The New York City Jazz Record

The City's Only Homegrown Jazz Gazette!

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If jazz is inherently, wonderfully, about uncertainty, about where that next note is going to come from and how it will interact with all that happening around it, the same can be said for a career in jazz. To become part of this music is to spend the rest of your life inhabiting a Robert Frost poem, making choices both consciously and without realizing, following muses down any number of roads, less traveled or otherwise.

Bassist Barre Phillips (On The Cover) didn't set out to create the solo bass genre in 1968 yet he is rightly revered for that innovation by all those who have followed in his musical footsteps. Last year he released End To End (ECM), what he believes will be his final solo album; he celebrates it with an unaccompanied recital at Zürcher Gallery. A chance cab ride has led to a 47-year membership in The Manhattan Transfer for Janis Siegel (Interview) and a fine solo career; Siegel continues her monthly "Vocal Mania" series at Birdland. And the jazz path of pianist Simon Nabatov (Artist Feature) traced a route from Moscow to New York to Cologne; he returns to one of his homes to play at 244 Rehearsal Space.

On the Cover: BARRE PHILLIPS

By Andrey Henkin; photos by Peter Gannushkin

The solo bass recording has been a touchstone of Phillips' nearly 60-year career. He has come back to the format intermittently, in between myriad projects generating a discography of over 200 sessions and counting. And in November 2018, he released End To End, a 50-year bookend to Journal Violone and as intensely personal and beautiful a statement as one will likely hear. Phillips plays solo at Zürcher Gallery May 20th and is also at Ibeam Brooklyn May 25th.

Interview: JANIS SIEGEL

By Jim Motavalli; photo by Janis Wilkins (courtesy of the artist)

Janis Siegel joined vocal quartet The Manhattan Transfer in 1972, staying through two personnel changes, including the death of founder Tim Hauser in 2014, and has made a dozen solo albums. What unites all her work is a love of singing, especially four-part harmony, and that devotion is on display at Siegel and Lauren Kinhan's monthly Vocal Mania series, the logical extension of a lifetime of singing. Siegel is at Birdland Theater May 28th.

Artist Feature: SIMON NABATOV

By John Sharpe; photo Ursula Zeidler (courtesy of the artist)

It's no surprise to learn that pianist Simon Nabatov was a child prodigy. He brings breathtaking finesse to everything he touches. And since leaving the Soviet Union in 1979 at 20, he has touched on a staggering range, equally at home in modern jazz, free improvisation, the canons of Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols and Brazilian music. That's not to mention his own works, which defy easy classification. Nabatov is at 244 Rehearsal Studios May 23rd.

Encore: MULATU ASTATKE

By Mike Cobb

This writer first heard Mulatu Astatke on Volume 4 (1969-1974) of Francis Falceto's Éthiopiques series. Here was something at once familiar in its instrumentation and yet otherworldly in terms of its modality and tone. Astatke is at Le Poisson Rouge May 17th-18th.

Lest We Forget: DANNY BARKER

By John Pietaro

Danny Barker, a New Orleanais born Jan. 13th, 1909, watched the music develop from a most hallowed vantage point. He was the grandson of Isidore Barbarin, leader of the Onward Brass Band, which spawned legends King Oliver and Louis Armstrong. A tribute to Danny Barker is at The Appel Room May 31st-Jun. 1st featuring Don Vappie.

Record Label Spotlight: PFMENTUM

By Robert Bush

A cursory glance at the fulsome website of trumpet/electronics provocateur Jeff Kaiser's pfMENTUM record label reveals the following mission statement: "Dedicated to creative music—and the musicians who make it." Artists performing this month include Larry Roland at El Barrio Artspace May 5th and Scholes Street Studio May 10th; Dave Sewelson at Downtown Music Gallery May 5th with Jesse Dulman; Mike Baggetta at Nublu May 8th with Fumi Tomita; and Gerald Cleaver at Ibeam Brooklyn May 17th with Igor Lumpert, Soup & Sound May 22nd with Aruán Ortiz and 244 Rehearsal Studios May 23rd with Simon Nabatov.

CD Reviews

(this month's performance venues in parentheses):

