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Posts tagged “Wall Street Journal

From The Wall Street Journal: Rudy Van Gelder “New Jersey Jazz Revolution”

This is copyright protected, so just a few notes.

FEBRUARY 7, 2012

“On Saturday, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences will honor Mr. [Rudy] Van Gelder with a Trustees Award—a Grammy that recognizes his lifelong contribution to jazz recording. As an engineer, Mr. Van Gelder is credited with revolutionizing the sound of music in the LP era—capturing the distinct textures of each instrument and giving jazz albums a warm, natural tone.


Mr. Van Gelder is still a stickler for details. Since 1952, the 87-year-old engineer has recorded thousands of jazz albums—first at his parents’ home in Hackensack, N.J., and then here [Englewood Cliffs, N.J.]. The lengthy list includes Miles Davis’s “Workin’,” Sonny Rollins’s “Saxophone Colossus,” Art Blakey’s “Moanin’,” John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme,” Wayne Shorter’s “Speak No Evil” and Freddie Hubbard’s “Red Clay.”

See the full article here. Or, hey!! Buy the paper.

From The Wall Street Journal – Why Breathing Matters (Even More Than You’d Think): Claire Chase

This is copyright protected, so just a couple of notes.

Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim
January 28, 2012
“Last week’s concert by flutist Claire Chase at (Le) Poisson Rouge, celebrating the release of her new CD “Terrestre,” offered no shortage of athletic challenges and technical sorcery of its own. But what struck me the most about the recent compositions for flute was the return of the breath. By turns expressive, mysterious, and dramatic, it was always unapologetically human. As Chase later told me over the phone, ‘Breath is the one thing we can’t live without. As flute players, it’s something we should honor.’ ”

Claire Chase

See the full article here.

Ms Chase is the leader of ICE – The International Contemporary Ensemble.

At Q2 from New York Public Radio, you can find three long form videocast concerts by ICELAB, the performance group from ICE. Just visit Q2 and search on ICELAB.

From The Wall Street Journal: “Brothers as Keepers of Latin-Jazz Sound ” Zaccai and Luques Curtis

This is copyright protected, so just a couple of riffs.

DECEMBER 10, 2011

“During a recent Symphony Space concert, bassist Andy Gonzalez stepped forward to conduct a few tunes. He passed his instrument to Luques Curtis, whose tone and dexterity soon reflected preternatural skills. The concert, hosted by the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, was a tribute to Mr. Gonzalez and his brother Jerry [probably best know as the core of the Fort Apache Band, who plays congas and trumpet. These siblings of Puerto Rican descent, now in their 60s, represent an empowering bridge between a grand generation of Latin-jazz masters and the younger musicians who now take innate connections between Latin and jazz idioms as mere starting points…

Jerry and Andy Gonzales

“Mr. Curtis belongs to that latter group. So does his older brother Zaccai, a pianist who led a quartet with Mr. Gonzalez two weeks later, at Lehman College. If the Curtises aren’t yet a sibling team worthy of a tribute concert, they nevertheless command attention….”

Zaccai , left, and his brother Luques, right, have shared a passion for Latin jazz for most of their lives.

See the full article here.

From The Wall Street Journal: Joe Lovano Performs John Coltrane’s ‘Ascension’

This article is copyright protected, so, just a riff or two

Friday Nov 11, 2011

“Joe Lovano will perform Coltrane’s ‘Ascension’ in its entirety.
at the Jazz Standard 116 E. 27th St., Nov. 16
(212) 576-2232

Joe Lovano… [is]going to be playing the whole piece on Wednesday with a stellar lineup co-starring fellow saxophonists Donny McCaslin, Sabir Mateen and Vincent Herring, brassmen Jeremy Pelt (a good stand-in for Freddie Hubbard), and the double drum team of Billy Drummond and Matt Wilson…Recorded in June 1965 and released the following year, “Ascension” is one of the albums that defined the 1960s…It’s often described as the record on which Coltrane made his final break with every kind of jazz that he’d been involved with up until then—bebop, modal jazz, his so-called “sheets of sound”—and plunged head first and irrevocably into the icy waters of the avant-garde.”

