Julian Lage, Blue Note, Cyrille Aimée & 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.



Jazz Congress at Jazz at Lincoln Center: Jazz at Lincoln Center will produce and host Jazz Congress, returning after a two-year hiatus as a one-day event on January 11, 2024. Jazz Congress is a conference designed to bring together artists, media professionals and industry leaders across the global jazz scene to exchange ideas that nurture and grow both the jazz community and the underlying businesses and organizations that promote, produce, present and support the music. Register here.

New Boxed Set Traces Memphis Blues History: On November 29, Bear Family Records will release The Memphis Blues Box – Original Recordings 1914-1969. This new 20-CD boxed set features 534 tracks tracing the blues as recorded by Memphis-area musicians and singers. Among the hundreds of performers included are W.C. Handy, the Memphis Stompers, Memphis Minnie, Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, Elvis Presley, Ike and Tina Turner, and many more. The set is accompanied by a 360-page book with essays, biographies and notes on each recording.

Blue Note Announces 2024 Tone Poet Reissues: Blue Note Records has announced the 2024 lineup for the Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series. The series is produced by “Tone Poet” Joe Harley and features definitive all-analog vinyl reissues of acknowledged treasures of the Blue Note catalog, as well as underrated classics, modern-era standouts and albums from other labels under the Blue Note umbrella, including Pacific Jazz, Transition and United Artists. Newly announced titles begin January 5, at the start of Blue Note’s 85th anniversary year, with the release of Elvin Jones’ Poly-Currents (1969) and Lou Donaldson’s Midnight Creeper (1968). More here.

Desert Blues Architect Abdallah Oumbadougou Compilation: Petulama Records has announced the March 1 release of Amghar: The Godfather of Tuareg Music – VOL. 1. This is a compilation of both classic and previously unreleased tracks from Abdallah Oumbadougou, the Saharan-born Tuareg guitarist and originating architect of the “Desert Blues” genre. The announcement coincides with the release of “Le Iwitian Ourgueza Gueakelen,” one of the tracks from the compilation, which you can hear via the player below.

Kevin Whitehead’s New Dutch Swing Returns as E-Book: Music writer Kevin Whitehead’s 1998 long-out-of-print study of Amsterdam’s creative music scene, New Dutch Swing, returns as an expanded 25th-anniversary e-book. Reporting on dozens of concerts, club dates, jam sessions and theatrical evenings from around the Netherlands, digging into the archives and rare recordings, Whitehead catches the whirl of a whole vibrant scene, combining history, oral history, music criticism, sociology, and tips for contemporary improvisers. The book also features interviews and biographies of several Dutch musicians, expatriates and international fellow travelers.


New Albums

Elsa Nilsson’s Band of Pulses, Pulses (ears&eyes): On Pulses, flutist/composer Elsa Nilsson explores the intersection between jazz and communication, alongside her new group, Band of Pulses. Released on October 6, the album highlights the subtle melodic development and deep groove in Dr. Maya Angelou’s reading of her poem, “On the Pulse of Morning,” bringing to light the full depth of her sonic and poetic brilliance.

Vincent Hsu, Music for the River Jazz Suite: The Spirit of Love River & Mississippi River (Truth Revolution): Bassist/composer Vincent Hsu explores the connections between his hometown’s Love River in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and the iconic Mississippi River, a key influence on jazz, in his latest album, Music for the River Jazz Suite: The Spirit of Love River & Mississippi River. This remarkable album, featuring Afro-Cuban elements and recorded live at Taiwan’s Weiwuying Recital Hall, represents the debut of Hsu’s compositions with a large ensemble.

Júlio Resende Fado Jazz, Sons of the Revolution (ACT): In his newest musical endeavor, Sons of the Revolution, the accomplished pianist Júlio Resende passionately delves into the historic Carnation Revolution, a pivotal event that granted freedom to the Portuguese people and marked the conclusion of colonial wars in Angola and Mozambique. Through this album, Resende skillfully blends the essence of fado and jazz, returning to his mesmerizing fusion of musical genres.

Jeremy Dutton, Anyone Is Better Than Here (self-released): Drummer Jeremy Dutton, a celebrated sideman renowned for his contributions to the work of his peers Joel Ross and James Francies, showcases his compositional prowess and singular style on his debut album. Released on June 16, Anyone Is Better Than Here, produced alongside Kendrick Scott, establishes Dutton as the pulse of a new generation of young lions within the jazz idiom and is described via a press release as “a coming-of-age story that reflects [his] commitment to self-acceptance as a means of growth.”


Live Music and Festival News

Cyrille Aimée at Birdland: Vocalist Cyrille Aimée will return to New York City’s Birdland with a unique all-Latin repertoire, showcasing her Dominican heritage, on November 28-30 and December 1-2. Tickets here. The vocalist will perform with an international band from New Orleans, featuring Cuban pianist Victor Campbell, Dominican percussionist Jafet Perez, and New York-based bassist Tyrone Allen.

New Julian Lage Single and Tour Dates: Julian Lage, whose most recent album The Layers has been nominated for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album at the 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards, has released “Omission.” This is a new single and preview from his forthcoming album, Speak to Me, which will be released via Blue Note Records in early 2024. Listen to it via the player below. The single’s release coincides with the guitarist’s announcement of upcoming tour dates across the United States and Europe in Spring 2024. The tour will include a concert at New York’s Town Hall, a performance at the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee, and stops in Paris, London, Amsterdam, Berlin and more. Check out all upcoming tour dates here.

Tyreek McDole Wins the 12th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition: The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) announced Tyreek McDole as the winner of the 12th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, which took place as part of the NJPAC’s TD James Moody Jazz Festival. This marks the second time a male vocalist won in the contest’s 12-year history. The 23-year-old Haitian-American vocalist, the recipient of a $5,000 cash prize, wowed a panel of distinguished judges with his renditions of “September in the Rain” and two blues songs, “Lush Life” and “Every Day I Have the Blues.” More here.

Arts for Art Presents Out Music Festival, January 29-February 4: Arts for Art will present Out Music Festival on January 29-February 4 at Theater for the New City, New York City. The festival centers around featured artists pushing forward their work to convey a message of hope in the midst of societal and political distress. Featured artists will include Tony Malaby, Tomeka Reid, William Parker, Ava Mendoza and more. More here.


Featured photo by Alysse Gafkjen.

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