Pat Metheny, Peggy Lee, George Benson & 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 2024 Classic Vinyl Series Titles: Blue Note Records has announced a new run of titles for its Classic Vinyl Reissue Series, curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman, and continuing its exploration of the extensive Blue Note catalog with titles spanning the many eras and styles of the legendary label’s 85-year history. Releases will include classic albums by Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon and many more. The newly-announced titles begin on May 17 with two early 1960s hard bop classics: Workout by Hank Mobley and Blue Hour by Stanley Turrentine with The Three Sounds.

New Pat Metheny Single and Album Release Announcement: Pat Metheny has shared “MoonDial,” the first single and title track from his forthcoming solo album, which will be released on July 26. Listen to it via the player below. MoonDial features the 20-time GRAMMY-winning artist on solo baritone guitar with no overdubs. It finds Metheny performing a combination of standards and originals inspired by the distinct sounds of the baritone guitar and will be released during the artist’s major worldwide tour. Check out Metheny’s tour schedule.

New Digital Series of Peggy Lee Rarities: Capitol Records and UMe have released Peggy Lee From the Vaults (Vol. 1) in conjunction with Peggy Lee Associates, the first in a digital series collecting Peggy Lee’s performances and master recordings from the Universal family of labels not yet available on streaming platforms. The volume includes twelve of her earliest tracks recorded between 1944 and 1948 for Capitol Records, including three songs written by Lee and her first husband, guitarist Dave Barbour: “What More Can a Woman Do?,” “Don’t Be So Mean to Baby” and “Just an Old Love of Mine.” Future volumes in the From the Vaults series will move chronologically from 1949 to 1972, Peggy Lee’s last year under contract with Capitol Records.

George Benson Returns to Warner Music Group: A previously unreleased video featuring George Benson in a live performance of the track “Lady Blue” from the late 1970s has been released to mark the great vocalist and guitarist’s return to Warner Music Group’s Rhino roster. Watch it via the player below. Benson is also planning to release new music later this year.

Chamber Music America Announces 2024 Performance Plus Grantees: Chamber Music America has announced the 13 recipients of its 2024 Performance Plus awards, supporting women and gender minority-led ensembles. In addition to the distribution of nearly $200,000, the granting program connects each ensemble with experienced artist-educators for evaluative listening sessions and supports recording projects. The 13 grantees are: Laura Dreyer and The Manhattan/Rio Connection, New Muse 4tet, the Glass Bead Orchestra, the Emi Makabe Ensemble, the Rebecca Kleinmann Quintet, the Gaea Schell Quintet, The Destiny Muhammad Trio, Ellie Pruneau’s Two Way Mirror, Anisha Rush and the Encounter, the Hannah Marks Quartet, Laura Lizcano, Dark Matter, and the Georgia Heers Quintet. More here.


New Albums

Alexis Chartrand and Cédric Dind-Lavoie, Au Chemin 4 (self-released): Fiddler Alexis Chartrand and multi-instrumentalist Cédric Dind-Lavoie harken back to the very roots of French Canadian folklore with a careful selection of tunes arranged for fiddle and piano on their new collaborative endeavor, Au Chemin 4. The album comprises nine unedited musical long takes of Québécois and Acadian traditional melodies and was named after the folk music studio where it was recorded, in the Lanaudière region of Québec, over four days in October 2023.

Charles Lloyd, The Sky Will Still Be There Tomorrow (Blue Note): Charles Lloyd returns with his latest musical offering, The Sky Will Still Be There Tomorrow, a majestic double album of new studio recordings from the legendary saxophonist, among which are six new original compositions. Released on his 86th birthday, the album features him in the company of a newly assembled quartet of four distinctive voices, including pianist Jason Moran, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Brian Blade.

PRISM Quartet, Heritage/Evolution, Volume 3 (XAS): The PRISM Quartet celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, which also sees the release of the third album in its Heritage/Evolution commissioning project, exploring the saxophone’s dual lineages in jazz and classical music. Volume 3 features world premiere recordings of new works written for PRISM by jazz heavyweights Melissa Aldana and Terell Stafford, alongside works by PRISM’s own Matthew Levy and an entrancing arrangement by Levy of “Send in the Clowns” by the late great Stephen Sondheim.

The Messthetics and James Brandon Lewis, The Messthetics and James Brandon Lewis (Impulse!): The Messthetics, the instrumental trio formed by former punk band Fugazi members bassist Joe Lally and drummer Brendan Canty with free jazz guitarist Anthony Pirog, join forces with acclaimed saxophonist James Brandon Lewis for their new album. Its nine-track program was recorded in just two days with engineer Don Godwin, and captures and expands on the combustive energy the four musicians felt on stage, when they performed together in 2019 and 2021.


Live Music and Festival News

Stanford Jazz Festival, June 20-August 3: The Stanford Jazz Festival has announced the lineup of its 2024 edition, which will take place from June 20-August 3. Concerts will be held on the Stanford University campus. This year’s headliners include Ambrose Akinmusire’s sonically expansive Owl Song trio with Bill Frisell and Herlin Riley, Richard Howell’s interpretation of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, The Bad Plus, Anat Cohen’s Brazilian-inflected Quartetinho and Marquis Hill, among others. More here.

Arts for Art Announces Vision Festival 2024 Schedule: Arts for Art has announced the full performance of its upcoming Visions Festival, “Bridges,” which will take place at Brooklyn’s Roulette Intermedium on June 10-23. The lineup of performers will include Amina Claudine Myers, Ava Mendoza, Isaiah Collier and many more. The festival will also honor William Parker with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and host a 100th birthday celebration of Sun Ra Arkestra leader Marshall Allen. More here.

Chicago Jazz String Summit, May 17-19: The Chicago Jazz String Summit, founded by cellist and composer Tomeka Reid, showcases the contributions of top string players to jazz, improvised music and experimental music. This year’s edition will feature performances on May 17 and 18 at Constellation Chicago and the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts and conclude with an improv session featuring past and present Summit artists at Hungry Brain on May 19. This year, the festival will honor trailblazing violinist Regina Carter, who will present the New String Trio with Reid and bassist Junius Paul. Other artists scheduled to perform at this year’s edition include cellists Dorothy Carlos and Janel Leppin, violist Joanna Mattrey, Korean gayageum player DoYeon Kim and kora master Yacouba Sissoko. More here.

Noah Haidu Album Release Concert at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, April 19: Pianist Noah Haidu will celebrate the release of Standards II, the follow-up of his acclaimed 2023 Standards, with an album release concert at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music in New York City on April 19. Joining Haidu are bassist Buster Williams and drummer Lenny White. Tickets here.

Josh Groban to Host Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Benefit Gala Celebrating Tony Bennett: Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) has announced singer, songwriter and actor Josh Groban as the host of its 2024 Gala, Celebrating Tony Bennett, which will take place at the Frederick P. Rose Hall on April 17. The event will be anchored by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and several special guests, as well as items from Tony Bennett’s personal collection, made possible by Iconoclast with the Tony Bennett Estate. The evening will also see JALC honoring Bill Charlap with the organization’s Award for Artistic Excellence, and Tim Jackson and Randall Kline with the Ed Bradley Award for Leadership in Jazz. More here.


Featured photo by Jimmy Katz.

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