Hakushi Hasegawa, Kassa Overall, Aaron Diehl & 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

Kamasi Washington, Bonobo, Floating Points to Score New Shinichirō Watanabe Series: Kamasi Washington, Bonobo, and Floating Points are preparing to compose the score for a fresh animated series under the direction of Shinichirō Watanabe, the renowned Cowboy Bebop director. This new show, Lazarus, has received the green light from Adult Swim and will be brought to life by the talented team at the anime studio, MAPPA. Click here to find out more about the upcoming series.

Hakushi Hasegawa Signs to Brainfeeder Records: Brainfeeder has announced its latest signing, Japanese artist Hakushi Hasegawa, and unveiled their new single and video, “Mouth Flash (Kuchinohanabi),” featuring bass from Sam Wilkes. The new single is the first in a series of releases between the artist and Flying Lotus’s label, which celebrates 15 years of releasing genre-defying music in 2023.

Aaron Diehl Limited-Edition Vinyl Release: Mack Avenue will release a limited-edition 180-gram vinyl of Aaron Diehl’s latest album on September 15, in partnership with the American Pianists Association. Zodiac Suite is the accomplished pianist/composer’s fourth album for the label and finds him celebrating the legacy of swing and bebop legend Mary Lou Williams by presenting the first fully realized studio version of her Zodiac Suite masterwork in collaboration with The Knights orchestral ensemble.

New Kassa Overall Video: GRAMMY-nominated alternative jazz drummer, producer and rapper Kassa Overall has released a new music video for “Going Up,” directed by Noah Porter. Watch it via the player below. “Going Up” is the final track from Kassa Overall’s newly-released Warp Records debut ANIMALS, and also features Ishmael Butler.

 

New Albums

Wadada Leo Smith, Fire Illuminations (Kabell): Trumpeter/composer Wadada Leo Smith debuts his new ensemble, Orange Wave Electric, on a new album recorded in a series of sessions and configurations, compiled through extensive post-production. Joining Smith on Fire Illuminations, released on March 31, are Nels Cline, Brandon Ross, Lamar Smith, Bill Laswell, Melvin Gibbs, Hardedge, Mauro Refosco and Pheeroan akLaff.

Noah Haidu, Standards (Sunnyside): Pianist/composer Noah Haidu celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette’s first standards album on his new recording, inspired by the trio’s work. Standards, released on June 23, features Haidu with Buster Williams, Peter Washington, Lewis Nash and guest saxophonist Steve Wilson and arrives on the heels of the pianist’s previous SLOWLY from 2021, which celebrated the genius of Keith Jarrett.

Skip Grasso, Becoming (Barking Coda): Becoming marks skilled Baltimore-based jazz guitarist Skip Grasso’s first album as the sole leader. Joined by Anthony Pocetti on piano, organ and electric piano, bassist Harvie S and drummer Billy Drummond, Grasso debuts eight of his compositions, ranging from swinging explorations to wistful ballads.

Tawanda, Smile (Resonance): Vocalist Tawanda first gained widespread recognition at the 9th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition in 2021. Her debut album, Smile, further showcases her talents as she takes on a broad and demanding repertoire, making its songs her own. The album finds her backed by a stellar band with Josh Nelson and Tamir Handelman on piano, plus bassist Kevin Axt, guitarist Anthony Wilson, saxophonist Gary Meek and others.

 

Live Music and Festival News

92NY Announces 2023/34 Jazz Concerts: The 92nd Street Y, New York, has announced concerts with some of the greatest names in jazz as part of the 2023/24 Tisch Music Concert season at the renowned cultural center, which is celebrating its historic 150th anniversary. Highlights include the world premiere of a new work by Cécile McLorin Salvant, the only joint appearance in New York City by Dianne Reeves, Chucho Valdés and Joe Lovano, and exclusive New York City performances by Joshua Redman and Pat Metheny for their new albums. More here.

Montclair Jazz Festival Announces 2023 Lineup for September 9 Downtown Jamboree: The 14th annual Montclair Jazz Festival, produced by Jazz House Kids, has announced the lineup for their 2023 Downtown Jamboree, which will take place on its final day, September 9. This year, headliners include Regina Carter, Antibalas, Steve Turre, Melanie Charles, Person to Person with Eric Person and Houston Person, Edmar Castaneda, Vince Ector, Michael Mwenso and the Shakes, Jazz House Collective and Christian McBride, the festival’s music director and curator. More here.

Registration for the 12th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition is Now Open: The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) continues to accept submissions for its 12th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. Solo vocalists from around the world are encouraged to submit their entries before September 5, 2023. The Top Five Finalists will be announced, followed by a star-studded final performance on the iconic NJPAC stage. Apply here.

Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids Bandcamp Live Performance: Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids will broadcast an exclusive concert for Bandcamp Live on August 2. Performed at Bandcamp’s HQ in San Francisco, the show will feature tracks from their new album, Afro Futuristic Dreams, and will be followed by a live Q&A session, with Idris Ackamoor reflecting on his 50 years fronting The Pyramids. Watch here.

Featured photo courtesy of Brainfeeder.

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