Wednesday, June 3, 2015

News From Jazzinstitut Darmstadt

28 May 2015                         
Jazz Journalism / Michael Wollny

Willard Jenkins talks to Haybert Houston, the longtime editor of California Jazz Now, one of only a few black publication efforts on behalf of jazz, published between 1991 and 2006 ( The Independent Ear). --- Andreas Bomba talks to the German pianist Michael Wollny about the inspiration for album projects, about "jazz" being a term too unspecific to describe his music, "improvised music" fitting much better, about moving from Frankfurt to Leipzig, and about teaching improvisation ( Frankfurter Neue Presse ).

29 May 2015
Charlie Parker / Branford Marsalis

Tom Di Nardo reports about the opera "Charlie Parker's Yardbird" by Daniel Schnyder honoring Charlie Parker which is to be premiered in Philadelphia in early June ( Philadelphia Daily News ). Di Nardo talks to the Swiss-born composer, to the conductor Corrado Rovaris, the librettist Bridgette Wimberly, the tenor Lawrence Brownlee and the soprano Angela Brown. Corinna de Fonseca-Wollheim has the story and talks to the same protagonists as well ( New York Times). --- Tom R. Schulz meets the saxophonist Branford Marsalis for a photo shoot at the shipyards in Hamburg, Germany, where he came for the Echo Jazz award gala ( Hamburger Abendblatt). Marsalis explains that at home only his saxophones tell visitors that he is a musician, while all awards go straight to his manager. He jokes that he doesn't quite understand why people like his recent solo album, "It's just saxophone". And he remembers that he was shocked when he found out that the theme of his composition "The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born" really is based on motives from of a Brahms symphony.

30 May 2015
Ornette Coleman / Robert Johnson

Daniel Kreps reports that the saxophonist Ornette Coleman filed a lawsuit claiming that 2014's "New Vocabulary" was released without his "consent or knowledge" ( Rolling Stone). The trumpeter Jordan McLean and the drummer Amir Ziv had come to Coleman's New York loft for some teaching sessions in 2009 which they recorded and subsequently released even though Coleman had denied their request for doing so. Joe Lynch has more of the story ( Billboard). --- Ted Gioia looks at the legend of Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil as an example of popular lore and at rumors that it might have been created in the rebellious 1960s, not originating in the 1930s ( Radio Silence). Was it just the fact that he did play the blues which connected his music to the "dark powers"? Gioia then looks at some of Johnson's recordings themselves for clues, collects testimonies from the 1940s onwards, but also reflects about the possibility that blues writers manufactured the story because not much was known about Johnson's life.

31 May 2015
Echo Jazz / Elbjazz

The German Echo Jazz awards were presented to the artists on Thursday at Hamburg's Blohm + Voss shipyard ( Musikmarkt). Among the winners are: Michael Wollny, Vincent Peirani and Emile Parisien, Johanna Borchert, Andreas Schaerer, Chick Corea, Niels Klein, Branford Marsalis, Eric Schaefer, Jeff Ballard, Eva Kruse, Lars Danielsson, Sebastian Studnitzky, Ambrose Akinmusire, Tobias Hoffmann, Pat Metheny, Gregory Porter, Christof Lauer and the NDR Bigband as well as Eberhard Weber. We read reviews both about the award show and the following Elbjazz festival at the same venue ( Die Welt (1), Die Welt (2)).

1 June 2015
Terence Blanchard / Sebastian Gille

Mark Stryker talks to the trumpeter Terence Blanchard from New Orleans who has been a presence on the Detroit jazz scene for some years and will be featured in a festival called "A Tale of Two Cities. Motown Meets the Big Easy" ( Detroit Free Press). --- Tom R. Schulz talks to the German saxophonist Sebastian Gille about his dual past as a tenor saxophonist and booker for a local club in Hamburg, about the feeling of freedom after he experienced a creative block during a concert in Berlin, and about different recent projects in which he shows "unrestrained emotional intensity" as the pianist and composer Wolf Kerschek explains ( Hamburger Abendblatt). Gille received the Hamburg Jazz Award last Saturday.

2 June 2015
Jack DeJohnette / Metropole Orchestra

Howard Mandel talks to the drummer Jack DeJohnette about choosing Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill and Muhal Richard Abrams to perform with him for Jack DeJohnette Day in Chicago, and about Chicago having been a "fantastic hub of eclectic music" in the 1960s ( NPR). Mandel also talks to Mitchell, Threadgill and Abrams about the importance of Chicago and the AACM for their career and for music in general. --- The Dutch Metropole Orchestra celebrates the 100th birthday of its founder Dolf van den Linden as well as its own 70th anniversary ( Dutch News). It was founded in 1945 as an ensemble specializing in "light music" to bolster the spirits of the Dutch after the war, later became a popular entertainment big band but also invited jazz stars on a regular basis. In 2012 the state subsidies were withdrawn, a move the government rethought after major protests which led to a "bridging agreement with the orchestra that it will be self-financing by 2017".

3 June 2015
... what else ...

Nate Chinen hears the trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf in a tribute to Oum Kalthoum at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola ( New York Times). --- Heinrich Oehmsen talks to the singer Gregory Porter about being MC for the Echo Jazz award in Hamburg, Germany ( Hamburger Abendblatt). --- Jozen Cummings reports about both programming and food strategies to attract an audience to the "new" Minton's in Harlem ( New York Post). --- Matthias Zwarg attends a concert, discussion and exhibition about jazz in the former GDR (East Germany) in Freiberg ( Freie Presse). --- NPR has a two-hour video about the saxophonist Kamasi Washington including a big part of the album release concert for "The Epic" from the Regent Theater in Downtown Los Angeles online: quite recommendable ( NPR). --- The Argentinian-German trumpeter Valentin Garvie will receive this year's Hesse Jazz Award ( Hessischer Rundfunk). --- Tatjana Böhme-Mehner reports about the Lippman und Rau Musikarchiv in Eisenach, Germany ( OTZ).

We read more obituaries about the trumpeter Marcus Belgrave who had died last week at the age of 78 ( New York Times, Detroit Free Press) and the guitarist B.B. King ( Billboard). --- We learned of the passing of the guitarist Slim Richey at the age of 77 ( 360 Austin, Fort Worth Business Press ), the German pianist and singer Wolfgang Sauer at the age of 87 (in April already), the Austrian pianist Karl Wlaschek at the age of 97 ( Forbes), the German trumpeter Peter Rose at the age of 78 ( Main-Netz), and the Swiss critic Bruno Rub at the age of 70 ( Aargauer Zeitung).

Last Week at the Jazzinstitut
On Monday a big survey about living and working condition of German jazz musicians started ( Jazzstudie 2015). The study which is undertaken by Hildesheim University was commissioned by the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt, the Union Deutscher Jazzmusiker and the IG Jazz Berlin and is being financed by the federal government as well as the regional governments of the states Northrhine-Westfalia, Lower Saxony and Berlin. It aims at a better knowledge of how musicians live, where their income comes from and how they fit within the German social security structures. The results will be made public at the Jazzfest Berlin in early November, together with recommendations for fitting funding measures to support this creative scene.

Wolfram Knauer traveled to Kiel in Northern Germany last weekend to participate in an event organized by students of the Musicology department at Kiel University there asking about possible job opportunities outside academia after their studies.

We read ... Michael Stephans' book "Experiencing Jazz. A Listener's Companion" and Jean-Luc Katchoura's book "Tal Farlow. A Life in Jazz Guitar". The review of these and other books can be found on the book review page of our website.

No comments: