Jazz24 http://www.jazz24.org Listen to Free Jazz Radio Online Mon, 25 May 2015 03:12:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Copyright © Jazz24 2013 jsteyer@kplu.org (KPLU/Jazz24) jsteyer@kplu.org (KPLU/Jazz24) Music 1440 http://jazz24.org/wp-content/plugins/podpress/images/144x144_Studio_Sessions.jpg Jazz24 http://www.jazz24.org 144 144 KPLU/Jazz24 Studio Sessions Video Podcast Jazz, Studio, Sessions, KPLU, Jazz24, Blues KPLU/Jazz24 KPLU/Jazz24 jsteyer@kplu.org no no Jamie Cullum Wants You To Hear These Jazz Tunes http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/jamie-cullum-wants-you-to-hear-these-jazz-tunes/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/jamie-cullum-wants-you-to-hear-these-jazz-tunes/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 13:03:28 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/jamie-cullum-wants-you-to-hear-these-jazz-tunes/ Written by from NPR

When pianist Jamie Cullum came to NPR’s studios earlier this year, his love and appreciation for great music was electrifying. Cullum, the U.K.’s best-selling contemporary jazz artist, also hosts his own jazz show on BBC Radio 2.

Cullum recently joined NPR’s Scott Simon to share some of the music that’s caught his attention. His picks — London singer ESKA, English group Polar Bear and Belgian vocalist Melanie De Biasio — all embrace both classic jazz sounds and contemporary electronic elements. Hear the conversation at the audio link above, or listen to each song in its entirety below.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/jamie-cullum-wants-you-to-hear-these-jazz-tunes/feed/ 0
The Dave Peck Trio – “Stella By Starlight” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/dave-peck-trio-stella-starlight/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/dave-peck-trio-stella-starlight/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 12:00:18 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=351087 The Dave Peck Trio includes Dave Peck (piano), Jeff Johnson (bass), and Eric Eagle (drums).

]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/dave-peck-trio-stella-starlight/feed/ 0 0:05:20 The Dave Peck Trio includes Dave Peck (piano), Jeff Johnson (bass), and Eric Eagle (drums). The Dave Peck Trio includes Dave Peck (piano), Jeff Johnson (bass), and Eric Eagle (drums). KPLU/Jazz24 no no
Joe Temperley: ‘No Greater Sound On Earth’ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/joe-temperley-no-greater-sound-on-earth/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/joe-temperley-no-greater-sound-on-earth/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 02:53:27 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/joe-temperley-no-greater-sound-on-earth/ Written by from WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Baritone saxophonist and clarinetist Joe Temperley has led an illustrious career spanning several decades, performing in some of the best big bands that ever were. Temperley, now 85, has performed with the orchestras of Humphrey Lyttelton, Woody Herman, Thad Jones & Mel Lewis, Clark Terry, Joe Henderson, and of course, Duke Ellington. For the past 25 years, Temperley has also been the heart and soul of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. As Wynton Marsalis has written, “There is no greater sound on earth, than Joe Temperley on a horn.”

Jazz Night in America gets to know the man, listening to his original music and his new arrangements of Ellington favorites. Watch highlights from the concert here.

Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .
]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/joe-temperley-no-greater-sound-on-earth/feed/ 0
Lionel Hampton On Piano Jazz http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/lionel-hampton-on-piano-jazz/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/lionel-hampton-on-piano-jazz/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 01:55:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/lionel-hampton-on-piano-jazz/ Written by from NPR

Vibraphonist Lionel Hampton (1908–2002) was one of the most influential figures in the history of jazz. He made the vibes a vital voice in the arsenal of jazz instruments, and gained international fame while playing in Benny Goodman‘s small groups and leading his own orchestra.

On this 1989 episode of Piano Jazz, Hampton and host Marian McPartland duet in a set that includes “Sweet Georgia Brown” and “Mack The Knife.”

Originally broadcast in the spring of 1989.

Set List
  • “Teach Me Tonight” (Kahn, DePaul)
  • “Sweet Georgia Brown” (Bernie, Casey, Pinkard)
  • “Midnight Sun” (Burke, Mercer, Hampton)
  • “How High The Moon” (Hamilton, Lewis)
  • “What’s New” (Burke, Haggart)
  • “Mack The Knife” (Weill, Brecht, Blitzstein)
  • “Flying Home” (Goodman, Hampton)
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/lionel-hampton-on-piano-jazz/feed/ 0
West Philadelphia Orchestra On World Cafe http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/west-philadelphia-orchestra-on-world-cafe/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/west-philadelphia-orchestra-on-world-cafe/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 23:56:43 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/west-philadelphia-orchestra-on-world-cafe/ Written by from WXPN-FM

We’ve got something quite different as our Sense of Place: Philly series continues. Philadelphia has a brass band called The West Philadelphia Orchestra. They specialize in Balkan music, and as they were rehearsing a number of years ago, a singer was passing by who knew the music they were playing from growing up — and she joined the band. Petia Zamfirova will be the first to say this eclectic group is not just about backing her singing. We’ll find out how this band grew here, hear about their selection in the All Songs Considered Tiny Desk Concert contest and more.

Copyright 2015 WXPN-FM. To see more, visit http://www.xpn.org/.
]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/west-philadelphia-orchestra-on-world-cafe/feed/ 0
All Songs +1: ‘Epic’ Jazz From Kamasi Washington http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/all-songs-1-epic-jazz-from-kamasi-washington/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/all-songs-1-epic-jazz-from-kamasi-washington/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 19:03:16 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/all-songs-1-epic-jazz-from-kamasi-washington/ All Songs +1 podcast, Patrick Jarenwattananon swings by to discuss jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington and his new album, The Epic.]]> Written by Patrick Jarenwattananon from NPR

Even if you don’t know anything about jazz, it’s quite possible you’ve heard the music of saxophonist Kamasi Washington: That’s him on the latest albums by Kendrick Lamar and Flying Lotus. But that’s only the very tip of his iceberg. His new album The Epic, just released on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label, is a 3-CD, nearly three-hour effort performed by a 10-piece band, strings and a choir. Washington is now in his early 30s, but he’s known his core band since high school, many from before then, and you can hear that connection in how well its many members listen to each other.

For this week’s All Songs +1 podcast, Bob Boilen is joined by NPR Music producer Patrick Jarenwattananon, who works on the Jazz Night In America radio show and webcast series, to discuss the new album. Jazz Night filmed the appropriately epic release party for The Epic in Los Angeles, where Washington performed the entire album with strings, a choir and several special guests. We’ll present highlights from the concert next Wednesday, May 27 at 9 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/all-songs-1-epic-jazz-from-kamasi-washington/feed/ 0
The Dave Peck Trio – “Here’s That Rainy Day” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/dave-peck-trio-heres-rainy-day/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/dave-peck-trio-heres-rainy-day/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 12:00:07 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=351085 The Dave Peck Trio includes Dave Peck (piano), Jeff Johnson (bass), and Eric Eagle (drums).

]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/dave-peck-trio-heres-rainy-day/feed/ 0 0:05:41 The Dave Peck Trio includes Dave Peck (piano), Jeff Johnson (bass), and Eric Eagle (drums). The Dave Peck Trio includes Dave Peck (piano), Jeff Johnson (bass), and Eric Eagle (drums). KPLU/Jazz24 no no
Mathias Eick’s ‘Midwest': A Musical Landscape http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/mathias-eicks-midwest-a-musical-landscape/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/mathias-eicks-midwest-a-musical-landscape/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 01:03:19 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/mathias-eicks-midwest-a-musical-landscape/ Midwest.]]> Written by Michelle Mercer from NPR

A couple years ago, a tour took Norwegian trumpeter Mathias Eick through the Upper Midwest — and he was surprised to find that it felt like home. About a third of North and South Dakotans claim some Norwegian ancestry, and the region’s history fired Eick’s musical imagination. On his new album, Midwest, he pays tribute to the Norwegian settlers’ arrival on the American plains.

On Midwest, Eick composes musical impressions of the Midwestern landscape like paintings. In the title track, piano ostinatos suggest rolling plains, Eick’s trumpet evokes the horizon, and the violin’s Norwegian folk strains bring immigrants into the picture.

Eick’s strong melodies and folk-infused jazz remind me of older recordings from Pat Metheny, Keith Jarrett and Jan Garbarek. But as Eick was composing this music, along with his own sense of the Midwestern landscape, he was thinking of how Norwegian immigrants might have encountered those wide-open spaces; he wants to show how Norwegian traits like stoicism and modesty shaped the settlers’ experience. In the song “Fargo,” the music alternates between a resolute melody and a humbler, hymn-like theme, and you can almost feel the immigrants facing up to the starkness of the plains.

Some listeners may not hear any more on this recording than they’d see on a drive down a Midwestern interstate; after all, Eick is a minimalist who deals primarily in atmosphere and mood. That makes for a subtle sort of Norwegian Americana, and to a native Midwesterner like me, it sounds as familiar and natural as home.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/mathias-eicks-midwest-a-musical-landscape/feed/ 0
The Dave Peck Trio – “If I Were A Bell” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/dave-peck-trio-if-bell/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/dave-peck-trio-if-bell/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 12:00:28 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=351081 The Dave Peck Trio includes Dave Peck (piano), Jeff Johnson (bass), and Eric Eagle (drums).

]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/dave-peck-trio-if-bell/feed/ 0 0:06:51 The Dave Peck Trio includes Dave Peck (piano), Jeff Johnson (bass), and Eric Eagle (drums). The Dave Peck Trio includes Dave Peck (piano), Jeff Johnson (bass), and Eric Eagle (drums). KPLU/Jazz24 no no
Bruce Lundvall, Jazz Record Executive, Has Died http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/bruce-lundvall-jazz-record-executive-has-died/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/bruce-lundvall-jazz-record-executive-has-died/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 05:06:41 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/bruce-lundvall-jazz-record-executive-has-died/ Written by Patrick Jarenwattananon from NPR

Bruce Lundvall, the longtime President of Blue Note Records who supported many top jazz artists over the last four decades, died yesterday, May 19. The cause was complications of Parkinson’s Disease, according to a Blue Note statement. He was 79.

Born in 1935, Lundvall began his career in the music business in 1960, in an entry-level position he described as “management trainee” at Columbia Records. He would rise to lead the North American division of the label, where his jazz roster included Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Woody Shaw, Stan Getz and Dexter Gordon. He left to create the Elektra/Musician label in 1982.

In 1984, he left to revive Blue Note Records, an storied jazz imprint that had been defunct for several years. It was, as he told NPR in 2009, his “lifelong dream” to work for Blue Note, ever since he graduated from Bucknell University and applied for a position fresh out of school.

“I wanted to be in the music business,” he said. “I was a very bad tenor saxophone player, but I was a huge jazz fan.

“And I walked into New York one day from the bus and from my home in New Jersey, and I went to Alfred Lion’s office at Blue Note with a resume in my hand. And it had very little information on it, except my college courses, my summer jobs and absolutely no grades identified, and one line saying occupation, and that was ‘unemployed jazz fan.’ And Alfred invited me into the office very graciously and invited me out just as quickly, I think, saying, ‘We don’t have no jobs here.'”

During his tenure at Blue Note, he signed artists who became iconic in modern jazz: Robert Glasper and Jason Moran, Dianne Reeves and Cassandra Wilson, John Scofield and Medeski Martin & Wood, Joe Lovano and Greg Osby, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Don Pullen, Terence Blanchard and Ambrose Akinmusire. With the help of producer Michael Cuscuna, he brought back musicians who had previously recorded for the label: Jimmy Smith, McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Jackie McLean, Andrew Hill. He also oversaw great commercial successes by introducing what he called “very legitimate” artists beyond jazz: musicians like Norah Jones, Al Green and Amos Lee. He stepped down in 2010, but continued on as Chairman Emeritus.

His philosophy, he said, continued the standards set by Blue Note’s founders.

“The actual point of view that we have at all times is to sign only originals — people that are musically brilliant and people that have the kind of touch of God on their head, so to speak, as jazz musicians,” he said in 2009. “And we try to do that for the most part, and I think we’ve been reasonably successful.”

Many in the jazz business have praised Lundvall’s vision, and his warm personality. The saxophonist Bob Belden, who coincidentally also died today, both produced and recorded for Blue Note. He spoke to NPR in 1999.

“Bruce Lundvall really is into artistic expression,” Belden said. “Yeah, it’s a family feeling unlike any of the other major labels, and I’ve worked for all of them. You know, [Blue Note is] really an artistic label because they don’t force you to become something you’re not.”

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/bruce-lundvall-jazz-record-executive-has-died/feed/ 0
The Peter Bernstein Trio – “Bones” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/peter-bernstein-trio-bones/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/peter-bernstein-trio-bones/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 12:00:37 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=350396 The Peter Bernstein Trio

Peter Bernstein – Guitar
Chuck Deardorf – Bass
Matt Jorgensen – Drums

]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/peter-bernstein-trio-bones/feed/ 0 0:07:10 The Peter Bernstein Trio Peter Bernstein – Guitar Chuck Deardorf – Bass Matt Jorgensen – Drums The Peter Bernstein Trio Peter Bernstein – Guitar Chuck Deardorf – Bass Matt Jorgensen – Drums KPLU/Jazz24 no no
A Tribute To Kenny Wheeler http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/a-tribute-to-kenny-wheeler/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/a-tribute-to-kenny-wheeler/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 04:56:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/a-tribute-to-kenny-wheeler/ Written by from WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

The late Kenny Wheeler’s stunning compositions and imaginative improvisations on trumpet and flugelhorn left deep impressions on generations of musicians. Two such devotees — trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and saxophonist Steve Treseler — revisited Wheeler’s compositions after his death in 2014 at age 84. And in doing so, they realized they wanted to record their arrangements, paying tribute to the man who catalyzed their own careers. So Jensen, raised in Vancouver and now based in New York, traveled back across North America to meet Treseler, who resides in Seattle, to make the album and play a gig while they were there.

Jazz Night In America explores the legacy of Kenny Wheeler through the music that Jensen and Treseler arranged and performed live at the Royal Room in Seattle. They’re accompanied by Jensen’s working rhythm section — pianist Geoffrey Keezer, bassist Martin Wind, drummer Jon Wikan — and local vocalist Katie Jacobson. Watch the concert here.

Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .
]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/a-tribute-to-kenny-wheeler/feed/ 0
Live Studio Session: The Dave Peck Trio http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/live-studio-session-dave-peck-trio/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/live-studio-session-dave-peck-trio/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 22:33:50 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=350709 Dave Peck, Jeff Johnson, and Eric Eagle live in the KPLU Seattle studios.
MICHAEL GOUDE KPLU Dave Peck, Jeff Johnson, and Eric Eagle live in the KPLU Seattle studios.
MICHAEL GOUDE KPLU Jeff Johnson in the KPLU Seattle studios.
MICHAEL GOUDE KPLU Eric Eagle in the KPLU Seattle studios.
MICHAEL GOUDE KPLU Dave Peck and Jeff Johnson in the KPLU Seattle studios.
MICHAEL GOUDE KPLU Eric Eagle in the KPLU Seattle studios.
MICHAEL GOUDE KPLU Jeff Johnson in the KPLU Seattle studios.
MICHAEL GOUDE KPLU Eric Eagle in the KPLU Seattle studios.
MICHAEL GOUDE KPLU The Dave Peck Trio with members of the KPLU Leadership Circle in the KPLU Seattle studios.
MICHAEL GOUDE KPLU

Since the late 1970’s, Seattle pianist Dave Peck has been a bright spot in the regional jazz scene.

From his early career as an accompanist for visiting jazz artists at Jazz Alley, through a long, productive partnership with saxophonist Bud Shank, to his continuing role as the leader of his own group, Dave’s given us a lot of wonderful, adventurous music over the years.

In this studio session, hosted by Jim Wilke, Dave talks about his career, his approach to performing and why his band never–never–rehearses.  It’s a revealing conversation interspersed with 3 of Dave’s favorite songs:  If I Were A Bell, Here’s That Rainy Day and Stella By Starlight.  The Dave Peck Trio includes Eric Eagle (drums) and Jeff Johnson (bass).

Song List:

  1. If I Were A Bell
  2. Here’s That Rainy Day
  3. Stella By Starlight

Special thanks to Street Bean Espresso for providing coffee at KPLU Studio Sessions.

You can also find our Studio Sessions available as a video podcast in iTunes.

]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/live-studio-session-dave-peck-trio/feed/ 0
The Peter Bernstein Trio – “Peace” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/peter-bernstein-trio-peace/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/peter-bernstein-trio-peace/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 12:00:47 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=350393 The Peter Bernstein Trio

Peter Bernstein – Guitar
Chuck Deardorf – Bass
Matt Jorgensen – Drums

]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/peter-bernstein-trio-peace/feed/ 0 0:06:16 The Peter Bernstein Trio Peter Bernstein – Guitar Chuck Deardorf – Bass Matt Jorgensen – Drums The Peter Bernstein Trio Peter Bernstein – Guitar Chuck Deardorf – Bass Matt Jorgensen – Drums KPLU/Jazz24 no no
The Peter Bernstein Trio – “I Love You” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/peter-bernstein-trio-i-love-you/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/peter-bernstein-trio-i-love-you/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 00:44:29 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=350391 The Peter Bernstein Trio

Peter Bernstein – Guitar
Chuck Deardorf – Bass
Matt Jorgensen – Drums

]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/peter-bernstein-trio-i-love-you/feed/ 0 0:07:35 The Peter Bernstein Trio Peter Bernstein – Guitar Chuck Deardorf – Bass Matt Jorgensen – Drums The Peter Bernstein Trio Peter Bernstein – Guitar Chuck Deardorf – Bass Matt Jorgensen – Drums KPLU/Jazz24 no no
Live Studio session: Peter Bernstein – First-Call Jazz Guitarist http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/live-studio-session-peter-bernstein-first-call-jazz-guitarist/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/live-studio-session-peter-bernstein-first-call-jazz-guitarist/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 00:23:59 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=350378 Peter Bernstein live in the KPLU studios.
KPLU Chuck Deardorf and Matt Jorgensen live in the KPLU studios.
KPLU Peter Bernstein live in the KPLU studios.
KPLU Peter Bernstein live in the KPLU studios.
KPLU Chuck Deardorf live in the KPLU studios.
KPLU Peter Bernstein and Chuck Deardorf live in the KPLU studios.
KPLU

For about a quarter-century Peter Bernstein has been one of the most in-demand guitarists in jazz.  So in-demand in fact, his fans were more likely to hear him on someone else’s CD rather than his own.

However, even though he’s sought after as a side-man, Peter’s slowly been putting together a fine discography of his own, with 10 CD releases since 1992.  In this studio session with Abe Beeson, there’s no question about who’s leading the band.

Here’s Peter Bernstein front and center, performing 3 of his favorite pieces in a trio setting that includes Chuck Deardorf on bass and Matt Jorgensen on drums.

Song List:

  1. “I Love You”
  2. “Peace”
  3. “Bones”

Special thanks to Street Bean Espresso for providing coffee at KPLU Studio Sessions.

You can also find our Studio Sessions available as a video podcast in iTunes.

]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/live-studio-session-peter-bernstein-first-call-jazz-guitarist/feed/ 0
First Listen: Joshua Redman & The Bad Plus, ‘The Bad Plus Joshua Redman’ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/first-listen-joshua-redman-the-bad-plus-the-bad-plus-joshua-redman/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/first-listen-joshua-redman-the-bad-plus-the-bad-plus-joshua-redman/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 10:03:25 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/first-listen-joshua-redman-the-bad-plus-the-bad-plus-joshua-redman/ Written by Tom Moon from NPR

For the last two years, pianist Ethan Iverson has been at the center of what looks, in hindsight, like a serious creative whirlwind. He re-conceptualized Stravinsky‘s ballet The Rite Of Spring in its entirety (!) for his trio The Bad Plus, and then, for good measure, recorded an album of all-original Bad Plus music (Inevitable Western). He recorded two crisply swinging trio albums with the drummer and jazz elder Albert “Tootie” Heath. He anchored the acclaimed quartet led by drummer Billy Hart (the group’s 2014 release One Is The Other turned up on many best-of lists), and was part of another multi-generation group with pioneering saxophonist Lee Konitz. All while writing Do The Math, one of the most lucid, carefully reasoned blogs on contemporary music.

