Aaron Parks, Sly Stone, Julian Lage & More: The Week in Jazz

The Week in Jazz is your roundup of new and noteworthy stories from the jazz world. It’s a one-stop destination for the music news you need to know. Let’s take it from the top.



Aaron Parks Returns to Blue Note: Pianist and composer Aaron Parks has returned to the Blue Note Records label. The news coincides with the announcement of the first-ever release of his visionary 2008 album, Invisible Cinema, due out on June 21 as part of Blue Note’s Classic Vinyl Reissue Series. Parks has also announced a European tour with his band Little Big, featuring guitarist Greg Tuohey, bassist David Ginyard Jr., and drummer Jongkuk Kim in celebration of their new Blue Note album due out this Fall. Check out all upcoming tour dates here.

Final Chick Corea and Béla Fleck Duo Project: Remembrance is the recently-released final duo project by Chick Corea and Béla Fleck, serving as a moving final document of the profound creative and personal rapport shared by the two artists. Recorded both live in concert and via traded sound files, Remembrance includes previously unheard tracks. Among them are three previously unreleased Corea compositions and five short free improvisations that Fleck has infused with written music.

Sly Stone Autobiography Wins Los Angeles Times Audiobook Award: Sly Stone’s autobiography, Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) won the 2023 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Achievement in Audiobook production. The audiobook is voiced by narrator Dior Graham and features an introduction written and read by Questlove. It also includes three never-before-heard songs and jingles from when Sly Stone was a DJ on KSOL. 

Tom Skinner Releases New Live LP: Drummer, composer and bandleader Tom Skinner, known for his work with The Smile and Sons of Kemet, has released a new, limited edition deluxe double album LP of Voices of Bishara: Live at “mu” via International Anthem. The album was recorded at the intimate London venue “mu” in January 2023 and features the regular working version of Skinner’s Voices of Bishara ensemble with Robert Stillman and Chelsea Carmichael on woodwinds, Kareem Dayes on cello and Tom Herbert on bass. 

New Book on Early Jazz: Early Jazz: A Concise Introduction, from Its Beginnings Through 1929, is a new book written by Fumi Tomita, Associate Professor of Jazz Pedagogy and Performance at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, offering an overview of the beginnings of jazz from its 19th-century roots through 1929, when elements of the Swing Era began to emerge. Written as an introduction for fans, students, musicians, historians, scholars and anyone interested in this era of jazz history, Earl Jazz is defined via an official press release as “the first book on early jazz history in over 50 years and fills a compelling need for an update that reflects on recent research.”


New Albums

Blue Lab Beats, Blue Eclipse (Blue Note): Blue Lab Beats, the dynamic U.K. duo comprising producer NK-OK and multi-instrumentalist Mr DM, explore the full breadth of their musical aspirations on their fourth album, Blue Eclipse. Aiming to authentically represent their career-long themes and unique sounds, the album embodies the duo’s unique artistic vision, including collaborations with several notable guests and released on the venerable Blue Note label.

Grégoire Maret & Romain Collin, Ennio (ACT): Harmonica player Grégoire Maret and pianist Romain Collin offer a heartfelt reimagination of Ennio Morricone’s timeless music in their latest collaboration. Traversing the celebrated film composer’s multifaceted body of work, Ennio also includes stellar contributions from such artists as Cassandra Wilson and Gregory Porter.

Lori Bell, Recorda Me: Remembering Joe Henderson (self-released): Flutist and arranger Lori Bell pays tribute to jazz icon Joe Henderson on her latest album, Recorda Me: Remembering Joe Henderson. All but one of the eight compositions on this recording are from Henderson’s mid-60s output and Bell explains via an official press release: “On this recording, I have tried to pay homage to his musical acumen and articulate imagination. Each arrangement is tailored for the timbre and range of the flute, an unusual instrument to represent Joe Henderson as, unlike the majority of sax players, he rarely played it in public and was not known as a doubler.”

John Minnock, A Different Riff: Minnock Sings Shire (Dot Time): Vocalist John Minnock salutes the great composer David Shire, reworking some of his timeless music in a jazz setting on his fourth and final studio album, A Different Riff, released posthumously. The record finds Minnock reprising his artistic partnership with soprano saxophonist Dave Liebman, who co-produced the project with Minnock.


Live Music and Festival News

Julian Lage Announces Fall 2024 Tour Dates: Guitar virtuoso Julian Lage has announced fall tour dates to continue the celebration of his latest album, Speak to Me, out now on Blue Note Records. The tour will kick off at the Country Hall and Museum’s CMA Theater in Nashville, Tennessee, on September 7 and end on September 22 at The Palace Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Click here for a list of all upcoming tour dates.

Matt Von Roderick Announces 2024 Summer Tour: Trumpeter and vocalist Matt Von Roderick has announced a 2024 summer tour to celebrate his latest album, Celestial Heart, released last year. The tour is scheduled to kick off in Charlotte, North Carolina, on July 20 and its centerpiece will be a show at Jazz at Lincoln Center on July 23, featuring Gil Goldstein. Click here to check out all upcoming tour dates. You can also listen to our recent JAZZIZ Podcast interview with Von Roderick via the player below.

Tilles Center Announces 2024-25 Season: The Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU Post in Brookville, New York, has announced its 2024/25 season of performances. The season will include a residency partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center with performances by Celebrating Harry Belafonte with René Marie on October 27, 2024, Big Band Holidays on December 15, 2024, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis on April 24, 2025. It will also include the inaugural edition of Tilles Jazz Fest, which will take place on July 20, 2024, featuring a total of nine concerts with Branford Marsalis and his celebrated quartet headlining. More here.

DC JazzFest Adds Jacob Collier to 2024 Lineup: Jacob Collier has been added to the lineup of this year’s DC Jazz Festival, set to take place in Washington, D.C., on August 28-September 1. Collier will perform his and his Djesse Vol. 4 Solo Show at The Anthem on August 30. He will also join vocalist Samara Joy for a special performance and D- Nice for a dance party. The 2024 DC JazzFest lineup also includes Kenny Barron, Dianne Reeves, Bill Frisell, Bobby Sanabria’s Multiverse Big Band, Emmet Cohen featuring Houston Person and many more. More here.

Sarah Hanahan Album Release Concert: Rising star alto saxophonist Sarah Hanahan will release Among Giants, her debut album, on June 21, featuring pianist Marc Cary, bassist Nat Reeves and drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts. The record showcases her dedication to pushing the music forward while honoring the past via a curated mix of originals and standards. To celebrate her forthcoming debut album, Hanahan will reunite with the band to perform Among Giants in its entirety at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club on June 6. Tickets here. The concert will also be livestreamed here.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Awards Top Three Bands in 29th Essentially Ellington Competition: Jazz at Lincoln Center hosted its 29th Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival, recognizing the top 15 high school jazz bands nationwide, on May 9-11, 2024 at Frederick P. Rose Hall. Newark Academy (Livingston, NJ) took home first place. Osceola County School for the Arts (Kissimmee, FL) came in second, and Agoura High School (Agoura Hills, CA) was awarded third. The competition marked the end of JALC’s two-week-long celebration, honoring jazz icon Duke Ellington’s 125th birthday. More here.


Featured image by Anna Yatskevich.

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