The New York City Jazz Record

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It is easy to forget sometimes, when trapped in a jazz bubble, that there is plenty of other music going on and that some of the best jazz out there acknowledges those external forces and folds them into itself. And, conversely, that jazz has had its impact outside the piano room and concert halls, making rock, funk and hip-hop more complex. To wit, Soft Machine (On The Cover) was an outgrowth of a variety of different jazz and rock and art-music scenes of England in the '60s and continued to absorb and transmogrify those influences over the course of its career. Some 50 years after its founding, the band, with several '70s members, has reconvened under the old moniker with a new album on MoonJune and a tour that takes them through New York for three nights at Iridium. Some may blanch at our putting a non-pure-jazz band on the cover of a jazz magazine but, respectfully, in our almost 200 issues, we have tried to have an expansive notion of our mission, emphasizing exploration over orthodoxy, inclusiveness over Balkanization. To us jazz is an expression of freedom, a call to openness, a bulwark against closed-mindedness. In the 21st century, jazz is more a sociopolitical term than a musical one and listeners owe it to themselves to avoid being reactionary, lest they themselves fall into someone else's crosshairs.

On the Cover: SOFT MACHINE

By Marc Medwin; photos by GD Corporate Photography and Antonio Di Sarno

To chart Soft Machine's history, half a century on from its 1968 debut album, would entail exercises in redundancy and necessitate squaring the incongruities of juxtaposed reminiscences. The music's evolution, from the soul-drenched, jazz-inflected psychedelia championed by Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers and Mike Ratledge, through the jazz and rock cross-pollinations subsuming it when Hugh Hopper, Elton Dean and Karl Jenkins propelled it forward and its eventual toe-in-water early 21st century flirtations with its own past, the narrative warrants volumes beyond the ink already spilled over it. Soft Machine is at Iridium Oct. 12th-14th.

Interview: JAKOB BRO

By Annie Murnighan; photo by Adam Jandrup

There's a subtle curiosity to Danish guitarist Jakob Bro, a kind of patient exploration that pervades his work, as he delicately entangles poignant melodies that steadily swell into all-encompassing atmospheres. For over a decade, the Denmark native has honed his proclivity for lyrical compositions that quietly enthrall and made the move from in-demand sideman for jazz legends like Paul Motian and Lee Konitz to a bandleader in his own right. On his new live album, Bay of Rainbows (ECM), Bro captures the exploratory bent that pervades his work through a collection of tracks recorded during a two-night stint at New York City's Jazz Standard. Joined by bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Joey Baron, Bro's trio reinvigorates some of his most stirring pieces. Bro's trio is at Jazz Standard Oct. 23rd-24th.

Artist Feature: STEPHEN GAUCI

By John Sharpe; photo by Ben Stimler

The profile of saxophonist Stephen Gauci, already a strikingly original voice with a sizeable discography, has risen meteorically over the last year thanks to his presentation of not one but two ongoing concert series: the Bushwick Improvisers Series and the Happylucky no. 1 Series. Gauci is at Bushwick Public House Oct. 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th and Happylucky no.1 Oct. 5th, 10th and 17th.

Encore: DALE FIELDER

By George Kanzler

When Dale Fielder takes the stage at Fordham University's McGinley Ballroom in the Bronx this month, it will be Fielder's first appearance in New York this century. Fielder left New York, where he had lived for eight years, in 1988, settling in the Los Angeles area. Fielder is at Fordham University McGinley Ballroom Oct. 20th.

Lest We Forget: JOHNNY GRIFFIN

By Marilyn Lester

Saxophonist Johnny Griffin has been acknowledged as one of the most talented tenor players of his generation. Such was his musical greatness, that, standing at 5' 6" tall, he was nicknamed "The Little Giant". A Johnny Griffin tribute led by Michael Weiss is at Dizzy's Club Oct. 9th-10th.

Record Label Spotlight: OZELLA

By Jim Motavalli

If you've ever been in a hip European waiting room, where everyone is wearing black, you're likely to hear an interesting form of chill-out music with a decidedly calming effect. The Germany-based label Ozella Music—which specializes in Scandinavian jazz—puts out records that have that same kind of effect, though solidly based in the tradition.

CD Reviews

(this month's performance venues in parentheses):