  1. Alister Spence and Satoko Fujii Orchestra KobeImagine Meeting You Here Alister Spence Music (The Stone at The New School)
  2. Yuko YamaokaDiary (2005-2015): Yuko Yamaoka Plays the Music of Satoko Fujii Libra
  3. John PizzarelliFor Centennial Reasons: 100 Year Salute to Nat King Cole Ghostlight (Café Carlyle)
  4. Denny ZeitlinWishing on the Moon (Live at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola) Sunnyside (Mezzrow)
  5. Carol SudhalterLive at Saint Peter's Church Alfa Projects (Flushing Town Hall; Sankofa Aban Bed & Breakfast; Sunnyside Reformed Church)
  6. Chris PotterCircuits Edition (Jazz Standard)
  7. Emmet CohenDirty in Detroit (Live at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café) s/r (Birdland)
  8. Woody ShawLive in Bremen 1983 Elemental Music
  9. Angles 3Parede Clean Feed
  10. MøsterStates of Mind Hubro
  11. Sigurd HoleElvesang Elvesang
  12. Akiko Tsuruga/Jeff Hamilton/Graham DechterEqual Time Capri (Dizzy's Club)
  13. Thomas HebererX Marks The Spot OutNow (Bushwick Public House; El Barrio Artspace)
  14. Nate WooleyColumbia Icefield Northern Spy (Bushwick Public House)
  15. Andrew LambThe Casbah of Love Birdwatcher (Zürcher Gallery)
  16. Jeremy PeltJeremy Pelt The Artist HighNote (Jazz Standard)
  17. Eddie Prévost/Evan ParkerTools of Imagination Sluchaj Fundacja! (Zürcher Gallery; The Jazz Gallery)
  18. Chet Baker/Paul BleyDiane SteepleChase
  19. Jeremiah CymermanDecay of the Angel 5049 Records (Areté Gallery)
  20. Mary StallingsSongs Were Made to Sing Smoke Sessions (Smoke)
  21. Linda May Han OhAventurine Biophilia (National Sawdust)
  22. André CarvalhoThe Garden of Earthly Delights Outside In Music (The Owl Music Parlor)
  23. Ed PalermoA Lousy Day in Harlem SkyCat (Iridium)
  24. Joe LovanoTrio Tapestry ECM (VIllage Vanguard)
  25. Camila Meza & The Nectar Orchestraámbar Sony Music Masterworks (Rockwood Music Hall)
  26. Melissa AldanaVision Motéma (Jazz Standard)
  27. Swiss Jazz Orchestra & Guillermo KleinEponymous Sunnyside (Smalls; Bar Lunàtico)
  28. Green ZoneThinking in Stitches Case Study (Happylucky no.1)
  29. Julian LageLove Hurts Mack Avenue (Jazz Standard)
  30. Paul JostSimple Life PJ Music (55Bar)
  31. Cheikh Tidiane Fall/Bobby Few/Jo MakaDiom Futa Komos
  32. Larry Ochs/Gerald CleaverSongs of the Wild Cave Rogue Art (Ibeam Brooklyn; Soup & Sound; 244 Rehearsal Studios)
  33. Jay AndersonDeepscape SteepleChase (55Bar; Jazz Standard; Mezzrow)
  34. Delvon LamarrClose But No Cigar Colemine (Rockwood Music Hall)
  35. Soul Message BandSoulful Days Delmark
  36. Ivo Perelman/Mat Maneri/Nate Wooley/Matthew ShippStrings 4 Leo (The Stone at The New School)
  37. Ben MonderDay After Day Sunnyside (55Bar; The Jazz Gallery)
  38. Joey DeFrancescoIn The Key of the Universe Mack Avenue (Rose Theater)
  39. Marilyn Crispell/Tanya Kalmanovitch/Richard TeitelbaumDream Libretto Leo (VIllage Vanguard)
  40. Harvey Sorgen/Joe Fonda/Marilyn CrispellDreamstruck Not Two (VIllage Vanguard)
  41. Sofía Rei and JC MaillardKeter Tzadik (Nublu 151)
  42. Jason PalmerRhyme and Reason Giant Step Arts (InterContinental New York Barclay's Penthouse Suite)
  43. Alexa TarantinoWinds of Change Posi-Tone (Dizzy's Club)
  44. Lluis CapdevilaCinematic Radio s/r (Jazz at Kitano)
  45. Sun RaMonorails & Satellites (Works for Solo Piano, Vol. 1, 2, 3) Cosmic Myth
  46. Kaoru Abe/Sabu ToyozumiMannyoka NoBusiness
  47. Michael Bisio/Kirk Knuffke/Fred Lonberg-HolmRequiem for a New York Slice Iluso (Michiko Rehearsal Studios)
  48. Gil Evans OrchestraHidden Treasures Monday Nights, Volume One Bopper Spock Suns Music (The Cutting Room)
  49. Bobby Broom & The Organi-SationSoul Fingers MRI Entertainment (Zinc Bar)
  50. Allen LoweAn Avant-Garde of Our Own: Jews & Roots: Disconnected Works ESP-Disk-Constant Sorrow (Bushwick Public House)
  51. Spirit of Chicago OrchestraTribute to James Reese Europe Fremeaux & Assoc.
  52. Alan BroadbentNew York Notes Savant (Birdland Theater)
  53. Kristina KollerAt The Poli Club s/r (Gin Fizz Harlem; City Winery)
  54. Art Ensemble of Chicagoand associated ensembles ECM

...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