The New York City Jazz Record

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This issue marks our first dedicated to the guitar since October 2011. However, a quick scan of the features will show that this is not the typical testosterone-drenched fare, with the instrument used as a stand-in for a certain piece of genitalia. No, the guitar is no longer the sole province of men, even in the jazz world, which is still one of the last outposts of gender inequality in the music industry. We are also happy that this issue isn't being done in March for Women's History Month as it demonstrates that gender celebration shouldn't be limited to a single page of the calendar. (We do give the guys some love in a special CD Review section on pgs. 16-19.)

Mary Halvorson (On The Cover) is the second musician to go in these pages from a Listen Up (our former column on up-and-comers) to an Artist Feature to a Cover subject; she continues her ascent with a curated week at The Stone. Leni Stern (Interview) has taken jazz on the road, mixing it liberally with the musics of the world; she will appear at various locations. Sheryl Bailey (Artist Feature) has been an NYC mainstay for 20 years and plays all around town. And going a bit further back, we explore the careers of Philly stalwart Monnette Sudler (Encore) and the late pioneer Mary Osborne (Lest We Forget), who died in 1992.


By John Pietaro; photos by Peter Gannushkin

Barely off the plane following an Italian tour with Marc Ribot's Young Philadelphians, Mary Halvorson is already preparing for the next gig. The guitarist's reputation is built upon a race of increasingly faster laps, a veritable cyclone of a career. A glance at her prolific discography—some 80 album credits over a 15- year period—offers evidence of the pace she keeps. Halvorson is at The Stone Jan. 30th-Feb. 4th and Feb. 21st as part of John Zorn Improv Night.

Interview: LENI STERN

By Alex Henderson; photo by Sandrine Lee/JALC

When Leni Stern recorded her first album as a leader, Clairvoyant (Passport, 1985), she established herself as a lyrical and melodic jazz-rock fusion guitarist whose influences included Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, Bill Frisell and Jim Hall. Stern has also embraced everything from pop-rock to world music and her exploration of West African rhythms continues on her latest recording 3, due out in April on her LSR label. It features Stern on guitar, ngoni (a traditional West African string instrument) and vocals and spotlights her working trio of bassist Mamadou Ba and percussionist Alioune Faye. Born Magdalena Thora in Munich, Germany, Stern moved to Boston in 1977 to attend Berklee College of Music and has been based in New York City since 1981. Stern discussed her passion for African music and some of the highlights of her long career. Stern is at Club Bonafide Feb. 8th, Shrine Feb. 10th, 55Bar Feb. 13th and Barbès Feb. 14th.

Artist Feature: SHERYL BAILEY

By Elliott Simon; photo by Alison Hasbach

Genre and context neither define nor confine guitarist Sheryl Bailey. Like all great jazz guitarists, she navigates a melody along a fascinating route from beginning to end. Elegant interplay with bassist Harvie S, burning releases with her Hammond B3 organ trio, blistering bop runs and cutting edge world music partly define her but as an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music and with respected online and offline curricula she is influencing generations of young guitarists. Bailey is at Fat Cat Feb. 2nd, Zinc Bar Feb. 19th with Strings Attached and Bar Next Door Feb. 24th.


By Donald Elfman

The arc of Monnette Sudler's life and career could be called a path towards freedom, one that involves acute political consciousness as well as a personal journey in which forgiveness has sustained her and made her music more diverse, inclusive and vital.

Lest We Forget: MARY OSBORNE

By Scott Yanow

One of the top bop-oriented guitarists to emerge during the '40s and a major player in the '50s, Mary Osborne has been largely forgotten. She was the only major female jazz guitarist prior to the '70s, but that fact almost seems irrelevant. Osborne was simply one of the finest guitarists around.

Record Label Spotlight: THE BEAK DOCTOR

By Clifford Allen

In the late '70s, the scene in California's Bay Area had a number of players who produced their own concerts and recordings including saxophonists Glenn Spearman and John Gruntfest, drummer Smiley Winters and the circle around the ROVA Saxophone Quartet, guitarist Henry Kaiser and pianist Greg Goodman. Larry Ochs, the "O" in ROVA, joined forces with Kaiser and Goodman to release music on two separate labels living under the same umbrella: Metalanguage and The Beak Doctor.


photo by Robert I. Sutherland-Cohen

Remembrances of the late trombonist from Duck Baker, Steven Bernstein, Carla Bley, Milford Graves, Grachan Moncur III, Buell Niedlinger, Archie Shepp and Steve Swell.

