The New York City Jazz Record

The City's Only Homegrown Jazz Gazette!

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Pull out your copy of A Tribute to Jack Johnson. The picture of Miles Davis is an iconic one and shows the place of the trumpet in jazz history. The instrument had its outsized personalities—Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Miles himself—and share of tragedies: Bunny Berigan, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Booker Little, Lee Morgan. The sound of a trumpet, whether cool and muted or open and brash, is the sound of jazz itself.

As part of our first-ever Trumpet Issue, we feature a big band horn section's worth of players who have already accomplished plenty and still have long careers in front of them. Dave Douglas (On The Cover) exemplifies the word prolific, celebrating 10 years of his Greenleaf Music imprint at SubCulture and new collaborative project, Sound Prints, with Joe Lovano at The Appel Room. Terence Blanchard (Interview) has been forging a strong identity since his days as part of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers; he celebrates the release of his new Blue Note album with a run at Jazz Standard. Bria Skonberg (Artist Feature), a double threat as a trumpeter and vocalist, curates and performs at the third annual Hot Jazz Fest. And two more valves of trumpet history come courtesy of Hugh Ragin (Encore) and Humphrey Lyttelton (Lest We Forget). We also have front-loaded our CD Reviews (pg. 14-17) with a cross-section of innovators on the instrument. Miles Smiles (we hope...)

On the Cover: DAVE DOUGLAS

By Terrell Holmes; photos by Austin Nelson

Whether it's jazz, funk, electronica, Jewish folk music, hip-hop or classical, there isn't a point on the musical compass that hasn't been explored by Dave Douglas. This acclaimed trumpeter, composer, producer and innovator has recorded over 40 albums as a leader on recordings that accentuate originality and foster his artistic growth. He is a virtual force of nature and one can become winded just reading about all of his projects. Douglas is at The Appel Room May 15th-16th with Sound Prints and celebrates Greenleaf Music's 10th Anniversary at SubCulture May 27th.

Interview: TERENCE BLANCHARD

By Russ Musto; photo by Vincent Isola

Terence Blanchard burst on to the jazz scene in the early '80s Young Lions era, succeeding trumpeter Wynton Marsalis with Art Blakey. Following his Jazz Messengers tenure he co-led a quintet with fellow New Orleanais and Blakey alumnus, alto saxophonist Donald Harrison, before striking out on his own. Since composing the soundtracks to Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing and Mo' Better Blues, Blanchard has been an in-demand film scorer and expanded his musical endeavors to operatic and symphonic works. His most recent project is groove-based ensemble The E-Collective. Blanchard and The E-Collective is at Jazz Standard May 27th-31st.

Artist Feature: BRIA SKONBERG

By Marcia Hillman; photo by Bill Johnson

Bria Skonberg has a lot on her plate. She is a trumpeter, vocalist, arranger, songwriter, recording artist (with a pair of CDs on Random Act Records), leader of her own groups and performer with notables like trumpeter Nicholas Payton, clarinetist Anat Cohen, guitarists Bucky and John Pizzarelli and cornet player Warren Vaché. She has racked up miles on tour through Canada, the United States, Europe, China and Japan, playing clubs and major jazz festivals... And this energetic and enthusiastic multi-tasker is still in her 20s! Skonberg curates and performs at the New York Hot Jazz Fest at The Players May 3rd and is also at Birdland May 6th and 27th with David Ostwald and Drom May 23rd with Colleen Clark.

Encore: HUGH RAGIN

By Ken Waxman

For trumpeter Hugh Ragin, 64, the touchstones of a long career have been performing, teaching and pivoting.

Lest We Forget: HUMPHREY LYTTELTON

By Michael Steinman

The first introduction one would need to British trumpeter Humphrey "Humph" Lyttelton (1921-2008) would be that in 1943, as a young British officer, he landed on the beach at Salerno, Italy, a pistol in one hand, his trumpet in the other.

Record Label Spotlight: ROYAL POTATO FAMILY

By Ken Waxman

"Unintentionally, the family part of our name has become really important," muses Kevin Calabro when discussing the Brooklyn-based Royal Potato Family (RPF) label he co-owns with keyboard player Marco Benevento. Calabro, who handles day-to-day activities of the six-year-old imprint adds: "We see ourselves as a big extended family of artists." Artists performing this month include Ben Goldberg at The Stone May 1st-3rd; Kirk Knuffke at BAMCafé May 2nd with Todd Sickafoose, The Stone May 3rd and Cornelia Street Café May 21st with Matt Pavolka; Allison Miller at The Stone May 3rd; and Steven Bernstein at Rockwood Music Hall May 19th with Erik Deutsch.

