The jazz legend practiced his saxophone 10 to 15 hours a day before he got his big break, and while he wasn’t the most reliable husband, when it came to music, he never wavered. Scholar Stanley Crouch’s Kansas City Lightning is the first of a two-volume biography of Parker.
The trumpeter and bandleader premiered his gospel-jazz Abyssinian Mass back in 2008. But now, accompanied by a 70-voice choir, he’s taking the sprawling work on the road and into African-American churches — whose services were the inspiration for the piece.
Chicago bassist Matt Ulery writes beautiful music in an unpretentious way. It’s intricate stuff, with interlocking parts and multiple sections, but it comes out sounding folky and simple. His small group, featuring bass clarinet and accordion, has it down pat.
The Broadway and screen actress known for her Tony-winning role in Cats, among many other major productions, has recorded 15 solo albums with another on the way. Along with musical director Kenny Werner, she joined Marian McPartland in 2007 for a session of standards.
Professing love for Bob James’ music can yield a side-eye in some circles, as his 1970s work is seen as a progenitor to smooth jazz. But he certainly knew his way around a catchy melody and an infectious riff — as legions of rap and house producers have discovered through sampling.
Costello joins host Marian McPartland and bassist Gary Mazzaroppi to perform “At Last” and more.
At 27, bandleader Trombone Shorty is already an icon in his hometown. So he’s giving back: Through his own foundation, the “supafunkrock” brass player is nurturing even younger talent in local schools.
The saxophonist, 24, came to the U.S. from Chile with little money and less command of English. But she did have some serious ability at the saxophone, which has now found footing in the New York scene. She visits her alma mater to perform with her international band.
The jazz pianist uses his new record to recall works of yesteryear and simultaneously illustrate his new sense of direction.
Growing up in Chile, Melissa Aldana insisted on playing in clubs and transcribed solos like mad — as her father did before her. Now, at 24, she’s won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition for young musicians, and her youthful dedication is beginning to pay off.