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The alto saxophonist, composer, and bandleader whom we named Best New Artist of 2020 is back with his second Blue Note album. But whereas his debut drew much of its inspiration from the sociopolitical realm, The 7th Hand mines a deep spiritual vein. In conversation with A.D. Amorosi, Wilkins speaks of the Pentecostal Church, the Book of Ezekiel, the concept of vesselhood—and braising short ribs.
The NEA Jazz Master, Pulitzer Prize winner, and beloved innovator of more than 50 years’ standing isn’t about to stop challenging his colleagues, his listeners, or himself. His latest album with the Zooid quintet is proof of that, as are a plethora of new multimedia projects and two books, one of them a memoir. Michael J. West tries to catch up with a fast-moving giant.
IN MEMORY OF…
Our annual special section commemorates 19 of the jazz notables whom we lost in the past year. Christian McBride shares his memories of Chick Corea, Charles McPherson praises Barry Harris, Randy Brecker eulogizes George Wein, Mike LeDonne says farewell to Dr. Lonnie Smith, Steve Turre honors Curtis Fuller, Terri Lyne Carrington pays her respects to Dottie Dodgion, Darryl Jones offers a tribute to Charlie Watts, and Melvin Gibbs raises his glass to Greg Tate, among many others.
2021 READERS’ & EXPANDED CRITICS’ POLLS
The year’s best musicians, bands, albums, books, documentaries, festivals, and more
Opening Chorus:Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding’s long-awaited opera premieres in D.C.; Charged Particles and Tod Dickow doff their caps to Michael Brecker; Brasuka specializes in Brazilian uplift; Jesse Palter goes back to go forward; and farewells to Greg Tate, Barry Harris, Denise Perrier, Andy Kaufman, John Alaimo, Sandra Jaffe, and Harry Colomby
Chronology: Jim Knapp
Before & After: Jeff Ballard
Overdue Ovation: Allen Lowe
Audio Files: Brent Butterworth on noise-canceling headphones
Chops: The power of Bandcamp
The Scene: Barcelona’s education/festival connection
Artist’s Choice: Russell Malone on Pat Martino’s highest highs
Reviews: Cecil Taylor’s return, Marquis Hill, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Bob James, Alison Shearer, Tomas Fujiwara, Robben Ford, Emile Parisien, and more
Cover image courtesy of Chick Corea Productions