Art Blakey, Nina Simone, George Wein & More: Jazz Week

The Week in Jazz is your roundup of new and remarkable stories from the world of jazz. It’s a one-stop destination for the music news you need to know. Let’s take it from the top.


New Art Music Blakey & The Jazz Messengers on Blue Note: On November 2, Blue Note Records will be released First flight to Tokyo: the lost records of 1961. This is an exciting, never-before-seen live recording of Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers of their very successful first tour of Japan, featuring one of the band’s most iconic formations with the legendary drummer alongside Lee Morgan. , Wayne Shorter, Bobby Timmons and Jymie Merritt. The set will be released in deluxe 2-LP / 2-CD editions with elaborate booklets, rare photos, historical essay, and new interviews with Wayne Shorter, Don Was and more. Pre-order First flight to Tokyo here.

Vinyl Me, Please celebrates Philadelphia’s international records with a huge box set: Vinyl Me, Please will release a massive vinyl box set celebrating the legacy of flagship soul, R&B, gospel and doo-wop label Philadelphia International Records, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. VMP Anthology: The History of Philadelphia International Records tells the story of the label through eight essential albums and is accompanied by numerous goodies, including an original 26-page listening notes and photo booklet, as well as a four-part podcast series. The first edition of this Commemorative Anthology is limited to only 1000 pressings. Find out more here.

Legendary musical impresario George Wein dies: Legendary music manager George Wein died on September 13 at the age of 95. According to a statement from his family, Wein passed away peacefully in his sleep. Wein is recognized for setting the standard for outdoor music festivals as a co-founder of the Newport Jazz Festival in 1954 and the Newport Folk Festival in 1959. He was also instrumental in the founding of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 1970. He once said: “The creation of festivals had a major impact on society in general because you couldn’t attract big crowds inside. In Newport, we quickly drew in crowds of 10,000 and there weren’t any rooms that could accommodate that many people. As well as being an impresario, Wein was also a musician / producer and released his self-titled debut album in 1955 via the Atlantic label, as well as subsequent albums with various incarnations of “All-Star” ensembles.

Nina Simone Greatest Hits and Remixes Set coming soon: Verve Records will release a new collection of Nina Simone’s greatest hits and remixes on October 29th. Feeling Good: his greatest hits and remixes brings together some of his most iconic hits and includes seven remixes from some of the world’s hottest DJs. The first single is a dancefloor-ready remix of his timeless classic title track, “Feeling Good”, by English producer Joel Corry, who has worked with Charlie XCX, Ed Sheeran and David Guetta. Pre-order Good: his greatest hits and remixes here.

Reservoir announces global agreement with Joni Mitchell: Independent music company Reservoir Media, Inc. has announced a new deal with music icon Joni Mitchell. The deal sees the company become the global administrator of its illustrious publishing catalog. The Canadian artist / songwriter has drawn inspiration from a variety of genres throughout her career, including folk, pop, rock, classical and jazz, to produce generation-defining music. “I am so proud to welcome Joni Mitchell to our Reservoir family,” Reservoir Founder and CEO Golnar Khosrowshahi said via an official statement. “Joni is a musical pioneer and unique creator, and we look forward to safeguarding her catalog and defending her legacy.”

Vince Guaraldi A Charlie Brown Christmas The soundtrack returns on cassette: The timeless soundtrack of Vince Guaraldi Trio until 1965 PEANUTS special TV, A Charlie Brown Christmas, returns on tape for the first time in three decades on November 5, courtesy of Craft Recordings. This silver-colored collector’s cassette is limited to 5000 units worldwide and you can pre-order it HERE. The cassette serves as an accompaniment to the recently announced “Silver Foil” vinyl edition of A Charlie Brown Christmas, which reinvents the album’s classic white cover with a silver dust jacket and will be available on October 1.

Ben Sidran’s Book on Jewish Contributions to American Popular Music, Updated and Revised: A revised and updated edition of Ben Sidran There was a fire: Jews, music and the American dream is now available on Nardis Books. The book takes readers on a wild ride through popular American music, discovering the voices, sounds and feelings of Jewish immigrants and revealing how popular music defined the American Dream. This revised and updated edition addresses the advent of Trump, Black Lives Matter, COVID-19, streaming services and their impact on the Jewish experience. It also includes a preface by Howard S. Becker. Order There was a fire here.

