Phil Haynes, Ibrahim Maalouf, Nina Simone & 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.



World Music Institute’s FolkTales Podcast Wins Signal Award: World Music Institute’s podcast, WMI FolkTales Set to Music from Around the Globe, has been announced as the winner of a Signal Gold Award in the General/Kids category in the 2023 Signal Awards. World Music Institute’s FolkTales podcast is an original production featuring improvised reimaginings of classic folk tales from around the world, set to music and hosted by acclaimed storyteller Bill Gordh.

New Phil Haynes Memoir: Veteran drummer, composer and improviser Phil Haynes’ new memoir, Chasing the Masters: First Takes of a Modernist Drummer Artist, will be released on November 15. The book features stories of Haynes’ encounters with jazz legends, plus music links, poetry, performance analysis and lessons from a life in music. Its publication coincides with the release of its career-spanning 62-track audio companion, A Life Improvised, available now.

Cal Tjader Record Store Day Black Friday Release: Zev Feldman’s Jazz Detective imprint will release Cal Tjader: Catch The Groove – Live at the Penthouse 1963-1967 as the first official release of previously unissued Cal Tjader music in nearly 20 years. Recorded in the 1960s at the Penthouse Jazz Club in Seattle, Washington, the music is presented as a 3-LP set and will be released on Record Store Day Black Friday (November 24) with an extensive booklet including reflections, liner notes and interviews, as well as previously unpublished photos.

New Nina Simone Vinyl Boxed Set: Verve has released a limited-edition vinyl boxed set celebrating Nina Simone’s legacy in honor of what would have been her 90th birthday. Four Women: The Nina Simone Complete Recordings 1964-1967 is a 7-LP collection including all seven albums Simone recorded for Philips between 1964 and 1967, each remastered and cut by Kevin Reeves from the original analog tapes. The boxed set also includes an 18-page booklet filled with rare photos and liner notes penned by historian Ashley Kahn and is housed in a faux-alligator hardcover slipcase.

New Ella Fitzgerald Biography: W.W. Norton will be publishing Becoming Ella Fitzgerald: The Jazz Singer Who Transformed American Song by music historian Judith Tick this December. The book finds Tick drawing on deep archival research, family interviews and newly available recordings and concert footage to show how Fitzgerald fused a Black vocal aesthetic with mainstream popular repertoire to revolutionize American music.


New Albums

Omni Mor and Yosef-Gutman Levitt, Melodies of Light (Soul Song): Melodies of Light is a duo collaboration between pianist/composer Omni Mor and bassist Yosef-Gutman Levit. What began as an improvised duo set eventually materialized into a collection of 13-focused pieces, each narrating a unique story, intertwining elements of African jazz with vibrant Middle Eastern rhythms, sunny Southern African color, delicate Moroccan embellishments and Andalusian explorations.

Terell Stafford, Between Two Worlds (Le Coq): Trumpeter/composer Terell Stafford draws on different sides of his artistic personality to deliver a compelling exploration of the balance between personal and musical life in his spirited new album. Between Two Worlds also testifies to his gifts as a bandleader, as he performs a stimulating program with high-octane collaborators, including Tim Warfield, Bruce Barth, David Wong, Johnathan Blake and Alex Acuña.

The Count Basie Orchestra, Basie Swings the Blues! (Candid): Basie Swings the Blues! is the latest recording by the Count Basie Orchestra, under the direction of Scotty Barnhart, and fuses the Orchestra’s signature swing with the raw and soulful talents of a cross-section of some of the greatest blues and jazz artists of our time. The album features a stellar lineup of blues icons and contemporary stars, including Buddy Guy, Bobby Rush, Ledisi, Keb’ Mo’, Robert Cray, George Benson and more.

Dwight Trible, Ancient Future (Gearbox): Jazz vocalist/activist Dwight Trible, also known as the godfather of the L.A. jazz scene, returns with a new album, Ancient Future, released on March 17. The follow-up to his critically acclaimed Mothership (2019) skates between jazz, funk, soul and R&B and features special guests Kamasi Washington, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Mark de Clive-Lowe and other like-minded visionaries.


Live Music and Festival News

Rockport Music Fall Jazz Weekend, November 2-5: Rockport Music’s Shalin Liu Performance Center will be hosting a dynamic Fall Jazz Weekend on November 2-5. The series will include live performances by Christian McBride’s New Jawn (November 2), the Steven Feifke Trio (November 4) and Harold López-Nussa (November 5).

Ibrahim Maalouf 2024 North American Tour Dates and New Video: Ibrahim Maalouf announced his biggest North American headlining tour to date for April-May 2024, including a stop at New York City’s Webster Hall on April 23. Check out all tour dates here. Maalouf has also shared a new video of a live performance of his song, “Todo Colores,” featuring guests Cimafunk and Tank & the Bangas, from his new album, Capacity to Love. Watch the video via the player below.

Jazz Congress 2024 to Honor Dee Dee Bridgewater and Celebrate Wayne Shorter: Jazz Congress 2024 will take place at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City, New York, on January 11. The fourth edition of the conference will bring together members of the global jazz community for the first time since 2020. Next year’s edition will honor Dee Dee Bridgewater with the Bruce Lundvall Visionary Award, which celebrates influential individuals who have demonstrated leadership and vision in expanding the audience for jazz, and its keynote event will be a celebration of Wayne Shorter hosted by Michelle Mercer. Tickets here.


Featured photo by René Pierre Allain.

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