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JJA Member Updates: May 2012

May 8th, 2012 | By

Here are the most recent publications and other work reported by the extremely active members of the Jazz Journalists Association. We never sleep!


Nancy Barell has just uploaded her 185th  edition of “Jazz Spotlight On Sinatra.” She has been on the air for over 6 1/2 years and is gaining new listeners every day, now ranking 25th out of over 400 jazz stations on Live365.com. Please give a listen at www.live365.com/stations/nancyann3839.

Edward Blanco celebrates five years of producing and hosting “Jazz Cafe” on Sunday, May 13th, 2012. Jazz Cafe is an early Sunday morning jazz radio show on WDNA, 88.9fm in Miami, FL on from 7 to 9 am playing straight ahead jazz as well as debuting the music from lesser known musicians. By the end of May he will have written over thirty-five music reviews published at All About Jazz since January as well as numerous other reviews posted at Ejazznews.com.

Skip Bolen has written “Behind the Lens with Skip Bolen” for All About Jazz online where he answers questions and discusses his approach to jazz photography. Since moving back home to New Orleans in 2006, Skip has been documenting the rebirth of the city post-Hurricane Katrina while also photographing the jazz scene and working as a still photographer in the motion picture and television industry.

Frederick Bouchard penned a short celebratory tribute to George Gruntz in JAZZ ‘N MORE (Swiss Jazz & Blues Magazine) for their GG special edition. George, who breathlessly achieves 80 busy years on June 24, has burned bright as an active volcano in forging American/European jazz relations since he banged on his piano for visiting ex-pat luminaries in the 60s and 70s and has since been leading myriad versions of his explosive Concert Big Band featuring the cream players on both sides of the pond. At Berklee College of Music in Boston, he hosted a panel discussion for our Annual Liberal Arts Symposium that explored certain intersections of jazz and literature with biographer Laurie Pepper and novelist Michael Connelly.

Michele Drayton interviewed Don Byron about his latest CD, Love, Peace and Soul, celebrating the legacy of Thomas A. Dorsey,  who laid down the roots for gospel music at Pilgrim Baptist Church on Chicago’s south side.  Despite the early hour of the April broadcast on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago, Byron was a most gracious guest.

David Evanier did a benefit April 9th  for the Center for Literacy in Philadelphia  at the Suzanne Roberts Theater with singer Eddie Bruce and WRTI jazz disc jockey Bob Perkins entitled “A Tribute to Tony Bennett in Words and Music.” 300 people attended. David will be leading discussions of his book, All the Things You Are: The Life of Tony Bennett at three New York city public libraries in May: the Kips Bay, Mulberry Street, and Columbus branches.

Steve Griggs wrote a feature on saxophonist Joe Brazil and pianist Overton Berry for Earshot Jazz.

Marcia Hillman recently had an article on guitarist Mundell Lowe published in The NYC Jazz Record celebrating his 90th birthday. She also is writing a personality piece on pianist Lenore Raphael for the next issue of Steinway Magazine.

J Hunter reviewed performances on the website Nippertown by Chick Corea (solo piano), the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, the James Carter Organ Trio, and the Hor Club of San Francisco, covered the CD-drop party for Michael Benedict’s Bopitude (featuring Gary Smulyan), and participated in JJA’s Jazz Day Blogathon; on State of Mind, J submitted reviews of CDs by Keith Pray and Brian & the Haggards.

Thomas Jacobsen just received a grant from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation to carry out his research on two books, one a photographic history tentatively called A Quarter Century of New Orleans Jazz (i.e., the 1980s to the present) and the other a history of N. O. jazz (trad and “mod”) from 1970 to 2010. Jacobsen has also been invited to be a guest speaker at the third annual “New Orleans Traditional Jazz Camp” to be held June 10-15.  Jacobsen is also preparing a series of articles on present-day New Orleans clarinetists for The Clarinet magazine, the first of which on Pete Fountain will appear in the June issue.  (It is currently available as a “preview article” on the website of the International Clarinet Association.)