Joe Lovano

See Will’s full article here.

From The Wall Street Journal: “Jazz’s 70-Year Flavor of the Month” – Chick Corea

This is copyright protected, so just a riff.

OCTOBER 27, 2011

“Mr. Corea has expressed himself in countless, widely disparate ensembles, in formats ranging from world-music ensembles to bebop trios to free-form collectives to symphony orchestras. Throughout November, he’ll lead 10 of these combinations in a monthlong celebration of his 70th birthday at the Blue Note club on West Third Street.”

Chick in 2009

Chick Corea will perform with Herbie Hancock, Brian Blade and others.

[Comparing the two photos, I am motivated to ask about what looks like a significant loss of weight. Unhealthy?]

See the full article here.

From The Wall Street Journal: “Trumpets Taking the City “

This is copyright protected, so just a note:

October 18, 2011

“Trumpets will be center stage during the two most attention-worthy events this week: the ninth annual Festival of New Trumpet Music, or FONT, which is honoring the 81-year-old veteran brass guru Kenny Wheeler starting Thursday at Jazz Standard; and Tom Harrell’s week-long run at the Village Vanguard starting Tuesday, which features two different ensembles and amounts to a celebration of that veteran trumpeter-composer.”

Festival of New Trumpet Music, at the Jazz Standard.

Tom Harrell

See the full article here.

From the Wall Street Journal: Will Friedwald on “Wynton Marsalis at 50″

Whirling Through a Wynton Wonderland is Will Friedwald’s title in today’s Wall Street Journal. This is copyright protected, so just a riff.

Wynton Marsalis

“Trumpeter-composer-bandleader Wynton Marsalis has long acknowledged his debt to Duke Ellington—it’s hard to miss it in the specific voicings that he employs for trumpet and brass sections, and in the way those sections interact with one another. Yet it’s also there in the way he and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra deport themselves. Also, like Ellington, Mr. Marsalis has mastered the art of sequencing the most attractive sections from his many extended works. In fact, he often surprises this long-time listener, because the most joyous and hard-swinging selections turn out to be from long-form pieces that I never regarded as completely successful, like Back to Basics from Blood on the Fields. Wynton Marsalis at 50 is an exceedingly entertaining assemblage of highlights, a three-ring circus of a concert that keenly focuses on the expansive vision of a single maestro. “

From the Wall Street Journal: Ron Carter – A Bigger Band, the Same Steady Hand

This is copyright protected, so just a few notes.


“Sometimes the most crucial elements in a musical work are the least noticed. A symphony’s slowly shifting harmonies shape its dramatic structure, yet audiences will more likely notice the fancy figurations that skitter above them. The same is true of jazz bassists, who lay down the foundation in a musical ensemble, yet often remain in the shadows. Ron Carter, who will be leading a big band at Jazz Standard from Tuesday through Sunday, is an exception: His skill, taste and creativity compel us to pay attention.


See the full article about this master of the bass here.

From the Wall Street Journal: Cedar Walton “Finding a Balance at Dizzy’s “

This is copyright protected, so just a few notes.

AUGUST 3, 2011

“…every time the composer and pianist Cedar Walton releases a new album (as he has just done with The Bouncer) or brings his band to Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (which he is doing for the next two weeks), you will hear at least one unforgettable new melody, and it will remain in your head for much longer than the train ride home.”

See the full article here.

Cedar Walton

Cedar Walton The Bouncer
High Note 757223 (2011)

From The Wall Street Journal: “Hot Summertime Swing”

The is copyright protected, so just a few notes:

JULY 19, 2011

“On Tuesday, pianist Bill Charlap will open the annual Jazz in July series at the 92nd Street Y. It will be his seventh year at the helm of the two-week festival, which was launched in 1985 by Dick Hyman, yet the circumstances under which the event’s six concerts are presented today are vastly different from those in Mr. Hyman’s day.


