Movies, TV & Music

JazzTimes May 2020

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United States
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10 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
what's on

– Exclusive Content Lee Mergner talks to James Taylor and John Pizzarelli about their collaboration on American Standard and reports on the Toronto premiere of Oscar Peterson’s Africa Suite, while Michael J. West examines the catalog of Geri Allen and post-Bitches Brew fusion in our biweekly JazzTimes 10 list. Plus album reviews, photo galleries, and much more. – JT Blog Congratulations to 18-year-old Matthew Whitaker, one of 20 recipients of this year’s Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards, established in 2002 by the ASCAP Foundation to encourage jazz composers up to the age of 30. The recipients receive cash awards, and one of them will also be featured on stage at the 2020 Newport Jazz Festival. – Audio & Video Track premieres by the Fred Hersch Duo with Miguel Zenón and Tony Allen with Hugh…

2 min.
jt notes

Diary of a Plague Month Early in March, when I started thinking about what to write for this column, my goal was to express a certain kind of nostalgia. A little more than a week later, the world around me had changed so much that I realized I needed to express two kinds of nostalgia. The first kind is for an era I narrowly missed: the heyday of the Knitting Factory on New York’s Lower East Side. When that club, which became a synonym for “downtown” music in the late 1980s, moved even further downtown to Tribeca in November ’94, it didn’t close its earlier location right away. The Houston Street address stayed open for several months as the Old Knit, finally shutting in the early summer of ’95. I know this…

4 min.
a voice with 10 fingers

McCoy Tyner, one of the most innovative and influential pianists in the history of jazz, an NEA Jazz Master, and the last surviving member of John Coltrane’s epochal early-1960s quartet, died March 6 at his New Jersey home. He was 81. In the hours after Tyner’s passing was announced, JT contributor Colin Fleming wrote this appreciation. If you came of musical age on rock & roll, as I did, and you then turned to jazz, chances are as high as a Dizzy Gillespie trumpet note that you commenced your new odyssey with John Coltrane’s Quartet. Rock & roll adherents are drawn to the allure of the 1960s and also to edge, which made Trane’s unit perfect. Collectively they pushed the envelope so far that it would have flown right off any table…

4 min.
the healing has begun

Sometime last year—just a week after completing Vol. 2: Into the Flow, her second album as the leader of the New York-based sextet MAE.SUN—alto and soprano saxophonist, flutist, composer, and (just added to her résumé) vocalist Hailey Niswanger packed up her life and headed west, not stopping until she reached southern California. The change of home base didn’t merely satisfy her desire for new scenery—although the mountain views and nearby Angeles National Forest certainly provide that—but complemented a new outlook on her music. Whereas the sextet’s first release, Volume 1: Inter-Be, “was a little more dedicated to an overall awareness of our connectedness and our eternal nature of being,” Niswanger says, “volume two dives into a more personal approach of healing for myself. I definitely went to a different level for…

4 min.
divining signs

As the first South African artist to release an album worldwide on the storied Blue Note label, Nduduzo Makhathini carries a weight of expectation on his shoulders. Cognizant of the position he’s in, the 37-year-old pianist sees this opportunity as a means to work from the present moment right down to its roots. “Part of what I want to figure out with Blue Note is how to create an awareness about the broader cultures from which I emerged,” he explains. “As opposed to being about me, this must essentially be about the community I come from. It deals with the histories and the importance of engaging those histories, using me as a bridge to link South Africa to the United States and vice versa.” Raised in the rural hills of uMgungundlovu,…

2 min.
jt 50

This month: January/February 1992 The first issue of 1992 was an important one in the magazine’s history simply because of the cover story on the legacy of Miles Davis, published just a few months after his passing. It was the first time, but certainly not the last, that we did a long cover story. More importantly, it was our first try at an oral history piece on an artist, a format used famously by George Plimpton in his influential biography of socialite Edie Sedgwick and most recently by Ash Carter and Sam Kashner for their book on Mike Nichols, Life Isn’t Everything. Bret Primack’s thoroughly researched and remarkably timeless story on Miles featured a who’s-who of jazz at that time, including Jimmy Heath, Jackie McLean, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Joe Zawinul, Gary…