If you didn’t manage to sneak your way onto a yacht bound for coastal Rhode Island — well, we can’t help you get to Newport. But NPR Music can bring you live streaming concerts. Here’s what’s in store, starting with Robert Glasper and ending with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock.
Whether career sidemen, appealing experimentalists or critically acclaimed bands finally getting a look, new names are getting invited to the granddaddy of jazz festivals with greater frequency. Hear music from some of this year’s crop, including Jonathan Batiste, David Gilmore and Dee Alexander.
On the clarinetist’s latest album, the blues might be modernized or tweaked, but it’s never far away. Fresh Air‘s jazz critic says The Edenfred Files is modest in a good way, like a musical chapbook or novella. The scale suits Harper’s pointedly focused music.
Few had the late Fort Apache Band drummer’s intuition for both jazz and Afro-Cuban musical languages. Bandleader Jerry González remembers his colleague, who toured with Mongo Santamaria, Art Blakey, Tito Puente and Max Roach, and earned a Grammy nomination for one of his own albums.
This summer has seen plenty of worthwhile jazz, including a pianist who’s been around since the ’50s, a Caribbean jazzman, a band of deliberate melody, and a Jungle Book cover. Sample recordings from Harold Mabern, Etienne Charles, the band Black Host and Lauren Desberg.
In 1963, a jazz-obsessed, college-educated black Beat poet in New York wrote a “theoretical endeavor” linking the sociopolitical and the sonic. A half-century later, Amiri Baraka’s book remains the first of its kind — and among the most important — in African-American studies.
Session musician Stephen Bruner has played bass in other people’s bands for more than a decade. He can play metal, R&B, hip-hop, jazz. And he’s been folding all that into his own music, which he puts out under the name Thundercat. Now, with his second album, he’s stepping to the front of the stage.
As a first-call trumpeter in many jazz, Latin and Broadway ensembles, Frink made a lot of bands sound good. But she was better known as someone who made thousands of other trumpet players sound better. The foremost brass instructor in New York City, Frink was 62.