Quincy Jones, Larry Grenadier, Marvin Gaye: 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.


First Kid Creole & The Coconuts Live Album Out Soon: Kid Creole & The Coconuts, fronted by August Darnell, will release their first-ever official live album, Live in Paris 1985, on March 1 via Rainman Records. Captured at Le Zenith in Paris, France, the LP documents the genre-defying band at their raucous best, performing some of their best-known songs from their first five studio album. “The musicians were all at the top of their game,” says Darnell via a press release. “I was fortunate to have gathered such an ensemble.”

Marvin Gaye’s Lost Album Out Soon: Motown has announced the release of You’re the Man, Marvin Gaye’s scrapped follow-up album to his 1971 classic LP What’s Going On. The album will be released on March 29, four days before what would have been Gaye’s 80th birthday on April 2. Listen to “My Last Chance” from the album (mixed by Salaam Remi) via the player below.

Quincy Jones Takes Michael Jackson Albums Back to the Stage: Quincy Jones announced he will host an orchestral concert of Michael Jackson’s beloved albums Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad, which he produced, at the 02 Arena in London, U.K. The concert will take place on June 23, two days before the 10th anniversary of the King of Pop’s death. In between the performance of each album, previously unseen footage of the recording of each LP will be screened for the audience. Various special guests are also promised to appear on stage.

Speaking of Quincy Jones… The legendary music producer won Best Music Film for his documentary feature, Quincy, at this year’s Grammy Awards. This marks his 28th Grammy and officially makes him the living artist with the most “gongs” from the Academy (still a few away from late composer Georg Solti, who holds the overall record with 31 awards before his death in 1997). Click here to find out and listen to the jazz artists who also received Grammys this year.

The Festival Circuit

Newport Jazz Festival Announces First Wave of Artists: The 65th Newport Jazz Festival (NJF), curated by artistic director Christian McBride, will take place at Fort Adams State Park the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino on August 2-4. The first wave of artists have been announced; they include Herbie Hancock’s return to NJF, Corinne Bailey Rae, The Bad Plus, Terence Blanchard feat. The E-Collective, Makaya McCraven, Cécil McLorin Salvant and many more.

Herbie Hancock will return to the Newport Jazz Festival this year.

UK’s Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul Festival Headliners Announced: The 10th Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul Festival is set to take place in Moseley Park, Birmingham, UK, on July 12-14. The Jacksons (who are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year), Brand New Heavies and legendary songwriter-composer Burt Bacharach will headline this year’s event, which organizers promise will be the biggest and best edition of the festival yet.

Mexican Summer’s Marfa Myths Festival Update: Marfa Myths, the annual multidisciplinary festival programmed by Mexican Summer and Ballroom Marga, returns for its sixth year to Marfa, Texas on April 25-28. Additional performers just announced include multi-instrumentalist Jerry Paper, drummer-composer Makaya McCraven, British DJ Josey Rebelle and West African country-folk duo Jess Sah Bi and Peter One.

New Release Cheat Sheet

Claire Ritter and Ran Blake, Eclipse Orange (Zoning Recordings)

Innovative third stream pianists Claire Ritter and Ran Blake first met in 1981, when Ritter arrived in Boston to study at the New England Conservatory, where Blake has taught for more than 50 years. Their relationship has evolved from mentorship to collaboration, as they celebrate Thelonious Monk’s 100th birthday on their first duo outing, Eclipse Orange, out February 15 via Zoning Recordings. The album captures a live performance at Queens University in Ritter’s (and Monk’s) native North Carolina.

Larry Grenadier, The Gleaners (ECM Records)

The Gleaners is Larry Grenadier’s first bass solo album. It harvests influences from many sources, including the Agnés Varda 2000 documentary film The Gleaners and I, from which it borrows its name, and finds Grenadier revisiting his own pieces as well as compositions by George Gershwin, John Coltrane, Paul Motian, Rebecca Martin and Wolfgang Muthspiel. “The process for making this record began with a look inward,” he writes in his liner note, “an excavation into the core elements of who I am as a bass player.”

Wadada Leo Smith, Rosa Parks: Pure Love (TUM Records)

Rosa Parks: Pure Love is the new extended composition of Wadada Leo Smith; an oratorio of six songs that convey a philosophical and spiritual narrative of the trumpeter-composer’s vision of Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks, whom he describes via a press release as “a person of exceptional courage and wisdom, who made the right move of resistance at the right time. Her actions generated a movement worldwide for liberty and justice for human beings.” Embedded in the oratorio are brief excerpts from early recordings by Smith with Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins and Steve McCall, who made up the legendary ensemble known as Creative Construction Company and are among the dedicates of this recording.

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