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News of Note

Lew Soloff, Trumpeter for Blood, Sweat and Tears, Dies at 71

Lew Soloff
Lew Soloff, a trumpet player who was an early member of Blood, Sweat and Tears and whose jazz career included performances with his own ensembles and with Gil Evans, Ornette Coleman, Chuck Mangione, Maynard Ferguson and other giants of the genre, has died. He was 71.
lRelated Clark Terry dies at 94; jazz trumpeter with Ellington and ‘Tonight Show’

Soloff suffered an apparent heart attack as he walked down a New York City street Saturday night with his daughter Laura Solomon, her husband, and their children. He died early Sunday, Solomon said.

Source: LA Times

Singapore has a lot of talented jazz musicians

Melissa ThamBy Christopher Toh

SINGAPORE – Late last year, organisers of the Singapore International Jazz Festival (SingJazz) said they hoped this festival would build “an ecosystem for jazz music and jazz-inspired music in Singapore”. To that end, SingJazz put together a diverse list of artistes for the festival, which begins on Thursday.

Source: TODAY Online (Singapore)

Jazz Great Clark Terry Dies at 94

Clark Terry
Photo: Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images


Trumpeter Clark Terry, a jazz legend who in his seven decades as a musician and bandleader collaborated with artists ranging from Quincy Jones and Duke Ellington to Charles Mingus and Count Basie, passed away Saturday following complications from a long battle with diabetes. He was 94. For his contributions to jazz music, Terry was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.

“Our beloved Clark Terry has joined the big band in heaven where he’ll be singing and playing with the angels. He left us peacefully, surrounded by his family, students and friends,” Terry’s wife Gwen wrote on the musician’s official Facebook. “Clark has known and played with so many amazing people in his life. He has found great joy in his friendships and his greatest passion was spending time with his students. We will miss him every minute of every day, but he will live on through the beautiful music and positivity that he gave to the world. Clark will live in our hearts forever.”

Source: Rolling Stone

Two different art forms, one creative endeavor

Photo: Paul Kieu, The Advertiser
Photo: Paul Kieu, The Advertiser

Two different art forms, one creative endeavor and an evening to enjoy it all.

“His art is words and mine is music. This is the work that binds two artists together.”

That was jazz trumpeter Irvin Mayfield at the 2012 premiere of his multi-movement work with his New Orleans Jazz Orchestra “Dirt, Dust and Trees — A Tribute to Literary Legend Ernest Gaines.”

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Jazz legend Barber still going strong at 84

Chris BarberWHEN he steps onto stage at Eastleigh he will be celebrating his 65th anniversary as a bandleader.

by Duncan Eaton

Trombonist Chris Barber is the sole survivor of a legendary trio of British jazz musicians called the Three Bs – Barber, Bilk and Ball.

King of the clarinet Acker Bilk passed away a month ago and Kenny Ball died in March last year.

Barber was the architect of the ’60s blues-rock explosion which gave birth to rock giants like The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.

Source: Southern Daily Echo

The Guardian: Blue Note at 75 review – how jazz became cool

Pianist-Robert-Glasper By John Fordham

The belief that jazz is not marginal but essential drove the success of the fabled 75-year-old Blue Note label, which attracted geniuses such as Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis, and made jazz seem ineffably cool. A thrilling Blue Note at 75 celebration at the London jazz festival showed how well the label’s current guardians and players measure up.

Source: The Guardian

NYT: New York Jazz Clubs Double As Record Labels

12clublabels-1-master675Nate Chinen
New York Times

The saxophonist Ian Hendrickson-Smith has caught his share of deflected stardust: as a former foot soldier with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, as a hired gun for the likes of Al Green and as a member of “The Tonight Show” band (which is to say, the Roots). For the rest of this year, as part of the Loston Harris Trio, he’ll appear Thursday through Saturday nights at Bemelmans Bar, the hobnobby lounge in the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan.

“Live at Smalls,” Mr. Hendrickson-Smith’s new album, belongs to a different scale of accomplishment. It’s a sturdy, uncomplicated set of vintage-style soul jazz, recorded in one of New York’s least pretentious clubs, possibly as an afterthought. If it’s a token of artistic independence, it’s a modest one. But the welcoming gleam in Mr. Hendrickson-Smith’s playing, and the assertive support of a rhythm section with David Hazeltine on piano, are worth the trouble. The album has a spark of life, a reason for being.

It happens to be one of several albums out in physical form this week on SmallsLive, a record label associated with that Greenwich Village jazz haunt. And SmallsLive, in turn, is one of several notable labels to have grown out of the New York club scene. Half Note, affiliated with the Blue Note Jazz Club (but, it should be said, not Blue Note Records), has been in business for years. Smoke Sessions, the imprint of the Upper West Side club Smoke, started up just this year, proving itself right out of the gate.