Sanford Josephson is curating a concert to be held May 20 at the Luna Stage in West Orange, NJ; it is a tribute to Hank Crawford and David “Fathead” Newman with guitarist Bob DeVos and tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander. He has also just been elected to the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Jazz Society.

Matthew Kassel reviewed In Case The World Changes Its Mind, a live recording by Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood, for The New York City Jazz Record. For the June issue of the paper, he is reviewing a new release from Béla Fleck and the Marcus Roberts Trio called Across The Imaginary Divide.

Elzy Kolb is working on liner notes for pianist Diane Moser, and for TranceFormation (pianist Connie Crothers, vocalist Andrea Wolper, and bassist Ken Filiano). Elzy’s latest JazzWomen column for Hot House magazine includes interviews with Judi Silvano and Tulivu-Donna Cumberbatch.

Howard Mandel wrote an “Invisible Jukebox” column featuring Mary Halvorson for The Wire (UK); an article about James Blood Ulmer with the David Murray Big Blues Band for Down Beat (scheduled for the September issue); an interview for CityArts-New York with Limor Tomer, curator of performance for the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and columns for CityArts on the Jazz Gallery looking for a new location, Dr. John’s tribute to Louis Armstrong at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and a handful of new cds by New York City-based artists. He interviewed Morton Subotnick for an upcoming NPR radio piece, took his NYU Jazz class to hear Karl Berger’s Improvising Orchestra at the Jazz Gallery, and had in-class visits from drummer Reggie Nicholson and Dan Melnick. His blog postings included reports on Jazz at Lincoln Center’s gala with Paul Simon, and a piece about jazz in his community, Kensington in Brooklyn, which appeared in the JJA’s International Blogathon.

Bill Milkowski just completed his 300th concert summary for the online music site Wolfgang’s Vault (www.wolfgangsvault.com). His most recent summaries include a performance by the Miles Davis Quintet at the 1967 Newport Jazz Festival, a 1973 performance at the Wollman Skating Rink by the Mose Allison Trio with Victor Gaskin and Paul Motian, a 1973 performance at Philharmonic Theater by Rahsaan Roland Kirk with Marian McPartland, Larry Ridley and Al Harewood, and a 1974 performance by Eddie Palmieri and his Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. He has also just finished work on a biography of Keith Richards (to be published this Fall by the Italian Edizioni Star) and has recently done reviews of the Jim Hall Quartet at the Blue Note and the Wayne Shorter Quartet at Rose Theater for JazzTimes.

Steve Monroe featured veteran drummer Maurice Lyles in his April Jazz Avenues column for the MD-DC edition of Capital Community News, reviewing Lyles’ forum with historian and writer W.A. “Bill” Brower March 21 at the University of the District of Columbia, and highlighting the Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives there. Monroe also wrote about Andrew Cyrille at the Atlas with his big band and tweeted (@jazzavenues) on new CD’s by Ran Blake and Christine Correa, and saxophonist Antonio Parker.

 Bruce Pulver contributed reviews to Jazztimes.com for two releases: Kat Edmonson’s Way Down Low, released on April 10, and Beegie Adair Trio’s The Real Thing – Live released on April 24.

Lenore Raphael will be a featured artist on Friday, May 11th 8PM, in a swinging concert at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street, NYC.  The concert is named “West 64h Street Jazz” and will be a tribute to Duke Ellington. Also featured will be Ray Blue on saxophone, Hilliard Greene on bass, Rudy Lawless on drums and special guest Jerry Mandel, tenor sax from California.  For tickets and information www.nysec.org or order tickets directly at http://nysecjazz.eventbrite.com.

Alex W. Rodriguez is in the midst of his third quarter of doctoral studies in ethnomusicology at UCLA, but has managed to get some writing done despite the academic grind. In March, he presented a paper “Deconstructing the Hang: Urban Spaces as Cross-Cultural Contexts for Jazz Improvisation” at the EMP Pop Conference in New York City on a jazz-themed panel with Nate Chinen, David Adler, and Phil Freeman. Last month, he published a feature article for NPR Music on the Blue Whale, LA’s new jazz hub. He is also organizing LA’s JJA Jazz Awards Satellite Party, which will be held at the Blue Whale on June 23.