The work ethic is impressive, and arguably unique. But what makes Iverson extraordinary is the focused way he’s managed these endeavors: He understands that each project has its own demands, aspirations and intended audience. He keeps things separate, drawing clear distinctions between his brainier compositional forays and his more reverential, sometimes scholarly investigations of jazz tradition. He does his serious innovating alongside bassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King in The Bad Plus, then gets his jazz on with the hot shots and legends who understand all his zany references and inside jokes.

This career strategy is tested on The Bad Plus Joshua Redman, a roaring and beautiful summit meeting that has no precedent in Iverson’s discography. The first thing to know about it: Though Redman is among the most accomplished living practitioners of the jazz tenor saxophone, and can be counted on to shred on demand in a small group context, this is not a jazz date.

Instead, it’s a series of knotty, deeply challenging compositions that explore (and usually exhaust) groove frontiers far from the spang-a-lang swing and the businessman’s bounce. The rhythmic language here derives from rock and contemporary music, as well as the open, beautifully textural questing associated with the European avant-garde and certain strains of electronic music. The result: pulses that have an undeniable future-forward energy running through them. There’s a spry, Aaron Copland-esque fantasy on rural Americana (“County Seat”) and a haunting through-composed piece called “Beauty Has It Hard” that sounds, at times, as if Iverson has four hands going on the keyboard. And there’s a wistful elegy (“The Mending”) that distantly echoes Satie‘s piano music, as well as a filmic processional (“As This Moment Slips Away”) that suggests what Band On The Run might have sounded like if Paul McCartney and Wings replaced the happy triads with dissonant chord clusters in 7/4 time.

So there’s a lot of the trademark Bad Plus wonkery going on here; even the pieces built on straight-up rock-style backbeats tend to lurch away from predictability, with fitful odd-meter detours and sudden moments of explosive group upheaval. Several of the most engaging compositions share an unusual trait: After three or more minutes exploring one idea, they pivot into a second, related but contrasting mood that serves as another platform for improvisation or further compositional elaboration.

You have to do quite a bit of counting to apprehend all the stuff going on inside these tunes. But happily, it’s also possible to enjoy this music without that work, largely because the settings play to Redman’s strengths. Where Iverson is a calculating improvisor prone to rattling off lines that call attention to the cleverness of the writing, Redman shares more heart and lyricism, and this cultivates deeper group communication. He can handle all the tricky switchbacks embedded in the music — his own group, James Farm, aspires to similar meta jamming — but never allows the structures to dictate too much about his own inventions. He engages the trio with short taunts and jabbing lines, and then, over time, shapes them into longer sweeping arcs that sometimes exude a heroic spirit. The ideas are impressive by themselves, but become more powerful as Redman and the rhythm section go about developing them, especially in two older tunes known to Bad Plus fans: “Dirty Blonde” and “Silence Is The Question.” All involved utilize call-and-response and other familiar jazz techniques, and there are “solos” in a conventional jazz sense, but what emerges is a zillion miles from summit-meeting jazz.

That’s the real triumph of The Bad Plus Joshua Redman: It exhibits genuinely fresh thinking. Though the music is at times overwritten, and as a result can occasionally register as a dizzying brainiac barrage of information, each of these compositions thrives in provocative non-jazz settings for spontaneous exploration. And, like all steps forward, this one isn’t entirely radical: It draws on a range of old ideas (as old as Chopin nocturnes and ’60s rock) as fuel for a journey into the murky, terrifying, thrilling unknown.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/first-listen-joshua-redman-the-bad-plus-the-bad-plus-joshua-redman/feed/ 0
50 Years Ago, Ramsey Lewis Joined ‘The In Crowd’ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/50-years-ago-ramsey-lewis-joined-the-in-crowd/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/50-years-ago-ramsey-lewis-joined-the-in-crowd/#comments Sun, 17 May 2015 04:38:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/50-years-ago-ramsey-lewis-joined-the-in-crowd/ Written by from NPR

Fifty years ago, the Ramsey Lewis Trio sat in a Washington, D.C. coffee shop, musing over what it could add to its set that evening. It was booked for a run at Bohemian Caverns — the group had issued a live album made at the nightclub, and it was gearing up to record a follow-up live album. Over walked a waitress, who inquired about the band’s predicament.

Fifty years later, Lewis still remembers her name: Nettie Gray.

“She had a jukebox,” Lewis says. “Jukeboxes in coffee shops — people don’t know about that any more, but she went over to the jukebox and played: ‘You guys might like this! Listen to this!'”

Her recommendation was “The In Crowd,” sung by Dobie Gray — a popular hit at the time. Lewis and the band worked out an arrangement quickly, then ended their set with it that evening, to wild applause.

Fifty years later, that song remains Ramsey Lewis’ biggest hit.

“If somebody had come up with another song that fit the style of what we wanted, there would not have been an ‘In Crowd,’ ” he says.

Lewis, now 79 and still actively performing, spoke with NPR’s Arun Rath about how the song came to be. Hear their conversation at the audio link above.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/50-years-ago-ramsey-lewis-joined-the-in-crowd/feed/ 0
Gonzalo Rubalcaba On Piano Jazz http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/gonzalo-rubalcaba-on-piano-jazz/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/gonzalo-rubalcaba-on-piano-jazz/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 23:03:50 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/gonzalo-rubalcaba-on-piano-jazz/ Written by from NPR

The music of pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba is a potent mixture of Cuban and American jazz. His style sounds both melodic and rhythmic, filled with exciting and intriguing influences. He plays everything from jazz to classical, as well as music from his native Cuba.

When Rubalcaba was a guest on Piano Jazz in 1995, he spoke with host Marian McPartland through an interpreter and dazzled with pieces such as “Con Alma” and “Straight No Chaser.”

Originally broadcast in the fall of 1995.

Set List
  • “I Remember Clifford” (Golson)
  • “Donna Lee” (Parker)
  • “Con Alma” (Gillespie)
  • “Night In Tunisia” (Gillespie, Paparelli)
  • “Dizzy” (McPartland)
  • “Woody ‘N’ You” (Gillespie)
  • “Free Piece” (McPartland, Rubalcaba)
  • “Mima” (Rubalcaba)
  • “Well You Needn’t” (Monk)
  • “Straight No Chaser” (Monk)
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/gonzalo-rubalcaba-on-piano-jazz/feed/ 0
Songs We Love: Anat Cohen, ‘Putty Boy Strut’ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/songs-we-love-anat-cohen-putty-boy-strut/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/songs-we-love-anat-cohen-putty-boy-strut/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 02:48:56 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/songs-we-love-anat-cohen-putty-boy-strut/ Written by Patrick Jarenwattananon from NPR

It begins with meandering clarinet and clipped, four-on-the-floor percussion. A little bit later comes a countermelody, and the image that comes to mind is something from early New Orleans, or perhaps a Mediterranean folk song. It’s even called “Putty Boy Strut” — that could be an obscure Jelly Roll Morton tune, right?

But that which was slightly off grows weirder: a skipped beat here, a washy suspended cymbal there, and a solo with a very contemporary swing feel. Whatever it is, the interpretation is stylized and clearly modern — it’s a smart arrangement, with attention to fine details of exactly when a piano emerges, or a bass interjects. And then, perhaps, you realize its distinguishing features are familiar, as if you’ve heard this before. Perhaps you have: it’s clarinetist Anat Cohen and her quartet’s version of a tune by the electronic music-maker Flying Lotus.

Lotus’ jazz connections (he’s the grand-nephew of Alice and John Coltrane) and interests (listen to his last few records) are generally public knowledge, and Cohen isn’t the first improviser of today to complete the loop by covering him. But there’s something about this that makes sense philosophically beyond all that. I mean, it’s all very considered, the way that electronic humanoid bleeps and synthetic percussion are translated to traditional acoustic instruments in a way that brings out the warmth in both environments.

And there’s also a bit of talent on display from Cohen’s clarinet and band (Jason Lindner on keys, Joe Martin on bass, Daniel Freedman on drums with Gilmar Gomes adding percussion), which escapes the confines of a regimented song in a succinct solo but shimmers even when just stating the melody. There is, though, also this connection, where something from hypermodern jazz-inflected electronic music somehow suggests the dawn of jazz, or one of its fellow folk styles. (Brazilian choro? Middle Eastern traditions? Something from Eastern Europe?) The clarinet’s timbre, the colorful percussion, the intervallic quirks of the melody and its counterpoint: that brings the link to the fore.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/songs-we-love-anat-cohen-putty-boy-strut/feed/ 0
Kamasi Washington’s 3-Hour Jazz ‘Epic,’ Complete With Creation Myth http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/kamasi-washingtons-3-hour-jazz-epic-complete-with-creation-myth/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/kamasi-washingtons-3-hour-jazz-epic-complete-with-creation-myth/#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 04:16:52 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/kamasi-washingtons-3-hour-jazz-epic-complete-with-creation-myth/ Written by from NPR

When Kamasi Washington called his new album The Epic, he meant it.

His band has two drummers, two bass players, both piano and keyboards. There are three horns and two lead vocals. There’s a 20-piece choir and a 32-piece string section.

Washington is a very plugged-in Los-Angeles-based saxophonist. He’s played on two of the most important albums of the last year: rapper Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly and electronic musician Flying Lotus’ You’re Dead. As a matter of fact, Lotus owns Brainfeeder, the label that released this new three-CD, nearly three-hour collection.

Kamasi Washington’s core band is made up of friends who date back to (or sometimes before) high school. Together, they comprise the collective called The West Coast Get Down.

Washington recently spoke with NPR’s Arun Rath about the marathon recording sessions that led to The Epic, his interconnected dreams, and the lessons he’s learned from hip-hop.


Interview Highlights

On The West Coast Get Down pooling resources to record many different albums at once

So we all just decided to just take a month, and just not do anything else — we didn’t take any other gigs, we didn’t do any other tours. We had to tell everybody for a whole month, December 2011, and we just recorded everyone’s music. So we were just in there crazy hours. We would get in at 10 in the morning and leave at 2 in the morning every day.

We came out with a staggering amount of music. We came out with eight albums — eight different projects, I should say — 190 songs, like two terabytes worth of music. I personally walked away with 45 songs.

We got to know each other. Even though some of us, we’ve been friends since [we were] 3 years old, I got to know them better than I probably ever intended, you know?

On trying to cut songs to create a tighter album

I was working on this song called “Change of the Guard.” I was working on that one for quite a while. And I don’t know, something slipped into my subconscious. I’m really into anime and martial arts movies, so I started having this crazy dream about the change of the guard.

This dream starts off with this guard who guards this gate. He doesn’t do anything else — he just guards this gate. He doesn’t have a house, family, anything — you can tell how solitary he is. And the gate is on the top of this huge mountain, and at the bottom of the mountain there’s this village, and all they do is train to challenge this guard.

These four villagers come up and challenge the guard. He sees something special in one of them and decides to let him beat him. It was deep — really, really wild, actually. That dream — I had that one five times in a row, something like that. I started to like it. I started to go to sleep with the hopes that I’d have that dream tonight, you know what I mean?

What started happening was that other songs started creeping in there. After a while, I was dreaming about all 17 songs — they all had this connection to that story. It was this long, epic thing. … That’s why I call the album The Epic. I know it’s big, but it was really The Epic in terms of the story.

I started to come to the realization that something was telling me that, ‘This is the album. Don’t take anything out of it. These songs — these are it. These are the ones.’ So I go back to Flying Lotus, and he’s like, ‘So what songs are you putting on the album?’ And I was like, ‘Uhh, all of them.’ He just kind of laughed and said, ‘I knew you were gonna do that. I knew it.’

On writing string and horn arrangements for Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly

Kendrick, he’s an amazingly talented guy. A really, really, really serious musician. He basically sat there — you know, there was crazy security, so I couldn’t take the music with me, so I had to write in the studio. And he’d be sitting right there on the couch just watching, because he was just curious as to the process of how someone takes music from their head, puts it on paper, and then gives it to someone else, and they create music again, you know? So he was just sitting there watching, and I had a little keyboard in the room, and I was just writing all these parts out. After I would finish, he would say, ‘OK, we should put this here and that there. Let’s take this part and start it four bars later.’ He was so hands-on. It was great, ’cause you don’t get that a lot. A lot of times, people are just like, ‘Do it,’ and I’ll see it when the album comes out.

Sometimes [producer and saxophonist] Terrace [Martin] would bring in a new song, and I could see Kendrick just basically create a whole song instantaneously as he heard the music for the first time. I was like, ‘Wow, man, you’re a genius.’ I was tripping out on that.

On the Los Angeles jazz scene

I think L.A. has one of the most innovative and forward-thinking jazz scenes in the world. New York definitely has the volume — there’s more music happening in New York than anywhere else. But to me, L.A. — it’s kind of a gift and a curse.

Los Angeles has always been overlooked as far as jazz, and just high-level music in general. But, like, my dad’s a musician, so I’ve grown up around so many brilliant musicians that nobody outside Los Angeles knows about. … Even to a degree [composer/bandleaders] Gerald Wilson and Horace Tapscott — I mean, they’re known, but not as known as they should have been. They really reshaped music, and music hasn’t caught up to where they were because they were overlooked. In my generation as well …

Because we’re being overlooked, we’ve also been left to our devices. No one has their hands in the L.A. jazz scene that shouldn’t have their hands in the L.A. jazz scene, you know? No one’s pushing people this way or that way, or influencing them, making them do this or making them do that. Like, on the jazz level? We’ve always just done whatever we want to do. When we play our jazz gigs, no one can tell us anything. We only get to do it for the love, you know? We make our money somewhere else, so if you get us at Catalina’s bar and grill [a Los Angeles jazz club], you’re gonna get what we have in our hearts to give. I think that’s important.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
]]>
http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/kamasi-washingtons-3-hour-jazz-epic-complete-with-creation-myth/feed/ 0
At 70, Keith Jarrett Is Learning How To Bottle Inspiration http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/at-70-keith-jarrett-is-learning-how-to-bottle-inspiration/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/at-70-keith-jarrett-is-learning-how-to-bottle-inspiration/#comments Sun, 10 May 2015 16:51:02 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/at-70-keith-jarrett-is-learning-how-to-bottle-inspiration/
  • Listen to the StoryWeekend Edition SundayDownload
  • Written by NPR Staff from NPR

    Keith Jarrett hit a milestone this past week: The famed jazz pianist turned 70 years old, and he’s decided to mark the occasion with two new releases. One offers his take on two important classical works; the other, Creation, documents how his creative process plays out in front of a host of live audiences.

    For Jarrett, inspiration and execution occur almost simultaneously. He doesn’t know what he’s going to play when; he sits down to play a concert and simply allows the music to come to him. Creation is a collection of live recordings from throughout 2014, reshuffled into what could pass as one long improvised performance.

    Jarrett spoke with NPR’s Rachel Martin about the challenge of arranging those disparate moments into something cohesive, and how the experience compares to one of his most famous performances ever. Hear the radio version at the audio link, and read an edited version of their conversation below.

    Rachel Martin: The first track on this album, “Part I,” is from June 2014 at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. What was it about this piece that felt like a beginning?

    Keith Jarrett:

    I felt that while I was playing it. And that helped me so much, because if you take nine tracks and you figure out what the permutations would be from one to nine, every possible order, that’s really hard. But if you know what should come first, what it did is it set me up with how I felt after I played the last note. Did it end in a major key? What key was it? What was the feeling? What part of the keyboard was I playing on?

    My principle up to now has been to not edit out anything, so almost everything that’s come out has been a single concert with a single audience — and that started to freak me out, really. [This time] I had to become a producer. I had to sequence this thing, and I thought that was gonna take months. But the very first sequence I came up with is what you hear.

    Your voice comes in at a couple different points on these recordings, almost involuntarily.

    Oh, it’s always involuntary.

    Well, I’ll tell you this: I’ve long wondered what happens to you in those moments. I remember listening to The Köln Concert, and when your voice comes in — I’d never heard anything like that. The first time I heard that I was in my early 20s, and I thought, “What has moved him?”

    I’m trying to think of the right way to put this: It’s potential limitlessness that I’m feeling at that moment. If you think about it, it’s often in a space between phrases, [when I’m thinking,] “How did I get to this point where I feel so full?” And if you felt full of some sort of emotion you would have to make a sound. So that’s actually what it is — with the trio, without the trio, solo. Luckily for me, I don’t do it with classical music.

    Have you ever felt compelled to?

    I had to be taught by conductors, mostly.

    They told you to knock it off?

    No, I knew better already; I was trained classically. But one time, I missed my entrance in a very simple Mozart piece because I was listening to to the orchestra and they sounded so beautiful. And the conductor turned around and said, “Don’t listen.” That ruined me, man. That destroyed my interest in constantly staying in that world, because my main job is listening. If you’re improvising and you’re not listening, the next second that comes up, you have nothing to say.

    Not only are you 70 this year, but it’s the anniversary of an important performance: The Köln Concert happened 40 years ago. How do you think back on that particular event?

    I think about the bad Italian food I had, and was served last, as I was supposed to start playing. I think of the fact that they rented the wrong piano, and then had gotten rid of the rented truck, so they couldn’t get the right piano. Not only was it the wrong piano, it was the wrong brand of piano.

    Keith, you are fixating on negative details!

    No, I’m just saying, that’s the first thing that comes up, because those were preparatory to the music.

    As I walked on stage, I remember putting my fist up, with the engineers watching and my producer Manfred [Eicher]. We almost sent the engineers home — it might never have been recorded, because of everything being wrong. The piano sounded terrible. Manfred had to work on the sound like a crazy person afterwards.

    So that music almost never existed, because of all those mishaps.

    Exactly. And then it did exist, and I was in the car driving with Manfred and we had a little cassette in there. And we looked at each other and said, “Oh, man. This has to come out.”

    You knew it was good.

    Yes.

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/at-70-keith-jarrett-is-learning-how-to-bottle-inspiration/feed/ 0
    Sharon Freeman On Piano Jazz http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/sharon-freeman-on-piano-jazz/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/sharon-freeman-on-piano-jazz/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 23:02:38 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/sharon-freeman-on-piano-jazz/ Written by from NPR

    In addition to being a lauded pianist, composer and arranger, Sharon Freeman is an accomplished French-horn player. She’s worked with many jazz greats, including Gil Evans, Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton and Charlie Haden.

    In 1988, Freeman was Marian McPartland‘s guest on Piano Jazz, where she demonstrated her skill as a pianist in standards such as “Body And Soul” and “Heaven,” along with her own composition “Waltz For Achim.”

    Originally broadcast in the spring of 1988.

    Set List
    • “Waltz For Achim” (Freeman)
    • “Heaven” (Ellington)
    • “Shiny Stockings” (Foster)
    • “Scratchin’ In The Gravel” (Williams)
    • “All Blues” (Davis)
    • “Body And Soul” (Green, Heyman)
    • “Stella By Starlight” (Young, Washington)
    • “Then I’ll Be Tired Of You” (Harburg, Schwartz)
    • “Roll ‘Em” (Williams)
    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/sharon-freeman-on-piano-jazz/feed/ 0
    Violinist Federico Britos Returns To The Hot Club http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/violinist-federico-britos-returns-to-the-hot-club/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/violinist-federico-britos-returns-to-the-hot-club/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 03:23:22 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/violinist-federico-britos-returns-to-the-hot-club/ Written by Greg Allen from NPR

    On a recent Friday night in downtown Miami, restaurant tables were full in an outdoor plaza. There were well-dressed couples, children running around and a complimentary rum tasting. And on stage, leading a sextet and playing his white electric violin, was 76-year-old Federico Britos. He’s one of the premier violinists of Latin jazz, with a career spanning more than 60 years. But even among jazz aficionados, he’s not well-known.

