The New York City Jazz Record

The City's Only Homegrown Jazz Gazette!

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At TNYCJR we consider each issue, in essence, a gift from us to you, dear readers. And with our Holiday Issue, that’s especially the case. (Full disclosure: A copy of TNYCJR makes a great stocking stuffer, or first night’s Hanukkah gift.) We take great pride and joy in sharing the gift of music, the gift that keeps giving, with time-relevant features and recent album and concert reviews, as well as live concert listings, all to help you help those who make this music possible. To spice up that hypothetical eggnog, enjoy this issue’s Holiday Gift Guide, which is full of gift suggestions for the jazz lover in your life. And if you can’t find that perfect gift, or time is running out, venues all around the city seem to be more in the holiday spirit than ever before with holiday-themed shows, so check the Event Calendar for nightly suggestions for you and your loved ones!

It goes without saying, the world would be a much lesser place without the music we rely on and the musicians, labels, publicists, venues, presenters, et al. who bring those sounds to our ears for comfort, inspiration and/or distraction from the turmoil we may be experiencing personally—and especially from what is happening around the world, including two tragic wars cross seas. So, indulge us and allow us to suggest taking a step back to acknowledge the true meaning of this time of year, a common ideal shared by many around the world. To paraphrase Leon Thomas who famously chanted so memorably and timelessly with Pharoah Sanders: The creator makes but one demand, happiness through all the land ... The creator has a master plan. Peace and happiness for everyone.

We could all use such holiday spirit. Peace and love. And happy holidays.

On the Cover: MARTY EHRLICH—The Many Hats of Marty Ehrlich

(by John Sharpe; photos by Caroline Conejero)

It has been a busy and rewarding Fall for multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and bandleader Marty Ehrlich. He resumes his role in pianist Anthony Davis’ Episteme group, which will be playing in the Metropolitan Opera’s remounting of X (Davis’ opera based on the life of Malcolm X) and is also taking on the role of Interim Director of Jazz Studies at Stony Brook University, following trombonist Ray Anderson’s retirement. Next month he presents Dark Woods/Bright Sparks at Roulette (Dec. 10) and additionally plays The Stone with Wayne Horvitz’ New Music for Electronics and Mixed Ensemble (Dec. 1) and with Michael Bates’ Acrobat at Owl Music Parlor (Dec. 22).

Interview: GREGORY HUTCHINSON—Know Your Worth

(by Russ Musto; photo courtesy of artist)

In a career spanning five decades, versatile NYC native, drummer Gregory Hutchinson, has made an impressive name for himself touring the world with many of the music’s greatest artists, including Betty Carter, Joe Henderson, Ray Brown and Roy Hargrove. Possessing a distinctive sense of swing that sets him apart from many other players of his generation, he can hit as hard as anyone on the scene yesterday or today, but it is the tastefulness of his rhythms and sophisticated sense of space that has garnered him a reputation as the quintessential sideman. Next month Hutchinson is at the Village Vanguard (Dec. 5-10), “Remembering Ray Brown” with Christian McBride and Benny Green.

Artist Feature: JEFF LEDERER—A Window Into Improvisation

(by Tristan Geary; photo by Rob Lowell)

The Christmas Tree-O is just one of the many projects and ensembles in which saxophonist Jeff Lederer is and has been involved (12 years and counting). A musician with an insatiable musical appetite, straddling a huge spectrum of jazz, Lederer is equally at home in the free tradition of Albert Ayler, the minimalism of Morton Feldman, or as an adept player of Latin music. His abilities on reeds and as a composer cannot be neatly categorized. In December, Lederer plays with Matt Wilson’s Christmas Tree-O at Dizzy’s Club (Dec. 12).

Encore: STEPHANIE NAKASIAN—From Wall Street to Swing Street

(by Ken Dryden; photo by Matt Baker Photography)

Stephanie Nakasian has been singing jazz for decades, but she didn’t plan it as a career despite showing an early interest in music. It was an introduction to her future husband’s family that ultimately changed her focus. She would then go to see the veteran bop pianist (and future husband) Hod O’Brien perform with frequency. As she says, they “hit it off!” Next month Nakasian’s “Holiday Tour” brings her to NYC, where she will perform at Chelsea Table + Stage (Dec. 20).

Lest We Forget: EARTHA KITT—That Bad Eartha

(by Monique Ngozi Nri; photo courtesy of UMe Records)

It has been almost 15 years since Eartha Kitt’s passing on Christmas Day 2008, just short of 82. A star of stage, screen and song, she embodied the sultry sex kitten persona. Kitt’s Bad But Beautiful was reissued this year by Verve/UMe Records.

Special Feature: CARLA BLEY (1936-2023) IN MEMORIAM

Remembrances of the late pianist, composer/arranger and bandleader, by many who worked intimately with her at one point or another over the course of her six+ decade career in music, including: Barry Altschul, Ray Anderson, Steven Bernstein, Gavin Bryars, Gary Burton, Steve Cardenas, Vincent Chancey, John Clark, Andrew Cyrille, Joseph Daley, Billy Drummond, Michael Mantler, Mattias Risberg, Steve Slagle, Bob Stewart, Gary Valente, Matt Wilson.

