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JazzTimes May 2019

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10 Issues


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jazz times

AMERICA’S JAZZ MAGAZINE Editor Mac Randall | Contributing Editor Lee Mergner Associate Editor Matthew Bernat Contributing Writers David R. Adler, Dan Bilawsky, Shaun Brady, Philip Booth, Brent Butterworth, Nate Chinen, Sharonne Cohen, Thomas Conrad, J.D. Considine, Brad Farberman, Colin Fleming, David Fricke, James Gavin, Andrew Gilbert, Fernando Gonzalez, Steve Greenlee, Evan Haga, Geoffrey Himes, Marc Hopkins, Willard Jenkins, Mike Joyce, Ashley Kahn, Matthew Kassel, David Kastin, Aidan Levy, Bill Meredith, John Murph, Jennifer Odell, Ted Panken, Adam Perlmutter, Britt Robson, Giovanni Russonello, Sam Sessa, Mike Shanley, Jeff Tamarkin, Lucy Tauss, George Varga, Natalie Weiner, Michael J. West, David Whiteis Contributing Photographers & Illustrators John Abbott, Enid Farber, Ken Franckling, Peter Gannushkin, Ben Johnson, Jimmy Katz, Marek Lazarski, R. Andrew Lepley, Jati Lindsay, Alan Nahigian, John Rogers, Nick Ruechel, Jack Vartoogian, Michael Weintrob, Michael Wilderman Proofreader Matthew Kassel ART & PRODUCTION Art Director Carolyn…

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[jt] notes

On our editorial calendar, this issue was originally designated as “The Renegades Issue.” Here’s one of the ways Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “renegade”: “an individual who rejects lawful or conventional behavior.” Going by that definition, you could argue that every issue of JazzTimes is full of renegades. What was supposed to set this issue apart was that we specifically wanted to highlight either up-and-coming players with a distinct sense of adventurousness in their work or established artists who normally operate outside the mainstream. We did achieve that goal, to an extent. I’m particularly gratified to see youngsters like Pedro Martins, Veronica Swift, and Brian Krock in these pages, as well as David Dominique, whose giddily genre-surfing album Mask has, in the early months of 2019, become one of my favorite…

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imagining buddy bolden

Nearly 120 years after his heyday in New Orleans, Charles “Buddy” Bolden, the cornet player and bandleader widely credited with inventing jazz at the dawn of the 20th century, may finally be about to get the attention he deserves. Bolden, an independent feature film by director Dan Pritzker with original music composed and performed by Wynton Marsalis, opens nationwide in May. The movie chronicles Bolden’s high times amid the racism and casual violence of New Orleans circa 1900, and the musical achievements that led to rock star-like adulation and his crowning as “King Bolden.” It also details his sudden, tragic downfall: In 1907, at age 29, Bolden was committed to the state insane asylum in Jackson, La., where he would spend the last 24 years of his life. The film stars British…

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from victory to vox

When 21-year-old Pedro Martins took top honors in the 2015 Socar Montreux Jazz Electric Guitar Competition, the payoff came with multiple prizes, including a monetary award, a recording session, and official mentorship time. The biggest reward, however, turned out to be the enduring friendship he would come to form with fellow guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, who presided over the jury that unanimously crowned Martins the winner. Their bond would ultimately lead to the completion and recent release of Martins’ entrancing Vox on Rosenwinkel’s Heartcore Records imprint. The meeting between these two outsized talents in Montreux was something of a full-circle event for Martins, who, thanks to some listening advice from friend and mentor Daniel Santiago, became infatuated with Rosenwinkel’s music as a teenager growing up in Brazil. “Daniel was playing Kurt’s music…

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bebop baby

Listen to Veronica Swift scat and you’d swear she’s channeling Ella. Cool, calm, confident, and elegant onstage, the 25-year-old can slide seamlessly from a difficult syncopated rhythm to a wistful love song to a fresh arrangement of an old standard. “People ask me, ‘When did you discover that singing jazz was your passion?’” she says. “It’s not a passion, it’s just a way of life. It’s as natural as it could be, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.” Indeed, this is simply the only life Swift has ever known. Born in Charlottesville, Va., she was raised on jazz. Her father, acclaimed bebop pianist Hod O’Brien, and her mother, vocalist Stephanie Nakasian, toured frequently together, and often brought their daughter along. “I would be sleeping in green rooms in the…

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where the heart is

Big Heart Machine, a 19-piece New York big band led by alto saxophonist and composer Brian Krock, generated a big buzz when they released their self-titled debut record last summer. The music was immediately distinctive: labyrinthine forms, lush arrangements, thick streaks of contemporary classical music and progressive rock. And it seemed to come out of nowhere. Not so, says Krock, 29, who moved to New York in 2011 to earn a doctorate from Manhattan School of Music. If anything, the music came from everywhere. “Immediately after I graduated [in 2013] I had the opportunity to go on tour with a Broadway show,” he explains. “I took that opportunity, and then the show ended up running for three years. It was a very long detour in my life, but it gave me a…