Latin jazz works best when the musicians involved are as fluent in Afro-Cuban rhythms as they are in the deep grooves and advanced harmonics of bebop. A man with a powerful interest in both the past and the future, Arturo O’Farrill has that pedigree in his DNA.
On this archival program from 1992, Clooney reminisces about her singing career with her sister Betty in Tony Pastor’s band. Her rich, smooth voice and skillful phrasing add to the deep feeling in “Our Love Is Here to Stay” and the challenging “Lush Life.”
The singer and songwriter grew up with Celtic and pop music in her home, and after discovering Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans, she became known as a folksy jazz vocalist. She visits the program along with keyboardist Gary Versace.
The jazz artist, who turned to singing when an injury ended his football career, claims three people as his main influences: his minister mother, his absentee father, and Nat King Cole. He discusses his musical life and the new album Liquid Spirit with NPR’s Audie Cornish.
Before he was the drummer for The Bad Plus, King developed a strong work ethic — or maybe not — doing various forms of menial labor in the Midwest. He speaks on telemarketing, Orange Julius, and how it applies (or doesn’t) to his own bands.
There’s an element of Porter’s singing that feels like a welcome throwback, though he doesn’t spell it out precisely. On his third album, he only seeks the soulful spirit of griots gone by. And all he asks you to do is clap your hands now.