The New York City Jazz Record

The City's Only Homegrown Jazz Gazette!

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While much of a musician's time is spent in deep contemplation of their instrument(s), that work is only useful when brought into contact with others. That then informs the player further for the next round of exploration. And the cycle continues, endlessly, for a career.

We have several figures noted for their collaborations in this, our first issue of Fall. Guitarist Fred Frith (On The Cover) comes at it from all angles, whether it be bands, one-off meetings or longterm partnerships; hear some of them during his curated week at The Stone at The New School. Saxophonist Frode Gjerstad (Interview) does it on an international stage, going back to Detail in the early '80s to new partners in the new millennium; some are on display this month around town. Guitarist Amanda Monaco (Artist Feature) is project-oriented, whether with the all-female sextet Lioness or her Jewish music outfit The Pirkei Avot Project, which celebrates its second release this month at Drom. Multi-instrumentalist Howard Johnson (Encore) has done it for decades with an astonishing array of players; some will pay tribute at a concert this month at Merkin Hall. And trumpeter Booker Little (Lest We Forget) did it prolifically in the short time he had here on Earth; he will be tributed this month by FONT and Newvelle Live Festival.

On the Cover: FRED FRITH

By Kurt Gottschalk; photos by Peter Gannushkin

Fred Frith is a busy man. He came off a quick stint in Europe in June to return home to San Francisco and begin packing up his house. After a decade teaching at Mills College, he's retiring—but staying in the "thriving community of inspiring artists of all ages and their generosity of spirit" he's discovered in the Bay Area, he said. For the guitarist/composer with five decades of impressively varied work behind him, however, retirement means anything but slowing down. Frith is at The Stone at The New School Sep. 24th-28th.

Interview: FRODE GJERSTAD

By John Sharpe; photo courtesy of the artist

Saxophonist Frode Gjerstad almost single-handedly put Norwegian free jazz on the map. His expressive fragmented alto saxophone sound found its entrée to the wider European scene through Detail, a cooperative trio with British drummer John Stevens and South African bassist Johnny Dyani, plus trumpeter Bobby Bradford as an occasional guest. Regular trips to the U.S. led to a trio with William Parker and Hamid Drake. Never content to stay still, Gjerstad has widened his circle of collaborators to include a growing number of American and European innovators, including Steve Swell, Peter Brötzmann, Louis Moholo-Moholo and Paal Nilssen-Love, with the results documented in a mighty discography. Gjerstad is at 244 Rehearsal Studios Sep. 4th-5th, Everything Goes Café Sep. 6th and 6BC Garden Sep. 8th.

Artist Feature: AMANDA MONACO

By Jim Motavalli; photo by Jesse Winter/courtesy of the artist

"I'm kind of all over the place," says Amanda Monaco, the New York-based postbop guitarist and musical explorer. "I really like both melody and chaos and I incorporate them into everything I play. Within reason of course—you have to make sure it's appropriate." Monaco's Pirkei Avot Project Volume 2 is at Drom Sep. 11th.

Encore: HOWARD JOHNSON

By John Pietaro

In a career spanning 60 years, a musician goes through many life-changing experiences. When that musician is Howard Johnson, liberator of the jazz tuba and dynamic multi-instrumentalist, such experiences parallel the music's very growth. A tribute to Johnson is at Merkin Hall Sep. 18th.

Lest We Forget: BOOKER LITTLE

By George Kanzler

In one of the most marvelous yet terrible coincidences in the history of jazz, drummer Max Roach was the major collaborator with two of the greatest trumpet players of postbop jazz, but only enjoyed about three years with each of them, as they both died suddenly in their mid/early 20s. Clifford Brown was the victim of an auto accident in 1956 at 25; Booker Little died of kidney failure in 1961 at 23. A tribute to Little is at Jazz Standard Sep. 4th as part of Newvelle Live/Festival of New Trumpet Music.

Record Label Spotlight: BIRDWATCHER

By George Grella

The Birdwatcher Records label is a little over a year old—passing the fledgling stage—but is already notable not only for being one of the few non-profit record labels (in such company as New World Records and New Amsterdam) but for its unusual status of being an extension of a for-profit business, the Northern Spy label. Artists performing this month include Steph Richards at Nublu 151 Sep. 5th and Jessica Pavone at The Jazz Gallery Sep. 9th with Samantha Boshnack, both as part of Festival Of New Trumpet Music. Pavone is also at El Barrio Artspace Sep. 15th.

