The New York City Jazz Record

The City's Only Homegrown Jazz Gazette!

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As we look over the backgrounds of our big three features, we are moved at how jazz is, at its core, about diversity, communication and the positive effects of people coming together for a greater good. Pianist Frank Kimbrough (On The Cover), from the battleground state of North Carolina, celebrates another of the state's famed sons with Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk (Sunnyside), presented this month at Jazz Standard. Saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh (Interview) has spent his career developing what he calls "Chromodal Discourse", incorporating classical Iranian music with jazz; he performs at The Jazz Gallery in four sets of duos. Pianist Eri Yamamoto (Artist Feature), born in Japan but in NYC for the past 23 years, mixes the traditions of her native and adopted homes with Goshu Ondo Suite presented at the Studios of the Paul Taylor Dance Company.

All this demonstrates that art is capable of bridging myriad cultural divides facing our society today. But it takes more than buying a CD or attending a concert. Nov. 6th is the most crucial election in a generation. If we have any hope of salvaging the United States' moral position in the world, then voting is no longer a luxury but a final stand against darker days.


By Donald Elfman; photos by Chris Drukker and Marielle Solan

The very notion of recording the complete compositions of one of the vital figures in jazz history—pianist Thelonious Monk—seems, no is, an ambitious and bold undertaking... Pianist Frank Kimbrough and his brilliant quartet were up to the challenge and the result, Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk (Sunnyside), sparkles with authenticity, dedication and love. Kimbrough's Monk Project is at Jazz Standard Nov. 27th-28th.


By Jim Motavallo; photo by Radoslaw Kazmierczak

Hafez Modirzadeh is Professor of Music and Co-Director of the Jazz and World Music Studies program at San Francisco State University, the faculty of which he joined in 1998. He's also a working jazz saxophonist, dedicated to exploring his Iranian musical heritage and integrating it into his jazz playing. Modirzadeh's albums as a leader include Post-Chromodal Out!, In Convergence Liberation and the Radif Suite with Amir ElSaffar (all on Pi Recordings). His compositions have been supported by two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships (in 1989 and 1991), Other Minds and Djerassi Resident Artists Program. A 2004-05 sabbatical took him to Andalusia, Spain on a Fulbright scholarship, where he studied and lectured on flamenco music and its relation to jazz. He remains a determined internationalist and musical integrator. Modirzadeh is at The Jazz Gallery Nov. 9th-10th.

Artist Feature: ERY YAMAMOTO

By Marc Medwin; photo by Jimmy Katz

Eri Yamamoto's enthusiasm is quietly infectious as she describes the impetus for her large-scale composition, to be performed this month at the Studios of the Paul Taylor Dance Company. "I've absolutely loved the musical associations I've made since I moved to New York. I get to play with wonderful people in all kinds of places, often with my trio but also in other combinations. Over the last couple years, I have felt the desire to put my energies into something bigger…" Yamamoto's Goshu Ondo Suite is at Studios of the Paul Taylor Dance Company Nov. 17th-18th.


By Ken Dryden

After several decades of building an impressive discography as a guitarist, leader and composer, Peter Leitch nearly lost his life in a battle with lung cancer diagnosed five years ago. Now in remission, Leitch is upbeat and productive, though he no longer can play the guitar... While illness curtailed his performing career, once his recovery was underway, Leitch found that his interest in music was still strong. Leitch's New Life Orchestra is at The 75 Club Nov. 30th-Dec. 1st.

Lest We Forget: JOE WILLIAMS

By Ori Dagan

Smack dab in the middle between the kingdoms of blues and jazz, Joe Williams was undeniably regal. On the surface, his bass-baritone is an instrument of immense power and astonishing range; its uniquely blue-colored tone—somewhere between cobalt and sapphire—alone could leave a listener breathless. A tribute to Williams by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with guest Milton Suggs is at Rose Theater Nov. 3rd.

Record Label Spotlight: UNSEEN WORLDS

By Eric Wendell

"Our motto is groundbreaking, yet accessible, avant garde music," says Tommy McCutchon, founder of the New York-based label Unseen Worlds. Since its inception in 2006, Unseen Worlds has eschewed the notion of genre and focuses instead on the idea of avant garde music that traverses categorization in a way that is agreeable yet dynamic in execution.