    That may be because, for much of his career, he made his living playing with orchestras in Cuba, Venezuela and Miami. But, from his earliest years as a young violinist in Uruguay, Britos has also played jazz.

    His latest project, Federico Britos Presents: Hot Club Of The Americas, takes him back to those days. Britos first began playing violin when he was 5 in Uruguay, studying classical technique. He says he’d been playing for several years before he’d heard North American jazz artists on the radio. Before long, he was jamming with them at the Hot Club de Montevideo. He found that the violin can bring a special sound and texture to the music. “It’s a seasoning,” he says. “It adds a different flavor to jazz.”

    After 20 years living in Miami, Britos is most comfortable in Spanish. In an interview recently, he was translated by his friend and bass player, Renyel Rivero. The Hot Club of Montevideo, he said, was just that — a club. Some members played Dixieland, while others like him favored the hot swing style pioneered by musicians like Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli.

    “Through the embassy, all the different groups throughout the ’60s that came to visit Uruguay had contact with these Hot Club groups,” Britos says. “They would come, hang out and meet, and they would be part of the jam sessions and they got to know everybody.”

    Among the greats with whom he recalls playing: Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Roy Eldridge. It was at the Hot Club de Montevideo that Britos also met and played with Oscar Aleman, a consummate guitarist and showman from Argentina. Britos already knew his music from records.

    As he talked, he tucked his violin under his chin and played a tune he’d learned from a recording and later played with Aleman, the jazz standard “Rose Room.” Britos compares Aleman to the great Belgian jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and describes Aleman’s style. “Improvisation ideas that were very pretty, phrases with a lot of feeling,” he said. “When he would accompany me, he would push me; he would create a foundation that was very special. He would make me feel like I was in the air while I was being featured.”

    Britos has always balanced his love of swing jazz with his orchestral playing. In 1960, he moved to Havana, where he played with the orchestras of the Cuban National Opera and Ballet companies. From his first day there, he says, he also plunged into Cuban popular music and jazz. Cuban saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera credits him with introducing bossa nova to the island. When he came to Miami in the ’90s, Britos reunited with some of his Cuban musical friends. That’s when producer Nat Chediak first heard him. “To hear Federico,” Chediak says, “is to fall under his spell.”

    Chediak produced an album Britos recorded with Cuban piano great Bebo Valdes, and says Britos can play anything. “You’re doing Federico a great injustice to call him an Afro-Cuban violinist, a pop-music violinist, a jazz violinist,” Chediak says. “Federico Britos is a violinist all in caps.”

    In his newest recording, Britos goes back to his earliest influences: Django Reinhardt and the Quintette of the Hot Club of France, and especially the group’s violinist, Stephane Grappelli.

    Although their paths sometimes crossed in Europe and America, Britos never met Grappelli. He was inspired to write an orchestral suite for the French violinist that includes Britos’ arrangement of Charlie Chaplin’s tune “Shine.” Grappelli heard a recording, Britos says, and was intrigued at how he changed the harmonies and updated the chord changes.

    Later, in a phone conversation with Grappelli, Britos says he explained his thinking. He re-imagined the piece “so that the guitar player could improvise it the way Django would have if he would have been living in that moment.”

    In his new recording, Britos’ band takes classic Hot Club of France tunes and blends them with Afro-Cuban rhythms. “Djangology,” a Grappelli-Reinhardt classic, is reset as a guaracha.

    Britos started with a list of more than 80 classic Hot Club tunes. Bass player Renyel Rivero describes an early meeting with their producer. “He asked Federico, ‘How would you play “Dark Eyes,'” he says. As Rivero talks, Britos begins playing the tune, and then stops and taps out, on the top of his violin, a Latin rhythm.

    In the recording, “Dark Eyes” is a traditional Russian melody played as a type of rumba, a guaguanco. “La Vie En Rose,” another classic, is performed as a danzón; “I’m Confessin’ That I Love You” becomes a bolero.

    After more than six decades of performing, Britos is full of energy and stories. He recalls a time in 1956 when he met the celebrated classical violinist Jascha Heifetz and played for him. Britos says he told Heifetz that he’d love to be able to play just a fourth of what the maestro did. Heifetz said forget it. “If you practice a lot,” Heifetz said, “you won’t be able to play a fourth. You’ll be able to play a small fraction of what I play. Nobody plays like I play.” Britos continues the story. “And then he smiled and said, ‘But me, no matter how much I study, I’ll never be able to play jazz the way you play.'”

    Federico Britos’ stories are almost as entertaining as his music.

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/violinist-federico-britos-returns-to-the-hot-club/feed/ 0
    Jazz Sound Trio – “Nothing Like You” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/jazz-sound-trio-nothing-you/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/jazz-sound-trio-nothing-you/#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 22:17:30 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=346222 The Jazz Sound Trio is led by Dr. Joyner and features two in-demand regional players who also teach in the PLU jazz program—bassist Clipper Anderson and percussionist, Mark Ivester. The trio invited two saxophone-playing PLU students to join in: Zack Miller and Brandon Lee Cierly.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/jazz-sound-trio-nothing-you/feed/ 0 0:04:01 The Jazz Sound Trio is led by Dr. Joyner and features two in-demand regional players who also teach in the PLU jazz program—bassist Clipper Anderson and percussionist, Mark Ivester. The trio invited two saxophone-playing PLU students to join in: Za[...] The Jazz Sound Trio is led by Dr. Joyner and features two in-demand regional players who also teach in the PLU jazz program—bassist Clipper Anderson and percussionist, Mark Ivester. The trio invited two saxophone-playing PLU students to join in: Zack Miller and Brandon Lee Cierly. KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    Live Studio Session: Spotlight On The PLU Jazz Program – The Jazz Sound Trio With Special Guests http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/live-studio-session-spotlight-plu-jazz-program-jazz-sound-trio-special-guests/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/live-studio-session-spotlight-plu-jazz-program-jazz-sound-trio-special-guests/#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 22:00:12 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=346210 David Deacon-Joyner in the KPLU Tacoma studios.
ZACH POWERS Clipper Anderson in the KPLU Tacoma studios.
ZACH POWERS Mark Ivester in the KPLU Tacoma studios.
ZACH POWERS Zack Miller and Brandon Lee Cierly in the KPLU Tacoma Studios for a live studio sesson.
ZACH POWERS Zack Miller and Brandon Lee Cierly in the KPLU Tacoma Studios for a live studio sesson.
ZACH POWERS Zack Miller and Brandon Lee Cierly in the KPLU Tacoma Studios for a live studio sesson.
ZACH POWERS Part of the KPLU record collection in the Tacoma studios.
ZACH POWERS

    For years, Pacific Lutheran University has had a first-rate jazz education program.  These days it’s overseen by Dr. David Deacon-Joyner, an honored jazz educator, a terrific pianist and a great guy to hang out with.

    The Jazz Sound Trio is led by Dr. Joyner and features two in-demand regional players who also teach in the PLU jazz program—bassist Clipper Anderson and percussionist, Mark Ivester.

    In this live studio session, hosted by Robin Lloyd, the trio invited two saxophone-playing PLU students to join in.  They are Zack Miller and Brandon Lee Cierly.  The session kicks off with a feature for the trio, Nothing Like You.  After a bit of conversation with Robin, Dr. Joyner brings in Zack and Brandon for Misty, followed by Autumn Leaves.  The three veteran players and the two up-and-comers all bring out the best in each other in this delightful session.

    Special thanks to Street Bean Espresso for providing coffee at KPLU Studio Sessions.

    You can also find our Studio Sessions available as a video podcast in iTunes.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/live-studio-session-spotlight-plu-jazz-program-jazz-sound-trio-special-guests/feed/ 0
    Vijay Iyer Trio: Tiny Desk Concert http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/vijay-iyer-trio-tiny-desk-concert/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/vijay-iyer-trio-tiny-desk-concert/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 03:21:56 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/vijay-iyer-trio-tiny-desk-concert/

    Written by Patrick Jarenwattananon from NPR

    Vijay Iyer is probably best known as a pianist and bandleader in the African-American creative improvisational tradition — most say “jazz” for short — though he’s also several other things in music. He’s a composer of chamber, large-ensemble and mixed-media works; a Harvard professor; a student of Indian classical music; a father and New York City resident. Committed as he is to multiplicity, there’s one place where you can see many of his interests distilled at once: in the trio he’s led for nearly a dozen years.

    The long-standing relationship Iyer has forged with Stephan Crump (bass) and Marcus Gilmore (drums) accommodates all sorts of risk and translates into reward. The three play daring games of rhythmic interaction. They take Iyer’s pieces designed for strings or big band and reduce without losing vitality. They do John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk, Flying Lotus and M.I.A.

    The morning after a gig in Washington, D.C., the trio got up to visit NPR headquarters before a noon train back to New York. (There was a lot of espresso involved.) In one continuous performance, Iyer, Crump and Gilmore treated us to a few pieces from Iyer’s deep catalog, including two from the new album Break Stuff — ending with the scintillating “Hood,” inspired by pioneering Detroit techno DJ Robert Hood. After the blaze of the main set, they played a calm and pretty theme dedicated to the late poet and activist Amiri Baraka; it originally came Iyer’s suite for string quartet and piano Time, Place, Action. There’s excitement, daring, overload and speed in Vijay Iyer’s music, but, as we were reminded: Just like anyone else, he looks for beauty, too.

    For more from the Vijay Iyer Trio, check out its performance for Jazz Night In America — recorded on Wednesday, May 6, and archived afterward.

    Set List

    • “Diptych”
    • “Time, Place, Action — Excerpt 1 (Libra)”
    • “Questions Of Agency”
    • “Hood”
    • “Time, Place, Action — Excerpt 2 (For Amiri Baraka)

    Credits

    Producers: Bob Boilen, Colin Marshall; Audio Engineer: Brian Jarboe; Videographers: Colin Marshall, Morgan McCloy, Maggie Starbard; Assistant Producer: Olivia Merrion; photo by Olivia Merrion/NPR

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/vijay-iyer-trio-tiny-desk-concert/feed/ 0
    A New Jazz Suite For Head, Shoulders, Knees And Toes http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/a-new-jazz-suite-for-head-shoulders-knees-and-toes/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/a-new-jazz-suite-for-head-shoulders-knees-and-toes/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 04:23:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/a-new-jazz-suite-for-head-shoulders-knees-and-toes/ Synovial Joints, after the different ways the human body moves. The MacArthur Fellow explains how nature inspires him.]]> Written by from NPR

    Is there a modern-day equivalent to Duke Ellington? Or Ornette Coleman?

    Who are the people today who think differently about jazz — who have created new forms, and expanded the musical vocabulary?

    For 30 years, saxophonist Steve Coleman has been pushing the music forward, traveling the world to collect new sounds, rhythms and ideas. Along the way he’s mentored many of the most exciting younger artists in jazz — musicians like Ambrose Akinmusire, Jason Moran and Vijay Iyer.

    Steve Coleman’s new album features a compelling four-part suite for large ensemble. Each movement is named after parts of the body. The suite, and the album, are called Synovial Joints — after the flexible, often complex joints found in places like shoulders, elbows, knees, hips, fingers and wrists.

    “I found the most inspiration over my life in nature,” Coleman says. “It just kind of hit me in an inspirational way because I saw a lot of musical motion in the way melodies connect and in the way rhythms connect. What I was imagining when I was doing improvisation was what kind of motion the different joints allow, in terms of they connect.”

    In an interview with NPR’s Arun Rath, heard at the above audio link, Coleman talks about the three different groups of musicians that came together for this project, his “camouflage orchestration” and a recent conversation with Sonny Rollins.

    “We were talking about being in this kind of meditative state, almost like yoga or something like this, where we play from,” Coleman says. “You want to get to the point where you actually don’t feel like you’re thinking or doing anything — that energy is just working through you. That’s the ideal point you want to get to — we don’t always get there. What I did with this record was that I played, 20-25 improvisations, and I picked the ones that did the best job of getting to that place. And you can hear it afterward — you know when you’ve hit it.”

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/a-new-jazz-suite-for-head-shoulders-knees-and-toes/feed/ 0
    Improvised Music Project/Tyrant Lizard – “All The Things You Are” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/improvised-music-projecttyrant-lizard-all-are/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/improvised-music-projecttyrant-lizard-all-are/#comments Sat, 02 May 2015 13:00:36 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=343433 The members of Tyrant Lizard are all involved in the University Of Washington’ Improvised Music Project.  When they came to KPLU for a live studio session, they performed an adventurous arrangement of “All The Things You Are.”

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/improvised-music-projecttyrant-lizard-all-are/feed/ 0 0:04:51 The members of Tyrant Lizard are all involved in the University Of Washington’ Improvised Music Project.  When they came to KPLU for a live studio session, they performed an adventurous arrangement of “All The Things You Are.” The members of Tyrant Lizard are all involved in the University Of Washington’ Improvised Music Project.  When they came to KPLU for a live studio session, they performed an adventurous arrangement of “All The Things You Are.” KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    Shirley Horn On Piano Jazz http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/shirley-horn-on-piano-jazz/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/shirley-horn-on-piano-jazz/#comments Sat, 02 May 2015 02:44:52 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/shirley-horn-on-piano-jazz/ Written by from NPR

    Jazz musicians have long admired pianist and vocalist Shirley Horn (1934–2005), whose sensitive and relaxed playing style and unique vocals earned her comparisons to fellow jazz greats such as Count Basie and Nat King Cole. In this Piano Jazz session from 1995, Horn brings her unmistakable contralto to a set that includes “Wouldn’t It Be Lovely” and “End Of A Beautiful Friendship.” Host Marian McPartland performs her own original tune, “Days Of Our Love.”

    Originally broadcast in the fall of 1995.

    SET LIST
    • “End Of A Beautiful Friendship” (Kahn, Styne)
    • “You Don’t Know Me” (Walker, Arnold)
    • “Isn’t It Romantic” (Rodgers, Hart)
    • “Days Of Our Love” (McPartland)
    • “Wouldn’t It Be Lovely” (Lerner, Loewe)
    • “I Thought About You” (Mercer, VanHeusen)
    • “Old Devil Called Love” (Roberts, Fisher)
    • “Shirley’s Blues” (McPartland)
    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/shirley-horn-on-piano-jazz/feed/ 0
    Improvised Music Project/Tyrant Lizard – “Stegosaurus” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/improvised-music-projecttyrant-lizard-stegosaurus/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/improvised-music-projecttyrant-lizard-stegosaurus/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 13:00:50 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=343431 The members of Tyrant Lizard are all involved in the University Of Washington’ Improvised Music Project.  When they came to KPLU for a live studio session, they took us into their collective musical vision as they played an original composition called “Stegosaurus.”

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/05/improvised-music-projecttyrant-lizard-stegosaurus/feed/ 0 0:04:51 The members of Tyrant Lizard are all involved in the University Of Washington’ Improvised Music Project.  When they came to KPLU for a live studio session, they took us into their collective musical vision as they played an original composition call[...] The members of Tyrant Lizard are all involved in the University Of Washington’ Improvised Music Project.  When they came to KPLU for a live studio session, they took us into their collective musical vision as they played an original composition called “Stegosaurus.” KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    Venezuela’s National Jazz Orchestra Returns http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/venezuelas-national-jazz-orchestra-returns/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/venezuelas-national-jazz-orchestra-returns/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 03:24:58 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/venezuelas-national-jazz-orchestra-returns/ Written by from WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

    This year Venezuela celebrates the 40th anniversary of its national youth music education program, known as El Sistema. Part of the celebration is to send one of its newest bands, a national jazz ensemble, on its second tour of the U.S. — where jazz was born. In 2007, drummer Andrés Briceño helped to seed Simón Bolívar Big Band Jazz, and has directed its growth beyond the canonical American repertoire to incorporate the work of Venezuelan and other Latin American composers.

    Jazz Night In America visits Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola within Jazz at Lincoln Center to meet the accomplished student musicians of the big band, and the conductor who is central to jazz in Venezuela.

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/venezuelas-national-jazz-orchestra-returns/feed/ 0
    Improvised Music Project/Tyrant Lizard – “Don’t Fence Me In” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/improvised-music-projecttyrant-lizard-dont-fence-in/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/improvised-music-projecttyrant-lizard-dont-fence-in/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 20:46:31 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=343414 The members of Tyrant Lizard  are all involved in the University Of Washington’ Improvised Music Project. When they came to KPLU for a live studio session, they immediately stated their improvisational intentions by beginning the show with a gorgeous version of Don’t Fence Me In.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/improvised-music-projecttyrant-lizard-dont-fence-in/feed/ 0 0:05:41 The members of Tyrant Lizard  are all involved in the University Of Washington’ Improvised Music Project. When they came to KPLU for a live studio session, they immediately stated their improvisational intentions by beginning the show with a gorgeou[...] The members of Tyrant Lizard  are all involved in the University Of Washington’ Improvised Music Project. When they came to KPLU for a live studio session, they immediately stated their improvisational intentions by beginning the show with a gorgeous version of Don’t Fence Me In. KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    How Bessie Smith Ushered In The Jazz Age http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/how-bessie-smith-ushered-in-the-jazz-age/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/how-bessie-smith-ushered-in-the-jazz-age/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 05:24:01 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/how-bessie-smith-ushered-in-the-jazz-age/ Jazz Night In America host Christian McBride breaks down her influence and legacy.]]> Blues singer and songwriter Bessie Smith is the subject of an upcoming HBO biopic. Bettmann/Corbis

    Blues singer and songwriter Bessie Smith is the subject of an upcoming HBO biopic.
    Bettmann/Corbis

    Written by from NPR

    Jazz and blues are often treated as one and the same — but how did one end up taking over and surpassing the other, ushering in the jazz age?

    That’s a subject of an upcoming HBO biopic, called Bessie, about singer and songwriter Bessie Smith and her mentor Ma Rainey. Jazz bassist and composer Christian McBride, host of NPR’s Jazz Night In America and a regular guest on All Things Considered, spoke with host Audie Cornish about Bessie Smith’s legacy.

    An edited transcript of their conversation follows.


    Audie Cornish: So I’m excited to talk about this because the star of this movie is Dana Owens, a.k.a. Queen Latifah. She started out in hip-hop and has definitely done more than one jazz album actually, the first of which came out in 2004. Anytime you do something like this, there’s going to be some comparison.

    Christian McBride: Well, I think we could talk about both in the same conversation. I’m very impressed that Latifah took this on because I certainly feel that out of all of today’s modern artists — popular artists that is — is that she would be the most well-equipped. And I say that from experience, because I had a chance to work with her many times. I played on her second jazz CD called Trav’lin’ Light. People don’t even really have any clue just to how talented she really really is — and for her to take on Bessie Smith, I applaud her.

    Can you talk about style a little bit, because the thing about Bessie Smith is: Because she and Rainey and other people in the blues were precursors to the jazz singers that we’re all familiar with, we almost take their sound for granted, right? Like you hear it, but you forget that this was the initial sound. This is where it started.

    This is very much the initial sound. Bessie Smith was known as the “empress of the blues.” She was born in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Bessie Smith is the one that really brought that sort of — the modern blues sound, and Bessie Smith was pretty much the queen of that area.

    At the time that she is becoming popular this is when the Harlem Renaissance is getting underway, and she sells so many records that she saves Columbia records from bankruptcy. Just so people can understand kind of how big of a star she was, and at the time she was a star, vinyl records were just coming into being.

