This weekend’s Art of Cool Festival in Durham, N.C., aims to expand the audience for improvised music. So it’s booked performers from modern R&B, hip-hop and beyond with deep jazz influences.
In the liner notes to the album “Blues’ Moods,” where you’ll find today’s song, trumpeter Blue Mitchell is referred to as the “middleweight champion of the trumpet.” This was actually stolen from a line someone used about the tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, but I think it suits both men well. The gist of the comment is [...]
Take a tour of the MacArthur genius’s home in Harlem, including a look at his Steinway, favorite books and percussion instruments from India.
Even today’s musicians know jazz has a rapidly-changing, living, breathing history. In a new video, young gun Kris Bowers takes a YouTube tour from ragtime and stride through the present day.
The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has announced recipients of its 2014 performing arts grants. Noted composers such as Roscoe Mitchell, Oliver Lake and Randy Weston received a first tier award.
Ingrid Jensen, one of my favorite trumpet players, has one of the most distinctive sounds on the instrument today. I’ve described her approach to the horn as “vocal,” and she’s said she’s just trying to sing her ideas through the instrument. This is not a new concept, but when I listen to her playing, I [...]
Today we don’t just have a song of the day, but a whole album! I was going to feature drummer Brian Blade and his Fellowship Band anyway, then noticed that NPR has his forthcoming album on its “First Listen” series today. So buckle in and prepare to be transported to another world. If you’re not familiar with [...]
One of the world’s best jazz drummers is also a singer-songwriter, session man for Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell and the son of a preacher man. It’s all potently distilled for his band of over 15 years.
Pianist Vijay Iyer is one of the most celebrated and talked-about musicians of his generation. His list of accomplishments and accolades is impressive, including Grammy Nominations, Jazz Musician of the Year awards, and even a MacArthur Genius Award. His body of work is as broad as it is creative, and he’s a powerful piano player [...]