February 2022


Shemekia Copeland/Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Meaning of the Blues

Four our February issue, DownBeat asked a variety of artists: What do the blues mean to you? Their responses were enlightening and uplifiting.

  • Warren Haynes

    'The First Sound That Moved Me'

    Warren Haynes and his band Gov’t Mule carry the banner for the blues with Heavy Load Blues (Fantasy).

  • Carolyn Wonderland

    Her Traveling Blues

    ​Carolyn Wonderland is doing pretty well these days. She joined the roster at Alligator Records with her new album Tempting Fate, and has been playing as a member of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers.

  • Satoko Fujii

    Fusion of the Blues

    So, what do the blues mean to an avant-garde pianist and composer, one from Japan no less? DownBeat asked Satoko Fujii just that. And her answer was as prolific as her recent outpouring of thought-provoking music.

  • Steven Bernstein's

    Big Community

    A ubiquitous figure on the New York scene for more than three decades, trumpeter Steven Bernstein is in the midst of what might be his most ambitious project, a four volume set of music being released in installments under the banner of “Community Music” on the Royal Potato Family label.

  • Fred Hersch, Dave Stryker, Cory Weeds

    Jazz with Strings

    An ambitious trend in the COVID era has been a string of jazz projects incorporating classical strings. DownBeat examines three such projects led by pianist/composer Fred Hersch, guitarist Dave Stryker and saxophonist Cory Weeds.

  • Pat Martino


    The veteran journalist retraces his own relationship with the guitar icon after Pat Martino’s passing on Nov. 1, 2021.

Blindfold Test

Randy Brecker has done four Blindfold Tests, according to DownBeat archives. This one was his first in a long time, conducted in his home studio in East Hampton, New York, where he had largely been holed up for nearly two years because of the COVID shutdowns — occasionally opening up his studio to some friends and jamming with his saxophonist wife, Ada Rovatti, who pairs with him in their quintet.

  • Ron Miles: “Rainbow Sign” from Rainbow Sign (Blue Note)
  • Kenny Dorham: “Lotus Blossom” from The Very Best of Prestige Records (Prestige)
  • Christian Scott: “New New Orleans” from Christian Atunde Adjuah (Concord)
  • Art Farmer: “Art Cross” from ARTistry: The Art Farmer Quartet (Concord)
  • Ambrose Akinmusire: “Mr. Roscoe (Consider The Simultaneous)” from On The Tender Spot Of Every Calloused Moment (Blue Note)
  • Roy Hargrove/The RH Factor: “Hardgroove” from Hardgroove (Verve)
  • Don Cherry: “Elephantasy” from Complete Communion (Blue Note)
  • Charles Tolliver: “Copasetic” from Connect (Gearbox)
  • Ingrid Jensen: “At Sea” from At Sea (ArtistShare)
  • Jerry Gonzalez: “Corcovado” from Moliendo Cafe-Coffee Rumba (Alfa)
Also in this Issue
The Beat
  • Memphissippi Sounds
  • Kahil El'Zabar
  • Remembering Greg Tate
  • G. Thomas Allen
  • Remembering Barry Harris
  • Allison Miller/Jane Ira Bloom
  • Steve Coleman and the Five Elements
  • Ed Palmero Big Band
  • Edward Simon Solo
  • Jaleel Shaw
  • Enrico Rava
  • Anna Gréta
  • Terrace Martin
  • Harold Mabern
  • and many more!
Indie Life
  • Henry Cole
  • Jon Gordon
  • Orenda Records
  • Master Class: Spacial Audio Workflows
  • Gear Clinic: Recording with Sessionwire 2.0
  • Gear Box

PLUS: Dozens of album reviews, product reviews and much more!