JazzTimes December 2020

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.

United States
Madavor Media, LLC
10 期号


what's on jazztimes.com

– Exclusive Content Our weekly online video conversation series Speakin’ My Piece, hosted by guitarist Dekel Bor (above left), airs Thursdays at 3 PM ET on JazzTimes’ Facebook page and YouTube channel; past episodes are archived on jazztimes.com. Recent guests include Danilo Pérez (above right) and Ethan Iverson; upcoming guests include Melissa Aldana, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Billy Childs, and Enrico Rava. – JT Blog On October 7, the MacArthur Foundation announced that singer, songwriter, and visual artist Cécile McLorin Salvant would be receiving a $625,000 “genius grant” to support her in her continuing artistic efforts. This is in addition to the $275,000 Doris Duke Foundation Artist Award she received less than three weeks beforehand. An unlucky year for many jazz musicians has been very lucky indeed for Salvant, and we look forward to her…

a half-century of thanks

JazzTimes—or, more accurately, the publication that would become JazzTimes—predates me by about two years. As Ira Sabin and his jazz-loving colleagues in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere labored to turn a record-store circular into a tabloid newspaper (you can read more about that on pg. 20), I was a young boy in southeastern Massachusetts finding my way through preschool and kindergarten. When that paper officially adopted the JazzTimes moniker, I was in elementary school in Boston. I started playing guitar at age nine, and became a jazz fan within two or three years. But I was a latecomer to JazzTimes. Because I regularly haunted the music sections of my local newsstands, I saw it all the time, both the tabloid and the later glossy version. But for some reason I never picked…

the detroit jazz festival finds a way

Back in April, shortly after the shutdown of just about every damn thing had begun across the nation, the Detroit Jazz Festival announced its 2020 lineup for Labor Day weekend. Chris Collins, president and artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation, soon received pointed queries and criticism from journalists and bloggers, along the lines of “How could you make an announcement like that when every other event is canceling or postponing?” In a recent JazzTimes interview, Collins said he had an immediate gut reaction: “Hope! Because we all saw what was coming and if this thing keeps going, we’re in a real mess.” Of course, “this thing”—the pandemic—did keep going and remains a mess. Undaunted, Collins and his team pivoted to produce a festival that fully deserves the now-overused term…

out of four, one

At a quick glance, the Royal Bopsters’ new recording, Party of Four (Motéma), appears to be a straightforward continuation of their 2015 debut, The Royal Bopsters Project. The group remains a quartet carrying the torch of vocalese from Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, the Manhattan Transfer, and New York Voices. Like their debut, the new album is highlighted by contributions from vocal legends Bob Dorough and Sheila Jordan. It also features a guest appearance by the great bassist Christian McBride, who shares the Bopsters’ fondness for soulful vibes and a sense of bebop cool. But look closer; a lot has changed. Darmon Meader, a co-founder of NY Voices who sang tenor on the first recording, has been replaced by Pete McGuinness. The new recording presents the quartet less as a “project” than…

heart specialist

When appraising the work of Milford Graves, you need to reimagine what constitutes jazz and improvisation. Yes, he’s a master percussionist who helped take the drums beyond mere timekeeping. But he’s also much more than that. Now 78 and a faculty member emeritus at Bennington College, Graves is the rare (perhaps sole) musician whose pursuits have crossed multiple disciplines for decades, resulting in dozens of important jazz works, patents for medical devices, herbal cures for various ailments, paintings, sculptures, costume art, and a lifelong study of the human heartbeat as a means to creating music and healing illness. In the first major retrospective honoring Graves, Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in partnership with Ars Nova Workshop is presenting Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal, which also marked the reopening of ICA…

the mcneil-levy rapport

When John McNeil, the esteemed trumpeter/composer, recorded his original tune “Lose My Number” in 2001, it had no lyrics. “It’s the opposite of a love song, a no-love-lost song,” McNeil said recently. “I had that concept, even though it was an instrumental. I never even thought about putting words to it.” McNeil, 72, likens the composition to something by Ornette Coleman. As in some of Coleman’s music, “there’s this happy triad kind of thing going on,” even though the triads “don’t have normal relationships—they go up a whole step, down a major third, up a whole step,” zooming around the song’s structure like a pinball. “The song is negative, but it’s happy,” he said. It’s also damn near unsingable. That didn’t faze the jazz singer and songwriter Allegra Levy, who wrote lyrics to…