    Christian, let’s talk about her style a little bit. The first thing I noticed was diction. You know, we’re talking early days of recording, and I can understand every word.

    Yes, well, she has that little growl every now and then when she says certain words, and that really kind of comes from what gospel singers were doing. And someone asked the question, like, “what’s the difference between gospel and blues?” I think it’s a simple word. It’s the simple changing of the word “God” to “baby” or “sweetheart” or something like that. It’s the same sound, the same feel. It’s that same passion. And she was the prototype. Everyone from Billie Holiday to Ella Fitzgerald — although they weren’t known as blues singers, you can hear a lot of that — the phrasing, the diction, all of that from Bessie Smith.

    What to you is the difference between jazz and blues? Is it the kind of thing like these days we say ‘hip-hop’ and ‘rap’ and, do we use it interchangeably?

    Yeah. When you think of jazz, certain words like sophistication, elegance come to mind. Blues is really sort of the foundation, I mean because you can’t have jazz without blues, no matter how many intellectuals will try to make that argument. You cannot have jazz without blues, so to me the big difference between jazz and blues is really kind of hard to say verbally, but you know it when you hear it and you know it when you feel it. There’s more things in jazz, whereas blues is sort of a raw emotion.

    Given what you talked about in terms of the period and what was happening, what do you think at the end of the day, Bessie Smith’s legacy is? I mean, I think it’s interesting that this film is even being made, frankly, because she’s not a figure I think — even though her name is well-known — she’s not talked about very much.

    You know, when you think of the ’20s and you think of modern jazz, you think of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Well for those of us who know, it’s the same with Bessie Smith, and her predecessor Ma Rainey. They really started the modern blues/jazz singer. It started with people like Bessie Smith.

    It’s funny, I hadn’t thought of it in terms of gender actually, but that makes a lot of sense. These are twin. These are, in terms of the building of jazz — these things are bookends.

    Absolutely, and if you listen to any singer. I mentioned earlier, I think Billie Holiday has a very large sense of the blues in her voice, and if you listen to Billie Holiday right behind Bessie Smith, you can’t help, but go, “Oh, OK, I hear where she got some of that.” Obviously it’s one’s own personality flourishing, but you’ve got to get ideas from somebody.

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/how-bessie-smith-ushered-in-the-jazz-age/feed/ 0
    Live Studio Session : Improvised Music Project / Tyrant Lizard – Don’t Fence Us In http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/live-studio-session-improvised-music-project-tyrant-lizard-fence/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/live-studio-session-improvised-music-project-tyrant-lizard-fence/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 21:43:57 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=343075 Click to view slideshow.

    The members of Tyrant Lizard are all involved in the University Of Washington’s Improvised Music Project.  When they came to KPLU for a live studio session, they immediately stated their improvisational intentions by beginning the show with a gorgeous version of Don’t Fence Me In.  (So the first thing we knew about the band was that they have a sense of humor.)

    From there they took us further into their collective musical vision as they played an original composition called Stegosaurus followed by an adventurous arrangement of All The Things You Are.

    Over the past few years some of the world’s best known jazz musicians have come into our studios for live sessions, but this session from the young and gifted Tryant Lizard is one of the loveliest we’ve ever presented.

    Songs:

    1. Don’t Fence Me In
    2. Stegosaurus
    3. All The Things You Are

    Special thanks to Street Bean Espresso for providing coffee at KPLU Studio Sessions.

    You can also find our Studio Sessions available as a video podcast in iTunes.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/live-studio-session-improvised-music-project-tyrant-lizard-fence/feed/ 4
    First Listen, Kamasi Washington, ‘The Epic’ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/first-listen-kamasi-washington-the-epic/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/first-listen-kamasi-washington-the-epic/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 10:03:26 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/first-listen-kamasi-washington-the-epic/ Written by Patrick Jarenwattananon from NPR

    The word “epic” sits cheerily amid the most overused hyperbole of our age. Teenage bros proclaim their recent “pretty epic” mild successes; sports commentators call anything which ends dramatically an “epic game”; the Internet-literate are quick to point out an “epic FAIL.” But what else do you call a three-CD, nearly three-hour album anchored by a 10-piece jazz band, featuring a 32-piece orchestra and 20-member choir, and driven by the daydream of an imaginary martial arts grandmaster?

    The Epic is the title of the new recording from 34-year-old saxophonist and composer Kamasi Washington, a musician you may have heard but not heard of. That’s his horn all over the newest releases by fellow Southern Californians Kendrick Lamar and Flying Lotus. (The Epic is being issued by Brainfeeder, the record label Lotus co-founded.) Washington has toured with Snoop Dogg, Raphael Saadiq and Chaka Khan; his jazz credentials include work with elders like Gerald Wilson, Stanley Clarke and Kenny Burrell. The singing electric bassist Thundercat (Stephen Bruner) and his brother, drummer Ronald Bruner Jr., are lifelong friends; in fact, Washington has known most of his bandmates since high school in in South Central Los Angeles.

    The confluence of those experiences — of participating in a huge and diverse LA jazz scene, of making music people actually dance to, of working with like-minded peers for years — emerges here as scope and grandeur. The Epic swims in rhythmic crosscurrents, with two bassists, two keyboard players, two drummers. It’s made tall and wide by the presence of strings and voices, made forceful and direct by horn solos and singer Patrice Quinn. It seems intentionally to overwhelm, in an immersive way; it’s music to be swept up by and revisited after the wave subsides.

    In working with so many future-forward musicians, you might expect Washington’s music to be equally slippery and resistant to categorization. Surely it is to some extent, as his band pulls from a huge bag of tricks. It also likes a driving modal swing groove or a knotty post-bop horn melody; it plays the blues and the standard “Cherokee.” They execute these ideas with such bigness, and such a wide color palette, and a mission to remake the word “jazz” in the image of their own generation. That’s the feat here. You wouldn’t be wrong to call that ambition epic.

    Read the full story here.

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/first-listen-kamasi-washington-the-epic/feed/ 0
    Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano – “Muevete En D” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/omar-sosa-quarteto-afrocubano-muevete-en-d/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/omar-sosa-quarteto-afrocubano-muevete-en-d/#comments Sat, 25 Apr 2015 13:00:29 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=340687 Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano perform “Muevete En D” live in the KPLU Seattle studios. Quarteto Afrocubano consists of Sosa, Ernesto Simpson (drums), Childo Tomas (electric bass) and Leandro Saint-Hill (sax and flute). Together they present music that is compelling, uplifting and somehow charmed…music that fills the soul while also always making room for the ‘spirits.’

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/omar-sosa-quarteto-afrocubano-muevete-en-d/feed/ 0 0:03:17 Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano perform “Muevete En D” live in the KPLU Seattle studios. Quarteto Afrocubano consists of Sosa, Ernesto Simpson (drums), Childo Tomas (electric bass) and Leandro Saint-Hill (sax and flute). Together they pr[...] Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano perform “Muevete En D” live in the KPLU Seattle studios. Quarteto Afrocubano consists of Sosa, Ernesto Simpson (drums), Childo Tomas (electric bass) and Leandro Saint-Hill (sax and flute). Together they present music that is compelling, uplifting and somehow charmed…music that fills the soul while also always making room for the ‘spirits.’ KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    The Bad Plus Joshua Redman At Detroit Jazz Festival http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/the-bad-plus-joshua-redman-at-detroit-jazz-festival/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/the-bad-plus-joshua-redman-at-detroit-jazz-festival/#comments Sat, 25 Apr 2015 06:02:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/the-bad-plus-joshua-redman-at-detroit-jazz-festival/ Written by from WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

    Saxophonist Joshua Redman and the collaborative trio The Bad Plus both stand among the most celebrated, thoughtful and prominent jazz acts of the last couple decades. That, and their constrasting aesthetic sensibilities, made it at least news when they first got together in 2011. As it turns out, that collaboration bore lasting fruit: After a series of gigs last summer, they went into the studio with each others’ tunes to record The Bad Plus Joshua Redman (say it out loud), to be released in late May.

    Jazz Night In America was at the Detroit Jazz Festival last year to capture the new quartet, fresh out of the studio.

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/the-bad-plus-joshua-redman-at-detroit-jazz-festival/feed/ 0
    Stanley Cowell On Piano Jazz http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/stanley-cowell-on-piano-jazz/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/stanley-cowell-on-piano-jazz/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 22:10:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/stanley-cowell-on-piano-jazz/ Written by from NPR

    Marian McPartland hosts pianist Stanley Cowell for this 1999 episode of Piano Jazz, recorded before an audience at NPR’s studios in Washington. Known for his brilliant and highly personal approach, Cowell bridges traditional and contemporary styles of jazz. He and McPartland challenge each other in inventive duets, and Cowell performs his composition “Equipoise.”

    Originally broadcast in the winter of 1999.

    Set List
    • “Bright Passion” (Cowell)
    • “Anthropology” (Parker, Gillespie, Bishop)
    • “Love Walked In” (Gershwin, Gershwin)
    • “Warm Valley” (Ellington)
    • “Equipoise” (Cowell)
    • “Waltz for Debby” (Evans, Lees)
    • “Tenderly” (Gross, Lawrence)
    • “Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise” (Romberg, Hammerstein)
    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/stanley-cowell-on-piano-jazz/feed/ 0
    Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano – “Sad Meeting” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/omar-sosa-quarteto-afrocubano-sad-meeting/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/omar-sosa-quarteto-afrocubano-sad-meeting/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 13:00:30 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=340685 Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano performs “Sad Meeting” live in the KPLU Seattle studios. Quarteto Afrocubano consists of Sosa, Ernesto Simpson (drums), Childo Tomas (electric bass) and Leandro Saint-Hill (sax and flute). Together they present music that is compelling, uplifting and somehow charmed…music that fills the soul while also always making room for the ‘spirits.’

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/omar-sosa-quarteto-afrocubano-sad-meeting/feed/ 0 0:06:34 Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano performs “Sad Meeting” live in the KPLU Seattle studios. Quarteto Afrocubano consists of Sosa, Ernesto Simpson (drums), Childo Tomas (electric bass) and Leandro Saint-Hill (sax and flute). Together they pr[...] Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano performs “Sad Meeting” live in the KPLU Seattle studios. Quarteto Afrocubano consists of Sosa, Ernesto Simpson (drums), Childo Tomas (electric bass) and Leandro Saint-Hill (sax and flute). Together they present music that is compelling, uplifting and somehow charmed…music that fills the soul while also always making room for the ‘spirits.’ KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    The Legacy Of The Jazz Organ In Philadelphia http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/the-legacy-of-the-jazz-organ-in-philadelphia/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/the-legacy-of-the-jazz-organ-in-philadelphia/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 09:52:57 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/the-legacy-of-the-jazz-organ-in-philadelphia/ Written by from WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

    In mid-century Philadelphia, dozens of organists reshaped jazz into a popular, swinging, danceable contemporary music. Often in trios with drums and guitar or saxophone, these organ players made church instruments into portable orchestras — a tradition that continues to the present day in Philadelphia.

    Jazz Night In America visits Philadelphia’s World Café Live, where WXPN, WRTI and the Philadelphia Jazz Project organized a tribute to three native sons and daughters of the organ tradition: Jimmy Smith, Shirley Scott and Charles Earland. Many top local performers help explain what made their city’s jazz organ culture thrive.

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/the-legacy-of-the-jazz-organ-in-philadelphia/feed/ 0
    Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano – “4U” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/omar-sosa-quarteto-afrocubano-4u/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/omar-sosa-quarteto-afrocubano-4u/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 21:48:30 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=340644 Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano performs “4U” live in the KPLU Studios. Quarteto Afrocubano consists of Sosa, Ernesto Simpson (drums), Childo Tomas (electric bass) and Leandro Saint-Hill (sax and flute). Together they present music that is compelling, uplifting and somehow charmed…music that fills the soul while also always making room for the ‘spirits.’

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/omar-sosa-quarteto-afrocubano-4u/feed/ 0 0:07:18 Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano performs “4U” live in the KPLU Studios. Quarteto Afrocubano consists of Sosa, Ernesto Simpson (drums), Childo Tomas (electric bass) and Leandro Saint-Hill (sax and flute). Together they present music that [...] Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano performs “4U” live in the KPLU Studios. Quarteto Afrocubano consists of Sosa, Ernesto Simpson (drums), Childo Tomas (electric bass) and Leandro Saint-Hill (sax and flute). Together they present music that is compelling, uplifting and somehow charmed…music that fills the soul while also always making room for the ‘spirits.’ KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    The 2015 NEA Jazz Masters Concert http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/the-2015-nea-jazz-masters-concert/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/the-2015-nea-jazz-masters-concert/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 05:12:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/the-2015-nea-jazz-masters-concert/ Written by from NPR

    In a concert and ceremony at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, the National Endowment for the Arts recognizes its 2015 class of Jazz Masters. The performance will be webcast live Monday at 7:30 p.m. EDT here and via arts.gov, jazz.org, wbgo.org and Sirius XM radio.

    The NEA honors four individuals in 2015: composer and pianist Carla Bley, saxophonist and composer George Coleman, saxophonist and composer Charles Lloyd and venue proprietor Joe Segal.

    The honor is the most substantial federally supported award for jazz artistry; those recognized each receive a $25,000 grant. This concert includes performances by Bley and Lloyd, as well as appearances by other NEA Jazz Masters and guest artists from multiple generations. Bassist Christian McBride, who is also host of NPR’s Jazz Night In America, will emcee.

    Since 1982, the NEA has now recognized 136 Jazz Masters (or group awards), all of whom were living at the time of their selection. In addition to the one-time grant, recipients are also invited to participate in NEA-sponsored performances and education programs across the country.

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/the-2015-nea-jazz-masters-concert/feed/ 0
    Live Studio Session: Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano—Making Room For The Spirits http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/live-studio-session-omar-sosas-quarteto-afrocubano-making-room-spirits/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/live-studio-session-omar-sosas-quarteto-afrocubano-making-room-spirits/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 22:36:11 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=340331 Click to view slideshow.

    Pianist and composer Omar Sosa left his home in Cuba in 1993 but carried his Yoruban spiritual beliefs with him.  These beliefs are the underpinning of his approach to jazz, as you’ll hear in this live studio session, hosted by Abe Beeson.

    Quarteto Afrocubano consists of Sosa, Ernesto Simpson (drums), Childo Tomas (electric bass) and Leandro Saint-Hill (sax and flute).  Together they present music that is compelling, uplifting and somehow charmed…music that fills the soul while also always making room for the ‘spirits.’

    Songs:

    1. 4U
    2. Sad Meeting
    3. Muevete En D

    Special thanks to Street Bean Espresso for providing coffee at KPLU Studio Sessions.

    You can also find our Studio Sessions available as a video podcast in iTunes.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/live-studio-session-omar-sosas-quarteto-afrocubano-making-room-spirits/feed/ 0
    Jazz’s ‘Sound Seeker’ Finds Ancient Strings From Hungary And Greece http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/jazzs-sound-seeker-finds-ancient-strings-from-hungary-and-greece/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/jazzs-sound-seeker-finds-ancient-strings-from-hungary-and-greece/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 15:29:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/jazzs-sound-seeker-finds-ancient-strings-from-hungary-and-greece/
  • Listen NowMorning EditionDownload
  • Written by from NPR

    Jazz musician and composer Charles Lloyd has what you might call an “eclectic” resume.

    The saxophonist has played with hundreds of jazz musicians — but also B.B. King, the Beach Boys, tabla master Zakir Hussain.

    Tonight, Charles Lloyd will be inducted as a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master. He’s being honored, in part, for fusing jazz with musical styles from other places and times.

    You can hear that on his new album, Wild Man Dance, which features two ancient instruments from Europe.

    “I decided that I wanted to have strings,” Lloyd says. “But I wanted to have the strings of a cimbalom and the lyra.”

    The cimbalom is a kind of dulcimer, but huge. Its strings stretch over a big wooden box, and are hit with long padded hammers.

    “I heard this many years ago when I played a festival in Hungary,” Lloyd says. “It was being played at my hotel after the concert by a gypsy orchestra, and I just loved its sonority so much.”

    Lloyd also brings in the Greek lyra.

    “It sounds sort of like a violin but it has the beauty and the wisdom of antiquity,” Lloyd say. “So I was trying to mix antiquity with modernity, is what’s going on here.”

    Lloyd wrote the music on Wild Man Dance for the Jazztopad festival in Wroclaw, Poland, where he performed and recorded those compositions. He was inspired — he says — by the lush landscape.

    “There was lots of greenery, there were lots of trees,” he says. “It was like a poetic kind of environment for me. Once I started composing the music, I couldn’t stop. It just gushed forth.”

    Now 77, Charles Lloyd describes himself as a “sound seeker.”

    “The deeper I go in the music, the further I still have to go,” he says. “It’s like the creator has a carrot on a stick, you know, and I get closer and then he keeps moving it and he says, ‘Not yet, Charles.'”

    After Lloyd receives his NEA Jazz Master award, he’ll be premiering the Wild Man Dance suite for American audiences this month.

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/jazzs-sound-seeker-finds-ancient-strings-from-hungary-and-greece/feed/ 0
    Henry Mancini On Piano Jazz http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/henry-mancini-on-piano-jazz/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/henry-mancini-on-piano-jazz/#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 22:22:06 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/henry-mancini-on-piano-jazz/ Written by from NPR

    Composer, arranger and pianist Henry Mancini (1924–1994) wrote some of the most memorable tunes of the modern era. Throughout his career, he recorded more than 90 albums and won 20 Grammys and four Oscars.

    To mark what would have been Mancini’s 91st birthday, Piano Jazz brings you this episode from 1985. He discusses his muse — the movie screen — and performs several favorites, including “Days Of Wine And Roses.”

    Originally broadcast in the spring of 1985.

    This week on Song Travels, Ginny Mancini remembers Henry Mancini.

    Set List
    • “Two For The Road” (H. Mancini, L. Bricusse)
    • “Meggie’s Theme” (H. Mancini)
    • “The Pink Panther” (H. Mancini)
    • “Mr. Lucky” (H. Mancini)
    • “Dreamsville” (H. Mancini, R. Evans, J. Livingston)
    • “Charade” (H. Mancini, J. Mercer)
    • “Days Of Wine And Roses” (H. Mancini, J. Mercer)
    • “Moon River” (H. Mancini, J. Mercer)
    • “Baby Elephant Walk” (H. Mancini)
    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/henry-mancini-on-piano-jazz/feed/ 0
    Celebrating Billie Holiday’s Centennial With Cassandra Wilson http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/celebrating-billie-holidays-centennial-with-cassandra-wilson/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/celebrating-billie-holidays-centennial-with-cassandra-wilson/#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 21:01:33 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/celebrating-billie-holidays-centennial-with-cassandra-wilson/ Jazz Night catches Wilson live in concert, and catches up with key collaborators.]]> Written by from WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

    Among the celebrations of Billie Holiday’s centennial birthday anniversary is a new album from Cassandra Wilson. In Coming Forth By Day, one of today’s top jazz vocalists salutes one of her idols, drastically rearranging the Holiday songbook.

    Jazz Night In America features Cassandra Wilson’s blues, country and folk-tinged delivery as she performs her Billie Holiday tribute, and catches up with some key collaborators of both Wilson and Holiday herself.

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/celebrating-billie-holidays-centennial-with-cassandra-wilson/feed/ 0
    John Pizzarelli On Mountain Stage http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/john-pizzarelli-on-mountain-stage/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/john-pizzarelli-on-mountain-stage/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 22:30:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/john-pizzarelli-on-mountain-stage/ Written by from NPR

    John Pizzarelli makes his fifth visit to Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Keith Albee Theater in Huntington, W.Va. Pizzarelli took up guitar at age 6, following in the footsteps of his father, jazz legend Bucky Pizzarelli. Like his father before him, John Pizzarelli is one of the few masters of the seven-string guitar: “Growing up, seven-string guitars were free in my house,” he says, “so that’s what I learned to play.”

