The New York City Jazz Record

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In this month's Artist Feature on saxophonist James Brandon Lewis, who continues his busy schedule as a leader and sideman throughout town, he offers his thoughts on the elders who have preceeded and embraced him and other young musicians: "I respect their journeys, their lives and commitment." So it is fitting that this up-and-comer shares space in this issue with a luminous roster of elders. 92-year-old vocalist Tony Bennett (On The Cover) could have his age reversed, given how perpetually youthful and hip to the times he continues to be in this, his eighth decade as a performer. He plays Radio City Music Hall and is also honored by the Jazz Foundation of America at its A Great Night in Harlem. 80-year-old vibraphonist Mike Mainieri (Interview) has been a professional musician for almost as long, starting out a child performer and continuing in both the jazz and rock spheres, most notably with the Steps Ahead band; that group is honored by the NYU Jazz Orchestra at Blue Note with Mainieri as guest of honor. And 86-year-old drummer Billy Kaye (Encore), whose resumé is a Who's Who of Jazz, continues to be active, leading a weekly jam session at Fat Cat.

On the Cover: TONY BENNETT

By Andrew Vélez; photos by Mark Seliger (courtesy of RPM Productions) and Bryan Adams/Trunk Archive

Born into a working class Italian family, Astoria native Anthony Dominick Benedetto is the embodiment of the Great American dream. At 92, he is the pre-eminent singer of the 20th and 21st centuries, embraced and beloved by audiences of all generations. The winner of 19 Grammy awards, he has sold more than ten million records just in the past decade. Bennett is at Radio City Music Hall Apr. 13th and honored as part of the Jazz Foundation of America's Great Night in Harlem at the Apollo Theater Apr. 4th.


By Jim Motavalli; photo courtesy of the artist

Even if you don't know the name, you probably have a record featuring vibraphonist/arranger Mike Mainieri. Those Steps and Steps Ahead albums? He founded the band. Do you own Paul Desmond's Summertime, Kenny Burrell's A Generation Ago Today, Art Farmer's Big Blues with Jim Hall, Pat Martino's Starbright or any Buddy Rich albums from the late '50s-early '60s? That's Mainieri. He played dates—at a very young age—with Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins and Wes Montgomery. Mainieri was also a ubiquitous pop music studio denizen. After turning 80 last July, Mainieri is still working. A family issue sidelined him for a couple of years, but now he's back at it full time, still vigorous and full of ideas. Mainieri is at Blue Note Apr. 29th.


By John Pietaro; photo by R.I. Sutherland-Cohen

James Brandon Lewis, 35, remains sufficiently spry to maintain the "Young Lion" status attributed to him by those elders, yet he's increasingly viewed as a galvanizing force. His career highlights have been substantial thus far but with each passing year there comes an expansion of Lewis' presence as a saxophonist, composer, activist and conceptualist. To many, he stands among the torch-bearers in a long line of tenor giants. Lewis is at El Barrio Artspace Apr. 14th, Joe's Pub Apr. 19th with Carl Hancock Rux and Brooklyn Conservatory of Music Apr. 28th.


By Russ Musto

"A gig is a gig is a gig. That was the expression they used to say," Billy Kaye remembers and at 86 the drummer has had more than his share. Kaye is at Fat Cat Mondays.

Lest We Forget: DON SHIRLEY

By Mark Keresman

Don Shirley, who died six years go this month at 86, was a pianist who strode between the jazz and classical worlds. But in the first half of the 20th century opportunities in the latter sphere for an African-American musician were limited. Shirley established himself as a soloist leading small groups, performing a mélange of classical, jazz, gospel, show tunes and pop music of the day.

Record Label Spotlight: DRIFF

By Eric Wendell

With 16 CD releases and two digital downloads, Driff showcases the adventures of Jorrit Dijkstra and Pandelis Karayorgis and the different endeavors to which their minds are privy. With the label "transatlantic improvised music" serving as the masthead of their carefully curated music, Driff showcases a shared passion for ever-evolving jazz traditions.

CD Reviews

(this month's performance venues in parentheses):

