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Jazz Highlights from 2017

Blog
Jazz Highlights from 2017

28.12.2017

Written by Haluk Damar

1- Kelan Phil Cohran, one of Chicago jazz scene’s greatest musicians, passed away. Remembered as the trumpeter from the original Sun Ra formation, Cohran also had a significant place in jazz history with his solo projects.

2- Chistian Scott aTunda Adjuah jazz trio was one of the biggest surprises of 2017. Scott, born in 1983, was also a guest performer at this year’s Akbank Jazz Festival and he proved that he is a jazz legend in the making.

3- Herbie Hancock’s massive North America tour was definitely one of the major jazz highlights of the year. Jazz listeners around the world spent their mornings drinking coffee and watching last night’s performance on YouTube.

4- Miho Hazama’s curation at  Tokyo Jazz Festival for “100 year of jazz” received incredible praise. Inspired by the first city that hosted a jazz recording session, New York, the performance was based on music representing the soul of different jazz capitals chosen from the genre’s 100 year of history and it was one of the highlights of 2017.

5- An important free jazz master, Sunny Murray, who we know from his recordings with Cecil Taylor and Albert Ayler, passed away. With a jazz career over half a century, Murray is remembered mostly by his “I am proud to be a jazz musician,” statement.

6 - ECM’s - one of the most important jazz labels of the globe - decision to publish music on major online music streaming platforms was a major development of 2017. Rejecting the digital platforms for a long time, ECM made a surprise decision this fall to open up its archive to a much wider audience.

7- Known as the drummer of Fela Kuti, jazz musician Tony Allen’s latest album from Blue Note Records was at the top of most important albums of the year. The recording, which Allen referred to as “best album of my life”, solidified Allen’s position in the jazz scene. 

8- A jazz vocal legend, Dee Dee Bridgewater’s performance at London Jazz Festival was one of the highlights of late 2017. As she performed songs from her latest album Memphis, jazz world stood wondering how her vocal technique can be compared to various jazz instruments. 

9- Brit jazz is back! Fresh jazz musicians from England dominated 2017. New names like Shabaka Hutchings, Ezra Collective, Yazz Ahmed transformed London to the center of European jazz.

10- 2017 has been a year of collaborations between jazz and other music genres. Advancing technology and the norms of global world helped jazz to officially announce its marriage to other genres, electronic music first and foremost. Musicians exploring such new areas were highly rewarded by audiences.

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