The New York City Jazz Record

The City's Only Homegrown Jazz Gazette!

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Nearly 52 years ago, astronaut Neil Armstrong, alighting on the moon's surface, uttered his iconic quote, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Progress is measured in many ways but here at the gazette's offices, we take our own small step, publishing an Event Calendar for the first time since March 2020, and view it as a giant leap for New York City's art scene and the health of the world in general. While there are other jazz capitals, NYC being so relatively silent for so long just felt wrong; the isolation experienced by the world's greatest concentration of jazz musicians was palpable. Now, with the warm weather, there are outdoor concerts and, with COVID 19 infection rates dropping and vaccinations rising, we are starting to return to indoor performances. Certainly the density of concerts is far from what it was—one page versus several—but more will come and that is not just a step, it is a whole dance routine.

This month we have features on keyboard player Robert Glasper (On The Cover), who plays a week at the newly reopened Blue Note; saxophonist Patience Higgins (Interview), participating in some outdoor JazzMobile events; and organ player Greg Lewis (Artist Feature) appearing every weekend at Williamsburg Music Center, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary. And our Album Reviews mix the live-streams that have kept us going over the last year-plus with in-person events helping us heal after a long period of darkness and despair.

On the Cover: ROBERT GLASPER

By Jordannah Elizabeth; photos by Jason Todd Cooper and Miles Bitton

Grammy award-winning keyboardist and Black music aficionado Robert Glasper has never been afraid to speak his mind. The 47-year-old jazz musician has attained heights of acclaim many musicians 20 years his senior will never reach, but this is because Glasper cast his net wide and decisively chose to step away from traditionalism and mastering jazz standards for a living to chart new territory, creating hip-hop and R&B fusion, which, 10 years ago, had not been done on the scale in which he was working. Glasper is at Blue Note Jun. 15th-20th.

Interview: PATIENCE HIGGINS

By Sylvia Levine; photo courtesy of the artist

Reedplayer Patience Higgins is one of those musicians everyone has heard and heard of but the extent of his talents and musical experience has stayed largely under the radar. From leading Monday night sessions at St. Nick's Pub for years and performing with numerous long-running Broadway shows to a chair in the Duke Ellington Orchestra and participating in at least 57 recordings (so far) and traveling the world with jazz and pop groups and shows, Higgins has fit into a broad range of musical situations. He is as comfortable playing with Lionel Hampton as with Hamiet Bluiett as with Bobby Watson as with…well, this reporter last saw him in the baritone chair with the Peter Leitch New Life Orchestra one afternoon pre-pandemic. And let's not forget to mention his affinity for tap and his long-running association with tap master Savion Glover. Higgins is at Riverside Park Jun. 13th and Grant's Tomb Jun. 23rd, both as part of JazzMobile, and Minton's Jun. 26th.

Artist Feature: GREG LEWIS

By Michael Cobb; photo courtesy of the artist

Greg Lewis is a highly regarded organ player, pianist and composer on New York City's jazz, blues and funk scenes, deeply committed to expanding his jazz roots and developing his own musical vocabulary. Lewis is at Williamsburg Music Center Fridays and Saturdays.

Encore: ROBERTO MIRANDA

By Anders Griffen

Bassist Roberto Miranda has been on many musical adventures, performing and recording with his mentors—Horace Tapscott, John Carter and Bobby Bradford and later, Kenny Burrell—as well as artists like Charles Lloyd, Tim Berne, Vinny Golia, Michele Rosewoman and James Newton, among many others. This year Dark Tree Records released Live at Bing Theatre by Roberto Miranda's Home Music Ensemble.

Lest We Forget: DEWEY JOHNSON

By Eric Wendell

When trumpeter Dewey Johnson recorded with saxophonist John Coltrane on the free-jazz masterpiece Ascension, Johnson countered Coltrane's soul-searching barks with brisk billows beyond his 25 years. While not as experienced as many others on the sessions, his soul nonetheless spoke the truth on a career that was not well documented but left an indelible mark on those with whom he spoke the truth.

Record Label Spotlight: OUTSIDE IN MUSIC

By John Pietaro

Outside In has a unique approach to producing and distributing wherein the artist retains full ownership of intellectual property rights. Similar to grassroots book publishers that fit no specific category, Outside In partners with its artists to develop projects.

