AACM at 45: “Creative Musicians” span generations, U.S., globe

The AACM -- Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians -- continues after 45 years to encourage highly original, edgy and exciting artists -- as I detail in my new City Arts column. Examples in New York City: reedist/composer Henry Threadgill's Zooid performs tonight and tomorrow at Roulette; trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's 22-piece Silver Orchestra and the duo of keyboardist-singer Amina Claudine Myers and drummer Reggie Nicholson are the bill for the AACM-New York''s concluding concert of its fall 2010 season on … [Read more...]

Jazz elders cast giant shadows

Why isn't the amazing current generation of creative (jazz) musicians better known? Maybe because major artists of the not-so-distant past are practicing the art form at splendid peaks, overturning clichés about dwindling powers of octogenarians. Read my column in City Arts New York for a report that touches on Sonny Rollins, Roy Haynes and Muhal Richard Abrams, who tower over the start of the fall 2010 season.  howardmandel.com Subscribe by Email or RSS All JBJ posts … [Read more...]

Fred Anderson, Chicago jazz hero, appreciated

As a teenager in pursuit of the avant garde, I took tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson, who died June 24 at age 81, as a hero upon first hearing him in 1966. It was at a Unitarian Church-run coffee house in downtown Evanston near Northwestern U., and attention clearly had to be paid to the long, fierce, unreeling, knotty improvisations Anderson delivered in an ever-more hunkered-down posture as the evening went on.There was an unremitting sense of urgency, sincerity and humility to what he was saying on his horn, spelled by … [Read more...]

Visionaries photo’d at NEA Jazz Masters concert

Just in --  Muhal Richard Abrams conducting the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and Yusef Lateef on tenor sax with percussionist Adam Rudolph, fine performance photography by Frank Stewart from the National Endowment for the Arts' Jazz Masters concert. My post on the concert is here, and the images are below --  … [Read more...]

Beyond “jazz” conventions from NEA Jazz Masters

Jazz, defined by creativity, pushes boundaries -- a fact alluded to and demonstrated by two of the new NEA Jazz Masters at the gratifying if lengthy ceremony and concert held at Rose Theater of Jazz at Lincoln Center on Tuesday, Jan 12. Muhal Richard Abrams and Yusef Lateef were inducted into the canon that now recognizes 114 musicians and advocates of what House Congressional Resolution 57 (passed with Senate concurrence in 1987) calls "a rare and valuable national American treasure." Both men performed in ways that draw from but aren't … [Read more...]

Wynton & Orch play NEA Jazz Masters, on radio tonight!

Just announced: WBGO, NPR and Sirius/XM are broadcasting live and streaming on the web tonight's NEA Jazz Masters ceremony and concert with W. Marsalis and the LIncoln Center Jazz Orchestra performing works by Muhal Richard Abrams, Bill Holman, Bobby Hutcherson et al. Pianist Cedar Walter will perform with singer Annie Ross, Kenny Barron will play solo piano and the great Yusef Lateef will duet with percussionist Adam Rudolph. Rocco Landesman, NEA chairman, co-hosts the proceedings. Tune in at 7:30 pm EST. howardmandel.com Subscribe by Email … [Read more...]

Hurray for the new NEA Jazz Masters

Dean of post-jazz Muhal Richard Abrams,  doyenne of vocalese Annie Ross and George Avakian, who invented jazz albums and reissues, popularized the LP and live recording, are among eight 2010 Jazz Masters named today by the National Endowment of the Arts. New York-based pianists Kenny Barron and Cedar Walton, exploratory reedist Yusef Lateef, big band composer-arranger Bill Holman and vibist Bobby Hutcherson complete the list of the NEA's new honorees, who receive $25,000 grants and significant honors starting next January with ceremonies and a … [Read more...]