Friday, January 30, 2015

News From The Jazzinstitut Darmstadt

22 January 2015
Contrast Trio / Vijay Iyer

Markus Wölfelschneider talks to the members of the Contrast Trio, a young band based in Frankfurt, Germany ( Die Welt). They complain about the missing support for jazz in Germany's former "jazz capital" and explain, "Whoever seriously wants to play jazz in Frankfurt, needs to leave town at one point." The young musicians talk about their new CD, about changes in their musical concept over the last years, about playing without written music in front of them, and about a side gig as theater musicians in "Peter Pan", playing pirates sent over board towards the end of the play. --- Phil Gallo talks to the pianist Vijay Iyer about working with the ECM label, about the development of his trio, about communicating with his audience, about using hip-hop elements, about working with an orchestra, and about his teaching concept at Harvard University which tries to link the music with the social realities in the country ( Billboard).

23 January 2015
Ted Efantis / Tulsa, Oklahoma

Lavanya Ramanathan talks to the saxophonist Ted Efantis who is part of the Washington, D.C., jazz scene since the 1950s and recalls the changes in the jazz world over the years ( Washington Post). --- Kevin Canfield reports about the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in Tulsa which is in financial trouble and has not paid its property insurance which would give the insurance company the legal right to seize the assets ( Tulsa World). At the last moment the Jazz Hall seems to have paid their bills ( Tulsa World).

24 January 2015
Keith Jarrett / Boston, Massachusetts

Sabine Krüger talks to Vera Brandes who was only 18 when she organized a solo concert by pianist Keith Jarrett at the Cologne Opera House in January 1975, the recording of which became a hit for the label ECM ( WDR). The website also contains memories by Vince Mendoza, Ian Carr and Peter Erskine about Jarrett and "The Köln Concert". Max Florian Kühlen talks to Vera Brandes as well ( Rolling Stone). More reports by Jürgen Hein ( Hamburger Abendblatt), H. Piegeler and J. Preuten ( Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger). --- Jed Gottlieb reports about jazz life in Boston, Massachusetts, which allows students and graduates of Berklee College to perform and which has improved considerably, making the city's scene "better than it was a few years ago" ( Boston Herald).

25 January 2015
Eberhard Weber / Pop

Mirko Weber talks to the German bassist Eberhard Weber who turned 75 last week and was celebrated with a star-filled concert at Stuttgart's Liederhalle ( Stuttgarter Zeitung). Weber talks about the joys of performing on stage, about the specific sound he was able to create on his instrument, about his time with Jan Garbarek and one of his greatest fans, the singer Kate Bush, and about life with and without music. Sebastian Scotney ( The Telegraph) and Udo Eberl ( Südwest Presse) attended the concert. --- Robert Siegel talks to Ben Yagoda, the author of a recent book about the time "when pop broke up with jazz" ( NPR). Yagoda explains some of the changes in popular taste in the early 1950s, and then focuses on the success of Mitch Miller's "Sing Along" show and the rebirth of the Great American Song in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

26 January 2015
Branford Marsalis / Diana Krall

Jeremy D. Goodwin talks to the saxophonist Branford Marsalis about his growing classical repertoire, about it taking more discipline to play simple, about Dizzy Gillespie having told him that he felt no blues in his playing, about the need for an awareness of the roots of music, and about the connection between the different styles he worked in ( Boston Globe). --- Adam Jacques talks to the Canadian pianist and singer Diana Krall about a long career necessary to be where she's at now, about working with Paul McCartney and since long having been a fan of Elton John, about having been mentored by jazz musicians and having dreamt as a kid of becoming an astronaut ( The Independent).

27 January 2015
Till Brönner / Herbie Hancock

Christian Kellersmann writes about the German trumpeter Till Brönner's career and his own involvement in it as former Universal general manager, about the success of Brönner's different recordings and his own assessment of it, about getting Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts to endorse Brönner and about not being successful in convincing singer Caterina Valente to record a new album with the trumpeter, about changes in Brönner's recent career and his own expectations from the new Till Brönner Orchestra ( Kelly's Diary). Janina Bembenek ( BZ Berlin) and Peter E. Müller ( Berliner Morgenpost) attend the concert with the 20-piece big band at the Tempodrom Berlin. --- The pianist Matthew Shipp reads his colleague Herbie Hancock's new autobiography as a possible explanation of why jazz, as he puts it, "is so fucked up nowadays" ( The Talk House).

21 January 2015
... what else ...

David La Rosa reports about New York's highest court denying Duke Ellington's heirs the right to retry a lawsuit about international royalties against EMI Music Publishing ( The Jazz Line). --- Richard Williams has mixed feelings about the film "Whiplash" ( The Blue Moment). Nick Clark reports about other critical voices about the film from the jazz community ( The Independent), while Nicolas Pillai thinks jazz critics should stop worrying about the movie as it's not about jazz as much as it simply is a horror movie ( The Conversation). --- We used to have a column called "Oh, that's jazz, too". A new thinner aircraft seat named "Jazz" would fit in it perfectly ( AeroTelegraph). --- Peter Hum talks to the Canadian drummer Ken Harper ( Ottawa Citizen). --- Nate Chinen hears the pianist Marc Cary at Ginny's Supper Club in New York ( New York Times).

We read another obituary about the jazz researcher Lawrence Gushee who had died in early January at the age of 83 ( Champaign News-Gazette). --- We learned of the passing of the singer and arranger Ward Swingle at the age of 87 ( Telegraph, Washington Post, New York Times), the Mardi Gras Indians' Big Chief Bo Dollis at the age of 71 ( Jazz Times), the singer Cynthia Layne at the age of 51 ( Indianapolis Recorder), the trumpeter and recording engineer Paul Serrano at the age of 83 ( Chicago Tribune), the British educator Dave Hatfield at the age of 66 ( Yorkshire Evening Post), the rock guitarist Edgar Froese at the age of 70 ( New York Times, Die Welt), and the German jazz researcher Horst P. Bergmeier at the age of 78.

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut

Last Wednesday somewhere between 250 and 300 people attended the hommage to Charlie Parker at Frankfurter Hof in Mainz, performed by the saxophonist Heinz-Dieter Sauerborn and students from the Mainz Music University. Klaus Mümpfer reports for the local newspaper ( Allgemeine Zeitung)

On Sunday we heard a first serenade to the Jazzinstitut's 25th anniversary during the New Year's reception by the city of sciences Darmstadt. We will officially celebrate in September, however, the bassist Jürgen Wuchner, the trumpeter Valentin Garvie and the banjoist Roman Klöcker played music between Monk and space mission (Darmstadt is home to the ESA European Space Operations Center). Our local newspaper reports ( Darmstädter Echo).

Our preparations for the 14th Darmstadt Jazzforum continue. We are collecting suggestions for this international conference which will focus on "Gender and Identity in Jazz", at which we will not just talk about women in jazz, though, but also about the image jazz has developed over the years, both within the jazz world and to outsiders, how they were shaped and how they change.

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