JazzTimes January/February 2021

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United States
Madavor Media, LLC
10 期号


what’s on jazztimes.com

Exclusive Content Singer/guitarist Jonathan Butler speaks frankly about his single “Our Voices Matter,” his lifelong encounters with racism, and his hopes for a new era in the U.S. in a no-holds-barred Q&A with David R. Adler. And don’t miss our weekly conversation series Speakin’ My Piece, hosted by guitarist Dekel Bor, which airs live Thursdays at 3 PM ET on JT’s Facebook and YouTube pages; past episodes are archived on jazztimes.com. JT Blog Between Nov. 12 and Nov. 18, 2020, our Contributing Editor Lee Mergner set himself an ambitious goal: to watch as many live-streamed jazz performances as possible. He saw more than 30, and wrote about most of them—with additional observations about the virtual-concert explosion and tips for other binge-watchers—in a seven-part series titled “Jazz Is Alive Online, or My Week of…

here’s to a new standard

Like a lot of people right now, I’m grieving the loss of one of New York’s most popular jazz clubs, the Jazz Standard, which announced on December 2 that it would not be reopening in the basement location it had occupied for 23 years on East 27th Street, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and deadlocked rent negotiations with its landlord. Not only did I see many a great gig in that room, but my wife and I held our wedding rehearsal dinner in the restaurant upstairs (before it was taken over by Danny Meyer’s barbecue palace Blue Smoke). And yet, as I scanned various social media in the days following this sad news, I realized that I wasn’t nearly as devastated by it as many of my friends and colleagues seemed…

to kenny with love

Noah Haidu remembers the first time that he really “got” fellow pianist Kenny Kirkland. Haidu, still in his teens at the time, was with his father at the New York City club Sweet Basil, where Kirkland was accompanying singer Carmen Lundy. “It was very much a pickup gig where Carmen had some tricky music and the whole band was sight-reading,” Haidu says. “[Drummer] Victor Lewis and Carmen’s brother Curtis [on bass] were also playing. I don’t like the term ‘dominated,’ but we said, ‘Who the hell is this piano player? God damn!’ I had heard him before, but the intensity of hearing it live, that was pretty important to me.” Now, more than three decades later, Haidu has recorded a tribute to Kirkland, who died in 1998 at age 43. Doctone—the…

notes toward a supreme fusion

Kassa Overall, the drummer/rapper/producer whose work pushes the limits of any working definition of jazz, knows what you think of him. “Sometimes people assume, ‘Oh, he’s just throwing 808s on shit and disrespecting Miles Davis,’” he says with characteristic humor. But his argument—his mission—is a serious one, and one that he’s not sure is served by the way it’s often described. His latest album, I Think I’m Good, which was released on Brownswood in 2020, has a song on Apple Music’s “On the Corner” playlist, named for Davis’ infamous fusion album; his previous one, Go Get Ice Cream and Listen to Jazz, is featured on Spotify’s “Jazz Rap.” “I feel like some of the best aspects of my music, people don’t notice because they’re thinking about it with a certain kind…

part of the new system

Performing with others, for in-the-flesh listeners in real time, requires one to think like an architect, and like a psychologist too. That, at least, is how New Orleans pianist and composer Lawrence Sieberth explains his approach to making music. “Being a musician is so much more than being a musician—it’s being a person that’s part of a system, a psychologist,” Sieberth says by phone, on a November evening a few days before his first gig since the March shutdowns; like most musicians, he’s largely stayed close to home during the down time. “But you’re not trying to fix anything. You’re just trying to acknowledge and interpret and integrate. “I’m a big believer in systems theory,” he says. “It’s important to understand the bigger picture. I was trained to be an architect. It’s…

the lure of the street

The lead video for Cuban pianist Harold López-Nussa’s latest album, Te Lo Dije, is an out-of-character dazzler. As López-Nussa works through a tune in the studio, the notes on his sheet music morph into dancers in top hats and leotards. Before long, his fingers are flying along the keyboards and Randy Malcom of the reggaeton group Gente de Zona is belting out the vocals. By the end of the song, “JazzTón,” the dancers have grown horns and tails and are taking turns on a stripper’s pole as López-Nussa and Malcom sign an official document that seems to convey their souls to the devil. The tension between culturally sacred and profane music has been a tug of war for most of López-Nussa’s life. Born into a musical family, he was taught by…