“There are no natural barriers. It’s all music. It’s either hip or it ain’t.” – Lee Morgan Lee Morgan is one of the most recorded and celebrated trumpeters in jazz, and one of my personal favorites. His playing is brash, assured, big-toned and has a swagger not matched by many other trumpeters of his day [...]
“My music is the spiritual expression of what I am — my faith, my knowledge, my being. When you begin to see the possibilities of music, you desire to do something really good for people, to help humanity free itself from its hangups…I want to speak to their souls.” ― John Coltrane We could spend [...]
“A genius is the one most like himself.” – Thelonious Monk Pianist and composer Thelonious Sphere Monk is another true original. He did what very few other people have done, which is to develop a distinctive, unique sound on the piano. It’s much harder to sound different on the piano because so many of the [...]
“Just don’t give up on trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” – Ella Fitzgerald Yesterday I mentioned that we’d talk about Thelonious Monk today, but I realized that it’s Ella Fitzgerald’s birthday, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t [...]
Cape Cod’s “First Lady of Jazz” performs a medley of tunes by Fats Waller, her stride-piano mentor, in this session from 1983.
The singer performs two of Billie Holiday’s signature songs, “Loverman” and “God Bless the Child,” and discusses the haunting experience of portraying Holiday onstage.
Structured and free, sonic and rhythmic, poems and jazz music seem like natural partners. For National Poetry Month and Jazz Appreciation Month, here are some notable collisions between the two.
“Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple.” – Charles Mingus Bassist and composer Charles Mingus was a true original. Everything he did was from his heart and was remarkably fresh while still respecting the tradition of jazz. He led his own bands of various sizes from the ’50s until his [...]
Over the past several years, solo jazz guitarist, Martin Taylor, has basically become one of the gang here at KPLU. He’s such good company and such a brilliant guitarist that we invite him into our studios for a session almost every time he comes to town. He’s performed for us in a variety of musical [...]
“Jazz isn’t dead, it just smells funny” – Frank Zappa Since the 1980s, there has been much talk about the “death” of jazz. Some people claim that since that time jazz music has become a kind of museum piece, with current musicians just trying to recreate what has happened in the past. This view came [...]