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It’s never a bad time to be a Miles fan, but 2019 is proving to be a banner year in multiple media. Lee Mergner gets the story behind the lost ’80s album Rubberband and talks to director Stanley Nelson, Jr. about his career-comprehensive Miles doc, while composer/arranger Ryan Truesdell pays tribute to Birth of the Cool, now in a swanky 70th-anniversary box.
Sure, he’s got a great backstory—grandson of a legend, Dee Dee Bridgewater protégé, frequent explorer of the Asian jazz scene—but on the evidence of his latest, fearlessly eclectic album Star People Nation, Theo Croker’s future looks even more exciting. Ted Panken talks to a trumpeter with a surfeit of creative ideas and no qualms about speaking his mind.
By day, Joe Fiedler oversees the orchestration and arrangements for the music on Sesame Street; by night, he’s an innovative jazz trombonist. Now, as Mike Shanley relates, he’s put both sides of his career together, coming up with modern reinterpretations of classic Sesame songs—just in time for the 50th birthday of that revolutionary children’s-TV program.
The hoary but useful term “musician’s musician” applies perfectly to Ben Monder, a guitarist whose playing has been treasured by everyone from Guillermo Klein to Paul Motian to David Bowie. Geoffrey Himes explains why more non-musicians should be taking note.
The Scene: Jazz Night at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C.
Opening Chorus: Billie Holiday’s final trip to Boston, Giovanni Guidi, Jennifer Wharton, and Jon Irabagon
Farewells to Julian Euell, Jeff Duperon, Faith Winthrop, Art Neville, Bob Wilber, and Jim Cullum
Chronology: Ethan Iverson on Don Cherry
A Before & After listening session with Michael Dease
An Overdue Ovation for Fleurine
Audio Files: Brent Butterworth on exotic sound accessories
Chops: Wayne Wallace details Latin-jazz basics
Artist’s Choice: David Amram’s favorite jazz French-horn moments
Album Reviews: James Carter Organ Trio, Jenny Scheinman and Allison Miller’s Parlour Game, Eliane Elias, and more