JazzTimes May 2021

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United States
Madavor Media, LLC
10 期号


what's on jazztimes.com

Exclusive Content Branford Marsalis talks to Lee Mergner about writing, recording, and filming the music of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom in an exclusive Q&A, and Michael J. West explores the work of Dizzy Gillespie in our latest JazzTimes 10. Plus album and book reviews, obituaries, and much more. JT News Bandleader/composer Maria Schneider and the late piano legend Chick Corea each won two trophies at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards. Schneider won Best Large Ensemble Jazz Album for Data Lords and Best Instrumental Composition for “Sputnik”; Corea won Best Jazz Instrumental Album for Trilogy 2 and Best Improvised Jazz Solo for “All Blues.” Audio & Video On “SALT,” one of three singles he’s releasing this spring, Joey Alexander makes his recorded debut on Fender Rhodes; the track premiered on jazztimes.com. Also check out music by…

to better days

So now we’ve passed the year marker. More than 365 days without many of the places, people, and events that so many of us built our lives around in the pre-pandemic era. More than 365 days—at least where I reside, in Manhattan—without a club or a theater or a concert hall or a festival. More than 365 days of a strangely diminished existence, a kind of half-life. The last live musical performance in front of an actual audience that JazzTimes covered was a show at Town Hall here in New York on March 4, 2020, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the nonprofit Arts for Art. William Parker was in charge of the first set, presenting a tribute to the songs of Curtis Mayfield. Marshall Allen and the Sun Ra Arkestra took…

hello, mary lou

Before he knew what he wanted to do for his debut album, Chris Pattishall was adamant about what he didn’t want to do. “I didn’t want to make an ‘Introducing Chris Pattishall,’” the 34-year-old pianist says. “Those types of records, oftentimes there’s great playing and a really imaginative, ambitious energy, but I’m much more interested in music that takes fuller advantage of microphones and preamps and recording consoles, how that imparts color to the sound.” Instead of filling his first recording as a leader with his own tunes, Pattishall found source material in the 75-year-old Zodiac Suite, recorded for Folkways Records by the late Mary Lou Williams. Pattishall transcribed the 12 movements of Williams’ creation and then—with producer Rafiq Bhatia and a core ensemble of Riley Mulherkar (trumpet), Ruben Fox (saxophone),…

game on

One of the most beguiling ambient tracks you’ll ever hear—one worthy of Eno, Fripp, or Glass—is buried in the soundtrack to the SNES video game Donkey Kong Country. “It feels so romantic and melancholy and grand,” saxophonist Grace Kelly tells JazzTimes of “Aquatic Ambiance,” a piece of music packaged in cartoon ape imagery and sold to children in 1994. “When I hear that song, I feel like anything’s possible. If someone heard this and didn’t think of themselves as a gamer, they might be incentivized to be like, ‘This music sounds so deep and gorgeous. What could be going on in the game and in the story?’” “Aquatic Ambiance” is so enrapturing that the 8-Bit Big Band, a New York jazz/pops orchestra featuring anywhere from 30 to 65 people, covered it…

doing it right

For his fifth and latest release as a leader, the assertively titled Still Doing Our Thing (Posi-Tone), New Jersey-based vibraphonist Behn Gillece leads a quartet through compositions abounding with tight-fitting arrangements and rapt solos, tempered by a heartfelt groove appeal that’ll keep you glued to your headphones. In an era of sometimes academic jazz that can leave listeners disengaged, that’s no easy task. “I always try to strike a good balance between making music listenable and also making it compelling for people that really listen to jazz,” Gillece says. “I want to create something that isn’t going to lose the average person, music that people who don’t really know anything about jazz can enjoy. At the same time, I definitely want to make something challenging and compelling, because that’s what we’ve…

a disneyland of the mind

In the realm of jazz violin, Sana Nagano represents the vibrant new blood. The heady mettle she coaxes from both her instrument and effects pedals owes as much to punk rock as it does to bebop. Japanese-born and Brooklyn-based, Nagano has been a vital member of the avant-jazz community for the last decade, having cut her teeth beside pianist Karl Berger, percussionist Adam Rudolph, guitar upstart Harvey Valdes, and violin/viola colleague Leonor Falcon, to name just a few. With Smashing Humans, her debut as leader, the 36-year-old Nagano has brought her joyous vision of noisy punk-jazz to life. Akin to the high-octane freakouts of Deerhoof or John Zorn at his more metal-centric, her outré compositions bustle with breakneck-speed notes and time signatures galore. But the vibes exuded are pure fun; in…