Melissa Aldana, Diana Krall, GoGo Penguin & 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.



Strut to Reissue Landmark Mulatu Astatke Album: On May 10, Strut is set to reissue Mulatu Astatke’s Mulatu of Ethiopia as a special 2-LP set pressed on opaque white vinyl. The album was originally recorded in 1972 and marked a juncture in Astatke’s musical journey, which found him fusing various styles to craft the distinctive genre known as Ethio-jazz. Mulatu of Ethiopia’s reissue coincides with Strut’s celebration of its 25th anniversary.

Melissa Aldana Shares Live Performance Video: Melissa Aldana has shared a video of a live performance of her band performing “Unconscious Whispers” at ‘musig im pflegidach’ in Muri, Switzerland. Watch it via the player below. “Unconscious Whispers” is one of the tracks from the saxophonist’s latest Blue Note album, Echoes of the Inner Prophet, which we included in our list of ten new albums released in April 2024 that you need to know about.

Secretly Distribution Partners with Jazz Is Dead and Linear Labs: Secretly Distribution has announced new deals with Jazz Is Dead and Linear Labs, the two labels co-founded by producer and composer Adrian Younge, and A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad. The partnership encompasses past and future releases from Roy Ayers, Lonnie Liston Smith, Azymuth, Gary Bartz, Tony Allen and many more, that will now be distributed and supported by Secretly Distribution.

New Margo Guryan Box Set: Numero Group have announced the June 7 release of Words and Music, a 3xLP box set spanning the entirety of singer/songwriter Margo Guryan’s career and including 16 previously unreleased tracks. Among them, is 1956’s “Moon Ride,” her first known recording, which you can listen to via the player below. The box set is co-produced by Guryan’s stepson, Jonathan Rosner. All of its tracks have been remastered and the set comes with a 32-page booklet telling the late artist’s whole story.

Diana Krall Vinyl Reissue: On May 31, Verve will reissue Diana Krall’s cinematic collection of ballads and bossa nova songs, The Look of Love, as part of its Acoustic Sounds series of vinyl reissues. Originally released in 2001 and produced by Tommy LiPuma, The Look of Love pairs Krall’s elegant piano playing and sultry vocals with the London Symphony Orchestra, arranged and conducted by the legendary Claus Ogerman.

GoGo Penguin Release Surprise Live EP: GoGo Penguin have released a surprise EP, From the North – GoGo Penguin Live in Manchester, capturing a live session at Old Granada Studios in Manchester, U.K. The program features the break-beat minimalist trio’s fresh rearrangement of a selection of seven tracks from Between Two Waves (2022) and Everything Is Going to Be OK (2023).


New Albums

Brian Bromberg, LaFaro (Be Squared): In his latest album, bassist Brian Bromberg pays tribute to the legendary Scotty LaFaro, whose contributions to the classic Bill Evans Trio still reverberate to this day. LaFaro finds Bromberg sticking to upright basses and in the company of pianist Tom Zink and drummer Charles Ruggiero, as they perform a swinging program of classic compositions and one original track, “Scotty’s Song.”

Cliff Beach, You Showed Me the Way (California Soul): Vocalist Cliff Beach pays tribute to the Great American Songbook via 12 covers of classic songs and one original composition on his new album, You Showed Me the Way, inspired by the legendary Ella Fitzgerald. The arrangements on the album were created by Munenori “Moon” Kischi, with additional arrangements by Cliff Beach, bringing an invigorating blend of jazz, funk and soul that gives these classic songs a fresh and modern twist while staying true to their original essence. Click here to listen to our recent JAZZIZ Podcast conversation with Cliff Beach.

Norman Brown, It Hits Different (Shanachie): GRAMMY-winning guitarist Norman Brown, one of the busiest touring musicians on the contemporary jazz scene, offers a program of eleven original compositions on his 14th album as a bandleader, evocatively titled It Hits Different. Speaking about his latest recording, Brown shares via an official press release: “The music on this album expands my personality and artistic expression and it reveals additional elements of my characters.”

José James, 1978 (Rainbow Blonde): Vocalist José James expands on his musical boundaries on 1978, a new self-focused project highlighting his songwriting prowess, released on his Rainbow Blonde label. Delving into the essence of his birth year, James weaves together elements of the sound of the era and intertwines them with his jazz origins, creating a fusion that pays homage to past influences while embracing the present.


Live Music and Festival News

Inaugural Tilles Jazz Fest Announced for July 20: The first ever Tilles Jazz Fest, produced by the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center, will take place on four stages, including Tilles Center’s Concert Hall, across the Long Island University Post campus on July 20. The one-day event will be headlined by the Branford Marsalis Quartet. Eight other concerts will take place, including Matt Wilson’s Good Trouble, Brandee Younger and Sean Mason, among others. More here.

2024 Blue Note Jazz Festival Unveils Lineup: The Blue Note Jazz Club has unveiled the lineup for its 13th annual Blue Note Jazz Festival, which will feature performances by Wynton Marsalis, Andra Day, Corinne Bailey Rae, Yo La Tengo with the Sun Ra Arkestra and many more. Taking place from June 1-July 7, the festival will span five venues across New York City, including Sony Hall, SummerStage in Central Park, Town Hall, Brooklyn Bowl and performances in partnership with Jazz At Lincoln Center. More here.

William Parker to Receive Vision 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award: Arts for Art has announced that bass legend William Parker will be the recipient of the Vision 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award. The award will be presented to Parker at a special event held at the Roulette Intermedium in Brooklyn, New York, on June 18. The event is part of Art for Arts’ 2024 Vision Festival, which will take place from June 18-23. More here.

2024 Healdsburg Jazz Festival, June 15-23: Sonoma County’s premier summer music event, the Healdsburg Jazz Festival (HJF) returns to the heart of Northern California’s wine country for its 26th edition from June 15-23. The festival, directed by composer/bassist Marcus Shelby, will feature many of today’s top jazz greats and emerging artists, including Samara Joy, the Joshua Redman Quartet Featuring Gabrielle Cavassa, Ambrose Akinmusire Featuring Bill Frisell & Herlin Riley, Jazzmeia Horn with the Marcus Shelby Orchestra and many more. More here.

44th Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, June 27-July 6: The 44th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal will take place from June 27-July 6. The program will feature 350 concerts, two-thirds of which will be free of charge. Artists scheduled to perform include Norah Jones, Laufey, Robert Glasper, Al Di Meola, Ambrose Akinmusire, Joey Alexander and many more. More here.

2024 Charleston Jazz Festival, April 18-21: The Charleston Jazz Festival will take place in Charleston, South Carolina, from April 18-21. The festival will pay homage to the Holy City’s heritage as one of the earliest incubators of jazz with a diverse program of concert performances. Artists scheduled to perform include René Marie and Experiment in Truth, the Joshua Redman Group, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Arturo O’Farrill Latin Jazz Quintet, among others. More here.


Featured photo by Ebru Yildiz.

Like this article? Get more when you subscribe.

Join Our Newsletter
Join thousands of other jazz enthusiasts and get new music, artists, album, events and more delivered to your inbox.

The Authoritative Voice in Jazz