    Pizzarelli is a fine singer, as well: His high, crooning vocals recall those of jazz legend Chet Baker. A master of interpreting swing-era standards and beyond, Pizzarelli has appeared in Dream, a 1997 Broadway production of Johnny Mercer songs; opened for Frank Sinatra on tour; and released an album of Beatles covers. (That eventually led to his recruitment to play guitar on Paul McCartney’s album of standards, Kisses On The Bottom.) Pizzarelli appears here with Konrad Paszkudzki on piano, drummer Kevin Kanner and brother Martin Pizzarelli on upright bass.

    SET LIST
    • “Satin Doll”
    • “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore”
    • “In A Mellow Tone”
    • “How High The Moon”
    • “Something’s Gotta Give”
    • “Jamboree Jones”
    • “I Thought About You”
    • “I Remember You”
    • “I’m With You”
    • “Skylark”
    • “Accentuate The Positive”
    • “I Feel Fine”
    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/john-pizzarelli-on-mountain-stage/feed/ 0
    In ‘Snowy Egret,’ A Fierce New Band Takes Flight http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/in-snowy-egret-a-fierce-new-band-takes-flight/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/in-snowy-egret-a-fierce-new-band-takes-flight/#comments Sat, 11 Apr 2015 23:03:19 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/in-snowy-egret-a-fierce-new-band-takes-flight/
  • Listen NowAll Things ConsideredDownload
  • Written by from NPR

    Jazz pianist and composer Myra Melford’s latest album is a suite of music inspired by the Memory Of Fire trilogy — a three-volume history of the Americas by Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano.

    More simply, it’s the recorded debut of what she calls a “killer band.”

    In an interview with NPR’s Arun Rath, she explains the genesis of Snowy Egret — the name of both her new album and the group behind it.

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/in-snowy-egret-a-fierce-new-band-takes-flight/feed/ 0
    A Young Jazz Saxophonist Wants You To ‘Get Up And Move’ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/a-young-jazz-saxophonist-wants-you-to-get-up-and-move/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/a-young-jazz-saxophonist-wants-you-to-get-up-and-move/#comments Sat, 11 Apr 2015 13:03:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/a-young-jazz-saxophonist-wants-you-to-get-up-and-move/ PDX Soul is a departure from her previous straight-ahead jazz albums.]]> Written by from NPR

    Since she was a teenager, saxophonist Hailey Niswanger has been drawing attention in the jazz world, and not just because she’s a woman in bands most often populated by men. Niswanger’s alto- and soprano-sax mastery is captivating. Now 25, she’s just released her third album as a bandleader, PDX Soul, and is preparing to go on tour with fellow Portland, Ore., native Esperanza Spalding.

    The funk-influenced PDX Soul, which finds Niswanger embracing heavy production and certain elements of smooth jazz, represents a departure from her straight-ahead jazz albums.

    “I wanted to show another side of my passion,” says Niswanger, who points to Cannonball Adderley, Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis as models of artists who have moved easily among musical styles. “Maybe it’s more prone for festival-type vibes and outdoor, standing venues — dance, get up and move.”

    Niswanger says she sees an opening among her generation for jazz in the way it crosses genre boundaries.

    “I think jazz is starting to break into other areas,” she says. “I know that this big hip-hop album that just came out, Kendrick Lamar‘s To Pimp A Butterfly, there’s jazz all over the album. There’s improvisation; there’s jazz saxophone playing all up in there. It’s definitely starting to cross over, and I think there might be a new wave of interest, especially for the younger crowd.”

    NPR’s Tamara Keith spoke with Niswanger about PDX Soul, the story of how the saxophone first called to her, and the unique challenges of playing the soprano sax. Hear their conversation at the audio link.

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/a-young-jazz-saxophonist-wants-you-to-get-up-and-move/feed/ 0
    Carmen McRae On Piano Jazz http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/carmen-mcrae-on-piano-jazz/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/carmen-mcrae-on-piano-jazz/#comments Fri, 10 Apr 2015 22:10:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/carmen-mcrae-on-piano-jazz/ Written by from NPR

    Vocalist Carmen McRae (1920-1994) was an expert on rhythm, deft phrasing and personal, bittersweet ballads. Her enigmatic, dark contralto voice helped place her among the pantheon of great female jazz singers.

    In 1994, McRae received the Jazz Master Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. On this 1985 episode of Piano Jazz, McRae accompanies herself for “As Long As I Live” and joins host Marian McPartland to perform “Carmen’s Blues.”

    Originally broadcast in the spring of 1985.

    Set List
    • “I’m Pulling Through” (Kitchings, Herzog)
    • “Sweet Lorraine” (Burwell, Parish)
    • “I Never Felt This Way Before” (Ellington)
    • “Theme For Carmen” (McPartland)
    • “As Time Goes By” (Hupfeld)
    • “Carmen’s Blues” (McPartland, McRae)
    • “As Long As I Live” (Arlen)
    • “Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry” (Cahn, Styne)
    • “I Hadn’t Anyone Till You” (Noble)
    • “Embraceable You” (Gershwin)
    • “Old Devil Moon” (Harburg, Lane)
    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/carmen-mcrae-on-piano-jazz/feed/ 0
    Remembering Ralph Sharon, Who Introduced Tony Bennett To Jazz http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/remembering-ralph-sharon-who-introduced-tony-bennett-to-jazz/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/remembering-ralph-sharon-who-introduced-tony-bennett-to-jazz/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 14:33:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/remembering-ralph-sharon-who-introduced-tony-bennett-to-jazz/ sharon_3261413b

    Written by Tom Cole from NPR

    Pianist Ralph Sharon, the longtime accompanist for Tony Bennett, died March 31 at age 91. In the audio link above, Tom Cole has a brief report for NPR’s Morning Edition, and below, Walter Ray Watson filed this remembrance for NPR Music.


    Pianist Ralph Sharon is often remembered as the guy who accidentally introduced Tony Bennett to his signature song, “(I Left My Heart) In San Francisco.”

    While preparing for a tour, he opened up a shirt drawer and found a stash of sheet music he had forgotten about. Knowing their itinerary was destined for San Francisco, he brought a certain song to Bennett, and the two rehearsed it while in Hot Springs, Ark. Countless times, Sharon retold the story that a bartender said to them both, “If you make a record of that, I’ll buy it.”

    Of course, there’s more to Ralph Sharon than an unexpected hit: He was Bennett’s accompanist and musical director for more than 40 years, encouraging the singer toward the style he’s best known for today.

    Born in England in 1923, Ralph Sharon wasn’t much of a music student until he heard records by the virtuoso jazz pianists Fats Waller and Art Tatum: “I became intrigued by them,” he said told the United Kingdom’s National Jazz Archives.

    In 1953, having played with the top mainstream jazz musicians in London, Sharon moved to New York City to pursue music. He became a naturalized citizen in the U.S., led trios, sat in at nightclubs like the legendary Harlem room Minton’s Playhouse. Some major artists played on his records such as drummer Kenny Clarke and bassist Charles Mingus.

    Sharon also took gigs accompanying jazz singers — big names at the time like Chris Connor and Carmen McRae. That reputation led Tony Bennett’s office to call Sharon. At the time, Bennett was a pop singer, and Sharon, being a strict jazz player, knew nothing about the man he was to audition for.

    Though skeptical, the audition went well. “I thought, ‘This guy sounds pretty good,'” he told the Boulder Daily Camera.

    Sharon encouraged the singer to perform and record with more of a jazz feel than the pop tunes he’d been known for. Their breakthrough together came with the jazzy 1957 album The Beat Of My Heart. Featuring drummers Art Blakey, Jo Jones and Chico Hamilton, the arrangements added heft and challenged Bennett’s vocals.

    “There’s some terrific stuff on it,” Ralph Sharon recalled to the National Jazz Archive. “Kai Winding, Herbie Mann, Al Cohn and Nat Adderley were among the great players who took part.” Major jazz figures like Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson and Dexter Gordon would eventually record with Bennett and the pianist.

    Nearly six years later, in January 1962, Sharon’s hand-in-glove piano work would sidle up to Bennett’s now-iconic intro and make way for that soaring finish of “(I Left My Heart) In San Francisco.”

    For decades, Bennett thanked his accompanist on stages around the world. Ralph Sharon kept playing locally near his Boulder, Colo. home after he retired as Bennett’s musical director in 2002.

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/remembering-ralph-sharon-who-introduced-tony-bennett-to-jazz/feed/ 0
    Simón Bolívar Big Band Jazz In Concert http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/simon-bolivar-big-band-jazz-in-concert/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/simon-bolivar-big-band-jazz-in-concert/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 14:22:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/simon-bolivar-big-band-jazz-in-concert/ Written by from WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

    The public youth music education program known as El Sistema has reached hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans, largely through participation in classical music ensembles. In 2007, drummer Andrés Briceño and head of the Simón Bolívar Conservatory of Music Valdemar Rodríguez introduced a jazz program to El Sistema, with the goal of promoting the music throughout Venezuela. The flagship ensemble, Simón Bolívar Big Band Jazz, presents the work of both American jazz masters and Venezuelan composers, and like its orchestral counterparts, has now toured the U.S.

    Jazz Night In America presents Simón Bolívar Big Band Jazz during a recent stateside sojourn, from Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola within New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center.

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/simon-bolivar-big-band-jazz-in-concert/feed/ 0
    The Great Guitars – “In A Mellow Tone” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/great-guitars-in-mellow-tone/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/great-guitars-in-mellow-tone/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 14:00:11 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=336044 The Great Guitars joined us in the KPLU studios for a live studio session.  This version of The Great Guitars includes Bucky Pizzarelli, Mundell Lowe, and John Pisano.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/great-guitars-in-mellow-tone/feed/ 0 0:04:56 The Great Guitars joined us in the KPLU studios for a live studio session.  This version of The Great Guitars includes Bucky Pizzarelli, Mundell Lowe, and John Pisano. The Great Guitars joined us in the KPLU studios for a live studio session.  This version of The Great Guitars includes Bucky Pizzarelli, Mundell Lowe, and John Pisano. KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    The Great Guitars – “Tangerine” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/great-guitars-tangerine/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/great-guitars-tangerine/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 14:00:21 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=336041 The Great Guitars joined us in the KPLU studios for a live studio session.  This version of The Great Guitars includes Bucky Pizzarelli, Mundell Lowe, and John Pisano.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/great-guitars-tangerine/feed/ 0 0:04:37 The Great Guitars joined us in the KPLU studios for a live studio session.  This version of The Great Guitars includes Bucky Pizzarelli, Mundell Lowe, and John Pisano. The Great Guitars joined us in the KPLU studios for a live studio session.  This version of The Great Guitars includes Bucky Pizzarelli, Mundell Lowe, and John Pisano. KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    The Great Guitars – “All The Things You Are” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/great-guitars-all-are/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/great-guitars-all-are/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 22:47:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=336038 The Great Guitars joined us in the KPLU studios for a live studio session.  This version of The Great Guitars includes Bucky Pizzarelli, Mundell Lowe, and John Pisano.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/great-guitars-all-are/feed/ 0 0:05:23 The Great Guitars joined us in the KPLU studios for a live studio session.  This version of The Great Guitars includes Bucky Pizzarelli, Mundell Lowe, and John Pisano. The Great Guitars joined us in the KPLU studios for a live studio session.  This version of The Great Guitars includes Bucky Pizzarelli, Mundell Lowe, and John Pisano. KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    Billie Holiday: A Singer Beyond Our Understanding http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/billie-holiday-a-singer-beyond-our-understanding/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/billie-holiday-a-singer-beyond-our-understanding/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 22:38:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/billie-holiday-a-singer-beyond-our-understanding/
  • Listen NowAll Things ConsideredDownload
  • Written by John McDonough from NPR

    Most artists belong to their times, but Billie Holiday, born 100 years ago Tuesday, fits in the present. In a way, she died before her time, just as the country was beginning to talk about race, drugs, feminism and misogyny — all of which converged in her life.

    Her death in July 1959 was only briefly noticed in the media. Few would have imagined then that the centennial of her birth would be an occasion for remembrance. But legends are about a state of mind, not a state of being, and some thrive best when they’re not in competition with a living person. This is especially true of Holiday.

    There was something special about her. Jazz musicians and some fans heard it, and so did a young record producer named John Hammond. He heard an 18-year-old Holiday sing in a small club in April 1933.

    “I listened to this girl, and I just couldn’t believe my ears that here was a singer who sounded like an instrumentalist, like one of the most advanced instrumentalists there had ever been,” Hammond once said. “So I started talking to Billie, and Billie had had a fairly checkered career by then. She’d been in jail and everything. And Billie had already been arrested for prostitution at 14.”

    In 1935, Hammond began recording her with pianist Teddy Wilson, who put together small jazz groups that included some of the best musicians in New York: Lester Young, Benny Goodman, Ben Webster.

    They sold well enough. And by the late 1930s, she had made more than 100 records. But in 1938, in the prime of her career, she ranked only 14th in the annual Down Beat reader poll. Many didn’t know her name, even at Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom.

    In 1939, Holiday heard a song called “Strange Fruit.” But Columbia refused to record it, so she made it for a tiny jazz label. It was a slow, somber, frightening dirge about an unspeakable topic — lynching.

    “Strange Fruit” changed Holiday from a jazz singer to an actress. Her performances became small, intimately structured theater. She played herself, sitting on a stool in a pin spotlight with a gardenia in her hair.

    The rest of her life became a theater of self-destruction. Her albums became increasingly difficult to listen to as her voice hardened into a gnarled cackle. She forgot lyrics. She lost her confidence.

    In July 1959, she died in a New York hospital, under arrest on drug charges and cuffed to her hospital bed. The New York Times ran a short, un-bylined obituary on page 15. She was 44 and left an estate of $1,000. Her greatest work of the ’30s was mostly out of print. Now, all that was about to change.

    Holiday’s renaissance began quietly. In 1961, she was voted to the Down Beat Hall Of Fame. Soon after, Columbia restored nearly 100 of her greatest early records. In the ’70s, Diana Ross won a Golden Globe and received an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in Lady Sings The Blues.

    Holiday’s 1941 recording of “God Bless The Child” entered the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1976. There would be another 22 posthumous Grammy wins or nominations associated with her work. In 2000, she was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Now, more than half a century after her death, every record she ever made is in print.

    Great talents who court their own doom are forever fascinating to us, because they seem beyond our understanding. Maybe that’s why Holiday became the mythic presence she is in absentia. That presence loomed larger than ever last year, when Audra McDonald brought it to Broadway in Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar And Grill. McDonald accepted her sixth Tony Award on Holiday’s behalf.

    “I want to thank all the shoulders of the strong and brave and courageous women that I am standing on … and most of all Billie Holiday,” McDonald said in her acceptance speech. “You deserve so much more than you were given when you were on this planet. This is for you.”

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/billie-holiday-a-singer-beyond-our-understanding/feed/ 0
    Live Studio Session: The Great Guitars – Mundell, Bucky, and John http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/live-studio-session-great-guitars-mundell-bucky-john/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/live-studio-session-great-guitars-mundell-bucky-john/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 20:37:49 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=335990 The Great Guitars in the  studios.  Credit Justin Steyer/KPLU

    The Great Guitars in the studios.
    Credit Justin Steyer/KPLU

    If any three living guitarists have earned the right to the name “The Great Guitars” it’s Mundell Lowe (age 92), Bucky Pizzarelli (age 89), and John Pisano (the baby of the group at 84).  From the early days of New Orleans jazz, through the swing era, to accompanying many of America’s greatest vocalists in the recording studio and television bands, these guys, collectively, have covered it all.

    In the studio session with jazz host Abe Beeson, the trio treats us to some of their favorite songs and share some of their favorite stories from their long lives in jazz.

    Song List:

    1. All The Things You Are
    2. Tangerine
    3. In A Mellow Tone

    You can also find our Studio Sessions available as a video podcast in iTunes.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/live-studio-session-great-guitars-mundell-bucky-john/feed/ 0
    School Of Jazz: Bellevue High School Jazz Combo With Mark Taylor http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/school-jazz-bellevue-high-school-combo-mark-taylor/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/school-jazz-bellevue-high-school-combo-mark-taylor/#comments Mon, 06 Apr 2015 22:01:13 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=336011 Keita Shimizu of the Bellevue High School Jazz Combo live in the studios.
Credit Justin Steyer/KPLU The Bellevue High School Jazz Combo live in the studios.
Credit Justin Steyer/KPLU Sean Mahoney of the Bellevue High School Jazz Combo live in the studios.
Credit Justin Steyer/KPLU Ryan Littrell of the Bellevue High School Jazz Combo live in the studios.
Credit Justin Steyer/KPLU Eric Yoon of the Bellevue High School Jazz Combo live in the studios.
Credit Justin Steyer/KPLU Shota Shimizu of the Bellevue High School Jazz Combo live in the studios.
Credit Justin Steyer/KPLU Jung Lee of the Bellevue High School Jazz Combo live in the studios.
Credit Justin Steyer/KPLU The Bellevue High School Jazz Combo live in the studios.
Credit Justin Steyer/KPLU

    We’ve been having a great time bringing some of the excellent regional high school jazz bands into the KPLU studios for live performances.  The musicians of the Bellevue High School Jazz band came in loaded for bear.

    The group, under the direction of Edd George and featuring mentor Mark Taylor (tenor sax), began their set with Freddie Hubbard’s Crisis and followed that with Lee Morgan’s beautiful jazz ballad, Ceora.  They wrapped it up with a true be-bop classic, Charlie Parker’s 1945 composition, Billie’s Bounce.

    Between songs, host Abe Beeson talked to Edd, Mark and the student musicians about the joys of jazz and how the music informs their daily lives.

    Bellevue High School Band Members:

    • Sean Mahoney (drums)
    • Jake Escobar (string bass)
    • Eric Yoon (piano)
    • Ryan Littrell (trombone)
    • Jungwoo Lee (clarinet)
    • Winston Zhang (tenor sax)
    • Shota Shimizu (alto sax)
    • Keita Shimizu (flute)

    Song List:

    1. Crisis
    2. Ceora
    3. Billie’s Bounce
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/school-jazz-bellevue-high-school-combo-mark-taylor/feed/ 0
    Cassandra Wilson ‘Couldn’t Wait’ To Reinvent The Billie Holiday Songbook http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/cassandra-wilson-couldnt-wait-to-reinvent-the-billie-holiday-songbook/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/cassandra-wilson-couldnt-wait-to-reinvent-the-billie-holiday-songbook/#comments Sun, 05 Apr 2015 23:24:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/cassandra-wilson-couldnt-wait-to-reinvent-the-billie-holiday-songbook/ Coming Forth By Day, one of today's premier jazz singers pays an imaginative tribute to one of her idols, born 100 years ago. As Wilson says, a simple imitation "would be almost insulting."]]> Written by from NPR

    Vocalist Billie Holiday was born 100 years ago this week. Today, her place in music history is clear.

    “I think we witness in Billie Holiday’s music the beginning of the jazz vocal age, really,” fellow vocalist Cassandra Wilson says. “Her phrasing is very conversational, and it swings — it moves with the musicians. She’s very much in charge of her place in the music. She’s in control of the story, and in control of her cadence.”

    Wilson — one of the premier jazz singers of her own age — is about to release a tribute album to Holiday, titled Coming Forth By Day. But as she says in an interview with NPR’s Arun Rath, she aspired to much more than re-creating the original iconic recordings.

    “I couldn’t wait to get inside of this material and spruce it up, reinvent it, do some wild and crazy things to it,” Wilson says. “I’m in that line of singers that really mine the emotional content of a song. You steer clear of the cliches and go straight for the heart of the song.

