The end of summer might be considered jazz’ Spring: concert halls, music schools and other venues dormant for the hot, sweltering summer months, once again blossom with renewed activity. Plus several summer jazz traditions, such as free outdoor concerts presented by Jazzmobile uptown and Arts for Art downtown, continue through the last few weeks of the season before we officially head into Fall. Such daily and nightly riches maintain NYC as an—if not still THE—epicenter of live jazz. Maybe we’re spoiled, but NYC is in essence a kind of nightly jazz festival, and it’s not necessarily what concert-s to go to, but which ones you can swallow having to miss. So take our word for it: you’re not going to want to pass up the opportunity to hear any of this issue’s featured musicians, all whom perform live this month in the city.
As he prepares for nonagenarian status next year and the publication of his memoir, legendary drummer/percussionist Warren Smith (Cover Story)—who has worked with everyone from Sam Rivers, Gil Evans, Max Roach and Muhal Richard Abrams to Harry Partch and John Cage to The Fugs, Janis Joplin and Van Morrison—has two special September concerts as bandleader: one at National Jazz Museum in Harlem presented by the Jazz Foundation of America, the other at the Children’s Magical Garden as part of Arts for Art’s “InGardens” concert series. Tubist Joseph Daley (Encore) played with Smith in Rivers’ “Tuba Trio” and has organized a centennial tribute concert in honor of the great saxophonist and composer. He and other alumni will be revisiting the works of Rivers’ Rivbea Orchestra at Mount Morris Ascension Presbyterian Church. And the Rivers connection doesn’t stop there. The late trombonist Slide Hampton (Lest We Forget)—who played with Rivers in a Dizzy Gillespie ’80s all-star band—is fêted this month at Birdland Theater.
Fay Victor (Artist Feature) has been a city mainstay since her move back 20 years ago. TNYCJR’s overdue feature on the vocalist captures her during an especially good month: celebrating her latest (solo) album release at Zürcher Gallery, plus a free outdoor “InGardens” Arts for Art presentation and as opening act for the three-day M³ (Mutual Mentorship for Musicians) Festival at Roulette. And one more date to mark on your calendar: Idris Ackamoor (Interview Feature) & The Pyramids’ album release concert is at Public Records, marking the band’s 50-year anniversary.
As always, there’s plenty of music to celebrate. So, happy reading and listening, and see you out at the shows...
On the Cover: WARREN SMITH—Crossing Borders & Playing with Pioneers
Drummer/percussionist Warren’s Smith’s reputation is both well established and love-lived. Next year he celebrates nonagenarian status. Tuba player Joseph Daley has called him an “American cultural icon”. His ability to perform at the highest level in any genre and on any percussion instrument has led to his working with everybody from Miles Davis to Janis Joplin, John Cage to Aretha Franklin, the New York City Ballet to The Fugs. The Warren Smith Trio is at Children’s Magical Garden Sep. 4; the Warren Smith Q-tet is at National Jazz Museum Sep. 21.
Interview: IDRIS ACKAMOOR—Visionary Afro-Futurist
(by Jordannah Elizabeth; photo by Pat Mazzera)
Enigmatic, evocative, searing and moving are a few ways to describe Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids’ powerful jazz fusion soundscapes. Acakamoor & The Pyramids’ album release concert, marking the band’s 50th anniversary, is at Public Records Sep. 14.
Artist Feature: FAY VICTOR—Words As Sound
(by George Grella; photo by Deneka Peniston)
Since her fateful decision to become a singer, Fay Victor has become a singular vocalist in the jazz and improvised music scene. And words are just as much spontaneous material as are musical ideas to her. Victor is at Zürcher Gallery (solo) Sep. 12, Roulette Sep. 21 as part of M³ (Mutual Mentorship for Musicians) Festival at Roulette and Children’s Magical Garden Sep. 23.
