Frank Zappa, David Perrico, Spider Webb & 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 Box Set Celebrates Frank Zappa’s Year of 1972: Zappa Records/UMe celebrates Frank Zappa’s incredible output in 1972 (during which he released Waka/Jawaka and The Grand Wazoo) and his legendary “Electric Orchestra” via a brand new five-disc multi-format box set, Waka/Wazoo, released just ahead of what would have been the maestro’s 82nd birthday. The set boasts unreleased alternate takes, a “Petite Wazoo” live performance from 1972, Zappa-produced demos and more.

New Kenneth Rice (a.k.a. Spider Webb) Documentary: Renowned drummer Kenneth Rice, a.k.a. Spider Webb, is the subjet of a new documentary, Spider Webb Untangled: The Life & Times of Legendary Drummer Kenneth Rice, available on multiple platforms on January 24. The film features his first-person story and interviews with fellow musicians, producers and artists, recounting the life of the talented musician and the influence of his inventive and innovative beats.

David Perrico on The JAZZIZ Podcast: Classically-trained trumpeter and award-winning composer/conductor David Perrico is the latest guest of our JAZZIZ Podcast series. In our conversation together, he introduces to us his latest creation, Pop Symphonic, a 68-piece orchestra featuring 60 of Las Vegas’s top musicians and eight power-house vocalists. Click here to listen to the JAZZIZ Podcast conversation.


New and Upcoming Album

John Paul McGee, GOSPELJAZZICAL, Vol. 1 (Jazz Urbane): Pianist John Paul McGee steps into uncharted territory, offering an idiosyncratic fusion of gospel, jazz and classical music on GOSPEJAZZICAL VOL. 1. The album, which comprises both studio and live recordings showcasing McGee’s talents and the chemistry shared with several accomplished musicians, was released on October 28.

Eri Yamamoto, A Woman With a Purple Wig (Mahakala): Pianist/composer Eri Yamamoto released a new album of seven original compositions, described via a press release as “her response to the dislocations and traumas of life in locked-down New York City following the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020.” A Woman With a Purple Wig is also her seventh full-length with bassist David Ambrosio and drummer Ikuo Takeuchi.

Village of the Sun, First Light (Gearbox): Village of the Sun is the name of the enigmatic collaboration between U.K. jazz virtuosos Binker Golding and Moses Boyd with electronic music legend Simon Ratcliffe of Basement Jazz fame. Together, they enter relatively new territory on their debut album, First Light, born out of a shared passion for improvised instrumental music.

Trombone Shorty, Lifted (Blue Note): New Orleans musical icon Trombone Shorty bottles up the raw power of his genre-bending shows on his latest studio album, released on April 29 via Blue Note. Lifted offers ten explosive tracks recorded at his own Buckjump Studio with producer Chris Seefried and is dedicated to the memory of his mother.


Live Music and Festival News

The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance and The Town Hall Celebrate Chico O’Farrill: On January 14, Arturo O’Farrill will lead the 18-piece Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra in a performance celebrating the legacy of Cuban music legend Chico O’Farrill on the year of his centennual. Presented by the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, the performance especially highlights his influential collaboration with the iconic Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo, and also celebrates the centennial of New York’s Town Hall, where the concert will take place. Tickets here.

South Beach Jazz Festival 2023: The upcoming edition of the South Beach Jazz Festival is set to take place at a number of venues throughout Miami Beach on January 5-8. The festival’s program will include 16 performances by world-renowned jazz greats and local jazz favorites, including Monty Alexander with Luke Sellick and Jason Brown, The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra with Tito Rodriguez Jr., Tito Puente Jr. and Machito Jr., and the South Florida Jazz Orchestra with Chuck Bergeron. More here.

Next Jazz Legacy at NYC Winter JazzFest: On January 12, Next Jazz Legacy will present a special NYC Winter JazzFest performance from its 2022 cohort of emerging women and nonbinary musicians. Its program is curated by Next Jazz Legacy co-founder Terri Lyne Carrington and will be preceded by a panel discussion. More here. Next Jazz Legacy is a program curated by New Music USA and the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice that addresses gender and racial inequalities by providing opportunities for mentorship and professional development to those who have been underrepresented in jazz.

Galactic Announces Special Guests for Blue Note New York Residency: In 2023, New York’s Blue Note Jazz Club is rolling out special programming that will highlight the synergies between the funk, jazz and jam music communities. Featuring shows from one of the world’s most accomplished turntablists DJ Logic, funk-bands Soulive, Lettuce, and Galactic with special guests, Antibalas, saxophonist Karl Denson, Ghost Note, Butcher Brown and more, the series will be a stomping ground for innovation and improvisation, showcasing the fluidity of the artists who perform within these funky genres. More here.

Featured photo credit: Laurens Van Houten.

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