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On his new album, the respected yet still undersung alto saxophonist honors his musical idols and proves himself worthy of similar reverence. At the start of 2020, it seemed as though this might be Mahanthappa’s year to play the hero at last. But as the coronavirus descends over New Jersey, can he still conquer the forces of darkness? By Nate Chinen
The one-time enfant terrible has become an éminence grise. On the cusp of his 83rd birthday, Shepp holds forth on a variety of topics with Ashley Kahn, including his own albums Four for Trane and Attica Blues, auditioning for a 15-year-old Lee Morgan, the real Freddie Freeloader, and a Village Vanguard showdown with Miles Davis.
After distinguishing himself on the New York scene for more than 35 years, Jim Snidero is exploring new territory: the Korean peninsula. As the saxophonist explains to Morgan Enos, it’s not actually that new to him, but on his latest album, Project-K, we can hear his longstanding interest in the music and culture of South Korea like never before.
In his collaborations with playwright (and neighbor) Andy Bragen, saxophonist and composer John Ellis taps into deep reserves of grief, horror, and humor. As the official recording of one of their joint works, The Ice Queen, is released, Ted Panken talks to both Ellis and Bragen about the evolution of their partnership.
Opening Chorus: Wallace Roney remembered; Remy Le Boeuf; Tineke Postma; Lee Mergner recalls JT’s first feature with a social theme; the story of TV’s Stars of Jazz; and an expanded farewells section
Chronology: Ethan Iverson on the Wynton Kelly Trio, with special guests
Gearhead: The sax tinkering of Rahsaan Roland Kirk
In Memoriam: Lee Konitz
Before & After: Shabaka Hutchings
Overdue Ovation: Ernie Watts
Audio Files: Brent Butterworth on mini-amps
Chops: Lakecia Benjamin and the logistics of tribute albums
Album Reviews: Orrin Evans, Tim Berne, Kandace Springs, Liberty Ellman, and more
Cover image of Rudresh Mahanthappa by David Kelly CrowOriginally Published