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.
Johnny Hammond Jazz-Funk Classic Reissued for Jazz Dispensary Top Shelf Series: Craft Recordings and Jazz Dispensary will reissue organist/keyboardist Johnny Hammond’s 1975 jazz-funk masterpiece, Gears, on vinyl on November 4 as part of Jazz Dispensary’s Top Shelf series. The album, long out of print in the United States, was produced by Larry and Fonce Mizell, who were instrumental in the development of fusion, and comes with remastered audio and faithfully reproduced original design. Other merch inspired by this record is also available.
New Album Features Final Louis Armstrong Recording: Louis Armstrong’s first-ever holiday album, Louis Wishes You a Cool Yule, will be released this holiday season via Verve/UMe. The album features Satchmo’s final recording, where he recites Samuel Clement Moore’s beloved poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” also known as “The Night Before Christmas.” Originally recorded on Armstrong’s reel-to-reel tape recorder at his home in Corona, Queens, the original recording has been paired with a new musical underbed by New Orleans pianist Sullivan Fortner.
World Premiere Recording of Anthony Davis’s X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X: BMOP/sound announced the release of the recording of the revised version of Anthony Davis’ opera, X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X. The recording is from a live performance of this seminal work from earlier this year at Boston’s historic Strand Theatre, with conductor/producer Gil Rose leading the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and the Odyssey Opera chorus in a groundbreaking session, featuring celebrated bass-baritone Davóne Tines in the title role of Malcolm X. Due out on October 25, this is the first in a series released over the next five years, As Told By: History, Race and Justice on the Opera Stage, which elevates and celebrates Black creativity in opera.
Esperanza Spalding Radio Music Society 10th Anniversary Edition: Craft will release a new 2-LP 10th-anniversary edition of Esperanza Spalding’s fourth album, Radio Music Society, on December 2. Executive produced by Q-Tip, the 2012 album was her follow-up to her breakthrough third album, Chamber Music Society (2010) and features the singles “Black Gold” and “Radio Song,” as well as an all-star lineup of talent, including Leo Genovese, Terri Lyne Carrington and Joe Lovano, plus vocalists Lalah Hathaway and Gretchen Parlato.
New and Upcoming Albums
Jacob Collier, Piano Ballads – Live From The Djesse World Tour 2022 (Hajanga/Decca/Interscope): Jacob Collier has released a new live album of solo piano ballads, recorded during his world tour in support of his multi-album Djesse project. Piano Ballads – Live From The Djesse World Tour 2022 features his reinterpretations of songs by Queen, ABBA, James Taylor, Frankie Valli, Elvis Presley, The Beatles and many more. The album was released via Hajanga Records/Decca/Interscope.
Kim Waters, That Special Touch (Shanachie): Saxophonist Kim Waters celebrates 35 years of recording with his 25th album as a leader, That Special Touch. Released on October 7 via Shanachie, That Special Touch was recorded at his home studio and showcases his signature sound, combining the best elements of jazz, R&B, blues and pop.
Andy James, Rhythm in New York (Le Coq): Vocalist Andy James celebrates New York via a wide-ranging program of standards and original music inspired by life in Manhattan. Rhythm in New York was released on April 15 and boasts an all-star lineup with John Patitucci, Jon Cowherd, Chris Potter, Marcus Strickland and many more. Arrangements are by Patitucci and Cowherd.
Alina Bzhezhinska & HipHarpCollective, Reflections (BBE): London-based, Ukrainian artist Alina Bzhezhinska, a.k.a. AlinaHipHarp, released a new album with her HipHarpCollective on September 23. Reflections finds her creating a unique sound on the harp with layered effects and electronics, and combines original works and covers to pay homage to some of jazz and hip-hop’s greatest innovators.
Live Music and Festival News
Mingus Big Band Residency at Manhattan West’s Midnight Theatre: The Mingus Big Band have announced a weekly residency at Midnight Theatre, Manhattan West’s new variety venue. The residency begins on October 26 and will continue every Wednesday night, celebrating the music of legendary composer and virtuoso bassist Charles Mingus, now in his centennial year. More here.
Christmas Jazz, Tallinn, Estonia, November 25-December 18: Christmas Jazz in Tallinn, Estonia, will celebrate its 27th edition on November 25-December 18. The program will showcase local and foreign artists, presenting concerts by Richard Bona with the Estonian Dream Big Band, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra with Tõnu Kaljuste, and saxophonist Lauri Kadalipp in a trio with European jazz stars Florian Weber and Bodek Janke among others. Click here for more.
Hannibal Burress at Robtober: Last week, accomplished comedian Hannibal Buress surprised Blue Note New York’s audience when he jumped on stage and rapped during Robert Glasper’s performance. This was Hannibal’s second time on the Blue Note stage; the first time was a few years ago opening for Reggie Watts with stand-up comedy. Robert Glasper is currently doing a month-long residency at the Blue Note and this surprise performance marks another instance of the musician’s star-studded residency that has already included Chris Rock, Lena Waithe, Miguel and more.
Pat Metheny at The Beacon Theatre: Blue Note New York and The Count Basie Center for the Arts will present guitarist/composer Pat Metheny live in concert at The Beacon Theatre. The show will take place on June 24, during the 2023 Blue Note Jazz Festival. The guitarist will be performing with an edition of his rotating Side-Eye trio project. This edition will feature pianist/keyboardist Chris Fishman and drummer Joe Dyson. Tickets here.
Hostos Presents Día de los Muertos Production: The Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture in the Bronx, New York, will present the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company’s acclaimed production of Día de los Muertos for two performances on October 29-30. Mixing live music with vibrant folk dances, contemporary movement, colorful costumes, makeup and beautiful set pieces, the production explores a story that spans the boundary between the living and the departed, and is inspired by the annual Mexican tradition in which families welcome back the souls of their departed ancestors for a brief reunion. Tickets here.
Owen Broder on Tour: Saxophonist Owen Broder recently released a new album paying tribute to iconic jazzman Johnny Hodges. Broder celebrates Hodges: Front and Center, Vol. 1 with a national tour on October 25-November 6, taking him to nine U.S. cities, kicking off October 25 at the Blues Alley in Washington D.C. Check out all upcoming tour dates here.
Featured photo by Devon Dixon.
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