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March 2021

You can purchase the issue digitally here.

The best musicians, bands, albums, books, and more from an unprecedented year

And speaking of that unprecedented year … the events of the past 12 months have left the jazz community—like the rest of the world—mired in deep pain and grief. How can we cope with it all? Shaun Brady gathered sympathetic thoughts from several artists, including Jimmy Greene, Kurt Elling, Chris Dingman, and Kenny Werner.

Nearly 10 years ago, Wallace Roney sat down with JT regular Ashley Kahn for a series of informal conversations with no agenda. Partial transcriptions of some of those talks are published here for the first time as a memorial to the late great trumpeter, and they cast fresh light on Roney’s early career and his close relationship with Miles Davis.

Our annual special section commemorates 20 of the 80-plus jazz notables whom we lost in the past year. Dan Tepfer has parting words for Lee Konitz, Jack DeJohnette pays homage to Gary Peacock, Sara Gazarek eulogizes Annie Ross, Clint Eastwood shares his memories of Lennie Niehaus, Sherrie Maricle praises Viola Smith, and Gary Giddins raises a glass to fellow critic Stanley Crouch, among many others.

Opening Chorus: Ellis Marsalis’ final recording; Phil Woods in Paris ’68; a new chapter for the Rudy Van Gelder Studio; storytelling with Nubiyan Twist; and farewells to Diane Moser and Claude Bolling
Chronology: Ethan Iverson on McCoy Tyner
Coda: Michael J. West honors 2020’s departed in sound

Overdue Ovation: Charles McPherson
Before & After: Dafnis Prieto
Audio Files: Brent Butterworth listens to phones without headphone jacks
Gearhead: Forty years of the Roland TR-808, plus new products

Reviews: Another revelatory document of the 1968 Bill Evans Trio, Rob Mazurek’s Exploding Star Orchestra, Brandi Disterheft, the Nels Cline Singers, Fred Hersch, and more

Cover images: Alan Nahigian (Lee Konitz, Gary Peacock, Steve Grossman), Jeff Tamarkin (Annie Ross, Bucky Pizzarelli), Perry Tannenbaum (Freddy Cole), Brian McMillen (Stanley Cowell), and Bernard Benant (Tony Allen)