Tuesday, March 10, 2015

News from Jazzinstitut Darmstadt

5 March 2015                              
Drums / Buddy Rich

Ethan Iverson takes the occasion of three Oscars for the film "Whiplash" to reflect about the importance of the drums for jazz, covering all periods from Ellington's early 1920s music through recent hip hop, with Buddy Rich, Stan Kenton and Don Ellis for whom the original arrangement of "Whiplash" was written by Hank Levy in between ( Do the Math). --- In a guest post on Iverson's blog, Mark Stryker reflects about the art of the drummer Buddy Rich who is the hero for "Whiplash", the movie's, young Andrew Neiman ( Do the Math).

6 March 2015
AACM / Jazz in Hesse

The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians ( AACM) was founded in Chicago 50 years ago, and Howard Reich pays tribute to an arts initiative still going strong (Chicago Tribune ). Nate Chinen reports about the AACM's anniversary as well and talks to Jason Moran, Jack DeJohnette, George E. Lewis, Craig Taborn, and Nicole Mitchell ( New York Times). --- Jazz came to Germany in the 1920s, but its spirit really set foot in 1945 when the music became synonymous with freedom, democracy and an alternate aesthetic, as can be heard over the next couple of months in HR radio's series of features and interviews concentrating on "The Sound of Freedom - 70 Years Jazz in Hesse" ( HR Online).

7 March 2015
Willie Ruff / Malcolm X

Phillip Lutz talks to the french horn player Willie Ruff about a Yale event acknowledging the contribution of African-American music, about the Ellington Jazz Series which he organizes at Yale since 42 years, about the young pianist Aaron Diehl who will perform in the series on March 6 and who happens to be the grandson of Arthur Baskerville, a trombonist whom Ruff knew well as a teenage soldier, as well as about his long collaboration with the pianist Dwike Mitchell with whom he had traveled around the world ( New York Times). --- Hisham Aidi reflects about the recent terrorist attack in Paris which led experts to list indicators that a person might become an extremist, among them "if a person has stopped listening to music", to then examine Malcom X's passion for jazz, from Duke Ellington and Dakota Staton to Thelonious Monk and his "Muslim Band" ( The New Yorker).

8 March 2015
Christian McBride / Carolyn Breuer

Tony Sauro talks to the bassist Christian McBride about having been called "The Ambassador" by Down Beat magazine, about the message of jazz, about his involvement with the Brubeck Institute, about jazz education, and about jazz being a music you make out of love ( RecordNet). --- Peter T. Schmidt talks to the German saxophonist Carolyn Breuer about mixing elements from jazz, blues and folk music on her latest album "Shoot the Piano Player", about influences from Jimi Hendrix to her father, the trombonist Hermann Breuer, and about the problem of (German) jazz having far more young musicians than a young audience ( Münchner Merkur).

9 March 2015
Wolfgang Haffner / Ethiopia

The German drummer Wolfgang Haffner doesn't like genre labels. In an interview with German TV he reflects upon his musical initiation to jazz, about starting his career right out of school, and about his newest album "Kind of Cool", a reference to Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" ( Das Erste). The TV feature itself can be viewed here ( ARD Mediathek). --- The Jazzamba club in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's Taitu Hotel burnt to the ground in January, and local musicians like Misale Legesse and Henok Temesgen miss it dearly, as they had learned and perfected their craft in the club ( Nazret). Jazz was mostly forgotten during Mengistu Haile Mariam's communist dictatorship, but the interest in Ethio-jazz, the country's style using African-American as well as specifically Ethiopian elements has grown internationally. The musicians' work at Jazzamba paid for a music school near Addis Ababa; with the venue gone, an Ethiopian wine producer has stepped in to fund the school for one year.

