The New York City Jazz Record

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The paths to becoming a musician are many. Rufus Reid (On The Cover) started out on brass instruments but it was time spent in the army that solidified his interest in the bass and began a compelling career, first as a performer, then educator and, more recently, composer, the fruits of the latter on display at Dizzy's Club this month. Bassist Trevor Dunn (Interview) got his first recognition not as a jazz player but as a co-founder of the alternative rock band Mr. Bungle; this month sees the almost two-decades-in-the-making return of his trio-convulsant, with a new album and a release concert at National Sawdust. If not for scheming parents, tuba player Theon Cross (Artist Feature) may not have become the crucial figure in his native England's progressive jazz scene, whether as part of Sons of Kemet or his own projects, the latter to be presented this month as part of the BRIC JazzFest. Pianist Joachim Kühn (Encore) had to escape the repressive environment of East Germany to begin what is now a nearly six-decade career; recently a marvelous 1969 concert from his then-home of Paris has been issued. And trumpeter Cal Massey (Lest We Forget) may not have had the instrumental accomplishments of his peers but his contributions to classic albums by the likes of John Coltrane, Philly Joe Jones, Lee Morgan, Cedar Walton, McCoy Tyner, Archie Shepp and others place him the in jazz composing firmament.

On the Cover: RUFUS REID

By George Kanzler; photos by John Abbott / courtesy of the artist

Rufus Reid's string writing is part of his emergence as a composer, a third career step he took in 1999, when he retired as Director of Jazz Studies and Performance at William Paterson University in New Jersey, a position he held for 20 years. That role was concurrent with his parallel career as a master jazz bassist, one that began in the '70s and continues today. Reid is at Dizzy's Club Oct. 28th-30th.

Interview: TREVOR DUNN

By Kurt Gottschalk; photo courtesy of the artist

Bassist and composer Trevor Dunn's name is well known to a number of audiences. He first gained notice as a member of the genre-bashing rock band Mr. Bungle and later collaborated with heavy rock overlord Buzz Osborne of Melvins. He has been a frequent participant in John Zorn projects and has played with a number of like-minded musicians straddling traditions, including Nels Cline, Kris Davis, Erik Friedlander and Mike Pride. His trio-convulsant is releasing Séances, its first album since 2004 (on Davis' Pyroclastic Records), providing a good excuse to talk to him about practice, influences and tricky terminology. trio-convulsant avec folie à quatre is at National Sawdust Oct. 28th and Titans to Tachyons is at St. Vitus Oct. 11th.

Artist Feature: THEON CROSS

By Matty Bannond; photo by Adrien H. Tillmann

Secretly, Theon Cross' parents signed him up for brass lessons at school. He had no idea what a brass instrument was and no say in choosing which horn he would learn. To allocate the hardware, kids in the class took turns blowing into one mouthpiece after another until they produced a sound. Cross somehow set the tenor horn mouthpiece buzzing. That fateful squawk was the first note sounded in the British tuba player's award-winning career. Cross is at BRIC House on Oct. 22 as part of BRIC JazzFest.

Encore: JOACHIM KÜHN

By Andrey Henkin

Shortly before reaching out to German pianist Joachim Kühn for this piece, the news came that his older saxophonist/clarinetist brother Rolf had passed away at the age of 92 [see obituary on pg. 12]. Asked about his influence, the younger Kuhn was emphatic: "Because of him, I became a jazz musician."

Lest We Forget: CAL MASSEY

By George Grella

There is only one album in the entire jazz discography that has trumpeter Cal Massey as a leader, Blues To Coltrane. And that album, recorded for the Candid label in 1961, was only first released in 1987, 15 years after Massey was felled by a heart attack at 44.

CD Reviews

(this month's performance venues in parentheses):

