Jazz Journal, December 2011 contents in full

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JJ 1211 coverON THE BEAT In-depth news: Projected Miles Davis biopic draws mixed responses, one suggesting it dumbs Davis's life story to create human interest and better sales . . . Slough's famous daughter Marian McPartland is finally stepping down from her NPR Piano Jazz show at the age of 93 . . . Dan Morgenstern also has an announcement: "I'm retiring, after 35 years, from the Institute of Jazz Studies" . . . Oris's Chet Baker watch was launched at Ronnie Scott's last month. Other Oris watches have been dedicated to Dizzy Gillespie ("audacious and angular, the mechanical watch embodies the style of the classic modern") and Oscar Peterson ("pays homage to his impeccable timing and precision").  

PROFILES Australian singer Josh Kyle is getting himself noticed in a city full of vocalists; trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith marks his 70th birthday this month; guitarist Rob Koral reflects on a four-decade career in British jazz.

LETTERS a response to Simon Spillett's Serge Chaloff piece in JJ November; reader worries he can't explain to his wife why so few women writers feature in JJ; Bruce Crowther and Mike Pinfold recall photo archivist Frank Driggs; readers come back with their own notable jazz breaks after John Altman's article in October JJ; Eddie Conway points out pianist Terry Trotter is still happening; following Alan Luff's October column, someone says the woogie is still boogieing in France.

JOE HARRIOTT: BEYOND THE MYTH With the release of Proper's 4-CD retrospective The Joe Harriott Story and the publication of Fire In His Soul, a revised and updated biography by Alan Robertson, there has never been a better time to re-evaluate the singular British altoist Joe Harriott. But, as Simon Spillett discovers, disentangling the music from the myth is a task still beset by hoary old clichés, folklore and received wisdom. Part 1.

MICHAEL CUSCUNA: THE PRODUCER Derek Ansell talks to the co-founder of the Mosaic label, purveyor of premium quality connoisseurs' record sets since 1983.

JERRY BERGONZI: BOSTON BOSS MAN Brian Morton talks to "one of the most exciting soloists on the circuit, a man who seems to have absorbed every last page of the saxophone literature, weaving together elements of Coltrane, Rollins, Hank Mobley and Wayne Shorter".

RUBY BRAFF: FACE FIRST Roger Dalleywater digs out a previously unpublished and unbroadcast interview with jazz's leading curmudgeon.

SCRATCHING THE SURFACE Steve Voce reflects on a life and house full of jazz and says farewell after five decades as a JJ columnist.

BOOK REVIEWS Norman Granz; Don Ellis; Ted Gioia's History Of Jazz; John Watson's Power Of Jazz photo book; Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen; Remo Palmieri & Bill DeArango discographies.

Your queries and findings, mostly discographical, chaired by Bob Weir.

Gordon Beck; Pete Rugolo; Edmundo Ros; Ross Barbour; Mike Hazeldine.

Alan Luff recalls the champion of the "freeze beat", the drumming device that created tension by delaying the time and largely drove the 1945 hit Leave Us Leap.

READER'S POLL Answer our readers' poll questions and take a chance to win one of the 600-odd CDs reviewed in our columns this year.

RECORD REVIEWS New issues: Geri Allen, Randy Brecker/DR Big Band, Richie Beirach, Terri Lyne Carrington, Steve Coleman and Five Elements, Mats Eilertsen, FAB Trio with Billy Bang, Giacomo Gates, Stanley Jordan, Josh Kyle, Chuck Loeb, Jan Lundgren, Michael Mantler, McCormack & Yarde Duo, Zara McFarlane, Christian Muthspiel, Derek Nash Acoustic Quartet, Jim Rattigan, Sonny Rollins, Karen Sharp, Martin Speake, Warren Vaché, Wadada Leo Smith, Gerald Wilson Orchestra, Nils Wogram & Simon Nabatov, Warren Wolf, Andrea Wolper. Plus a host of reissues or unissued archive material, including: Louis Armstrong And The Dukes Of Dixieland, Bob Brookmeyer, Dave Brubeck, Buck Clayton, Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, Paul Desmond, Duke Ellington, Gil Evans, Hampton Hawes, Johnny Hodges, Joe Harriott, Milt Jackson, Al Jarreau, Lee Konitz, Abbey Lincoln, Herbie Mann, Merseysippi Jazz Band, Lee Morgan, Joe Pass, André Previn, Ed Thigpen, Clarence Williams and more. See some of this month's Jazz Journal reviews and our critics' favourites.