CD Reviews

(this month's performance venues in parentheses):

  1. Kirk Knuffke -- Arms & Hands Royal Potato Family (BAMCafé; The Stone; Cornelia Street Café)
  2. Nate Wooley -- Battle Pieces Relative Pitch (Downtown Music Gallery; Abrons Arts Center; The Stone)
  3. Josh Deutsch/Nico Soffiato -- Reverse Angle s/r (WhyNot Jazz Room)
  4. Howard McGhee -- West Coast 1945-1947 Uptown
  5. Lina Allemano -- Kiss the Brain Lumo Records (Ibeam Brooklyn)
  6. Jason Miles/Ingrid Jensen -- Kind of New Whaling City Sound (Dizzy's Club)
  7. Ellen Rowe -- Courage Music (featuring Ingrid Jensen) PKO
  8. Patrick Bebelaar/Herbert Joos/Gunter Lenz -- Book of Family Affairs HGBS
  9. Axel Schlosser & hr-Bigband -- Into the Mackerel Sky Double Moon
  10. The Alliteration -- Eponymous Creative Sources
  11. Miles Davis -- Live in Paris Fremeaux & Assoc.
  12. Kermit Ruffins -- #imsoneworleans Basin Street (Brooklyn Bowl)
  13. Ron Miles -- Circuit Rider Enja/Yellowbird (The Appel Room)
  14. Warren Vache -- Remembers Benny Carter Arbors (New York Hot Jazz Fest; Riverdale Y)
  15. Ronny Whyte -- Nevertheless...The Kalmar and Ruby Songbook Audiophile
  16. John Raymond -- Foreign Territory Fresh Sound-New Talent (SubCulture)
  17. Billie Holiday -- The Centennial Collection Legacy
  18. Rez Abbasi -- Intents and Purposes Enja (Cornelia Street Café)
  19. EJ Strickland -- The Undying Spirit Strick Muzik (Smalls; Minton's; Blue Note; Cornelia Street Café)
  20. Kris Davis Infrasound -- Save Your Breath Clean Feed (The Stone; Cornelia Street Café; Ibeam Brooklyn)
  21. John Dieterich/Ben Goldberg/Scott Amendola -- Short-Sighted Dream Colossus SAZi / BAG Production (The Stone)
  22. Donna Lewis -- Brand New Day Palmetto
  23. Secret Keeper -- Emerge Intakt (The Stone; Roulette; Cornelia Street Café; SEEDS)
  24. Wayne Escoffery -- Live at Smalls smallsLIVE (Blue Note)
  25. Count Basie and His Orchestra -- Basic Basie MPS-Edel (Birdland)
  26. Whirl -- Revolving Rapidly Around An Axis dEN
  27. Olie Brice/Tobias Delius/Mark Sanders -- Somersaults Two Rivers (Roulette)
  28. Ab Baars Trio -- Slate Blue Wig (Roulette)
  29. Ab Baars Trio & NY Guests -- Invisible Blow Wig (Roulette)
  30. Thomas Heberer/Pascal Niggenkemper -- Miner's Pick FMR (Roulette)
  31. ICP Orchestra -- East of the Sun ICP (Roulette)
  32. Misha Mengelberg/Dirk Bell/Ryan Carniaux/Gerd Dudek/Joscha Detz/Nils Tegen -- NUNC! Nemu
  33. Lisa Parrott -- Round Tripper Serious Niceness (Jazz at Kitano)
  34. Steve Wilson & Wilsonian's Grain -- Live in New York: The Vanguard Sessions Random Act (Jazz Standard)
  35. David Torn -- only sky ECM (SubCulture)
  36. Jeff Platz/Jim Hobbs/Luther Gray/Timo Shanko -- Sour Grapes Glitch (Downtown Music Gallery)
  37. Jeff Hamilton -- Great American Songs (Through The Years) Capri (Dizzy's Club)
  38. Freddy Cole -- Singing the Blues HighNote (Birdland)
  39. Lage Lund -- Idlewild Criss Cross (Cornelia Street Café)
  40. Dave Stryker -- Messin' With Mister T Strikezone (Jazz at Kitano)
  41. Steve Johns -- Family Strikezone (Jazz at Kitano)
  42. Old Time Musketry -- Drifter NCM East (Bar Chord)
  43. José James -- Yesterday I Had The Blues (The Music of Billie Holiday) Blue Note (Harlem Stage Gatehouse)
  44. Ryan Truesdell Gil Evans Project -- Lines of Color (Live at Jazz Standard) Blue Note-ArtistShare (Jazz Standard)
  45. Omer Avital -- New Song Motéma (Iridium)
  46. Harry Allen/Jan Lundgren Quartet -- Quietly There Stunt (Jazz at Kitano)
  47. Rich Halley 4 -- The Wisdom of Rocks Pine Eagle (Korzo)
  48. Rich Halley 4 -- Creating Structure Pine Eagle (Korzo)
  49. Joe Lovano/Dave Douglas Sound Prints -- Live at Monterey Jazz Festival Blue Note (The Appel Room)
  50. Gary Peacock -- Now This ECM
  51. Mary Stallings -- Feelin' Good HighNote (Smoke)
  52. Jimmy Lyons -- The Complete Remastered Recordings On Black Saint & Soul Note Black Saint/Soul Note-CAMJAZZ

...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