Ella Fitzgerald, Makaya McCraven, Vince Guaraldi & 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.



New Makaya McCraven EP on Qobuz: Qobuz has exclusively-released percussionist/composer/producer Makaya McCraven’s Hi-Res live EP International Anthem @ Public Records (Volume 3). The EP was recorded live on September 19 at Brooklyn’s Public Records, where McCraven assembled a unique lineup with a string quartet to perform special arrangements of songs from his new album, In These Times, out now via International Anthem/Nonesuch/XL Recordings. The live recording was supported by Qobuz, as part of their ongoing partnership and series of co-presented shows with International Anthem.

A Charlie Brown Christmas Premieres in Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos on Apple Music: Vince Guaraldi Trio’s timeless score from A Charlie Brown Christmas has premiered in immersive Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos, exclusively on Apple Music. The premiere comes as Apple TV+ officially became the exclusive home of the 1965 animated special, as well as a wide selection of PEANUTS programming, including many of the classic specials from the Mendelson/Melendez Productions.

 First Ella Fitzgerald Montreux Performance Available Soon on Audio Formats: On January 20, Mercury Studios will release Live at Montreux 1969, capturing Ella Fitzgerald’s very first performance at Switzerland’s fabled Montreux Jazz Festival. The performance, featuring the First Lady of Song alongside the Tommy Flanagan Trio, was originally released on DVD in 2005 and will be made available for the first time in audio formats.

One Good Turn 20th Anniversary Album Re-Release Benefiting Jazz Foundation of America: Producer/record label Hank O’Neal, also a Jazz Foundation of America’s (JFA) honorary founders board member, has reissued a 20th-anniversary edition of One Good Turn. The album compiled 16 of his favorite pieces from his archive of over 200 jazz album productions at Chiaroscuro Records, including cuts from legendary players like Lionel Hampton, Milt Hinton, Mary Lou Williams and more. 100% of the profits from the reissue, released through a special partnership between 32 Bar Blues, The JFA and Chiaroscuro Records, will be going towards the JFA’s Musicians’ Emergency Fund, providing compassionate assistance to lifelong jazz, blues and roots musicians in times of need.


New and Upcoming Albums

Walking Cliché Sextet, Micro-Nap (Endectomorph): Bassist SeaJun Kwon is set to release Micro-Nap, a new album of explorative music with his ironically-named Walking Cliché Sextet, a unique small ensemble with a three-horn frontline. “This album reflects my emotional frustrations, non-linearity, the transience of feelings, and the emptiness of noise – as well as my attraction to them,” says Kwon via a press release. Micro-Nap was released on October 21.

Julian Lage, View With a Room (Blue Note): Guitar virtuoso Julian Lage marries lush orchestration with organic improvisation and the agility of a small ensemble over ten new original compositions on his latest album, View With a Room, released on September 16. Here, his deeply attuned trio of bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Dave King is augmented by the addition of six-string icon Bill Frisell.

Bennie Maupin & Adam Rudolph, Symphonic Tone Poem for Brother Yusef (Strut): Bennie Maupin and Adam Rudolph weave a magical, meditative path across five movements on their collaborative suite celebrating the legacy of the late, great Yusef Lateef. Symphonic Tone Poem for Brother Yusef, originally commissioned by the Angel City Jazz Festival to mark the trailblazing multi-instrumentalist’s 100th birthday in 2020, was released on June 17 via Strut.

Steve Patrick and the Music City Orchestra, Reflections (Green Hill): Reflections is a lushly romantic big band jazz album that marks the debut studio recording as a leader by prominent trumpeter Steve Patrick. The record, out now, is a collection of cherished jazz chestnuts partly paying homage to big band jazz trumpeter/bandleader Doc Severinsen.


Live Music and Festival News

GlobalFEST Comes to Lincoln Center, January 15: GlobalFEST 2023 will celebrate its landmark 20th edition on January 15. The festival will happen across three stages at Lincoln Center’s newly-renovated David Geffen Hall, as part of Lincoln Center Presents. The lineup includes Dengue Fever, Justin Adams & Mauro Durante, The Legendary Ingramettes, the New York Arabic Orchestra and more. Click here for tickets and more info.

SJO Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary: The Symphonic Jazz Orchestra (SJO) recently celebrated its 20th anniversary with a gala benefit at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach, California. At the September 18 event, the Orchestra was joined by special guests, vocalist Diane Schuur and pianist David Benoit. The SJO is known for uniquely blending the worlds jazz and classical music, and for many other initiatives, including its world premieres of commissioned works and the Music in Schools Residency, providing music education throughout Southern California to under-resourced neighborhoods.

The Big Swing Premier Performance at EFG London Jazz Festival: The EFG London Jazz Festival and Cadogan Hall will host the exclusive premier performance of The Big Swing, the world’s first double female-fronted big band, led by Georgina Jackson and Emma Smith. The band will present their own unique interpretations of the old-school big band jazz tradition, adding their style and charisma, on at London’s Cadogan Hall on November 18. Tickets here.

Somi Makes Carnegie Hall Debut, November 18: Somi will make her debut at Carnegie Hall on November 18 at Zankel Hall. The performance will showcase new electro-acoustic chamber arrangements from Somi’s acclaimed record, Zenzile: The Reimagination of Miriam Makeba, as well as a lush retrospective of her most beloved repertoire. Tickets here.

Zakir Hussain and Niladri Kumar at NYU Skirball Center: The World Music Institute will present a live performance by tabla master Zakir Hussain and young star sitarist Niladri Kumar at the NYU Skirball Center on November 18. The performance is part of the Masters of Indian Music series, presenting legends from the two primary forms of Indian classical music: the Northern Indian tradition of Hindustani classical music and the Southern Indian Tradition of Carnatic Indian classical music. Tickets here.

Featured photo courtesy of Alejandro Ayala.

Like this article?  Get more when you subscribe.

Join Our Newsletter
Join thousands of other jazz enthusiasts and get new music, artists, album, events and more delivered to your inbox.

The Authoritative Voice in Jazz