Tanya Maria in Baku
On 1st June the M. Magomayev Azerbaijani State Philharmonia was the setting for a concert by the celebrated Latin American vocalist Tanya Maria. The concert was promoted by the director of Premier Art Management, Nazaket khanim Gasimova, who has previously organized jazz concerts in the capital with great success.
Although young, Tanya Maria is highly professional with a dynamic singing style; her concert was very well-received by the local audience.

Johnny B Goode - Johnny Johnson Dies
On 13th April Johnny Johnson, pioneer rock ‘n’ roll pianist, died aged 80. During his career he played with legendary musicians like Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, John Lee Hooker and Bo Diddley.

Anglo-Azerbaijani co-operation resulted in concerts on May 20th and 21st in Baku Jazz Centre and at the Shovkat Mammadova Opera Studio. Taking part were the musicians Kenny Wheeler (trumpet), Paul Clarvis (drums), Rain Sultanov (saxophone), Shahin Novrasli (piano) and Ruslan Huseynov (double bass).
The Opera Studio was not full but all seats were taken at the Jazz Centre and, for some, there was standing-room only. Kenny Wheeler’s charmed rendition of jazz melodies, alongside the plaintive sounds of Rain Sultanov’s saxophone made these jazz nights to remember. The concert was almost a sequel to the very successful Baku Jazz 2005 festival which had only recently ended. We owe thanks to the British Council and the Baku Jazz Centre for organising this jazz forum.

Nostalgia 77’s new album released on the "Ubiquity Records" label
‘The Garden’, Nostalgia 77’s new album, has been released on the "Ubiquity Records" label. Nostalgia 77 is not the name of a group, but is the nickname of musician Ben Lamdin. His electronic music combines the sounds of psychedelic rock, hip-hop, funk and jazz melodies.

Death of Jimmy Smith
76 year old jazz organist Jimmy Smith died on 8th February at his home in Phoenix, Arizona.

World’s Biggest Jazz Photo Collection for Sale
Journalist Frank Driggs has put his collection of jazz photographs up for sale. Containing more than 100,000 pictures (including Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and others), this collection is the biggest in the world. Beginning in the 1950s and having conducted more than 100 interviews, the author is now writing a book about American music. The starting price for this collection is $1.5 million.

The Average White Band’s Greatest Hits
19th April saw the release of funk and soul group The Average White Band’s latest album, "The Greatest and Latest". Currently the group is: vocalist, bassist and guitarist Alan Gorrie, vocalist and guitarist Onnie McIntyre, vocalist, guitarist and keyboard player Klyde Jones, Saxophonist and keyboard player Fred Vigdor and drummer Brian Dunne. As a bonus, there are 16 tracks and a DVD with interviews of the group.

The Spirit of Django Reinhardt fills the Lincoln Centre
On 27th June a gala concert dedicated to "The Spirit of Django Reinhardt" will be performed at the Lincoln Centre. Starring will be the French, gipsy guitarist Dorado Schmitt; he will play Reinhardt’s music as well as his own. Also on the stage will be Romanian violinist Florian Nicolescu; they will reprise the famous Reinhardt/Grappelli duet. They will be accompanied by accordionist Ludovic Bayer and rhythm guitarist Samson Schmitt. Interesting guest players in the concert will be Yosho Stefan’s German trio and Latin American jazz master Paquito D’Rivera.

Keith Jarrett’s New Album
Keith Jarrett has released a new concert album, "Radiance" on the ECM label - it is in two parts. Included on the album are his piano improvisations, played in autumn 2002 in Japan; there are 13 tracks. The whole Osaka concert is included, as well as four improvisational fragments from the Tokyo concert. The Tokyo concert will be released on DVD in autumn.

Jane Ira Bloom first album release on the "Artistshare" label
Soprano saxophonist and composer Jane Ira Bloom has released her twelfth album, on the Artistshare label. Called ‘Like Silver, Like Song’ the album includes twelve of Bloom’s original compositions and a new version of the classical melody ‘I Have Dreamed’ by Rogers and Hammerstein. Also on the recording are bassist Mark Dresser, drummer Bobby Previte and on keyboards Jamie Saft. Jane Ira Bloom is recognized as one of the pioneers of electronics in jazz.

Cassandra Wilson Recording New Album
49 year old vocalist Cassandra Wilson has started work on her new album. Also working on the album are famous musicians Keb’ Mo’ and Jim Keltner.

Auction of Jazz Rarities: Everything for sale, From Charlie Parker’s saxophone to Louis Armstrong’s letters
An auction devoted wholly to jazz rarities has taken place in New York. The saxophone belonging to legendary jazz musician Charlie Parker was sold for just under US$262,000. Items belonging to Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane also found new owners. Alongside musical instruments, other articles connected to jazz were sold; for example, a handwritten letter from Louis Armstrong to his agent ($29,500), Coltrane’s musical notation for ‘A Love Supreme’, Charlie Parker’s gold watch ($13,000) etc. The only item unsold was John Coltrane’s saxophone; the probable reason for this being the high reserve price ($500,000).