Robert Rusch, after more than half a century in the jazz biz, has turned over the reins  of Cadence  jazz magazine to David Haney. He still continues to write a review column [Papatamous] for Cadence, and to record and produce records of unpopular music [over 600 to date]. He just put out 6 new releases (contact slim@cadencebuilding.com for review copies– no radio please). He has returned to painting unpopular canvases after a 49-year layoff (you try to run four labels, a magazine,  and a distributorship,  raise a family  AND  paint) and plans to produce a CIMP FEST in Austria and a TRIO X tour later this year — and of course write. It’s been a life.

Frederic Sater photographed the  Bob  Brookmeyer memorial service, Highlights with Sunny Fortune, a Sidney Bechet concert with Gordon and Skonberg, the Kleinsinger address at The Duke Ellington Society, a Barry Harris concert for the Duke Ellington Society, the Clark Terry fundraiser at Saint Peter’s Church, and the Playing our Parts fund raiser for the Jazz Foundation at Dizzy’s. A very busy month.

Mitchell Seidel was recently named co-chair of the music programming committee of the New Jersey Jazz Society. His duties include helping to decide what acts to book for the society’s annual jazz festival, its monthly member meetings and its 40th anniversary gala concert. Seidel, in his fourth year on the group’s board of directors, also serves as contributing photo editor to its award-winning magazine, Jersey Jazz Journal.

Arnold Jay Smith continues his blog essays www.jazzinsights.net with a series celebrating the 35th Anniversary of his trip to Cuba, with photos. Dubbed “The Great Cuban Encounter,” Chapter 1,”The Prelogue” as it were initiates the May 1977 gathering of Dizzy Gillespie, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Stan Getz, Joanne Brackeen, Billy Hart, David Amram, Ray Mantilla, and others who were to concert with Los Papines and the Irakere stars Chucho Valdes, Paquito d’Rivera, Arturo Sandoval and the rest of band. Chapter 2 will continue the saga with the “Mid Passage.” Chapter 3: “We’re In Havana.” Chapter 4: “Postlogue.” AJay welcomes commentary.

Wilbert Sostre interviewed Puerto Rican Jazz pianist Brenda Hopkins Miranda and reviewed her latest album, Simple, for the University of Puerto Rico Journal Dialogo. He also reviewed the Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Fest for Latin Jazz Network and JazzTimes.

Karl Stober is back after a year off from writing, because of numerous requests and the passion within for jazz. He just finished a piece on pianist Lisa Hilton and wrapping up a Sony project on Weather Report. The future is finding a few more vehicles for his columns “JazzTrenzz” & “Between Sets”, as well as a two features on social jazz. One other project in the works is a short film on theindependent artist that he hopes to enter in one of the film festivals.

Carol Sudhalter‘s four-concert series, ‘Octogenarians of Jazz’, featured the celebrated composer/pianist/arranger/French hornist David Amram, who played with Carol’s sextet on April 21 and spoke of his career and his association with Jack  Kerouac. Second in the series will feature drummer Rudy Lawless, May 18 at Aurora Gallery in Queens. Carol recently translated the preface to Amalie Rothschild, a book about an extraordinary 20th century artist from Baltimore. The book was published in April by Angelo Pontecorboli, with essays by Nancy G. Heller, Percy North, and more.

Joyce M. Wilson, for the month of May, will continue her task on focusing  on the music scene around the Los Angeles area while maintaining an open mind on what is being offered.

Use our JJA Member Directories to find  JJA members qualified to contribute to your  publication or production or to assist you with your jazz-related project.  The directories can be searched by name,  area of expertise and geographic location.

If you are a JJA Member and want your update to be included in next month’s roundup, send it to membernews@jazzjournalists.org by  June 1, 2012.

If you aren’t a JJA Member yet, consider joining us. Membership is open to both Professional Journalists (writers, bloggers, photographers, videographers, web producers and others who cover jazz) and  Industry Associates (musicians, educators, presenters, promoters and others who work in the industry and support our work.)


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