The New York City Jazz Record

The City's Only Homegrown Jazz Gazette!

Download our latest issue!

(click cover above to download pdf)

Rarely, if ever, have we at TNYCJR dedicated a Cover Story plugging a musician or event happening the month after the issue at-hand. But we needed to make an exception this time and simply could not let this opportunity pass us (and you, our dear readers) by, given the significance of the second-ever “Eric Dolphy: Freedom of Sound” festival coming to NYC for the first time on the first two days of June. The festival is in celebration and commemoration of Dolphy’s birthday and 60-year deathaversary next month. For those of you who attended that inaugural “Freedom of Sound” festival a decade ago (in Montclair, NJ), then you know this is an event not to be missed. Septuagenarian James Newton (Cover), whose most significant influence is Dolphy (and, like Dolphy, a Los Angelean), continues to share his passion, personal history and expertise, and will lead a listening session and symposium. Though he no longer plays, his mere presence and return to the “right” coast is cause for celebration.

Due south of Berlin (where Dolphy died just over a week after turning 36) is Munich, Germany where now 94-year-old Vienna- and Copenhagen-reared Dan Morgenstern (Interview) was born. Moving to the U.S. in 1947, settling in NYC a year later, the rest, as they say, is history: jazz history. His lifelong dedication to jazz includes being an esteemed jazz critic, editor (Metronome and DownBeat) and author, as well as educator and archivist—not to mention having been close friends with the likes of Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins! This month he receives the “Contributor to the Arts Award” from The Jazz Gallery to add to the many honors and accolades this living jazz legend has received over the course of his long, distinguished career.

Jazz is a history, and we show our appreciation to those whose essential and necessary contributions to its growth, and its documentation and preservation along the way, are integral fibers and factors in its future evolution. Tipping our hat to the past, while acknowledging the present and future directions and possibilities of this music is, in essence, TNYCJR’s monthly mission. Happy reading and listening and see you out at the shows...

On the Cover: JAMES NEWTON—Freedom of Sound

(by Terrell K. Holmes; photos by Eron Rauch)

When James Newton plays the flute, one can hear Sunday afternoon praise shouts, birds chirping at sunrise, classical elegance, or the gutbucket blues. Regarded as an essential and influential flutist and composer in jazz, classical music, ballet, modern dance, electronic music and world music, he has spurned labels by using ensembles with uncommon instrumentation and sonic textures. In recent years, he has concentrated exclusively on composing as he had to stop playing in 2009 after developing focal dystonia in his left hand. Newton is at The New School of Jazz (participating as a panelist in a symposium and listening session as part of “Eric Dolphy: Freedom of Sound” presented by SEED Artists) Jun. 1-2.

Interview: DAN MORGENSTERN—Contributor to the Arts

(by Sylvia Levine; photo by Hank O’Neal)

Dan Morgenstern’s career as an advocate of jazz spans more than 70 years. Former Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University for more than 30 years (1976- 2012), he already had a well-established and impressive career as a journalist, including as Editor of Metronome and DownBeat as well as author of two award-winning books (Jazz People and Living with Jazz). This month he will be honored at The Jazz Gallery with the “Contribution to the Arts Award”, the latest in a long string of well- deserved prestigious awards, including the A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy, plus eight Grammys for some of his brilliant and thorough liner notes.

Artist Feature: MOOR MOTHER—A Voice to Speak Outside of Time

(by Sophia Valera Heinecke; photo by Luciano Rossetti)

The body of work developed by poet, musician and activist, Moor Mother (the cryptonym of Camae Ayewa) begins with oral tradition and African languages amid a refusal to embrace the confines of Eurocentric linguistics, all the while fiercely challenging the cultural impressions implied. Understanding how her creativity exists starts with her immersion in Henry Threadgill, cutting to the time she saw Travis (of the band ONO) perform in a wedding dress, then jumping to her fascination with monks, woven together by her mother’s love for Bruce Lee. She remembers reading freely from a book of Joseph Jarman poems that inspired her to speak these words that felt like hers: “It felt like looking in a mirror, like ‘oh, this is why I’m here’. Making that connection.”. Moor Mother is at Park Avenue Armory with Irreversible Entanglements May 18.

Encore: ERNEST DAWKINS—New Horizons

(by Jeff Cebulski; photo by Nqoba Dlamini)

A child of Chicago’s South Side, septuagenarian saxophonist and composer Ernest Dawkins has developed an ethos within the community’s creation of Black music and art for the better part of 50 years. Dawkins’ Double Down Project is at Brooklyn Music School (presented by Blank Forms) May 14.

