The New York City Jazz Record

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In jazz parlance, the "rhythm section" is shorthand for piano, bass and drums. This is useful for saving space but really undercuts the role of these musicians, particularly in small group situations. And it hardly speaks to the individuality of the various members in said rhythm sections over the decades. To right this wrong just a little, our big three features this month would certainly make a fascinating example of the species, yet are here in featured roles.

We start with pianist Dave Burrell (On The Cover), a key contributor to the New Thing and its subsequent developments since the '60s. He is the very deserving recipient of this month's Vision Festival's annual celebration evening dedicated to a living musician. We follow—out of order—with drummer Pheeroan akLaff (Interview), an important collaborator with players like Wadada Leo Smith, Oliver Lake, Henry Threadgill and the recently departed Cecil Taylor, to name but a few. He can be heard this month at Issue Project Room, Rubin Museum and The Stone at The New School. And, finally, from a totally different world (and side of the planet), is bassist Nicki Parrott (Artist Feature), who has played with legends like Dick Hyman, Clark Terry, Joe Wilder and Les Paul but steps out front this month for two nights at Birdland.

On the Cover: DAVE BURRELL

By John Sharpe; photos by Alan Nahigian

Many musicians tread the porous border between inside and outside, tradition and freedom, the composed and the improvised, but few make such extensive incursions into either side as pianist Dave Burrell. Burrell is at Vision Festival May 23rd.

Interview: PHEEROAN AKLAFF

By Anders Griffen; photo by Keiko Shiga

Drummer/composer Pheeroan akLaff was born Paul Maddox in Detroit in 1955. Before moving to New York in the '70s he lived briefly in New Haven, where he established lasting relationships and received the name Pheeroan akLaff. He has led his own ensembles and worked with Cecil Taylor, Andrew Hill, Wadada Leo Smith, Amina Claudine Myers, Geri Allen, Oliver Lake, Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill, Reggie Workman, Sonny Sharrock and many others. For over 20 years he has been teaching privately at Wesleyan University. In 2006 he co-founded Seed Artists through which he has mentored youth and produced musical events focused on building community and engagement with the arts. akLaff is at The Stone at The New School May 4th, solo at Issue Project Room May 5th and Rubin Museum May 18th as part of Jog Blues.

Artist Feature: NICKI PARROTT

By Jim Motavalli; photo by Brian Wittman

By the time she was 16, bassist Nicki Parrott was winning awards in Australia, and one of them (1994 Young Achievers Award from the Arts Council of Australia) came with the funds to travel to New York for study with one of her bass heroes, Rufus Reid. Since New York is the Mount Olympus for jazz, Parrott came and never left. Parrott is at Birdland May 22nd-23rd.

Encore: DOM SALVADOR

By Laurel Gross

Persistent and meticulous, outstanding pianist/composer Dom Salvador overcame early obstacles and embraced new challenges. A tribute to Salvador with Duduka Da Fonseca is at Jazz at Kitano May 25th-26th.

Lest We Forget: HASAAN IBN ALI

By Eric Wendell

Jazz has produced its fair share of obscure legends who exist within the anecdotal prism of folklore without getting their due. Pianist Hasaan Ibn Ali is such a legend, with a style and harmonic toolkit well beyond that of his contemporaries. A tribute to Ali with Brian Marsella, Christian McBride and Anwar Marshall is at The Stone at The New School May 24th.

Record Label Spotlight: SPACE TIME

By Ken Dryden

Many jazz fans dream of running a label. Xavier Felgeyrolles made it a reality in 1995. Artists performing this month include Kenny Barron at Jazz Standard May 1st-6th; Essiet Essiet at Smoke May 11th-13th with Eddie Henderson, The 75 Club at Bogardus Mansion May 18th-19th with Steve Williams and James Weidman and Zinc Bar May 21st and 28th, the latter with Strings Attached; Eric Harland at The Jazz Gallery May 18th-19th; Ali Jackson at Rose Theater May 18th-19th with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra; and Harold Mabern at Fat Cat May 9th and Smalls May 16th.

CD Reviews

(this month's performance venues in parentheses):

