(aus dem Jazzinstitut Darmstadt)
7 – 20 December 2023 | Ausgabe 22/2023 (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 ...

It's that time of the year again, and Giovanni Russonello starts with listing the "best jazz albums of 2023" (New York Times). --- Jim Eigo, who ran a record mail-order business in the 1970s, remembers seeing Sun Ra at the Five Spot during Halloween week 1972, meeting him during Ra's visits to his Brooklyn warehouse to drop off new LPs on his El Saturn label, and watching Ra and others draw the individually hand-drawn covers while sitting in their car parked on the street by the warehouse (Playback with Lewis Porter).

Thor Christensen talks to vocalist Samara Joy about singing with her father, about growing into her voice, about getting into jazz and being influenced by Sarah Vaughan, about how her gospel and R&B background helped her as a singer, as well as about how she deals with business matters of the music (The Dallas Morning News). --- Giovanni Russonello talks to musicians and writers about their favorites when it comes to the flute in jazz, and he hears back from flutist/vocalist Melanie Charles ("Land of Passion" by Hubert Laws), flutist/composer Nicole Mitchell ("Sophisticated Lady" by James Newton), critic Ron Scott ("Yesterdays" by Yusef Lateef), flutist/composer Jamie Baum ("You Don't Know What Love Is" by Eric Dolphy), writer Marcus J. Moore ("Just a Love Child" by Bobbi Humphrey), flutist T.K. Blue ("Cherokee" by James Moody), flutist Gabrielle Garo ("Obsession" by Dave Valentin and Herbie Mann), Giovanni Russonello ("Winter in America" by Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson), vocalist/flutist Amber Navran ("As You Are" by Taylor McFerrin featuring Elena Pinderhughes), as well as flutist/educator Fernando Brandao ("Mai Pinheiros!" by Maiaia Moraes with Teco Cardoso) (New York Times).

We were alerted to a 1981 interview with singer Frank Sinatra talking about the mutual admiration for jazz instrumentalists such as Lester Young or Miles Davis, as well as about what exactly he learned from fellow singers like Billie Holiday or Mabel Mercer (Soundcloud). --- Ethan Iverson looks closer at some of Louis Armstrong's 1960s hits, "Hello Dolly" and "What a Wonderful World" and speculates what musical ingredients made them a success for Satchmo (Transitional Technology). In another post, Iverson tells how Lee Konitz suggested singing to some of Armstrong's Hot Fives/Hot Sevens tracks, and how that actually had a noticeable effect on his playing (Transitional Technology).

Bert Noglik remembers the late German saxophonist Ernst Ludwig Petrowsky on his 90th birthday (MDR). --- Kimberlyn Junod talks to Icelandic vocalist Laufey about having felt off about the low timbre of her voice before recognizing its strength, about reaching a new, younger audience on TikTok, as well as about not having had many Asian role models when she was younger (NPR).

Nate Chinen talks to saxophonist Greg Osby about studying at Berklee College in the early 1980s, about his friendship with drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, about his first quartet album "Banned" and how he had used hand signals and rhythmic cues for the dramaturgic cohesion of the music, about the reasons for his absence from the scene for some years, among them accusations of sexual misconduct while teaching at Berklee, about his new album "Minimalism", as well as about how young musicians today "are playing at a level that was unconceivable to me years ago" (WRTI; see also The Gig). --- In the first of several installments, Leif Bo Peterson supplies context to the unrecorded band of pianist Earl Hines with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie (Playback with Lewis Porter).

Michael Rüsenberg watches "Tastenarbeiter – Alexander von Schlippenbach", a new documentary on the German pianist (JazzCity). That film will be shown during the DAZZ Festival in Darmstadt on 16 January with director Tilman Urbach present for a public conversation after the show. --- John Edward Hasse remembers "Daybreak Express", a recording that Duke Ellington and his Orchestra made 90 years ago (Wall Street Journal).

Vinnie Sperrazza listens to John Coltrane's "My Favorite Things" again, paying special attention to what McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones are playing behind the saxophonist (Chronicles). --- Lewis Porter continues his series on John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" with a close look at all takes of "Acknowledgement" (Playback with Lewis Porter). --- Nicky Schrire talks to French vocalist Mélanie Dahan (London Jazz News) and to British singer Jo Harrop (London Jazz News) about balancing motherhood and her musical career.

Willard Jenkins talks to bassist Carroll Dashiell, Jr. about his career both as a musician and as an educator, about his appointment as Chairman of the Howard University Music Department, as well as about the essentials of jazz education ("99.9 percent of it all is listening") (Open Sky Jazz). --- Bill Shoemaker talks to German pianist Georg Graewe about "21st century piano music" and how it has to do with tradition, about influences such as Coltrane, Schoenberg and Tristano, about "not trying to be one with the piano" but "trying to do things on the piano that are especially difficult", as well as about his latest album "Nothing Personal" (Point of Departure).

Ryleigh Tumeo talks to trumpeter Miles Franklin Smith about his start in music, about struggling with being the only one as a kid interested in jazz, as well as about how 'thank you' cards of appreciation that he received after performances help enormously whenever he feels in need of support (The Chimes). --- Leo Sidran talks to Cheryl Bentyne, Janis Siegel, and Trist Curless of vocal group Manhattan Transfer about their final tour as well as about the impact their music made over more than 50 years (WBGO).

Announcing a tribute concert to the late Peter Brötzmann, Bill Meyer remembers the saxophonist and his special connection to the Chicago music scene, and lets drummer Michael Zerang reminisce about a trip with Brötzmann to Yemen, with bassist Fred Lonberg-Holm about Brötzmann's reaction to Bill Clinton calling him his favorite saxophone player, as well as with vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz about Brötzmann's last show at Cafe Oto in London (Chicago Reader). --- Bill Milkowski remembers Tony Williams for his 78th birthday and reprints the last interview he had with the drummer in 1996 (Bill's Substack).

Anja Laud talks to Jürgen Leinhos, 85-year-old restless German promoter, about the concert series "Jazz gegen Apartheid" (Jazz Against Apartheid) which he founded in 1986 together with South African bassist Johnny Dyani who died shortly after the first concert, a series that Leinhos has kept going since, with more than 100 concerts, workshops, public talks and panels in Frankfurt, many other cities in Germany, Switzerland and even in the United States. Leinhos talks about his own history with music, about sociology lectures by Adorno and Horkheimer, about his social engagement in Frankfurt, as well as about the current tour of the "Jazz gegen Apartheid" program through South Africa, featuring South African trumpeter Claude Deppa, German vibraphonist Christopher Dell and drummer Christian Lillinger, and Swiss-German saxophonist Daniel Guggenheim (Frankfurter Rundschau).

Philipp Krohn (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) and Ueli Bernays (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) read Peter Kemper's new book "The Sound of Rebellion. Zur politische Ästhetik des Jazz". --- Alexander Bruchlos reads "Serendipity", a book about and featuring the compositions of the late Darmstadt bassist and composer Jürgen Wuchner (Main-Echo).

Obituaries

We learned of the passing of French pianist Michel Sardaby at age 88 (TSF Jazz), classical pianist and John Coltrane connoisseur Zita Carno at age 80 (Slipped Disc), Malaysian drummer Lewis Pragasam at age 66 (New Straits Time), Dutch pianist Rob van Kreeveld at age 82 (MSN), trumpeter John Frosk at age 92 (Dignity Memorial), Brazilian singer Carlos Lyra at age 90 (Globo 1), British trombonist Barry Weston (Jazz Passings), drummer Nick Martinis at age 92 (Jazz Passings), trombonist Buddy Baker at age 91 (Jazz Passings), producer Martin Davidson at age 81 (Emanem Disc), Swiss drummer Marcel Papaux at age 63 (Hommages), trombonist Alan Raph at age 90 (Danbury News Time), Danish clarinetist Elith 'Nulle' Nykjær at age 86 (DR), as well as Dutch singer Lils Mackintosh at age 68 (Parool).

