Frank Sinatra, Thelonious Monk, Peggy Lee & 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

Miguel Zenón Appointed to MIT Faculty: Saxophonist Miguel Zenón has been appointed to the Music Faculty at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), beginning in Fall 2023. Zenón will serve as Assistant Professor of Jazz beginning in September 2023. This is the first time in the history of MIT that this position has been appointed. “MIT is an incredible school with top-tier students and a creative and open-minded aesthetic,” says Zenón via an official statement. “I’m extremely excited and honored to become part of the MIT family.”

New Collection Celebrates Frank Sinatra’s Capitol Years: UMe celebrates the 70th anniversary of Frank Sinatra’s signing to Capitol Records with the October 27 release of Frank Sinatra Platinum. Released in conjunction with Frank Sinatra Platinum and available on 4-LP, 2-CD and digital formats, the 44-track collection features a cross-section of Sinatra’s most beloved songs and sought-after rarities from his Capitol years (1953-1962). Watch an official trailer via the player below.

Special Peggy Lee Event in London: A special illustrated Q&A session celebrating the life and enduring legacy of legendary singer/songwriter Peggy Lee will take place at London’s Jewish cultural community centre, JW3, on September 26. The event will be hosted by George McGhee and feature special guest Holly Foster Wells, Lee’s granddaughter and President of Peggy Lee Associates. Tickets here.

Thelonious Monk Audiophile Vinyl Reissue: Craft Recordings released an audiophile pressing of Thelonious Monk’s Brilliant Corners (1957), limited to just 4000 copies worldwide, as part of its Small Batch vinyl series. The album is renowned for introducing some of the jazz icon’s acclaimed originals and featuring an all-star lineup of talents, including Sonny Rollins, Max Roach and Paul Chambers.

 

New Albums

Jeff Richman, XYZ (Blue Canoe): Guitarist/composer and jazz fusion pioneer Jeff Richman offers a set of nine original songs on his 18th album as a leader, XYZ. Released on March 30, the session is led by Richman’s compositional imagination and propelled by the dynamics of his band’s improvisation skills, expanding the artist’s directional scope with a modern-day swagger.

Peter Brötzmann, Majid Bekkas, Hamid Drake, Catching Ghosts (ACT): Catching Ghosts, released on April 28, is a new album capturing the musical encounter of revered, iconoclastic reedit Peter Brötzmann, Moroccan adept Majid Bekkas playing the two-stringed guembri, and Chicago-bred drummer Hamid drake. The event, one of the highlights of last year’s Jazzfest Berlin, captures a magical moment of global, improvised music.

 

Shuteen Erdenebaatar, Rising Sun (Motéma): Munich-based pianist/composer Shuteen Erdenebaatar has quickly emerged as a rising star from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital. The artist now makes her full-length debut with Rising Sun, an all-original quartet enriched by expressive harmonies, rhythmic variability and memorable melodies showcasing a profound maturity.

Chuck Owen & WDR Big Band, Renderings (MAMA): Composer/arranger/bandleader Chuck Owen returns with a brilliant new collaboration with Germany’s WDR Big Band, also featuring guest violinist Sara Caswell. Renderings includes new and reimagined compositions by Owen, along with arrangements of jazz standards and of pieces contributed by members of the ensemble.

 

Live Music and Festival News

Big Ears Festival Announces 2024 Lineup: The Big Ears Festival will return to Knoxville, Tennessee, on March 21-24, 2024. The festival will feature performances by Herbie Hancock, Laurie Anderson, John Paul Jones, Charles Lloyd, Digable Planets and many more, including Rhiannon Giddens in residence, performing several different programs. There will also be a Henry Threadgill retrospective, a 70th birthday celebration for Marc Ribot and a Nonesuch Records showcase. More here.

Ángel “Papote” Alvarado y el Grupo Esencia at New York’s Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture: Ángel “Papote” Alvarado y el Grupo Esencia will make their debut at the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture in Hostos Community College, New York, on September 30. The ensemble will celebrate 25 years of performing and recording their dynamic style of hard-hitting, danceable Bomba, Plena and Salsa, all of which are beloved forms and traditions from Puerto Rico. They will be joined by special guest vocalist Hector “Pichie” Pérez. Tickets here.

NJPAC Announces TD James Moody Jazz Festival Lineup: The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) has announced the lineup of its upcoming 12th TD James Moody Jazz Festival, which will take place from November 3-19. Its program of genre-crossing collaborative concerts will include Dee Dee Bridgewater and Bill Charlap, Lisa Fischer and Ranky Tanky, Omara Portuondo on her farewell tour, Take 6 with tap dancer Hillary Marie and many more. There will also be tributes to Louis Armstrong and Dave Grusin, while the 12th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition is set to take place on November 19. More here.

Sculpting Sound Concert Films: Sculpting Sound, six high-definition hour-plus concert films, each featuring two musicians famed for their distinctive voices and playing with and on sound sculptures by Harry Bertoia’s Sonambient sculptures, will be released on December 21 via Pyroclastic Records. The films feature guitarists Nels Cline and Ben Monder, trumpeters Ambrose Akinmusire and Nate Wooley, saxophonists Ingrid Laubrock and JD Allen, acoustic string players Jen Shyu and Brandon Seabrook, drummers Marcus Gilmore and Dan Weiss, and pianists Kris Davis and Craig Taborn.

Featured photo courtesy of UMe.

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