The New York City Jazz Record

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It must have been some cosmic joke that the inauguration of Donald Trump was followed, in short order, by Black History Month and, now, Women's History Month (to which we dedicate this issue). In the past these celebrations have been filled with inspirational stories of obstacles overcome and rights won, looking backwards at a dark history. Yet the ascension of a bigot and misogynist to the highest office and the bigotry and misogyny he has unleashed across the country make it clear that the history of blacks and women—as well as other oppressed groups whose progress is in jeopardy—is still being written. The question is by whom? Jazz is but a part of art and art is but a part of life but written into the DNA of jazz is struggle, whether against American racism, Latin American authoritarianism or European nationalism. The irony is that these month-long celebrations will continue in April when Jazz Appreciation Month competes with Confederate History Month. Wonder which Trump will tweet about...

The centennial of Ella Fitzgerald's birth is not only a chance to recall her contributions to jazz but also an opportunity to reflect upon the state of the country in 1917 and the strides made by blacks and women and other minorities over the past hundred years. How tragic then all that movement is now under serious threat. Where will the country be next year, much less in a hundred? That is a question we must answer with action.

On the Cover: ELLA FITZGERALD

By Andrew Vélez; photos by William P. Gottlieb

Among her contemporaries Sarah Vaughan was capable of velvety swoops, Betty Carter had audaciousness that commanded awe and Billie Holiday was a powerhouse of emotion. But Ella Fitzgerald—with her near-three-octave range combined with flawless technique and instinctive musicianship—was a wonderful and rare interpreter who could perfectly run down a lead sheet yet be among the signal improvisatory musicians in jazz. Fitzgerald tributes are at The Cutting Room Mar. 5th, Schomburg Center Mar. 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th, Jazz at Lincoln Center's Varis Leichtman Studio Mar. 11th and The Apollo Theater Mar. 23rd.

Interview: SHERRIE MARICLE

By M.J. Lester; photo by Garth Woods

Sherrie Maricle is a drummer whose musical education began with the clarinet. Eventually she moved on to her first love, the drums, and began playing professionally in her native Buffalo with bassist Slam Stewart. Maricle earned a BA in music from SUNY-Binghamton and both an MA and a Doctorate in jazz performance from NYU, where she also held the position of Director of Percussion Studies. Maricle directed Saturday jam sessions at The Village Gate from 1987 until its closure in 1993 and in 1987 began guest-performing and leading small groups with Peter Appleyard. In 1992 she began her work with the newly formed DIVA Jazz Orchestra, which she leads. DIVA Jazz Orchestra is at Dizzy's Club Mar. 31st-Apr. 2nd.

Artist Feature: NICOLE MITCHELL

By Robert Bush; photo by Michael Jackson

Nicole Mitchell is at the vanguard of the flute virtuoso continuum demonstrated in the '60s by Eric Dolphy and extended by James Newton (with whom Mitchell studied). Her first college mentor was John Fonville at UC San Diego, whom she recalls as "an amazing teacher. His creative path had a great impact." Her personal favorites range from the envelope-pushing Robert Dick on one end to the soul-jazz pioneer Bobbi Humphrey on the other. Mitchell is at National Sawdust Mar. 29th.

Encore: KALI Z. FASTEAU

By Clifford Allen

Creative improvised music is, quite naturally, an area of open exploration but that openness, while it allows many activities to coexist within the artform, also gives rise to situations in which artists escape broader notice. Kali Z. Fasteau, a multi-instrumentalist, composer and label owner (Flying Note) is just such a figure.

Lest We Forget: DOROTHY FIELDS

By Alex Henderson

Dorothy Fields was one of Tin Pan Alley's most prolific lyricists, penning the words to numerous standards in the '20s-40s. While Fields had a strong connection to Broadway, Hollywood and popular music, her lyrics have received a considerable amount of attention by jazz vocalists over the years. A tribute to Fields is at 92nd Street Y's Lyrics and Lyricists series Mar. 18th-20th.

Record Label Spotlight: HARBINGER

By Donald Elfman

The essence of Harbinger Records is, say its founders, "The Great American Songbook—in particular songs of stage screen and cabaret." The writers, the performers from classic to contemporary and the tradition of musical theater from whence timeless melodies and lyrics come define the label's reason for being. Artists performing this month include Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano at Neue Galerie Mar. 16th and Birdland Mar. 19th.

CD Reviews

(this month's performance venues in parentheses):

