South African jazz hero Zim Nqgawana dies, age 52

Neil Tesser has written an informative post about Zim Ngqawana, the South African jazz musician who died at age 52 of a stroke May 10. Ngqawana, whose name is pronounced with a glottal "click" between the "N" and first "a," performed at the 2007 Columbia/Harlem Festival of Global Jazz," curated by George E. Lewis of Columbia University's Center for Jazz Studies, Nqgawana, with his quartet, in that concert struck me as a powerful and original saxophonist and flutist, improvising with a heightened lyricism no doubt inspired by John … [Read more...]

Live in New York, it’s jazz beyond jazz

Presentations of jazz that break all sorts of bounds, pushing far beyond stale conventions -- jazz beyond jazz -- are so prevalent in Manhattan that the energy expended just being on the scene can leave me too drained to report on the good stuff. Five shows in the past month -- Dee Dee Bridgewater's Mali project at the Blue Note, Myra Melford's new quartet at Roulette, Richard Bona and Lionel Loueke in the Allen Room of Jazz at Lincoln Center, James "Blood" Ulmer with Vernon Reid's neo-blues band at the Jazz Standard and an evening celebrating … [Read more...]