The New York City Jazz Record

The City's Only Homegrown Jazz Gazette!

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In 1989 Tina Turner sang, "You're simply the best, better than all the rest." While we don't care for this sappy love song, the sentiment moves us as the calendar page turns to a new year and we take a moment (and centerfold) to remember the best jazz had to offer in 2017. Peruse our various categories and see what you may have missed (pgs. 26-27). And speaking of being missed, we include a comprehensive list of those jazz folk who passed last year as well as a special In Memoriam CD Review section (pgs. 12-13).

And like a much hipper Tina Turner sang in 1970, "Big wheel keep on turning." 2018 is upon us with a new crop of jazz to plow through like Nor'easter's worth of snow. Drummer Tyshawn Sorey (On The Cover), already fascinating in 2017 and selected as one of our Musicians of the Year, will continue to grow thanks to his newly minted status as a MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and numerous shows around town this month. Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt (Interview) kicks off the new CD season with a release mini-stand at Dizzy's Club. And baritone saxophonist Claire Daly (Artist Feature) continues to be timeless with a pair of concerts this month.

On the Cover: TYSHAWN SOREY

By Robert Bush; photos by John Rogers and courtesy of John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

To say that multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey is on a roll could just be the understatement of 2017. He released his highly acclaimed Verisimilitude (Pi) and began working as an assistant professor at Wesleyan University last fall; one month later he was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Award known as the "Genius Grant". It's a fitting moniker; almost everyone he's collaborated with raves about his staggering musicality. Sorey is at Birdland Jan. 9th-13th with Vijay Iyer, Le Poisson Rouge Jan. 16th solo as part of Winter Jazzfest, The Stone Jan. 20th and National Sawdust Jan. 31st.

Interview: JEREMY PELT

By Russ Musto; photo by Sally Pritchard/JALC

41-year-old trumpeter Jeremy Pelt has been hailed as one of the most powerful voices on his horn today. The California native earned his stripes on the New York scene at the turn of this century playing with the Mingus Big Band shortly after his move from Boston, following his graduation from Berklee College of Music. While his subsequent work as a sideman with mainstream masters like Louis Hayes and Cedar Walton placed him squarely at the forefront of the hardbop trumpet lineage, his own work as a bandleader and composer has shown him to be all that and much more. Over a dozen albums under his own name clearly demonstrate a creative spirit who can not be so easily categorized. Pelt is at Smalls Jan. 5th-6th as part of The SmallsLIVE Collective, Blue Note Jan. 22nd with JAZZ-AGEDDON, Birdland Jan. 23rd-27th with Vincent Herring and Dizzy's Club Jan. 30th-31st with his quintet.

Artist Feature: CLAIRE DALY

By Ken Dryden; photo courtesy of the artist

With her big sound and strong soloing, Claire Daly has long been one of the most acclaimed baritone saxophonists around. Daly is at New York City Baha'i Center Jan. 16th with her quartet and Downtown Music Gallery Jan. 21st with the Zodiac Quartet.

Encore: RHODA SCOTT

By George Kanzler

In the early '60s, Rhoda Scott led a trio that was popular on the urban jazz club (aka "chitlin' club") circuit in the metro-New Jersey-New York area. Scott's Lady Quartet is at Dizzy's Club Jan. 15th.

Lest We Forget: ORAN "HOT LIPS" PAGE

By Marilyn Lester

Trumpeter Oran Thaddeus Page, nicknamed "Hot Lips", lived up to his moniker in every way. (Oxford Dictionary now defines hot lips as "an energetic or exciting jazz trumpeter.")

Record Label Spotlight: JACC

By Stuart Broomer

Little more than a decade ago, Portugal, isolated at the southwestern fringe of Europe, had a low profile in jazz and improvised music. Today the situation couldn't be more different. A few musicians of the very first rank have emerged from the country and two record labels launched in Lisbon in 2001 have likely produced larger catalogues in their fields than any other labels in the same time period. Clean Feed, devoted to free jazz, and Creative Sources, focusing on free improvisation, are both approaching the 500-disc mark. One might imagine that would pretty much exhaust the Portuguese capacity for challenging recordings, but others have emerged in their wake, most notably JACC. Artists performing this month include Jeb Bishop at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center Jan. 8th and Sara Serpa at New School 2nd Floor Theater Jan. 12th as part of Winter Jazzfest.

Special Feature: BEST OF 2017

Our selections for the finest from 2017 in a wide variety of categories.

