(aus dem Jazzinstitut Darmstadt)
1 – 17 January 2024 | Ausgabe 1/2024 (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 ...

Ted Gioia outlines how Bing Crosby may have played a role in developments that eventually led to Silicon Valley. He outlines how Crosby embraced new technology early on, such as the microphone which allowed him to "sing in an understated, conversational manner", or, more importantly, tape recording by supporting the Ampex company after the war because he no longer wanted to do two radio shows a day but just one that was recorded and re-broadcast. Magnetic tape, of course, was also used to store data, musical data and otherwise, thus, the connection to Silicon Valley (The Honest Broker). --- Lewis Porter continues his analysis of John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" with a close look at "Psalm" and its text (Playback with Lewis Porter).

Ricky Riccardi discovers photos taken by Jack Bradley at a Louis Armstrong recording session from December 1967, at which Satchmo recorded several tunes in Italian, in preparation for his participation in the San Remo Song Festival in 1968. Not only presents Riccardi dozens of photos from the session, his All Star and further studio musicians, representatives of the festival, a language coach who made sure Armstrong had the pronunciation right, all housed at the Louis Armstrong Archive in Queens, but he also links to TV clips of Satchmo's actual performance at the festival and explains how people cheered for more than 5 minutes. Armstrong didn't win but everybody enjoyed themselves during his performance (Louis Armstrong House). --- Taryn Finley talks to singer Samara Joy about her collaboration with the fashion brand Theory, about winning at the Grammys last year, about discovering jazz after having been raised in gospel, as well as about learning from the greats of the jazz tradition and trying to make jazz accessible for whoever is drawn in (Huffington Post).

Stefan Hochgesand talks to German vocalist Erik Leuthäuser about his next album that will be about addiction, about the subject of addiction in his own life, using Crystal Meth especially in sexual settings, as well as about celebrating his own sexuality as a gay man on his porn account on Onlyfans (Berliner Zeitung). --- Bret Primack remembers the summer of 1978 when US President Jimmy Carter hosted a jazz festival on the South lawn of the White House featuring musicians such as Eubie Blake, Mary Lou Williams, Jo Jones, Dexter Gordon, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor and others, Primack also links to a recording of the event as broadcast by NPR (Syncopated Justice).

Ayesha Rascoe talks to pianist Sean Mason about his album "The Southern Suite" that he understands as a celebration of life, about the magic of New Orleans polyphony, as well as about the inspiration to specific tracks on it (NPR). --- Vinnie Sperrazza looks at influences on "Miles Ahead", Miles Davis' 1957 album with arrangements by Gil Evans and annotates the different tracks of the album (Chronicles).

Halle Parker talks to German trumpeter Reimer Loesch about his love for early jazz that made him travel to New Orleans in the 1960s to learn from local musicians, as well as about the music of his band La Foote Creole (WWNO). --- Herbie Hancock remembers his spiritual mentor Daisaku Ikeda as well as about what Buddhism taught him in life and music (Time Magazine).

Elisabeth Samura presents an interview with Archie Shepp during the Enjoy Jazz Festival in 2016, shortly after Donald Trump had been elected president, in which Shepp talks about the source for his sense of justice, about the potential impact of a Trump presidency, about the political aspects of John Coltrane's spirituality as well as about his collaboration with and Coltrane's support for his first record contract with Impulse Records (Enjoy Jazz). --- Ted Gioia looks at the fashion sense of musicians such as Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis, and Duke Ellington (The Honest Broker).

Bret Primack recalls a telephone interview with organist Jimmy Smith and reflects about the reasons why the call went all wrong (Syncopated Justice). --- John Burnett talks to drummer Herlin Riley about his grandfather, a drummer as well who had served time with Louis Armstrong at the "Colored Waif's Home" in 1915, about growing up with the New Orleans street beats, about the influence of the sanctified church, as well as about the respect he receives from other musicians (Wyoming Public Radio).

Rafael Greboggy talks to Kornelia Vossebein about the cultural riches of Cologne, Germany, and especially about the city's lively jazz scene (Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger). --- Keith Spera talks to clarinetist Dr. Michael White about his long interest in the study of African American music and early jazz, about how he chose the clarinet and how New Orleans jazz "just spoke to" him, about the several hundred songs he wrote over the years, as well as about traditional New Orleans jazz having become "like an international language among this small group of fans and musicians that play the music and keep it going" (New Orleans Times-Picayune).

Bret Primack remembers witnessing Sun Ra and his Arkestra performing on Saturday Night Live, interviewing the maestro in his Philadelphia house which turned out not so much an interview but "a baptism into his philosophy, a sonic and visual symphony that redefined the very notion of music", as well as meeting the Arkestra on a train journey from Chicago to New York (Syncopated Justice). --- Vinnie Sperrazza remembers pianist James Williams (Chronicles).

Lewis Porter acknowledges the jazz piano virtuosity of Nat King Cole and listens to recordings from a 1942 private home jam session on which Cole can also be heard playing bass behind Art Tatum (Playback with Lewis Porter). In a follow-up, Porter finds more by Tatum and bassist Slam Stewart who would soon thereafter become a member of his trio (Playback with Lewis Porter). --- Marcus J. Moore asks musicians and writers about their favorite releases on Strata-East Records, and here are their picks: author Nabil Ayers ("Alkebu-Lan" by Mtume Umoja Ensemble), vocalist/producer Midnight Roba ("On the Nile" by Music Inc.), writer Alisa L. Block ("First Impressions" by Shamek Farrah), guitarist Jeff Parker ("Hopscotch" by Charles Rouse), musician/broadcaster Greg Bryant ("Wiplan's" by Music Inc.), d.j. Cosmo Baker ("Prince of Peace" by Pharoah Sanders), as well as violinist/composer V.C.R. ("Winter in America" by Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson) (New York Times).

Colin Warren-Hicks talks to singer Queen Esther Marrow about growing up in Newport News, Virginia, and how Christopher Newport University was built on land once owned by a "thriving Black community", the members of which, her grandmother including, were underpaid for their properties (The Virgina Pilot). --- Emmanuel Ojo talks to Nigerian saxophonist Herbert Ajayi about his start in music, about the choice of his instrument, about why he didn't join Fela Kuti's band, about jazz being "only for the discerning and educated mind and you don’t get so many people in that light in Nigeria", as well as about his advice for younger musicians (Punch).

Mia Jackson recounts the rich history of jazz in Queens, New York, explaining how even though they worked mostly in Manhattan, many musicians moved to Queens to live, and focusing on the homes of Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong in Corona (New York Times). --- Peter Hum talks to Canadian trombonist Nick Adema about his start in music, about the choice of his instrument, about his growth as a composer, as well about his current band Urban Chaos (Ottawa Citizen).

While reading his autobiography, Ted Gioia remembers singer Sly Stone who was successful beyond "psychedelic soul", as he called his music, influencing none other than Miles Davis both with his sound and his clothing style (The Honest Broker). --- Bret Primack remembers saxophonist Andrew White and shares a rare recording from the Village Gate from 1975 (Syncopated Justice). --- Charles Pépin talks to French saxophonist Raphaël Imbert about the saxophone's likeness to the human voice, about his interest in Bach as well as Coltrane, about wrong notes in jazz, as well as about having been self-taught on his instrument (Radio France).

Chris Almeda finds out about the magic of the Selmer Mark VI, originally released in 1954 and since then played by musicians from Sonny Rollins to John Coltrane, Stan Getz, Wayne Shorter, and Kamasi Washington. He talks to current players of the instrument such as Chris Potter ("The heavens opened up"), and Bob Reynolds ("something magical"), recounts the history of the saxophone from Adolphe Sax through Henri Selmer, explains the difference in makes jazz musicians used to play on, visits the Selmer plant near Paris, finds out about Mark VI design changes over the years, explains why the Mark VII introduced in the 1970s was a mistake, and he talks to a woodwind repair specialist in Chicago (The New Yorker). --- Noah Schaffer talks to vibraphonist Terry Gibbs about the album "Jewish Melodies in Jazztime" which he recorded 60 years ago, and for which he hired both jazz musicians such as Alice Coltrane (then McLeod) and Jewish musicians (ArtsFuse).

Ayesha Rascoe talks to pianist Aaron Diehl about his interpretation of Mary Lou Williams' "The Zodiac Suite", about how Williams was fascinated by classical composers such as Hindemith, Stravinsky and Schoenberg, as well as about his ultimate goal with his version of the suite being to "create more awareness for who Mary Lou Williams was and her significance" (NPR). ---Nicky Schrire talks to pianist Kris Davis about balancing her career in music and being a mother (London Jazz News).

