The Week in Jazz is your roundup of new and noteworthy stories from the 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.
Verve's Audiophile Sounds Series Celebrates Impulse! at 60: Verve/UMe's audiophile-grade vinyl reissue series Acoustic Sounds will celebrate the 60th anniversary of Impulse! Records with a series of vinyl releases of some of the label's most essential titles. The series kicks off on May 14 with Ray Charles' Genius + Soul = Jazz and Gil Evans Orchestra's Out of the Cool, both originally released in 1961. An average of two releases a month will follow throughout the year, including albums by Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans and more.Ella and Louis Classic Duet Receives New Animated Video: Last week, Verve shared a new animated video for Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong's duet version of "Cheek to Cheek" from their first album together, 1956’s Ella and Louis. The video is directed by Brooklyn-based artist Wendy Cong Zhao and was released in honor of Fitzgerald's 104th birthday. The First Lady of Song was born on April 25, 1917.
William Parker Trio Albums Out July 9: Multi-instrumentalist/composer William Parker will release a pair of trio albums on July 9 via AUM Fidelity. Mayan Space Station features him alongside Ava Mendoza and Gerald Cleaver; Painters Winter features him alongside Daniel Carter and Hamid Drake. The albums follow the release of his recent magnum opus Migration of Silence into and Out of the Tone World: Volumes 1-10 and his book-length biography Universal Tonality: The Life and Music of William Parker, both released earlier this year.
Internationally Acclaimed Musicians Join New England Conservatory’s Jazz Studies Faculty: The New England Conservatory's Jazz Studies Department has announced the appointment of three internationally acclaimed artists to its faculty. They are guitarist Julian Lage, saxophonist Melissa Aldana and trombonist Marshall Gilkes. Their appointment will begin in the fall of 2021.Carlos Niño Shares New Song and Video: Carlos Niño & Friends shared a new single "Salon Winds" from their forthcoming album, More Energy Fields, Current, out digitally on May 7 and physically on June 25 via International Anthem. Pre-order it here. The song is accompanied by a film directed by Cara Stricker, made of beautifully colored abstract visuals reflecting the track's crescendo from a calm instrumental to a track brimming with improvisational energy.
New Book Charts History of Jazz Album Covers: German art book publisher Taschen has put out a new book charting the history of jazz album covers in the 20th century. Jazz Covers - currently available in English, German and French - is 500 pages long and was put together by author Joaquim Paulo and editor Julius Wiedemann. It showcases LP artwork from the ‘40s up to the ‘90s, as well as facts and background information about the designs. Order it here.
Billy Bang, Lucky Man (BBE): BBE Music will release Lucky Man, featuring the music from the 2010 documentary of the same name that follows the late great free jazz violinist Billy Bang's return to the battlefields of his past in Vietnam, 40 years after the War. Watch the documentary here. The album is composed of recordings captured throughout Bang's travels in Vietnam, interspersed with his candid thoughts about music, art, war and his return to the country. It will be released on May 14 in association with IF Music. Click here to pre-order.
Rebecca Kilgore, The Rebecca Kilgore Trio - Vol. 1 (Heavywood #HW71993): Rebecca Kilgore’s newest album features her alongside pianist Randy Porter and Tom Wakeling, and is a fine showcase of her smooth, flexible and award-winning voice. Together, they perform songs written by or associated with the likes of Peggy Lee, Dave Frishberg, Nellie McKay and more, as well as the Rodgers & Hammersmith song "The Gentlemen is a Dope" that you can hear via the player below. Kilgore's husband, Dick Titterington, also features on a couple of tunes. The Rebecca Kilgore Trio - Vol. 1 is out now and you can order it here.
Blue Lab Beats, We Will Rise (Blue Note): London-based duo Blue Lab Beats, composed of producer NK-OK and multi-instrumentalist Mr DM, will release their new EP, We Will Rise, on May 14. This will be their first release on Blue Note Records. Blue Lab Beats' sound combines jazz, hip-hop, Afrobeat, funk and more. Their new EP is their response to current events, intended to offer healing and hope to those wearied by racism and barriers and to celebrate resilience, provide reassurance and spark joy. Pre-order it here.
John McLaughlin, Liberation Time (Abstract Logix): John McLaughlin offers a graceful reflection on the uncertainty, vulnerability and slowly awakening joy of our time on his new album, Liberation Time, out on July 16. Here, the visionary guitarist/composer drew upon decades of experience as a bandleader to select musicians best suited for each composition, recorded via transcontinental remote sessions, and even occasionally returns to the piano for the first time since his 1973 collaboration with Carlos Santana, Love Devotion Surrender. Pre-order Liberation Time here.