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.
Star-Studded Project to Benefit Bird Populations:For the Birds: The Birdsong Projectis an expansive collection of 242 recordings inspired by birdsong, which will be released digitally over five volumes and as a limited-edition 20-LP deluxe box set. 100% of the proceeds from this star-studded project will benefit the National Audubon Society, which draws attention to threats facing the bird populations. Several jazz artists are featured, including Kamasi Washington, Makaya McCraven and Esperanza Spalding, among many others. Volume 1 is available now.
Ella and Louis Acoustic Sounds Reissue: Verve will reissue Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s seminal 1956 album, Ella and Louis, as part of its fabled Acoustic Sounds Series. The album captures the instant chemistry shared between the two legendary artists on a program of well-worn standards. As with each of the titles of the series, the Acoustic Sounds reissue of Ella and Louis features transfers from analog tapes and remastered 180-gram vinyl in deluxe gatefold packaging.
Vinyl Knife from Vinyl Me, Please: Vinyl Me, Please has partnered with tool designer The James Brand to release a special edition knife, The Abbey, made specifically for opening vinyl records. The Abbey is a small, fixed blade knife made out of stainless steel and recycled Vinyl Me, Please LP records, and is housed in a top-grain leather sheath.
Brian Bromberg to Reissue Five Rare Albums: Acclaimed bassist Brian Bromberg will reissue five albums he recorded for Japanese label King Records between 2003 and 2011. The records include his solo bass album Hands, a jazz-revised classical collection titled A Bass Odyssey, and three group sessions under the title The JB Project: Brombo. These records will be available on digital platforms on July 8 via Bromberg’s Be Squared Productions.
New Edition of Peggy Lee Autobiography Out Now: A new edition of Miss Peggy Lee: An Autobiography, was released on May 2. The book was first published in 1989 and reads like an intimate journey of the trailblazing singer/songwriter’s life. The new edition features new material, including a never-before-released poetry collection and a comprehensive discography and recommended listening section compiled by archivist Ivàn Santiago.
New and Upcoming Albums
George Winston, Night (RCA): Foremost instrumentalist George Winston celebrates his 50-year-career by offering a vivid look into his nocturnal world on his 16th solo piano album. Night, released on May 6 via RCA Records, captures quintessential performances recorded at five different studios and features four original compositions as well as renditions of works by Leonard Cohen, Allen Toussaint and more.
Gerald Clayton, Bells on Sand (Blue Note): Pianist Gerald Clayton returns with Bells on Sand, released on April 1 via Blue Note Records. The album explores the impact and abstraction of time over eleven tracks of fresh orchestration and original music with contributions from mentor Charles Lloyd on saxophone, father John Clayton on bass, longtime friend Justin Brown on drums, and new collaborator MARO on vocals.
Lani Hall, Seasons of Love (Herb Alpert Presents): Vocalist Lani Hall’s first album in over 20 years, Seasons of Love, released on April 22, offers a selection of her favorite songs, some of which are sung in Spanish and Portuguese, and some of which she has recorded before. The album showcases Hall’s signature evocative voice and was co-produced by her longtime partner Herb Alpert, who is also featured on trumpet.
Carol Sloane, Live at Birdland (Club44): Vocalist Carol Sloane celebrates her 60th anniversary as a recording artist with her first album released in over a decade. Recorded in 2019, Live at Birdland is a collection of live renditions of classics and lesser-known gems performed with an all-star trio, including late pianist Mike Renzi, bassist Jay Leonhart and saxophonist Scott Hamilton. Live at Birdland was released on April 8.
Live Music and Festival News
NEC Contemporary Improvisation Department Presents Ritual: The New England Conservatory’s Contemporary Improvisation department will broadcast Ritual, a concert exploring the myriad of ways that ritual manifests in our lives and music, on June 4. Ritual is curated by faculty member Anthony Coleman and will feature special guest Ukrainian-American folk musician/improviser/composer Julian Kytasty. More here.
Satoko Fujii European Tour: Pianist/composer Satoko Fujii embars on a European tour with the Trio SAN featuring vibraphonist Taiko Saito and drummer Yuko Oshima from June 4-June 10. The trio’s debut performances in Italy, Austria and Germany mark Fujii’s return to the continent after a long pandemic absence. Click here to check out all upcoming tour dates and listen to our JAZZIZ Travel podcast interview with the pianist/composer via the player below.
Jazz Power Initiative Presents Inaugural Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam Festival: Jazz Power Initiative will present the inaugural Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam Festival 2022, a 4-part jazz music performance series of family-friendly concerts in Northern Manhattan, during the month of June 2022. The series, produced by Jazz Power Initiative, celebrates the creative connections between the African American and Latin American roots of jazz. Click here to find out more about the event schedule and concert lineup.
Jazztopad Festival, New York City, June 19-25: Jazztopad Festival returns to Brooklyn and Manhattan in New York City from June 19-25, after a two-year absence. The festival celebrates the contemporary jazz and improvised music scene of Poland and its unique cross-continental collaborations with top New York creative artists. Performing artists include James Brandon Lewis and the Lutoslawski Quartet’s US Premiere of “These are soulful days”; members of the Kamil Piotrowicz Sextet with appearances by Tim Berne, Kate Gentile, and Jamie Baum; and the Lutoslawski Quartet in concerts with Uri Caine and Michael Bates & Acrobat. More here.
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