Don Was, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Shabaka & 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.



Liv Andrew Hauge Trio Win 3rd EJN Zenith Award: Norway’s Liv Andrew Hauge Trio from Norway have won the 3rd Zenith Award for emerging artists, an initiative launched by the Europe Jazz Network (EJN) in collaboration with 12 Points Festival and supported by Creative Europe that shines a spotlight on a remarkable ensemble or solo project working in creative jazz and improvised music. More here. The trio features Liv Andrew Hauge on piano, Georgia Wartel Collins on double bass and August Glännestrand on drums, and recently released their first studio album, Ville Blomster, on the Hubro label.

New Alexis Valet Single: “Ups and Downs” is a new single from jazz vibraphonist Alexis Valet’s upcoming album, Following the Sun. The track is described as an energetic and nervous ode to New York City. Listen to it via the player below. Following the Sun will be released on April 19, and features an exceptional quintet with Dayna Stephens, Aaron Parks, Joe Martin and Kush Abadey.

Verve/UMe 2024 Acoustic Sounds Vinyl Reissues: Verve/UMe’s has announced a slate of upcoming audiophile-grade reissues for its series Acoustic Sounds. Releases for 2024 include classic records by Ben Webster, Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan, Duke Ellington, Jimmy Smith, Nina Simone and many more. Earlier this year, the series saw the February 23 reissue of the only studio collaboration between Stan Getz and Bill Evans, Previously Unreleased Recordings, recorded in 1964 but not released until 1973. Ella Fitzgerald’s 1961 album, Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie!, was released on March 29.

New Shabaka Single: Shabaka, the multi-instrumentalist and former bandleader for heralded groups such as Sons of Kemet, The Comet is Coming and Shabaka and the Ancestors, has shared a new single and visualizer for “I’ll Do Whatever You Want” off his forthcoming solo album, Perceive Its Beauty, Acknowledge Its Grace, which will be released on April 12 via Impulse! Records. “I’ll Do Whatever You Want” features Shabaka on the Shakuhachi, an ancient Japanese end-blown flute made of bamboo, and features vocals from Laraaji alongside contributions from André 3000 on Teotihuacan drone flute. Listen to it via the player below.


New Albums

John Surman, Words Unspoken (ECM): British reedman John Surman, a pivotal figure in European jazz for over half a century, explores musical understanding with his quartet of vibraphonist Rob Waring, guitarist Rob Luft, and drummer Thomas Strønen in his latest album, Words Unspoken. The record features Surman’s original compositions, providing frameworks for compelling musical debates as each musician adds distinctive and striking touches to the mix.

Grace Kelly, Grace Kelly With Strings: At the Movies (PAZZ): Saxophonist Grace Kelly’s 15th album and her first jazz venture since 2016 is Grace Kelly With Strings: At the Movie. Deeply inspired by the seminal album Charlie Parker with Strings, the record is a collection of renditions of music from the big screen, from Disney to James Bond, which finds Kelly collaborating with esteemed producer Bryan Carter and powerhouse millennial arrangers Charlie Rosen and Steven Feifke, plus special guests.

Hilary Gardner, On the Trail with the Lonesome Pines (Anzic): On the Trail with the Lonesome Pines finds vocalist Hilary Gardner immersing herself in the rich repertoire of the 1930s and 1940s “singing cowboy” era, unearthing a wealth of material, from melancholic ballads to lively swing tunes. Accompanied by Justin Poindexter, Noah Garabedian and Aaron Thurston, she takes listeners on a journey to the evocative heart of the American West, vividly portraying the experience of the archetypal cowboy life on the trail.

Lynne Arriale Trio, Being Human (Challenge): Being Human is pianist and composer Lynne Arriale’s 17th album as a leader. It offers an optimistic and deeply felt suite of ten original compositions, many of which are inspired by people who have inspired her, including Greta Thunberg, Amanda Gorman and Malala Yousafzai. The music is performed by Arriale and her trio with bassist Alon Near and drummer Lukasz Zyta.


Live Music and Festival News

New Dan Weiss Trio Album and Tour Dates: Drummer/composer Dan Weiss released his daring new trio album, Even Odds, on March 29 via Cygnus Recordings. The album features Weiss with alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón and pianist Matt Mitchell. The band will celebrate the album’s release with tour dates. Click here to check out all upcoming tour dates.

Don Was Announces New Band and Tour: Blue Note Records President, musician, producer and composer Don Was announced his new group, Don Was and The Pan-Detroit Ensemble, made up of stellar jazz musicians from his hometown, including longtime collaborators Dave McMurray on saxophone and keyboardist Luis Resto. “When the opportunity came to put together a new band, the message was clear to me: go back to Detroit where I came from, be who I am, play like who I am and team up with some like-minded individuals,” says Was via an official press release. The band’s first U.S. tour will kick off this May.

Mehrnam Rastegari Brings Chogan Debut to Joe’s Pub, April 10: Iranian master kamancheh player Mehrnam Rastegari debuts her newest project, Chogan, at Joe’s Pub in NYC on April 10. Tickets here. Chogan is a quartet consisting of Sam Minaei on upright bass, Philip Mayer on drums, Amit Peled on guitar and Rastegari on kamancheh, the Persian spiked fiddle. The group was created to play both Rastegari’s original material and rearranged folk songs with a fusion/Middle Eastern vibe.

Southern California’s Symphonic Jazz Orchestra Celebrates Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue: Southern California’s Symphony Jazz Orchestra will celebrate the 100th anniversary of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with two major events. On April 5-26, Mitch Glickman, Music Director of the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra, will hold a four-week online course with UCLA on the history and legacy of this landmark composition. Enroll here. On May 11, the Orchestra will perform an extended version of Rhapsody in Blue at the Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts in Long Beach, California, alongside piano soloist Marcus Roberts. The evening will feature a pre-concert lecture and open with a performance of Darius Milhaud’s La Création du Monde from 1923. Tickets here.

92NY Presents Cécile McLorin Salvant’s Book of Ayres: The 92nd Street Y, New York, has announced the world premiere of Cécile McLorin Salvant’s Book of Ayres, a 92NY 150th anniversary commission that draws from her brilliance in jazz, expertise in baroque music and more. The event will take place on April 13, and feature a group of top improvising musicians from genres as disparate as early music and jazz, folk and electronic music, performed on a multitude of diverse instruments and drawing on different languages and cultures. More here.

Armstrong Now: Louis at Newport at LeFrak Concert Hall, Queens College, April 6 and 8: The Kupferberg Center for the Arts will present “Armstrong Now: Louis at Newport” on April 6 and 8 at LeFrak Concert Hall, Queens College, New York. The event will bring together some of this generation’s trumpeters, including Marquis Hill, Bruce Harris and Anthony Hervey, to explore the Armstrong Archives through a contemporary lens. The event will recreate their performance at this past fall’s Newport Jazz Festival, where they celebrated the rich legacy of Armstrong at Newport. Tickets here


Featured photo by Miryam Ramos.

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