Johnathan Blake, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus & 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.



Johnathan Blake to Release Blue Note Debut Album: Drummer Johnathan Blake is set to make his Blue Note debut with Homeward Bound, due out October 29. The record will feature him with Immanuel Wilkins, Joel Ross, David Virelles and Dezron Douglas. The announcement coincides with the release of its first single, a poignant title track, written for Ana Grace Marquez-Greene, the daughter of saxophonist Jimmy Greene and flutist Nelba Marquez-Greene who perished in the Sandy Hook tragedy nearly a decade ago. You can listen to it via the player below and pre-order the album HERE.


Experimental Jazz Collective High Pulp Signs With ANTI-: Seattle-based experimental jazz collective High Pulp has signed with the ANTI- label. The announcement coincides with the release of their new single, “Motel Money,” featuring the innovative jazz trumpeter Takuya Kuroda. High Pulp was formed in 2017 and is currently in the process of releasing three volumes of covers EPs, where they take on compositions by Alice Coltrane, Casiopea, Pharoah Sanders and more. The third volume will be released on November 26’s Record Store Day.


Miles Davis Panel Discussion Livestream: On September 23, Qobuz and Rhino Records will present a panel discussion on the recently released recording of Miles Davis, Merci, Miles! Live at Vienne, from his final tour in France on July 1, 1991. The panel will be livestreamed and will focus on the trumpet legend’s stellar career, his relationship with France and the exciting music he was still delivering in the final years of his life. Panelists include sidemen from that band (keyboardist Deron Johnson and bassist Richard Patterson), current bandleader/drummer of Miles Electric Band and Miles’ nephew Vince Wilburn Jr., and French music historians/producers Vincent Bessieres and Florence Joelle. Find out more here.


Landmark Charles Mingus Albums Get Audiophile Vinyl Treatment: Two Charles Mingus historic albums – The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady (1963) and Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus (1964) – are set to be reissued on vinyl as part of Verve/UMe’s Acoustic Sounds series. The series features transfers from analog tapes and remastered 180-gram vinyl in deluxe gatefold packaging. Mingus’ albums will be released on October 29 and are available for pre-order HERE.


Kurt Elling Releases Fourth Single from Forthcoming Album: GRAMMY-winning vocalist Kurt Elling has released “Can’t Make It With Your Brain,” the fourth single from SuperBlue, due out in October 8 via Edition Records. The album is Elling’s collaboration with guitarist Charlie Hunter and Butcher Brown’s Corey Fonville and DJ Harrison. You can listen to the track via the player below and pre-order SuperBlue HERE.


Album Announcements

Abdullah Ibrahim, Solotude (Gearbox): NEA Jazz Master Abdullah Ibrahim has shared his beautiful, nostalgia-tinged solo piano piece “Blue Bolero.” This is the first single from Solotude, his solo piano full length recorded at Ibrahim’s latest birthday concert at Germany’s Hirzinger Hall. The piano legend’s solo performance perfectly lends itself to the venue’s renowned acoustics. Solotude is due out November 13 on Gearbox and you can pre-order it HERE.


Roseanna Vitro, Sing a Song of Bird – The Music of Charlie Parker (Skyline): Roseanna Vitro collaborates with three of her mentors – Bob Dorough (sadly no longer with us), Sheila Jordan and Marion Cowings – for a celebration of the music of bebop legend Charlie Parker. Vitro’s 15th full-length is split into two sessions and finds them reinterpreting six of the groundbreaking saxophonist’s compositions with the lyrics. Sing a Song of Bird is out on September 24 via Skyline Records.


Chuck Owen and The Jazz Surge, Within Us (Summit): Within Us is the seventh album from Florida-based composer/bandleader Chuck Owen. It celebrates his GRAMMY-nominated band The Jazz Surge’s 25th-anniversary and showcases six Owen originals, along with takes on Chick Corea and Miles Davis compositions. Due out September 17 via Summit Records, it also finds the 19-piece ensemble joined by special guest vibraphonist Warren Wolf. Pre-order it here.


Adam Hawley, Risin’ Up (MBF): R&B and jazz guitarist Adam Hawley released his fourth album as a leader, Risin’ Up, on September 10. This is also his second release on his MBF Entertainment label and features collaborations with Steve Coole, Vincent Ingala, Julian Vaughn, Riley Richard and Kat Hawley. “Like many others, I found myself at home with a great deal of time on my hands and spent most of it in the studio writing, experimenting with new sounds and exploring my creativity,” explains Hawley via a press release. Pre-order Risin’ Up here.


Live Music and Festival News

Live Series to Support NYC Iconic Venue 55 Bar: A group of New York City musicians has organized an all-star series of shows to help 55 Bar stay afloat, as the city’s iconic jazz venue is swamped with expenses from the 14 months it remained closed due to COVID. The series will run on September 23-October 2 and confirmed performers include Chris Potter, Nir Felder, Mike Stern, Antonio Sánchez with Donny McCaslin. Check out the full schedule here. 55 Bar will also be launching a fundraiser in the coming weeks.


Jazzmeia Horn Album Release Show at NY’s Joe’s Pub: Jazzmeia Horn has shared the video for “Let Us (Take Our Time),” a track from her new album, Dear Love, released on September 10. The record marks her big band debut. Order it here. Horn has also confirmed that she will perform an album release show at New York’s Joe’s Pub on November 16 and 20. Tickets here.


Libby York Birthday Concert Performances: Acclaimed vocalist Libby York will celebrate her birthday with performances at Chicago’s Winters Jazz Club (September 15), Ann Arbor’s Kerrytown Concert House (September 19) and New York City’s Mezzrow (October 5). The shows will feature renditions of Great American Songbook compositions, from the most loved to the most obscure. York is also set to record a new album with guitarist Randy Napoleon, bassist Rodney Whitaker, and drummer Keith Hall following these performances.


New Orleans and Ascona to Officially Become Sister Cities: The towns of New Orleans and Ascona, Switzerland, will sign official documents that will lead to a formal linking of the two municipalities. The agreement will be celebrated on September 25 in Ascona with both mayors in attendance. The event will include the unveiling of an important graffiti artwork on one of Ascona’s biggest squares and a performance by a “Sister City Band,” symbolically composed of musicians from New Orleans and the Swiss Ticino region. The band will feature Adonis Rose, Adrian Rosson and Lemetria Dillon, among others.


Pat Metheny World Tour Begins: The long-awaited Pat Metheny SIDE-EYE world tour is set to begin on September 15 at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia, Washington. The tour will continue for much of the next year with over 100 dates currently announced and a band consisting of pianist/organist/keyboadist James Francies and drummer Joe Dyson. European shows will follow next Spring and Summer. Click here for more.

Featured photo by David Ellis.

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