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WILLIE JONES III
Thirty years ago, he was hanging out at L.A.’s World Stage; today, he plays on the world’s stages. Along the way, Willie Jones III has met and drummed with plenty of jazz heroes, many of whom have since left us. His latest album pays tribute to several, including Jimmy Heath, Larry Willis, Ndugu Chancler, and longtime bandmate Roy Hargrove. Lee Mergner talked to Jones about his varied career as leader, sideman, and label head.
G. CALVIN WESTON
Famed for his work behind the kit with Ornette Coleman, John Lurie, James Blood Ulmer, and Jamaaladeen Tacuma (among others), G. Calvin Weston has found a new job for himself in the post-COVID world: online beat master for hire. This in turn has led him to an abundance of other fascinating collaborative projects. A.D. Amorosi catches up with a musician whose policy is to compete only with himself.
He’s been a first-call drummer for more than 50 years, and now he’s officially joining the ranks of the Jazz Masters. In conversation with David Cantor, the great Jabali discusses the NEA’s honor, as well as the 10th anniversary of the Cookers, JazzTimes founder Ira Sabin, and the highest form of intelligence in the universe.
Almost 70 years ago, three musicians had the honor of being the first American jazz group to play in Japan. They were led by swing legend Gene Krupa. Bruce Klauber tells the story of the Krupa Jazz Trio’s two-week Japanese tour in 1952: what led up to it, what was important about it, and the lasting effects it had not only in the Land of the Rising Sun but around the globe.
Opening Chorus: Nate Smith, the 2021 Detroit Jazz Festival, Jason Nazary, Ches Smith, Keshav Batish, and farewells to Michael Evans, Thurston Briscoe, Larry Harlow, Peter Ind, and Charlie Watts
Chronology: Peter and Kenny Washington
Before & After: Joe Farnsworth
Overdue Ovation: Billy Drummond
Audio Files:Brent Butterworth on the latest in hi-fi streaming
Chops:Susie Ibarra plays the drum kit eclectic
Gearhead: Feeling the cuíca’s friction, plus five cool new products
Artist’s Choice:David Sanford’s favorite roller coasters
Reviews: A Love Supreme live in ’65, Pat Metheny, Ledisi, Frank Kimbrough, Sheila Jordan, a John Lurie memoir, and more
Cover image courtesy of Bruce Klauber