace Martin and Kamasi Washington, as well as about some of the musicians who will or might join him during his Blue Note residency (WBGO). --- Lydia Veilleux talks to trombonist Henry Koban Payne (WRTI).

Guitarist Al DiMeola suffered a heart attack while playing a concert at Bucharest, Romania (WIS10), but will soon be able to leave the hospital (Bild). --- Julian Brimmers hears saxophonist Matana Roberts' latest album "Coin Coin Chapter Five" (Die Zeit).

Lewis Porter shares an audio interview that journalist Ira Gitler had with guitarist Wes Montgomery and that led to a published item in Down Beat in July 1964 (Playback with Lewis Porter). --- Lars Fleischmann talks to German singer Cymin Samawatie about the Trickster Orchestra which she leads together with percussionist and composer Ketan Bhatti, an ensemble that mixes jazz, classical and New music, as well as non-European musical concepts, aiming at an approach of trans-traditionalism based on the idea of a post-migrant society (die tageszeitung).

Marc Myers tells the story of photographer Esther Bubley who more or less by chance took pictures at the Legendary "Funky Blues" recording session in 1952, in which she documented a musical meeting of the likes of Charlie Parker, Johnny Hodges, Benny Carter, Charlie Shavers, Oscar Peterson and many more. He talks to producer Hank O'Neal who had edited a book of Bubley's photos and tells how her involvement in the session happened and how the artist David Stone Martin used her pictures as the basis for his cover design of the original record cover (JazzWax). --- Kevin Whitehead remembers Chicago saxophonist Von Freeman (NPR).

Rob Garratt reports about the UK band The Comet is Coming that will be splitting up because saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings has decided to retire from playing the saxophone (South China Morning Post). --- Andrew Dansby talks to drummer Jeremy Dutton about his original compositions for his debut album, "Anyone But Here", as well as about the impact of Houston's jazz scene on him as a musician (Houston Chronicle).

Alexander Varty talks to trumpeter Wynton Marsalis about not really being a nostalgic person, about the current program of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra celebrating his own music, as well as about what makes that ensemble unique (Create a Stir). --- Bill Milkowski talks to "poet-musicologist-political activist" John Sinclair about the Detroit music scene of the 1960s, about hearing Cannonball Adderley with Yusef Lateef or Miles Davis with J.J. Johnson and Philly Joe Jones, about becoming the manager and one-time producer of the rock band MC5, as well as about how all of his activities always somehow connected to his love of avant-garde jazz (The Milkman's Musings).

Giovanni Russonello asks opera singers, jazz vocalists, and writers for their favorite recordings by Sarah Vaughan and gets responses by singer Lizz Wright ("Tenderly"), novelist Wesley Brown ("Send In the Clowns"), singer Cécile McLorin Salvant ("Maria"), writer Emily Lordi ("I'll Be Seeing You"), vocalist Samara Joy ("Time After Time"), critic Ben Ratliff ("The Thrill Is Gone"), vocalist Charenee Wade ("Once in a While"), Vaughan biographer Elaine M. Hayes ("Whatever Lola Wants"), scholar Fredara Hadley ("The Shadow of Your Smile"), author Will Friedwald ("Misty"), vocalist Angel Blue ("They Can't Take That Away From Me"), and critic Giovanni Russonello ("Like a Lover (O Cantador)") (New York Times).

Nelson A. King reports that producer Quincy Jones received the first Peace Through Music Award from the hands of US Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken who launched the Global Music Diplomacy Initiative on 27 September (Caribbean Life). --- Indira A. Sabiskaroon asks what jazz legends shaped filmmaker Spike Lee's musical world, focusing on his father, pianist Bill Lee, singer Billie Holiday, trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard, saxophonists Branford Marsalis and John Coltrane, and vocalists Ella Fitzgerald and Mahalia Jackson (Brooklyn Museum).

Obituaries

We learned of the passing of drummer Artie Cabral at age 83 (Echovita), sound engineer Joseph Marciano at age 69 (Facebook: Systems Two), Argentine pianist Norberto Machline at age 80 (Infobae), British drummer Mike Travis at age 78 (The Herald), British trombonist Les Handscombe at age 87 (Jazz Passings), drummer Russell Batiste Jr. at age 57 (OffBeat), British singer Alison Bentley at age 65 (Discogs), sound engineer Jon Fausty at age 74 (Salsaerisimo), South African percussionist Julian Bahula at age 85 (Times Live), Canadian singer Mary Alice Brown at age 93 (Erie News Now), as well as Scottish trumpeter Linsey Anne Govoni at age 42 (Fife Today).