CD Reviews

(this month's performance venues in parentheses):

  1. Tom Dempsey/Tim Ferguson Quartet -- Waltz New OA2 (Smalls)
  2. Gary Lucas/Tóni Dezso -- Gary and Toni Go Nuts! Rare Lumiere (Roulette)
  3. Lilly (feat. Gilad Hekselman) -- Tenderly Gateway Music
  4. Pat Martino -- Formidable HighNote (Iridium)
  5. Various Artists -- Sky Music: A Tribute to Terje Rypdal Rune Grammofon
  6. Wes Montgomery -- Smokin' In Seattle: Live at The Penthouse Resonance
  7. Wes Montgomery -- In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording Resonance
  8. Melvin Sparks -- Live at Nectar's One Note
  9. George Freeman -- 90 Going On Amazing Blujazz
  10. Fred Frith/Hans Koch -- You Are Here Intakt
  11. Scott Dubois -- Autumn Wind ACT
  12. Ulf & Eric Wakenius -- Father And Son ACT
  13. Magnus Karlsson/Lasse Bohlin -- The Carl Kress Jazz Guitar Duets (From the 30s & 40s) NCB
  14. Francesco Buzzurro/Richard Smith -- Un Mondo, Due Chitarre (One World, Two Guitars) s/r
  15. Daniel Carter/Patrick Holmes/Matthew Putman/Hilliard Greene/Federico Ughi -- Telepathic Alliances 577 Records (Downtown Music Gallery; Legion Bar; Metro Baptist Church; Baha'i Center; Bushwick Public House)
  16. Tardo Hammer -- Swinging On A Star Cellar Live (75 Club at Bogardus; Smalls)
  17. Tardo Hammer/Peter Washington -- Live at Mezzrow smallsLIVE (75 Club at Bogardus; Smalls)
  18. Tim Armacost -- Time Being Whirlwind (Smoke; Bar Next Door; Smalls)
  19. New York Standards Quartet -- Sleight of Hand Whirlwind
  20. Kermit Ruffins/Irvin Mayfield -- A Beautiful World Basin Street (Blue Note)
  21. Rachel Therrien -- WDYT Truth Revolution (Jazz Standard)
  22. Dominik Bukowski -- SUFiA Fundacja Słuchaj
  23. Amir ElSaffar -- Not Two New Amsterdam (Skirball Center)
  24. Kate McGarry/Keith Ganz/Gary Versace -- The Subject Tonight is Love Binxtown (Jazz Standard)
  25. DIVA Jazz Orchestra -- 25th Anniversary Project s/r (Birdland)
  26. Lewis Porter -- Beauty & Mystery Altrisuoni (Dizzy's Club)
  27. Lewis Porter/Phil Scarff Group -- Three Minutes to Four Whaling City Sound (Dizzy's Club)
  28. Lewis Porter -- Trio Solo Unseen Rain (Dizzy's Club)
  29. KaiBorg -- Vibrant Matters pfMENTUM (Balboa)
  30. Dre Hocevar -- Surface of Inscription Clean Feed (Spectrum)
  31. John McNeil/Mike Fahie -- Plainsong Destiny (The Douglass)
  32. Abdullah Ibrahim -- Ancient Africa Sackville-Delmark
  33. Trevor Watts Amalgam -- Closer To You Ogun-Hi4Head
  34. Trevor Watts/Stephen Grew -- All There Is Discus Music
  35. Spontaneous Music Ensemble -- Karyobin Island-Emanem
  36. Craig Taborn/Kris Davis -- Octopus Pyroclastic (Issue Project Room)
  37. Flip Phillips -- Your Place or Mine? Jump-Delmark
  38. Hiromi/Edmar Castañeda -- Live in Montréal Telarc (Dizzy's Club)
  39. Steve Slagle -- Dedication Panorama (Smoke)
  40. Paul Rutherford -- In Backwards Time Emanem
  41. Jay Clayton/Kirk Nurock -- Unraveling Emily Sunnyside
  42. Richie Cole -- Latin Lover RCP
  43. Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Armstrong -- Cheek to Cheek (The Complete Duet Recordings) Verve

...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