  1. Jeff Parker/Eric Revis/Nasheet WaitsEastside Romp RogueArt (Village Vanguard; Nublu 151; The Jazz Gallery; Lunàtico)
  2. Manuel Valera New Cuban Express Big BandDistancia Greenleaf Music (Birdland Theater; The Django; Minton's)
  3. Charles MingusPresents Charles Mingus Candid
  4. Wayne Shorter/Terri Lyne Carrington/Leo Genovese/Esperanza SpaldingLive at The Detroit Jazz Festival Candid (The Stone at The New School)
  5. Nick FinzerOut Of Focus Outside In Music (Birdland)
  6. Art Blakey & The Jazz MessengersFirst Flight to Tokyo: The Lost 1961 Recordings Blue Note
  7. Malcolm JiyaneUmdali Mushroom Hour Half Hour
  8. Linda SikhakhaneIsambulo Ropeadope
  9. Peter SomuahOuter Space DOX
  10. Eri YamamotoA Woman With A Purple Wig Mahakala Music (Saint Peter's Church)
  11. Robert GlasperBlack Radio (10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) Blue Note (Blue Note)
  12. Robert GlasperBlack Radio III Loma Vista/Concord (Blue Note)
  13. Sergio Armaroli/Steve Piccolo/Elliott SharpWhat Went Wrong Leo (The Sultan Room; Rockwood Music Hall; 411 Kent Ave)
  14. Payton MacDonald/Billy Martin/Elliott Sharp/Colin StetsonVoid Patrol Infrequent Seams (The Sultan Room; Rockwood Music Hall; 411 Kent Ave)
  15. Cyrus ChestnutMy Father's Hand HighNote (Smoke)
  16. Chucho Valdés/Paquito D'Rivera Reunion SextetI Missed You Too! Paquito-Sunnyside (Rose Theater)
  17. WeFreeStringsLove In The Form Of Sacred Outrage ESP-Disk (Soup & Sound)
  18. Pee Wee Russell/Coleman HawkinsJazz Reunion Candid
  19. Enrico Rava/Fred HerschThe Song Is You ECM (VIllage Vanguard)
  20. Matthew FriesLost Time Xcappa (Mezzrow)
  21. John ZornSuite for Piano Tzadik
  22. PlayfieldStepping Out, Vol. 1 577 Records (Aron's Place)
  23. Emmet CohenUptown in Orbit Mack Avenue (The Appel Room)
  24. Tashi Dorji/Susie IbarraMaster of Time Astral Spirits (Public Records)
  25. Richard Reed Parry/Susie IbarraHeart and Breath: Rhythm and Tone Fields Offair (Public Records)
  26. John McCowenModels of Duration Astral Spirits/Dinzu Artefacts (Roulette)
  27. Owen BroderHodges: Front and Center, Vol. 1 Outside In Music (Chelsea Table & Stage)
  28. Dafnis Prieto (featuring Luciana Souza)Cantar Dafnison Music (Miller Theatre)
  29. Johnny SteeleThe Game Outside In Music-Next Level (BRIC Jazzfest)
  30. John EscreetSeismic Shift Whirlwind (The Jazz Gallery)
  31. Igor Lumpert & InnertexturesI Am the Spirit of the Earth Clean Feed (Nublu 151)
  32. SpacepilotHycean Worlds Orbit577
  33. Leo GenoveseRitual 577 Records (Dizzy's Club; Bar Bayeux; Room 31 at Arlo NoMad)
  34. Brian LynchSongbook, Vol.2: Dance The Way U Want To Hollistic Music Works (Dizzy's Club)
  35. Thomas LingerOut In It Cellar Music Group (The Django)
  36. Phillip GolubFilters Grayfade (The Owl Music Parlor)
  37. Kirk KnuffkeGravity Without Airs TAO Forms (Downtown Music Gallery; Nublu 151; Dizzy's Club)
  38. Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz BandIn Concert SteepleChase
  39. Yamash'ta & The HorizonSunrise from West Sea London-Wewantsounds
  40. Dado MoroniThere Is No Greater Love Storyville
  41. Ivo PerelmanBrass and Ivory Tales Fundacja Słuchaj (Nublu 151)
  42. Barre Phillips/John Butcher/Ståle Liavik SolbergWe Met - And Then Relative Pitch
  43. Jr. Barre Phillips/György KurtágFace à Face ECM
  44. Barney Kessel/Shelly Manne/Ray BrownThe Poll Winners Contemporary-Craft
  45. Carsten DahlA Beautiful Blue Moment Storyville
  46. Alex Riel/Bo Stief/Carsten DahlA Beautiful Blue Moment Storyville
  47. Henry FranklinJID014 Jazz is Dead
  48. Calvin KeysBlue Keys Wide Hive

...and Plenty More!

Look for other sections like NY@Night, Label Spotlight, VOXNews, In Memoriam, In Print, On Screen, 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.

All the best,
Andrey and Laurence