The New York City Jazz Record

The City's Only Homegrown Jazz Gazette!

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"Tradition!" bellowed Chaim Topol as Tevye the milkman in Fiddler on the Roof. Though he was singing about the various inhabitants of his village, the sentiment can be applied to jazz in all its myriad forms. Every person taking up an instrument is both weighed down and uplifted by that tradition. It is what they do with it that advances the art form, keeps it relevant (if not solvent) and attracting further players who, in turn, will push it forward.

Our features this month all do their part in celebrating jazz history. Preservation Hall Jazz Band (On The Cover) are crucial to the life of New Orleanais jazz but have also expanded their reach to the primordial depths of jazz history; the band performs as part of Central Park SummerStage this month. Vocalist Roberta Gambarini (Interview) has been continuing the work started by legendary singers decades ago yet bringing her own voice to varied contexts. She is at Blue Note for four nights. And composer/bandleader Darcy James Argue is the heir to Gil Evans and Duke Ellington, adding modern urgency to the big band format and beating the economic odds. See him and his Secret Society large ensemble at Jazz Standard.


By Marilyn Lester; photos by Linda and Jack Vartoogian

Sustained longevity in the jazz world is a feat achieved by a relative few. Preservation Hall Jazz Band (PHJB), with roots reaching back to the '50s, celebrated its 50th Anniversary from 2011-12 with several major projects, including a concert at Carnegie Hall. Under the leadership of Ben Jaffe, PHJB is moving forward robustly into its next half-century. Preservation Hall Jazz Band is at Central Park Summerstage Aug. 8th.


By Ori Dagan; photo courtesy of the artist

Torino, Italy-born, Brooklyn-based, two-time Grammy-nominated jazz singer Roberta Gambarini is a sophisticated talent whose musicianship shines bright and clear. Her style is drenched in influence—be it a sudden swoop à la Sarah Vaughan or the riveting rubato of Carmen McRae—but most crucially, she is not an imitator, but a genuine disciple of her idols. There are no gimmicks, merely great ears, sensitive heart, immense talent and decades of dedication. Gambarini is at Blue Note Aug. 23rd-26th.


By George Grella; photo by Lindsay Beyerstein

Jazz is so economically precarious that every new musician or group making a go of it has an edge of unlikelihood about them. Take that situation and extrapolate it to an 18-piece big band and that makes Darcy James Argue's career so far vastly more unlikely. Yet he formed and has run (both musically and administratively) his Secret Society big band since 2005 and in objective terms his career is thriving. Argue's Secret Society is at Jazz Standard Aug. 29th.


By Russ Musto

Back in the latter part of the '70s Ricky Ford established himself in the jazz world as the premier "mainstream" saxophonist of his generation; a lone young lion—practically a pride of one—blowing roaring tenor in the manner of Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins at a time when few young African-Americans were coming on to the jazz scene playing in the tradition. Ford is at The 75 Club at Bogardus Mansion Aug. 3rd-4th.

Lest We Forget: JOE SHEPLEY

By Anders Griffen

Joe Shepley was one of the most in-demand studio and live trumpet players from the '60s-00s. He did endless jingles and movies and worked with too many artists to name. He imbued the trumpet with childlike enthusiasm and steadfast positivity.

Record Label Spotlight: WEEKERTOFT

By Stuart Broomer

Weekertoft, the label created by London-based guitarist John Russell and Dublin pianist Paul G. Smyth, just emerged in 2016, but it's the product of a much longer history.

