The New York City Jazz Record

The City's Only Homegrown Jazz Gazette!

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Jazz, more than any other genre, is a baton relay. Elder generations pass off the music to their heirs, who then themselves become veterans and the cycle repeats. Where some people see tumultuous shifts, we see an unending font of vitality. Jazz is like a Thanksgiving turkey, made more succulent by the application of new creative marinades.

Pianist Vijay Iyer (On The Cover) has become one of the premier practitioners on his instrument; he continues a long piano tradition with his ECM trio debut and a concert at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Temple of Dendur. Drummer Carl Allen (Interview) took lessons learned from folks like George Coleman, Freddie Hubbard and Jackie McLean and handed them down as the longtime Artistic Director of Jazz Studies at The Juilliard School. This month he performs at Smoke with his band fêting his influences Elvin Jones and Art Blakey. And clarinetist James Falzone (Artist Feature) continues the rich Chicago jazz tradition, bringing his new all-reed sextet to Roulette. And to celebrate Women's History Month and their many contributions to the history of jazz, we have front-loaded our CD reviews with a gaggle of female-led and co-led albums (pg. 14-19).

If you don't learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it, which is not what jazz is about.

On the Cover: VIJAY IYER

By Suzanne Lorge; photos by Lena Adasheva and Bart Babinski

Pianist Vijay Iyer has not followed the usual path to acclaim in the jazz world. He received little formal training in piano and is a largely self-taught composer. While studying the sciences at Yale and University of California-Berkeley in the '90s, he was playing in jazz clubs and touring Europe as a sideman. Even as he was garnering academic credentials in math and physics, he was starting to write his own jazz compositions. "None of that was normal," he admitted with a laugh in a recent phone interview. Not normal, perhaps, but not confused or aimless, either. Iyer's trio is at Metropolitan Museum of Art's Temple of Dendur Mar. 7th.

Interview: CARL ALLEN

By Alex Henderson; photo courtesy of Carl Allen

When Carl Allen, now 53, first emerged in the '80s, the term "Young Lion" was often used in connection with the New York City-based drummer and Milwaukee native. Allen has built a long résumé working as a sideman for jazz heavyweights like alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, flugelhornist Art Farmer and tenor saxophonist George Coleman. His own catalogue has ranged from two albums for Atlantic Records to dates co-led with bassist Rodney Whitaker for Mack Avenue. 2014 found Allen forming his group The Art of Elvin, which has been paying homage to the legacies of Art Blakey and Elvin Jones. Allen is at Smoke Mar. 6th-8th with Buster Williams and Mar. 27th-29th with his The Art of Elvin project.

Artist Feature: JAMES FALZONE

By Clifford Allen; photo by Peter Gannushkin

Chicago-based clarinetist James Falzone, a stalwart figure on the Windy City's improvisation scene for the better part of 15 years, would be intriguing enough on the basis of his varied output—he currently leads three different units in addition to a host of sideman and solo appearances—but being an improvising composer requires only a fraction of the responsibility to which Falzone has committed himself. Falzone's Renga Ensemble is at Roulette Mar. 4th.

Encore: ALPHONSE MOUZON

By Anders Griffen

Looking over the career of musician Alphonse Mouzon a steady, inspired output is revealed. From his beginnings drumming behind pianist McCoy Tyner and as an original member of fusion supergroup Weather Report, Mouzon has sustained an active musical career for decades.

Lest We Forget: BETTY CARTER

By Donald Elfman

Betty Carter was a one-of-a-kind artist. She remains the embodiment of modern fullest jazz singing, her art comprising composition, daring improvisation, a unique sense of time and harmony and a desire to find and teach young talented vocalists and instrumentalists.

Record Label Spotlight: RUNE GRAMMOFON

By Ken Waxman

Helping to define and preserve sometimes uncategorizable improvised music was one of the goals of Norwegian Rune Kristoffersen when he started his Oslo-based Rune Grammofon (RG) label in 1997. "A new scene was forming with young artists doing exciting music," he recalls. "But they had nowhere to release the music since the majors weren't interested." Kristoffersen decided to fill the gap and, as of the end of 2014, RG has released 176 sessions touching on aspects of folk, jazz, ambient, electronic and rock.

CD Reviews

(this month's performance venues in parentheses):

