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.
PizzaExpress to Launch Its Own Record Label: U.K.’s PizzaExpress will launch its own record label in conjunction with its live music arm, PizzaExpress Live. PX Records will release albums from new and established stars of the jazz and soul scene, alongside a selection of music from PizzaExpress Live’s extensive archive live recordings. The first run of releases will feature albums from U.S. saxophonist Scott Hamilton and British soul outfit Mamas Gun, among others. More here.
New Amon Tobin Video: Amon Tobin has released “Metropole” under a new visual arts alias, Shy1, as the second in a series of video films released by Nomark throughout 2023. “Metropole” presents an uneasy vision of the future where, as stated in an official press release, “an uncannily human figure wrought from stone delivers an unnerving performance from an observation laboratory made by a higher intelligence.” Watch it via the player below.
Contemporary Records Acoustic Sounds Vinyl Reissue Series Continues: Craft Recordings and Acoustic Sounds have announced seven new titles in their acclaimed Contemporary Records Acoustic Sounds series, celebrating the iconic jazz Contemporary jazz label. These latest reissues include choice albums from Ornette Coleman, André Previn, Phineas Newborn, Jr., Art Farmer, Leroy Vinnegar and Curtis Counce. All albums are available for pre-order today, with release dates beginning May 19 through the end of 2023.
Walter Smith III “River Styx” Live Performance Video: “River Styx” is a new track from Walter Smith III’s Blue Note debut, return to casual. Watch a live quintet performance video of the track via the player below. “River Styx” is the third single from return to casual, featuring trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, pianist Taylor Eigsti, guitarist Matt Stevens, bassist Harish Raghavan, and drummer Kendrick Scott.
Surprise Mark Guiliana Album Out Soon: Drummer Mark Guiliana will release a new surprise album, Mischief, on April 28, featuring music recorded during the same sessions as his 2022 album, the sound of listening. Representing a different side of the same coin, Mischief is a lively and spontaneous recording that, as Mark explains via an official statement, operates as a “sonic photograph of the band,” featuring Chris Morrissey, Shai Maestro and Jason Rigby.
Kendrick Scott, Corridors (Blue Note): Drummer/composer Kendrick Scott’s new trio album with Walter Smith III and bassist Reuben Rogers was born during the pandemic lockdown and focuses on posing outward questions instead of inward contemplation. Originally commissioned by Rio Sakairi for The Jazz Gallery’s 2020 Artist Fellowship Series, Corridors features eight original compositions and one new arrangement of a beloved tune from the Bobby Hutcherson canon.
DoomCannon, Renaissance (Brownswood): Having collaborated with several improvised-jazz-inspired outfits, London-based composer/producer/multi-instrumentalist DoomCannon is set to release his solo debut full-length statement, Renaissance, on July 15. The politically-charged record confronts a wide range of uncomfortable subjects and social injustices and showcases DoomCannon’s free jazz compositions and new contemporary flare.
Dominic Miller, Vagabond (ECM): Vagabond marks guitarist Dominic Miller’s third album on ECM. Described as “his most poetic tale to date” via a press release, Vagabond finds the artist creating striking melancholic textures, fronting a quartet with pianist Jacok Karlzon, bassist Nicolas Fiszman and drummer Ziv Ravitz.
Bobby Watson, Back Home in Kansas City (Smoke Sessions): Saxophonist/composer Bobby Watson draws inspiration from the rich heritage of his Kansas City hometown on his spirited new album. Back Home in Kansas City was released on October 7 on Smoke Sessions Records and features an all-star quintet with Jeremy Pelt, Cyrus Chestnut, Curtis Lundy and Victor Jones, plus a special guest appearance by singer Carmen Lundy.
Live Music and Festival News
Newport Jazz Festival Unveils 2023 Lineup: The Newport Jazz Festival will return to Fort Adams State Park in Rhode Island on August 4-6 for its 69th anniversary edition. This year’s festival lineup features Herbie Hancock, Diana Krall, Charles Lloyd, Vijay Iyer, Samara Joy, Arooj Aftab, plus Newport jazz artistic director Christian McBride’s annual Jam Jawn and much more. Click here for more information.
JazzAscona, June 22-July: JazzAscona will returns to Ascona, Switzerland, on June 22-July 1. The 39th edition of the festival will offer a rich program with some 200 concerts and 350 invited artists. The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, China Moses, John Boutté and Stefano Di Battista are among the stars scheduled to perform. Swiss saxophonist Christoph Grab will receive the Swiss Jazz Awards 2023 during the festival for his artistic merits on June 24. More here.
Mika Stoltzman at Carnegie Hall, May 2: Premier marimbist Mika Stoltzman will return to New York’s Carnegie Hall for the eleventh time in a one-night-only concert on May 2. Program highlights will include four commissioned works by Geoffrey Keezer, Joel Ross, John Zorn and Chick Corea, as well as pieces by Bach, Keith Jarrett and more. Tickets here.
Sun Ra Arkestra at Toronto’s TONE Festival: The Sun Ra Arkestra will be performing in Toronto as part of the fifth TONE Festival at the Great Hall on June 28. Tickets here. Founded in Chicago in 1955 by Sun Ra, the eponymous, evolving ensemble became an early and illustrious bastion for free jazz performance. The group embodies a caliber of musicianship whose mythic proportions are given plasmic substance by decades of astonishing live and recorded work.
Free Symphonic Jazz Orchestra and Keyon Harrold Concert in Long Beach, May 7: The 68-member Symphonic Jazz Orchestra, currently celebrating its 20th anniversary year, will present a free community concert on May 7 at the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach, California. The ARTS FOR LIFE concert will feature the orchestra, conducted by music director Mitch Glickman, plus special guest trumpeter/composer Keyon Harrold performing his original music. More here.
Featured photo courtesy of Blue Note Records.
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