Thelonious Monk, Nubiyan Twist, Butcher Brown & 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.



Verve Shares New Thelonious Monk Podcast: Verve has shared a new narrative podcast telling the story behind Monk Palo Alto, the live recording of pianist Thelonious Monk’s 1968 concert at a Palo Alto high school. Its recording remained unheard until it was released earlier this year via Impulse! Click here to listen to the podcast.

Live White Christmas Viewing Party, December 11: Concord Theatricals, on behalf of The Irving Berlin Music Company and in partnership with Entertainment Weekly, has announced a live viewing party of the classic 1954 holiday film, White Christmas. The movie stars Bing Crosby and features an iconic Irving Berlin score with such songs as “Blue Skies” and, of course, the title track. Click here to find out where to view the film on December 11 at 8 p.m. ET. Fans are encouraged to follow along and interact on social media by using #WhiteChristmas and on the Irving Berlin Twitter and Instagram accounts.


Indiegogo Campaign for Dr. Lonnie Smith Documentary Launched: An Indiegogo campaign has been launched to support a new documentary on NEA Jazz Master Dr. Lonnie Smith. The film is titled Dr. B3: The Soul of the Music, and tells the story of the trailblazing Hammond organist via archival and contemporary concert footage as well as interviews with collaborators and fans. Click here to find out more and support the campaign.

Manhattan’s Jazz Standard to Close Permanently: The Jazz Standard, a popular Manhattan jazz club that was founded in 1997 and for more than 20 years has hosted a number of jazz legends and iconic big bands, has announced that it will close permanently. Click here to find out more.


Album Announcements

Nubiyan Twist, Freedom Fables (Strut): London-based collective Nubiyan Twist have announced the release of their much-anticipated third album, Freedom Fables. Produced by guitarist/percussionist/band co-founder Tom Excell, the record pays homage to traditional jazz, Afrobeat and highlife music whilst embracing electronic styles from dub reggae and hip-hop to garage and broken beat. Freedom Fables is due out on February 5, 2021, via Strut.

The MIYUMI Project, Best of the MIYUMI Project (FPE): The MIYUMI Project have released a compilation, Best of the MIYUMI Project, celebrating two decades of trailblazing music. Led by Japan-born bassist Tatsu Aoki, this is one of the first Asian American/African American collaborative music projects and known for their fusion of Japanese taiko drumming tradition with first-class improvisation.

Various Artists, Outside In Music Live at Pinch Recording Volume 2 (Outside In): New York City label Outside In Music has released Outside In Live at Pinch Recording Volume 2. The record compiles nine original compositions from ten bandleaders/composers from the label’s roster, recorded live at the title Long Island City recording studio. Artists featured include Nick Finzer, Nick Grinder, Seth Weaver, Caleb Wheeler Curtis and more.


Various Artists, Indaba Is (Brownswood): Brownswood will release Indaba Is, a new compilation of current South African improvised music and jazz, on January 29, 2021. The project is a collaboration with two luminaries of the South African scene: pianist/composer Thandi Ntuli and The Brother Moves On’s Siyabonga Nthembu. Together, they act as curators and musical directors of this eclectic project.


Black Violin, Give Thanks (Di Versatile): Classical-meets-hip-hop duo Black Violin released their holiday album debut, Give Thanks, on November 20, which they say via a statement, “employs playful storytelling, whimsical strings and hard-hitting rhythms to highlight the unifying pillars of the holiday season: giving back to others and being wholeheartedly thankful.” Black Violin also recently earned their first GRAMMY nomination in the Best Contemporary Instrumental Album category for Take the Stairs, released last year.


Live Music and Festival News

The Jazz Foundation of America Celebrates Charlie Parker: On December 10, The Jazz Foundation of America (JFA) will celebrate the centennial of the legendary Charlie Parker with Bird Calls, an all-star streaming fundraiser, under the musical direction of Steve Jordan. The two-hour all-star show was recorded at the Brooklyn Bowl in New York, Vibrato Grill in Los Angeles and the New Orleans Jazz Museum. The livestream will benefit JFA’s COVID-19 Musicians’ Emergency Fund.

Pete Malinverni and Juliet Kurtzman Album Release Concert: Jazz pianist Pete Malinverni and classical violinist Juliet Kurtzman will present a streamed album release concert for their duo recording, Candlelight – Love in the Time of Cholera, on December 10. The event will be streamed from the SUNY Purchase College Performing Arts Center on YouTube and feature an interview with the musicians. Candlelight was released on November 13 via Saranac.

Will Bernard Livestream Concert, December 8: Guitarist Will Bernard will be performing a live concert along with Eric Kalb, Ben Zwerin, Eric Finland, and Moses Patrou on Facebook Live on December 8. The special livestream event will showcase music from his latest album, Freelance Subversives. Released earlier this year via Ropeadope, Freelance Subversives marked his return with a full band repertoire similar to his GRAMMY-nominated 2007 album, Party Hats.

NEC Jazz Composers’ Workshop Orchestra Streaming Concert: The NEC Jazz Composers’ Workshop Orchestra will perform the music of gifted New England Conservatory students in a streaming concert on December 8. The music will be performed by the students under the direction of faculty member Frank Carlberg. Click here for more information and to stream the concert.

Butcher Brown Livestream Concert, December 10: Butcher Brown will be performing their first-ever live stream concert on December 10 on Bandcamp Live! The event celebrates the release of their album #KingButch, out now via Concord Jazz. Streamed live from Richmond, Virginia, the concert will find the band performing tracks from the album, sharing behind-the-scenes footage from their creative hub Jellowstone Studio, and interacting with fans. Click here for tickets.


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