From 1948 until 1966, the Palladium Ballroom, at the corner of 53rd and Broadway, was the city’s Mecca for Afro-Caribbean dance music. And for a lot of that time, Puente was one of the main attractions. A new box set compiles the Latin music legend’s RCA recordings of this crucial period.
As NPR’s employees file their federal returns and take up shop in a new building, we look back at an interesting historical moment in the 1940s. A cabaret tax led to more jazz being performed in smaller venues that couldn’t accommodate dancing. Of course, that’s not the only reason why bebop sounds the way it does.
In the midst of the U.S. civil rights movement, pianist and composer Randy Weston found himself in Morocco, where he incorporated African musical forms and musicians in his recorded work. Weston returns to Piano Jazz with host Marian McPartland to perform “A Ballad for T.,” “Little Niles” and “African Lady.”
Once he had established himself as a world-class saxophonist, Joshua Redman moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he grew up. Soon afterward, he co-founded the SFJAZZ Collective. With his successor in the tenor sax chair, Joe Lovano, the band runs through “Blackwell’s Message,” a jaunty, open swinger to ring in the opening of the new SFJAZZ Center.
Thirty years after presenting its first concerts in San Francisco, the organization SFJAZZ has built a permanent home and performance venue. For its grand opening, masters like McCoy Tyner and Chick Corea rubbed shoulders with modern stars like Esperanza Spalding and the SFJAZZ Collective. WWOZ, WBGO and NPR Music present a live recording of the concert.