From the World of Jazz Research

George Avakian and Anahid Ajemian Papers
George Mesrop Avakian (1919-2017) was an American music producer, recording executive, artist manager, writer, and educator best known for his work with artists such as Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, John Cage, Alan Hovhaness, Keith Jarrett, Sonny Rollins, his wife Anahid Ajemian, and many other musicians and composers. Violinist Anahid Ajemian (1924-2016) specialized in performing new music as a soloist; with her sister, the pianist Maro Ajemian (1921-1978); and with the Composers String Quartet. The George Avakian and Anahid Ajemian papers (1908-2016) at the archives & manuscripts department of the New York Public Library document the careers and lives of the producer and violinist through audio and video recordings; personal and professional correspondence; photographs; scrapbooks; published and unpublished writings and speeches; contracts and other business papers; scores; clippings; programs; awards; posters; and visual art. The bulk of the collection documents George Avakian's career as a recording producer and artist manager, and the artists he worked with. You can easily browse through the finding aid just put online at New York Public Library.

Joachim Ernst Berendt (oral history interview)
Joachim Ernst Berendt's collection was the foundation of the Jazzinstitut's archive. The famous author, critic, producer, radio host, festival organizer had sold his collection to the city of Darmstadt in 1983, seven years later the Jazzinstitut was founded aiming at making all this material (and much more) available to the public. We just rediscovered an oral history interview we conducted with Berendt in 1992 in which he tells "it all", in his words and from his perspective, and we have made it edition 7 in our JAZZpects series on articles from the Jazzinstitut. It's in German, but you might enjoy it anyhow (Jazzpects #7).

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

Bettina Bohle will take over as director of the Jazzinstitut in March 2024
At the opening of the 18th Darmstadt Jazzforum our Lord mayor Hanno Benz announced the appointment of music, language and literature scholar Bettina Bohle as future director of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt. Bohle will take over in March 2024 after the Jazzinstitut's founding director Wolfram Knauer will retire end of January 2024. Bettina who was present at the announcement has been active as a spokesperson for and is well connected within the German jazz scene. Bohle brings to this position her experience as a networker and instigator of important projects in the German jazz scene, including IG Jazz Berlin, Jazzwoche Berlin and the "House of Jazz - Center for Jazz and Improvised Music" in the capital. Bohle is currently one of the spokespersons of the Bundeskonferenz Jazz and a lecturer at the Institute for Music and Musicology at the University of Hildesheim, where she offers courses on jazz history with a focus on cultural politics, philosophy and sociology. In her new position one of her plans is to "strengthen the importance of jazz and improvised music as an important voice in general cultural debates" (Darmstädter Echo, Wissenschaftsstadt Darmstadt, Jazz Thing).

Destination Unknown: The Future of Jazz
We had a busy week organizing the 18th Darmstadt Jazzforum, basically starting early in the morning preparing the venue and ending with friendly hangs with the musicians and conference participants at night. All papers and discussions were streamed live, thus reaching an audience well beyond the cozy amphitheater-like studio at Darmstadt's HoffArt Theater.

You might ask, well... so what is the future of jazz? My answer: We still have no idea. None of the speakers brought a crystal ball to the conference and let us listen to it. But we spoke about the necessity of securing spaces, and about having to be aware of whom we reach with the music. We spoke about educational projects, as well as about where we stand in reaching something like gender equality. We spoke about the need to connect students of jazz with the music's historical context, and about what funding can and cannot achieve. We spoke about musicians as key change agents in sustainability, as well as about grassroots initiatives to change public funding systems. We spoke about the BuJazzo, Germany's national youth big band, about activism, about jazz as a style or a musical practice, about the need to name things and the danger connected to names. We spoke about genres in the year 2023, about how society can be mirrored in a band context, about the war in Ukraine and how it affects the country's jazz scene.

And these subjects just give you an idea of the papers and panels, whereas a lot of the conference happened in between, during coffee breaks, during lunch, at the dinner table, after the concerts. In those we presented five very different acts that mysteriously somehow seemed connected in the way how they dealt especially with elements such as sound and tradition. And we will continue to present the exhibition "The All of Everything" at the Jazzinstitut's gallery until December 8th which asks 5 experts from different fields of life about the future itself that this music once will sound in, and then lets 5 visual artists from the region be inspired by their answers.

More information about what happened can be found on the conference page of our website: Destination Unknown. Videos of all presentations, panels and discussions will be available on our YouTube channel shortly. And a book documenting the 18th Darmstadt Jazzforum in our series "Darmstadt Studies in Jazz Research" is planned for spring 2024.

Opening hours of the Jazzinstitut
The Jazzinstitut is open during our usual hours (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 10am-5pm, Friday 10am-2pm). We also offer research assistance 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.

... JazzNews go on vacation ...
The Darmstadt JazzNews go on vacation... well, their compiler does. The next edition will arrive in your mail inbox by early November 2023. Listen to some music meanwhile...

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Jazzinstitut Darmstadt
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The Jazzinstitut is an institution of the City of Sciences Darmstadt | Das Jazzinstitut ist eine Einrichtung der Wissenschaftsstadt Darmstadt