  1. Joe McPhee/Pascal Niggenkemper/Ståle Liavik Solberg -- Imaginary Numbers Clean Feed (Blank Forms)
  2. A Pride of Lions -- The Bridge Sessions 08 Bridge Sessions
  3. Joe McPhee/John Edwards/Klaus Kugel -- Journey to Parazzar Not Two (Blank Forms)
  4. Eli Degibri -- Soul Station s/r (Jazz Standard)
  5. Abelita Mateus -- Mixed Feelings s/r (Dizzy's Club)
  6. Allison Miller/Carmen Staaf -- Science Fair Sunnyside (Jazz Standard)
  7. Thelonious Monk -- Mønk Gearbox
  8. Milo Tamez -- Oxyoquet - El Volcán Silencioso (Piezas en Cadencia I-XII) Amirani
  9. Jörg Fischer/Ingo Deul -- Vinkenslag Sporeprint
  10. Lucas Niggli -- Alchemia Garden Intakt
  11. Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids -- An Angel Fell Strut (Blank Forms)
  12. Walking Distance -- FREEBIRD (feat. Jason Moran) Sunnyside (Jazz Standard)
  13. Yelena Eckemoff -- Better Than Gold and Silver L&H Productions (Saint Peter's)
  14. Gilad Hekselman -- Ask For Chaos Motéma Music-Hexaphonic Music (Cornelia Street Underground)
  15. Michael Dessen -- Somewhere in the Upstream Clean Feed (Ibeam Brooklyn)
  16. Hank Roberts/Filippo Vignato/Pasquale Mirra/Giorgio Pacorig/Zeno De Rossi -- Pipe Dream CAMJazz (Greenwich House Music School)
  17. Ken Thomson -- Sextet New Amsterdam (Roulette)
  18. Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp -- Oneness Leo (Teatro Latea)
  19. Stefon Harris Blackout -- Sonic Creed Motéma (BRIC Jazzfest)
  20. Ran Blake/Christine Correa -- Streaming Red Piano (Dizzy's Club)
  21. Myra Melford -- Alive In The House Of Saints Part 2 hatOLOGY (Teatro Latea)
  22. Michael Leonhart -- The Painted Lady Suite Sunnyside (Jazz Standard)
  23. Kate Reid -- The Heart Already Knows s/r (Jazz at Kitano)
  24. Mark Soskin -- Upper West Side Stories SteepleChase (Jazz at Kitano)
  25. Dr. Michael White -- Tricentennial Rag Basin Street (Dizzy's Club)
  26. Fred Hersch -- Heartsongs Sunnyside (VIllage Vanguard)
  27. Steve Coleman and Five Elements -- Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 (The Embedded Sets) Pi (Jazz Gallery)
  28. Will Vinson -- It's Alright With Three Criss Cross (Zinc Bar)
  29. Eddie Daniels -- Heart of Brazil (A Tribute to Egberto Gismonti) Resonance (Birdland)
  30. Johnny Dyani -- African Bass Solo Concert : Willisau Jazz Festival 1978 Sing a Song Fighter
  31. Joëlle Léandre/Elisabeth Harnik -- Tender Music Trost (Austrian Cultural Forum; Saint Peter's Church; Ibeam Brooklyn; Teatro Latea)
  32. Annie Chen -- Secret Treetop Shanghai Audio & Video Ltd.Co. (Cornelia Street Underground; Tomi Jazz)
  33. Roseanna Vitro -- Tell Me The Truth Skyline (Jazz at Kitano)
  34. Brian Marsella -- Outspoken: The Music Of The Legendary Hasaan Tzadik (The Stone at The New School)
  35. Don Byron/Aruán Ortiz -- Random Dances and (A)Tonalities Intakt (Community Church of New York; Teatro Latea)
  36. Nicole Mitchell -- Maroon Cloud FPE (Teatro Latea)
  37. Catherine Sikora/Brian Chase -- untitled: after Chaikin (Areté Gallery)
  38. Keyon Harrold -- The Mugician Legacy (BRIC Jazzfest; Jazz Standard)
  39. Mike Clark & Delbert Bump -- Retro Report Ropeadope (Zinc Bar; ShapeShifter Lab)
  40. Middle Blue -- Love Chords Ropeadope (Troost; Bar Chord)
  41. David Hazeltine -- The Time Is Now Smoke Sessions (Smoke)
  42. This Is It! -- 1538 Libra
  43. Satoko Fujii/Joe Fonda/Gianni Mimmo -- Triad Long Song
  44. Kira Kira -- Bright Force Libra
  45. Christian Artmann -- Our Story Sunnyside (Jazz at Kitano)
  46. Ralph Peterson Gennext Big Band -- I Remember Bu: Alive, Vol. 4 @Scullers Onyx (Jazz Standard)
  47. Ralph Peterson Aggregate Prime -- Inward Venture: Alive Vol. 5 at the Side Door Onyx (Jazz Standard)
  48. Billy Drewes -- Under One Sun Oberlin Music (Dizzy's Club; Blue Note; Village Vanguard)
  49. Wolfgang Schmidtke Orchestra -- Monk! Jazzwerkstatt
  50. Andrés Vial -- Plays Thelonious Monk: Sphereology Volume One Chromatic Audio
  51. Laurent De Wilde -- New Monk Trio Gazebo
  52. Michel Camilo -- Live in London Redondo Music (Blue Note)
  53. Jacques Thollot -- Thollot In Extenso Nato
  54. AMM -- An Unintended Legacy Matchless
  55. Junior Mance -- Deep Progressive
  56. Robbie Lee/Mary Halvorson -- See Triangular New Amsterdam
  57. Dave Sewelson -- Music For A Free World FMR (Downtown Music Gallery)
  58. Peter Zummo -- Frame Loop Foom (BAM Fisher Theater)
  59. Christian Sands -- Facing Dragons Mack Avenue (Jazz Standard)
  60. Lee Konitz -- Prisma QFTF
  61. Lee Konitz/Dan Tepfer -- Decade Impulse
  62. Dave Anderson -- Melting Pot Label 1
  63. Various Artists -- The Savory Collection 1935-1940 Mosaic

...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