Jazz Journal, January 2012 contents in full

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JJ January 2012ON THE BEAT In-depth news: Despite complaints from US blogger Patrick Jarenwattananon that the 2011 Grammy jazz nominations didn’t have enough "idea-mashing experimentation" (ie, to these ears more tedious, politically-powered and these days frankly synthetic boundary-crossing), the selections show percipience and shrewd judgement of a kind many readers of this magazine will appreciate. Unsurprisingly, no jazz album got into the album of the year list, but the jazz nominations feature proven jazz talent, and even, horror, two fusion albums – frequently not the case in the often arcane jazz awards seen lately on this side of the Atlantic . . . Scott Hamilton is back in the UK for his customary New Year tour . . . Elvis Costello put in a good word for Louis Armstrong last month. Taking umbrage at the price Universal were asking for a multi-media set of his own work – £212 – Costello recommended prospective buyers instead buy the Louis Armstrong set The Ambassador Of Jazz, featured handsomely in our October edition.  

PROFILES Seminal blues singer Etta James releases her last album; gypsy-guitar fanatic Dave Kelbie finds endless inspiration in Django Reinhardt; Matana Roberts is a girl who doesn't sing or play piano.

LETTERS Producer Charlie Nairn draws our attention to the appearance on YouTube of his Earl Hines documentary for Lew Grade's ATV, complete with closing credit to JJ's Sinclair Traill and snub to Stanley Dance; readers thank the retiring Steve Voce for decades of inimitable jazz wit and wisdom; more London jazz shops are recalled - Dave Carey, Bill Moxom, etc, etc; Tony Roberts ponders the rival merits of the Titley and Appleby festivals; Alan Gibbs marvels at Jigg Whigham conducting Kenton music at the RNCM in Manchester.

JAZZ LIVE Bob Weir reports on another extraordinary feast of top-level international jazz in the Balkans last autumn. The region is alive to the biggest American names and matches them with its own substantial talents. A later edition of Jazz Journal will focus on former Jazz Messenger Dusko Goykovich, who was guest of honour at one of the Balkan events.

JOE HARRIOTT II Simon Spillett argues that what some see as the starkly unique neglect of the fêted Caribbean saxophonist wasn't so much personal as generic on the bleak British jazz scene of the early 1970s.

SEMINAL SESSIONS: JACK BRUCE/THINGS WE LIKE In the fourth of our series on landmark recordings, Roger Farbey revisits the jazz-drenched 1968 album that Jack Bruce didn't want to define him as a jazz bass player.

RON CARTER Bassist Ron Carter, reminded that he played with Miles Davis's 1960s quintet, points out ". . . and they all worked with me." Interview by Derek Ansell.

BOOK & DVD REVIEWS Marshall Allen & The Sun Ra Arkestra; Clark Terry; Gilad Atzmon; Tiny Kahn; Chet Baker; Dianne Reeves; Cyro Baptista.

Saxophonist Richard Cox just missed the grade when he auditioned to play tenor with Claude Thornhill in 1952, but the baritone chair was free. Gordon Jack, in conversation with Cox, gets some insights into life on the road with Thornhill, including tales of Bob Brookmeyer, Gene Quill and Brew Moore.

Michael Garrick; Paul Motian; Billy Bang.

Alan Luff  is reminded of how Bud Powell bounced at Massey Hall, Toronto in 1953.

RECORD REVIEWS More than 20,000 words of expert comment. New issues: Animation, Chick Corea/Stefano Bollani, Arun Ghosh, Stacey Kent, Sinikka Langeland, Nguyên Lê, Jacques Loussier, Nicole Mitchell, Robert Mitchell, NYJO, Deborah Pearl, Bucky & John Pizzarelli, Nigel Price, Phil Robson, Poncho Sanchez/Terence Blanchard, Soul Rebels Brass Band, Colin Stranahan, Marcus Strickland, Femi Temowo, Westchester Jazz Orchestra, Malika Zarra. Plus a host of reissues or unissued archive material, including: Albert Ayler, Gianni Basso/Guy Lafitte, Vince Benedetti, Art Blakey, Alice Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Stan Getz, Tiny Grimes, Chico Hamilton, John Handy, Woody Herman, Freddie Hubbard, Mahalia Jackson, Barney Kessel, John Lewis, Les McCann, Charles Mingus, Frank Morgan, Duke Pearson, Max Roach, Shorty Rogers, Pharoah Sanders, Zoot Sims/Bob Brookmeyer, Lennie Tristano, Mary Lou Williams and more. See some of this month's Jazz Journal reviews and our critics' favourites.

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

Advertisers' index Warner Jazz; Intermusic/Discovery; Hep Jazz; Crazy Jazz; Maggie Black's London Jazz; Music Inn, Nottingham; Jacob Anderskov; Ilk Records; Marco Polo Cruises; Spotlite Records; Peter James; Sibylle Zerr,  Marshall Allen; Carswell Golf & Country Club   

See full contents of Jazz Journal, January 2012 and a special subscriber offer.

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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:

December 2011: Jerry Bergonzi; Michael Cuscuna; Ruby Braff; Joe Harriott; Wadada Leo Smith; Josh Kyle
November 2011: Randy Sandke; Serge Chaloff; Barbara Thompson; Buddy Greco; Graham Collier, Felsted
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