Tuesday, May 28, 2019

News of Past Guests, Summer 2019 Edition

As we first put fingers to keyboard, it was the day after Memorial Day, and that's the unofficial start of summer, right?  Besides, our Spring post was getting so packed that Blogger told us we'd exceeded the limit on "tags." So put on your shorts and sandals, grab a gin & tonic, and let's go:

At the Jazz Gallery's Jazz Speaks blog, saxophonist Tony Malaby (Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth) talks about his new collective trio with guitarist Ben Monder (Theo Bleckmann) and drummer Nasheet Waits (Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy).

Jazz Speaks also spoke with saxophonist Melissa Aldana, as did Burning Ambulance:

In the August issue of DownBeat you'll find this year's installment of the magazine's prestigious Critics Poll--which, like similar polls by Jazz Times critics and the Jazz Journalists Association (see our Spring Update), lauds plenty of RJA veterans.  For instance?  Cécile McLorin Salvant (whom we presented in 2014 in collaboration with Center Arts) took both Female Vocalist and Jazz Artist of the Year.  The Fred Hersch Trio: Jazz Group of the Year.  Ambrose Akinmusire: trumpet. Miguel  Zénon: alto sax.  Anat Cohen: clarinet.  Regina Carter: violin.  Brian Blade (Joel Harrison and Spirit House): drums.  Adam O'Farrill (Rudresh Mahanthappa's Bird Calls): rising star trumpet.  Dayna Stephens: rising star tenor sax.  Allison Miller: rising star drums.

The July DownBeat had feature articles on Melissa Aldana and clarinetist Anat Cohen, a four-star "Hot Box" featured review of Fabian Almazan's This Land Abounds with Life, and a profile of vocalist and guitarist Camila Meza (Ryan Keberle & Catharsis).  Not to be outdone, the July Jazz Times includes a cover story on saxophonist Chris Potter, a feature on multi-reedist Marty Ehrlich, an interview with multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson, and a "Before and After" listening session with saxophonist Dayna Stephens.

On May 31, Meza released her fifth album as a leader and her first on Sony Masterworks, Ámbar.  In April, DownBeat previewed a tune from the album as part of its online "First Listen" series, while back in 2018 The Pace Report interviewed Meza (and recorded her in performance) when she debuted her Nectar Orchestra at the APAP conference in New York:

The Chilean-born guitarist-vocalist-composer-bandleader also came in for special praise from NPR's "Alt.Latino" recently, after she appeared with her new project on NPR's Jazz Night in America:

Meza also continues her work with Keberle's Catharsis on The Hope I Hold, due out June 28. Here's a video of the album's first single, "Despite the Dream":

Elsewhere in print: in the July/August Jazz Times, Andrew Gilbert writes about vocalist Claudia Villela's recent travails and her latest album ("Into the Fire, and Out Again").  And in the June DownBeat, Suzanne Lorge had a short feature ("Sanchez's Borderless Music") on drummer Antonio Sánchez and Migration's Lines in the Sand, a timely album about border issues, as well as a long profile ("Seeking Unity") of bassist Linda May Han Oh (about whom Steve Futterman also said nice things in a recent issue of the New Yorker), while Bill Milkowski highlighted guitarist Ben Monder's Day After Daya double album (one solo, one trio) of imaginative covers.

More drummer news: Johnathan Blake (Omer Avital Quintet), featured on the Straight No Chaser podcast, just released his third album as a leader, Trion, a double live set with two other RJA alums, tenor saxophonist Chris Potter and bassist Linda May Han Oh (each of whom has recent new releases of their own; see our Spring 2019 update):

And drummer Allison Miller was interviewed for both Burning Ambulance, and DownBeat, where she spoke (among other things) about "Parlour Games," her quartet co-led with Jenny Scheinman.  (See our previous update).  And drummer--well, multi-instrumentalist--Tyshawn Sorey (Myra Melford's Snowy Egret) was recetnly the object of praise (Steve Smith, "Composer Portrait") and the subject of a profile (Alex Ross, "The Shape-Shifting Music of Tyshawn Sorey") in The New Yorker.

Miscellaneous new releases:
  • The Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, Transitions
  • David Berkman Sextet, Six of One:

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