CD Reviews

(this month's performance venues in parentheses):

  1. Larry Coryell's 11th House -- Seven Secrets Savoy Jazz
  2. Benjamin Herman/Peter Beets/Han Bennink/Ruud Jacobs -- Quartet-NL ICP/VPRO
  3. Steps Ahead -- Steppin' Out (with WDR Big Band Cologne) Sunnyside
  4. Muhal Richard Abrams -- Volume 2: The Complete Remastered Recordings on Black Saint & Soul Black Saint/Soul Note-CAMJAZZ
  5. Eric Alexander -- Song of No Regrets HighNote (Smoke; Birdland)
  6. Monty Alexander -- Here Comes The Sun MPS-Edel (Birdland)
  7. Miklós Lukács/Larry Grenadier/Eric Harland -- Cimbalom Unlimited BMC Records (Village Vanguard; Grace R. Rogers Auditorium)
  8. DEK Trio -- Construct 1: The Stone Audiographic
  9. Ken Vandermark/Klaus Kugel/Mark Tokar -- Escalator Not Two (The Stone)
  10. Made to Break -- Trébuchet Trost
  11. JD Allen -- Radio Flyer Savant (Jazz Standard; Weill Recital Hall)
  12. Eddie Daniels/Roger Kellaway -- Just Friends (Live at the Village Vanguard) Resonance (Mezzrow; Jazz at Kitano)
  13. André Lachance -- The Orange Challenge s/r
  14. Jeonglim Yang -- Déjà Vu Fresh Sound-New Talent
  15. Or Bareket -- OB1 Fresh Sound-New Talent
  16. Kenny Werner -- Animal Crackers Pirouet (Jazz at Kitano)
  17. Tom Harrell -- Moving Picture HighNote (VIllage Vanguard)
  18. Lauren Kinhan -- A Sleepin' Bee Dotted i (Sheen Center)
  19. Amy London -- Bridges FiveCat (Minton's)
  20. Michele Franzini/Roberto Mattei/Rudy Royston -- Roots 'n' Rain Abeat (Weill Recital Hall; Bar Next Door; Zinc Bar)
  21. Anat Cohen -- Happy Song Anzic (Rose Theater)
  22. Dr. Lonnie Smith -- All In My Mind Blue Note (Jazz Standard)
  23. Gard Nilssen -- Live in Europe Clean Feed (Winter Jazzfest)
  24. Rez Abbasi -- Unfiltered Universe Whirlwind (Winter Jazzfest)
  25. Brooklyn Raga Massive -- Coltrane Raga Tribute s/r
  26. Mary Halvorson/Greg Saunier/Ron Miles -- New American Songbooks, Vol. 1 Sound American Publications (The Stone)
  27. Mary Halvorson -- Paimon: The Book Of Angels Volume 32 Tzadik (The Stone)
  28. Cedar Walton -- Charmed Circle (Live at the Keystone Korner) HighNote
  29. Don Menza -- Sonny Daze Alessa (Jazz at Kitano; Smalls)
  30. Richard X Bennett -- What Is Now Ropeadope (Rockwood Music Hall)
  31. Richard X Bennett -- Experiments with Truth Ropeadope (Rockwood Music Hall)
  32. Roscoe Mitchell -- Duets with Anthony Braxton Sackville-Delmark (Zankel Hall)
  33. Roscoe Mitchell -- Discussions Wide Hive (Zankel Hall)
  34. David Virelles -- Gnosis ECM (Jazz Standard)
  35. Various Artists -- Funny Face (Original Soundtrack Recording) Verve
  36. Sonny Clark -- The 1960 Time Sessions Tompkins Square
  37. Peggy Lee -- World Broadcast Recordings (1955) Audiophile
  38. Frank Perowsky -- An Afternoon in Gowanus Jazzkey (Korzo)
  39. The Co-Op -- Vinyl 1 Brown Brothers
  40. Danny Grissett -- Remembrance Savant (VIllage Vanguard)
  41. Wayne Escoffery -- Vortex Sunnyside (Smoke)
  42. Jen Shyu -- Song of Silver Geese Pi (The Jazz Gallery; The Stone)
  43. Antonio Sanchez -- Bad Hombre CAM Jazz (Winter Jazzfest)
  44. Various Artists -- A Reunion Tribute to Erroll Garner (featuring Ernest McCarty Jr. & Jimmie Smith) [with Geri Allen] Blujazz
  45. Wadada Leo Smith -- Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk TUM (Winter Jazzfest)
  46. Wadada Leo Smith -- Najwa TUM (Winter Jazzfest)
  47. Ambrose Akinmusire -- A Rift in Decorum (Live at the Village Vanguard) Blue Note (The Stone)
  48. Bernt Rosengren -- Songs PB7
  49. Kevin Sun -- Trio Endectomorph (Club Bonafide; The Jazz Gallery)
  50. Derek Bailey/Greg Goodman -- Extracting Fish-Bones From the Back Of The Despoiler The Beak Doctor
  51. Nicole Mitchell and Haki Madhubuti -- Liberation Narratives Third World Press/Black Earth Music (Winter Jazzfest)
  52. Barry Altschul & The 3Dom Factor -- Live in Kraków Not Two
  53. Tony Malaby -- Artefact Remolino Tres SelloCabello (Brooklyn Conservatory of Music; The Stone)
  54. Danny Stiles -- In Tandem Famous Door-Progressive
  55. Willem Breuker Kollektief -- Out of the Box Bvhaast

...and Plenty More!

Look for other sections like In Memoriam, On This Day, In Print, On DVD, VOXNews, NY@Night, Recommended New Releases, Birthdays, and our invaluable Event Calendar.

Thanks so much for reading The New York City Jazz Record, the city's only homegrown gazette devoted to the music.

All the best,
Andrey and Laurence