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

Hans Blüthner und Francis Wolff (before Blue Note)
As #9 of our series Jazzpects we give a glimpse into the life of Berlin jazz fans in the middle of 1930s Nazi Germany. We open a notebook kept by jazz expert Hans Blüthner in which he documented the record collections of his Berlin friends in 1936. Among these were several young men whose name would be broadly known after the war, among them Günter von Drenkmann, and most of all Blue Note co-founder Francis Wolff. You can read some of Blüthner's memories of the club, and you can view the complete notebook from 1936 which he used for bookkeeping of the Melody Club members' record collections (Jazzpects). 

In conversation with Gerd Dudek
As #8 of our series Jazzpects we just published a conversation held with the late saxophonist Gerd Dudek during our 2017 workshop Jazz Conceptions. In it, Dudek talks about his early years, about meeting John Coltrane, as well as about always searching for the right reed. The conversation was just printed in the December issue of Jazz Podium, and we put it both in German and an English translation on our website (Jazzpects). 

Live at the Jazzinstitut
Apart from being that hub of research, archive, service and lobbying of and for jazz, we have a wonderful concert space, a 300 year-old vaulted cellar seating 80 people, good acoustic, stellar Steinway, that ensures that the Jazzinstitut is also known for fascinating concerts around the Rhein-Main area. While we from the Jazzinstitut only organize a small number of concerts every year, a local initiative, the Förderverein Jazz, makes sure the room re-sounds with exciting music nearly every Friday.

December was a great month for us with Angelika Niescier, Tomeka Reid and Savannah Harris coming to town despite a train strike making traveling a real challenge, played a phenomenal concert interrupted by a 15-minute conversation about the impact of rooms on the music, about how communication deepens over the time of a tour, about the role a cello plays in a band, as well as about the importance of community in this music.

The week after the band Diplomat with trombonist Gerhard Gschlössl, saxophonist Felix Wahnschaffe, cellist (again!) Johannes Fink, and drummer Mathias Ruppnig played parts of their program "Dem deutschen Jazz" consisting mostly of ingenious pieces written by Fink. They were invited by Förderverein Jazz as will be Florian Herzog's Almost Natural on 29 December with Herzog on bass, saxophonist Sebastian Gille, pianist Elias Stemeseder and drummer Leif Berger. In between there will be the Bessunger X-mas Jam Session, more of a family gathering of the jazz community in our city (Jazzkalender Darmstadt). 

50 years Deutsche Jazzunion
The Deutsche Jazzunion celebrated its 50th anniversary this summer and has now published an book containing glimpses into its history, its fights for fair fees, gender balance, diversity and more, as well as views from musicians and activists, among them the current as well as the future head of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt (Deutsche Jazzunion).

Jersey Jazz
We hold a nearly complete set of Jersey Jazz, a periodical published by the New Jersey Jazz Society. Now the Society sent us digital files of some of the more recent issues that were missing from our collection. They, together with all other periodicals finding their way into our archive, will be entered into the Jazz Index allowing researchers from all over the world to actually find what has been written about musicians or specific subjects.

Honorary Professorship
Last week, Wolfram Knauer received the official appointment as honorary professor at Johannes Gutenberg Universität in Mainz, Germany, signed by Malu Dreyer, the Governor of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Knauer who holds a doctorate in musicology and has been founding director of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt since 1990, has been teaching at Hochschule für Musik at Gutenberg University from 1992 through 2000 as well as from 2021 through today. He also organizes the regular interdisciplinary series "Mainzer Jazzgespräche" (Mainz Jazz Talks) since 2014 (Universität Mainz, Wissenschaftsstadt Darmstadt).

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.
PS: We will be closed between Christmas and New Year.

Happy Holidays and a peaceful 2024
2023 had been a busy year for us at the Jazzinstitut. As subscribers to our JazzNews you know about our activities, about publications and conferences, workshops and concerts we were involved in. We will rest a bit "between the years" and close the Jazzinstitut between Christmas and New Year. Then we will start anew with exciting music during DAZZ, the Darmstadt Jazz Winter (12-21 January 2024).

There will be major changes next year, among them a change in leadership at the Jazzinstitut. That will also have an effect on this newsletter which we will inform you about in one of the next JazzNews editions. We hope to meet some of you in the next year, but now we wish you a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy and, most of all, peaceful new year.

Seasons Greetings from Marie, Arndt and Wolfram, the team of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt.

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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