"Jazz dünyası" magazin held a seminar "History of Jazz"

On Friday 15th September, as part of the On 7th December 2006 the editorial team of the "Jazz dünyası" magazine, together with the Solar Ultra News project of the programme Personal Discoveries, established by the IIGPR organisation, held a seminar, "History of Jazz", in which the following was discussed: the history of jazz, its aesthetic essence, social significance and features of its musical language.

This training, which provides a base for one aspect of the magazine's educational programme, was designed to bring the history of the establishment of jazz music to young people.

Previous generations of Azerbaijani jazz musicians have left a solid legacy which can be handed on to a new and talented generation. But familiarity with our own composers of jazz is not enough; it is also important to disseminate a broader knowledge among young people. Jazz music will never belong to everyone without an extensive programme of popularisation. This is why the magazine "Jazz dünyası" is trying to set an example in beginning this work. The seminar was led by Head of Department Jazz & Cinema Cultural Analysis Tamerlan Shalbarov.

There are plans to hold discussions and jazz concerts in the future, with explanatory commentaries.

Gasik Party

Surely all jazz enthusiasts in Baku of a certain age remember bass guitarist Emil Gasanov (universally known as 'Gasik') who played with many groups, from his first stage appearances as an amateur to his later professional career. In the early 1990s (how time flies!) Emil went to the USA.
Thus, after many years' absence, Emil returned to his native Baku to visit his friends. Only one week, but such a full seven days! Meetings with friends, walking the streets, typical Bakuvian parties…. and, on his last day in Baku, his musician colleagues assembled in the Karavan Jazz Club to lay on a great and emotional event: "Gasik and Friends - XX Years On".
Opening the evening was one of Baku's youngest jazz musicians, Isfar Sarabski. On the stage with him were bassist Ruslan Huseynov, drummer Gennadiy Gasiyev and the very young saxophonist, Elchin Huseynli. Some of the quartet's numbers (including 'Caravan', 'C Jam Blues' and 'Chameleon') set the tone for the evening.
And so it started. Following them onto the stage was Emil's former bandmate with Rafiq Babyaev, Jamil Amirov, joined later by one of the pioneers of jazz-rock in Baku, and also former Gasik colleague, drummer Vagif Aliyev. Another pioneer of jazz-rock, Hikmet Hajizade, looked on from the audience…. Joining the musicians later on was the irreplaceable MC of the last two jazz festivals, Rahib Azeri. This time he came to the stage not to oversee proceedings but to congratulate Salman Gambarov, Rain Sultanov and Jamil Amirov upon being named honoured arts workers…..
Then Salman came to the stage and stayed there until the end of the party (the playing continued until 1 am.)

2007 NEA Jazz Masters

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia revealed the names of the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters, Class of 2007 at Washington's Lincoln Theater.
Chairman Gioia made the announcement at a concert of the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival.
Each year since 1982, the Arts Endowment has conferred the NEA Jazz Masters Award on a handful of living legends who have made major contributions to this distinctively American art form. Recognized as the nation's highest honor in the art of jazz, the award to date has been given to 87 great figures in American music.
With Chairman Gioia's announcement, another seven may now call themselves NEA Jazz Masters. Each member of the NEA Jazz Masters Class of 2007 has made a distinctive, lifelong contribution to jazz. Bandleader Toshiko Akiyoshi helped re-make the big-band tradition for contemporary audiences, with a vibrant new sound and new international influences. Trombonist Curtis Fuller, an omnipresent mainstay of the hard-bop era, continues to flourish today in varied settings as a performer and teacher. Pianist Ramsey Lewis spans the influences of gospel music, classical music, and mainstream jazz; while Jimmy Scott has brought his deeply affecting voice and style to everything from ballads to rhythm 'n' blues. Multi-instrumentalist Frank Wess is being honored as one of the most influential and innovative flutists in jazz history. Master alto saxophonist Phil Woods has been named an NEA Jazz Master in the composer-arranger category, in recognition of his contributions to the modern jazz repertoire. As for Dan Morgenstern, director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, he has devoted himself to jazz advocacy as an historian, archivist, author, editor, and educator. The seven new NEA Jazz Masters will officially receive their awards at a ceremony and concert held in New York City on January 12, 2007, as a highlight of the annual conference of the International Association for Jazz Education.

Jazz Photography Exhibit by Milt Hinton at the Stax Museum

From November 12, 2006 through January 29, 2007, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis will host a very special photography exhibit "Milt Hinton: All That Jazz - Behind the Scenes Photographs of 20th Century Jazz."
When Billie Holiday entered the recording studio in New York City in the spring of 1959, the glass of vodka she sipped didn't help her voice the way she thought it would. The session didn't go well. In fact, it would be the last recording session of her acclaimed life, which ended tragically later that year on July 17th. What was also recorded that day was her session on film - in the camera of one of the greatest jazz bass players in the world, Milt Hinton, who played bass on the session. Hinton was also an avid photographer. He almost always carried a camera with him, documenting over a period of decades the performances, sessions, camaraderie, travel, and between-gigs lives of the people he loved and respected so much - his fellow performers in the world of jazz.
The exhibit, on loan from the New York City-based Milton J. Hinton Photographic Collection, will include 50 Hinton photographs of the most important jazz figures in history, including Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Pearl Bailey, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, Thelonious Monk, Memphis' own Mulgrew Miller and Aretha Franklin, the aforementioned Billie Holiday, and dozens of other legendary performers who helped shape the American art form.

