Lynne Arriale, PJ Morton, Norah Jones & 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.



Record Store Day 2024 Releases Announced: The list of exclusive and special releases for Record Store Day 2024, the global day of celebration of the culture of independent record stores, has been announced and includes albums of music by Sun Ra, Bill Evans, Yusef Lateef, Nat King Cole and many more. Click here to check out the full list. This year’s Record Store Day will take place on April 20.

New PJ Morton Memoir and Single: PJ Morton will release Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, a career-spanning memoir about embracing independence, defying expectations and straddling tensions of music, faith, race and culture. The memoir will arrive on November 12 via Worthy Publishing, an imprint of Hachette Book Group. Additionally, Morton released “Please Be Good,” the first single from his soon-to-be-released album, entirely written, and recorded during 30 days in Africa. Listen to “Please Be Good” via the player below.

Aki Takase Reissue: On April 5, BBE Music will reissue pianist Aki Takase’s Song for Hope as part of its J Jazz Masterclass series, curated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden, and exploring Japanese modern jazz from a golden period spanning the late 1960s to the mid-1980s. The album documents Tekase leading a trio with Takeo Moriyama on drums and Nobuyoshi Ino on bass at Takase’s debut European performance at the 1981 Berlin Jazz Festival and was originally released the following year on Enja Records.

New Norah Jones Single and Video: Norah Jones recently shared her spirited new song, “Staring at the Wall,” along with an accompanying video, which was directed by Jones and Kyle Pass, and features studio footage, as well as Norah’s handwritten lyrics. Watch it via the player below. The song, co-written by Jones and producer Leon Michaels, is the second track to be revealed from her upcoming album, Visions, which will be released on March 8 via Blue Note Records.

Earliest Recordings of Paco de Lucía and Brother Pepe Out Soon: BMG has joined forces with the Paco de Lucía Foundation to rescue and release a treasure trove of previously unreleased recordings featuring Flamenco masters Paco de Lucía and his older brother, Pepe. The recordings on Pepito Y Paquito harken back to the years 1959 and 1960 when the brothers were 13 and 11 years old. Utilizing cutting-edge AI technology, these historic recordings were restored from a vintage Grundig TK46 tape recorder. Leading the way are the singles “Bulería Niño Ricardo” and “Me Falta la Resistencia,” offering a glimpse into the forthcoming album set to debut on May 17 across CD, vinyl, and digital platforms.


New Albums

Yosef Gutman Levitt, The World and Its People (Soul Song): Bassist Yosef Gutman Levitt advances his fearless creative journey on his latest album, The World and Its People, released on his newly-formed Soul Song Records and compiling a program of originals co-written with and arranged by producer Gilad Ronen. The record finds Levitt on upright bass and five-string acoustic bass guitar, leading a drumless, chamber jazz and newgrass quartet, performing a program of beautiful melodies.

Stella Bass, Look for the Silver Lining (self-released): Look for the Silver Lining is the new album by Stella Bass, one of Ireland’s leading vocal jazz talents, accompanied by the Johnny Taylor Trio, plus special guests. This is a collection of fresh, confident interpretations of American Songbook classics and original compositions, ranging from Latin grooves to ballads and vivacious swing, reflecting the challenging times the world collectively faced in 2020 and expressing sentiments of defiance and positivity in the face of widespread hardships.

DJ Harrison, Shades of Yesterday (Stones Throw): DJ Harrison looks back to his upbringing in Richmond, Virginia, and nods to the influence of some of his musical heroes on his album of covers, Shades of Yesterday. This new solo effort finds the multi-instrumentalist and producer paying a personal tribute to the artists who have inspired him most, including Eddie Henderson, Vince Guaraldi, Stevie Wonder and many more.

Richard Nelson and the Makrokosmos Orchestra, Dissolve (Adhyâropa): Dissolve is the inaugural album from the 15-piece Makrokosmos Orchestra, co-led by guitarist Richard Nelson and saxophonist Tim O’Dell. Through a dynamic three-part suite composed by Nelson, they merge influences from modern jazz and contemporary classical music and navigate between ambitious composition and adventurous improvisation.


Live Music and Festival News

47th Freihofer Saratoga Jazz Festival, June 29-30: The 47th Annual Freihofer Saratoga Jazz Festival will return to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York, on June 29-30. The festival will feature a roster of 22 musical groups and ten festival debuts and will be co-headlined by Lake Street Dive, Norah Jones, Laufey and Samara Joy. Stanley Clarke, Terence Blanchard, Yussef Dayes, Joey Alexander, Cimafunk and many others are also scheduled to perform. More here.

New Lynne Arriale Album and Tour Dates: Pianist and composer Lynne Arriale will celebrate the release of her new album, Being Human, with a 15-date tour on March 5-24, including stops at New Orleans, Orlando, Chicago, Indianapolis, Washington, D.C. and more. Check out all upcoming tour dates here. Being Human, her 17th album as a leader and latest full-length with her trio with bassist Alon Near and drummer Lukasz Zyta will be released on March 1 via Challenge Records and is described via an official press release as “a suite of 10 original compositions celebrating the ways that our lives are enriched by acts of passion, courage, love, persistence, heart, soul, curiosity, faith and joy.”

The High Society New Orleans Jazz Band Residency at Birdland Theater: The High Society New Orleans Jazz Band will enter a residency at New York’s Birdland Theater on March 7, performing every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. More here. The ensemble, led by trumpeter Simon Wettenhall and pianist Conal Fowkes, has graced prestigious stages across Europe and the United States, and its members have contributed their musical prowess to several iconic Woody Allen movies.

Music at the Intersection, September 14-15: Music at the Intersection will return for its fourth year on September 14-15 in St. Louis, Missouri. During the weekend, more than 50 national, regional and local artists are scheduled to perform across four stages throughout Grand Center Arts District’s outdoor festival footprint. Announced headliners include Black Pumas, Chaka Khan, Trombone Shorty, Big Boi and esperanza spalding. More here.

Bryan Carter at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room: Bryan Carter will lead his Jazz at Pride Orchestra to present “Rustin in Renaissance,” his four-movement meditation on the legacy of singer and activist Bayard Rustin, at the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room in New York City on March 15-16. Tickets here. Carter will be leading his 31-piece ensemble across different musical eras, exploring the complete lineage of Black American music through the ethos of jazz musicians. Carter recently received a GRAMMY and Tony for his work on Some Like It Hot, a Broadway music based on the Billy Wilder film of the same name.

Nicholas Payton Trio at Boston’s Scullers Jazz Club, March 15: Trumpeter, keyboardist and composer Nicholas Payton will be performing two shows at Boston’s Scullers Jazz Club on March 15. Tickets here. Payton will perform alongside Braylon Lacy on bass and Corey Fonville on drums. The concert follows Payton’s most recent album, Drip, released via his label, Paytone Records, and offers new takes on six previously recorded original compositions.


Featured photo by Cedric Tang.

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