‘ When Dick Hyman asked me if I want to take over, he said, Do this your way, don’t feel like you have to continue what I’ve been doing,’ Mr. Charlap said, acknowledging that the series has jumped ahead a generation since his appointment as its artistic director, from a traditional jazz outlook to a bebop base. ‘ Still,’ he said, ‘ the goal with everything we do is to swing. But I’m having a lot of fun with it. It becomes easier every year.’ “

Read the full article here.

From The Wall Street Journal: “A Minimalist Heir With Maximum Chops”

[Oh my goodness, The WSJ is everywhere!]

This is copyright protected, so, just a few notes.


Gyan Riley

“At a time when a lot of established artists complain they are being pushed out of New York, the rising classical guitarist Gyan Riley was only too eager to stake out his turf in the city. As a life-long resident of northern California, the musician had a thriving career, but felt he was missing something…’ Things happen quickly here and I’m not an incredibly patient person,’ said Mr. Riley, who shared his affection for the city over microbrew beer on a recent afternoon. ‘ New York is chock full of incredible musicians and I want to get out and make music with as many as I can.’

Mr. Riley comes by his enthusiasm practically by birth. His father is the composer Terry Riley, whose 1964 In C is a landmark in American music and a cornerstone of the minimalist movement.

See the full article here.

From the Wall Street Journal: “Brooklynite Writes Jazz With a Poet’s Pen”

This is copyright protected, so just some hints.

“If you see saxophonist Roy Nathanson on the Q train, head down and pen out, he’s working on a poem. “I can only write poetry while riding the subway,” he said recently from the living room of his house in Brooklyn’s Ditmas Park. “It’s the strangest thing.”

Roy Nathanson

The past six years have brought ample writing opportunities as he commutes to and from his day job running the music program at Manhattan’s Institute for Collaborative Education. Words have long been elemental to Mr. Nathanson’s music, beginning with the colorful lyrics to his original songs for the Jazz Passengers, the group he co-founded with trombonist Curtis Fowlkes in 1987.

Mr. Nathanson will mark his 60th birthday at Jazz Standard Tuesday night, leading the Jazz Passengers, with guitarist Marc Ribot and saxophonist Marty Ehrlich as special guests. His celebration will continue with a series of Sotto Voce performances: May 27 at City Winery, featuring a gathering of poets; June 22 at the Stone; and June 23—fittingly—at the New York Transit Museum.”

See the full article here.

From the Wall Street Journal: “The Bad Plus with Joshua Redman”

This is copyright protected, so just a taste

There is no writer’s credit.

“Most contemporary jazz groups merely preach to the choir, but the Bad Plus is that rare band that’s managed to get through to the world beyond the jazz audience. Its ingenious tactic is to play acoustic jazz with the rhythmic sensibilities a Rush fan might appreciate, and early on the trio made a specialty of jazz interpretations of recent anthems. Adding tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman to the fray might seem counterproductive in terms of that goal—after all, he strengthens the group’s ties to music that jazz fans like. Yet even the grungiest rocker couldn’t deny that the combination is remarkable. It may be the jazz snob in me, but as much as I’ve enjoyed the Bad Plus up to now, this is the first time that I find myself describing its music as beautiful.”

Josh Redman

The Bad Plus
Ethan Iverson, piano
Reid Anderson, bass
Dave King, drums

The Blue Note
131 W. Third St., (212) 475-8592
Through Sunday

From the Wall Street Journal: “The Man Behind All That Jazz – Creed Taylor”

This is copyright protected, so just enough to get you interested.

This article is an interview.

APRIL 15, 2011

“Producer Creed Taylor changed the direction of jazz when he founded Impulse Records in 1960. Jazz fans are more likely to recognize his signature than his picture: His oversized John Hancock has appeared on hundreds of jazz albums on five labels, but the 81-year-old Mr. Taylor has always maintained a low profile.

Next week, the Universal Music Group is celebrating the first six Impulse albums that Mr. Taylor released in 1961 with First Impulse: The Creed Taylor Collection 50th Anniversary. The four-CD set includes albums by Kai Winding, J.J. Johnson, Gil Evans, Ray Charles, Oliver Nelson and John Coltrane.