    “It’s beyond improper — it’s considered rude, in jazz, to imitate someone. So for me to do a tribute to Billie Holiday and imitate her style or her context would be almost insulting.”

    For example, Wilson’s take on “Don’t Explain,” a song Holiday wrote about a cheating lover, comes from an empowered perspective.

    “It’s a different version, because it takes more of a womanist reading,” Wilson says. “The reading is not so much, ‘I’m the victim,’ or ‘You cheated on me.’ It’s more of a sense of, ‘You may be doing something, but it needs to stop right now.'”

    Wilson also takes on “Strange Fruit,” a protest against racism — specifically, the lynching of African-Americans. Her version takes on renewed purpose in light of the recent high-profile police killings of unarmed black men, and the Black Lives Matter movement which rose in their wake.

    “When I sing this song, it sounds more like there’s a chorus, in terms of the musicians who join me,” Wilson says. “And it is more emphatic, because it’s ridiculous that we would still be dealing with these issues in 2015.”

    Wilson did contribute one original song, which she calls “Last Song (For Lester).” Holiday and tenor saxophonist Lester Young were the closest of collaborators — “musical soulmates,” Wilson says — who had a falling out. When Holiday first learned of Young’s death, Holiday immediately flew back to the U.S. from London to be at the funeral, where she expected to be able to sing for her dear friend. When she was barred from performing, she was devastated. “I’ll be the next to go,” she predicted — and indeed, Holiday died four months later.

    Wilson’s song imagines a message from Holiday to Young. As she sings:

    You are my morning star
    Forever rising, forever breaking my heart
    But I’d do it — I’d do it all again
    If they would let me sing the last song for you

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/cassandra-wilson-couldnt-wait-to-reinvent-the-billie-holiday-songbook/feed/ 0
    John Pizzarelli On Piano Jazz http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/john-pizzarelli-on-piano-jazz/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/john-pizzarelli-on-piano-jazz/#comments Sat, 04 Apr 2015 04:51:53 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/john-pizzarelli-on-piano-jazz/ Written by from NPR

    Guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli is one of the hottest jazz acts around. With his swinging and sophisticated style, he makes music that sounds both classic and modern. He’s the son of jazz guitarist John “Bucky” Pizzarelli, who helped him get his start.

    On this episode of Piano Jazz from 2001, host Marian McPartland and John Pizzarelli team up for “I Got Rhythm.” His brother, bassist Martin Pizzarelli, joins in for a performance of “It’s Only A Paper Moon.”

    Originally broadcast in the spring of 2001.

    Set List
    • “I Got Rhythm” (Gershwin)
    • “I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket” (Berlin)
    • “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” (Gershwin)
    • “Castles In The Sand” (McPartland, Marks)
    • “Avalon” (DeSylvia, Jolsen)
    • “Deep In A Dream” (Van Heusen)
    • “It’s Only A Paper Moon” (Arlen, Harburg, Rose)
    • “Route 66″ (Troup)
    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/john-pizzarelli-on-piano-jazz/feed/ 1
    Hot Club Of Cowtown On Mountain Stage http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/hot-club-of-cowtown-on-mountain-stage/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/hot-club-of-cowtown-on-mountain-stage/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 22:57:03 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/hot-club-of-cowtown-on-mountain-stage/ Written by from NPR

    Hot Club Of Cowtown makes its sixth visit to Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. The band formed in 1996, when guitarist and singer Whit Smith answered an advertisement placed by singer and fiddler Elana James. After moving to Austin, the pair added upright bass player Jake Erwin, and the trio quickly made a name for itself by fusing hot jazz and Western swing. The band has since become a favorite at fairs and festivals across Europe, and has opened stadium shows for Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson.

    In 2011, the trio released a collection of Western swing standards made famous by Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, titled What Makes Bob Holler. The band’s latest, Rendezvous In Rhythm, is a companion piece of sorts, produced by Lloyd Maines and featuring a collection of songs played in the hot-jazz style of legendary musicians Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt.

    SET LIST
    • “Ida Red”
    • “Slow Boat To China”
    • “The Continental”
    • “High Upon The Mountain”
    • “Three Little Words”
    • “24 Hours A Day”
    • “How High The Moon”
    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/hot-club-of-cowtown-on-mountain-stage/feed/ 0
    Home Cooking: The Philadelphia Jazz Organ Tradition In Concert http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/home-cooking-the-philadelphia-jazz-organ-tradition-in-concert/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/home-cooking-the-philadelphia-jazz-organ-tradition-in-concert/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 08:20:18 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/home-cooking-the-philadelphia-jazz-organ-tradition-in-concert/ Written by from WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

    The Hammond electronic organ was developed with churches in mind, as a lower-cost alternative to pipe organs. But in Philadelphia, a keyboard player named Jimmy Smith was inspired by early jazz experiments on the instrument, and found a devastating way to adapt the new bebop style to the Hammond B-3. It seeded a new tradition of organ players in Philadelphia — major figures like “Groove” Holmes, Jimmy McGriff, Papa John and Joey DeFrancesco, and Trudy Pitts — and kickstarted a new sound in jazz at large.

    Jazz Night In America visits Philadelphia for a history lesson and dance party: a tribute to organ masters Smith, Shirley Scott and Charles Earland with six local organists, multiple bands and three guest vocalists. With WXPN, WRTI and the Philadelphia Jazz Project, Jazz Night visits World Cafe Live for a B-3 jam featuring many of the city’s finest musicians.

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/home-cooking-the-philadelphia-jazz-organ-tradition-in-concert/feed/ 0
    Cassandra Wilson Sings Billie Holiday http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/cassandra-wilson-sings-billie-holiday/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/cassandra-wilson-sings-billie-holiday/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 07:49:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/cassandra-wilson-sings-billie-holiday/ Written by from WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

    One hundred years after she was born, Billie Holiday remains iconic in American music, not to mention jazz singing. Cassandra Wilson has made her career in jazz singing by embracing a wide range of American music, and it holds true on her latest project: a new album rearranging the Billie Holiday songbook. The new Coming Forth By Day, created with rocker Nick Cave’s producer and rhythm section, reshapes songs like “Good Morning Heartache” and “Strange Fruit” with fresh textures and resonances.

    For Billie Holiday’s centennial, Jazz Night In America presents Cassandra Wilson in concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., performing her take on the classic tunes.

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/04/cassandra-wilson-sings-billie-holiday/feed/ 0
    Three Jazz Pianists, A Generation After Apartheid http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/three-jazz-pianists-a-generation-after-apartheid/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/three-jazz-pianists-a-generation-after-apartheid/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 17:03:15 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/three-jazz-pianists-a-generation-after-apartheid/ Written by Giovanni Russonello from NPR

    In South Africa, the major art of resistance during apartheid was jazz: a melting pot where folk songs and hymns defiantly mixed with influences from South Asia, America and West Africa. South African jazz’s central formula — its equivalent to the 12-bar blues — is a buoyant, four-chord progression that even seems to evoke a blending motion.

    But after 1994, this all started to lose its revolutionary edge. Jazz musicians now enjoyed free rein, but played a less clear role in the national narrative. Today, as millennial musicians reach adulthood in a newly digitized South Africa, they’re finding new areas of relevance.

    This weekend’s Cape Town International Jazz Festival is overflowing with global talent, but the biggest rewards will come to those who pay attention to the local rising stars. In the 21 years since apartheid ended in South Africa, a new generation of musicians has grown up in a culture of open exchange.

    A jazz scene’s developments can often be tracked through its young pianists. The piano might be jazz’s least pliable instrument — it won’t let you bend notes, or easily rough them up with textures — but it’s the best at synthesizing: Ten fingers and 88 keys can combine entire families of rhythm, harmony and movement.

    The three pianists below are seasoned accompanists and natural bandleaders, and all have won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award (South Africa’s closest equivalent to first place at the Monk competition). They’ve apprenticed with esteemed older musicians and are seen as pioneers by their own generation.

    Nduduzo Makhathini, Johannesburg

    Nduduzo Makhathini grew up in Sweet Waters, a rural community in the green hills of Eastern South Africa. He remembers skipping out of church on Sunday mornings as soon as the music stopped and the sermon began. He’d bounce down the road to the next church so he could hear the next band. He wasn’t resisting spirituality — music was just more meaningful to him than words.

    “Every time my grandmother started singing a song,” he says, “I knew that was her trying to connect to something higher than ourselves. My mom tells me that it took a long time for me to start speaking words as a baby, but I could sing lots of songs. So if she wanted to teach me a word she’d just sing a word. She could teach me through music.”

    Makhathini feels he was given the gift of ubungoma, or the ability to bring about healing through music. As a teenager, it led him to look beyond the strict Christianity of his upbringing and explore Zulu belief systems. He sang in church and in a cappella isicathamiya groups, but didn’t take up the jazz piano until after he’d enrolled as a music student at the Durban University of Technology. Inspiration came via a campus copy of John Coltrane‘s A Love Supreme, and a meeting with the late jazz legend Bheki Mseleku.

    “Bheki told me about how it was important to use music to speak to our souls and change the environment, change the people we are and heal others,” Makhathini, 32, says. “That became my connection to jazz.” Over the last decade he’s gotten calls to work with most of the major jazz elders in South Africa: the late Zim Ngqawana, Herbie Tsoaeli, Feya Faku, Carlo Mombelli. Lessons have come from all angles. Saxophonist Ngqawana taught him to play music that was “focused on now, that lived for the moment.” Trumpeter Faku’s elegant music helped the young pianist become more attuned to structure. “Feya’s music says to me that you can organize your life, and you can prepare for the future,” Makhathini says.

    Last year, Makhathini released his first two albums as a leader, Mother Tongue and Sketches of Tomorrow. They’re very different records, and taken together they indicate the breadth of what he means when he talks about healing through music. Mother Tongue investigates inheritance and tradition, and music’s role in immortalizing them. In the inflections of Eastern Cape rhythm on “Let Everything Sing,” you notice the influence of Ngqawana and Tsoaeli. On “Our Father,” a low-slung, midtempo groove seems to draw equally from gospel and hip-hop. Recorded mostly with a three-horn sextet, the music offers a feeling of inevitable resolution, stoking conflicts only so they can be dissolved.

    The other album, Sketches of Tomorrow, is more an entreaty to action. It features a handful of singers and poets carrying clear messages of determination and struggle, and a looser band approach. It is an album with surprises. The sextet here features slicing guitar and free interplay that doesn’t lose its pulse — it owes equally to Ngqawana’s free-form playing and the legendary 1970s folk/funk/jazz outfit Batsumi.

    Makhathini’s playing is built of thick chords, earthbound but hopeful. He likes to conjure a low rumble, packing notes into the bottom end of the keyboard. By repeating certain tones across multiple octaves, he gives his chords a wide, chiming effect. These are ways of bringing the music low to the ground, connecting it to the terrain. Makhathini knows that to speak through the ancestors, you have to connect with the earth.

    Kyle Shepherd, Cape Town

    Kyle Shepherd makes music of the water and the air. As with most South African jazz, his tunes often loop from the root I chord to the suspense-building IV and V. With Makhathini, the big moment comes when he lands back at I. You’re waiting for the impact each time. But with Shepherd, the rising is the thing. When he hits the I, he’s at his greatest potential, just starting his ascent.

    In that regard, Shepherd, 27, is clearly a scion of Cape Town. The subgenre known as “Cape jazz” grew up there in the 1970s, blending South African vocal traditions with American jazz, African folk music, Jim Crow-era jubilee singing, and the ghoema sound developed over centuries by laborers from South Asia and the Pacific islands. Shepherd was born and raised in the Cape Flats, Cape Town’s sprawling, mixed-race community. The largely impoverished area’s music is unmistakably linked to the Atlantic Ocean: sunny but hinting at heartache, uptempo and flowing.

    When he was young, Shepherd’s mother played the organ and piano in church and the violin alongside leading Cape jazz musicians. “I heard all that music from a young age: Abdullah [Ibrahim], Robbie Jansen, Basil Coetzee,” Shepherd says. “I was really close to it — going to rehearsals, watching them workshop all their music.” He was mentored by Ibrahim, one of Cape jazz’s principal inventors, while also becoming enamored of contemporary American jazz pianists like Jason Moran and Craig Taborn.

    Shepherd enrolled in the University of Cape Town’s jazz program, but after a year and a half he left, frustrated that the curriculum overemphasized American jazz without regard for South African tradition. “They take you through the whole thing, from Jelly Roll Morton on up,” Shepherd says. “I don’t feel completely comfortable in the bebop thing. I don’t feel like I can really express myself in that mode. When I go around the world and I’m playing on the same stages as some of the best names in music, I have to think, ‘What’s in my sound that’s different from their sound?'”

    “My favorite pianists are Jason [Moran] and Craig Taborn and Vijay [Iyer] and these guys: I’m trying to fuse this all together with my sound from home, somehow,” Shepherd continues. “I was listening to the [Jason Moran and the] Bandwagon’s [live album from the Village] Vanguard, and I wanted to discuss it with my piano teacher. He was just completely not interested. That’s when I knew, OK, this school is not for me.”

    Shepherd came under the encouragement of Ngqawana, the country’s major jazz hero in the years just after apartheid. The saxophonist’s brooding, tenacious music was a melting pot unto itself, and he pushed Shepherd to embrace his own enthusiasms. Since then Shepherd has released five albums. On some he also plays saxophone, and on 2012’s South African History !X he picks up the xaru, a South African mouth bow often played in conjunction with traditional overtone singing.

    Performing recently with his trio at the Orbit, Johannesburg’s main jazz club, Shepherd called “Re-Invention / Johannesburg,” a highlight from his 2014 double-disc Dream State. The tune builds to an exultant finale; Shepherd amended it slightly here, turning its chord progression into a climb up the major scale step by step. It’s graceful and soothing, but as drummer Kesivan Naidoo established a comfortable groove, Shepherd flooded the keys with dissonance — spraying toxins, complicating the flow.

    This weekend in Cape Town, Shepherd will play with Carlo Mombell & the Stories Ensemble and with drummer Claude Cozens’ trio, which also features Benjamin Jephta on bass. In the latter group, all three musicians are in their 20s, and all come from the Cape Flats. Their electrified music is equal parts gospel, funk and Cape jazz.

    “We all grew up in the same socioeconomic situation, same type of air, and we all went to church,” Shepherd says. “To me, that trio just feels like three brothers from Cape Town playing.”

    Bokani Dyer, Cape Town

    Bokani Dyer sat in his living on a rainy day last September, sipping rooibos tea and preparing for a busy afternoon. The 28-year-old pianist had just said goodbye to Lana Crowster, a local R&B singer who had come over to record vocals for a track Dyer was producing. He was waiting for percussionist John Hassan to arrive so they could try out ideas for a TV commercial Dyer had been asked to score. Then Dyer was hoping to get a little time in on his own so that he could prepare for that evening’s gig at the Straight No Chaser Club downtown. Singer Sakhile Moleshe sat in the living room watching YouTube videos of Cuban rumba and trying to catch Dyer’s attention.

    Moleshe and Dyer co-lead the fusion band Soul Housing Project. In that group’s music, and on Dyer’s powerful 2011 album, Emancipate the Story, you can tell he’s painting from a broad palette.

    “We’re such a globalized society that our musical makeup nowadays is very diverse,” he says. “I like to listen to as much different music as possible. That includes non-jazz as well. If you listen to the modern classical composers, there are amazing ways that they use the piano — actually making the piano sound much bigger.”

    Certainly Emancipate the Story, Dyer’s second album, is about condensed power. With drums, percussion, guitar and two horns, it balances buoyancy and weight. On opener “Fanfare,” Marcus Wyatt’s trumpet and Buddy Wells’ saxophone shoot a proud declaration across the bow, while Dyer pounds his accompaniment — equal parts McCoy Tyner and Andile Yenana.

    Sunlight arrives through rain clouds in his music. The rhythms are damp and weighty, the harmonies oxygen-rich but full of concerted effort. On “Skit,” Dyer toys with a slightly bent hip-hop beat washed in harmony. It’s as if the late South African pianist Moses Molelekwa were jamming with pioneering hip-hop producer J Dilla.

    Dyer was born in Botswana. His father, the famed saxophonist and anti-apartheid activist Steve Dyer, was living in exile there with his wife. The younger Dyer remembers being a fly on the wall at jam sessions featuring some of the most notable expatriate musicians.

    Add to all this the perspective he’s gained as a producer. “It’s quite an amazing thing to start with nothing and bring all the elements together,” Dyer says. His growth in the producer’s role “has been research-driven. It’s about really asking the question, ‘Why does this sound have this effect?'”

    He does the occasional commercial, and the occasional R&B track, but he also produces fellow jazz musicians. Singer Melanie Scholtz brought him on to helm her 2013 jazz-pop record, Our Time, which features an all-star cast of South Africa’s rising stars. Scholtz will perform music from that album at the festival, with Dyer at the keyboard. (He’ll also accompany singer Zoë Modiga on her set.)

    “There’s a strong, almost older sense of confidence about him,” Scholtz says. “Even though he is a very young musician, you don’t feel that with him. Music for him is natural, it’s about bringing joy, it’s about, ‘Let’s raise the frequency, raise the vibration, work together to change the sound of the room.'”

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/three-jazz-pianists-a-generation-after-apartheid/feed/ 0
    Dardanelle Hadley On Piano Jazz http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/dardanelle-hadley-on-piano-jazz/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/dardanelle-hadley-on-piano-jazz/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 04:10:34 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/dardanelle-hadley-on-piano-jazz/ Piano Jazz session from 1984, Hadley shows off her chops in "All The Things You Are" and duets with host Marian McPartland in "It's Delovely."]]> Written by from NPR

    Jazz vocalist and pianist Dardanelle Hadley was born Marcia Marie Mullen, the daughter of vocalist and pianist Marcius Mosely “Buck” Mullen. In the 1940s, she formed a trio that played regularly at the Copacabana Club in New York, and she went on to work with jazz greats such as Bucky Pizzarelli and Grady Tate.

    In this Piano Jazz session from 1984, Hadley shows off her chops in “All the Things You Are” and duets with host Marian McPartland in “It’s Delovely.”

    Originally broadcast in the fall of 1984.

    Set List
    • “All The Things You Are” (Kern, Hammerstein)
    • “My One And Only Love” (Wood, I. Mellin)
    • “Crazy Rhythm” (Meyer, Kahn, Caesar)
    • “For A Girl” (Carter)
    • “You Do Something To Me” (Porter)
    • “Look To The Sky” (Jobim)
    • “Ode To A Rose”
    • “It’s Delovely” (Porter)
    • “Sand In My Shoes” (Schertziner, Loesser)
    • “Get Happy” (Arlen, Kohler)
    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/dardanelle-hadley-on-piano-jazz/feed/ 0
    Lily Frost On Song Travels http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/lily-frost-on-song-travels/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/lily-frost-on-song-travels/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 04:06:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/lily-frost-on-song-travels/ Written by from NPR

    In the ’90s, Canadian singer-songwriter Lily Frost got her start with the cabaret-inspired band The Colorifics. She’s since made the jump to solo artist and songwriter.

    Her musical mentor, the late Ray Condo, inspired her album Lily Swings, which recalls Regina Spektor and Feist. On this episode of Song Travels, she performs her original song “Enchantment,” as well as a few old favorites.

    Subscribe to the Song Travels Express podcast.

