Wadada Leo Smith and Mary Halvorson Bigg Winners in DownBeat Poll

English: Mary Halvorson, Jazz guitarist; Pictu...

Source: DownBeat News.

Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and guitarist Mary Halvorson are among the artists who topped multiple categories in the 65th Annual DownBeat International Critics Poll.

Smith topped the Trumpet category, he was voted Jazz Artist of the Year, and his Cuneiform release America’s National Parks was voted Jazz Album of the Year.

“Decades into his remarkable career, Wadada Leo Smith continues to reach new peaks,” said Bobby Reed, DownBeat editor. “America’s National Parks is an engaging, important work of art—one that illustrates not only that Wadada is a great musician but also an intriguing, ambitious conceptualist.”

Halvorson topped four categories: Guitar, Rising Star–Jazz Artist, Rising Star–Jazz Group (for her namesake trio) and Rising Star–Composer. Halvorson, who has become an in-demand collaborator as well as a revered bandleader, will headline a residency at New York’s Village Vanguard on July 18–23.

5049 Records Podcast Episode 120 – Matt Nelson

Source: 5049 Records.

Matt Nelson plays tenor sax and has been living in Brooklyn since 2010. Raised in the Bay Area, he has worked with tUNEyARDS, Peter Evans, Travis Laplante and his newest project, GRID. He attended Oberlin College and Conservatory to study with Gary Bartz and Paul Cohen, among others. For this talk we cover a lot of ground, from sax/electronics aesthetics to wearing a suit to a jazz gig. Good shit.

June Point of Departure Released

Source: Point of Departure.

Page One: a column by Bill Shoemaker

Mark Dresser: New Sounds, New Platforms: an interview with Troy Collins

The Book Cooks:
Claude Ranger: Canadian Jazz Legend
Mark Miller
(Mark Miller; Toronto 2017)

Ezzthetics: a column by Stuart Broomer

The Art of Conduction: A Conduction Workbook: a review by Taylor Ho Bynum

Jumpin’ In: a column by Greg Buium

Moment’s Notice: Reviews of Recent Recordings

Creative Music Studio Changes Hands at a Critical Moment for Jazz 

Source: The New York Times.

Mr. Berger and his wife, the vocalist Ingrid Sertso, have been holding C.M.S. workshops since the early 1970s. They founded the organization in Woodstock as a haven for expressionist improvising and cross-pollination between global musical cultures. With a year-round educational program, C.M.S. became a beloved creative breeding ground two hours north of New York City. But by the late 1980s, with grant funding drying up, it was virtually defunct.

In the past five years, though, life has flooded back into the organization thanks to the efforts of a new executive director, Rob Saffer, and a network of C.M.S. veterans who have happily come out of the woodwork. Sensing a new chapter, Mr. Berger and Ms. Sertso have decided that it is time to pass the artistic reins to new hands.

Nate Wooley Update

Source: Nate Wooley.

First, I’m pleased to have my electronic work, Universes Ring Like Bells, featured at the Rubin Museum in Manhattan as part of their The World Is Sound exhibition, which explores the intersections between contemporary sound practices and Tibetan Buddhist ritual music. The exhibition also features Eliane Radigue, Laetitia Sonami, Hildegard Westerkamp, C. Spencer Yeh, and others and is running now until January 2018. You can read more about it here.

My new band, KNKNIGHGH, featuring Chris Pitsiokos, Brandon Lopez, and Dre Hocevar will be releasing our first recording, KNKNIGHGH (for Aram Saroyan) on Clean Feed Records July 7th and will celebrate the release at the Ljubljana Jazz Festival on July 1st!

And, finally, after a hell of a good time in Victoriaville, Seven Storey Mountain will be on the road again, this time to Berlin and the A’larme Festival! A core of the group, featuring Ryan Sawyer, Chris Corsano, Samara Lubelski, C. Spencer Yeh and myself, will meet up with an amazing cast of European musicians including Liz Allbee, Emilio Gordoa, Steve Heather, Marc Unternahrer, Chris Heenan, Per Texas Johansson, Damir Bacikin, Nathan Plante, Nils Ostendorf, Lina Allemano, Henrik Norstebo, Hilary Jeffrey, Matthias Mueller, and Matthias Muche to do our best to melt Radialsystem V in Berlin on August 2.

AMN Reviews: Kasper T. Toeplitz – Amas [Pogus 21086-2]

Kasper Toeplitz (b .1960), the Polish-born composer currently residing in Paris, began his career in the 1980s writing for traditional acoustic orchestral instruments. To be sure, his influences were drawn from the outer edges of the Western art music tradition—he’s named the examples provided by Giacinto Scelsi, Gyorgi Ligeti and Iannis Xenakis as having played a significant formative role in his early work. But a 1997 trip to Japan brought about a shift in in focus. While in Japan he engaged in improvisation and collaborated with Merzbow and Tetsuo Furudate, and put together what he describes as a “big noise orchestra” that toured Japan and Europe. At around this time he also formed Le Dépeupleur, a laptop duo with Zbigniew Karkowski, and became involved in composing textural works using the computer not only as a compositional tool but as an instrument for live performances. Amas is one such work, consisting in a single hour-plus long accumulation of sound in which largely unpitched noise is summed and built up into a substantial, thickly-textured mass. The piece is in essence a gradual electronic crescendo-decrescendo in which bands of noise spread out over a wide compass, starting with a low frequency rumble and working their way through to a trebly static. A seemingly long way away from an acoustic ensemble, perhaps, but a not-unrecognizable heir to the sound-block experiments of Toeplitz’s early inspirations.


Daniel Barbiero