10 March 2015         
Africa / Irma Curry

Charles Onyango-Obbo finds that, as opposed to 25 years ago, there "is no African country that doesn't have a notable jazz musician these days" ( Mail and Guardian Africa). He remembers the time when the jazz he heard used to come from the Voice of America and when Hugh Masekela and Abdullah Ibrahim were the only African musicians known broadly even in Africa. And he interprets the fact that there are so many more musicians of note nowadays as a sign for the changes that have happened. --- Marc Myers talks to the singer Irma Curry about growing up in Baltimore, about her start in music, about joining Lionel Hampton's band in the early 1950s, about hanging out with Wes Montgomery and Quincy Jones ( JazzWax, part 1), about her album "Love Is a Necessary Evil" from 1962, about recording with Benny Carter, and about her singing approach being "by my ear and heart" ( JazzWax, part 2).

11. Februar 2015
... what else ...

Tom Gsteiger attends the Jazzwerkstatt Bern festival in Berne, Switzerland, and his review questions the tendency to schedule highly complex music and recommends to get back to what he considers the basics of jazz ( Der Bund). --- Benjamin Schaefer published the third installment of his series about audience development ( Jazzzeitung). --- Nate Chinen ( New York Times) and Ted Panken ( Down Beat) attend Keith Jarrett's solo concert at Carnegie Hall. --- Mike McGonigal reprints a Twitter photo of Ornette Coleman welcoming Cecil Taylor to his 85th birthday party ( Detroit Metro Times). --- Mechthild Schneiders talks to the German trumpeter Stefan Zimmer ( Wittlicher Zeitung). --- The German educator Hermann Rauhe has been honored on the occasion of his 85th birthday by the senate of the Hamburg city government ( Klassik).

Nachrufe / Obituaries
We learned of the passing of the trumpeter Clark Terry at the age of 94 ( St. Louis American, Hollywood Reporter, Jazz Times, Wall Street Journal (1), Wall Street Journal (2), New York Times, Rolling Stone, KSHB, Art Info), the producer Orrin Keepnews at the age of 91 ( Rolling Stone, KQED, San Francisco Chronicle , New York Times, NPR, Washington Post), the trumpeter Lew Soloff at the age of 71 ( Los Angeles Times, New York Times), the composer and pianist Tom McKinley at the age of 76 ( New York Times, New Music Box), the saxophonist Zane Musa at the age of 36 ( Contra Costa Times), the British photographer John 'Hoppy' Hopkins at the age of 77 ( The Guardian), the pianist David Maxwell at the age of 71 ( Boston Globe), the CEO of Newark's WBGO jazz station Cephas Bowles at the age of 62 ( NJcom), the Bakersfield, California, Jazz Festival organizer Adele Davis at the age of 76 ( The Bakersfield Californian), the choir director and educator Steve Zegree at the age of 61 (Western Michigan University ), the St. Louis vocalist and club owner Gene Lynn at the age of 78 ( St. Louis Post-Dispatch ), the Canadian producer and sound engineer Mike King, the German critic Lothar Lewien at the age of 61, as well as the blues guitarist and vocalist Robert Belfour at the age of 74. --- Larry Blumenfeld reports about Clark Terry's funeral service at Harlem's historic Abyssinian Baptist Church ( BluNotes); the photos in that report are by yours truly, in New York for that week.

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut
We are currently reviewing the submissions for our Darmstadt Jazzforum conference the call for papers of which ended in February. We received quite a number of excellent submissions and look forward to an outstanding program. The international conference on the topic "Gender and Identity in Jazz" till take place in early October in Darmstadt, Germany ( Darmstadt Jazzforum).

Our exhibition "Something Completely Different. Jazzplakate!" is being celebrated by the local press. The Darmstädter Echo featured it in late February with a title page as well as a spread in its Sunday edition ( Darmstädter Echo). The exhibition can be viewed during our office hours until the end of May.

Wolfram Knauer attended Clark Terry 's funeral at Harlem, New York's Abyssinian Baptist Church in late February; he also attended the start of a concert series honoring the anniversary of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM ) at Roulette in Brooklyn, New York, featuring the Amina Claudine Myers Trio as well as Thurman Barker's Strike Force.

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