  1. Marianne Solivan -- Spark Hipnotic (Antibes Bistro; The Astor Room; Smalls; Minton's)
  2. Anat Cohen -- Luminosa Anzic (Jazz Standard)
  3. Evan Parker/Sylvie Courvoisier -- Either Or And Relative Pitch (The Stone)
  4. Kelley Suttenfield/Tony Romano -- Among The Stars s/r (Perez Jazz)
  5. Chloe Levy -- Dust (solo) Unit (SEEDS; Bowery Arts + Silence; The Firehouse Space)
  6. Nicole Mitchell -- The Secret Escapades of Velvet Anderson Rogue Art (The Stone)
  7. Vlady Bystrov/Anto Pett/Anne-Liis Poll -- The Enchanted 3 Leo
  8. Maria Faust Sacrum Facere -- Eponymous Barefoot
  9. Pae Kollektiiv -- Eponymous s/r
  10. Myra Melford -- Snowy Egret Enja/Yellowbird (The Stone)
  11. Alister Spence/Myra Melford -- Everything Here Is Possible s/r (The Stone)
  12. Judi Silvano -- My Dance JSL (Cornelia Street Café)
  13. Aki Takase/Alexander von Schlippenbach -- So Long, Eric! (Homage to Eric Dolphy) Intakt
  14. Potsa Lotsa Plus -- Plays Love Suite by Eric Dolphy Jazzwerkstatt
  15. Matana Roberts -- Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee Constellation
  16. De Beren Gieren & Susana Santos Silva -- The Detour Fish (Live in Ljubljana) Clean Feed
  17. Duchess -- Eponymous Anzic (Jazz Standard)
  18. Colleen Clark -- Introducing s/r (ShapeShifter Lab)
  19. Janice Friedman -- Live at Kitano CAP (Smalls; Jazz at Kitano)
  20. Marshall Gilkes/WDR Big Band -- Köln Alternate Side (Jazz Standard; 92nd Street Y)
  21. New York Standards Quartet -- The New Straight Ahead Whirlwind (Smoke)
  22. New York Standards Quartet -- Live at Lifetime D-Musica (Smoke)
  23. Rex Richardson/Steve Wilson -- Blue Shift Summit (Smoke)
  24. Albert "Tootie" Heath -- Philadelphia Beat Sunnyside (Village Vanguard)
  25. Eugene Marlow -- Mosaica MEII Enterprises (Somethin' Jazz Club)
  26. Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden/Paul Motian -- Hamburg '72 ECM (Stern Auditorium)
  27. Nate Wooley/Ken Vandermark -- East by Northwest Pleasure of the Text-Audiographic (Roulette; The Stone; Delroy's Café and Wine Bar)
  28. Side A -- In The Abstract Not Two
  29. Ben Goldberg -- Orphic Machine Royal Potato Family/BAG (Roulette; Korzo; The Stone; Prospect Range)
  30. Pandelis Karayorgis -- Afterimage Driff
  31. The Urge Trio -- Live in Toledo Veto
  32. DRKWAV -- The Purge Royal Potato Family (Brooklyn Bowl)
  33. Ryan Keberle -- Into the Zone Greenleaf Music (Cornelia Street Café)
  34. Frank Sinatra -- Come Fly With Me Frank Sinatra Enterprises-Universal
  35. Frank Sinatra -- Sinatra and Swingin' Brass Frank Sinatra Enterprises-Universal
  36. Frank Sinatra -- Moonlight Sinatra Frank Sinatra Enterprises-Universal
  37. Jacky Terrasson -- Take This Impulse (Dizzy's Club)
  38. Ralph Towner/John Abercrombie -- Five Years Later ECM (Birdland)
  39. Kevin Eubanks/Stanley Jordan -- Duets Mack Avenue (Birdland)
  40. Dave Burrell/Steve Swell -- Turning Point NoBusiness (Soup & Sound; Downtown Music Gallery)
  41. Alan Broadbent -- Just One of Those Things Edition Longplay (Saint Peter's)
  42. Phil Haynes -- In Concert CornerStore Jazz
  43. Samuel Blais/David Liebman -- Cycling Effendi (Dizzy's Club)
  44. Arthur Barron/Dave Liebman/Abel Pabon -- The Miami Jazz Project ZoHo (Dizzy's Club)
  45. Rudresh Mahanthappa -- Bird Calls ACT (Jazz Standard)
  46. Joey Calderazzo -- Going Home Sunnyside (Dizzy's Club)
  47. Juan Pablo Carletti/Tony Malaby/Christopher Hoffman -- Niño/Brujo NoBusiness (Korzo)
  48. Henry Butler-Steven Bernstein and the Hot 9 -- Viper's Drag Impulse (Symphony Space)
  49. Elvin Jones -- Remembrance MPS-Kultur Spiegel
  50. Wayne Shorter -- Ju Ju Blue Note
  51. George Gee Swing Orchestra -- Swing Makes You Happy Rondette Jazz (Swing 46)
  52. Ornette Coleman/Jordan McLean/Amir Ziv/Adam Holzman -- New Vocabulary System Dialing
  53. Joel Forrester -- What You Mean To Me Ride Symbol (The Stone; Smalls; Cleopatra's Needle; Vespa)
  54. Joel Forrester -- In New York (Introducing Christina Clare) Ride Symbol (The Stone; Smalls; Cleopatra's Needle; Vespa)
  55. Steve Turre -- Spiritman Smoke Sessions (Smoke)
  56. Tom Guarna -- Rush Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records (55Bar)
  57. Nate Radley -- Morphoses Fresh Sound-New Talent (Cornelia Street Café)
  58. Paul Shapiro -- Shofarot Verses Tzadik (City Winery)
  59. Albrecht Maurer/Lucian Ban/Mat Maneri -- Fantasm (The Loft Sessions) Nemu (Greenwich House Music School; Cornelia Street Café)
  60. Yosvany Terry -- New Throned King 5Passion (92nd Street Y)
  61. Louis Moholo-Moholo -- 4 Blokes Ogun
  62. Oliver Lake -- What I Heard Passin' Thru (Village Vanguard)
  63. Oliver Lake/William Parker -- To Roy Intakt (Village Vanguard)
  64. Noah Kaplan/Giacomo Merega/Joe Moffett -- Crows and Motives Underwolf (Prospect Range; Delroy's Café and Wine Bar)
  65. Paquito D'Rivera -- Meets the Classics Sunnyside (Rose Theater)
  66. Stephane Grappelli/Diz Disley Trio -- Violinspiration MPS-Kultur Spiegel
  67. John O'Gallagher/Sam Lasserson/Jeff Williams -- Valence Willful Recordings
  68. John O'Gallagher -- The Honeycomb Fresh Sound-New Talent (Greenwich House Music School)
  69. Danish Radio Big Band -- A Good Time Was Had By All Storyville

...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