Source: NY Times

Former President Clinton receives the Thelonious Monk Institute’s Maria Fisher Founder’s Award

bill-clinton-thelonius-monk-jazz-trumpet-competition-gala-2014-billboard-650Phil Gallo

Herbie Hancock, Kevin Spacey, Quincy Jones and a litany of major jazz musicians saluted President Bill Clinton on Sunday at L.A.’s Dolby Theater for his efforts in using jazz as a diplomatic force over the last 25 years.

Clinton, whom Hancock introduced as “the commander in chief of swing,” received the Thelonious Monk Institute’s Maria Fisher Founder’s Award for his contributions to the perpetuation of jazz music and the global expansion of jazz and music education in schools. Clinton chronicled his own relationship with jazz as a saxophonist, starting at age 6 and ending around 16 when he decided he could not follow in John Coltrane’s footsteps. In addition to praising the underpaid pioneers of jazz culture, Clinton said the teamwork learned in jazz education could play out in other areas.

“Sometimes a frustrated jazz musician,” Clinton said, “winds up in another field and it works out well.”

Source: Billboard

NYT: Bill’s Place in Harlem Bringing Bebop Back Home

Karsten Moran for New York Times
Karsten Moran for New York Times

Phillip Pantuso
NY Times

Around 8 p.m. on a recent Saturday, a few dozen people were gathered in a narrow, dimly lit Harlem brownstone. Couples smoked in the backyard beneath Christmas lights; a group of Chilean expats sought a corkscrew; a man and his young son searched for seats.

From the basement downstairs, Bill Saxton, a bebop saxophonist, could hear the anticipatory chatter. All these people had come to his place. A few minutes later, standing with his band in the tiny parlor, he honked his sax loudly. The track lights dimmed.

“Welcome to Bill’s Place,” he told the crowd.

Source: NY Times

The Telegraph: Review of new book- Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression – 75 Years of the Finest in Jazz

Photo: Francis Wolff / Mosaic Images
Photo: Francis Wolff / Mosaic Images

By Martin Gayford
The Telegraph

It is well known that the Nazi regime denounced modernist art as “degenerate”, but not so well known that the Third Reich also proscribed “Entartete Musik” or “degenerate music”. Another name for this was jazz. It makes complete sense, therefore, that the most renowned of American jazz recording companies – Blue Note Records – was founded by refugees from Hitler’s Germany.

Blue Note survives in name, if not – some would argue – in spirit. This weighty book helps to explain the mystique that continues to surround the label, though in that regard the pictures are more helpful than the text. One of the crucial points about Blue Note records was that they looked beautiful – and distinctive.

Source: The Telegraph

Herbie Hancock Honored at Great Night in Harlem Concert at Apollo

hhancockBy CHARLES J. GANS
Associated Press

Herbie Hancock enjoyed “A Great Night in Harlem” with a look to the past and the future as the legendary jazz pianist received a lifetime achievement award from the Jazz Foundation of America at a benefit concert at the historic Apollo Theater.

Actor Bruce Willis, introducing Hancock at Friday night’s concert, offered a glance at “the future of jazz” as he brought out 11-year-old Indonesian piano prodigy Joey Alexander to play a solo rendition of Thelonious Monk’s “‘Round Midnight.”

“When I was eight years old you heard me playing. You told me that you believed in me and that was the day I decided to dedicate my childhood to jazz,” Alexander told Hancock who was standing alongside him.

Source: ABC News via AP

The Atlantic: Why Did This Band Recreate Jazz’s Most Famous Record Note-for-Note?

Photo: The Atlantic

David A. Graham
The Atlantic

If you’re unfamiliar with the band Mostly Other People Do the Killing, the first sign that they might have an offbeat sense of humor ought to be the name. That hasn’t stopped plenty of people from being outraged at the group’s new album.

It’s called Blue, and it’s a reproduction of Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue, perhaps the most famous jazz album of all time. Not a tribute; not “inspired by”; not even a simple covers album. It’s a painstaking, note-for-note reproduction. The musicians have transcribed and reproduced each walking bass line, each cymbal tap, each Bill Evans piano flourish, each note of John Coltrane’s and Cannonball Adderley’s and Miles Davis’s solos.

What can be said about such a peculiar act? First, it’s not jazz. Second, it’s hilarious and important.

Source: The Atlantic

The Guardian: Why pop-turned-jazz stars just ain’t got that swing

Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA

by Philip Clark
The Guardian

Of all those rubbish ideas dreamt up by major-label record honchos frantically trying to balance their ailing books, the pop star – often fading, but not necessarily – sings jazz standards album feels the most desperate. Like sitcom writers who think sending their much-loved characters to Torremolinos for a feature-length “special” is the best way to re-oxygenate a programme whose days are numbered, the success rate of popster jazz is virtually nil.

Jazz is a serious and noble pursuit, with a culture and history of its own, fed by a pool of nuts-and-bolts techniques that can to outsiders feel as obscure and nebulous as the formula for Coca-Cola.

Source: The Guardian (UK)