Mr. Taylor left Impulse in 1961 for Verve and later formed another influential label, CTI. In an interview, he spoke recently about starting Impulse, crafting a brand and producing Coltrane. “

Mr. Taylor

See the full article here.

The Wall Street Journal Brings Us Ben Allison

This article is copyright protected, so just a riff.


“Jazz composer and bassist Ben Allison has lived in the Union Square area for more than 25 years, and his résumé reads like that of a musician who has covered the depths of Manhattan. He was at the center of the Lower East Side scene of the 1990s, and he has worked in a variety of downtown cabaret settings with the noted singer and drag artist Joey Arias. Yet Mr. Allison’s music breathes with a down-home sensibility that evokes nothing so much as a rustic front porch set amid rolling hills. His broad, accessible sound has allowed for enormous stylistic flexibility—something that is evident on his new recording, “Action-Refraction” (Palmetto), which comprises mostly covers.”

Ben Allison

See the full article, well worth it, here.

From the Wall Street Journal: “Jazz’s Jamaican Envoy”

This is copyright protected, so just a few riffs.



“It is small wonder that jazz, an American music that draws on a wide range of cultural influences, should have chosen New York, the most polyglot city on the planet, as its home base for most of its history. And it’s equally appropriate that the Jamaican pianist Monty Alexander, who begins a weeklong engagement at Birdland on Tuesday, has made New York his home for most of the last 50 years.

‘My music is the product of having experienced different cultures and different vibrations,’ Mr. Alexander said Monday in a phone conversation from his Midtown apartment. Most of us first heard the 66-year-old pianist in the early 1970s, when he represented the new generation of be-boppers and was the pianist of choice for such modern giants as Ray Brown and Milt Jackson.

Read the full article here.

From the Wall Street Journal: “Pianist Builds Momentum”

Copyright protected, so just a grace note:

MARCH 26, 2011

” Pianist Jeremy Denk is having an exceptionally busy 2011.
Jeremy Denk makes his solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall Sunday.
Samantha West

After playing an intense schedule in January and February, he accepted two major—and unscheduled—engagements in March when other artists fell ill.

And on Sunday, Mr. Denk makes his solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium—replacing Maurizio Pollini.
‘I thought I was going to be on vacation,’ the 40-year-old said. Jeremy Denk makes his solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall Sunday. Instead, he’ll be onstage playing Charles Ives’s Concord sonata and Bach’s Goldberg Variations.

At Zankel in February, Mr. Denk played Ligeti’s Etudes and the Goldberg Variations. At a previous concert there in 2008, he played Ives’s Concord and Beethoven’s Hammerklavier.

Q2 listeners know Jeremy Denk very well. We are delighted with his success.

From the Wall Street Journal: “This Lick Is Like a 1956 Cadillac”

The Wall Street Journal has become one of the best sources for great writing on the subject of Jazz. Here is the latest great piece from today’s paper.

This is copyright protected, so just a riff.


” ‘What’s jazz? That’s a whole ‘nother bag,’ says Kurt Elling, the award-winning singer from Chicago. Nominally based in New York, he spends more than two-thirds of the year on the road and is giving a series of concerts in Britain over the next four days. ‘That’s a netful of questions, brother.’

Kurt Elling

Tommy Smith, the saxophonist who directs the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, with which Mr. Elling is performing, advances another theory. The roots of jazz, he suggests, may lie in part in the call-and-response Gaelic Psalms of the Scottish Hebrides. ‘It was the Highland Clearances and the exodus from Ireland that sent that music to America. That’s not my idea,’ he adds. ‘It’s from Willie Ruff, who was Miles Davis’s bassist. He went to Lewis and recorded all this stuff and when he took it home to black Gospel churches, they thought it was their music.’

Tommy Smith

Read the full article here.

From the Wall Street Journal: Nat Hentoff on Duke Ellington

This is copyright protected, so just a hint or two.