  1. The Urge Trio -- Live at the Hungry Brain Veto
  2. Silvia Bolognesi -- Chicago Sessions Fonterossa
  3. Champian Fulton -- Speechless Posi-Tone (Smoke)
  4. Madeleine Peyroux -- Secular Hymns Impulse (Town Hall)
  5. Akua Dixon -- Akua's Dance Akua's Music (Sistas' Place)
  6. Roberta Gambarini with Heath Brothers Band -- Connecting Spirits Groovin' High (Blue Note)
  7. Shirley Horn -- Live at the 4 Queens Resonance
  8. Horomi Suda -- Nagi Blujazz (Subrosa)
  9. Katsuko Tanaka -- Wish Board Katsuko Music (Mezzrow; Hillstone)
  10. Megumi Yonezawa -- A Result of the Colors Fresh Sound-New Talent
  11. Cecilia Persson/Norrbotten Big Band -- Composer in Residence Prophone
  12. Ingrid and Christine Jensen (with Ben Monder) -- Infinitude Whirlwind
  13. Barbara Dennerlein -- My Moments Bebab
  14. Eve Risser White Desert Orchestra -- Les Deux Versants Se Regardent Clean Feed
  15. Iro Haarla -- Ante Luceum ECM
  16. Jenny Scheinman -- Here on Earth Royal Potato Family (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
  17. Claire Daly -- 2648 West Grand Boulevard Glass Beach Jazz (Dizzy's Club)
  18. Julie Kjaer -- Dobbeltgænger Clean Feed
  19. Santos Silva/Wodrascka/Meaas Svendsen/Berre -- Rasengan! Barefoot
  20. Joëlle Léandre -- A Woman's Work... Not Two
  21. Charles McPherson -- Beautiful! Xanadu-Elemental (Jazz Standard)
  22. Jay Hoggard -- Harlem Hieroglyphs JVHM (Roulette)
  23. Edward Simon -- Latin American Songbook Sunnyside (National Sawdust)
  24. Emmet Cohen -- Masters Legacy Series Volume 1 (featuring Jimmy Cobb) Cellar Live (Smalls)
  25. Jeremy Pelt -- Make Noise! HighNote (Smoke)
  26. Lee Konitz -- Frescalalto Impulse (Brooklyn Conservatory of Music)
  27. Lee Konitz/Kenny Wheeler Quartet -- Olden Times (Live at Birdland Neuburg) Double Moon (Brooklyn Conservatory of Music)
  28. Markus Stockhausen/Florian Weber -- Alba ECM (Cornelia Street Underground; Brooklyn Conservatory of Music)
  29. Jeff Parker -- The New Breed International Anthem (The Stone)
  30. Ernest Dawkins New Horizons Ensemble (featuring Vijay Iyer) -- Transient Takes s/r
  31. Ken Fowser -- Now Hear This! Posi-Tone (The Django)
  32. Victor Provost -- Bright Eyes Paquito-Sunnyside (The Jazz Gallery)
  33. Pat Metheny -- The Unity Sessions Nonesuch (Alternative Guitar Summit)
  34. Pascal Niggenkemper Le 7ème Contine -- Talking Trash Clean Feed (Shapeshifter Lab)
  35. Mike Longo -- Only Time Will Tell Consolidated Artists Prod. (NYC Baha'I Center)
  36. The CCM Orchestra as James Bond (featuring Steven Bernstein) -- Nobody Does It Better Summit
  37. Elliott Sharp -- Tectonics: Fourth Blood Moon (featuring Eric Mingus) Enja/Yellowbird (Alternative Guitar Summit)
  38. C.B.G. -- Les Indignés Trytone
  39. Ellery Eskelin/Christian Weber/Michael Griener -- Sensations of Tone Intakt (Cornelia Street Underground)
  40. Nick Finzer -- Hear & Now Outside In Music (Smalls)
  41. Steve Lehman -- Sélébéyone Pi (Merkin Concert Hall)
  42. The Jazz Passengers -- Still Life With Trouble Thirsty Ear (Roulette)
  43. Papanosh -- Oh Yeah Ho! Enja/Yellowbird
  44. Roy Nathanson -- Nearness and You Clean Feed (Roulette)
  45. Vinnie Sperrazza -- Juxtaposition Posi-Tone (Cornelia Street Underground)
  46. Peter Brendler -- Message in Motion Posi-Tone (Cornelia Street Underground)
  47. Harriet Tubman -- Araminta Sunnyside
  48. NHØP/Mulgrew Miller -- The Duo—Live! Storyville
  49. John Raymond & Real Feels -- Live Vol. 1 Shifting Paradigm (Rockwood Music Hall)
  50. Robert Dick -- Our Cells Know Tzadik (The Stone)
  51. Peter Kuhn -- No Coming, No Going (The Music of Peter Kuhn, 1978-79) NoBusiness (5C Cultural Center; Muchmore's)
  52. Peter Kuhn -- The Other Shore NoBusiness (5C Cultural Center; Muchmore's)
  53. Peter Kuhn/Dave Sewelson/Gerald Cleaver/Larry Roland -- Our Earth/Our World pfMENTUM (5C Cultural Center; Muchmore's)
  54. Gregory Tardy -- Chasing After The Wind SteepleChase (Greenwich House Music School)
  55. Will Goble -- Consider The Blues OA2
  56. Red Baraat -- Bhangra Pirates Rhyme & Reason (BRIC Media House; Le Poisson Rouge)
  57. Johnny O'Neal -- O'Neal is Back Abeat (Ginny's Supper Club; Smalls; Smoke)
  58. Stephan Crump/Ingrid Laubrock/Cory Smythe -- Stephan Crump/Ingrid Laubrock/Cory Smythe Intakt (City Winery; Cornelia Street Underground; Alternative Guitar Summit; Roulette)
  59. Tigran Hamasyan/Arve Henriksen/Eivind Aarset/Jan Bang -- Atmosphères ECM (Le Poisson Rouge)
  60. Barry Guy/Marilyn Crispell/Paul Lytton -- Deep Memory Intakt
  61. Evidence -- Monk Work Actuelle
  62. Simon Nabatov -- Monk 'N' More Leo
  63. Frank Carlberg Large Ensemble -- Monk Dreams Hallucinations and Nightmares Red Piano
  64. Michaël Attias -- Nerve Dance Clean Feed (Cornelia Street Underground)
  65. Peter Leitch -- A Special Rapport Reservoir

...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