Encore: JOSEPH DALEY—A Mighty Voice
(by John Sharpe; photo by Frederico Sponza)
Joseph Daley not only nimbly covers the bass register of the tuba, but he offers harmonious counterpoint and supplements the front line, offering liquid moaning expression in the upper reaches of his instrument. Such range has made him a popular choice for Gil Evans, Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Carla Bley, Charlie Haden and Sam Rivers. In celebration of Rivers’ centennial, Daley is at Mount Morris Ascension Presbyterian Church Sep. 22 with the NY RivBea Orchestra.
Lest We Forget: SLIDE HAMPTON—Slide to Posterity
(by Marilyn Lester; photo by Luciano Rosetti)
When NEA Jazz Master and Grammy-winning trombonist Slide Hampton died in November 2021 at age 89, he left a super-sized legacy as a player, arranger and composer. The Slide Hampton Octet tribute band is at Birdland Theater Sep. 7.
Album Reviews: In Print, On Screen, Boxed Set, Drop The Needle Reviews, Globe Unity…
Jeff Lederer - Schoenberg on the Beach
(little (i) music)
Yuka Mito - Love In The City
Rempis Percussion Quartet - Harvesters
Agnas/Flaten/Ståhl/Johansson - All Slow Dream Gone
David Virelles - Carta
Hilario Duran/David Virelles - Front Street Duets
Brandon Sanders - Compton's Finest
Ember - August in March
Martin Wind/Jim McNeely/Ed Neumeister - Counterpoint
Art Pepper - Meets The Rhythm Section
Angel Bat Dawid - Requiem for Jazz
Alabaster Deplume - Come With Fierce Grace
Jerome Sabbagh - Vintage
Free Form Funky Freqs - Hymn of the 3rd Galaxy
Stephane Wrembel - Django New Orleans
(Water is Life)
Wynton Marsalis - Plays Louis Armstrong's Hot Fives and Hot Sevens
John Coltrane with Eric Dolphy - Evenings at the Village Gate
Elvin Jones - Revival: Live at Pookie's Pub
Eddie Henderson - Witness to History
Gregory Lewis - Organ Monk Going Home
GEORGE - Letters To George
(Out Of Your Head)
Tomas Janzon - Nomadic
Marmota - Toca
Sara Serpa/André Matos - Night Birds
ARTEMIS - In Real Time
John Zorn - New Masada Quartet Vol.2
Sana Nagano/Leonor Falcón - Peach & Tomato
Astroturf Noise - Blazing Freezing
Jon-Erik Kellso and The EarRegulars - Live at The Ear Inn
Paul Dunmall/Faith Brackenbury/Tony Bianco/John Pope - Sentient Beings
With Peter Bradley directed by Alex Rappoport
Denny Zeitlin - Crazy Rhythm: Exploring George Gershwin
Hal Russell/Joel Futterman - The Chicago River
Darcy James Argue's Secret Society - Dynamic Maximum Tension
Jason Kao Hwang Critical Response - Book of Stories
(True Sound Recording)
Ray Blue - #PEOPLE
Beam Splitter - Split Jaw
Joshua Redman - where are we
Michel Petrucciani - The Montreux Years
Mike Nock - Hearing
Katharina Weber - In Márta's Garden (Piano Solo)
Prévost/Moore/Kaiser/Golding/Brice - The Secret Handshake with Danger, Vol.2
Jim Campilongo/Steve Cardenas - New Year
Chico Pinheiro/Romero Lumambo - Two Brothers
Hot Sardines - C'est La Vie (A Jazz Soundtrack)
Saxophone Colossus: The Life and Music of Sonny Rollins by Aidan Levy
Bill Evans - Treasures: Solo, Trio & Orchestra Recordings from Denmark (1965-1969)
Cecilia Lopez/Ingrid Laubrock - MAROMAS
People of Earth - s/t
Walter Smith III - return to casual
Cannonball Adderley Quintet - In Concert
Sonny Rollins - Go West! (The Contemporary Records Albums)
Trio SPACE - Visions: Live at Vision Festival 2018
Look for other sections like Festival Report, NY@Night, Label Spotlight, VOXNews, In Memoriam, Recommended New Releases 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.