Louis Armstrong, Eva Cassidy, Jessy J & 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.



Blue Note Announces New Run of Classic Vinyl Reissue Series Titles: Blue Note Records has announced the next run of titles for its popular Classic Vinyl Reissue Series, exploring the label’s extensive catalog with titles spanning many eras and styles of its eight-decade history. The newly-announced titles begin on January 20 with the release of two 1970s classics: Grant Green’s Green Is Beautiful and Bobby Hutcherson’s San Francisco, both originally released in 1970. Other highlights to follow include albums by Herbie Hancock, Robert Glasper, Cecil Taylor and more.

Louis Armstrong Back on Billboard Charts: Louis Armstrong’s first-ever Christmas album, Louis Wishes You a Cool Yule, debuted at No. 122 on the Billboard 200, becoming Armstrong’s highest charting album since Hello Dolly spent six weeks at No. 1 in 1964. The new collection, released on Verve/UMe, includes nearly all of Satchmo’s holiday offerings, plus a previously unreleased recording of a classic holiday poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” set to newly-recorded music by Sullivan Fortner.

Craft to Reissue Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis Seminal Cookbook Albums: Craft celebrates the centennial of Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis with a brand new, four-album collection featuring all the tenor saxophonist’s 1958 Cookbook albums, showcasing his creative partnership with organist Shirley Scott. Cookin’ with Jaws and the Queen: The Legendary Prestige Cookbook Albums comprises all four albums, originally produced by Rudy Van Gelder and newly remastered by Bernie Grundman. The set will be released on vinyl, CD and digital configurations on February 3.

New Album Pairs Eva Cassidy With London Symphony Orchestra: February 3, 2023, will see the release of a brand new album pairing Eva Cassidy’s voice with new arrangements from composer Christopher Willis, performed by the renowned London Symphony Orchestra. I Can Only Be Me will be released one day after what would have been Cassidy’s 60th birthday on Blix Street Records.

The Blues Foundation Announces Keeping the Blues Alive Inductees, Class of 2023: The Blues Foundation has announced its 2023 Keeping the Blues Alive Award honorees, saluting individuals and foundations who have played crucial roles in advancing the art and commerce of the blues. The Little Village Foundation, John Guregian, Marilyn Stringer, The Sierre Blues Festival, Franky Bruneel, Ron Wynn, Blue Front Cafe and Teddy’s Juke Joint will be honored at the Keeping the Blues Alive Awards brunch on January 27 in the Double Tree Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. The ceremony is part of The Blues Foundation’s 38th Annual International Blues Challenge week, which will take place on January 24-28.


New and Upcoming Album

Cameron Graves, Live from the Seven Spheres (Artistry/Mack Avenue): Pianist/composer Cameron Graves reconvenes his core quartet with guitarist Colin Cook, bassist Max Gerl and drummer Mike Mitchell to reimagine songs from his previous two studio albums (2021’s Seven and 2017’s Planetary Prince). Live from the Seven Spheres, released on April 8 on Artistry Music/Mack Avenue, also finds him expanding on his unique marriage of 1970s jazz-rock fusion and classical music.

Jessy J, California Christmas, Vol. 2 (Changi): Top contemporary Latin jazz saxophonist Jessy J has released her second collection of holiday favorites. California Christmas, Vol. 2 features an exciting cast of collaborators old and new, and aims to give listeners the feeling of being in a warmer, sunnier climate during the holiday season with its inventive and sizzling arrangements.

Various Artists, Blue Note Re:Imagined II (Blue Note): Blue Note Records released Blue Note Reimagined II on September 30, as part of its celebrated album series featuring reworked and newly-recorded Blue Note classics from an array of rising UK stars. The 16-track collection features such artists as Nubiyan Twist, Theon Cross, Yazz Ahmed, Binker Golding, Swindle and more, reimagining works by such artists as Wayne Shorter, Norah Jones, Thelonious Monk and Donald Byrd, among others.

Lynne Arriale Trio, The Lights Are Always On (Challenge): Pianist/composer Lynne Arriale’s 16th album as a leader, Lights Are Always On, presents a suite of ten evocative originals paying tributes to heroes and activists worldwide. Released on April 8 via Challenge Records, the album features her trio with bassist/co-producer Jasper Somsen and drummer E.J. Strickland. 


Live Music and Festival News

NJPAC’s Jazz for Teens Celebrates 25th Anniversary: The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) celebrates the 25th anniversary of its Jazz for Teens program, offering thousands of high schoolers from Newark and beyond music lessons and performance experiences. The 2022-23 school year is in full swing and accepting students for the Spring 2023 semester. The season will culminate with a special 25th-anniversary concert featuring performances by guest teachers and alumni on the NJPAC stage in May 2023. More here.

Matt Wilson Christmas Tree-O, New Single and Tour: Drummer Matt Wilson leads his Christmas Tree-O into their 12th holiday season with a new single, “Mariah Parusha!,” inspired by pop singer Mariah Carey and avant-garde saxophonist Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre. In support of the single, Christmas Tree-O will embark on their nine-date 2022 YULE DIG? Tour. Check out their upcoming tour dates here.

Rebel Babel Ensemble Presents Jazz for Peace: Rebel Babel Ensemble will present Jazz for Peace on December 2 at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. The performance includes musicians of various nationalities, evoking important jazz compositions centering around themes of peace and dialogue. The event is part of Sound Collage 2022. More here.

Slavo Rican Assembly Album Release Party: New York City-based septet Slavo Rican Assembly will hold an album release party for their recently-released album, Intercosmic, on December 13 at Manhattan’s Rockwood Music Hall. Tickets here. The band is the latest project from pioneering Slovenian-born saxophonist/composer Jan Kus and unites his extensive experience from the New York City Latin jazz scene with his traditional South Slavic roots.

Featured photo courtesy of W3 Public Relations.

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