PJ Morton, Donald Byrd, Maya Delilah & 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.



PJ Morton Releases Watch the Sun Deluxe Edition: PJ Morton released an expanded Deluxe Edition of Watch the Sun, his biggest and most inward-looking album to date, which was released earlier this year. The extended tracklist includes new tracks and instrumentals for the full record, tracked live by Morton and his rhythm section, dozens of strings players, horns and a marching band at the remote hideaway of Bogalusa, Louisiana’s studio in The Country, as well as Morton’s Gumbo Studios at home in New Orleans.

Maya Delilah Signs With Blue Note/Capitol: British singer/songwriter/guitarist Maya Delilah has signed with Blue Note/Capitol. The announcement came with the release of her new single, “Pretty Face,” and its accompanying video, which you can watch via the player below. The soulful pop-rock slow jam finds Delilah singing about a disappointing relationship, and follows her recent appearance on Blue Note Re:imagined II, where she performs a take on Cassandra Wilson’s version of Neil Young’s classic composition, “Harvest Moon.”

South Arts Announces New Grant Cycle in Jazz Road Tours Initiative: South Arts has announced the next cycle of Jazz Road Tours, an initiative supporting approximately 50 jazz artists each year in their efforts to build tours to communities across the nation. The program, in partnership with Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Mellon Foundation, will support jazz artists with grants up to $15,000 to take their work on the road. Applications to Jazz Road Tours will be accepted on a regular basis through 2026 with multiple deadlines per year. The first deadline is December 1. More here.

Previously Unreleased Donald Byrd Live Recording: A previously unissued Donald Byrd live recording is set to be released on December 9, on what would have been the trumpeter’s 90th birthday. Recorded as part of a Blue Note showcase at the 1973 Montreux Jazz Festival, the concert took place around the release of his seminal fusion album, Black Byrd, and finds the jazz legend leading a 10-piece band of top-shelf instrumentalists. The set list includes “Black Byrd,” along with otherwise unrecorded Byrd originals and an excellent cover of Stevie Wonder’s “You’ve Got It Bad Girl.”


New and Upcoming Albums

Jessy J, California Christmas Vol. 2 (Changi): Saxophonist Jessy J has released California Christmas, Vol. 2, the follow-up to her 2016 release, California Christmas, featuring warm interpretations of some of her favorite holiday classics performed with a lineup of top-shelf collaborators and special guests. Jessy J explains via an official statement that this is a special album for her because “it gives listeners the feeling in being in a warmer, sunnier climate during the holiday season. But most importantly, as an artist, I get to share the holidays musically with all my fans.”

John Stein, Lifeline (Whaling City Sound): Celebrated guitarist John Stein presents a spectacle of his musical career through Lifeline, a two-disc set with selected highlights from his varied discography. This set of virtuosic recordings was released on June 17 and offers a fine showcase of Stein’s instrumental and compositional prowess, as well as his artistic evolution over the years.

George Lernis, Between Two Worlds (DÜNYA): Drummer/percussionist/composer George Lernis’ new album, Between Two Worlds, is inspired by the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern traditions, as well as his passion for jazz. The album also features John Patitucci on both upright and electric bass, Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol on piano, vocals and oud, vocalist Burcu Güleç and trumpeter Emiel de Jaegher.

Sugaray Rayford, In Too Deep (Forty Below): Vocalist Sugaray Rayford offers a modern take on retro-soul on his new album, In Too Deep, his latest full-length partnership with producer/songwriter Eric Corne. Released on March 4 of this year, the album followed 2020’s Somebody Save Me and includes heartfelt explorations of love, loneliness and social issues.

Enrico Rava and Fred Hersch, The Song Is You (ECM): The Song Is You documents the inspired meeting of two master improvisers, Italian trumpeter/flugelhornist Enrico Rava and U.S. pianist Fred Hersch. Together, they perform standards by such greats as Thelonious Monk and Antonio Carlos Jobim, and offer reinterpretations of some of their own compositions. Released on September 9, The Song Is You was recorded at Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI in November 2021 and produced by Manfred Eicher.


Live Music and Festival News

Garage A Trois Three-Night Run at Sweetwater: Garage A Trois (featuring Charlie Hunter, Stanton Moore and Skerik) are scheduled to perform a three-night run at Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, California, on November 18-20. Tickets here. The event is part of a concert series celebrating the 50th anniversary of the non-profit Northern California music venue, Sweetwater Music Hall, with events taking place throughout the month of November.

Arts for Arts Presents Family Gathering: William Parker, Cooper-Moore and Ave Mendoza are just some of the artists who will perform at Family Gathering, a live celebration of community by Arts for Art. The event will take place in person at The Clemente on November 19 and will also be live-streamed on the same date. Family Gathering also kicks off Arts for Art’s Artists & Friends Fundraiser. More here.

Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Hero Trio D.C. Area Debut: Saxophonist/composer Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Hero Trio with bassist François Moutin and drummer Rudy Royston is set to make its D.C. area debut on November 17 at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia. Having released the EP Animal Crossing earlier this year, the trio will be performing a program of classic jazz standards and modern covers. Tickets here.

Photo by David Crow.

The Fort Mose Jazz & Blues Series Returns to Fort Mose Historic Park in 2023: The Fort Mose Jazz & Blues Series will return to Fort Mose Historic Park in St. Augustine, Florida from February 10-19, 2023. The second installment of the series will comprise six performances by some of the most recognized jazz, blues, R&B and soul artists in the industry, including Gladys Knight, Mavis Staples, Christian McBride and more. Tickets here.

Antonio Sanchez on Tour: Drummer/composer/bandleader Antonio Sanchez recently released his new album SHIFT (Bad Hombre Vol. II). Spanning across genres, the new album hosts an impressive array of diverse collaborators, including Pat Metheny, Dave Matthews, Meshell Ndegeocello, Rodrigo y Gabriela and many more. Sanchez is currently on tour in support of this new album. Check out his touring schedule here.


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