Stanley Clarke: Bass Player Lifetime Achievement Award

Legendary bassist Stanley Clarke was presented with this year's Bass Player Magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award Saturday, October 28, at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York City. Presenters of the award to Clarke were solo artist and Flecktones renowned bassist Victor Wooten and funk and jazz bass superstar Marcus Miller.
Stanley Clarke became the first bassist in history who could double on acoustic and electric bass with equal ferocity, as well as the first bassist ever to headline tours, selling out shows worldwide. Clarke pushed himself towards perfection with relentless attention to be the best. His efforts catapulted him to the front of the stage as a viable melodic bass soloist where his dream manifested first in the Grammy Award Winning jazz-fusion band Return to Forever. RTF recorded eight albums, two of which were certified gold (Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy and Romantic Warrior), won a Grammy award for No Mystery.
Grammy and Emmy Award winning Stanley Clarke was Rolling Stone's very first "Jazzman of the Year", was Playboy's Music Award - Best Bassist winner for 10 straight years and is a member of Guitar Player Magazine's "Gallery of Greats." He was honored with the key to the city of Philadelphia and put his hands in cement as a 1999 inductee into Hollywood's "Rock Walk" on Sunset Boulevard. Clarke has won every Reader's Poll and Critic's Poll out there. In 2004 he was featured in Los Angeles Magazine as one of the Top 50 Most Influential People.
On finding he was to be recipient of this very special Bass Player Lifetime Achievement Award, Clarke said, "I am very humbled to be the recipient of this award. I've watched the bass community grow over the years into a very powerful force in music. When I started, there were only a handful of albums with bass players as leaders. Now there are literally thousands. The instrument is no longer in the background and has truly been liberated. Having been there with Bass Player Magazine since the beginning, it is great to see what it has turned into, and it is a true honor for me to receive this."

'Jazz Royale Festival' in Thailand

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is to hold the inaugural greatest jazz festival of the year, "Jazz Royale Festival", with the cooperation from the Thai Airways International Public Co., Ltd., TMB Bank Public Company Limited, and TMB Asset Management Co., Ltd. The purpose of organizing this festival is to honour His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (see photo), as the world's royal musician, on the occasion of his 80th birthday celebration in 2007.
The event will be held during December 9-17, 2006, with more than 100 world-class artists and staff taking part. Led by Kenny G, McCoy Tyner, Nancy Wilson, Chris Botti, Regina Carter Quintet, and The Dizzy Gillespie(tm) All-Star Big Band, the event will take place in four main cities of Thailand, comprising Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, and Phuket. Part of the proceeds will go to H.M. the King's royal patronage projects.
The festival will be held on four stages. It will take place in four cities. The first stage will start in Bangkok at Sanam Suapa during December 9-10. The second stage will follow at the Horseshoe Point in Pattaya during December 11-12. The third stage will be held at Sanam Hor Silp in Chiang Mai University during December 14-15, and the curtain will close at Karon Beach in Phuket during December 16-17.
In this occasion, all the artists will play H.M. the King's musical works. This unprecedented event will be accounted as the biggest jazz festival in the country's history.

Aziza Mustafazade Plays a Concert in Prague

As part of her recent European tour, Aziza Mustafazade took her new project, Opera-Jazz, to Prague. The Opera-Jazz concert programme consisted of her own compositions combined with well-known pieces like, 'Bolero', Maurice Ravel, 'Summertime', George Gershwin and others. The concert played to a full house in St Anne's church in the old city.
Aziza Mustafazade established an immediate rapport with the audience, and the magic held throughout the concert. The audience greedily took in every note that emerged from the hands of the majestic Aziza. The Opera-Jazz programme was graced by Aziza's singing; jazz-mugham motifs remain an irreplaceable ingredient of her playing.
At the end of the programme, Aziza sang one of her native land's favourite songs, 'Bana Bana Gel'. The audience was thrilled and could hardly be persuaded to leave. It was an unforgettable feast for all admirers of Aziza's work. The 'jazz princess' shares with us some more news - her personal website on the internet, www.azizamustafazadeh.de By the way, she announced that there is a surprise for visitors to her site - a page was recently added, dedicated to Elza khanim and Vagif Mustafazade. The site contains Vagif Mustafazade's compositions which can be downloaded.
Further, on her personal page, you may order her new album, 'Contrasts/2006'. She announced that she is already working on the second part of this album, which promises to be no less interesting and entertaining than the first part.

Anatoly Kroll's Concert in Baku

On Friday 15th September, as part of the 'Year of Russia in Azerbaijan', another concert was held, in the Song Theatre - this time it was the turn of one of the founders of jazz performance in Russia, pianist and composer Anatoly Kroll, who came with his small band.
We should say that Kroll has very close ties, both social and creative, with Azerbaijan. Even such a musician as trumpeter Arzu Huseynov began his career with Kroll in Tula. Singer Javanshir Aliyev and pianist Latif Gojayev, who currently lives in Moscow, also worked with Kroll. I can also add that it was Kroll in particular who was responsible for sending Aziza Mustafazade's to a jazz vocalist's competition in Poland.
In a word, you can but be jealous of the achievements of our guest on this occasion! This is why the few jazz lovers who turned out at the Song Theatre on that humid summer evening had nothing to lose. This writer attended the sound check and noted the serious approach taken by the group before playing for the Bakuvian audience. In general, the concert was built around Anatoly Kroll's own compositions - the only standard heard was Kosma's 'Autumn Leaves'. The quartet's saxophonist Timur Nekrasov was much appreciated. This musician has a very promising future; let's hope that this will not be his only performance in Baku. And as for the rhythmic section, represented by bassist Makar Novikov and drummer Alexander Zinger, they were a little weaker than their colleagues. But everything is not always as we'd wish, and in this case, with a tour organized so hurriedly. We can only thank Anatoly Kroll for that beautiful evening in the Song Theatre and express our hope that this is not his last visit to Baku.