And not forgetting our highly discerning advertisers . . . see much more essential new release and gig information in their placements in the print edition.

Advertisers' index Warner Jazz; Jazzizit; Intermusic/Discovery; Norwich Jazz Party; Rob Koral; Crazy Jazz; Maggie Black's London Jazz; Music Inn, Nottingham; Mosaic Records; New Orleans Hot Club 

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Back copies

All issues of Jazz Journal since its relaunch in May 2009 are available from our back copies department, along with copies going back many more years. Key features of recent issues are these:

November 2011: Randy Sandke; Serge Chaloff; Barbara Thompson; Buddy Greco; Graham Collier, Felsted Collection
October 2011: Louis Armstrong; Wynton Marsalis; Dena DeRose; Iain Ballamy; two-bar breaks; absent reissues
September 2011: Alan Skidmore; Guy Barker; Joan Viskant; Eddie Finckel; Joe Mudele; London record shops
August 2011: Dan Block; Courtney Pine; DVD review special; Artie Shaw; Ray Bryant, Ottilie Patterson
July 2011: Mike Stern; Monty Alexander; Dave Stapleton; Kyle Eastwood; Ingrid Laubrock; Per Husby
June 2011: Bill Charlap; Rumba Jazz I; Brit piano V; Led Bib; Stan Sulzmann; Ray Smith; Chu Berry
May 2011: Toots Thielemans; Oscar Peterson; Dexter Gordon; Nikki Yanofsky; Ethan Iverson; Brit piano IV
April 2011: Jon Hiseman; Sonny Stitt II; Jason Moran; George Wein; Tony Kofi; Brit piano III;
March 2011: Sonny Stitt I; The Claudia Quintet; Ian Shaw; Geoff Eales; Brit piano II; Coltrane pt 2
February 2011: Bobby Wellins; Critics' Poll 2010; Coltrane: a minority view, part 1
January 2011: Esperanza Spalding; The Brubecks; British jazz piano part I; Vinyl Verdict
December 2010: Chuck Berghofer; Sal Mosca; Ravi Coltrane; Bob James; Cork Jazz Festival
November 2010: Mose Allison; British rhythm IV; The Either/Orchestra; Bob Weinstock
October 2010: Gary Smulyan; Orrin Keepnews; Brubeck IV; Brit beat III; Brecon report
September 2010: Philip Larkin; Bill Mays; Brubeck III; Brit beat II; Festival reports
August 2010: Tommy Smith; Brubeck II; British beat I; Lester Koenig; Edmund Hall 
July 2010: Dave Brubeck part I; John McLaughlin; Frank Holder; Steve Lacy
June 2010: Vibes now: Joe Locke, Jim Hart; Frank Griffith's cool school; Artie Shaw centenary  
May 2010: Herb Geller; British drummer John Marshall; Django Reinhardt; Alec Dankworth
April 2010: Judy Carmichael; crime writer John Harvey; Milt Jackson IV; producer Alan Douglas  
March 2010: Dave O'Higgins; Milt Jackson III; Alun Morgan's Lost In Meditation; John Dankworth remembered
February 2010: Gerald Wilson; Milt Jackson II; Critics' Poll 2009; Dave Gelly on the roots of Milesian modalism
January 2010: Milt Jackson; Paul Booth; Sheila Jordan part 2; In My Opinion: Michael Janisch; How To Write About Jazz
December 2009: Michael Janisch; Vanguard Orchestra; Karen Sharp; Gene Krupa; Mark Ramsden
November 2009: ECM At 40; The Test: Ken Peplowski; Grant Stewart; Creed Taylor; Lita Rosa; C-melody saxophone
October 2009: Hank Jones; Sheila Jordan part 1; Curtis Counce; Omar Puente; Spike Heatley
September 2009: Liam Noble; Woody Herman part 4; Sandy Brown; Graham Collier; Summer festival roundup
August 2009: Lee Konitz; Woody Herman part 3; Georgia Mancio; Standard Time - John Altman digs deep
July 2009: Mark Murphy; Woody Herman part 2; Do Children Get Jazz?
June 2009: Julian Lage; The Test: Tim Garland; John Levy; Woody Herman part 1
May 2009: Benny Golson; Critics' Poll 2008

Mark Gilbert