Connie Han, Frank Sinatra, Herbie Hancock & 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.



SONG PREMIERE: Connie Han, “Captain’s Song”: JAZZIZ is happy to present the song premiere of pianist/keyboardist/composer Connie Han‘s “Captain Song.” This is one of the tracks from her upcoming album Iron Starlet, which will be released on Mack Avenue on June 12 and looks to confirm her as one of the brightest young stars in jazz. The new album features her leading a rhythm section formed by bassist Ivan Taylor, drummer/producer Bill Wysaske, plus saxophonist Walter Smith III and trumpeter Jeremy Pelt in the frontline. Listen to the track via the player below.

John Scofield Celebrates the Music of Steve Swallow on His ECM Debut as Bandleader: Guitar John Scofield celebrates the music of his friend and mentor Steve Swallow on his upcoming debut for ECM as a bandleader, Swallow Tales, due out June 5. The album features a selection of compositions by the bass great, which Scofield defines as “perfect vehicles for improvisation” via a press release. Swallow is also featured on the album, as well as drummer Bill Stewart.

New Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Album Out Soon: Blue Engine Records will release The Fifties: A Prism by The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis on all digital platforms on May 1. This is a suite composed and arranged by the Orchestra’s trombonist Christopher Crenshaw that combines many different styles and movements that made the jazz of the ’50s so creatively vital, recorded live at the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in February 2017.

Herbie Hancock to Celebrate 80th Birthday with Vinyl Me, Please Box Set: Legendary pianist Herbie Hancock is teaming up with Vinyl Me, Please to release VMP Anthology: The Story of Herbie Hancock. This is an exclusive vinyl box set celebrating the illustrious career of Herbie Hancock, which aims to take the listeners on a sequential journey told across eight albums chosen by the pianist and paired with an exclusive podcast interview series in celebration of his 80th birthday, which he celebrated on April 12. VMP Anthology: The Story of Herbie Hancock will be released later this year.

Iconic Legendary Frank Sinatra Album 60th Anniversary Edition Out Soon: UMe/Capitol will be releasing a special 60th-anniversary edition of Nice ‘n’ Easy digitally on May 15 and physically (vinyl and CD) on June 5. The album was originally released in 1960 and is one of the most iconic collaborations between Frank Sinatra and arranger/conductor Nelson Riddle. The digital and CD versions of this anniversary release will also feature three bonus tracks.

Spanish Harlem Orchestra Album Release Date Changed: The date for the release of the new album by the album by The Spanish Harlem Orchestra has been changed. The Latin Jazz Project will now be released on May 22 via ArtistShare. This all-Latin jazz by the 17-year-old ensemble features many special guests, including Kurt Elling, Miguel Zenon, Joe Locke, Dave Liebman, Bob Mintzer and several others.


The Gig: Live Music & More

Stephane Wrembel to Livestream Mini Concert Series Exploring the Music of Django Reinhardt: Heralded guitarist Stephane Wrembel will present a series of 20 mini-concerts exploring the early repertoire of the legendary Django Reinhardt. The concerts will take place from April 20 through May 1, 2020, live-streamed on his Facebook page and consequently be made available on his YouTube channel. English shows will take place on weekdays at 3 p.m. EST.


The Festival Guide

San Jose Jazz Cancels Signature Programs: San Jose Jazz has announced the official cancelation of two of its signature programs: the 31st annual San Jose Jazz Summer Fest and its Summer Jazz Camp. Both programs were canceled due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The news comes following the official launch of San Jose Jazz’s streaming series, Live from Home, featuring artists performing a 30-minute concert from their home that is live-streamed weekly via San Jose Jazz’s digital platforms.


New Release Cheat Sheet

Peggy Lee, Ultimate Peggy Lee (UMe/Capitol)

UMe/Capitol is releasing today Ultimate Peggy Lee in celebration of Peggy Lee’s centennial. This is a new 22-track collection offering a career retrospective of the legendary vocalist. The set also includes the previously unreleased “Try a Little Tenderness,” making its world debut 57 years after it was recorded.

Alex de Grassi, The Bridge (Tropo/Six Degrees)

The Bridge marks the first acoustic solo album by virtuoso Alex de Grassi in 17 years. The record is made up of ten songs of beautifully performed and arranged acoustic compositions written over the last few years by de Grassi and inspired by the Albion River on Northern California’s Mendocino Coast. To mark the album’s release, the guitarist will be live-streaming a 60-minute concert today (April 17) on his Facebook page at 8 p.m. EST.

Kathleen Grace and Larry Goldings, Tie Me To You (self-released)

Tie Me To You is a duo album by singer/songwriter Kathleen Grace and pianist Larry Goldings. The two share great chemistry as they perform a program of originals and covers. “Larry was remarkable to work with, deeply trusting and intuitive, which I think helped me feel the same,” says Grace via a press release.


Featured photo by Michael R. Pool.

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