By Nat Hentoff


“I first had the opportunity of being mentored by Duke Ellington in the 1940s when I was part of the Boston jazz scene. In those days I had a radio show that combined music and interviews, and as a part-time reporter for Down Beat, I got to know Duke. Off the air, he once told me: “I don’t want listeners to analyze my music. I want them open to it as a whole.”

The Duke

And I was there when he played dances, just to get as close to the bandstand as I could. One night, the band played a number entirely new to me. During one of their quick breaks I whispered to a sideman, baritone saxophonist Harry Carney, “What’s the name of that?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “He just wrote it.”

Another sideman, Rex Stewart, who played trumpet and cornet and with whom I used to hang out, told me—and later mentioned in his book, “Jazz Masters of the 30s”—”He snatches ideas out of the air. . . . On the Ellington orchestra’s Pullman, he’d suddenly jump as if a bee had stung him . . . and scribble madly for hours—or sometimes only for a minute.”

Please do not miss this article

From The Wall Street Journal: News of the Tully Scope Festival

For the Love of Morty is the title of Stuart Isacoff’s article in the Wall Street Journal about the Tully Scope Festival at Lincoln Center.


“Morty” is Morton Feldman

This article is copyright protected, so, just a taste-

“‘t has been a dream of mine for a long time to get things out of the straitjacket of the subscription-series format,’ Ms. [Jane] Moss said. “There is so much activity in New York on a given night, the question in my mind is, ‘What can you do to make an impact?’ White Light took a personal, interior view; Tully Scope is about the remarkable indigenous musical scene in our town. It’s about being a New Yorker—which is why we are opening with a Morton Feldman focus.”


“Mr. Feldman (1926-87) was an original, provocative, surprising, often enchanting and sometimes boring anarchist of a composer (who also worked full time in the New York garment industry). Along with his adventurous colleagues John Cage and Jackson Pollock, he helped change the idea of what was possible in art. Like the writer Samuel Beckett, with whom Mr. Feldman collaborated on an opera with no characters and no plot, each of these men rejected modernism’s trendy formalities, creating individual languages virtually free of traditional grammar. For Mr. Feldman, that meant works that unfurled over extended periods with little contrast or discernible form, like his six-hour String Quartet (II).”

Read the full article here.

Nico Muhly in the Wall St Journal

Copyright protected, so just a taste-

The Pop Scene

“Nico Muhly with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus

St. Ann’s Warehouse
38 Water St., Brooklyn
(718) 254-8779


“A singular character who composes stately classical music when not writing arrangements for indie rockers or tapping away at his deliciously histrionic blog, 29-year-old Nico Muhly enjoys rare reach for an artist who could actually, meaningfully, dream up new music for the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Such was the commission that led to Tell the Way, which will receive its premiere here.


See the full piece here.

From The Wall Street Journal: “Recording Jazz History as It Was Made” – Boris Rose’s Jazz archive

This material is under copyright, so, just hints, you must read about this guy. This is another of the great stories that come out of the world of Jazz.

“In a dark basement in a quiet residential neighborhood in the Bronx, a well-known archive of privately recorded live tapes and acetates is gathering dust and waiting for some institution to acquire it. The Boris Rose archive, named for the New Yorker who amassed it, is so capacious, in fact, that no one has even cataloged all of it and Elaine Rose, who has owned it since her father died 10 years ago, can’t even begin to guess how much it’s worth.

“This collection certainly deserves to be in a major institution, such as the Smithsonian, Library of Congress, or Institute of Jazz Studies—intact,” said John Hasse, the curator of American music at the Smithsonian Institution.”

Could this Boris Rose Jazz archive rival that from the Jazz Loft, W. Eugene Smith’s establishment in the Flower District in Chelsea, New York City? The Jazz Loft Project is being overseen by Sam Stephensen for the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies. Maybe Ms Rose could use some advice on what to do with this amazing collection of recordings.

Elaine Rose, daughter of famed jazz archivist Boris Rose, holds a portrait of her father in front of a small portion of his many mastertape recordings from Birdland and a number of other New York jazz venues. Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal

Please give yourself a treat, see the full article here.


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