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He’s worked alongside legends like Ray Brown, Oscar Peterson, and Monty Alexander; he played a key role in jumpstarting the career of a certain superstar Canadian singer/pianist; and he currently leads not one but three working bands. The drummer’s drummer chats about his long and storied career with Lee Mergner.
Many people say they’re taking advantage of the COVID-19 lockdown to try new concepts and change old habits. Lauded drummer, composer, and bandleader John Hollenbeck really is doing these things—and that applies not only to the way he plays and writes but also to the way he approaches his work as an educator. Michael J. West got a progress report.
Last spring, the pianist who enlivened Kamasi Washington’s The Epic and has more recently been gracing stages with Stanley Clarke was supposed to put out a gut-punch of a new album that displays his love of heavy metal. Many months later, he’s finally almost ready to unleash it. David Fricke caught up with Graves both before and after his career went on hold.
JAZZ ED: WELCOME TO THE NEW REGIME
School’s back in session—sort of. As the pandemic continues to pose a very real threat to students and teachers alike, the jazz education world has had to learn to adapt. Marc Hopkins talked to educators, administrators, and others across the United States about what’s working and what’s not. Plus: The even more challenging picture for live venues.
Opening Chorus: Cindy Blackman Santana, Whit Dickey, Shirazette Tinnin, and Matt Moran; Lee Mergner looks back at JT’s oral-history features; and farewells to Steve Grossman, Park Sung-yeon, Charli Persip, Peter King, and Gary Peacock
Chronology: Ethan Iverson on Brooklyn big bands
Artist’s Choice: Makaya McCraven picks tracks for studio cats
Gearhead: Harry Partch’s big marimba, plus cool new products
Before & After: Johnathan Blake
Overdue Ovation: Jerry Granelli
Audio Files: Brent Butterworth on headphones that help with hearing loss
Chops: Anwar Marshall, Nate Smith, and other drummers blur the live/tech border
Reviews: Christian McBride Big Band, Eric Revis, Chick Corea, and a Charlie Parker graphic novel
Cover image by Lauren Pressey