Every year since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) names who it feels are Jazz Masters. Pianist/composer Kenny Barron, 72, was awarded his in 2010. His 40+ albums as a leader, his hundreds of sessions and concerts-most notably in the bands of Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz-make this Philadelphia native the perfect NEA pick. On 'Book Of Intuition,' he performs like the master he is.
New Orleans piano player Sullivan Fortner, 28, makes his major label debut, 'Aria', on one of the most legendary of jazz labels, impulse! Making his bones in Roy Hargrove's band, the spider-fingered multi-harmonic wizard of the 88s has sterling accompaniment in drummer Joe Dyson, Jr., bassist Aidan Carroll and saxophonist Tivon Pennicott. Fortner maintains he's only one-fourth of 'Aria' though, as he's always been more comfortable in a band context, not as a leader. Welcome to the big leagues, kid.
Jazz legend Archie Shepp recently sat down with Red Bull Music Academy to chat it up about working with John Coltrane, revolutionizing his sound and his implications on free jazz versus blues.
September 30 will see an astounding release from the recently revived impulse! record label (a branch of Universal Music France and distributed by Blue Not Records in the U.S.). Charlie Haden-Jim Hall, a stunning duo performance from the illustrious pair at the 1990 Montreal International Jazz Festival.