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.
Qobuz Teams Up with ACT Music for Christmas: High-quality music platform Qobuz and jazz record label ACT Music have collaborated on a new compilation, Christmas in the Spirit of Jazz, presenting highlights of ACT’s Christmas catalog on a total of twelve tracks ranging from interpretations of devotional folk songs to groovy crooner hits. The compilation includes Nils Landgren, Jazzrausch Bigband, David Helbock, Echoes of Swing and Janne Mark, and is available now in Hi-Res 24-bit for download and streaming on Qobuz.
Hakushi Hasegawa Limited Edition Vinyl: Hakushi Hasegawa announced the first-ever vinyl pressings of their 2018 debut album, Somoku Hodo, and 2019’s Air Ni Ni, out on March 8, 2024, via Brainfeeder. The limited edition vinyl for Somoku Hodo will come in translucent green with illustrations by Momoka Aiso and designs by Takeaki Emori, and will include the previously unreleased track, “Doku (SCREWED).” The limited edition vinyl for Air Ni Ni will come in gray marble with artwork by Taishi Urakawa and Namonaki Sanemasa, as well as designs by Takeaki Emori.
Limited Edition Bing Crosby Cookie: Primary Wave Music and the Estate of Bing Crosby have joined forces with Funny Face Bakery in New York City to create a limited-edition cookie that pays tribute to the legendary crooner. This special treat showcases a festive hand-piped image of Crosby on the bakery’s traditional sugar cookies. Starting from December 8, the cookies will be up for grabs both online and in-store at Funny Face Bakery’s New York City locations in NoHo and Seaport.
Brent Wallarab’s The Gennett Suite Wins German Record Critics Award: Brent Wallarab’s The Gennett Suite, performed by the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra, has been honored with a German Record Critics’ Award as a recording of exceptional artistry and a best new release of 2023’s fourth quarter. The album is inspired by Wallarab’s longtime admiration for the story and music of Gennett Records, where early icons like Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke and Jelly Roll Morton recorded. Listen to our JAZZIZ Podcast conversation with Wallarab about this project via the player below.
Wolfgang Muthspiel, Dance of the Elders (ECM): Guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel and his dynamic trio with bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade reach new creative heights with their latest work, Dance of the Elders. This album serves as a brilliant showcase of Muthspiel’s distinct jazz style, seamlessly blending folk influences with classical inspiration, resulting in a truly unique musical experience.
Gregory Porter, Christmas Wish (Blue Note): Singer/songwriter Gregory Porter’s first-ever holiday album, Christmas Wish, is a collection of timeless classics and uplifting originals. Expertly produced by Troy Miller, the record includes a captivating duet with the talented Samara Joy on the track “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve.”
Javier Nero Jazz Orchestra, Kemet: The Black Land (Outside In): Trombonist and composer Dr. Javier Nero meditates on Kemet, the ancient Egyptian, highly-advanced Black civilization on his album. Kemet: The Black Land mesmerizes with its uses of many African rhythms combined with a very typical Western harmonic structure and a near-symphonic orchestration style.
Devon Gilfillian, Love You Anyway (Fantasy): Rising singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Devon Gilfillian released his second full-length studio album, Love You Anyway, earlier this year. The record spans soul, hip-hop, R&B and rock, all under the banner of Black joy and is described via a press release as “an intoxicating, genre-crossing game changer.”
Live Music and Festival News
Montreux Jazz Festival Announces New Look: The Montreux Jazz Festival has unveiled a new layout for its 58th edition, which will take place in Montreux, Switzerland, on July 5-20. Changes have been made due to construction work on the Convention Centre, which usually hosts the festival’s major shows. A statement on the festival’s official website reads: “An eye-catching stage will be built on the lake, below the Place du Marché, offering the public a breathtaking view. The Festival is also celebrating its return to the Casino, a significant venue in the event’s history. A large number of free stages complete the new layout for this 58th edition, which will continue to accommodate its usual capacity of 250,000 attendees.” More here.
Diana Krall Announces U.S. Tour: Celebrated vocalist Diana Krall has announced that she will embark on her 18-city U.S. tour starting on February 12, 2024, at Charleston Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina, on February 12, 2024. The tour will make stops in Orlando, Charlotte, Greenville, Richmond, Staten Island and more, before concluding in Huntington, New York, on March 10. Check out all upcoming tour dates here.
New Nailah Hunter Single and Album Release Show: Harpist, multi-instrumentalist and composer Nailah Hunter has shared “Strange Delights,” the second single from her forthcoming debut album, Lovegaze, which will be released on January 12 via Fat Possum. Hunter has also confirmed that she will perform a special show celebrating the album’s release at Zebulon, Los Angeles, on January 12. Tickets here.
Bobby Rush Musical to Open Goodman Theatre’s New Stages Festival: Slippin’ Through the Cracks: The Blues Journey of Bobby Rush is set to open the Goodman Theatre’s annual New Stages Festival in Chicago on December 8. Tickets here. This musical traces the remarkable journey of Bobby Rush, a GRAMMY-winning blues musician. Co-directed by Stephen Helper and Arminda Thomas, the production includes music composed by Rush himself. The book is a collaborative effort by Rush and Stephen Lloyd Helper, the creative mind behind the Broadway success Smokey Joe’s Café.
Featured photo courtesy of Verve Records.
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