The New York City Jazz Record

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Legacy is a word thrown around quite a bit in the jazz world and with good reason, as this music is built on the foundations of those who came before, to be built upon further by those who follow. Yet a tangential concept to legacy is responsibility: teachers and students working with respect for one another, knowing that the results are bigger than all of them. Drummer Art Blakey (On The Cover) understood this better than most, using his Jazz Messengers as a finishing school par excellence for generations of players, who themselves would go on to mentor their own charges. Guitarist David Torn (Interview) feels the same way about technology, imbuing it with its own legacy and requiring younger players to understand the history of what they are doing and how. Saxophonist Andrew Lamb (Artist Feature) continues the legacy of masters like Coltrane and Ayler in his various projects while saxophonist Akira Sakata (Encore) includes the legacy of Japan's cultural history in his work. And there can be no greater exemplar of the concept of legacy than pianist Dr. Billy Taylor (Lest We Forget), who devoted his life to education and outreach, most notably by founding JazzMobile, a program that has brought the legacy of jazz to countless New York audiences for 55 years.

On the Cover: ART BLAKEY

By Russ Musto; photos by Alan Nahigian

The final set of this year's Charlie Parker Jazz Festival was by Carl Allen's Art Blakey Centennial Project, playing songs from the Jazz Messengers songbook. Allen recalls, "It was an honor to present the project at the festival. For me it was very fitting because Charlie Parker changed the direction of jazz as we know it and Art Blakey changed my conceptual approach to playing music and leading a band. They were both trailblazers…Art represented in music everything that I imagined music was supposed to be: intelligence, thought-provoking, spiritual, soul-searching, gritty, humorous and a whole lot more." Blakey tributes are at Juilliard Oct. 1st, Birdland Oct. 2nd, Dizzy's Club Oct. 7th-12th and 21st, Jazz Standard Oct. 8th-9th, Smoke Oct. 10th-13th and Manhattan School of Music Oct. 17th.

Interview: DAVID TORN

By Mike Cobb; photo Claire Stefani / ECM Records

David Torn is a guitarist who defies easy description. A session musician, sideman, producer, mixer, scorer of films and independent solo artist, Torn does it all without ever being restricted by genre. He is content playing jazz, rock, metal, experimental, pop or any other style and his list of collaborations speaks volumes. Torn has contributed to recordings by artists including David Bowie, k.d. lang, John Legend, Madonna, Tori Amos, Bill Bruford, Tony Levin, Mick Karn, David Sylvian, Chocolate Genius, Michael Shrieve, Steve Roach, Patrick O'Hearn, Andy Rinehart, Matt Chamberlain, Meshell Ndegeocello and Don Cherry. What distinguishes Torn is his wizardly prowess with electronic effects, in particular his use of looping, which allows him to construct ethereal layers of sound. Torn is at Nublu 151 Oct. 13th with Sun of Goldfinger.

Artist Feature: ANDREW LAMB

By George Grella; photo by Peter Gannushkin

"I'm kind of all over the place," Andrew Lamb has been keeping the flame of spiritual jazz burning bright and strong. The North Carolina-born saxophonist, clarinetist and flutist plays with a powerful and deeply expressive and emotional sound. He has been active on the New York jazz scene for some four decades as a collaborator and a bandleader. Lamb is at Nublu 151 Oct. 19th and Saint Peter's Church Oct. 25th.

Encore: AKIRA SAKATA

By Phil Freeman

Saxophonist Akira Sakata is a fascinating figure...In addition to making music, he is a writer and actor, appearing on TV and in films in his homeland. He has a variety of interests, from marine biology (which he studied in college) to mythology and language and they all manifest in his art; he's made albums in tribute to plankton and recorded a manic, theatrical version of the Japanese epic poem The Tale of the Heike. His performances are wild and at times seemingly unhinged; he frequently abandons the horn in order to engage in extended vocal improvisations. Blank Forms presents Sakata at James Cohan Gallery Oct. 2nd and Brooklyn Music School Oct. 3rd.

Lest We Forget: DR. BILLY TAYLOR

By Eric Wendell

If ever there was a "citizen of jazz", Dr. Billy Taylor would be a prime example. Not just a talented pianist and composer, Taylor and his work as a broadcaster, educator and advocate helped defy the image of jazz being an unkempt trade but rather a dignified and respected emblem of American artistic expression. A Taylor tribute/JazzMobile 55th Anniversary Celebration is at Flushing Town Hall Oct. 19th with Winard Harper.

Record Label Spotlight: HOPSCOTCH

By John Sharpe

Artist-run labels have become an essential part of the jazz survival kit. For reed player Assif Tsahar in the late '90s, when he worked with bassist William Parker's Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, setting up his Hopscotch imprint seemed the natural route to take. Tsahar is at The Stone at The New School Oct. 23rd-26th.

