Alice Coltrane, Wadada Leo Smith, Joshua Redman & 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.



Wadada Leo Smith Appointed Spring 2024 Visiting Lecturer at Harvard: Trumpeter and composer Wadada Leo Smith has been appointed by Harvard University as the Spring 2024 Fromm Foundation Visiting Lecturer on Music. Smith will be teaching a weekly seminar to PhD students titled “Creativity, Inspiration and the Practice of Composition,” during which students will listen to and study works by such contemporary composers as Smith, Anthony Braxton, Keith Jarrett and Carla Bley. “I’m excited by the creative, inspirational pathways we can release as we dive into this transcendent canon of music by some of music’s most visionary creators,” says Smith via an official press release.

Unreleased Alice Coltrane Carnegie Hall Performance: On March 22, Impulse! Records will issue a previously unreleased recording of a 1971 concert by Alice Coltrane, her first as a bandleader at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Taking place shortly after the release of Journey in Satchidananda, the concert featured an augmented version of the record’s lineup and renditions of two of its transcendental tracks, along with two compositions by John Coltrane. Listen to “Shiva-Loka” from The Carnegie Hall Concert via the player below. The album is released in collaboration with The John & Alice Coltrane Home, as part of the “Year of Alice,” a yearlong celebration of the legacy of Alice Coltrane.

Joshua Redman Makes Tiny Concert Debut: Saxophonist Joshua Redman recently made his first-ever appearance on NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert series, performing music from his Blue Note debut album, where are we, featuring vocalist Gabrielle Cavassa. Click here to watch the band perform “Chicago Blues,” a mash-up of Count Basie and Subjan Stevens, a version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia” and Redman’s powerful original “After Minneapolis,” written in response to the murder of George Floyd.

The Sound of Music Super Deluxe Edition Box Set: Craft Recordings has released the Super Deluxe Edition box set of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s musical masterpiece, The Sound of Music. Available now as a  4-CD/1-Blu-ray Audio box set, the new edition compiles every musical element from Robert Wise’s timeless 1965 movie and represents the first time that the complete score is made available in its entirety, along with rare demos, interviews, alternative takes from the cast and more. The 5-disc box set is housed in a 64-page hardbound book with a treasure trove of rare production photos and brand-new, insightful liner notes by Matessino.

Photo: Craft Recordings.

Jessica Williams Album Reissue: On March 22, Sundazed Music will release a 2-LP version of Orgonomic Music, which finds pianist and composer Jessica Williams heading the largest group of her many recordings, a septet, performing seven originals and a cover of John Coltrane’s “Dear John.” Out of print since its original release on the small Clean Cuts label in 1981, the new edition comes with a full LP’s worth of unissued music, among which features what may be Williams’ only vocal recording, as well as extensive liner notes by musician Jennifer Leitham and jazz historian Scott Yanow, and will be made available on vinyl, CD and digital platforms.


New Albums

Garry Dial and Rich DeRosa, Keep Swingin’ (Outside In): Keep Swingin’ is a collaborative project led by pianist Garry Dial and arranger/drummer Rich DeRosa, honoring jazz educator Charlie Benacos. The album features performances by accomplished musicians like Mike Stern and Jeff Berlin and it is accompanied by a 100-page book showcasing personal anecdotes and artistic contributions from Benacos’ students.

Christoph Grab’s Reflections, Oneness (Lamento): Oneness, dedicated to the works of Thelonious Monk, is the latest album by saxophonist Christoph Grab with his quintet, Reflections. Bookended by creative reinterpretations of familiar Monk melodies, the album provides ample space and freedom for each member of the quintet to impart their improvisational voice and energy into the music, creating a musical statement driven by a love of tradition and contemporary individuality.

Marlon Simon and the Nagual Spirits, On Different Paths (Truth Revolution): On Different Paths is the fifth album from drummer, percussionist and composer Marlon Simon with his eclectic ensemble, The Nagual Spirits. Partly funded by Simon’s 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship, this bold new project propels beyond the innovative fusion of pan-Latin jazz and classical elements found in their earlier works, embracing a captivating blend of diverse cultural and musical traditions.

Darwin Del Fabro, Revisitando Elis Regina (Madalena): Brazilian-born, New York-based singer and actor Darwin Del Fabro reinvents classic songs of the iconic Brazilian singer Elis Regina on his latest recording, Revisitando Elis Regina, produced by Delia Fischer, who also serves as music director. Singing in Portuguese, Del Fabro uses a sophisticated and understated vocal delivery with powerful emotional currents and ethereal flourishes, supported by elegantly subtle strings and brass.


Live Music and Festival News

Jazz Messengers Alumni on the SMOKE Stage, February 15-18: Master drummer Carl Allen will lead a sextet of Jazz Messengers alumni in celebration of the musical legacy of the great Art Blakey at New York’s SMOKE Jazz Club on February 15-18. The ensemble will include trumpeter Brian Lynch, alto saxophonist Bobby Watson, trombonist Robin Eubanks, pianist Geoff Keezer and bassist Peter Washington. Tickets here.

Hermanos Gutiérrez Announce Tour Dates: Ecuadorian-Swiss sibling duo Hermanos Gutiérrez will embark on their biggest headline tour to date in May, including shows at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and NYC’s Brooklyn Steel, plus upcoming debut performances at Big Ears and Coachella. Click here for all upcoming tour dates. Hermanos Gutiérrez recently released their new single, “Blood Milk Moon,” the accompanying video of which you can watch via the player below.

Christian McBride Big Band at The 92nd Street Y, New York, February 15: The 92nd Street Y, New York, will present the Christian McBride Big Band in concert on February 15. Tickets here. One of the most acclaimed bassists and musical explorers in jazz of his generation, McBride will return to the Kaufmann Concert Hall with his longest-running project, a thrilling large ensemble bringing an inimitable blend of hard swing, grooves, funk, swagger and joy.

The Paco de Lucía Legacy Festival, New York City, February 20-24: The Paco de Lucía Legacy Festival will pay tribute to legendary guitarist Paco de Lucía and will take place in New York City on February 20-24. Marking the tenth anniversary of the passing of this influential artist, the program will feature many performers who once shared a personal connection with de Lucía, including Al Di Meola and Rubén Blades, joined by some of today’s most prominent flamenco creators. More here.

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble Caps to Perform John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme in Santa Monica, February 24: The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, led by Dr. Kahil El’Zabar, will cap its 50th-anniversary world tour with a rare live performance of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, arranged by Miguel de la Cerna and El’Zabar, on February 25 at First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica, in Southern California. Tickets here. Saxophonist David Murray will be the featured soloist with the acclaimed Chicago-based ensemble on this new arrangement of nine players. The concert is presented by Jacaranda Music.


Featured photo by Jimmy Katz.

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