Monday, February 15, 2016

News From Jazzinstitut Darmstadt

11 February 2016                              
Grammy / Wilfried Schaus-Sahm

Ben Ratliff questions the jazz categories at the Grammy awards and focuses on the "best improvised jazz solo" category, looking at solo examples from this year's nominees, pianist Joey Alexander's solo on "Giant Steps", and Joshua Redman's solo on "Friend or Foe", and concluding that jazz is not just about the heroic moments of the solo, but just as much "about context and collaboration: it really is about bands"; he also jokingly suggests that perhaps one should introduce a new Grammy category for "accompanying a solo", for "fluctuation in a rhythm section", or for "well-timed silence" ( New York Times). Nate Chinen remembers when Herbie Hancock made a historic appearance at the Grammy show of 1984 performing his hit "Rockit", complete with turntablists and break-dancers ( New York Times). --- Olaf Reifegerste writes a profile of the German poet, painter and music promoter Wilfried Schaus-Sahm who had founded the Traumzeit Festival and other cultural series in Duisburg ( Rheinische Post).

12 February 2016                                   
Gary Peacock / Kamasi Washington

Jon Solomon talks to the bassist Gary Peacock about his having become a bass player by chance more than by choice, about having worked with Keith Jarrett and the late Paul Bley and with the pianist Marc Copland with whom he just recorded a trio album, "Now This" ( Westword). --- Adrian Spinelli talks to the saxophonist Kamasi Washington about jazz being the music for the younger generation as "they're into being different and being themselves. Weird is the new cool", about his collaboration with Lauryn Hill, as well as about the success of his album "The Epic" ( San Francisco Chronicle). The Neue Zürcher Zeitung looks at Kamasi Washington as well and sees him and the trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire as examples for a new focus on collectives in African-American jazz ( NZZ).

13 February 2016
George Paris / Larry Fink

Michael Lightstone remembers the drummer George Paris, often considered "the first known Canadian jazz musician", and the guitarist Nelson Symonds who has been active on Montréal jazz scene since the 1950s ( The Coast). --- Tom Seymour talks to the photographer Larry Fink about his favorite photo, a hand beating a drum, seen through the transparent drum skin, as well as about his approach to and life with photography ( The Guardian).

14 February 2016
Terence Blanchard  / Elmo Hope

Andrew Gilbert talks to the trumpeter Terence Blanchard about his "Champion: An Opera in Jazz", which will be premiered on the West Coast next week, and about the challenge of writing for voice and for a story that hadn't been shot yet as opposed to most of his experiences with film scores ( San Francisco Chronicle ). --- Eddie Small reports about a motion to name a street in the Bronx after the pianist Elmo Hope and talks to his widow Bertha Hope and his daughter Monica Hope about the possibility of naming Lyman Place between Freeman Street and East 169th Street "Elmo Hope Way - Jazz Pioneer" ( DNAinfo).

15 February  2016
Balver Höhle, Germany / Birdland, Germany

In a two-part series Claus-Peter Levermann remembers Karlheinz Klüter who together with some friends had started a jazz club in Menden, Germany, in the late 1950s, then founded first a festival on the site of Burg Altena in 1970, which moved to Balver Höhle, Europe's largest open cave, in 1974, but ended ten years later when Klüter decided to move to Bodrum in Turkey where he lived until his death in 2013 ( Der Westen [1], Der Westen [2]). --- Katrin Poese looks back at Birdland jazz club which Manfred Rehm opened 25 years ago in the small Bavarian town of Neuburg, Germany, and which since then has become a magnet both for musicians from all over the world and a curious audience ( Donaukurier).

16 February 2016
Violin / Jazz Record Mart

In an article about the long tradition of violin making in the German city of Klingenthal, Egbert Mühlleithen mentions the fashion of Stroh violins in the early 20th century, violins with a flat metal diaphragm in the voice box of the instrument and a brass horn that amplifies the sound, and explains that a Klingenthal violin maker developed his own instrument, called a "Violinophon", which was marketed as "reminiscent of a refined saxophone sound with the flageolets sounding like a piccolo and the pizzicato sounding like a banjo" ( Freie Presse). --- Gregory Pratt reports about the last day at Jazz Record Mart, Chicago's iconic record store which will probably close on Monday ( Chicago Tribune). And Howard Reich reports about the definitive closure of the store the contents of which had been sold to Wolfgang's Vault, a Reno, Nevada, based operation "that buys and sells music, film and other cultural items [and] has acquired the store's inventory and the Jazz Record Mart name and website ( Chicago Tribune). Bob Koester, the 83-year-old previous owner of the store, meanwhile announced he plans to keep his Delmark record label open ( NBC Chicago).

17 February 2016
... what else ...

John Murph talks to the singer Mavis Staples ( AARP). --- Jack Walton talks to the guitarist Goran Ivanovic ( South Bend Tribune). --- Laura Ziegler reports about a possible $18 million investment by the city of Kansas City in the historic jazz district 18th and Vine ( KCUR). --- Matt Villareal talks to the guitarist and singer  Bruce Benson ( Oklahoma State University). --- Peter Margasak talks to the Swedish baritone saxophonist Alberto Pinton ( Chicago Reader). --- Chris Vanderveen reports about the 86-year-old pianist Billy Wallace who still is able to play more than 4,000 songs despite suffering seriously of dementia ( KSDK). --- Kathrin Shattuck accompanies the German-American singer Ute Lemper on a typical Sunday in New York ( New York Times). --- Lisa Garn talks to the German guitarist Gerold Heitbaum ( Mitteldeutsche Zeitung). --- Andreas Potzel reports about the German trumpeter Till Brönner signing a new contract with DEAG Classics ( Musikmarkt). --- Ashley Lee reports about the trailer for "Born to Be Blue", a movie to be released this spring about the trumpet player Chet Baker, played by Ethan Hawke ( Hollywood Reporter). Jon Niles meanwhile compares the trailers of "Born to Be Blue" and "Miles Ahead", Don Cheadle's new Miles Davis biopic, the plot of both, he says, are very similar ( Music Times). --- The Grammys are over, and the winners are... ( New York Times). At the Grammy Awards ( New York Times), Don Cheadle, introduced a show-stopping, highly political and also jazz-tinged performance of hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar ( The Independent, The Guardian).


We learned of the passing of the singer LaVelle at the age of 71 ( La Côte), the bassist Ted Wald at the age of 86 ( Port Townsend Leader), as well as the German critic Klaus Hübner at the age of 66 ( Der Westen).

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

Last Friday the two bands Monofunk and WTF performed at the Jazzinstitut. Next Friday (19 February, 8:30pm) we look forward to a concert with the saxophonist Angelika Niescier with her Italian trio, the accordionist Simone Zanchini and the bassist Stefano Zenni who will perform in our JazzTalk series. The new trio of what the Süddeutsche Zeitung calls "the most fascinating story tellers of German jazz" is being praised all over; after intermission, before the second set, Wolfram Knauer will talk to the saxophonist about her collaboration with her Italian colleagues as well as about recent projects in Egypt and about the social importance of jazz in our days ( Jazzinstitut Darmstadt).

We read ... Holger Jass' book "Mein Onkel Pö" as well as Friedel Keim's "Das große Buch der Trompete, Band 3". The review of these and other books can be found on the book review page of our website .

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