CD Reviews

(this month's performance venues in parentheses):

  1. John ZornThe Hierophant Tzadik
  2. Caroline Davis & Rob Clearfield PersonaAnthems Sunnyside (The Jazz Gallery)
  3. Petroloukas Halkias/Vasilis KostasThe Soul of Epirus Artway-Technotropon (Holy Trinity Cathedral)
  4. J. Pavone String EnsembleBrick and Mortar Birdwatcher (Roulette)
  5. Larry GrenadierThe Gleaners ECM (Village Vanguard; Zankel Hall)
  6. Mark TurnerMeets Gary Foster Capri (VIllage Vanguard)
  7. Jack WilsonCall Me: Jazz From The Penthouse Century 67-Light in the Attic
  8. Mount MeanderLive in Berlin Gotta Let It Out
  9. GGRILFaçons Circum-Disc
  10. The VampiresPacifica Earshift Music
  11. Glasgow Improvisers OrchestraParallel Moments Unbroken (featuring Marilyn Crispell & Evan Parker) FMR
  12. Ralph Peterson's Messenger LegacyLegacy Alive, Vol. 6 at The Side Door Onyx (Jazz Standard)
  13. Ralph Peterson's Gen-Next Big BandListen Up! Onyx (Dizzy's Club)
  14. Andrea DomeniciPlaying who I am Abeat
  15. Sam DillonForce Field Posi-Tone (Birdland Theater)
  16. Erik Charlston JazzBrasilHermeto: Voice and Wind Sunnyside (Zinc Bar)
  17. Veronica SwiftConfessions Mack Avenue (Kingsborough Comm. College; Jewish Museum; Mezzrow)
  18. Joe McPhee/John Edwards/Klaus KugelA Night in Alchemia Not Two (El Taller LatinoAmericano; James Cohan Gallery)
  19. Joe McPhee/John ButcherAt The Hill of James Magee Trost (El Taller LatinoAmericano; James Cohan Gallery)
  20. Joe McPhee/Mats GustafssonBrace for Impact Corbett vs. Dempsey (El Taller LatinoAmericano; James Cohan Gallery)
  21. Oscar Hernández & Alma LibreLove the Moment Origin (Dizzy's Club)
  22. Zach Brock/Matt Ulery/Jon DeitemyerWonderment Woolgathering (55bar)
  23. Yoni Kretzmer 2Bass QuartetMis-Take OutNow (Bushwick Public House; The Stone at The New School)
  24. Daniel Sarid/Yoni Kretzmer/Michael EvansBring OutNow (Bushwick Public House; The Stone at The New School)
  25. Ethan Iverson Quartet (with Tom Harrell)Common Practice ECM (Jazz Standard)
  26. Dick Hyman/Ken PeplowskiCounterpoint: Lerner & Loewe Arbors (Dizzy's Club)
  27. Kenny WernerChurch on Mars Newvelle (The Appel Room)
  28. HiromiSpectrum Concord (Sony Hall)
  29. Eyal Vilner Big BandSwing Out! s/r (The Django; Birdland)
  30. Lee KonitzInside Hi-Fi Atlantic-Pure Pleasure (The Jazz Gallery)
  31. Makaya McCravenWhere We Come From (Chicago + London Mixtape) International Anthem (BRIC Jazzfest)
  32. Makaya McCravenUniversal Beings International Anthem (BRIC Jazzfest)
  33. Joel RossKingMaker Blue Note (BRIC Jazzfest)
  34. Wynton MarsalisBolden (Original Soundtrack) Blue Engine (Rose Theater)
  35. Jenny Scheinman/Allison MillerParlour Game Royal Potato Family (Birdland)
  36. Nicholas PaytonRelaxin' with Nick Smoke Sessions (Smoke)
  37. Laszlo GardonyLa Marseillaise Sunnyside (Birdland Theater)
  38. Aaron WhitbyCousin From Another Planet Ropeadope (BRIC Jazzfest)
  39. Bill Cole/Gerald VeasleyStill Breathing s/r (The Brooklyn Commons)
  40. Bill Cole/Alex BlakeStill Breathing 2 s/r (The Brooklyn Commons)
  41. Dave KikoskiPhoenix Rising HighNote (Zinc Bar; Mezzrow)
  42. Trevor DunnNocturnes Tzadik (The Stone at The New School)
  43. Sandy Ewen/Chase GardnerTransfusion Marginal Frequency (Bushwick Public House; Aron's Place; Downtown Music Gallery)
  44. Lisa Cameron/Sandy EwenSee Creatures Astral Spirits (Bushwick Public House; Aron's Place; Downtown Music Gallery)
  45. Amina FigarovaRoad to the Sun AmFi (Smoke)
  46. TK BlueThe Rhythms Continue JAJA (Minton's)
  47. George ColemanThe Quartet Smoke Sessions (Smoke)
  48. 1032KThe Law of Vibration s/r (Smalls; Bar Lunàtico; Greater Calvary Baptist Church; Kevin Ray; Bushwick Public House; Soup & Sound)
  49. Yes! TrioGroove du Jour Jazz&People (Jazz Standard)
  50. Jeremy Carlstedt/Vincent Chancey/Serge Pesce/Barre PhillipsTransatlantic Quartet Fatto In Casa (Bushwick Public House)
  51. Mary Halvorson/John DieterichA Tangle of Stars New Amsterdam (Roulette)
  52. Mike ClarkIndigo Blue (Live at Iridium) Ropeadope (Jazz at Kitano; Birdland)
  53. AACM Great Black Music EnsembleLive @ Currency Exchange Cafe, Volume 1 AACM Chicago Productions
  54. Kristen Lee SergeantSmolder Plastic Sax (Birdland Theater)
  55. Brad Barrett/Joe Morris/Tyshawn SoreyCowboy Transformation Fundacja S uchaj (The Appel Room)
  56. Tyshawn Sorey/Nadav Remez/Antonin Tri HoangELK3 OutNow (The Appel Room)
  57. Sahib ShihabSentiments Storyville
  58. DKV Trio & Joe McPheeThe Fire Each Time Not Two (El Taller LatinoAmericano; James Cohan Gallery)

...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