The New York City Jazz Record

The City's Only Homegrown Jazz Gazette!

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May is special around the Jazz Record office. It is our birthday month, another chance, after our January Best Of issue, to reflect on the year that has passed. But, to belabor a point that has been made endlessly, the past year has had little to celebrate. With this issue, we have now published 14 digital-only editions; what was first a stop-gap measure has become the norm, just like leaving the house without a mask seems like a dream. Things seem to be improving: vaccines are available; the weather is warming up, allowing for shows to take place outside; NYC regulations have been relaxed and some clubs are reopening...as gently as a flower opening for the first time of the season. But—and this is a Sir Mix-a-Lot-sized but—this is not the time to stop being vigilant, lest we end up right back where we were a year ago, a terrifying thought.

Most of our features and CD Reviews are reflective of the current state of semi-lockdown: violinist Mark Feldman (On The Cover), saxophonist Mark Shim (Artist Feature) both have live-streaming events this month. So too does saxophonist/flutist Carol Sudhalter (Interview) but she also performs en plein-air. There are numerous concerts scheduled at various parks throughout the city, so dust yourself off and go support musicians who have missed audiences as much as audiences have missed them.

On the Cover: MARK FELDMAN

By Michael Cobb; photos by Luciano Rossetti

Violinist Mark Feldman has worked with some of the biggest names in jazz and with musicians outside of jazz including country artists and indie-pop rockers. Feldman recently released a solo album, Sounding Point (Intakt), overdubbing himself for a multi-layered string experience. Feldman live-streams May 12th at Soapbox Gallery.

Interview: CAROL SUDHALTER

By Jim Motavalli; photo by Gus Philippas / courtesy of the artist

When baritone saxophonist/flutist Carol Sudhalter arrived in New York from her native Boston circa 1978, she settled in Queens, which could boast of being homebase for Louis Armstrong and numerous other jazz musicians. Sudhalter formed the Astoria Big Band in 1986 and has kept the group going ever since. The group, with original arrangements by some top names, has gotten more than 20 grants from the Queens Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Sudhalter also leads the monthly Louis Armstrong Legacy Jazz Jam at Flushing Town Hall. Sudhalter live-streams May 12th at Flushing Town Hall and is at Sunnyside Reformed Church May 29th.

Artist Feature: MARK SHIM

By George Grella; photo by Doerte Fitschen-Rath / Studio DF 6

Mark Shim is one of the most unique and exciting players on the contemporary jazz scene, with a sound that carries a powerful sheer effect and ideas about improvisation pushing at the edges of modern jazz from the inside out. Shim live-streams May 12th at Bar Bayeux.

Encore: MIKE WESTBROOK

By Francesco Martinelli

In an amazing bout of creativity and endurance English composer and bandleader Mike Westbrook, who turned 85 in March, provided listeners all over the world with a precious selection of films documenting his 50+ years of activity with the Mike Westbrook Jazz Motion Picture Show, available on his website.

Lest We Forget: GEORGE OTSUKA

By Alex Henderson

Japanese drummer Keiji "George" Otsuka, who was 82 when he died in Tokyo on Mar. 10th, 2020, had a career spanning over 60 years and was known not only for the high caliber of Japanese musicians he employed, but also for all the American and Europeans who hired him when they were in Japan.

Record Label Spotlight: CADILLAC

By Mark Keresman

Cadillac specializes in, mostly but not entirely, styles of jazz too chancy for mainstream concerns and provides a daïs of sorts for some of the UK's—and beyond—jazz makers.

CD Reviews

(this month's performance/streaming venues in parentheses):

  1. Sana NaganoSmashing Humans 577 Records (Streaming)
  2. The 8-Bit Big BandBackwards Compatible TeamChuck (Sony Hall)
  3. Steve LaSpinaA Change In The Weather SteepleChase (William Paterson)
  4. Clovis NicolasAutoportrait (Solo) Sunnyside (Soapbox Gallery)
  5. Michael Sarian/Matthew PutmanA Lifeboat (Part I) 577 Records (Streaming)
  6. Steven FeifkeKinetic Outside In Music (The Django)
  7. Greg AbateMagic Dance: The Music of Kenny Barron Whaling City Sound (Jazz Standard)
  8. Dan BlakeDa Fé Sunnyside (JazzHabitat)
  9. Lauren LeeThe Queen of Cups Ears & Eyes (Soapbox Gallery)
  10. George ColemanIn Baltimore Reel to Real
  11. Roni Ben-HurStories Dot Time (Soapbox Gallery)
  12. Jim SnideroLive at the Deer Head Inn Savant
  13. Michael FormanekImperfect Measures Intakt (Soapbox Gallery)
  14. Michael and Peter FormanekDyads Out of Your Head (Soapbox Gallery)
  15. Achim Kaufmann/Ignaz SchickAltered Alchemy Zarek
  16. Space QuartetUnder the Sun Live 2019 Noise Precision Library
  17. Fred Frith/Ikue MoriA Mountain Doesn't Know It's Tall Intakt
  18. Jeff Coffin/Derek BrownSymbiosis Ear Up!
  19. Jeff Coffin/Helen GilletLet It Shine Ear Up!
  20. Absolutely Sweet MarieWherever You Roam (The Music of Bob Dylan - Vol. 3) Tiger Moon
  21. Masayuki JoJo Takayanagi/Nobuyoshi Ino/Masabumi PUU KikuchiLive at Jazz Inn Lovely 1990 NoBusiness
  22. Meredith d'AmbrosioSometime Ago Sunnyside
  23. John HicksSteadfast Strata-East - Pure Pleasure
  24. Yaala BallinSings Irvin Berlin SteepleChase Lookout
  25. Michael VlatkovichWith You Jazz Cat pfMENTUM
  26. Stanley CowellMusa - Ancestral Streams Strata-East - Pure Pleasure
  27. Stanley Cowell, Billy Harper, Reggie Workman, Billy HartSuch Great Friends Strata-East - Pure Pleasure
  28. Trió KontrasztCryptic Scattered Images of Time Forgotten BMC Records
  29. Grencsó Collective Special 5 (with Ken Vandermark)Do Not Slam The Door! BMC Records
  30. Agustí Fernández/Liudas MockūnasImprodimensions NoBusiness
  31. Nate Wooley, Liudas Mockūnas, Barry Guy, Arkadijus GotesmanasImprodimensions NoBusiness
  32. Keith JarrettBudapest Concert ECM
  33. Doug RaneySomething's Up SteepleChase
  34. Marco Colonna/Alexander HawkinsDolphy Underlined Fundacja Sluchaj
  35. Alexander HawkinsTogetherness Music (For Sixteen Musicians Featuring Evan Parker + Riot Ensemble) Intakt
  36. Karl EvangelistaApura! Astral Spirits
  37. Alan BraufmanThe Fire Still Burns Valley of Search

...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