Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Oscar Peterson & More: Jazz Highlights

Jazz's Finest Moments: A Season of Unforgettable Releases

by Nouman Rasool
Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Oscar Peterson & More: Jazz Highlights
© Kevin Winter/GettyImages

As the winter season approaches, the world of jazz is buzzing with an array of exciting releases and events that are sure to captivate aficionados and casual listeners alike. Leading the charge is Candid Records, which is set to reissue several classics from its renowned archives on December 1.

Fans can look forward to remastered editions of Toots Thielemans' "Captured Alive," Lee Konitz's "Tenorlee," Jimmy Giuffre's "Music for People, Birds, Butterflies and Mosquitoes," and Stacey Kent's "Let Yourself Go." These gems will be available across multiple formats including CD, digital download, and vinyl.

Adding to the festive spirit, Verve Records has shared a lyric video for Ella Fitzgerald's timeless track, “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” This release coincides with a special ruby red vinyl reissue of Fitzgerald’s holiday album, “Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas,” featuring a collectable cover.

In a tribute to the Queen of Soul, BMG has announced the release of "A Portrait of the Queen," a boxed set featuring five of Aretha Franklin's classic albums from the early 1970s, along with rare bonus material. This comprehensive collection is slated for release on December 1.

Saxophonist Dave Koz is also making waves with his animated video for “When You Wish Upon a Star,” a modern take on the Disney classic. The track is part of his upcoming EP, "Dave Koz Does Disney," which will feature contemporary renditions of Disney songs.

Koz is also preparing for his 26th-anniversary Christmas tour. A historic moment in jazz history is set to be unveiled with the release of "Con Alma: The Oscar Peterson Trio – Live in Lugano, 1964" by Two Lions/Mack Avenue.

This previously unheard and unreleased live album captures a pivotal performance by Peterson’s trio in Switzerland. The 2024 GRAMMY Awards have also announced their nominations, introducing a new category for Best Alternative Jazz Album.

The ceremony is scheduled for February 4 at the Crypto.com arena in Los Angeles.

Upcoming Jazz Highlights

Other notable releases include Ohad Talmor's "Back to the Land," featuring unreleased Ornette Coleman pieces, JD Allen’s electronic-jazz fusion album "This," and Antonio Adolfo's "Bossa 65," a tribute to the Bossa Nova movement.

Additionally, a previously-unreleased live album by Chick Corea, "Sardinia," recorded with the Orchestra da Camera della Sardegna, is set to be a highlight for classical and jazz lovers. New York's Carnegie Hall will host "A Musical Celebration of the Life of Rafael Viñoly" on November 28, featuring The Philadelphia Orchestra and esteemed artists like Itzhak Perlman.

Meanwhile, Miller Theatre at Columbia University prepares to open its jazz series with Dezron Douglas, and Arts for Art’s Family Gathering will take place on November 17 in NYC, marking the start of their fundraising campaign.

Finally, Smoke Jazz Club in New York will host its 11th annual John Coltrane Festival “Countdown 2024,” featuring George Coleman, Vincent Herring, and a lineup of jazz luminaries. These announcements not only highlight the diverse and rich culture of jazz but also underscore its enduring appeal and evolving nature, promising a season filled with unforgettable melodies and groundbreaking performances.