JazzTimes October 2021

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United States
Madavor Media, LLC
10 期号


what's on jazztimes.com

Exclusive Content Michael J. West honors Erroll Garner’s centennial with a JazzTimes 10 list of essential recordings by the pianist; Mac Randall takes a three-part look at the 2021 Newport Jazz Festival; and Shaun Brady reviews the 25th Vision Festival in New York, with an accompanying gallery of photos by Alan Nahigian. Plus album and book reviews, obituaries, and much more. JT News Tony Bennett has announced that his 61st studio album will be his last. The Cole Porter tribute Love for Sale, his second collaboration with singer Lady Gaga, will be released October 1. The 95-year-old Bennett, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016, sang with Gaga for two August concerts at New York’s Radio City Music Hall—his two final live performances. Audio & Video Guitarist Matthew Stevens (Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington,…

are we in or out?

In the context of jazz, the question posed above has a special significance. But that wasn’t what I was thinking of as I asked it to myself while scanning the crowd at Fort Adams during this year’s Newport Jazz Festival (which you can read more about on pg. 6 and, in much longer form, on jazztimes.com). What I was thinking of was the requirement that all festival attendees had to meet before being allowed through the gates: either proof of vaccination for COVID-19 or a negative test taken within the last 72 hours. I had followed this new rule—I’ve been fully vaccinated since April—and so, presumably, had every one of the thousands of people gathered at the fort. Here was living proof that it could be done, that enough music…

the zen gangster speaks

Nicholas Payton’s latest, Smoke Sessions, recorded at the end of May and released by … Smoke Sessions, caps a 14-month span of intense productivity since COVID-19 disrupted the world. During the year prior to this created-in-the-studio post-lockdown encounter with 45-year-old drummer/DJ/producer Karriem Riggins, 84-year-old bass grandmaster Ron Carter, and (on two tracks) 85-year-old tenor sax giant George Coleman, Payton had released on his imprint label Paytone the sardonic, dance-oriented Quarantined With Nick and the one-man-band invention Maestro Rhythm King. Smoke Sessions is the fifth recording on which Payton documents himself playing trumpet and keyboards (piano and Fender Rhodes), sometimes simultaneously, in high-level interplay with a trio, employing a stylistic palette that spans swing, funk, and hip-hop. Guitarist Isaiah Starkey complements him on “Gold Dust, Black Magic,” the “title track” of a…

return to fort adams

Although it was sweet indeed to see and hear the return of jazz to Fort Adams in Newport, R.I., on July 30—an absolutely gorgeous summer day of sun, salty breezes, countless sails aloft in the harbor, and outstanding musical performances—reminders of what we’ve been through over the past year and a half weren’t hard to find. The gauntlet that festival attendees must run to make it past the gates had gotten longer; there was now a prescreening line before the security and ticket scanners. COVID rapid-test machines were nearly as abundant as water-refill stations. No one would be admitted without supplying proof of vaccination or negative test results from within the past 72 hours. The festival was operating at 50% capacity, with only two stages instead of the usual four. At…

parallel paths converge

For her entire career, trumpeter, singer, and composer Sarah Wilson has been wrestling with apparently separate pursuits: trumpet vs. voice; living and working in New York City vs. the Bay Area; composing music for puppet theater vs. writing for jazz groups; day jobs in museum exhibit design vs. gigs as a working musician. Yet somehow she’s managed to embrace all those paths and establish an identity very different from the “typical” jazz composer. Her latest album Kaleidoscope is only her third, but it reflects her evolution on every front. The album features her original compositions performed by Myra Melford (piano), Charles Burnham (violin), John Schott (guitar), Jerome Harris (bass), and Matt Wilson (drums), with the leader on trumpet and vocals that suggest a more esoteric Karla Bonoff. Much like the inspiration…

toward a world jazz

Trombonist Nathaniel Cross is among those inventive London-based musicians for whom jazz is a laboratory to meld unique British sensibilities with what began as an exclusively American art form. Cross’ The Description Is Not the Described (First Word) is a four-composition EP of polyglot music imbued with hard-bop/postbop horns, synthesized bass, hand percussion, hip-hop-worthy low-end logic, and more. “I know the New York thing,” Cross states via Zoom from London. “It’s very much in the tradition, and if it’s not the tradition it’s overlooked, and people think it’s blasphemy. It’s easy to get into the mindset that jazz is elite music and everything else is inferior. “I wanted to merge jazz with the music I’ve grown up listening to,” Cross continues; he’s a fast talker with a thick accent. “I didn’t learn…