Over the course of her almost 80-year performing career, Annie Ross has been faceted and fascinating, which can be seen and heard weekly at the Metropolitan Room. While appearing in stage productions, in movies and on television, Ms. Ross is recognized as one of the great jazz singers of all time. With rare range, dexterity and personality, she makes it seem easy. Ross is at Metropolitan Room Tuesdays.
Interview: BARBARA CARROLL
By Katie Bull; photo by Julie Skarratt
Displayed on 89-year-old jazz pianist and singer Barbara Carroll's wall is an autographed black and white photograph from her friend, pianist Marian McPartland, of the two of them side-by-side. It reads, "For my fellow survivor." The word survivor says everything about this octogenarian woman-in-jazz, as does the phrase "old friend" (from her Sondheim signature song). Carroll is on a best friend basis with the jazz legacy. Carroll's stories of clubs and bands embody the history of Swing and bebop. Her energy as a player encompasses the gracefully pristine, fierce, warmly delicate, penetrating and sassily humorous dimensions of her rich personality. No wonder she's earned the MAC Lifetime Achievement and the Mary Lou Williams Awards. Carroll is at Birdland Saturdays and 92nd Street Y Mar. 20th as part of a Marian McPartland tribute.
Artist Feature: INGRID LAUBROCK
By Ken Waxman; photo by Lydia Polzer
One of the many non-American musicians who have set up shop in NYC, German-born saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock has quickly become a presence on the local scene. But the soprano and tenor saxophonist was already recognized for her playing and writing elsewhere - London's highly competitive improv scene - before she crossed the ocean permanently in 2008. Laubrock is at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center Mar. 3rd, 10th and 24th, The Firehouse Space Mar. 6th and Cornelia Street Café Mar. 14th-15th with Tom Rainey.
Encore: BERTHA HOPE
By Ken Dryden
Bertha Hope is a superb pianist who hasn't been recorded nearly enough during a career spanning over five decades. She remains active as a performer, arranger and teacher, along with promoting the work of her first husband, the late pianist Elmo Hope. Hope is at First Reformed Church Of Jamaica Mar. 1st as part of Lady Got Chops Fest and at Minton's Playhouse Mondays-Saturdays.
Lest We Forget: VALAIDA SNOW
By Donald Elfman
Valaida Snow - trumpeter, singer, dancer - was one of the first women in the jazz world to achieve international success. She was apparently something of a braggart but, in the end, this cannot diminish the facts and accomplishments of an astounding career.
Megaphone: Jazz Times in a New Era
By Mimi Jones
Jazz has always been music of the times, stemming from the blues, field hollers and spirituals, music that had a definite function - to tell the news of the day, a release of shortcomings and celebration of all things good. Whether it was spiritual or secular, it clearly reflected what was going on. Players used music from previous eras as a guide and would add on modern twists from their current time, sometimes before their time, like pianist Mary Lou Williams, pushing the music forward, ultimately creating several different generations, sounds and structures of this music from which to choose. Jones is at Somethin' Jazz Club Mar. 1st with Golden Ratio Project, Smoke Mar. 7th-8th with Tia Fuller and Ginny's Supper Club Mar. 29th as a leader.
Record Label Spotlight: FIREHOUSE 12
By Brad Farberman
Firehouse 12 Records, the New Haven, Connecticut-based avant garde jazz label founded by engineer Nick Lloyd and cornet player Taylor Ho Bynum in 2007, specializes in big things. It lives large. Artists performing this month include Myra Melford at The Stone Mar. 2nd; Peter Evans at The Stone Mar. 4th, 8th and 27th, The Firehouse Space Mar. 9th, Cornelia Street Café Mar. 16th and 61 Local Mar. 29th; Mary Halvorson at Legion Bar Mar. 9th, Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center Mar. 10th, The Stone Mar. 13th, Issue Project Room Mar. 14th and Cornelia Street Café Mar. 21st; Tyshawn Sorey at Le Poisson Rouge Mar. 9th with John O'Gallagher, The Stone Mar. 9th, Town Hall Mar. 19th as part of John Zorn's Masada Songbook and Cornelia Street Café Mar. 22nd with Mario Pavone; and Taylor Ho Bynum at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center Mar. 24th.
(this month's performance venues in parentheses):
Kris Davis -- Waiting For You To Grow Clean Feed (Cornelia Street Café)
Myra Melford -- Life Carries Me This Way Firehouse 12 (The Stone)
Satoko Fujii -- Gen Himmel Libra
Kaja Draksler -- The Lives of Many Others Clean Feed
Molly Ryan -- Swing For Your Supper! (featuring Bucky Pizzarelli) Loup-garous Prod. (The Players Club)