Thursday, March 19, 2015

News from the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt

12 March 2015                          
Düsseldorf, Germany / Wynton Marsalis

Holger Lodahl talks to two jazz fans who grew up in 1940s Düsseldorf, Germany, and experienced jazz as the music of liberation ( Rheinische Post) while Max Kirschner talks to the singer Lous Dassen who started her career in 1960 in Düsseldorf's Dr. Jazz club which she bought in 1985 and owned until 1998 ( Westdeutsche Zeitung). --- Joshua Goodman and Charles J. Gans report that Wynton Marsalis canceled performances of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in Caracas due to rising tensions between Venezuela and the United States ( Washington Times).

13 March 2015

Ben Sisario and Noah Smith report about the law suit about copyright infringement concerning the 2013 pop hit "Blurred Lines" written by Pharrell Williams and performed by Robin Thicke which, as the jury found, used elements of the 1977 Marvin Gaye song "Got to Give It Up" ( New York Times). The lawsuit was originally brought on by Thicke and Williams as a preemptive attempt to protect "Blurred Lines" from claims of a rip-off ( Billboard). While opinions are divided about the jury verdict -- examples are Jon Caramanica's ( New York Times), Tim Wu's ( The New Yorker) and Thomas Lindemann's ( Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung ) criticism of the ruling and the Marvin Gaye family attorney's description of their court strategy ( Billboard) --, outspoken Nicholas Payton had his word to say in September 2013, already ( NicholasPayton). A YouTube mix shows some of the similarities of the two songs ( YouTube). Among the experts heard at the trial was the musicologist and jazz expert Ingrid Monson. --- Meanwhile the Swiss composer and saxophonist Bruno Spoerri won a lawsuit against the rap star Jay Z whose song "Versus" uses ideas from Spoerri's 1978 recording "On the Way" ( Tageswoche, Daily Mail).

14 March 2015
Audience / Judy Carmichael

The saxophonist Jaleel Shaw takes his cue from a byline in a previous blog post by Ethan Iverson about the lack of interest in "black intelligentsia" for jazz to reflect upon why it is that jazz might not be as present in the African-American communities as it should be ( JaleelShaw Blogspot). --- Steve Wildsmith talks to the pianist Judy Carmichael about how Count Basie called her "Stride", about the sound color of Steinway pianos, and about the need of a professional attitude when you go on stage ( The Daily Times).

15 March 2015
Matana Roberts / Dave Douglas

Christina Lee talks to the saxophonist Matana Roberts about the problem of labels, personal, social as well as musical ones, about her research of American history and her own family history for her "Coin Coin" project and about herself being concerned about misrepresentations of her stories, about the complexity of ethnicity, about language (in general) still not dealing "with how the terminology is racist or sexist", and about the third chapter of her 12-album series "Coin Coin", entitled "River Run Thee" ( Rolling Stone). --- Devin Leonard talks to the trumpeter Dave Douglas, one of the "most venerated trumpeters in jazz", who "has figured out how to market his music to a global audience when the record industry is struggling to survive" ( Bloomberg). Douglas talks about his frustration with major record companies, about his decision to start his own label, Greenleaf, and about experimenting with new distribution models from CDs, downloads to flash drives and podcasts.

16 March 2015
Verve / Gregory Porter

Ted Gioia reports about the recent acquisition of the Verve record label by Interscope Geffen A & M, "the home of Eminem and Lady Gaga" ( The Daily Beast). He recounts the history of the legendary brand founded by Norman Granz in 1956 and finds Granz's vision lacking in the label's output under Universal's ownership in recent years. --- Olivia Parker talks to the singer Gregory Porter about his neighborhood in Brooklyn, about how his life and music changed when he became a father, about a perfect Sunday in New York, and being a fan of Jamie Oliver's cooking show ( The Telegraph).

16 March 2015            
Joe Viera / Paris

Hans Hielscher talks to the 83-year-old German saxophonist and educator Joe Viera about a workshop he organizes in Burghausen since 1972, about the need for jazz education in general and about the long way of jazz into academia ( Spiegel Online). --- Rebecca Dalzell visits the jazz clubs of Paris (France), looks back at the city's long love affair with the music and discovers unusual places to hear both more traditional and very contemporary sounds in the French capital ( Independent Online, South Africa).

18 March 2015
... what else ...
Simon Broll remembers Charlie Parker on the 50th anniversary of his death ( Spiegel Online). --- Anja Baumgart-Pietsch talks to the German pianist Andreas Hertel ( Wiesbadener Kurier). --- Martin Johnson's hears Jack DeJohnette's album "Made in Chicago" ( Wall Street Journal). --- Marc Myers revisits Herbie Hancock's album "Maiden Voyage" 50 years after it was recorded ( Wall Street Journal). --- Ben Ratliff attends a concert during the Village Vanguard's 80th anniversary week, featuring the Jason Moran trio as well as poets and comedians and thus recalling the not-only-jazz beginnings of the legendary New York club ( New York Times). Nate Chinen hears Charles Lloyd's sets with Moran's trio during the same week ( New York Times). --- The German record label Winter and Winter turns 30, and Johannes Kaiser pays tribute ( Bayerischer Rundfunk). --- Alun Rath talks to the drummer Albert 'Tootie' Heath ( NPR). --- Detlef Kinsler talks to Elisabeth Ok about her film about the German jazz pioneer Carlo Bohländer which will be premiered today in Frankfurt, Germany ( Journal Frankfurt).

We read further obituaries about the producer Orrin Keepnews ( The Guardian, Zeal NYC). --- We learned of the passing of the guitarist Daevid Allen at the age of 77 ( New York Times), the jazz radio DJ Bob Parlocha at the age of 76 ( Jazz FM), the bass player Mike Porcaro at the age of 59, as well as the bassist Jack Six at the age of 84.

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut:
Last week we staged the 19th Darmstadt Music Talk, an event co-organized by the three municipal music institutes of the city of Darmstadt involving the three institutes' directors as well as one guest. Last week's topic was "Culture to the Streets"; the event was held at the Kunsthalle Darmstadt (museum/gallery), and the guest was the event's host as well, the Kunsthalle director León Krempel. Our local newspaper has the story (Darmstädter Echo, via Musikgespräche).

The German pianist Achim Kaufmann and the American clarinetist / saxophonist Michael Moore performed at the Jazzinstitut last Friday with their vibrant duo playing originals as well as compositions by Herbie Nichols and Andrew Hill.

Last weekend the Neue Deutsche Jazzpreis (New German Jazz Award) competition took place in Mannheim, Germany. The winner was vocalist Filippa Gojo; a special composition price went to Jürgen Friedrich. The Jazzinstitut Darmstadt is a cooperation partner in the Neue Deutsche Jazzpreis; Arndt Weidler is a member of the jury for first screening; this year's finalists were decided upon by saxophonist Kenny Garrett ( Frankfurter Rundschau, Mannheimer Morgen).

We read... George Benson's autobiography "Benson. The Autobiography of a Jaz Legend ". The review of this and other books can be found on the book review page of our website.

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