As 2017 comes to a close, we invite you to revisit these choice JazzTimes features and columns from throughout the year. Thanks so much for reading and supporting JT, and remember to vote in our Readers’ Poll.
– Evan Haga, Editor
In a rare interview, the piano master talks to Nate Chinen about audiences, solo improvisation and the fraught circumstances behind his revelatory recent box set, A Multitude of Angels (ECM). Plus: Evan Haga on Jarrett at Carnegie Hall.
JT reader Sonny Rollins takes issue. As told to Michael J. West
Jazz on Trump
“Right from the get-go, it was disastrous,” the Mexican-born drummer Antonio Sanchez says of the rise of Donald J. Trump. But the jazz community is an exceedingly diverse one, and opinions on the United States’ 45th president range wider than you might expect. By Michael J. West
The rising sax star on Pharoah Sanders, jazz’s African roots, the London scene and more. By Aidan Levy
Mingus & Joni Mitchell
In this excerpt from his new book, Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell, David Yaffe details the unlikely but inspired collaboration between a generation-defining singer-songwriter and a once-fearless jazz icon nearing his death.
Few jazz musicians in recent memory have generated as much crossover excitement as this L.A.-born saxophonist. In conversation with Brad Farberman, Washington goes inside the making of his sublime new EP, Harmony of Difference (Young Turks), his first release since 2015’s breakthrough triple-album, The Epic.
Shaun Brady considers the complicated pop aspirations of a great jazz pianist.
JT editor Evan Haga meditates on the jazz impact of La La Land.
Linda May Han Oh
At home in Harlem, the phenomenal young bassist and composer discusses her bold new album, Walk Against Wind; learning to play jazz in her native Australia; and the many lessons she’s absorbed on the road with Pat Metheny. By Geoffrey Himes
In this candid, thoughtful conversation with David Fricke, the NOLA superstar talks about his Blue Note Records debut, Parking Lot Symphony, what it takes to rock an arena, the current state of the brass-band tradition and how he and his band, Orleans Avenue, aren’t out to save jazz.
Is Jazz Still Sexist?
In light of a recent controversy, jazz writer Natalie Weiner takes stock of the genre’s attitudes toward women.
How a Windy City trumpeter, raised on Ornette and punk rock, became one of the most thrilling new voices of the New York avant-garde. By Shaun Brady
From his Stooges days to a surprising recent collaboration, the punk pioneer discusses his jazz past. By Evan Haga
In July of 1959, Monk entered a New York studio to record soundtrack music for an edgy, arty film version of the 18th-century novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses. The resulting session, newly unearthed and released after nearly 60 years, gives us fresh insights into a profoundly important and trying period of Monk’s career. By David Kastin
In this rare archival interview by Ashley Kahn, most of it previously unpublished, the transcendent musician and spiritual leader reflects on life with one of the most influential men in jazz history. Plus, Shaun Brady digs into a revelatory collection of her devotional recordings and Evan Haga writes about a special tribute concert in Queens.
The Savory Collection
Critic Ben Ratliff on why the work of jazz is never done.
Now in his 90s, Heath is a talent and personality nonpareil—a saxophonist whose lyrical, robust command of the tenor evinces jazz’s midcentury golden age, and a storyteller with an endless supply of anecdotes starring the music’s icons. Here, Mac Randall asks Heath to reflect on several of his historic sessions.
Featuring drummer Jack DeJohnette, bassist Larry Grenadier, keyboardist John Medeski and guitarist John Scofield, the supergroup Hudson shares a locale—the pastoral landscapes above New York City—and the open, inspired mindset that comes with it. By Nate Chinen
John McLaughlin & Jimmy Herring
In late 2016, Mac Randall sat down with the fusion guitar masters in New York, to discuss their mutual admiration and upcoming U.S. tour—McLaughlin’s last, he claims, and a rare opportunity to hear his groundbreaking Mahavishnu Orchestra material recreated live. Plus: McLaughlin’s final tour hits NYC.
Bewitching, boy-crazy young woman; Mrs. Stan Kenton; Capitol recording artist; unemployed lounge singer who died, bizarrely, at age 46: The story of one of vocal-jazz’s greatest, saddest mysteries is told here for the first time. By James Gavin
From his Latin dance classic La Perfecta through the electric grooves of Harlem River Drive and on to his most recent triumph, Sabiduría/Wisdom, the Afro-Cuban maestro goes inside the making of his finest LPs. By Jeff Tamarkin
40 Essential Solos
To compile this list of 40 fantastic improvised solos you need to hear—and, if you’re a musician, transcribe—we polled more than 100 top players and critics. The results are almost certainly not what you’d expect, and we’ve included commentary by Joe Lovano, Helen Sung, Fred Hersch, Dave Douglas and many other artists.
Allen, who died of cancer in June, just 60, wasn’t only one of the most fearless and important pianists in jazz history. She was also among its great teachers, as artists including Esperanza Spalding and Jason Moran explain. By Shaun Brady
On his bold new album, Bad Hombre, the Mexican-American drummer channels his fury over Donald Trump’s immigration policy into powerhouse rhythmic improvisation fused with electronica. By Geoffrey Himes
Buddy Rich @100
During his lifetime, he was widely regarded as the greatest drummer in the world and a talk-show-ready raconteur. But Rich’s legacy, tainted by those legendary tapes, is far more complex and contested. By Andrew Gilbert
In this revealing, surprising conversation with JT publisher
Lee Mergner, one of America’s premier humorists talks about his jazz-obsessed dad, why he stopped doing his Billie impression, the problem with jazz brunch and much more.
In this interview by David Fricke, the soulful, award-winning vocalist discusses his new Blue Note tribute to Nat “King” Cole—a musical and personal hero who offered wisdom and strength when Porter’s absentee father could not.