Earlier this summer, a real brouhaha erupted when anti-vaxxer protesters picketed the newly reopened Springsteen on Broadway, making false and, frankly, disgustingly ignorant and privileged equivalence between the show's requirement of proof of vaccination and separate facilities for different races in the U.S. or the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear under the Nazis. While we are all desperate for art and live experience after so many months, it is just as desperate that those whose selfishness prevent them from engagement with society are not allowed to bring us back to the lockdowns and isolation that seemed never-ending just a few months ago. One would have hoped that the rare experience of fear and loss and disorientation that crossed all societal and national lines since early 2020 would have brought humanity closer, setting aside differences for a larger good yet, apparently, there is much work still to be done.
For the vaccinated, NYC is reopening at a dizzying rate: pianist Renee Rosnes (On The Cover) will be at Blue Note with Ron Carter's Foursight; guitarist John Pizzarelli (Interview) will also be there, presenting his recent project of solo Pat Metheny interpretations; and saxophonist/vocalist Camille Thurman (Artist Feature) is all over town this month at Central Park Great Hill, Bryant Park and Drom. And our CD Review section features others offering performances indoors and out. Plus, we introduce a new section for the many who may have fled the five boroughs during the pandemic: "100 Miles Out", a selection of shows (found at the end of the Event Calendar) outside the city limits since, we have come to learn, there is life outside of 10001-10314.
On the Cover: RENEE ROSNES
By Ken Dryden; photos courtesy of DL Media
Renee Rosnes exudes self-assurance and total command of her instrument, whether as a bandleader, soloist or part of another's group. Since the gifted pianist arrived on the New York jazz scene in the mid '80s, she has built a formidable discography with Joe Henderson, J.J. Johnson, Slide Hampton, Gerald Wilson and Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band and leader dates for Blue Note, Smoke Sessions (including her soon to be released Kinds of Love] and Japanese labels. Rosnes is at Blue Note Aug. 4th-8th with Ron Carter.
Interview: JOHN PIZZARELLI
By Kyle Oleksiuk; photo by Jessica Molaskey
Over the course of his nearly 40-year-long career, prolific jazz guitarist, singer and composer John Pizzarelli has become one of the most celebrated modern interpreters of the Great American Songbook (GAS), a love for which he acquired from his father, the also-celebrated guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic he recorded an album of songs from a very different songbook: that of guitarist Pat Metheny. Pizzarelli's solo Pat Metheny project is at Blue Note Aug. 13th-15th.
Artist Feature: CAMILLE THURMAN
By Jordannah Elizabeth; photo courtesy of the artist
New York City native Camille Thurman has been making an impact on the jazz world for the past decade as both a tenor saxophonist/flutist and vocalist. She is the first female member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) and is ascending into jazz stardom with infinite grace and creativity. Thurman is at Central Park Great Hill Aug. 7th, Bryant Park Aug. 14th and Drom Aug. 19th.
Encore: TODD COCHRAN
By Jim Motavalli
Todd Thomas Cochran, born in 1951, got an early start in music, beginning piano lessons at just three years old...He learned the classical repertoire but then—a pivotal moment—a cousin turned him on to jazz.
Lest We Forget: LOWELL DAVIDSON
By Alex Henderson
31 years have passed since jazz pianist and organ player Lowell Davidson died on Jul. 30th, 1990 at only 48...he only recorded sporadically but musicians who are familiar with Davidson's work remember him as an adventurous, broad-minded player capable of both intensity and nuance.
Record Label Spotlight: AUT
By George Grella
The first impression of AUT Records is that it's another one of the numerous small, truly independent European jazz labels. Just into its second decade, AUT has built a catalogue of 80 releases, well beyond any fledgling stage. But there are two details that distinguish the label, one of which is its business model, the other the intriguing balance between free music and releases that fall into a more formal mainstream of modern jazz.
(this month's performance/streaming venues in parentheses):
Hazar—Reincarnated (Special Guest Al Di Meola) IAN Productions (Blue Note)
Daniel Carter/Matt Lavelle—Heart Sounds (The Piano Album) s/r (Bushwick Public House; Oliver Coffee)
Daniel Carter/Tobias Wilner/Djibril Toure/Federico Ughi—New York United, Volume 2 577 Records (Bushwick Public House; Oliver Coffee)
Ayumi Ishito & The Spacemen—Vol. 1 577 Records (Bushwick Public House; Funkadelic Studios)