CD Reviews

(this month's performance venues in parentheses):

  1. Elliott Sharp -- Transmigration at the Solar Max Intakt (Roulette)
  2. Scott Hamilton -- Live at Pyatt Hall Cellar Live
  3. Jon Batiste -- Hollywood Africans Verve (VIllage Vanguard)
  4. Peter Zak -- One Mind Fresh Sound (Fat Cat; Smalls; The 75 Club)
  5. The Bad Plus -- Never Stop II Legbreaker (VIllage Vanguard)
  6. Myra Melford's Snowy Egret -- The Other Side of Air Firehouse 12 (Dizzy's Club)
  7. Jazz Rock Experience -- Let Yourself Go Sonorama
  8. Kimmig-Studer-Zimmerlin String Trio -- In Hellen hat[now]ART
  9. Simon Nabatov String Trio -- Situations Leo
  10. Violet Sp!n -- Sp!n Unit
  11. Tyshawn Sorey -- Pillars Firehouse 12 (Dizzy's Club; The Jazz Gallery; Korzo)
  12. Felipe Salles -- The Lullaby Project (And Other Works for Large Ensemble) Tapestry (The Jazz Gallery)
  13. James Francies -- Flight Blue Note (Jazz Standard)
  14. Josh Sinton Predicate Trio -- making bones, taking draughts, bearing unstable millstones pridefully, idiotically, prosaically Iluso (Greenwich House Music School)
  15. Cory Smythe -- Circulate Susanna Pyroclastic (Antique Garage Tribeca)
  16. Bob James -- Espresso Evolution Music Group (Blue Note)
  17. Black Art Jazz Collective -- Armor of Pride HighNote
  18. Medeski Martin & Wood (with Alarm Will Sound) -- Omnisphere Indirecto
  19. Michika Fukumori -- Piano Images Summit (Jazz at Kitano)
  20. Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra -- Down A Rabbit Hole Summit
  21. Dred Scott -- Rides Alone Ropeadope (Mezzrow)
  22. Trumpets and Basses -- Sanctuary pfMENTUM
  23. Jason Palmer -- At Wally's, Volume 1 & 2 SteepleChase (VIllage Vanguard)
  24. Soft Machine -- Hidden Details MoonJune
  25. Various Artists -- Sweet Smell of Success (Music from the Sound Track) Verve
  26. Cecil Taylor -- Corona 1996 FMP/Destination: OUT
  27. Barre Phillips -- End To End ECM
  28. Dan Block -- Block Party (A Saint Louis Connection) Miles High (Birdland Theater)
  29. John Fedchock -- Reminiscence Summit (Smalls)
  30. Larry Goldings/Peter Bernstein/Bill Stewart -- Toy Tunes Pirouet (Smoke; Blue Note)
  31. Gordon Grdina's The Marrow -- Ejdeha Songlines (Nublu; Cornelia Street Café)
  32. Frode Gjerstad Trio + Steve Swell -- Bop Stop Clean Feed (Greater Calvary Baptist Church; Nublu; Murmrr; The Stone at The New School)
  33. Stéphane Spira -- New Playground Spirajazz (The Cell)
  34. Marcus Strickland Twi-Life -- People of the Sun Blue Note (Jazz Standard)
  35. Jonathan Finlayson -- 3 Times Around Pi (Shapeshifter Lab)
  36. Sam Javitch -- People and Places s/r (Blue Note)
  37. Mary Halvorson/Joe Morris -- Traversing Orbits Rogue Art (The Jazz Gallery)
  38. Aaron Goldberg -- At The Edge of the World Sunnyside (Jazz Standard)
  39. Debra Mann -- Full Circle: The Music of Joni Mitchell Whaling City Sound
  40. Sam Leak/Dan Tepfer -- Adrift Jellymould (The Jazz Gallery)
  41. Huntertones -- Passport s/r
  42. Albert Ayler | Peter Brötzmann -- Music is the Healing Force of the Universe Jazzwerkstatt
  43. Mars Williams -- An Ayler Xmas, Vol. 2 Soulwhat/ESP-Disk' (The Stone at The New School)
  44. Gordon Beck -- Jubilation! (1964-1984) Turtle-Cherry Red

...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