The great composer and bandleader was distraught over the 1967 death of Billy Strayhorn, his songwriting and arranging partner of 28 years. But Ellington took Strayhorn’s passing as an impetus, born of necessity, to increase his own productivity. Here are five examples.
At the Village Vanguard, one flight down from the hubbub of New York City, in a tight space packed with people, we’re about to embark on a musical odyssey by sea. Our captain is saxophonist Chris Potter, who’s launching his Odyssey-inspired album The Sirens.
Divine: The Jazz Albums, 1954-1958 packs four CDs with Vaughan’s music, recorded live or in the studio with bands big and small. Two live albums from Chicago nightclubs are standouts, partly when a performance threatens to slide off the rails.
Hear passionate improvisation across borders on Colombian harp, Argentinian bandoneón, Venezuelan cuatro and vibes from the U.S. In a passionate set with Castañeda, his trio and special guests perform at the Americas Society in New York.
He was a soulful reedman, an amazing talent scout for decades and a bandleader of one of the country’s most popular acts. Born in 1913, Herman led “Thundering Herds” that were both big draws and well-respected by the likes of Igor Stravinsky. Here are five recordings which still sound fresh today.
In the arts mecca of New York City, subway buskers are often overqualified. But they’re not usually world-class jazz singers with the lungs and charisma of old-school soul stars. Accompanied only by a pianist, Porter performs “Be Good (Lion’s Song)” on a vintage subway car in downtown Brooklyn.
Rudresh Mahanthappa’s work always seems to be filed under jazz, but it’s hard to find a style he doesn’t touch: hip-hop, country, metal and soul fused with traditional sounds from India, Africa and Indonesia. And he makes it rock.