January 2023


Fred Hersch & esperanza spalding

Art of the Duet

There is a true personal and musical fondness that 67-year-old Fred Hersch and 38-year-old esperanza spalding have for each other. It’s a friendship that now has been documented on Alive at the Village Vanguard (Palmetto), an intimate “lightning in a bottle” gig captured in 2018 that features Hersch on piano and spalding on vocals.

  • Thumbscrew

    A Decade of 'Extraordinary Group-Think'

    Through countless gigs and seven studio recordings over the past 10 years, the members of the cooperative trio Thumbscrew (bassist Michael Formanek, guitarist Mary Halvorson, drummer Tomas Fujiwara) have hit on a formula that balances strictly composed, intricately arranged and finely articulated material with blistering, unbridled improvisation.

  • Doug Wamble

    Complex Blues

    “Beyond category” is a good descriptor for Doug Wamble’s compelling new release, Blues In the Present Tense, on which the 50-year-old singer/songwriter/guitarist – releasing his first album since 2013’s Rednecktellectual, an overdubbed solo recital – artfully mixes multiple genres.

  • Best Albums of 2022

    The Year's 4-, 4.5- and 5-Star Reviews

    Check out DownBeat’s annual listing of the year’s best reviewed albums. Perhaps, the ultimate jazz shopping list!

Blindfold Test

Drummer/vibraphonist Jason Marsalis, in town with the New Orleans Groovemasters, took time for a listening session and chinwag at Detroit Jazz Festival’s Carhartt Amphitheater on a rather rainy day back over Labor Day weekend. The test, before an attentive audience under umbrellas, focused on vibraphone, presented a variety of styles, some international flavor and at least one local hero. Marsalis made perceptive considerations about each selection. This was his first Blindfold Test.

  • Stefon Harris: “Portrait of Wellman Braud ” from African Tarantella, Dances with Duke (Blue Note, 2006)
  • Bob Moses: “Glitteragbas Solo” from Bittersweet in the Ozone, (Amulet Records, 1999, originally recorded in 1973 on Moses’ Mozown imprint)
  • Gary Burton: “Prelude for Vibes” from Next Generation (Concord Jazz, 2005)
  • Tyler Blanton: “Good Ol’ Joel” from Botanic (Independent Release, 2010)
  • Nicole Mitchell: “Today, Today” from Aquarius (Delmark Records, 2012)
  • Tubby Hayes: “Who Can I Turn To?” from Commonwealth Blues, BBC overseas transcription service, 1965 (Art of Life Records, 2005)
  • Dave Pike: “Esteem Cleaning” from Bophead (Ubiquity Records, 1998)
Also in this Issue
  • Jakob Bro & Joe Lovano
  • Satoko Fujii
  • Leonard Cohen Tribute
  • Little Freddie King
  • Emmet Cohen
  • ACT@30
  • Next Jazz Legacy
  • New Trier's Jazz Legacy
  • Master Class with Andres Vial
  • Paquito D'Rivera's Solo on 'I Missed You Too'
  • JodyJazz' Hand-Hammered HH Tenor Sax Mouthpiece

  • Anat Cohen — Reconvexo (Anzic)
  • Bill Frisell — Four (Blue Note)
  • James Brandon Lewis Quartet — molecular systematic music live (Intakt)
  • Tyshawn Sorey Trio + 1 — The Off-Broadway Guide To Synergism (Pi)

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