Movies, TV & Music

JazzTimes December 2019

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United States
Madavor Media, LLC
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10 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
what's on jazztimes.com

Exclusive Content Andrew Gilbert reviews the Monterey Jazz Festival, Lee Mergner interviews trumpeter and Peabody Institute chair Sean Jones, and Michael J. West selects the top modern big-band recordings in our biweekly JazzTimes 10 list. Plus album reviews and much more. JT Blog Congratulations to Maxine Gordon on her recent success at the ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Awards. Her book Sophisticated Giant, a biography of her late husband Dexter Gordon, won the Timothy White Award for Outstanding Music Biography in the pop music field. Audio & Video Marquis Hill video premiere; track premieres by Dan Weiss and Bria Skonberg; downloads from James Bowman III and the Dave Wilson Quartet STUART BRININ (ALLISON MILLER AT MONTEREY), COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS (MAXINE GORDON), LAUREN DESBERG (MARQUIS HILL)…

2 min.
a west side story

In this month’s cover story on Cyrille Aimée, Allen Morrison refers to a February 2019 show at Birdland on West 44th St. in New York—Aimée’s first public performance of the Stephen Sondheim interpretations that make up her latest album, Move On. It just so happens that I was at the show he mentions. I remember it well, not just because it was so great (although it was) but because of who my immediate neighbor was. After taking my seat, I looked around the club and couldn’t help thinking that the white-grizzled man at the table in front of mine seemed awfully familiar. It took a minute—I’m a little slow sometimes—but then I realized he was in fact Stephen Sondheim. Because his back was mostly turned to me, I could take advantage…

1 min.

Jazz Education Network Conference 1/7-1/10 | New Orleans, LA Now in its 11th year, the JEN conference will touch down in jazz’s birthplace for four days of panels, presentations, clinics, and concerts. Confirmed participants include Kenny Werner, Terell Stafford, Tia Fuller, Sherrie Maricle, Bob Mintzer, Bria Skonberg, Peter Erskine, Jeff Lederer, Rosana Eckert, and many more. jazzednet.org Winter Jazzfest 1/9-1/18 | New York, NY The 16th edition of this annual festival will boast more than 150 groups on 20 stages in select venues throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan. Highlights include a British jazz showcase featuring Moses Boyd and others; a celebration of Marcus Belgrave with Ron Carter, Sheila Jordan, and Louis Hayes; and a performance by Brazilian singer/guitarist Seu Jorge. winterjazzfest.com Jazz Congress 1/13-1/14 | New York, NY For the third year in a row, JazzTimes and Jazz at Lincoln Center…

5 min.
four decades in the motor city

“Reunion” was the watchword for the 40th annual Detroit Jazz Festival, which welcomed back five of its former artists-in-residence for the occasion. But one unwelcome reunion threatened the fest’s culminating performance on Labor Day, as storm clouds once again gathered prior to Stanley Clarke’s final set—as they had in both 2014 and 2017, when the bass great’s sets were canceled. The festival hedged its bets this year, inviting Clarke to be artist-in-residence with three performances over the long weekend, thus all but ensuring that he’d finally be able to play at some point. As it turned out, the rain did fall that Monday but only delayed Clarke’s last set for an hour and a half. Each of the virtuoso bassist’s three performances explored a different aspect of his artistry. On Friday he…

5 min.
wielding the bow, and the bow tie

For at least six decades, many young jazzmen have viewed the music’s early years as hopelessly uncool. Aaron Weinstein discovered that in 2003, when he began his four years at Berklee College of Music. Postbop and beyond obsessed most of his classmates; some of them, he says, “even considered Charlie Parker to be old-school.” In their company, Weinstein was a unicorn, and so he remains. A retro egghead in a jacket, bow tie, and glasses, he plays violin; his repertoire comes from an era of big-horned Victrolas and Prohibition gin mills. But his playing isn’t flashy; it has a spare, button-down elegance, leavened by whimsy. Weinstein, 34, has written an instructional book on jazz mandolin, his second instrument, and posts demonstrational videos on YouTube. When he enters a venue, he says,…

4 min.
off the clock

“Jazz has no frontiers. You can be very free.” That’s the message that was imparted to vocalist Youn Sun Nah by her teachers when she was struggling to find herself as a twentysomething jazz student in Paris in the 1990s. “I really wanted to sing like Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan, but it was impossible so I almost gave up,” she confesses. Fortunately that piece of encouragement—a verbal means to artistic liberation, as it turned out—strengthened her resolve to follow her own course. Today, half a lifetime removed from that moment, Nah continues to uphold the ideal of borderless expression, walking a jazz path that fuses art song with art-pop, minimalism with virtuosity, and avant-expressionism with impressionistic allure. The one constant in her output remains her sui generis singing. With pointed…