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Twenty-two years ago, he started working on a musical project that paid homage to four civil-rights leaders. Seven years ago, he recorded it with a big band and choir. Now that recording has finally seen the light of day. Lee Mergner gets all the details in this exclusive interview.
Ask any major jazz player or Washington, D.C. music fan, and they’re likely to know who Ben Williams is. On his politically charged new album I Am a Man, this hometown hero has decided to address the larger world and its struggles for the first time. Michael J. West catches up with the bassist and … singer?
JAZZ AND VINYL
In 2019, record sales reached a 30-year peak, and jazz had more than a little to do with it. Ken Micallef examines the reasons for the vinyl renaissance, explains the controversy over digitizing, and offers practical tips for would-be LP collectors.
TRIUMPH IN PORT-AU-PRINCE
Natural disasters, poverty, corruption, political instability, social unrest—the capital city of Haiti has been through it all. And yet every year the Port-au-Prince Jazz Festival keeps coming back stronger than before. Sharonne Cohen reports on the latest iteration of this near-miraculous event.
ANNUAL GUIDE TO SUMMER JAZZ PROGRAMS
Opening Chorus: Buddy Rich on paper and plastic; Lee Mergner recalls JT’s “Overrated/Underrated” issue; Sefi Zisling; Alexander Claffy;
Farewells to Buddy Terry, Claudio Roditi, Jimmy Heath, Bob Gullotti, and Lucien Barbarin
The Scene: Savannah, Ga.’s Good Times
Chronology: Ethan Iverson on Gary Peacock
Artist’s Choice: Junius Paul picks tracks by electric bass giants
Before & After: Dezron Douglas
Overdue Ovation: Marc Johnson
Audio Files: Brent Butterworth on immersive sound
Chops: Michael Janisch, composing bassist
Gearhead: The simple pleasures of Winter NAMM
Cover image of Christian McBride by Anna WebberOriginally Published