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JazzTimes September 2020

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Get JazzTimes digital magazine subscription today for in-depth coverage of the jazz scene. In addition to insightful profiles on jazz stars new and established, every issue contains reviews of the latest CDs, books and performances. This award-winning publication features lively writing, stunning photography and sophisticated design. Often controversial, always entertaining, JazzTimes is a favorite of musicians and fans alike.

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10 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
what's on jazztimes.com

→ Exclusive Content Ulysses Owens Jr. offers tips on pandemic entrepreneurship for musicians; Colin Fleming draws a line between “St. James Infirmary” and COVID-19; Ashley Kahn conducts a Before & After listening session with guitarist David Gilmore; and Ken Micallef picks 10 key recorded examples of jazz drumming in our latest JazzTimes 10. Plus album reviews and much more. → JT Blog At press time, the Detroit Jazz Festival is still scheduled to go forward this year, on three indoor stages at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center Sept. 4-7, but those stages will not be open to the public. Instead, all performances will be streamed or broadcast live for free via the festival’s web page, public radio and TV, and the Detroit-JazzFest LIVE! app, among other outlets. → Audio & Video Exclusive premieres…

2 min.
we insist

Sixty-one years ago this August, Miles Davis was brutally attacked by white policemen on 52nd Street in New York for the crime of standing outside the club where he was working while being confident, well-dressed, and Black (and possibly for having the audacity to hail a cab for a white woman leaving the club). Bleeding profusely from a head wound, he was then charged with third-degree assault on a patrolman named Gerald Kilduff. No police were charged with anything. Thirty years later in his autobiography, Davis (with Quincy Troupe’s assistance) wrote, “I was surrounded by white folks and I have learned that when that happens, if you’re black, there is no justice. None.” Just as the July/August issue of JazzTimes was closing, news of a similar yet even more disturbing event…

8 min.
help us help us all

JOHN COLTRANE AND GEORGE FLOYD ♦ BILLY CHILDS ♦ TROPOS ♦ JT 50 ♦ ENDLESS FIELD ♦ FAREWELLS There is a motivic whirr to the blade of a helicopter that makes me think of the rhythmic pulses in John Coltrane’s music. This is perhaps because a chopper over a city is analogous in my mind to something having gone wrong, that needs putting right. On the first day of June, 2020, I was at my desk in Boston at 6 a.m. working, when I heard helicopters in the sky, news crews, no doubt, focusing cameras on the city below to relay footage—bird’s-eye style—of damage caused by rioters and looters following the previous day’s protests of the killing of George Floyd. I posted something on Twitter, having read that a Walgreens had been looted,…

5 min.
words from the world stage

Los Angeles-born and bred, Billy Childs has built a remarkable career as a pianist, composer, and arranger largely away from the New York jazz scene. The child of two teachers, he was classically trained both in high school and at USC, where he studied composition. After early gigs with J.J. Johnson and Freddie Hubbard, Childs went on to lead his own groups and release a dozen albums on the Windham Hill, Stretch, Shanachie and, most recently, Mack Avenue labels, netting 13 Grammy nominations. Artists such as Dianne Reeves and Chris Botti have leaned on his composing and arranging chops. Especially gifted in working with singers and the spoken word, he’s also written numerous large-scale works for classical orchestras and chamber ensembles. Childs’ latest album Acceptance features the same core instrumentalists…

4 min.
braxton and beyond

In homage to Anthony Braxton, the collective of five New England Conservatory graduates called Tropos titled their debut release on Biophilia Records Axioms // 75ab. Besides acknowledging the saxophonist/composer’s 75th birthday this past June, and referencing his “Tri-Axiom” music, the title ties into the six interpretations of Braxton compositions on the album. It would be inaccurate to consider the quintet a repertoire band, though, and that’s not just because their lineup of voice, piano, saxophone, bass, and drums reshapes the music. The Braxton pieces follow five works written by members of Tropos, and together they reveal a group deeply focused on compositions and ways to improvise within them. Although they had crossed paths with each other previously, the members of Tropos—Phillip Golub (piano), Laila Smith (vocals), Raef Sengupta (alto saxophone), Mario…

3 min.
jt 50

This month: December 2001 (Sex Sells—or Does It?) Most of our special themed issues are planned well in advance, but in a few cases a theme arrives accidentally, from stories that were assigned independently yet somehow coalesce into a shared idea. For the December 2001 issue, we were looking to spotlight vocalists and were intrigued with the story of Lavay Smith, a Bay Area singer/bandleader with an affinity for old-timey jazz and a post-feminist emphasis on sexuality. She had the idea to make the cover photo session a throwback to the pinup images of the ’40s, a nice shout-out to both her musical style and her stage presence. However, the results from the session turned out to be both too revealing for our magazine and not as sharp as we would have…