60 is the new 40, which is the new black, which is the...you get the idea. Age is just a number: 60 could be the highest amount you can score with a single dart or maximum number of marbles in Chinese Checkers; Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs in 1927; it is also the international code to call Malaysia. Alto saxophonist Steve Coleman (On The Cover) is just the kind of conceptualist to consider all these iterations of the number 60 as he celebrates his diamond anniversary with a month-long curation at The Stone.
It is said to be impolite to reveal a woman's age; we abide by this courtesy but will say that singer Mary Stallings (Interview) will shimmer like the element iridium during her three nights at Smoke and that pianist Angelica Sanchez (Artist Feature) will hit it out of the park like Hank Aaron, Willie McCovey or Reggie Jackson when she presents her nonet as part of the fall season at Greenwich House Music School, among her other local activities.
Reed player Paul McCandless (Encore), who has spent 46 of his 69 years in the legendary band Oregon, performs at Birdland with the California-based trio Charged Particles while esteemed trumpeter/educator Laurie Frink (Lest We Forget), who died in 2013 at 61, is the subject of a panel discussion at this year's Festival of New Trumpet Music.
On the Cover: STEVE COLEMAN
By Russ Musto; photos courtesy of John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The saxophonist/composer/conceptualist sounds relaxed, on a short break from a month-long tour with his long-standing group, Steve Coleman and Five Elements, which will end with a hit at the Newport Jazz Festival before Coleman takes all of August off to prepare for a month-long September residency at The Stone in celebration of his 60th birthday. Coleman is at The Stone through Sep. 25th.
Interview: MARY STALLINGS
By Suzanne Lorge; photo by Mars Breslow
Vocalist Mary Stallings has been singing with jazz royalty since her teens. She's been the front singer for Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Billy Eckstine, Geri Allen and Monty Alexander, for instance, and has had recording contracts with Concord, MAXJAZZ and HighNote. Her gentle demeanor masks a passionate artistic sensibility: Stallings' warm contralto and masterful interpretations of classic jazz material have brought her international renown and stardom in her native San Francisco. In a recent phone interview, Stallings discussed her formative experiences as a big band singer and how her recent work with HighNote has pushed her artistic expression to a new level. Stallings is at Smoke Sep. 23rd-25th.
Artist Feature: ANGELICA SANCHEZ
By Ken Waxman; photo by Eliseo Cardona
Thoroughly grounded in jazz and improvised music, having worked with figures as disparate as trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and percussionist Kevin Norton, pianist Angelica Sanchez still admits a fondness for Latin American folk music and old-time Country & Western. Sanchez is at Greenwich House Music School Sep. 16th, Roulette Sep. 22nd with Kevin Norton and Smalls Sep. 23rd-24th with Sam Newsome.
Encore: PAUL MCCANDLESS
By John Pietaro
Paul McCandless deftly rides the wind through the confined double-reeds of his oboe. His sound, one synonymous with the expanse of the very environment, is unmistakable. McCandless is at Birdland Sep. 15th.
Lest We Forget: LAURIE FRINK
By Eric Wendell
Trumpeter Laurie Frink didn't grace the bands of Gerry Mulligan, Benny Goodman and Maria Schneider just by being talented but by being that rare musician who could energize every note and showcase a unique melodic character. In a time when female trumpet players were considered a rarity, Frink broke the brass ceiling. A panel discussion on Frink and brass pedagogy will take place at The New School Glass Box Performance Space Sep. 25th as part of FONT Music.
Record Label Spotlight: WHYPLAYJAZZ
By Ken Waxman
Only rarely do you hear stories about instant conversions when exposed to jazz. But it does happen. A transformation like this led to the birth of Germany's WhyPlayJazz (WPJ) label in 2005.
(this month's performance venues in parentheses):
Lars Møller/Aarhus Jazz Orchestra -- ReWrite of Spring (featuring Dave Liebman and Marilyn Mazur) Dacapo
Reggie Watkins -- Avid Admirer: The Jimmy Knepper Project BYNK (Cornelia Street Café)
Bernd Reiter -- Workout at Bird's Eye (A Tribute to Hank Mobley & Grant Green) SteepleChase Lookout
Louise Rogers/Mark Kross -- Fauré at Play s/r (Cornelia Street Café)
Steve Turre -- Colors for the Masters Smoke Sessions (Smoke)
David Gilmore -- Energies of Change Evolutionary Music (55Bar)
Blue Mitchell/Sonny Red -- Baltimore 1966 Uptown
Katja Cruz -- I Am The Wind Unit
Muriel Grossmann -- Natural Time Dreamland
Trio Trara -- Film Still Jazzwerkstatt
Elliott Sharp -- Tranzience New World (Issue Project Room; Roulette)
Steve Buscemi and Elliott Sharp -- Rub Out The Word Infrequent Seams (Issue Project Room; Roulette)
Barry Harris -- Live in Tokyo Xanadu-Elemental
Bill Charlap -- Notes from New York Impulse-Verve (VIllage Vanguard)
Cyrus Chestnut -- Natural Essence HighNote (Smoke)
Ben Wendel -- What We Bring Motéma (Dizzy's Club)
Ellery Eskelin -- Willisau Live hatOLOGY (The Jazz Gallery; Roulette)
Stephan Crump -- Rhombal Papillon (The Jazz Gallery)
Ralph Alessi -- Quiver ECM (FONT)
Andy Laverne -- Genesis SteepleChase (Smoke)
Joey Alexander -- Countdown Motéma (Rose Theater; Dizzy's Club)
Audio One -- What Thomas Bernhard Saw Audiographic
Ken Vandermark -- Site Specific Audiographic (Manhattan Inn)
Ghosts of the Holy Ghost Spermic Brotherhood -- for s/r (Downtown Music Gallery)
Henry Threadgill -- Old Locks and Irregular Verbs Pi (VIllage Vanguard)
Allan Harris -- Nobody's Gonna Love You Better Love Productions (Smoke)
Yoni Kretzmer/Jason Ajemian/Kevin Shea -- Until Your Throat is Dry OutNow (Zürcher Gallery)
Yoni Kretzmer -- Five OutNow (Zürcher Gallery)
JC Jones/Yoni Kretzmer -- Esoteric Duos Kadima Collective (Zürcher Gallery)