Frank Zappa, Charlie Watts, Avishai Cohen & 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.



Charlie Watts Biography Out Soon: Rolling Stone broke out the news that an official biography on Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, who died unexpectedly in August 2021 at age 80, will be released on October 11. Charlie’s Good Tonight: The Life, the Times and the Rolling Stones: The Authorized Biography of Charlie Watts is written by Paul Sexton. It will also include forwards by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger.

Palmetto Celebrates Frank Kimbrough with New Compilation: Palmetto Records celebrates the musicianship of the much-missed pianist/composer Frank Kimbrough with a new compilation, bringing together two of his acclaimed trio dates from a particularly fruitful period in his career. Frank Kimbrough 2003-2006, due out August 12, 2022, includes newly-mixed and remastered editions of his 2003 album Lullabluebye, with Ben Allison and Matt Wilson, with its 2006 follow-up, Play, with Masa Kamaguchi and Paul Motian.

Moor Mother Shares New Four-Song Video: Moor Mother has shared a new long-form video directed by Cyrus Moussavi. The video includes four songs featured on her new album, Jazz Codes, available now. The songs are “Wood Shaw,” “Barely Woke,” “Umanzi” and “April 7.” We included Jazz Codes in our list of ten new albums released this month (July 2022) that you need to know about.

Silkroad and NEC Announce 2022 Global Musician Workshop: Silkroad and the New England Conservatory (NEC) have announced the continuation of their partnership to present the new edition of the Global Musician Workshop from August 8012. The five-day program will welcome 60 students from around the globe to participate in tuition-free classes and public performances. The program is directed by cellist Mike Block and co-led by pipa player Wu Man.

Dr. John’s Final Studio Album Out Soon: Dr. John’s final studio album, Things Happen That Way, will be released on September 23 via Rounder Records, around three years after the New Orleans icon’s passing in 2019. Recorded in 2018, Things Happen That Way finds Dr. John performing versions of country classics alongside notable musicians and special guests, including Willie Nelson and Aaron Neville. Thrown in the mix are also new and previously unheard original compositions.

UMG Becomes Permanent Home of Frank Zappa Estate: Universal Music Group (UMG) recently announced an agreement between the Zappa Trust to acquire Frank Zappa’s estate, including his expansive recordings, publishing catalog of iconic songs, film archive, and the complete contents of The Vault, the near-mythic storage facility that houses the late Zappa’s life’s work. UMe President & CEO Bruce Resnikoff said in an official statement, “We will continue to develop innovative ways to celebrate his vast and influential catalog for both longtime fans and those just discovering his genius.”


New and Upcoming Albums

Paul Anka, Sessions (Green Hill): Paul Anka interprets beloved American standards composed by some of his favorite contemporaries on his new album, Sessions. The album features a luxurious production meant to evoke the aura of 1950s and 1960s Capitol Records Studios vocal album recordings, with stately strings and orchestral touches lending it a timeless grandeur.

Michael Leonhart Orchestra, The Normyn Suites (Sunnyside): The Michael Leonhart Orchestra will release a new album dedicated to the life and passing of its trumpeter/bandleader’s 15-year-old dog, Normyn. The Normyn Suites features a pair of suites, the first exploring the stages of grieving and the second reflecting on love and loss. It also includes several guest contributions and collaborations with Elvis Costello, Donny McCaslin, Bill Frisell and more.

Rebolu, Mi Herencia/My Heritage (Smithsonian Folkways): Rebolu is a Latin-funk group at the forefront of New York City’s New Colombian Music Movement. They will release their new album, Mi Herencia, out on Smithsonian Folkways. The album showcases their marriage of Afrocentric rhythms and salsa-inspired music of Colombia’s Caribbean coast with the urban energy and multiculturalism of New York City.

Kirk Knuffke, Gravity Without Airs (TAO Forms): Cornetist Kirk Knuffke explores the rare configuration of the cornet-piano-bass trio on Gravity Without Airs, alongside Matthew Shill and Michael Bisio. “I’m concerned with making beautiful music, even when the music is free/avant-garde….though not in a precious way, It can be in a rough way, too,” explains Knuffke in his liner notes.


Live Music and Festival News

First-Ever NYO Jazz U.S. Tour Announced: Carnegie Hall has announced the first-ever U.S. tour by its NYO Jazz, one of its three acclaimed national youth ensembles. The tour is set to take place on the heels of the recent release of the ensemble’s first full-length studio album, We’re Still Here, under the artistic direction of Sean Jones. Its kick-off concert will take place at Carnegie Hall on July 28, where the ensemble will be joined by special guest vocalist Jazzmeia Horn. More here.

More Names Announced for EFG London Jazz Festival: The EFG London Jazz Festival has announced a final round of performers for its 30th edition, which will take place throughout the British capital on November 11-20. Among them, are Lady Blackbird, Kurt Elling with his SuperBlue band and bass legend Ron Carter. The latter will be playing a concert celebrating his 85th birthday at Cadogan Hall with an all-star quartet.

Avishai Cohen at NYC Blue Note Jazz Club, August 16-21: Bassist/composer Avishai Cohen is set to make his New York City return with a week-long engagement at the Blue Note Jazz Club on August 16-21. These concerts will also mark the U.S. debut of his new trio, featuring pianist Elchin Shirinov and drummer Roni Kaspi. Cohen’s trio dates are in support of the recently-released album, Shifting Sands, available now on Naive/Believe.

Photo by Roby Yahav.

Candice Hoyes and Damien Sneed Present Duke Ellington’s On a Turquoise Cloud: Vocalist/archival scholar Candice Hoyes and pianist/conductor/composer Damien Sneed will perform Duke Ellington’s suite On a Turquoise Cloud at the upcoming Summer Jazz Festival at Caramoor, Katonah, New York, on July. “We are both inspired to highlight the 75th anniversary of these works,” Hoyes shares. “To me, On a Turquoise Cloud paved the way in style and substance for today’s musical theater, soul and contemporary classical music.” The event is presented in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center.

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