CD Reviews

(this month's performance/streaming venues in parentheses):

  1. NortonkEponymous Biophilia (Facebook)
  2. Adam KolkerLost Sunnyside (Bar Bayeux)
  3. John PizzarelliBetter Days Ahead (Solo Guitar Takes on Pat Metheny) Ghostlight (Facebook)
  4. Mara Rosenbloom/Stephen GauciPandemic Duets Gaucimusic (Arts for Art Online Salon)
  5. Monty AlexanderLove You Madly: Live at Bubba's Resonance (Jazz Forum Arts)
  6. Tony Monaco, Hendrik Meurkens, Reid Hoyson, Mark LucasStrollin' Reid Hoyson Productions (Jazz Forum Arts)
  7. Hendrik MeurkensManhattan Samba Height Advantage (Jazz Forum Arts)
  8. Liudas Mockunas/Arvydas KazlauskasPurvys Jersika
  9. Juhani Aaltonen, Jonas Kullhammar, Christian Meaas Svendsen, Ilmari HeikinheimoThe Father, the Sons & The Junnu Moserobie
  10. Sylvain Rifflet, Jon Irabagon, Sébastien Boisseau, Jim BlackRebellion(s) BMC Records
  11. Sarah VaughanEponymous Verve/UMe Acoustic Sounds Series (NJPAC)
  12. Sarah VaughanLive at The Berlin Philharmonie 1969 The Lost Recordings (NJPAC)
  13. Dave Rempis/Jeff Parker/Ingebrigt Håker Flaten/Jeremy CunninghamStringers & Struts Aerophonic (Twitch)
  14. TOC/Dave RempisClosed For Safety Reasons Circum-Disc (Twitch)
  15. Rempis Percussion QuartetSud des Alpes Aerophonic (Twitch)
  16. Glenn Close/Ted NashTransformation: Personal Stories of Change, Acceptance, and Evolution Tiger Turn (Soapbox Gallery)
  17. Jen ShyuZero Grasses: Ritual for the Losses Pi (Jazz Museum in Harlem)
  18. Sara SerpaRecognition Biophilia (Jazz Museum in Harlem)
  19. James FranciesPurest Form Blue Note (Bar Bayeux)
  20. Lucie Vítková/James IlgenfritzAging Infrequent Seams (Infrequent Seams Streamfest)
  21. Dmitry BaevskySoundtrack Fresh Sound-New Talent (Global Music Foundation)
  22. Philippe LemmFirst Steps Outside In Music (Little Island)
  23. PlayfieldVol. 1: Sonar 577 Records (Roulette)
  24. PlayfieldVol. 2: The Middle Playfield 577 Records (Roulette)
  25. PlayfieldVol. 3: After Life 577 Records (Roulette)
  26. Nazareno CaputoPhylum AUT
  27. Patricia BrennanMaquishti Valley of Search (Roulette)
  28. Min Xiao-FenWhite Lotus (featuring Rez Abbasi) Outside In Music (IAMAVL)
  29. Ches Smith's We All BreakPath of Seven Colors Pyroclastic (Roulette)
  30. María GrandReciprocity Biophilia (Roulette)
  31. Lauren HendersonMusa Brontosaurus (Soapbox Gallery)
  32. Veronica SwiftThis Bitter Earth Mack Avenue
  33. Zach BrockLight Shines Through (Soapbox Sessions, Vol. 1) s/r (Soapbox Gallery)
  34. Luke Stewart/Devin Brahja Waldman/Jarvis EarnshawTranscendance Syrinx-Cassette (Roulette)
  35. Spike WilnerAliens & Wizards Cellar Music (Mezzrow)
  36. Frank Carlberg/Gabriel BolañosCharity and Love Red Piano
  37. Chris PattishallZodiac s/r
  38. Irène Schweizer/Hamid DrakeCelebration Intakt
  39. Tony Oxley/Alan DavieElaboration of Particulars Confront
  40. Anthony BraxtonQuartet (Standards) 2020 Tri-Centric Foundation/New Braxton House
  41. Anthony Braxton12 COMP (ZIM) 2017 Firehouse 12
  42. Georg Graewe & Sonic Fiction OrchestraFortschritt und Vernügen Random Acoustics
  43. Chick CoreaPlays Concord
  44. Don CherryThe Summer House Sessions Blank Forms
  45. Noah PremingerContemptment SteepleChase
  46. François Carrier, Masayo Koketsu, Daisuke Fuwa, Takashi ItaniJapan Suite NoBusiness
  47. John HartCheckmate SteepleChase
  48. Joe HendersonThe Complete Joe Henderson Blue Note Studio Sessions Mosaic

...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