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/lily-frost-on-song-travels/feed/ 0
    Ingrid Jensen And Steve Treseler Play Kenny Wheeler http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/ingrid-jensen-and-steve-treseler-play-kenny-wheeler/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/ingrid-jensen-and-steve-treseler-play-kenny-wheeler/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 06:46:07 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/ingrid-jensen-and-steve-treseler-play-kenny-wheeler/

    Written by Patrick Jarenwattananon from WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

    The late, distinctively melodic jazz composer Kenny Wheeler was also a great trumpet player, though, being famously self-effacing, often declined to toot his own horn about his talents. Many musicians sang his praises, though, and when he died in 2014, saxophonist Steve Treseler and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen were inspired to revisit his music. As they traded notes and arrangements, they realized they had to record these tunes which had been so influential to their growth as musicians. So Jensen, herself a Pacific Northwest native, brought herself and her top-notch rhythm section to Treseler’s hometown of Seattle, Wash. to make an album — and play some of it for the public.

    Jazz Night In America flew to Seattle to capture Steve Treseler and Ingrid Jensen’s tribute to Kenny Wheeler, live from the musician-owned Royal Room.

    Personnel

    Steve Treseler, tenor saxophone; Ingrid Jensen, trumpet/effects; Geoff Keezer, piano; Martin Wind, bass; Jon Wikan, drums; Katie Jacobson, voice.

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/ingrid-jensen-and-steve-treseler-play-kenny-wheeler/feed/ 0
    Live Studio Session: Mt. Si High School Jazz Combo With Dan Marcus http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/live-studio-session-mt-si-high-school-jazz-combo-dan-marcus/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/live-studio-session-mt-si-high-school-jazz-combo-dan-marcus/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 00:04:34 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=331104 Click to view slideshow.

    Song List:

    1. “Green Chimneys”
    2. “One By One”
    3. “EJ’s Blues”

    Recently KPLU presented yet another excellent Puget Sound area high-school jazz band in a live studio session.  This time around it was the Mt. Si High School Jazz Combo from the Snoqualmie Valley School District.

    The band arrived with their director Matthew Wenman and their mentor, Dan Marcus (trombone).  The band had recently been selected to participate in the 2015 Essentially Ellington Competition in New York City so in addition to the band’s excellent musical performances in our studio, the students also talked about the upcoming Big Apple gig, as well as sharing their thoughts about jazz in general.

    The Mt. Si High School Jazz Combo includes:

    • Michelle John – trumpet
    • Leslie Kolke – trumpet
    • Jered Byford – trombone
    • Hayden Kajercline – sax
    • Nick Mardon – guitar
    • Jonathan Henricksen – bass
    • Will Crandell – drums

     

    You can also find our Studio Sessions available as a video podcast in iTunes.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/live-studio-session-mt-si-high-school-jazz-combo-dan-marcus/feed/ 0
    ‘Remembering Marian McPartland: A Celebration’ On Piano Jazz http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/remembering-marian-mcpartland-a-celebration-on-piano-jazz/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/remembering-marian-mcpartland-a-celebration-on-piano-jazz/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 22:34:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/remembering-marian-mcpartland-a-celebration-on-piano-jazz/ Piano Jazz.]]> Written by from NPR

    Pianist, composer and bandleader Marian McPartland was a renowned jazz artist who performed for seven decades. She was also one of the music’s great champions, as host of NPR’s Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz for 33 years.

    On what would have been her 96th birthday, musical friends from her long, full life gathered at the 92nd Street Y in New York for a celebratory concert hosted by Jon Weber. Guests featured on the broadcast of this memorial performance include Tony Bennett, Barbara Carroll, Bill Charlap, Chris Brubeck, Jon Faddis and many more. Watch a video from the performance.

    Set List
    • Barbara Carroll, “Old Friends” (Sondheim)
    • Bill Charlap and George Mraz, “A Delicate Balance” (McPartland)
    • Tony Bennett with Bill Charlap, “The Way You Look Tonight” (Kern, Fields)
    • Chris Brubeck with Bill Charlap and Doug Kassel, “Marian McPartland” (Dave Brubeck)
    • Kenny Barron and Helen Sung, “Up Jumped Spring” (Hubbard)
    • Jon Faddis and Jon Weber, “For Dizzy” (McPartland)
    • Grace Kelly, Jon Weber and Bill Crow, “Stranger in a Dream” (McPartland)
    • Jon Weber and Bill Charlap, “The Blue Bells of Scotland” (Jordan)
    • All Musicians, “When the Saints Go Marching In” (Traditional)
    Credits

    Remembering Marian: A Celebration of the Music and Life of Marian McPartland was a co-presentation of SCETV and New York’s 92nd Street Y, and recorded live at 92nd Street Y.

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/remembering-marian-mcpartland-a-celebration-on-piano-jazz/feed/ 0
    The Best Of Jazz Night In America, Season One (So Far) http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/the-best-of-jazz-night-in-america-season-one-so-far/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/the-best-of-jazz-night-in-america-season-one-so-far/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 13:21:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/the-best-of-jazz-night-in-america-season-one-so-far/ Written by Patrick Jarenwattananon from WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

    The first season of Jazz Night In America webcasts hasn’t quite finished yet, but it’s time to take stock of where we’ve been. Whether in huge concert auditoriums like Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall to tiny basement salons like Mezzrow in New York, we’ve heard from living legends, rising stars and very, very talented artists somewhere in between.

    Jazz Night In America presents highlights from its first batch of programs, featuring artists like Lou Donaldson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Wynton Marsalis, Pedrito Martinez, Robert Glasper, Miguel Zenón, Johnny O’Neal and many, many more.

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/the-best-of-jazz-night-in-america-season-one-so-far/feed/ 0
    Live Studio Session: Ann Hampton Callaway – Let The Good Times Roll http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/live-studio-session-ann-hampton-callaway-good-times-roll/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/live-studio-session-ann-hampton-callaway-good-times-roll/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 21:37:59 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=329477 Click to view slideshow.

    At KPLU and Jazz24 we would be hard-pressed to name a musician who is more fun to have as a guest in our performance studio than singer/songwriter/pianist, Ann Hampton Callaway.

    Every time she shows up, she’s ready for fun.  Oftentimes when she stops by for a studio session, we can hear her before we see her.  Her infectious laugh precedes her almost everywhere she goes.

    In this studio session, hosted by Abe Beeson, her laugh is very much in evidence, as is her great talent when she delivers her versions of Misty, In A Mellow Tone and Someone To Watch Over Me.

     

    Song List:

    1. Misty
    2. In A Mellow Tone
    3. Someone To Watch Over Me

    You can also find our Studio Sessions available as a video podcast in iTunes.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/live-studio-session-ann-hampton-callaway-good-times-roll/feed/ 0
    Ann Hampton Callaway – “Someone To Watch Over Me” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/ann-hampton-callaway-someone-watch-me/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/ann-hampton-callaway-someone-watch-me/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 16:00:39 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=328799 At KPLU and Jazz24 we would be hard-pressed to name a musician who is more fun to have as a guest in our performance studio than singer/songwriter/pianist, Ann Hampton Callaway. Every time she shows up, she’s ready for fun. Oftentimes when she stops by for a studio session, we can hear her before we see her. Her infectious laugh precedes her almost everywhere she goes.

    In this performance, hosted by Abe Beeson, her laugh is very much in evidence, as is her great talent when she delivers her version of “Someone To Watch Over Me.”

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/ann-hampton-callaway-someone-watch-me/feed/ 0 0:04:24 At KPLU and Jazz24 we would be hard-pressed to name a musician who is more fun to have as a guest in our performance studio than singer/songwriter/pianist, Ann Hampton Callaway. Every time she shows up, she’s ready for fun. Oftentimes when she stops[...] At KPLU and Jazz24 we would be hard-pressed to name a musician who is more fun to have as a guest in our performance studio than singer/songwriter/pianist, Ann Hampton Callaway. Every time she shows up, she’s ready for fun. Oftentimes when she stops by for a studio session, we can hear her before we see her. Her infectious laugh precedes her almost everywhere she goes. In this performance, hosted by Abe Beeson, her laugh is very much in evidence, as is her great talent when she delivers her version of “Someone To Watch Over Me.” KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    Ann Hampton Callaway – “Misty” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/ann-hampton-callaway-misty/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/ann-hampton-callaway-misty/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 16:00:55 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=328795 At KPLU and Jazz24 we would be hard-pressed to name a musician who is more fun to have as a guest in our performance studio than singer/songwriter/pianist, Ann Hampton Callaway. Every time she shows up, she’s ready for fun. Oftentimes when she stops by for a studio session, we can hear her before we see her. Her infectious laugh precedes her almost everywhere she goes.

    In this performance, hosted by Abe Beeson, her laugh is very much in evidence, as is her great talent when she delivers her version of “Misty.”

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/ann-hampton-callaway-misty/feed/ 0 0:05:00 At KPLU and Jazz24 we would be hard-pressed to name a musician who is more fun to have as a guest in our performance studio than singer/songwriter/pianist, Ann Hampton Callaway. Every time she shows up, she’s ready for fun. Oftentimes when she stops[...] At KPLU and Jazz24 we would be hard-pressed to name a musician who is more fun to have as a guest in our performance studio than singer/songwriter/pianist, Ann Hampton Callaway. Every time she shows up, she’s ready for fun. Oftentimes when she stops by for a studio session, we can hear her before we see her. Her infectious laugh precedes her almost everywhere she goes. In this performance, hosted by Abe Beeson, her laugh is very much in evidence, as is her great talent when she delivers her version of “Misty.” KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    Ann Hampton Callaway – “In A Mellow Tone” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/ann-hampton-callaway-in-mellow-tone/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/ann-hampton-callaway-in-mellow-tone/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 22:00:21 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=328793 At KPLU and Jazz24 we would be hard-pressed to name a musician who is more fun to have as a guest in our performance studio than singer/songwriter/pianist, Ann Hampton Callaway. Every time she shows up, she’s ready for fun. Oftentimes when she stops by for a studio session, we can hear her before we see her. Her infectious laugh precedes her almost everywhere she goes.

    In this performance, hosted by Abe Beeson, her laugh is very much in evidence, as is her great talent when she delivers her version of “In A Mellow Tone.”

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/ann-hampton-callaway-in-mellow-tone/feed/ 0 0:03:23 At KPLU and Jazz24 we would be hard-pressed to name a musician who is more fun to have as a guest in our performance studio than singer/songwriter/pianist, Ann Hampton Callaway. Every time she shows up, she’s ready for fun. Oftentimes when she stops[...] At KPLU and Jazz24 we would be hard-pressed to name a musician who is more fun to have as a guest in our performance studio than singer/songwriter/pianist, Ann Hampton Callaway. Every time she shows up, she’s ready for fun. Oftentimes when she stops by for a studio session, we can hear her before we see her. Her infectious laugh precedes her almost everywhere she goes. In this performance, hosted by Abe Beeson, her laugh is very much in evidence, as is her great talent when she delivers her version of “In A Mellow Tone.” KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    Albert ‘Tootie’ Heath, Drummer Extraordinaire, Turns The Tables http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/albert-tootie-heath-drummer-extraordinaire-turns-the-tables/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/albert-tootie-heath-drummer-extraordinaire-turns-the-tables/#comments Sun, 15 Mar 2015 04:15:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/albert-tootie-heath-drummer-extraordinaire-turns-the-tables/ Written by NPR Staff from NPR

    Albert “Tootie” Heath is one of the most accomplished jazz drummers of the past 60 years. The 79-year-old has played with everyone from John Coltrane to Ethan Iverson, the piano player for The Bad Plus. Iverson and bassist Ben Street join Tootie Heath for his new album, Philadelphia Beat, named for the fertile jazz city of Heath’s upbringing — where, as a young man starting out, he once piloted a group consisting only of the drums and two horns.

    “That’s a real strange instrumentation. I mean, most people need the bass, and a lot of people like a piano in there or some melodic chordal instrument — and we didn’t have any of that,” Heath says. “But the place across the street from where I lived, some adult people were good enough to let us come in there and play in it. It must have been awful. And one guy came up and gave us 75 cents as a tip. He was drunk, of course, and he walked away — ‘Oh, you kids are great.’ And I realized: That’s a quarter apiece. Hey man, we can get paid doing this!”

    NPR’s Arun Rath had been dying to interview Heath for years. When he got the chance, it turned out the artist had some questions for him, as well. Hear their conversation, including stories about needling his band with tough arrangements and learning from the jazzmen in his own family, at the audio link.

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/albert-tootie-heath-drummer-extraordinaire-turns-the-tables/feed/ 0
    Mercer Ellington On Piano Jazz http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/mercer-ellington-on-piano-jazz/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/mercer-ellington-on-piano-jazz/#comments Sat, 14 Mar 2015 04:19:46 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/mercer-ellington-on-piano-jazz/ Written by from NPR

    Copyist, arranger and musician Mercer Ellington worked for his father, Duke Ellington, as a horn player before becoming manager of the group. He took on additional duties, including composition, resulting in his original tune “Things Ain’t What They Used To Be.”

    On this 1994 episode of Piano Jazz, Mercer Ellington joins host Marian McPartland to discuss working for his famous father, composing and Billy Strayhorn, and to play a piano duet of “C Jam Blues.” Mercer Ellington’s own composition skills shine in “Moon Mist.”

    Originally broadcast on May 21, 1994.

    Set List
    • “C Jam Blues” (E.K. Ellington)
    • “Prelude To A Kiss” (E.K. Ellington, I. Gordon, I. Mills)
    • “Chelsea Bridge” (B. Strayhorn)
    • “Moon Mist” (M. Ellington)
    • “Things Ain’t What They Used To Be” (M. Ellington)
    • “Portrait Of Mercer Ellington” (M. McPartland)
    • “In My Solitude” (E.K. Ellington, E. DeLange, I. Mills)
    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/mercer-ellington-on-piano-jazz/feed/ 0
    Somi On Song Travels http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/somi-on-song-travels/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/somi-on-song-travels/#comments Sat, 14 Mar 2015 02:58:24 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/somi-on-song-travels/ Written by from NPR

    American vocalist and songwriter Somi combines the music of her African heritage with American-style jazz, pop and soul. After her parents left Rwanda and Uganda, Somi spent 18 months living in Lagos, Nigeria; that time provided the inspiration for her 2014 album The Lagos Music Salon.

    On this episode of Song Travels, Somi and host Michael Feinstein discuss the cultural roots of her music. She performs her original “Last Song” and joins Feinstein for “Embraceable You.”

    Subscribe to the Song Travels Express podcast.

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/somi-on-song-travels/feed/ 0
    Bill Anschell Trio – “Undercurrent Event” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/bill-anschell-trio-undercurrent-event/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/bill-anschell-trio-undercurrent-event/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 18:00:10 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=327482 The Bill Anschell Trio perform “Undercurrent Event” live in the KPLU studios. The Bill Anschell trio is made up of Bill Anschell (piano), Chris Symer (bass), and Jeff Busch (drums).

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/bill-anschell-trio-undercurrent-event/feed/ 0 0:06:47 The Bill Anschell Trio perform “Undercurrent Event” live in the KPLU studios. The Bill Anschell trio is made up of Bill Anschell (piano), Chris Symer (bass), and Jeff Busch (drums). The Bill Anschell Trio perform “Undercurrent Event” live in the KPLU studios. The Bill Anschell trio is made up of Bill Anschell (piano), Chris Symer (bass), and Jeff Busch (drums). KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    Two Greats From Seattle, ‘One Of The Most Important Jazz Cities’ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/two-greats-from-seattle-one-of-the-most-important-jazz-cities/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/two-greats-from-seattle-one-of-the-most-important-jazz-cities/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 03:21:30 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/two-greats-from-seattle-one-of-the-most-important-jazz-cities/ Jazz Night In America host Christian McBride introduces two embodiments of musical versatility from the Pacific Northwest: trombonist Julian Priester and vocalist Ernestine Anderson.]]> Written by from NPR

    Jazz bassist and composer Christian McBride recently finished a week-long West Coast tour in Seattle. It reminded him of how great a town it was for jazz, both historically and presently.

    “There’s always been a very powerful jazz community in Seattle,” McBride says, citing the early careers of Ray Charles and Quincy Jones. “Quietly, it’s been one of the most important jazz cities.”

    All Things Considered‘s jazz correspondent (and the host of the public radio program Jazz Night In America) recently introduced host Audie Cornish to two more names from Seattle: trombonist Julian Priester and vocalist Ernestine Anderson.

    Ernestine Anderson, ‘A Very Rare Living Example’

    Now 86, Anderson graduated high school in Seattle before launching her professional career.

    “Ernestine Anderson, kind of, was very similar to Dinah Washington in the sense that she crossed a lot of different genres,” McBride says. “She was very well respected — is still very well respected — not just as a jazz singer, also as a pop singer, also as an R&B singer. She had a very, very strong following with the R&B crowd.”

    McBride says that Anderson’s early experience singing in church, from the time that “the basic rhythm of traditional gospel still was a swing rhythm,” also affects how she phrases. He theorizes that a young Aretha Franklin (another musician with gospel roots) must have checked out Ernestine Anderson’s records.

    “Leaving a lot of tension, that other kind of ‘church’ thing I talked about — I think Ernestine is a very rare living example of someone who can do that in the jazz language,” McBride says. “Kind of, bring that sophisticated elegance of jazz to a more earthy and gritty soul singing.

    Julian Priester, ‘Like A Great Sixth Man’

    Trombonist Julian Priester, 79, still lives in Seattle, where he teaches music at Cornish College of the Arts. McBride spotlighted the work Priester did in the early 1970s with Herbie Hancock’s experimental band Mwandishi.

    “This period in music — not just in jazz, but all across the board — it seemed like everything was bleeding into one another,” McBride says. “Everybody was experimenting with these other sounds. Everything was on the table.”

    Of course, Priester’s career extends well beyond that time. His credits include Muddy Waters, Dinah Washington, Max Roach, Bo Diddley and Lionel Hampton, not to mention his own work as a bandleader. In all those contexts, he stands out for both his quality and versatility, according to McBride.

    “I was thinking of a basketball phrase,” McBride says. “He’s like a utility player, like a great sixth man. If you need somebody to score you some three-pointers, you always know he’s there. You always know you have one of the greatest players in your band — not because he’s a virtuoso, but he’s just really one of the greatest solid musicians on any instrument throughout the years.”

    ‘The Mark Of A True Musician’

    That adaptability links the two musicians beyond their geographic roots.

    “I’ve always thought the mark of a true musician was being able to adapt to any style,” McBride says. “Any changes that happen, you’re able to ride with it but still maintain your musical integrity and identity, while still being flexible enough to change with the times.”

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/two-greats-from-seattle-one-of-the-most-important-jazz-cities/feed/ 0
    Bill Anschell Trio – “For No One” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/bill-anschell-trio-for-one/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/bill-anschell-trio-for-one/#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2015 20:14:54 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=327478 The Bill Anschell Trio perform the Beatles song “For No One” live in the KPLU studios. The Bill Anschell trio is made up of Bill Anschell (piano), Chris Symer (bass), and Jeff Busch (drums).

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/bill-anschell-trio-for-one/feed/ 0 0:05:25 The Bill Anschell Trio perform the Beatles song “For No One” live in the KPLU studios. The Bill Anschell trio is made up of Bill Anschell (piano), Chris Symer (bass), and Jeff Busch (drums). The Bill Anschell Trio perform the Beatles song “For No One” live in the KPLU studios. The Bill Anschell trio is made up of Bill Anschell (piano), Chris Symer (bass), and Jeff Busch (drums). KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    Bill Anschell Trio – “Beignet Boogie” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/bill-anschell-trio-beignet-boogie/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/bill-anschell-trio-beignet-boogie/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 23:38:23 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=327202 The Bill Anschell Trio performs “Beignet Boogie” live in the KPLU studios. The Bill Anschell trio is made up of Bill Anschell (piano), Chris Symer (bass), and Jeff Busch (drums).

