Duke Ellington, Shabaka Hutchings, Troy Roberts & 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.

 

Noteworthy

New Shabaka Hutchings Single and Video: Shabaka Hutchings has shared “End of Innocence,” the lead single from his debut solo album Perceive its Beauty, Acknowledge its Grace, which will be released on April 12 via Impulse! Records. Watch its Phoebe Boswell-directed video via the player below. Perceive its Beauty, Acknowledge its Grace marks Hutchings’ debut solo album and signifies a departure for the artist, primarily focusing on flutes and softer woodwinds.

Bettina Bohle Takes Office as New Director of the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt: Bettina Bohle has assumed the role of director at the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt in Germany, Europe’s largest public archive and documentation center for jazz. Dr. Wolfram Knauer led the institution since 1990, as it developed into one of the most important contact points for researchers and creative people in the field of jazz and improvised music outside the U.S. More here.

New Kelly Moran Single and Video: Pianist and composer Kelly Moran has shared “Butterfly Phase,” the lead single from her new album, Moves in the Field, which will be released on March 29 via Warp Records. The album’s title refers to a series of skating rudiments and the video for “Butterfly Phase,” directed by Charlie Reeds, features U.S. figure skater Elizabeth Schmidt performing a choreography by Benoit Richaud. Watch the video via the player below.

ECM’s March Luminessence Vinyl Reissues: ECM’s audiophile vinyl reissue series, Luminessence, is set to unveil three new releases in March 2024. Leading the lineup is Jan Garbarek’s Luminessence (1975), featuring compositions by Keith Jarrett for string orchestra and saxophone, and Garbarek’s ECM debut album, Afric Pepperbird, originally recorded in 1970, both scheduled for release on March 1. Following suit, Azimuth’s self-titled album from 1977 will be released on March 29, documenting the special synergy of Norma Winstone, John Taylor and Kenny Wheeler.

 

New Albums

Yotam Silberstein, Standards (Jojo): Having released albums primarily showcasing his original compositions, guitarist Yotam Silberstein shifts gears with Standards, presenting his interpretations of timeless classics linked to iconic figures like Miles Davis and Rodgers & Hammerstein. The project finds him in good company, enlisting the talents of tenor saxophonist George Coleman, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Billy Hart to breathe new life into these revered pieces.

Jim Snidero, For All We Know (Savant): For All We Know represents Jim Snidero’s inaugural exploration of the saxophone trio format, continuing the legacy of Phil Woods and the alto saxophone tradition. In this release, Snidero distils the soundscape to its core, highlighting his renowned rich tone, accompanied by the steadfast rhythm section of bassist Peter Washington and drummer Joe Farnsworth.

Brian Scarborough, We Need the Wind (Outside In): Trombonist and composer Brian Scarborough continues his trend of blending tradition and innovation while exploring new harmonic concepts, on his second album as a bandleader. We Need the Wind is an autobiographical reflection on the process of rebuilding and healing as an artist, offering musings on the intricacies of COVID and post-COVID society, and steeped in the earnest feelings Scarborough experienced at the point each composition was created. 

The Neal Kirkwood Big Band, Night City (Brooklyn Jazz Underground): Pianist and composer Neal Kirkwood reflects on his musical journey on his eighth recording as a bandleader, Night City, and his first big band album. The record embraces the history of big bands through their many manifestations, from the 1920s into today, within an atmosphere at once playful, urbane and exuberant.

 

Live Music and Festival News

WAR Announce The World Is a Ghetto 50th Anniversary Tour: WAR have announced The World Is a Ghetto 50th Anniversary Tour, celebrating the anniversary of their landmark 1973 album. Upcoming dates include several stops across the Los Angeles area and the band’s native California, plus festivals and numerous other shows to be added soon. Click here for all dates and tickets. The tour comes on the heels of The World Is a Ghetto: 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition, a recently-released 5-LP edition featuring a newly remastered version of the original album, plus bonus tracks and other previously unheard material.

Troy Roberts Album Release Concert: Saxophonist Troy Roberts will celebrate the release of his new album, Green Lights, with a special release concert at The Jazz Gallery in New York City on May 4. Tickets here. Green Lights will be released on May 10 and is described via an official press release as showcasing “his remarkable ability to blend genres, creating sounds that resonate with both jazz and other contemporary genres.”

2024 NEA Jazz Masters to be Celebrated at Free Events in Washington, D.C.: The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), in collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, will celebrate the 2024 NEA Jazz Masters at a series of public events on April 11-13 in Washington, D.C. The series will culminate in a free tribute concert on April 13 that will also be available through live webcast and radio broadcast. In addition, the 2024 NEA Jazz Masters Gary Bartz, Terence Blanchard and Amina Claudine Myers will participate in a listening party at NPR on April 13, while Willard Jenkins, recipient of the 2024 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy, will participate in a discussion and Q&A at Howard University on Thursday, April 11. More here.

Celebrating Duke Ellington’s 125th Birthday in New York City, May 6, NYC: A celebration of the 125th anniversary of jazz great Duke Ellington, presented by the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts in association with the American Tap Dance Foundation, will take place on May 6 at the Symphony Space, Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, in New York City. The event will feature the Duke Ellington Center Big Band, under the musical direction of Eli Yamin, special guest artist Arturo O’Farrill, plus a special lineup of dancers, vocalists and surprise guests. More here.

Branford and Wynton Marsalis Headlned Star-Studded Gala for Jazz Education: On February 21-22, Branford Marsalis and Wynton Marsalis headlined Jazz St. Louis’ Swing for Tomorrow’s Stars Gala. The two-night event, hosted by actor and comedian Joe Torry, raised more than $600,000 to support Jazz St. Louis’s education and community engagement programs. During the night, David Sanborn was presented with the organization’s inaugural Steward Center Lifetime Achievement Award in Excellence. More here.

 

Featured photo by atibaphoto.

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