CD Reviews

(this month's performance venues in parentheses):

  1. Harold López-Nussa -- Un Día Cualquiera Mack Avenue (Jazz Standard)
  2. Tony Allen -- The Source Blue Note (Le Poisson Rouge)
  3. Aruan Ortiz -- Live in Zurich Intakt (The Stone at The New School)
  4. Alan Braufman -- Valley of Search India Navigation-Valley of Search (The Greene Space; National Sawdust)
  5. Matteo Liberatore -- Solos Innova (Downtown Music Gallery)
  6. Woody Shaw -- Tokyo '81 Elemental Music
  7. Woody Shaw/Louis Hayes -- The Tour, Volume Two HighNote
  8. Alister Spence -- Not everything but enough Alister Spence Music
  9. Håvard Wiik -- This Is Not A Waltz Moserobie
  10. Kjetil Mulelid -- Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House Rune Grammofon
  11. Peter Brötzmann/Fred Lonberg-Holm -- Ouroboros Astral Spirits (The Stone at The New School)
  12. Tim Daisy's Fulcrum Ensemble -- Animation Relay
  13. Fred Lonberg-Holm -- Bow Hard at the Frog Corbett vs. Dempsey (The Stone at The New School)
  14. Jesse Dulman -- Live at Downtown Music Gallery RR Gems (Downtown Music Gallery)
  15. Todd Capp's Mystery Train -- Wintersweet Sixteen Noncept (Troost)
  16. Todd Capp -- We Must Build Alternate Models Noncept (Troost)
  17. Guillermo Gregorio/Nicolas Letman-Burtinovic/Todd Capp -- Futura Spartan Suite Chap Chap (Troost)
  18. Jerry Weldon -- Those Were The Days Cellar Jazz (Showman's; The Django at The Roxy)
  19. Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band -- West Side Story Reimagined Jazzheads (Damrosch Park)
  20. Kirk Lightsey/Harold Danko -- Shorter By Two (The Music of Wayne Shorter Played on Two Pianos) Sunnyside (Smalls; Mezzrow)
  21. Mike Dirubbo -- Live at Smalls smallsLIVE (Smalls)
  22. NPO Trio -- Live at The Stone Chant
  23. Meg Okura & The Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble -- Ima Ima (featuring Tom Harrell) New Music (Dizzy's Club)
  24. Roni Ben-Hur/Harvie S -- Introspection Jazzheads (Saint Peter's Church)
  25. Adam O'Farrill -- El Maquech Biophilia (Charlie Parker Jazz Fest)
  26. Dave Pietro -- New Road: Iowa Memoirs ArtistShare (Jazz Standard)
  27. Jamie Saft -- Blue Dream RareNoise (The Stone at The New School)
  28. Jamie Saft -- Solo A Genova RareNoise (The Stone at The New School)
  29. Dongfeng Liu -- China Caribe ZoHo (Shapeshifter Lab)
  30. Camille Thurman -- Waiting for the Sunrise Chesky (Dizzy's Club)
  31. Sun Ra -- God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be Cosmic Myth
  32. William Parker -- Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics Gotta Let It Out (Dizzy's Club)
  33. William Parker -- Voices Fall From The Sky AUM Fidelity (Dizzy's Club)
  34. Leonor Falcón -- Imaga Mondo Falcon Gumba (Bushwick Public House)
  35. Andrew Lamb/Warren Smith/Arkadijus Gotesmanas -- The Sea of Modicum NoBusiness (Bushwick Public House)
  36. Ran Blake/Kresten Osgood -- The Dorothy Wallace Suite Ilk Music (Jazz at Kitano)
  37. Ella Fitzgerald -- Jazz At The Philharmonic: The Ella Fitzgerald Set Verve-Universal
  38. Jared Gold -- Reemergence Strikezone (Smalls)
  39. Rodney Green -- Live at Jazzhus Montmartre Copenhagen Storyville (Fat Cat; Jazz at Kitano; Jazz Standard; Smoke)
  40. Martial Solal -- My One and Only Love (European Jazz Legends, Vol. 15) Intuition
  41. Robert Dick/Tiffany Chang -- Raise The River Rogue Art (The Stone at The New School; Downtown Music Gallery)
  42. DKV Trio -- Latitude 41.88 Not Two
  43. Louis Armstrong -- Pops Is Tops: The Verve Studio Albums Verve-Universal
  44. Sullivan Fortner -- Moments Preserved Impulse (Jazz Standard; Zinc Bar)
  45. Sean Conly -- Hard Knocks Clean Feed (Balboa)
  46. Oscar Peterson -- Oscar Peterson Plays Verve-Universal

...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