Fazer shares a menacing new video: Munich-based post-rock jazz quintet Fazer shared a menacing and captivating video for their new song, “Grenadier”. You can watch it via the player below. The video was written and produced by Johannes Brugger, who shares via a press release: “I wanted to experience dreamlike narrative elements. “Grenadier” is also FAZER’s first single since signing with City Slang.

Album announcements

Staci Griesbach, My George Jones Songbook (self-published): Singer Staci Griesbach reinvents the music of George Jones in the tone of jazz on her new album, My George Jones Songbook, released September 10. The 14-track recording, released in the year of the country icon’s 90th birthday, is Griesbach’s third album featuring the Great American Songbook of Country Music in the style of jazz, after tributes to Patsy Cline and Shania Twain. Order it here.

Kirk Whalum, How does Christmas sound? (Artistic / Avenue Mack): Renowned saxophonist Kirk Whalum revisits tracks from the Christmas canon and lesser-known gems with a more introspective and spiritual sound on How does Christmas sound?, now on Artistry / Mack Avenue. This is his second full-length Christmas-themed album, following his 2001 GRAMMY-nominated LP, The Christmas Message. Order How does Christmas sound? here.

Satoko Fujii, Piano music (Balance): Pianist / composer Satoko Fujii, a major voice in avant-garde music for years, released her daring new experience of sound collage and prepared piano on September 17. Order it HERE. Piano Music follows a series of fascinating and diverse records that Fujii released in 2021, one of which is a live trio recording titled Moon on the Lake, which was one of the focal points of our recent conversation with her for our JAZZIZ Travel series. You can listen to this interview via the player below.

Pasquale Grasso, Pasquale plays the duke (Sony Music Masterworks): Guitar virtuoso Pasquale Grasso celebrates Duke Ellington’s legacy on his latest album, Pasquale plays the duke, released on September 17 and released via Sony Music Masterworks. The recording, which follows a chain of Solo walks EPs released in Part 1 of 2021 feature him alongside bassist Art Roland and drummer Keith Balla, as well as special guest singers Sheila Jordan and Samara Joy. Order it here.

Live music and festival news

The BRIC Jazzfest announces more artists for the 2021 program: Roy Nathanson, Hailu Mergia, Linda Diaz, Stast Thee Boss and Sasha Berliner are just a few of the names that have been added to an already packed line-up for this year’s BRIC Jazzfest. The three-day jazz music marathon will take place at the BRIC House in Brooklyn and return in person on October 21-23. This year’s lineup is co-hosted by artist Madison McFerrin with executive producer Lia Camille Crockett and Winter JazzFest founder Brice Rosenbloom. Click here for more information and tickets.

Hiromi will perform the Silver Lining Suite at Sony Hall in New York on October 7: Hiromi’s piano quintet will perform Silver Lining Suite at Sony Hall in New York City on October 7. Tickets here. Silver Lining Suite is the pianist / songwriter’s upcoming 2-LP album, inspired by the emotional toll of the pandemic and offering a mind-boggling blend of jazz invention and classical composition. The suite is performed on record alongside a string quartet. Pre-order it here.

The DC Jazz Festival crowns two DCJazz winners: The Giveton Gelin Quintet and Dayramir Gonzalez & Habana enTRANCé were announced co-winners of the 6th annual DCJazzPrice at the recent DC Jazz Festival. The award is the DC Jazz Festival’s international competition created to recognize and support the best emerging talent in jazz groups. This year, the tie earned the two winning groups a cash prize of $ 15,000 and one-year associations with the DC Jazz Festival, including a paid engagement on the main stage of the DC Jazz Festival 2022.

Photo by Justin Featherstone.

The 12th edition of the Montclair Jazz Festival is organizing the grand finale: The 12th annual Montclair Jazz Festival in Montclair, New Jersey, spanned three months and will conclude with a week-long grand finale, with the final event taking place on September 25. Headliners include Christian McBride, Billy Hart, The Baylor Project, Alicia Olatja, Emmet Cohen, Zaccai Curtis, Camille Thurman, Rudresh Mahanthappa, the Jazz House Collective and Danielle Ponder. The concert series is produced by JAZZ HOUSE KiDS and curated by its artistic director Christian McBride. Click here to find out more.

Image courtesy of Verve Records.

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Key words:
Art Blakey, Ben Sidran, Dayramir Gonzalez, Duke Ellington, Fazer, George Jones, George Wein, Giveton Gelin, Hiromi, Joni Mitchell, Kirk Whalum, Nina Simone, Pasquale Grasso, Satoko Fujii, Staci Griesbach, The Jazz Messengers, Vince Guaraldi

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