... 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).