ALSO: Be sure to check out the “HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE” for suggestions of jazzy holiday presents!

Album Reviews: In Print, On Screen, Boxed Set, Drop The Needle Reviews, Globe Unity…

A Strange Celestial Road by Ahmed Abdullah with Louis Reyes Rivera

(Blank Forms)

Ab Baars/Ig Henneman/Marta Warelis - O Hushed October

(Catalytic Sound)

Akira Sakata & Entasis - Live in Europe 2022


Alex Norris - Chess Moves


Anna Webber - Shimmer Wince


Anna Webber/Matt Mitchell - Capacious Aeration


Chris Corsano/Andrew Scott Young/Ryley Walker - Belladonna Garnish

(Husky Pants)

Chuck Owen and The WDR Big Band (with guest Sara Caswell) - Renderings


Dave Brubeck - A Dave Brubeck Christmas


Dave Brubeck Quartet - Live from the Northwest, 1959

(Brubeck Editions)

David Larsen - The Peplowski Project


Donald Byrd & Bobby Jaspar - Cannes '58


Donald Byrd & Bobby Jaspar - Paris '58


Duo Kvaratskhelia (David Kvaratskhelia/Nick Kvaratskhelia) - Retratos

(Acoustic Music)

Enrico Pieranunzi - The Extra Something (Live at the Village Vanguard)

(CAM Jazz)

Harold López-Nussa - Timba a la Americana

(Blue Note)

Hot House: The Complete Jazz at Massey Hall Recordings

(Craft Recordings)

Jason Palmer - Con Alma


Julian & Roman Wasserfuhr - Mosaic

(ACT Music)

Kavita Shah - Cape Verdean Blues


Kevin Hays/Ben Street/Billy Hart - Bridges

(Smoke Sessions)

Luis Russell - At The Swing Cats Ball, Volume 1 (1938-1940)

(Dot Time)

Marcin Wasilewski Trio/Joe Lovano - Arctic Riff


Mark Sherman - With Freedom (featuring Sam Dillon)

(Miles High)

Mark Turner Quartet - Live at the Village Vanguard

(Giant Step Arts)

Marta Warelis - a grain of Earth

(Relative Pitch)

Mendoza Hoff Revels - Echolocation

(AUM Fidelity)

Mette Rasmussen/Paul Flaherty/Zach Rowden/Chris Corsano - Crying in Space

(Relative Pitch)

Michael Dease - Swing Low


Mike Clark - Kosen Rufu

(Wide Hive)

Mimi Fox Organ Trio - One For Wes


Oscar Peterson Trio - On a Clear Day: Live in Zurich, 1971

(Mack Avenue/Two Lions)

Paul r. Harding/Michael Bisio/Juma Sultan - They Tried to Kill Me Yesterday


Ray Gallon - Grand Company

(Cellar Music)

Richard Barrata - Off The Charts


Rob Garcia 4 - Natural Bounce

(Fresh Sound New Talent)

Roland Kirk - Live at Ronnie Scott's 1963


Samara Joy - A Joyful Holiday


Satoko Fujii - Torrent (Piano Solo)


Simón Willson - Good Company

(Fresh Sound New Talent)

Special Ops (Swell/Strøm/Vatcher) - Kurt Schwitters Would Have Been Pleased

(Idyllic Noise)

Stacey Kent - Summer Me, Winter Me


Steve Swell - For Rhina P. Espaillat

(Relative Pitch)

Steve Swell/Mark Tokar/Klaus Kugel - For The People of the Open Heart

(Fundacja Słuchaj)

Susan Alcorn Septeto del Sur - Canto

(Relative Pitch)

Susan Alcorn/José Lencastre/Hernâni Faustino - Manifesto

(Clean Feed)

Sylvie Courvoisier/Cory Smythe - The Rite of Spring—Spectre d'un songe


Sylvie Courvoisier/Joey Baron - Live in Willisau

(Catalytic Artist)

Ted Nash/Kristen Lee Sergeant - Holidays


The Bad Plus - s/t


The Headhunters - Live From Brooklyn Bowl


The Michael Carvin Experience - Art Of The Trio

(MCE Music)

The Sam Rivers Sessionography: A Work in Progress by Rick Lopez

(The Vortex)

Tyshawn Sorey Trio - Continuing

(Pi Recordings)

Wayne Shorter - Zero Gravity

(Amazon Documentary)

Wes Montgomery and Wynton Kelly Trio - Maximum Swing


Yuhan Su - Liberated Gesture


Zeena Parkins - Lace


Look for other sections like Festival Report, NY@Night, Label Spotlight, VOXNews, In Memoriam, Recommended New Releases 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.