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/bill-anschell-trio-beignet-boogie/feed/ 0 0:05:54 The Bill Anschell Trio performs “Beignet Boogie” live in the KPLU studios. The Bill Anschell trio is made up of Bill Anschell (piano), Chris Symer (bass), and Jeff Busch (drums). The Bill Anschell Trio performs “Beignet Boogie” live in the KPLU studios. The Bill Anschell trio is made up of Bill Anschell (piano), Chris Symer (bass), and Jeff Busch (drums). KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    Live Studio Session: The Bill Anschell Trio http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/live-studio-session-bill-anschell-trio/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/live-studio-session-bill-anschell-trio/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 21:28:59 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=326850
  • The Bill Anschell TrioFull Performance and InterviewDownload
  • In a city full of terrific jazz pianists, Bill Anchell is in the top tier of that group.  You can see and hear him in a variety of Northwest venues, either leading his own groups or working in groups led by his many musical colleagues.

    It was a pleasure to finally get Bill into the KPLU performance studio for a live show and interview with jazz host, Abe Beeson.  Between songs we learn that Bill cut his musical teeth in prog-rock and even though his great love is mainstream acoustic jazz piano, he’s also begun experimenting in electronica.

    Settle in for some delightful music from a talented and interesting man—Bill Anschell.

    Song List:

    1. “Beignet Boogie”
    2. “For No One” (Beatles)
    3. “Undercurrent Event”

    You can also find our Studio Sessions available as a video podcast in iTunes.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/live-studio-session-bill-anschell-trio/feed/ 0
    A Jazz Pianist Taps Armenian Folk, Metal Riffs And A Sense Of History http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/a-jazz-pianist-taps-armenian-folk-metal-riffs-and-a-sense-of-history/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/a-jazz-pianist-taps-armenian-folk-metal-riffs-and-a-sense-of-history/#comments Mon, 09 Mar 2015 03:57:43 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/a-jazz-pianist-taps-armenian-folk-metal-riffs-and-a-sense-of-history/ Written by NPR Staff from NPR

    Musicians arrive at their signature sounds through all sorts of influences. For jazz pianist Tigran Hamaysan, that collection of sounds comes from far afield — he’s a fan of progressive metal bands like Tool and Meshuggah — as well as from his backyard.

    Hamasyan was born in Armenia, moved to Los Angeles and New York, then returned to his homeland as an adult to get more in touch with his roots. His new album Mockroot is inspired partly by the work of Bedros Tourian, a 19th-century Armenian poet who died at 21. Hamaysan says he didn’t need to use Tourian’s words — indeed, the songs based on the poet’s work are sung in invented syllables from no certain language — to capture his essence.

    “Everybody considered him super-melancholy, super-dark, but I don’t agree with that. He has poems that are on the darker side, but all of his poems have light in them; you end up being enlightened and full of life after reading him,” Hamaysan says. “I like finding inspiration through poems, but not necessarily using them as lyrics to songs. Sometimes the music that I write doesn’t need to have lyrics, it just needs vowels.”

    Tigran Hamaysan spoke with NPR’s Arun Rath about exploring the diverse dark history of his small country, and why he thinks traditional approaches to piano ignore much of what the instrument is capable of. Hear their conversation at the audio link.

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/a-jazz-pianist-taps-armenian-folk-metal-riffs-and-a-sense-of-history/feed/ 0
    Christian McBride Trio – “I Guess I’ll Have To Forget” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/christian-mcbride-trio-i-guess-forget/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/christian-mcbride-trio-i-guess-forget/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 14:00:13 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=324614 Christian McBride (bass), Christian Sands (piano), and Ulysses Owens, Jr (drums) perform live in the KPLU studios.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/christian-mcbride-trio-i-guess-forget/feed/ 0 0:07:20 Christian McBride (bass), Christian Sands (piano), and Ulysses Owens, Jr (drums) perform live in the KPLU studios. Christian McBride (bass), Christian Sands (piano), and Ulysses Owens, Jr (drums) perform live in the KPLU studios. KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    SFJAZZ Collective Plays Joe Henderson And More http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/sfjazz-collective-plays-joe-henderson-and-more/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/sfjazz-collective-plays-joe-henderson-and-more/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 11:24:33 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/sfjazz-collective-plays-joe-henderson-and-more/ Written by Patrick Jarenwattananon from WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

    Every year, each of the eight members of the SFJAZZ Collective is tasked with two writing assignments. The first: Compose a new piece specifically for the band, which gathers some of the most outstanding performers on the modern jazz scene. The second: Rearrange a composition by the elder artist that the Collective has chosen to feature that year. For the 2014-15 season, SFJAZZ is paying tribute to a tenor saxophone titan, a composer of classic tunes and a long-time San Francisco resident: the late Joe Henderson.

    From the purpose-built SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, Jazz Night In America features the SFJAZZ Collective as it reimagines Joe Henderson — both iconic standards like “Recorda-Me” and lesser-known material — and imagines new jazz works specifically for its own strengths.

    Personnel

    Miguel Zenón, alto saxophone; David Sánchez, tenor saxophone, Avishai Cohen, trumpet; Robin Eubanks, trombone; Warren Wolf, vibraphone; Edward Simon, piano; Matt Penman, bass; Obed Calvaire, drums.

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/sfjazz-collective-plays-joe-henderson-and-more/feed/ 0
    Christian McBride Trio – “Fried Pies” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/christian-mcbride-trio-fried-pies/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/christian-mcbride-trio-fried-pies/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 14:00:46 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=324611 Christian McBride (bass), Christian Sands (piano), and Ulysses Owens, Jr (drums) perform live in the KPLU studios.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/christian-mcbride-trio-fried-pies/feed/ 0 0:07:17 Christian McBride (bass), Christian Sands (piano), and Ulysses Owens, Jr (drums) perform live in the KPLU studios. Christian McBride (bass), Christian Sands (piano), and Ulysses Owens, Jr (drums) perform live in the KPLU studios. KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    Christian McBride Trio – “Down By The Riverside” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/christian-mcbride-trio-down-riverside/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/christian-mcbride-trio-down-riverside/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 23:15:43 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=324606 Christian McBride (bass), Christian Sands (piano), and Ulysses Owens, Jr (drums) perform live in the KPLU studios.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/christian-mcbride-trio-down-riverside/feed/ 0 0:06:10 Christian McBride (bass), Christian Sands (piano), and Ulysses Owens, Jr (drums) perform live in the KPLU studios. Christian McBride (bass), Christian Sands (piano), and Ulysses Owens, Jr (drums) perform live in the KPLU studios. KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    Live Studio Session: Christian McBride Trio – The Bass Boss Returns http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/live-studio-session-christian-mcbride-trio-bass-boss-returns/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/live-studio-session-christian-mcbride-trio-bass-boss-returns/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 22:42:31 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=324592 Click to view slideshow.

    Back in 2012, bassist Christian McBride stopped by the KPLU performance studios for a mini-concert with pianist Peter Martin.  It was one of the most elevating duet performance we’d ever heard.  

    This time, though, Christian brought his trio with him: Pianist Christian Sands, and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr.

    Together they’re one of the most in-demand trios on the international club and festival circuit.  And here they are, ready to play 3 wonderful pieces of music, just for you.

    Song List:

    1. Fried Pies
    2. I Guess I’ll Have to Forget
    3. Down By the Riverside

    You can also find our Studio Sessions available as a video podcast in iTunes.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/live-studio-session-christian-mcbride-trio-bass-boss-returns/feed/ 1
    Live Studio Session: Lynne Arriale Carla Cook And Grace Kelly http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/live-studio-session-lynne-arriale-carla-cook-grace-kelly/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/live-studio-session-lynne-arriale-carla-cook-grace-kelly/#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 21:22:36 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=324912 Click to view slideshow.

    Song List:

    1. “Feeling Good”
    2. “The Music Is The Magic”
    3. “I Love Being Here With You”

    Lynne Arriale (piano), Carla Cook (vocals) and Grace Kelly (saxophone) are all headline jazz artists who lead their own bands.  Not long ago, though, these three extremely talented players decided it would be fun to get together and pay tribute to the musicians and the songs that initially inspired them to pursue a life in jazz.

    On a recent tour through Seattle, Lynne, Carla and Grace set up shop in the KPLU performance studio for the afternoon. They gave us a mini-concert and shared their thoughts in an interview with KPLU’s Kevin Kniestedt. They talked about how they came together as a group , how they selected the music they perform and what that music means to them.

    You can also find our Studio Sessions available as a video podcast in iTunes.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/03/live-studio-session-lynne-arriale-carla-cook-grace-kelly/feed/ 0
    Marilyn And Alan Bergman On Piano Jazz http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/marilyn-and-alan-bergman-on-piano-jazz/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/marilyn-and-alan-bergman-on-piano-jazz/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 00:03:55 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/marilyn-and-alan-bergman-on-piano-jazz/ Written by from NPR

    Renowned lyricists and songwriters Marilyn and Alan Bergman have been the recipients of Oscars, Grammy, Emmys and many additional awards. Their works include “The Windmills of Your Mind” and lyrics for Yentl.

    On this 1995 episode of Piano Jazz, they collaborate with host Marian McPartland as she accompanies Alan singing their trademark songs “The Way We Were” and “Nice ‘n’ Easy.”

    Originally broadcast fall 1995.

    Set List
    • “Nice ‘n’ Easy” (Spence, Bergman, Bergman)
    • “The Windmills of Your Mind” (Legrand, Bergman, Bergman)
    • “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?” (Legrand, Bergman, Bergman)
    • “Summer Knows” (Legrand, Bergman, Bergman)
    • “Where Do You Start?” (Mandel, Bergman, Bergman)
    • “You Must Believe in Spring” (Legrand, Demy, Bergman, Bergman)
    • “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” (Legrand, Bergman, Bergman)
    • “The Way We Were” (Hamlisch, Bergman, Bergman)
    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/marilyn-and-alan-bergman-on-piano-jazz/feed/ 0
    Nellie McKay On Song Travels http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/nellie-mckay-on-song-travels/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/nellie-mckay-on-song-travels/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 23:41:35 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/nellie-mckay-on-song-travels/ Written by from NPR

    Singer, composer and actor Nellie McKay brings a comedic flair to her stage shows, including Nellie with a Z, in which she plays a cabaret veteran three times her age. Her music also has been featured on the television series Weeds, Grey’s Anatomy and Boardwalk Empire. Her latest album, My Weekly Reader, is out March 24.

    On this Song Travels, McKay and host Michael Feinstein team up for “Pennies from Heaven” and “The Nearness of You,” and she performs her original “Beneath the Underdog.”

    Subscribe to the Song Travels Express podcast.

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/nellie-mckay-on-song-travels/feed/ 0
    Clark Terry, Ebullient Jazz Trumpeter, Has Died http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/clark-terry-ebullient-jazz-trumpeter-has-died/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/clark-terry-ebullient-jazz-trumpeter-has-died/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 01:20:00 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/clark-terry-ebullient-jazz-trumpeter-has-died/ Tonight Show band. He was 94.]]>
  • Listen NowAll Things ConsideredDownload
  • Written by Felix Contreras from NPR

    Jazz trumpeter Clark Terry has died. The musician’s ebullient personality reached a nationwide audience as a member of NBC’s Tonight Show band, and the sound of his expressive trumpet inspired younger musicians for nearly eight decades. The 94-year-old musician died Saturday.

    Clark Terry said he heard the sound of jazz everywhere as a kid in St. Louis in the 1930s: on the radio, in parades and wafting in from river boats floating along the Mississippi River.

    He came up with his own sound in a junkyard with a homemade trumpet. In 1995, he described it on the NPR program Billy Taylor’s Jazz at the Kennedy Center.

    “I made it from an old discarded garden hose — I had it bound up like a trumpet, with an old piece of kerosene funnel, made it look like a bell,” he said, laughing. “Then I put a piece of old lead pipe on the end, that was my mouthpiece. I couldn’t make any music with it but I sure made a lot of noise with it!”

    He said when his neighbors couldn’t stand the racket any longer, they pitched in and bought him a real trumpet.

    Eventually, Clark Terry learned to play jazz on the bandstand. In 1948, after a stint in the U.S. Navy, Terry hit the big time with the Count Basie Orchestra. Terry said the music education that started under the watchful eyes of older musicians back in St. Louis continued with Basie.

    “His most important thing he gave to all of us was the utilization of space and time,” Terry said. “He became famous not so much for the notes he played as for the notes he didn’t.”

    After three years with Basie, Terry found himself playing with the bandleader who inspired him to make that childhood junkyard trumpet: Duke Ellington.

    Terry spent the late 1940s and most of the ’50s crisscrossing the country with Basie and Ellington. But when they went through the South there was another passenger traveling with them: Jim Crow.

    Trumpeter Jimmy Owens is a generation younger than his friend and mentor Clark Terry, but he says he’s heard Terry’s stories.

    “When we see someone like Clark Terry and is so happy, so elated at what he is performing, not knowing what he went through, it’s just amazing,” Owens says.

    Clark Terry broke through a color line in the music business in the early 1960s. When the National Urban League lobbied the NBC network to hire black musicians for its orchestra, the white players in the Tonight Show band recommended Clark Terry.

    His occasional spotlight in front of a nationwide audience included his character Mumbles, a recording studio gag that was his send up of some of the blues vocalists he played with back in St. Louis.

    Behind the humor was a jazz musician admired by his peers for his flawless technique, his crystal clear tone and musical ideas that reached all the way back to the jazz he heard as a kid.

    He devoted the last part of his career to sharing his immense knowledge through jazz education in colleges and universities. Trumpeter Jimmy Owens says jazz has lost a direct link to its earliest history — and a “natural-born educator.”

    “He knew how to answer that question to not only give the answer to that question but give you further information about a situation,” Owens says.

    With Clark Terry’s passing, the living history he shared through his playing and his teaching is now just history.

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/clark-terry-ebullient-jazz-trumpeter-has-died/feed/ 0
    New West Guitar Group – “Blue Rondo à la Turk” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/west-guitar-group-blue-rondo-a-la-turk/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/west-guitar-group-blue-rondo-a-la-turk/#comments Sun, 22 Feb 2015 13:00:01 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=320976 The New West Guitar Group performs “Blue Rondo à la Turk” live in the KPLU studios.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/west-guitar-group-blue-rondo-a-la-turk/feed/ 0 0:05:39 The New West Guitar Group performs “Blue Rondo à la Turk” live in the KPLU studios. The New West Guitar Group performs “Blue Rondo à la Turk” live in the KPLU studios. KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    New West Guitar Group – “Wichita Lineman” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/west-guitar-group-wichita-lineman/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/west-guitar-group-wichita-lineman/#comments Sat, 21 Feb 2015 13:00:53 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=320974 The New West Guitar Group performs “Wichita Lineman” live in the KPLU studios.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/west-guitar-group-wichita-lineman/feed/ 0 0:04:19 The New West Guitar Group performs “Wichita Lineman” live in the KPLU studios. The New West Guitar Group performs “Wichita Lineman” live in the KPLU studios. KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    Jackie Cain On Piano Jazz http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/jackie-cain-on-piano-jazz/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/jackie-cain-on-piano-jazz/#comments Sat, 21 Feb 2015 06:07:01 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/jackie-cain-on-piano-jazz/ Written by from NPR

    One half of the jazz vocal duo Jackie & Roy, Jackie Cain was an icon in the cabaret world, with a smooth, feathery voice. Her ability to express a full range of emotions as a performer allowed her to traverse the broad landscape of American popular song.

    In this 1999 episode of Piano Jazz, host Marian McPartland and bassist Dean Johnson join Cain for performances of “Wait ‘Til You See Her” and “You Don’t Know What Love Is.”

    Originally broadcast in the fall of 1999.

    Set List
    • “I’m Confessin’ That I Love You” (Neiburg, Reynolds, Dougherty)
    • “You’re Blasé” (Ord, Sievier)
    • “There Will Never Be Another You” (Gordon, Warren)
    • “Where Are The Good Companions?” (Wilder)
    • “Remember My Child” (Wilder, Engvick)
    • “Days Of Our Love” (McPartland, Lee)
    • “Wait ‘Til You See Her” (Rodgers, Hart)
    • “Portrait Of Jackie Cain” (McPartland)
    • “You Don’t Know What Love Is” (DePaul, Raye)
    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/jackie-cain-on-piano-jazz/feed/ 0
    New West Guitar Group – “Crooked Railroad” http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/west-guitar-group-crooked-railroad/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/west-guitar-group-crooked-railroad/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 21:53:38 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=320965 The New West Guitar Group performs “Crooked Railroad” live in the KPLU studios.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/west-guitar-group-crooked-railroad/feed/ 0 0:04:37 The New West Guitar Group performs “Crooked Railroad” live in the KPLU studios. The New West Guitar Group performs “Crooked Railroad” live in the KPLU studios. KPLU/Jazz24 no no
    Live Studio Session: New West Guitar Group http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/live-studio-session-west-guitar-group/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/live-studio-session-west-guitar-group/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 21:19:56 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/?p=320951

     

    The New West Guitar Group is one of the most eclectic guitar ensembles you’ll ever hear. This trio mixes the sound of electric and acoustic guitars as they search all genres of music for great songs to play, as well as writing many of their own.

    Founded more than 10 years ago by guitarists Perry Smith and John Storie, the group now consists of those two plus Will Brahm. During this KPLU Studio Session hosted by Abe Beeson, the group plays one original composition followed by stunning versions of Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Lineman” and Dave Brubeck’s “Blue Rondo A La Turk.”

    Song List:

    1. Crooked Railroad
    2. Wichita Lineman
    3. Blue Rondo à la Turk

    You can also find our Studio Sessions available as a video podcast in iTunes.

    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/live-studio-session-west-guitar-group/feed/ 0
    How To Turn A One-Man Band Into An 10-Piece Orchestra http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/how-to-turn-a-one-man-band-into-an-10-piece-orchestra/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/how-to-turn-a-one-man-band-into-an-10-piece-orchestra/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 03:05:52 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/how-to-turn-a-one-man-band-into-an-10-piece-orchestra/

    Written by Patrick Jarenwattananon from WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

    When trumpeter and composer/arranger Steven Bernstein first met the virtuoso pianist Henry Butler, he says he was floored. “This is it,” he recalls thinking. “This is like the music that I always imagined. Everything you ever loved about music, all being in one place, but now it’s all coming from one person.” Decades later, when they two finally began to work together, Bernstein started to study Butler’s playing — and realized there were more than a few licks that set Butler apart.

    Now that Butler and Bernstein co-lead a band called the Hot 9, they break down just how they built an ensemble around one man’s signature style.

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/how-to-turn-a-one-man-band-into-an-10-piece-orchestra/feed/ 0
    Anat Cohen & Choro Aventuroso At Jazz At Lincoln Center http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/anat-cohen-choro-aventuroso-at-jazz-at-lincoln-center/ http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/anat-cohen-choro-aventuroso-at-jazz-at-lincoln-center/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 14:23:45 +0000 http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/anat-cohen-choro-aventuroso-at-jazz-at-lincoln-center/ Written by Patrick Jarenwattananon from WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

    The jazz clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen comes from Israel, studied and lives in the Northeastern U.S., and maintains a deep affinity for Brazilian music. Specifically, she’s a specialist in the Afro-Western, improvisatory, instrumental music known as choro — an analogue of early jazz in the U.S. — where her clarinet is a lead instrument. She now helms a group called Choro Aventuroso, a quartet whose other members hail from Brazil, which takes the style as a launching pad for further adventures.

    In fall of 2014, Cohen and Choro Aventuroso had the opportunity to showcase at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Jazz Night In America presents their set from The Appel Room, overlooking New York City’s Central Park.

    Personnel

    Anat Cohen, clarinet; Vitor Gonçalves, accordion/piano; Cesar Garabini, 7-string guitar; Sergio Krakowski, pandeiro.

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .
    ]]>
    http://www.jazz24.org/2015/02/anat-cohen-choro-aventuroso-at-jazz-at-lincoln-center/feed/ 0