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.
Gregory Porter Launches Cooking Series: Gregory Porter is launching a new six-episode cooking series on May 12 with The Infatuation and Zagat. Porter began his career in New York as a chef before he got discovered as a musician. The new series, called The PorterHouse with Gregory Porter, Presented with City, sees the GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter inviting viewers into his family kitchen in Bakersfield, California, to share his favorite recipes and the stories behind them.
Jim Watt Announces 1000w Jazz & Art Philanthropy Project: Artist Jim Watt aims to raise $100,000 through the sale of 1000 ink washes as part of his 1000w multimedia project. 100% of the proceeds from the sales will be distributed to jazz artists in need and particularly hard-hit by the pandemic. An advisory board made up of jazz luminaries has been set up to determine the recipients. A film directed by Danny Clinch described as “an artistic expression in and of itself inspired by the expressive nature of the ink washes,” with a score by trumpeter Antoine Drye and produced by David Spelman, will also be part of the project. The paintings will go on sale on May 14. Click here for more.
Alternative Guitar Summit Launches Label: The New York-based Alternative Guitar Summit has announced the launch of a new guitar-centric label named AGS Recordings, which will release its inaugural records on May 28. The label’s duo debut discs are by its two founders: Guitar Talk, an album of duets by Joel Harrison, and In Side, a solo album by Pirog. Click here for more on these AGS Recordings releases.
The Parallax View Soundtrack Out on Vinyl for the First Time Ever: Cinema Paradiso released Michael Small’s influential soundtrack to the 1974 political thriller The Parallax View, directed by Alan J. Pakula and starring Warren Beatty, on vinyl for the first time ever on May 7. The score is regarded as a benchmark in the sound of paranoia thrillers that dominated American cinema and TV in the ’70s. The music has been remastered and is available as a single LP, gatefold deluxe limited edition colored vinyl with liner notes and essays. Order it here.
Cécile McLorin Salvant to Raise Funds for GHESKIO in Haiti: Vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant has partnered with the Haitian Global Health Alliance to release an intimate fundraising performance, At Home, recorded in her Brooklyn loft. The video will be available for viewing from May 10-31, with all proceeds benefiting GHESKIO, a world-renowned public health organization serving patients in Haiti. Click here for more.
Edition Announces New Partnership with Dave Holland: Edition Records recently announced a new partnership with legendary bassist/composer/bandleader Dave Holland and his own imprint Dare2. As part of this new partnership, Edition will release Holland’s new trio album, Another Land, on May 28. Pre-order it here. We included it in our list of 10 albums released this month that you need to know about. Check out what other albums made the cut.
Miles Davis, Merci Miles! Live At Vienne (Rhino): A recording of one of Miles Davis’ final live performances will be released on June 25 via Rhino as part of their Black Music Month celebration. Merci Miles! Live at Vienne was recorded at the Jazz à Vienne festival in France, the same month he became a Knight of France’s Legion of Honor and just a few months before his passing. This electrifying, previously unreleased set includes two songs written by Prince: “Penetration” and “Jailbait.” Pre-order it here.
Orrin Evans, The Magic of Now (Smoke Sessions): Pianist Orrin Evans has announced the release of his 20th album as a leader, The Magic of Now, due out July 23 on Smoke Sessions. Recorded during the second weekend of December 2020, the album finds him leading a quartet of A-list partners, including bassist Vicente Archer, drummer Bill Stewart and saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins. Together, they generate an eight-piece program that exemplified state-of-the-art modern jazz, including three tunes apiece by the leader and Wilkins.
Paula Cole, American Quilt (Renew Records/BMG): Singer/producer Paula Cole’s forthcoming album, American Quilt, draws deeply from jazz traditions along with folk and blues. Due out on May 21 on Renew Records/BMG, it finds Cole exploring American history and musical roots traditions via interpretations of classic songs, plus one original, with stunning string arrangements and transcendental vocal performances. Pre-order it here.
Ricardo Silveira, Solo (Moondo): Renowned Brazilian guitarist Ricardo Silveira, a prolific recording and performing artist who has collaborated with such legends as Milton Nascimento, Gilberto Gil, Wayne Shorter and Diana Ross, among many others, released his first solo album, aptly titled Solo, on April 16. Described as an atmospheric, romantic album that pairs well with a glass of wine, the record features six of Silveira’s original tunes recorded on previous albums and reimagined, as well as songs by great Brazilian composers and a gorgeous rendition of Rodgers & Hart’s “My Romance.” Order it here.
Live Music and Festival News
Rockport Jazz Festival to Return as an In-Person Event: Rockport Music has announced that this summer, patrons will once again enjoy live music in-person at the Shalin Liu Performance Center. This includes the 2021 Rockport Jazz Festival, which will be held on July 29-August 1. Artists scheduled to perform include organist Joey DeFrancesco, pianist Christian Sands, saxophonist/singer Grace Kelly and guitarist/singer John Pizzarelli. Click here for more.
Lauren Lee Album Release Concert: Vocalist/pianist Lauren Lee will be celebrating the release of her new record, The Queen of Cups, on May 17 at the Soapbox Gallery in Brooklyn. The concert will be livestreamed here. The Queen of Cups, released on April 30 via eyes&ears, is Lee’s third album and she explains via a press release that with it, she “wants people to rethink what it means to be a jazz vocalist and also what ‘solo piano record’ or ‘piano vocal record’ means.” Order it here.
Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance Announce to Return to Live Performances: Pianist/composer Arturo O’Farrill and the nonprofit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance have announced their return to live performances throughout New York City and Brooklyn in May and June 2021. O’Farrill and his 18-piece Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra will perform at Brooklin Conservatory of Music’s Spring Benefit 2021 on May 15. This will be their first live performance since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for more info and more dates.
DC Jazz Festival Announces Lineup: The DC Jazz Festival announced last week the official lineup for the 17th Annual DC JazzFest, which will take place on September 1-5. This year’s edition of the largest jazz festival in the Nation’s Capital will include in-person live stream performances, up-close and up-close-and-personal “Meet the Artist” conversations, competitions, showcases and more. The lineup will feature a diverse cast of both local and international jazz talent, including Regina Carter, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Lakecia Benjamin, Immanuel Wilkins and many more. Click here for more.
Mavis Staples Announced as NEC’s 150th Commencement Speaker: The New England Conservatory (NEC) has announced gospel/soul singer Mavis Staples as its 150th annual commencement speaker at its commencement exercises this year. She will give her virtual commencement address to the combined classes of 2020 and 2021. The ceremony and a pre-commencement concert showcasing graduating NEC students will be streamed on NEC’s website on May 23. Staples, as well as Former NEC Chair of Afro-American Studies and Jazz Department Carl J. Atkins, will be two of five recipients of NEC’s honorary Doctor of Music degrees bestowed during the ceremony. Click here for more.
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