CD Reviews

(this month's performance venues in parentheses):

  1. Duduka Da Fonseca & Helio AlvesSamba Jazz & Tom Jobim (featuring Maucha Adnet) Sunnyside (Dizzy's Club)
  2. Behn GilleceParallel Universe Posi-Tone (Mezzrow; Fat Cat)
  3. Ted NashSomewhere Else (West Side Story Songs) Plastic Sax (Dizzy's Club)
  4. Sirius QuartetNew World ZoHo (Jazz Standard; Nolan Park; Club Bonafide)
  5. Richie Beirach/Gregor Huebner Duo/WDR Big BandCrossing Borders ZoHo (Jazz Standard; Nolan Park; Club Bonafide)
  6. Gregor HuebnerLos Soñadores (El Violin Latino, Vol. 3) ZoHo (Jazz Standard; Nolan Park; Club Bonafide)
  7. Marc CoplandGary Illusions (Birdland)
  8. Dave McKennaIn Madison Arbors
  9. Holger ScheidtSchwimmende Elefanten Enja
  10. Piet VerbistSuite Réunion Origin
  11. Morten MaxholmVestigium Storyville
  12. Terkel NørgaardWith Ralph Alessi WeJazz (Birdland)
  13. Alex Koo/Mark Turner/Ralph AlessiAppleblueseagreen Clever Tree (Birdland)
  14. Andy Emler/Dave LiebmanJourney Around The Truth Signature/Radio France (Birdland)
  15. Elvin JonesAt Carnegie Hall PM
  16. Charles TolliverRight Now... and Then [Paper Man] Strata-East/Pure Pleasure (FONT; Sistas' Place)
  17. John GordonStep by Step Strata-East/Pure Pleasure
  18. Matthew Shipp/Mark Helias/Gordon GrdinaSkin and Bones Not Two (244 Rehearsal Studios)
  19. Dave DouglasDevotion Greenleaf Music (FONT)
  20. Sheila JordanSheila SteepleChase (Dizzy's Club; Brooklyn Conservatory of Music)
  21. Jimmy CobbThis I Dig Of You Smoke Sessions (Smoke)
  22. Steve KuhnTo and From The Heart Sunnyside (Dizzy's Club)
  23. Ari HoenigConner's Days Fresh Sound-New Talent (Birdland; Smalls)
  24. Roxy CossQuintet Outside In Music (Smalls)
  25. William HookerCycle of Restoration FPE (Metrograph Theater; Funkadelic Studios)
  26. William HookerMindfulness ORG Music (Metrograph Theater; Funkadelic Studios)
  27. Etienne CharlesCarnival: The Sound of a People, Vol. 1 Culture Shock Music (Dizzy's Club)
  28. Gregory Tardy/Bill FrisellMore Than Enough Newvelle (Jazz Standard)
  29. John Swana/Tim Motzer/Doug HirlingerChannels 1K (FONT)
  30. Pureum JinThe Real Blue Cellar Jazz (Smalls)
  31. Jane Bunnett MaquequeOn Firm Ground/Tierra Firme True North (Jazz Standard; Flushing Town Hall)
  32. Guillermo Gregorio/Rafa Mazur/Ramon LopezWandering the Sounds Fundacja Sluchaj (Michiko Studio; Spectrum; Mirror Tea House)
  33. Guillermo Gregorio/Brandon Lopez12 Episodes Relative Pitch (Michiko Studio; Spectrum; Mirror Tea House)
  34. Paula Shocron/Pablo DiazDiálogos (special guest Guillermo Gregorio) Fundacja Sluchaj (Michiko Studio; Spectrum; Mirror Tea House)
  35. SvetlanaNight at the Movies Starr (Joe's Pub)
  36. Michael WinogradKosher Style OU People (Littlefield)
  37. William Parker In Order to SurviveLive/Shapeshifter AUM Fidelity (Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center; 6BC Garden; Greater Calvary Baptist Church; First Street Green; Happylucky no.1)
  38. Jazzmeia HornLove and Liberation Concord (Le Poisson Rouge)
  39. Alex SipiaginNoFo Skies BRM (Smalls; Blue Note)
  40. Miggy Augmented OrchestraColorful ArtistShare (Dizzy's Club)
  41. From Wolves to WhalesStrandwal Aerophonic
  42. Matt MitchellPhalanx Ambassadors Pi (The Stone at The New School)
  43. Chris Pitsiokos/Susana Santos Silva/Torbjörn ZetterbergChild of Illusion Clean Feed (244 Rehearsal Studios)
  44. Houston PersonI'm Just A Lucky So And So HighNote (Jazz Standard)
  45. Michael Foster/Katherine Young/Michael ZerangBind the Hand(s) That Feed Relative Pitch (The Chocolate Factory)
  46. John Raymond & Real FeelsLive, Vol. 2 Sunnyside (FONT)
  47. Kind FolkWhy Not Fresh Sound-New Talent
  48. Judy WexlerCrowded Heart Jewel City Jazz (Jazz at Kitano)
  49. Miguel ZenónSonero (The Music of Ismael Rivera) Miel Music (Jazz Standard)
  50. Larry FullerOverjoyed Capri (Birdland Theater)
  51. Rick GermansonTurquoise Twice WJ3 (Dizzy's Club)
  52. Anthony BraxtonQuartet (New Haven) 2014 Firehouse 12
  53. McCoy MrubataBrasskap Sessions Vol. III Kokoko (Rose Theater)
  54. Steve Lehman Trio + Craig TabornThe People I Love Pi (Jazz Standard)
  55. Scott HamiltonDanish Ballads... & More Stunt (Birdland Theater)

...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