Santa Claus is a busy guy. Gazillions of presents in one night and all that, plus weeks of appearances at fine shopping malls throughout the world. The guy needs a break. While we didn't pick up any reindeer in our recent trip to Finland (see Festival Report from Tampere), we can save him a little time with the whole naughty-nice thing as far as our December issue features go: all of them deserve a sleighful of presents (maybe from our Holiday Gift Guide?)
Pianist Dick Hyman (On The Cover) is a one-man jazz university, seven decades worth of performing and recording, keeping the yule log of traditional jazz styles burning. He performs two nights solo at Dizzy's Club just before Christmas. Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington (Interview), sidewoman extraordinaire and compelling leader, will spend a week in the toasty environs of the Village Vanguard as part of a trio with pianist Geri Allen and bassist Esperanza Spalding. Pianist Helen Sung (Artist Feature) has had her star grow ever brighter over the years and presents her Sung With Words project, which features a bevy of vocalists, at The Jazz Gallery. And multi-instrumentalist Douglas Ewart (Encore) caps off the AACM 50th Anniversary Celebration at Roulette as part of the Interpretations series.
Our present to Santa Claus this year is a new nickname: Jazzy Old St. Nick.
On the Cover: DICK HYMAN
By Ken Dryden; photos by Shulamit Seidler-Feller and Frank Stewart for Jazz at Lincoln Center
Dick Hyman is one of the most versatile pianists in jazz. His career spans nearly 70 years, with an extensive discography of numerous solo recordings, several duo meetings with cornet player Ruby Braff, piano duets with Derek Smith, Ralph Sutton, Dick Wellstood and Roger Kellaway and writing for larger ensembles and film soundtracks. Hyman's vast knowledge of standards, jazz works and forgotten gems makes him, as Gene Lees wrote, "a virtual encyclopedia of the history of jazz piano." Hyman plays solo at Dizzy's Club Dec. 21st-22nd.
Interview: TERRI LYNE CARRINGTON
By Anders Griffen; photo by Tracy Love
Three-time Grammy Award-winning musician Terri Lyne Carrington's prodigious jazz drumming career began at a young age. Sitting in with Oscar Peterson at the Globe Jazz Festival, she was heard by the founders of Berklee, who offered her a scholarship at age 11. By 14 she was working professionally and played with many of the greats who traveled to Boston. At 16, she made an independent record, TLC And Friends, with George Coleman, Kenny Barron and Buster Williams, and at 18 she moved to New York. At 23, she toured with Wayne Shorter, Stan Getz and David Sanborn and made the Grammy-nominated record Real Life Story before moving to Los Angeles, where she joined the band on The Arsenio Hall Show. She continues to manage a successful career as a performing artist and educator, both independently and as the Zildjian Chair in Jazz Performance at the Global Jazz Institute at Berklee College of Music. Carrington is at Village Vanguard Dec. 15th-20th.
Artist Feature: HELEN SUNG
By Jim Pietaro; photo courtesy of Helen Sung
"Jazz is one of the generous art forms," Helen Sung remarked. "It's based on interaction, expressiveness. I came to the music late in life and had to understand the soul of jazz before I could revel in the tradition." After years of classical training and while preparing for a career as a concert pianist, Sung stumbled upon jazz in an odd turn of events and then nothing was the same. Sung is at Jazz at Kitano Dec. 4th with Scott Robinson and 19th with Mark Sherman, The Jazz Gallery Dec. 17th with her Sung With Words project and Jazz Standard Dec. 31st with the Mingus Big Band.
Encore: DOUGLAS EWART
By Kurt Gottschalk
Douglas Ewart was likely not the name most known to the thousands of people at the Chicago Jazz Festival over Labor Day, but he made one of the strongest showings of the weekend. Besides delivering a set at once ebullient and thought-provoking, he wore a vivid red marching band coat with the letters "A-A-C-M" and the numerals "5" and "0" sewn onto the back, in what looked to be hand-cut felt. Ewart is at Roulette Dec. 10th as part of Interpretations.
Lest We Forget: GUNTHER SCHULLER
By Ken Waxman
During his long professional career Gunther Schuller, who died this past June and was born Nov. 22nd, 1925, was a French horn player, composer, conductor, author, university professor, record company and orchestra founder, festival administrator and conservatory president. But for certain segments of the music world he's best-known for a term coined during a 1957 lecture at Brandeis University: "Third Stream". A Schuller tribute is at ShapeShifter Lab Dec. 12th.
Record Label Spotlight: Whirlwind
By Mark Keresman
Poets, songwriters and barstool philosophers have been saying since time immemorial: "Follow your heart." Romantics and cynics (well, this cynic, at any rate) often relish the success stories arising from this advice/concept and, Dear Reader, here comes one such tale-in-progress. Whirlwind is a U.K.-based label providing a pulpit from which a diverse lot of jazz can be heard preaching globally. Artists performing this month include Samuel Blaser at Nublu Dec. 10th, Ibeam Brooklyn Dec. 11th-12th and 15th with Max Johnson and Cornelia Street Café Dec. 13th; Joel Harrison at Roulette Dec. 1st; John O'Gallagher at Roulette Dec. 1st with Joel Harrison; Jochen Rueckert at Cornelia Street Café Dec. 10th with Lage Lund, 12th with Guillermo Klein and 16th with Randy Ingram and Bar Next Door Dec. 15th with Peter Brendler; and JC Sanford at Roulette Dec. 1st with Joel Harrison.
(this month's performance venues in parentheses):
Christian McBride -- Live at the Village Vanguard Mack Avenue (Village Vanguard)
Yoni Kretzmer 2Bass Quartet -- Book II OutNow (Muchmore's)
Devin Gray -- RelativE ResonancE Skirl (Korzo)
Christian Sands/Thomas Fonnesbæk/Alex Riel -- Take One Storyville (Village Vanguard)
Russ Lossing -- Eclipse Aqua Pizza (Ibeam Brooklyn)
Nate Wooley -- (Dance to) The Early Music Clean Feed (The Stone)
Various Artists -- Creative Music Studio: Archive Selections, Volume 2 Planet Arts (El Taller LatinoAmericano)
Feecho -- Bums El Negocito
Kombo B -- Hramo Sazas
Jure Pukl -- The Life Sound Pictures of Jure Pukl Fresh Sound-New Talent (Fat Cat)
Javier Moreno -- Marais Del Sueño Fresh Sound-New Talent
Robert Glasper -- Covered Blue Note (Zankel Hall)
John Hébert -- Rambling Confessions Sunnyside (JACK; Jazz Gallery)
Slobber Pup -- Pole Axe RareNoise
Joe McPhee/Jamie Saft/Joe Morris/Charles Downs -- Ticonderoga Clean Feed (The Stone)
John Zorn -- Pellucidar: A Dreamers Fantabula Tzadik
Lionel Loueke -- Gaïa Blue Note (Jazz Standard)
Kyle Nasser -- Restive Soul Aisa (Cornelia Street Café)
Beekman -- Vol. 01 Discos Pendiente
David Sanborn -- Time and the River OKeh (Blue Note)
Josh Sinton/Dominic Lash -- Signal Gain OutNow (Delroy's Cafe and Wine Bar; Bar Chord; The Firehouse Space; Ibeam Brooklyn; The Stone)
Samuel Blaser -- Spring Rain Whirlwind (Nublu; Ibeam Brooklyn; Cornelia Street Café)