Kurt Elling, Record Store Day, Corinne Bailey Rae & 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.



Maston and L’Eclair Share New Track, “Ghost”: Composer/producer Frank Maston has shared “Ghost,” a new single from his collaborative full-length Souvenir with Geneva-based band L’Eclair. The record builds on their mutual understanding and appreciation for the loungey, groovy world of library and soundtrack music from the seventies. “The song is both reflective and optimistic, and all-around a feel-good tune,” says Maston about “Ghosts” via an official statement. Souvenir will be released on September 10 on Innovative Leisure/Calico Discos. Pre-order it here.


Second Date for Record Store Day 2021, July 17: The second date for this year’s Record Store Day, the annual event celebrating the culture of independently owned record stores via exclusive and limited edition vinyl releases, is set to take place later this month on July 17. Jazz RSD drops announced for this date include music by Miles Davis, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Christian McBride and Charlie Parker, among others. Click here for more.

New Irma Thomas Documentary: WYES has partnered with The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation and Michael Murphy Productions to produce a forthcoming documentary on the life of Irma Thomas, OffBeat reports. The 90-minute program will include an extensive interview with the Soul Queen of New Orleans, as well as commentary from many of her colleagues, plus archival performances and rare photos. New Orleans’ Own Irma Thomas: Her Life in Music is slated to air in October 2021.


Janelle Monáe Signs With Sony Music Publishing: Sony Music Publishing has announced the signing of Grammy-nominated, genre-defiant singer/songwriter Janell Monáe to an exclusive, worldwide administration agreement. “As an artist who is constantly reinventing myself, I feel like I’m just getting started,” said Janelle Monáe via a statement.”I am excited about partnering with Big Jon and the rest of my new Sony family to help shape the future of music in the record industry as well as the fashion, and tv and film space.”


Jeff Berlin Launches GoFundMe Campaign for Jack Bruce Tribute Album: Bass icon Jeff Berlin has launched a GoFundMe campaign for a new tribute album to rock legend and Cream founder Jack Bruce. The new album will be titled Jack Songs – An All-Star Tribute to Jack Bruce. “Jack’s solo career represented a multitude of musical styles,” says Berlin via a statement. “This recording will be a new revamp of some of those songs, some of the best music that I heard from one of the greatest musicians of the last 50 years.” Guest performers will include Scott Henderson, Ron Carter, Gary Husband, Sammy Hagar and more. Click here to help fund the project.


Corinne Bailey Rae Debut Album Vinyl Reissue: Singer/songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae’s acclaimed and award-winning 2006 self-titled debut album is set to be reissued on 180g vinyl for the first time since its original release. The album will be available on black vinyl, as well as a special edition brick-red version. The reissue will include the original tracklist and a bonus track titled “Another Rainy Day.” Pre-order it here.


Album Announcements

Kiefer, When There’s Love Around (Stones Throw): UCLA-trained beat-making pianist Kiefer has announced that he will release his new album, When There’s Love Around, on August 27 via Stones Throw. The album is dedicated to his grandmother and is characterized by his desire to express the intense emotion of “missing someone, wishing them well beyond life and Earth,” as he states via a press release. The announcement comes with the release of its first single and title track, a fresh take on the 1974 song by the Crusaders. Pre-order When There’s Love Around here.


Patricia Barber, Clique (Impex): Pianist/vocalist Patricia Barber is set to return with a brand new album, Clique, on August 6 via Impex. The collection features a new set of quartet renditions of standards and well-known songs that Barber has frequently performed as encore tunes throughout her career. It is also a follow-up to Nightclub, her acclaimed first all-standards album from 2000. Order Clique here.


Adi Meyerson, I Want to Sing My Heart Out in Praise of Life (self-released): Bassist/composer Adi Meyerson’s forthcoming new album, I Want to Sing My Heart Out in Praise of Life, is an adventurous six-part suite inspired by the work of legendary avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama, performed with a star-studded lineup. Pre-order it here. The album will be released on August 6 and that same evening, Meyerson will be celebrating its release at Minton’s in New York City.


David Sanford Big Band Featuring High Ragin, A Prayer for Lester Bowie (Greenleaf): Composer/arranger David Sanford’s new big band album, A Prayer for Lester Bowie, is out on September 24 on the Greenleaf Music label. The record also featured trumpeter Hugh Ragin. Aside from the title tribute to the late great trumpeter and co-founder of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, the LP comprises six characteristically kaleidoscopic Sanford compositions and a new arrangement of “Dizzy Atmospheres” by Dizzy Gillespie.


Live Music and Festival News

San Sebastián Jazz Festival, July 21-25: Jazzaldia, the jazz festival of San Sebastián in Spain and one of the oldest jazz festivals in Europe, will return on July 21-25, offering a total of 60 free and paying concerts in eight venues in total throughout the city. This year’s program will feature such artists as Brad Mehldau, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Kenny Barron, Marc Ribot and more. Click here for tickets and info.


NYC’s Drom Celebrates First Annual Jazz Festival: New York City’s East Village venue Drom has announced its new summer live jazz series, which will feature nine shows taking place over two separate weeks in July and August, from July 28 to August 22. The lineup features some of the city’s most dynamic performers, including Ravi Coltrane, Brianna Thomas and Juke Joint Jelis, Groove Collective, the Mingus Big Band, Stephane Wrembel’s The Django Experiment, Camille Thurman with the Darrell Green Trio and many more. Click here for more info.


Kurt Elling Featured Performer at 2021 Coltrane Jazzfest: Kurt Elling will be the featured performer for this year’s 10th Coltrane Jazzfest. The yearly celebration of jazz and blues honoring saxophone legend John Coltrane will take place on September 4-5, 2021, in Oak Hollow Festival Park, High Point, North Carolina. Other acts scheduled to perform during the two-day event include Chris Botti, Lakecia Benjamin and Tito Puente Jr., among others. Click here for more.


Featured photo: Anna Webber

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