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JAZZ JUNCTION where music revolves and evolves

Sidetracks And Detours follow a route to


where music revolves and evolves

says Norman Warwick

A recent issue of Jazziz, a newsletter service to which any self-respecting jazz fan should subscribe (check it out on line), was an example writ large of why we make this suggestion.

Editor Michael Fagien produced this particular edition to include a number of interesting stories.

He told readers how, for example,  that

The Jazz Foundation of America (JFA) has announced that it raised $1.3 million at its annual A Great Night in Harlem Gala. The event took place on March 28 at the legendary Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York. JFA’s Artistic Director Steve Jordan assembled this year’s lineup that boasted an eclectic list of musical icons from a wide variety of genres, including Sun Ra Arkestra (left) with Marshall Allen, Chuck D performing with Mixmaster Mike and Steve Jordan, Dee Dee Bridgewater with George Coleman and, closing out the show and performing for the first time on the Apollo stage, Bobby Weir. During the event, Richard Parsons accepted the Dr Billy Taylor Humanitarian Award.

On the audio and video recording front Jazziz reported that Sierra Green (right)  has shared her video for “Break in the Road,” performed with The Giants, her meticulously curated band of top-notch New Orleans musicians. This is the first single from Green’s forthcoming album, which will be released on June 21. The song was originally written by Allen Toussaint and the version that inspired Green was that of The Meters.

The Jazziz newsletter regularly pays attention to ´behind the scenes´ movements that benefit the jazz scene and are intended to extend the genre´s legacy and innovation.

This latest Jazziz mailout pointed out that New England Conservatory’s Jazz Studies Department has appointed Grammy-winning trombonist and composer Kalia Vandever to its faculty, beginning in the fall of 2024. “I’m incredibly excited to work with the imaginative students in the jazz department at NEC and cultivate an open and generative space to learn, improvise, and compose,” says Vandever ia an official press release.

Jazziz also informed its readers that  Blue Note will honor the legacy of trumpeter Ron Miles (left)   with the May 10 release of Old Main Chapel, a 2011 live recording featuring Miles’ trio with guitarist Bill Frisell and drummer Brian Blade. Listen to the album’s expansive opening track, “Mr. Kevin,” via the player below. Recorded live at the venue of the same name in Boulder, Colorado, the night before the trio would go into the studio to record their debut album Quiver, Old Main Chapel features seven tracks, including six of Miles’ original compositions, among which are longer versions of five tracks that would appear on Quiver.

Meanwhile, Blue Note Records’ 85th Anniversary celebrations continue with the announcement of the new photography exhibition, The All Seeing Eye: Blue Note Records Through the Lens of Francis Wolff. (above) his collection is available at UDiscover Music. This exhibition of candid photographs of Blue Note artists at work will be presented by The Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame and opened at the Boch Center in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 1.

The Jazziz round up of new releases in the jazz genre included Raffi Garabedian (right) , The Crazy Dog (self-released):The Crazy Dog is a suite of new chamber jazz music composed and arranged by tenor saxophonist Raffi Garabedian, drawing inspiration from letters written by his paternal grandparents, who fled the Armenian genocide during World War I, as well as his father’s historical fiction inspired by the family’s experience of settling near Boston. The illustrious cast includes clarinet maestro Ben Goldberg and vocalist Danielle Wertz.

Nicki Adams and Michael Eaton, The Transcendental (Steeplechase):Pianist Nicki Adams and saxophonist Michael Eaton push boundaries in original jazz and Third Stream music for a duo on their new collaborative album,
The Transcendental. A follow-up to their Steeplechase debut, Paraphrase, The Transcendental features Adams and Eaton similarly looking to classical inspirations, finding them in impressionist harmonic color, twelve-tone abstraction and minimalist rhythmic repetition.

TRIAD, TRIAD (Ropeadope): TRIAD is a trio composed of Dominick Farinacci on trumpet, Michael Ward-Bergeman on accordion and Christian Tamburr on marimba drawing from a wide range of influences but finding common ground in their shared appreciation for melodic composition. While rooted in a classical approach, their self-titled debut album infuses their music with various styles from South America and New Orleans, presenting them freshly and innovatively.

One for All featuring George Coleman, Big George (Smoke Sessions): Eric Alexander, Jim Rotondi, Steve Davis, David Hazeltine, John Webber and Joe Farnsworth reunite as the hard-bop supergroup, One for All. Big George marks their much-anticipated first release in seven years and this time around, the group invited special guest tenor saxophone legend George Coleman for the proceedings.

Of course any magazine of the quality of jazziz also includes tour dates and special live events. The information carried , all in this one edition, informed us that
Herbie Hancock (left, with music available from Amazon)  Returns to NJPAC on September 29:
Jazz legend Herbie Hancock will return to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) for a special one-night-only concert performance on September 19. Tickets here. The event will mark the first time Hancock has appeared at NJPAC since 2017 when he performed with the Wayne Shorter Quartet as a special guest.

We also learned  from jazziz that  Jazz Ascona will celebrate its 40th anniversary edition from June 20-29 in Ascona, Switzerland. The important milestone will be marked by a significant artistic program and the largest street art exhibition dedicated to jazz ever organized so far. The festival will be entirely free for the third consecutive year and will offer no less than 300 concerts, spread out throughout the territory. Artists scheduled to perform include the Tremé Lafitte Brass Band, singer Meschya Lake, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) and many more. NOJO will also be awarded the 2024 Ascona Jazz Award for its great contribution to the artistic development of the festival in recent years and to the realization of the official twinning between Ascona and New Orleans.

The Chicago Jazz String Summit, (see cover) founded by cellist and composer Tomeka Reid, showcases the contributions of top string players to jazz, improvised music and experimental music. This year’s edition will feature performances on May 17 and 18 at Constellation Chicago and the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts and conclude with an improv session featuring past and present Summit artists at Hungry Brain on May 19. This year, the festival will honor trailblazing violinist Regina Carter, who will present the New String Trio with Reid and bassist Junius Paul. Other artists scheduled to perform at this year’s edition include cellists Dorothy Carlos and Janel Leppin, violist Joanna Mattrey, Korean gayageum player DoYeon Kim and kora master Yacouba Sissoko.

Drummer/composer Dan Weiss celebrated the release of his daring new album, Even Odds, with a six-city tour including stops in New York City, Toronto, Philadelphia and more on April 29-May 7. The tour will feature Weiss performing alongside members of his band from the new album, including alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón and pianist Matt Mitchell.

Perhaps more than any other genre of music, jazz honours its own and an example of that was a Jazziz paragraph telling us all that The NEC Jazz Orchestra paid tribute to Wayne Shorter (with High Life: The Music of Wayne Shorter, a special event took place on April 18 at NEC’s Jordan Hall in Boston, Massachusetts. The concert was also livestreamed worldwide. Special guest Carl Atkins, founding director of NEC’s Afro-American Studies and Jazz Departments, and NEC Jazz Studies Co-Chair Ken Schaphorst lead the orchestra in a program that includes live concert premieres of rarely heard arrangements.

Sidetracks And Detours readers in the UK and Europe (and plenty of other places around the world too) will have noted the propensity for the American jazz scene in the copy we have shared today. Nevertheless, for any lover of Jazz Music, this should definitely be a newsletter that would help you remain up to date with major album releases, world tours, that might travel to somewhere near where you live, all from a magazine that is a great read in its own right !?

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