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.
Terence Blanchard to Receive Campari Passion for Film Award: Oscar-nominated and Grammy-winning trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard is receiving the Campari Passion for Film Award at the 77th Venice International Film Festival, which runs on September 2-12 in Italy. The award, instituted two years ago, recognizes directors’ closest collaborators and their contribution to artistic projects. Blanchard is a longtime Spike Lee collaborator and also scored Regina King’s One Night in Miami, screening at the Venice festival.
Hiromi Launches New Series of One-Minute Portraits: Acclaimed Japanese pianist/composer Hiromi will be uploading creative One Minute Portrait on her YouTube channel every Wednesday. The series will feature duo performances with such artists as Robert Trujillo, Stefano Bollani, Avishai Cohen and more. The first One Minute Portrait video was uploaded this week and features Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer Steve Smith.
Brian Bromberg to Release Remixed and Remastered Version of Jimi Hendrix Tribute: To mark the 50th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s passing, Brian Bromberg will release a remixed and remastered version of his 2010 record, Bromberg Plays Hendrix, on September 14 via Mack Avenue. The album features Bromberg’s takes on some of the rock legend’s classic songs and this updated version will also feature a never-before-released original song written by Bromberg, simply titled “Jimi.”
Documentaries on Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie Out on Digital Formats, September 11: Eagle Rock will release documentaries about the lives of two jazz icons on digital formats on September 11. Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things is directed by Leslie Woodhead and produced by novelist Reggie Nadelson. It presents a deep, insightful look into the life of the First Lady of Song, combining never-before-seen footage with conversations. Count Basie: Through His Own Eyes is directed by Jeremy Marre. The documentary unveils the man behind the music and is told in Basie’s own words. It also features a wealth of home movies and photo albums as well as rare performances. Both films will be available via Eagle Rock’s streaming platform.
Blue Note Announces New Dates for Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series: Last week, Blue Note reprised its Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue series after pandemic-related issues temporarily halted it. The first three releases since the pause were reissues of Bobby Hutcherson’s The Kicker (1963), Jackie McLean’s It’s Time (1964) and Joe Henderson’s The State of the Tenor: Live at the Village Vanguard, Volume 1 (1985). Click here for the full revised list of upcoming Tone Poet releases.
Stars Honor Charlie Parker with Video Tributes: This past Saturday, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of Charlie Parker’s birth. All this week, some of Bird’s most famous fans – including Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, President Bill Clinton, Jeff Goldblum and more – have been honoring him with video tributes, which have been uploaded on the Official Charlie Parker YouTube Channel. A new official music video for Charlie Parker’s “Summertime” was also shared on the channel and you can watch that via the player below.
First Complete Collection of Sade Studio Albums Out on Vinyl Soon: Sony Music is releasing This Far, a special vinyl set featuring all of Sade’s studio albums to date, on October 9. This will be the first complete collection of the studio work of the band led by singer/songwriter Sade Adu up to the present day. The albums included in the set are Diamond Life (1984), Promise (1985), Stronger Than Pride (1988), Love Deluxe (1992), Lovers Rock (2000), and Soldier Of Love (2010). Audio for all six albums has been remastered and their sleeves have been meticulously reproduced in exact detail.
The Gig: Live Music & More
Europe Jazz Network Awards Two Outstanding European Jazz Venues: Porgy & Bess in Vienna, Austria, and Victoria – Nasjonal Jazzscene in Oslo, Norway, have been honored with the Europe Jazz Network’s Award for Adventurous Programming. The Award, established by Europe Jazz Network in 2012, recognizes visionary music programmers. This is the first time in its history that the award has been given to two clubs.
Arts for Art Announces Outdoor Concert Series and Livestream Series: Arts for Art (AFA), the organization dedicated to the promotion and advancement of free jazz, has announced a series of free outdoor music, poetry and protest events titled Artists for a Free World. The series will take place in New York City throughout the month of September and will be led by William Parker and Patricia Nicholson Parker. In addition, AFA has announced a weekly live stream series celebrating free jazz, named FreeJazz Works in a Time of Crisis. The series will be streamed on Zoom and on the AFA YouTube channel, with performances from free jazz musicians and socially relevant conversations.
Nashville Jazz Workshop’s Jazzmania Goes Online: The Nashville Jazz Workshop’s fundraising event Jazzmania will take place virtually on October 24. This year’s Jazzmania celebrates the nonprofit’s 20th anniversary and aims to raise donations and awareness for the workshop’s ongoing community outreach and music education efforts. The 90-minute streaming program will be hosted by saxophonist Kirk Whalum and feature an all-star lineup including Kandace Springs, Victor Wooten, Keb’ Mo’ and Champian Fulton and many more.
New Release Cheat Sheet
Rez Abbasi, Django-shift (Whirlwind)
Rez Abbasi goes on a personal journey towards the essence of the legendary Django Reinhardt on his new album. Django-shift features interpretations of overlooked compositions by the gypsy jazz pioneer, recrafted for a contemporary audience and shining a light on Reinhardt’s compositional prowess.
Sharhabil Ahmed, The King of Sudanese Jazz (Habibi Funk)
Discover the Sudanese jazz genre – a unique combination of surf, rock, funk, Congolese music and East African harmonies – via the music of forgotten singer/songwriter/guitarist Sharhabil Ahmed. The King of Sudanese Jazz is another transcendental gem from the Arab world, courtesy of German label Habibi Funk.
Bebel Gilberto, Agora ([Pias])
Singer/songwriter Bebel Gilberto returns with her unique bossa-meets-electronics sound on her new album, Agora. Moving from heartfelt ballads to funky songs, the LP is her first new studio album in six years and emerges from a period of loss and grief, during which she also lost her father, bossa nova pioneer João Gilberto.
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