Kurt Elling, Pat Metheny, Miles Davis & 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.

Note-Worthy

Felipe Salles to Release Multimedia Project Capturing Experiences of Dreamers in America: Saxophonist/composer Felipe Salles is set to release The New Immigrant Experience, a new major multimedia work inspired by the lives of the “Dreamers” – the almost 700 individuals by the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The New Immigrant Experience, due out on March 20 via Tapestry, is a two-CD/DVD set featuring the 18-piece Felipe Salles Interconnections Ensemble performing compositions based on the compelling personal stories gathered through interviews conducted by Salles with a group of nine Dreamers. The work premiered in April 2018 in New York City and Massachusetts and was subsequently recorded in the studio. The recording was then recombined with live video excerpts.

Jason Palmer Announces New Album: Trumpeter/composer Jason Palmer has announced the release of his new album, The Concert: 12 Musings for Isabella, on March 18 via Giant Step Arts. The album takes the form of a suite inspired by the history-making 1990 art theft at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. It also marks the debut of Palmer’s all-star quintet featuring Mark Turner, with Joel Ross, Kendrick Scott and Edward Perez.

Miles Davis Documentary Broadcast on PBS, February 25: American Masters will present the broadcast premiere of Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, a documentary on the life of jazz legend Miles Davis, on February 25 (check local listings for time). The clip from the film that you can watch via the player below looks at how the trumpet great recorded tune after tune in order to fulfill his contractual obligation to Prestige Records and recorded gems of jazz spontaneity in the process. In addition, Columbia/Legacy will release the soundtrack album of the Grammy-nominated film – Music From and Inspired by “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool,” a Film by Stanley Nelson – on February 21. Watch it on Amazon.

The Cinematic Orchestra to Release Remix Collection: The Cinematic Orchestra are set to release To Believe Remixes as a digital album on March 6 and as a double-LP on April 24. To Believe Remixes is a carefully curated collection of remixes and re-works of tracks from The Cinematic Orchestra’s To Believe, released last year. Artists featured on this collection include Actress and Moiré, Kelly Moran and Dorian Concept, to name but a few. Also included is The Cinematic Orchestra’s own remix of “Zero One/This Fantasy,” which you can listen to via the player below.

Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes Announce Collaborative Album: Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes have announced the release of an upcoming collaborative album. What Kinda Music will be released on April 24 via the legendary Blue Note label. The announcement comes with the release of its title track as a single and first taster for the LP, showcasing music that flows through sleek electronica, progressive jazz, vintage hip-hop and more. You can listen to “What Kinda Music” via the player below.

The Gig: Live Music & More

JAZZ ROOTS Presents Kurt Elling, February 21: The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County continues its 12th season of JAZZ ROOTS concerts with “A Century of Jazz Giants: Kurt Elling Sings Armstrong, Eckstine, Cole and Hendricks.” The show will feature vocalist Kurt Elling breathing new life into beloved jazz standards and will take place on February 21 in the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall, with vocalist René Marie opening for Elling. “Kurt Elling is a brilliant and fearless artist,” says Shelly Berg, JAZZ ROOTS Artistic Advisor, via a press release. “He takes the listener on a journey from poignant beauty to overwhelming excitement.”

Photo by Anna Webber.

8-Bit Big Band @ Boston’s Berklee Performance Center: The 8-Bit Big Band returns to Boston’s Berklee Performance Center on March 1. This highly acclaimed 33-piece ensemble is directed by Charlie Rosen and presents the bandleader’s original arrangements of some of the world’s most popular video game music. “The crowd reaction when we play our versions of themes from favorites such as Mario, Tetris and Legend of Zelda is overwhelming, not just because it’s amazing music on its own but also because of the strong memories and nostalgia evoked in an audience that played these games throughout childhood,” explains Rosen.

Arts for Art Celebrates 25th-Anniversary with “Sound of Justice”: Arts for Art celebrates 25 years of programming with “Sound of Justice,” a night of intergenerational free jazz and Afrofuturism that will feature both the Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen and William Parker’s Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield. Both ensembles are steeped in a commitment to the ideals of music and art as agents of social change, exemplifying the very ethos of Arts for Art. “Sound of Justice”’ will take place at The Town Hall in New York City on March 4.

Frost Music Live Concert Series Celebrates Black History Month: Frost Music Live Concert Series will celebrate Black History Month with a special concert featuring members of their faculty honoring the history of the Spiritual. The event is called “Lieder-Spirituals-Jazz: In Honor of Black History Month,” and will take place on February 24 at the UM Gusman Concert Hall in Coral Gables, Florida. Featured artists are vocalist Jeannette Thompson in recital with Valerie Coleman on flute, Melvin Butler on saxophone, Alan Johnson and Dean Shelly Berg on piano.

The Festival Guide

Ivan Neville, George Porter, Jr., Anders Osborne and Stanton Moore Join Together During New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival: Ivan Neville, George Porter Jr., Anders Osborne and Stanton Moore will come together for a one-night-only show during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on April 29 at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. The show is titled “Songbook Live” and will feature the four artists performing songs from throughout their individual repertoires as well as music by those who influenced them while sharing the stories, memories and insights behind the music. The evening will also see Porter receiving the 2nd annual Songbook Award, recognizing his contribution to New Orleans’ music and culture. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit The New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic and 30Amp Circuit.

New Release Cheat Sheet

Pat Metheny, From This Place (Nonesuch)

From This Place is guitarist/composer Pat Metheny’s first album of new material since 2014. It features ten brand new compositions performed with his acclaimed touring band of the last years and The Hollywood Studio Symphony Orchestra, as well as special guests.

Elsa Nilsson, Hindsight (Bumble Bee)

Flutist/composer Elsa Nilsson’s Hindsight is a direct reaction to the current political climate and reflects the urgency of her generation. Each of its tracks comes from the rhythmic structure of chants heard at Women’s Marches and is a riveting mix of rock, jazz improv and the compositional structure of classical music.

Mike Bond, The Honorable Ones (Bounce Castle)

Pianist/composer Mike Bond composed and arranged ten of the twelve songs on The Honorable Ones. The album features him alongside a multi-generational unit of New York-based first-callers and is a real showcase for his sophisticated compositional skills as well as abundant piano chops.

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