Lest We Forget: PAUL SMOKER—Bop Shop’s Smoker Celebration

(by Robert Iannapollo; photo by Ken Huth|HuthPhoto)

It would be reasonable to assume that trumpeter, composer and educator Paul Smoker was not known to the world at large when his first album, QB (Alvas) came out under his own name in 1984. But an album of avant garde-slanted music by a little-known trumpeter from Iowa upon which Anthony Braxton was guesting, made the jazz world sit up and take notice. “Celebrating Smoker: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Paul Smoker” is at Lovin’ Cup (presented by Bop Shop Records) and featuring Ken Filiano, Vinny Golia, Herb Robertson, Damon Short, et al. May 4-5.

Album Reviews: In Print, On Screen, Boxed Set, Drop The Needle Reviews, Globe Unity…

Adam Rudolph/Tyshawn Sorey - Archaisms I & II


Adriano Clemente - The Coltrane Suite and Other Impressions


Alliance (Sharel Cassity + Colleen Clark) - Alliance

(Shifting Paradigm)

Altin Sencalar - Discover the Present


Amanda Gardier - Auteur: Music Inspired by the Films of Wes Anderson


Andrea Veneziani - The Lighthouse


Andrea Wolper - Wanderlust

(Moonflower Music)

Andy Milne and Unison - Time Will Tell


Angelica Sanchez/Chad Taylor - A Monster Is Just An Animal


Billy Mohler - Ultraviolet

(Contagious Music)

Brian Marsella, Jorge Roeder, Ches Smith - John Zorn: The Fourth Way


Cal Tjader - Catch The Groove: Live at the Penthouse 1963-1967

(Jazz Detective/Elemental Music)

Cal Tjader - Huracán

(Liberation Hall)

Carlos Henriquez - A Nuyorican Tale


Charles Pillow Large Ensemble - Electric Miles 2


Chet Baker - Blue Room (The 1979 Vara Studio Sessions in Holland)

(Jazz Detective)

Dan Morgenstern - Invaluable Contribution to the Arts

Hank O'Neal

Darius Jones - fLuXkit Vancouver

(Northern Spy/We Jazz)

Dayna Stephens - Closer Than We Think

(Cellar Music)

Frank Gratkowski/Simon Nabatov - Tender Mercies

(Clean Feed)

Hans Reichel: Daxophonie by Klaus Untiet/Peter Klassen

(Wolke Verlag)

Hasaan Ibn Ali - Reaching for the Stars


Jamie Baum - What Times Are These


Jason Miles - Kind of New: Miles to Miles (Live)


Jason Stein, Marilyn Crispell, Damon Smith, Adam Shead - spi-raling horn

(Balance Point Acoustics/Irritable Mystic)

Jill McCarron Trio - GIN

(Jazz Bird)

Joe Fiedler - Will Be Fire

(Multiphonics Music)

John Blum, David Murray, Chad Taylor - The Recursive Tree

(Relative Pitch)

John Dokes - Our Day

(Swing Theory)

Julieta Eugenio - Stay


Keith Jarrett - Solo-Concerts: Bremen/Lausanne


Koma Saxo - Post Koma

(We Jazz)

Lynne Arriale Trio - Being Human


Mars Williams, Darin Gray, Chris Corsano - Elastic

(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Mars Williams/Hamid Drake - I Know You Are But What Am I

(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Marty Isenberg - The Way I Feel Inside

(Truth Revolution)

Mary Halvorson Amaryllis - Cloudward


Max Kutner - Partial Custody


Meg Okura/Kevin Hays - Lingering


Micah Thomas - Reveal


Mike DiRubbo - Inner Light

(Truth Revolution)

Mikko Innanen Autonomus - Hietsu


Mikko Innanen/Stefan Pasborg/Cédric Piromalli - Can You Hear It?

(Clean Feed)

Miles Davis Quintet - In Concert at the Olymphia Paris 1957

(Fresh Sound)

Monty Alexander - D-Day

(MVD Entertainment)

Moor Mother - A Voice To Speak Outside of Time

Luciano Rosetti

Nate Wooley - Live at De Ruimte 2023

(Catalytic Artist)

NRG Ensemble - Hold That Thought

(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Phil Ranelin - The Found Tapes: Live in Los Angeles

(Org Music)

Phineas Newborn, Jr. - A World of Piano!

(Contemporary-Craft Recordings)

Queen Esther - Things Are Looking Up

(EL Recordings)

Richard Nelson/Makrokosmos Orchestra - Dissolve


Rob Mazurek Exploding Star Orchestra/Small Unit - Spectral Fiction

(Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Roy Nathanson - 82 Days

(Enja Yellowbird)

Simon Nabatov 3+2 - Verbs

(Clean Feed)

Stephan Crump - Slow Water

(Papillon Sounds)

The Choir Invisible - Town of Two Faces


The Messthetics - And James Brandon Lewis


Transatlantic Five - Transitions


Troy Roberts - Green Lights

(Toy Robot Music)

Look for other sections like Festival Report, NY@Night, Label Spotlight, VOXNews, In Memoriam, Recommended New Releases 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.