Mike Rubin meets vocalist Linda Sharrock who became aphasic after a stroke in 2009 but continues to perform, then recounts Sharrock's importance, explaining that in her 1969 debut "Black Woman" "her wordless exhortations included psychedelic sighs, orgasmic yodels and blood-chilling screams, all delivered with an intensity that made 'Plastic Ono Band'-era Yoko Ono sound like Anne Murray in comparison". Rubin follows her career through her collaboration with her two husbands, guitarist Sonny Sharrock and Austrian saxophonist Wolfgang Puschnig, and he talks to her caregiver, saxophonist Mario Rechtern, who encouraged and helped her to perform again (New York Times). --- In her review of what happened on the German jazz scene in 2023, Maxi Broecking points out some of the veterans of the national scene like Alexander von Schlippenbach, the late Peter Brötzmann, and trombonist Conny Bauer, talks to Jazzfest Berlin's artistic director Nadin Deventer about the still patriarchal structures in jazz as well as about her own vision for the festival, discusses different views on the future of public radio in Germany, and lists some exciting new releases (Goethe-Institut).


We learned of the passing of South African singer Bob Nyabinde at age 68 (All Africa), Brazilian singer and composer Carlos Lyra at age 90 (New York Times), South African composer Mbongeni Ngema at age 68 (Deutschlandfunk Kultur), British drummer Tony Oxley at age 85 (WDR, The Guardian, London Jazz News), promoter, DJ and percussionist Funmi Ononaiye (WBGO), drummer Dave Bailey at age 97 (Facebook: Bill Crow), trombonist Sam Burtis at age 75 (County Local News), French filmmaker Frank Cassenti at age 77 (Le Monde, Nice Matin), Danish bassist Michael Friis at age 73 (Lokalavisen), painter and illustrator Robert Andrew Parker at age 96 (Litchfield County Times), Austrian trumpeter Heinz Altwirth (Jazz Passings), British trombonist Bill Geldard at age 94 (Jazz Passings), Danish tennis player and clarinetist Torben Ulrich at age 95 (TV2), French horn player Willie Ruff at age 92 (New York Times, New Haven Independent), dancer Maurice Hines at age 80 (Hollywood Reporter), Indian percussionist Pt Bhawani Shankar at age 60 (Hindustan Times), pianist Les McCann at age 88 (New York Times, Call and Response with Michelle Mercer, The Gig), saxophonist Ron Denwar at age 82 (Sax on the Web), Japanese photographer Kishin Shinoyama at age 83 (Taschen), Italian bassist Franco Caroni at age 74 (Corriere di Siena), vocalist Jay Clayton at the age of 82 (Facebook: Jay Clayton), Polish pianist Jarek Małys at age 63 (Jazz Forum), trumpeter Frank Gordon at age 85 (Jazz Passings), drummer Bob Leto at age 70 (Jazz Passings), as well as saxophonist Carl Grubbs at age 79 (WRTI).

Andrey Henkin, whose website Jazz Passings we frequently use, has written a blog entry about 2023 in review from the view of an obituary writer and collector (Jazz Passings).

From the World of Jazz Research

Music in Ukraine
The Ukraninan Institute has published a book about "Music in Ukraine" with chapters on "Ukrainian Music Industry During the War", "Voices of Ukrainian Musicians: Reflections on the War", and "Ukrainian Jazz Scene: Retrospective" (Ukrainian Institute). Editor Mariana Bondarenko had been part of a panel during our last Darmstadt Jazzforum conference which will be documented in our next book on "Destination unknown: Die Zukunft des Jazz" (Wolke Verlag, to be published in spring 2024).

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

DAZZ Festival
DAZZ = Darmstadt + Jazz – a ten-day festival involving all venues presenting jazz in our city, based on an idea of three of the major venues in this city, Centralstation, Bessunger Knabenschule and the Jazzinstitut. From 12 - 21 January 2024 there will be 23 events at ten different venues, and the Jazzinstitut will be involved in some of them. On Friday, 12 January, we will open our newest exhibition "Jazz-Life" documenting an unusual festival in the small town of Hemsbach, south of Darmstadt (Jazzinstitut). The same day pianist Uli Partheil will perform with his quartet plus trumpeter Heidi Bayer (Jazzinstitut). On Tuesday, 16 January, our local arthouse cinema will show the film "Tastenarbeiter – Alexander von Schlippenbach", after which the documentary's director Tilman Urbach will talk with the Jazzinstitut's Wolfram Knauer (Programmkino Rex). And on Friday, 19 January, we have invited vocalist Sascha Ley and pianist Georg Ruby for a tribute to Hildegard Knef and a conversation about that project during the JazzTalk part of the concert (Jazzinstitut). In between there are tons of other events; if you're in town, swing by (DAZZ festival).

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.

facebook  youtube  soundcloud  instagram  vimeo 
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