  1. Kenny Barron -- Concentric Circles Blue Note (Jazz Standard)
  2. Eric Reed -- A Light In Darkness WJ3 (VIllage Vanguard)
  3. Ken Peplowski -- Sunrise Arbors (Stern Auditorium; Knickerbocker Bar & Grill; Tribeca Performing Arts Center; Jazz at Kitano)
  4. Brad Mehldau -- After Bach Nonesuch (Birdland)
  5. Kat Edmonson -- Old Fashioned Gal Spinnerette (Le Poisson Rouge)
  6. Dial & Oatts Rich DeRosa/The WDR Big Band -- Rediscovered Ellington ZoHo (Dizzy's Club)
  7. Ella Fitzgerald -- Ella at Zardi's Verve
  8. Hans Hassler -- Wie Die Zeit Hinter Mir Her Intakt
  9. Swing of France -- La Contre Attaque Du Jazz Musette, Vol. 1 Fremeaux & Associes
  10. Harri Kuusijärvi -- Music for a Family Picnic Eclipse
  11. Daniel Levin/Chris Pitsiokos/Brandon Seabrook -- Stomiidae Dark Tree (The Stone at The New School; Bushwick Public House)
  12. Nik Bärtsch's Ronin -- Awase ECM (Le Poisson Rouge)
  13. Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog -- YRU Still Here? Northern Spy (Le Poisson Rouge)
  14. Jeff Hamilton -- Live from San Pedro Capri (Dizzy's Club)
  15. Jambalaya Brass Band -- Habana to New Orleans 890 West Music (Floridita Harlem)
  16. Jasmine Choi/Joe Fonda/Harvey Sorgen -- Trio Joy Klopotec (The Loft of Thomas Rochon)
  17. Bobby Zankel -- Celebrating William Parker @65 Not Two
  18. Lauren Sevian -- Bliss Posi-Tone (Dizzy's Club)
  19. Jason Stein -- After Caroline Northern Spy (Nublu 151)
  20. Ryan Slatko -- First Impressions s/r (ShapeShifter Lab)
  21. The New York All-Star Big Band (featuring Dan Levinson) -- The Unheard Artie Shaw Hep Jazz
  22. Stephanie Richards -- Fullmoon Relative Pitch (National Sawdust)
  23. Duck Baker -- Plays Monk Triple Point (Wonders of Nature)
  24. Roscoe Mitchell/Matthew Shipp -- Accelerated Projection (Live at Sant'Anna Arresi) Rogue Art (Vision Festival)
  25. Roscoe Mitchell -- Bells for the South Side ECM (Vision Festival)
  26. Roscoe Mitchell/Montreal-Toronto Art Orchestra -- Ride the Wind Nessa (Vision Festival)
  27. Leslie Pintchik -- You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl! Pintch Hard (Jazz at Kitano)
  28. Matthew Shipp -- Magnetism(s) Rogue Art (Vision Festival)
  29. Matthew Shipp -- Sonic Fiction ESP-Disk (Vision Festival)
  30. Matthew Shipp -- Zero ESP-Disk (Vision Festival)
  31. Duduka Da Fonseca -- Plays Dom Salvador Sunnyside (Jazz at Kitano)
  32. Spanish Harlem Orchestra -- Anniversary ArtistShare
  33. Chet Baker -- Live From The Moonlight Chet Baker Estate
  34. Marco Eneidi -- Circular Mood Scale (Music for Franz West) Sonorus
  35. Dave Liebman/John Stowell -- Petite Fleur: The Music of Sidney Bechet Origin (The Stone at The New School; Smoke)
  36. Román Filiú -- Quarteria Sunnyside (The Jazz Gallery)
  37. Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra -- Without A Trace Origin (Smalls; Sir D's)
  38. Eddie Henderson -- Be Cool Smoke Sessions (Smoke)
  39. Jim McNeely/Frankfurt Radio Big Band -- Barefoot Dances and Other Visions Planet Arts (Mezzrow)
  40. Fred Hersch -- Live in Europe Palmetto (Jazz Standard)
  41. Patricia Nicholson/William Parker -- HOPE Cries for JUSTICE Centering (Vision Festival)
  42. Karl Berger -- In A Moment Tzadik (El Taller LatinoAmericano)
  43. Sun Ra & His Astro-Ihnfinity Arkestra -- Sun Embassy Roaratorio
  44. Sun Ra -- Of Abstract Dreams Strut
  45. Sun Ra -- Discipline 27-II El Saturn-Corbett vs. Dempsey
  46. Brian Charette -- Groovin' With Big G SteepleChase (Blue Note)
  47. Noah Preminger -- Genuinity Criss Cross (Smalls)
  48. Dead Composers Club -- Chopin Project (with Nate Radley and Kim Cass) Connection Works (Cornelia Street Underground)
  49. Frank Carlberg/Noah Preminger -- Whispers and Cries Red Piano (Smalls; Cornelia Street Underground)
  50. Jerry Bergonzi -- Dog Star Savant (Zinc Bar)
  51. Sara Serpa -- Close Up Clean Feed (Brooklyn Conservatory of Music)
  52. Yuko Fujiyama -- Night Wave Innova
  53. Mark Soskin -- Hearts and Minds SteepleChase (Mezzrow; Smoke)
  54. Matthew Whitaker -- Outta The Box Jazz Foundation of America (Harlem Stage Gatehouse)
  55. Emmet Cohen -- Masters Legacy Series, Volume 2 (featuring Ron Carter) Cellar Jazz (Dizzy's Club)
  56. Gene Perla -- Out of the Gate PM (Zinc Bar; The Sound Bite)
  57. Viktorija Gečytė -- No Detour Ahead PM (The Sound Bite)
  58. Jay Leonhart -- Don't You Wish (feat. Tomoko Ohno) s/r (Tribeca performing Arts Center; Knickerbocker Bar & Grill)
  59. Paal Nilssen-Love Large Unit -- Fluku PNL (Vision Festival)
  60. Walt Dickerson/Richard Davis -- Divine Gemini SteepleChase
  61. Joe Locke -- Present Tense SteepleChase (Mezzrow)
  62. Adam Nussbaum -- The Leadbelly Project Sunnyside
  63. Don Braden -- Earth, Wind and Wonder Creative Perspective Music (Dizzy's Club)
  64. Ken Fowser -- Don't Look Down Posi-Tone (The Django)
  65. Jamie Baum -- Bridges Sunnyside (The Cell)
  66. Ted Nash -- Live at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola Plastic Sax (Rose Theater)
  67. Daniel Humair -- Seasoning Intuition
  68. Miles Davis & John Coltrane -- The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6: The Final Tour Columbia-Legacy

...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