Jarrett hits 25, a Hipp aunt, $2 pirates, Germany in Harlem and cozy Paris clubs
“ Jazz musicians don't have to always break down doors ”
Twenty-five years ago this January, pianist Keith Jarrett formed his trio with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette. They recorded "The Masquerade Is Over" without rehearsal or any arrangement. Who could know this partnership would survive for a quarter century? To celebrate this, the German ECM label has released My Foolish Heart, a CD box containing the first sessions from 1983, with the trio playing mostly standards plus some freer improvisations. Over all those years, reports the San Francisco Chronicle, the only other musician Jarrett has worked with is drummer Paul Motian, who subbed for DeJohnette in 1992. Recording standards for a musician of Jarrett's standing was "a radical notion," writes the Chronicle. And a gem from Jarrett: "Jazz musicians don't have to always break down doors; there's music inside the rooms, too."
Johanna Adorjàn writes in Frankfurter Allgemeine about a grand aunt who scorned modern technology. She was pianist Jutta Hipp, the first white woman and European instrumentalist to be signed by the Blue Note label. Hipp moved to New York in late 1955 and subbed for the touring house pianist Marian McPartland at the renowned Hickory House, in a trio with bassist Peter Ind and drummer Ed Thigpen. She recorded with the tenor sax giant Zoot Sims in 1956 and was warmly received at that year's Newport Jazz Festival. Within a couple of years she had stopped playing altogether. Now a graphic artist, Hipp supported herself as a seamstress in Queens. Johanna Adorjàn searched the Web for Aunt Jutta, while Hipp looked up her niece in an old diary of her mother's she found in a bureau drawer. The pianist died of pancreatic cancer in April 2003.
Nils Petter Molvaer blows a Bronx raspberry at Internet music pirates and uncaring Net users. The Norwegian trumpeter learned that a Russian website was offering all his recordings for just $2. "My CDs take a lot of financial input," Nils Petter told the German daily Berliner Zeitung. The trumpeter debuted on the Munich-based label ECM. But four years ago, seeking to protect all rights to his music, 'Trum-petter' founded his own record label, Sula. Comes time for his next album, he plans to open a Web link entitling buyers to download seven or eight tracks free. Reason: "I think the artist should decide when and how to give away his music."
Darmstadt Jazzinstitut in Germany has opened a temporary branch in Manhattan, where director Wolfram Knauer is working until mid-May. Columbia University appointed Knauer the first non-American Louis Armstrong Professor of Jazz Studies. He's teaching "Jazz in Europe" and organizing special events such as a JazzTalk with the German composer and multi-instrumentalist Gunter Hampel, and possibly a concert with DRA, a trio led by German vibraphonist Christopher Dell. Knauer's Jazz News may be emailed "directly from an apartment overlooking Harlem." Do hope so.
Mike Zwerin, the trombonist and syndicated European jazz critic, reports the closing of Les 7 Lezards, a cozy basement club in the Paris Marais quarter. The room held about 55 and was a landmark. Owner Caroline Volcovici went scouting for a new venue where she can lower the cover charge, making it up in food and drink. Zwerin also says the Duc des Lombards was due to reopen in February, and a new spot, Les Disquaires, has opened near the Bastille, with swinging jazz before midnight and early AM discotheque.