  1. Joshua RedmanCome What May Nonesuch (Blue Note)
  2. Friends & NeighborsWhat's Next Clean Feed (Shapeshifter Lab)
  3. Yotam SilbersteinFuture Memories Jazz and People (Dizzy's Club)
  4. Chicago Edge EnsembleInsidious Anthem Trost
  5. The Bridge Sessions 09Stroboscope Bridge Sessions
  6. The ThingAgain Trost
  7. Paal Nilssen-LoveNew Japanese Noise PNL (244 Rehearsal Studios)
  8. Paal Nilssen-LoveNew Brazilian Funk PNL (244 Rehearsal Studios)
  9. Dexter GordonTokyo 1975 Elemental Music
  10. Dexter GordonEspace Cardin 1977 Elemental Music
  11. Andrew Raffo Dewar/John Hughes/Chad PoppleReflejo pfMENTUM
  12. Emile ParisienDouble Screening ACT
  13. Paul Rogers/Olaf Rupp/Frank Paul SchubertThree Stories About Rain Sunlight and the Hidden Soil Relative Pitch
  14. Count Basie OrchestraAll About That Basie Concord (Apollo Theater)
  15. Joe FiedlerOpen Sesame s/r (The Jazz Gallery)
  16. Carlos HenriquezDizzy Con Clave (Live From Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola) RodBros Music (Rose Theater)
  17. Carlos FranzettiRicordare Sunnyside
  18. Christina Von BülowOn The Brink of a Lovely Song Storyville
  19. Michael WolffSwirl Sunnyside (Knickerbocker Bar & Grill; Birdland Theater)
  20. Keith OxmanGlimpses Capri
  21. Various ArtistsOn The Corner Live!: The Music of Miles Davis Ear Up!
  22. Erin McDougaldOutside The Soiree Miles High
  23. Alfredo Rodriguez/Pedrito MartinezDuologue Mack Avenue (Miller Theater; Rockwood Music Hall)
  24. Michaël Attiaséchos la nuit Out of Your Head (Greenwich House Music School)
  25. Anthony BraxtonQuartet (Willisau) 1991 Studio hatOLOGY
  26. Wild Man Conspiracy & Chris CheekLive at the Bimhuis Red Piano (Rockwood Music Hall; Halyard's; Smalls)
  27. Ulysses Owens Jr.Songs of Freedom Resilience Music Alliance (Village Vanguard; Smalls)
  28. Eric ReedEverybody Gets the Blues Smoke Sessions (Smoke)
  29. Logan Richardsonblues PEOPLE Ropeadope (Harlem Stage Gatehouse)
  30. Harriet TubmanThe Terror End of Beauty Sunnyside
  31. John MarshallThe Saint Petersburg Sessions Organic Music (The 75 Club at Bogardus Mansion; Smalls; Little Branch; The Django at Roxy Hotel)
  32. Randy Brecker/Mats Holmquist with UMO Jazz OrchestraTogether MAMA Foundation (ShapeShifter Lab; Dizzy's Club)
  33. Randy BreckerRocks Piloo (ShapeShifter Lab; Dizzy's Club)
  34. Wayne ShorterEmanon Blue Note
  35. Matt Lavelle/Reggie SylvesterRetrograde ESP-Disk (Michiko Rehearsal Studios)
  36. Yuval AmihaiI Ain't Got Nothin' But The Blues Fresh Sound-New Talent (Bistro Jules)
  37. Tomeka Reid/Filippo MonicoThe Mouser Relative Pitch (Happylucky no.1; The Jazz Gallery)
  38. Stephane WrembelThe Django Experiment IV Water Is Life (Town Hall; Barbès)
  39. Misha Mengelberg, Peter Brötzmann, Evan Parker, Peter Bennink, Paul Rutherford, Derek Bailey, Han BenninkGroupcomposing ICP-Corbett vs. Dempsey
  40. Derek Bailey/Evan ParkerThe London Concert Incus-OTOROKU
  41. Ralph AlessiImaginary Friends ECM (Greenwich House Music School)
  42. Various ArtistsAmarcord Nino Rota Hannibal-Corbett vs. Dempsey
  43. Pete McCannPay For It On The Other Side McCannic Music (Bar Bayeux; Bar Next Door)
  44. Karin Krog & Georgie FameOn A Misty Night Odin
  45. Stephan Crump/Ingrid Laubrock/Cory SmytheChannels Intakt (The Jazz Gallery)
  46. Chad TaylorMyths and Morals Ears & Eyes (The Stone at The New School)
  47. SFJAZZ CollectiveLive: SFJAZZ Center 2017 SFJAZZ (Jazz Standard)
  48. Walter Smith III/Matthew Stevens/Joel Ross/Harish Raghavan/Marcus GilmoreIn Common Whirlwind (Village Vanguard; The Jazz Gallery)
  49. Charles MingusPithecanthropus Erectus Atlantic-Speakers Corner
  50. Willie NelsonMy Way (Willie Nelson Sings Sinatra) Legacy
  51. Gabrielle StravelliPick Up My Pieces (Gabrielle Stravelli Sings Willie Nelson) s/r (Birdland)
  52. Jim SnideroWaves of Calm Savant (Smalls)
  53. Dezron DouglasBlack Lion Black Lion (Irish Arts Center; Smalls)
  54. Sheila JordanLucky To Be Me Abeat (Local 802; Birdland Theater)
  55. Stephen RileyHold 'em Joe SteepleChase (Smalls)
  56. AmuWeave Libra
  57. Satoko Fujii Orchestra TokyoKikoeru (Tribute to Masaya Kimura) Libra (The Stone at The New School)
  58. Satoko Fujii Orchestra BerlinNinety-Nine Years Libra (The Stone at The New School)
  59. THe OGJB BandBamako TUM (Roulette)
  60. Duck BakerSpinning Song Avant-Triple Point
  61. Lucas Gillan's Many BlessingsChit-Chatting With Herbie JeruJazz
  62. Miho HazamaDancer in Nowhere Sunnyside (Jazz Standard)
  63. Ben PatersonLive at Van Gelder's Cellar Live (The Players Club; Mezzrow)
  64. The Rempis/Daisy Duo & GuestsDodecahedron Aerophonic (244 Rehearsal Studios)
  65. Dave Rempis/Matt Piet/Tim DaisyThrow Tomatoes Astral Spirits (244 Rehearsal Studios)
  66. Dave Rempis/Brandon Lopez/Ryan PackardThe Early Bird Gets Aerophonic (244 Rehearsal Studios)
  67. Dale FielderScene From A Dream Clarion Jazz
  68. Jessica PavoneIn The Action Relative Pitch (Brooklyn Conservatory of Music)
  69. Misha TsiganovPlaying With The Wind Criss Cross (Russian Vodka Room)
  70. Stephen Gauci/Sandy Ewen/Adam Lane/Kevin SheaLive at the Bushwick Series Gaucimusic (Bushwick Public House)
  71. Barry Guy Blue Shroud BandOdes and Meditations for Cecil Taylor)/Intensegrity (The Small Formations) Not Two

...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