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He’s been a first-call bassist for decades, an indispensable support player, but his time to take center stage is finally here, courtesy of Adam Kahan’s insightful new documentary Bass to Infinity. Ted Panken discusses the film and the career it traces with Kahan, George Colligan, Kenny Barron, Christian McBride, Lenny White, and Williams himself.
The three albums that Morgan Guerin has released so far as a leader are all called parts of a “saga,” and adding to their epic nature is the fact that he plays nearly every instrument on them. Geoffrey Himes talks to an in-demand 22-year-old who’s as ambitious as he is versatile.
EDDIE HENDERSON: BRIGHT MOMENTS
From his early days with Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi crew to his most recent dates for Smoke Sessions, trumpeter Eddie Henderson has appeared on more than 150 records. In our latest installment of Bright Moments, he guides Michael J. West through selected highlights of his formidable catalog.
THEO BLECKMANN & THE WESTERLIES
The eclectic German-born singer/songwriter and the similarly genre-averse American brass quartet met up five years ago, and they describe their subsequent creative process as “five minds working together as one.” On their first joint album, This Land, those five minds are thinking about the troubled state of the U.S.—and how to address it in beauty. By A.D. Amorosi
ANNUAL GUIDE TO SUMMER JAZZ PROGRAMS
Opening Chorus: Hasaan Ibn Ali’s second album sees release at last, 55 years after it was recorded; Jorge Roeder, bassist of choice; Brian Bromberg is blessed with the curse of diversity; and farewells to Bobby Few, Mario Suraci, Howard Johnson, Sammy Nestico, Junior Mance, and Jonas Gwangwa
Chronology: Ethan Iverson on Ron Carter
Coda: Walking with Walter Page
Overdue Ovation: Santi Debriano
Before & After: John Clayton with Ken Peplowski
Audio Files: Brent Butterworth on how to improve your room sound
Gearhead: A virtual NAMM
Reviews: Archie Shepp & Jason Moran, the JLCO Septet’s Democracy! Suite, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jon Batiste, Kari Kirkland, Emmet Cohen, and more
Cover image by Alan Nahigian
Table of Contents image by John Labbé