WBGO Blog
  • Happy 88th Birthday, George Wein!

    October 3, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    George Wein, pianist and founder of the Newport Jazz Festival, talks with WBGO's Tim Wilkins about his career and the evolution of the jazz audience and music. Wein celebrates his 88th birthday with two nights of concerts at Jazz at Lincoln Center on October 3 and 4, where he will perform at 7 p.m. with Anat Cohen and Lew Tabackin on reeds, Randy Brecker on trumpet, Howard Alden on guitar, Peter Washington on bass and Lewis Nash on drums.

    To hear more of George's thoughts on the future of the music he loves, tune in to our weekly new music magazine, The Checkout, on WBGO-FM on Tuesday, October 15 at 6:30 p.m. Happy Birthday, George from all of your friends at WBGO!

    wein3

  • Dave Brubeck .. born December 6, 1920 .. in a magical new painting

    December 7, 2011. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Paul Desmond, Dave Brubeck, Iola Brubeck and the 1951 Frazer Vagabond, Painting by Chris Osborne
    FOREGROUND: Paul Desmond and Dave Brubeck of the Dave Brubeck Quartet with  Iola Brubeck in the 1951 Frazer Vagabond in San Francisco

    Chris Osborne of New Milford, Connecticut, is a magical painter of musicians and the cars they loved. She has exhibited at WBGO and the Litchfield Jazz Festival as well. In an earlier life, Chris was the jazz buyer at Tower Records near Lincoln Center.

    Today, I'm thinking of Chris because of her fantastic painting of Dave Brubeck, born 91 years ago in Concord, CA. He and his Frazer Vagabond are the subjects of one of Osborne's most recent works of art.

    "The vehicle locks in the time," she says, perhaps punning lightly on Brubeck's 1959 album Time Out. In this case, the Vagabond built by Kaiser-Frazer and the Black Hawk marquis establish a great era in Dave Brubeck's career.

    The Vagabond was one of the first cars to have a hatchback; you have to appreciate those beautiful wooden slats, ideal for rolling your luggage in and out.

    In this large format acrylic, Eugene Wright and Joe Morello -- the other two members of the 1950s Brubeck Quartet -- stand by the awning, near the street sign showing the actual Black Hawk corner. Painter Chris Osborne was able to find only two extant images of the club. One is on the Miles Davis album art; the other is a black and white photo that shows pianist John Lewis by the door. Today, there's an empty lot where the famous BH used to be.

    Painting by Chris Osborne, photograph by Patricia Bolgosano
    Painting by Chris Osborne, photograph by Patricia Bolgosano

    Chris writes, "This painting evolved as I worked on it and read Dave's bio [It's About Time by Fred M. Hall]. At first I just had a figure (Dave) and the car and was thinking of a San Francisco Bay scene, but the Black Hawk seemed like a true jazz image. Then I read how important Iola was to Dave's career, and friends kept saying 'you have to put Paul Desmond in there'... so, it became the whole quartet! . . . . [Later,] my friend Patricia Bolgosano took the excellent photos" of the Brubecks with the painting, and Dave and Chris, below.

    When Dave saw the painting for the first time, he reminisced, exactly as Chris hoped he would. He recalled driving the Vagabond across country three times, from gig to gig. It's Iola who had tipped Chris off that the car had a black exterior and was red inside. And Dave's daughter Catherine remembered how the Vagabond was the family car when the Brubecks moved to Connecticut in 1960. Eventually, Dave took off the tires and left the Frazer in the yard, where the kids played in it.

    Happy Birthday, Dave Brubeck!

    See more of Chris Osborne's wonderful artwork here, and Patricia Bolgosano's photography here.

    Brubeck signing the painting, with the artist Chris Osborne
    Brubeck signing the canvas, with the artist Chris Osborne looking on
  • Mallory Tallacksen Born August 15

    August 18, 2011. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Birthdays

    Mallory

    Congratulations to WBGO's David and Adrienne Tallacksen on the birth of this beautiful baby

  • Newark, NJ: An "Organ Town" for Over 50 Years

    April 7, 2011. Posted by Alex Rodriguez.

    Dr. Lonnie Smith plays in the studio tomorrow at 3 p.m.
    Dr. Lonnie Smith plays in the studio on Saturday at 3 p.m.

    Recently, WBGO has had the good fortune of acquiring an excellent Hammond C-3 organ (pictured below) that now sits in our studio. On Saturday, the acclaimed organist Dr. Lonnie Smith will make an appearance with his organ trio (featuring drummer Jamire Williams and guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg) to give it a whirl -- and as it turns out, this performance will be part of a long history of the jazz organ entertaining Newark audiences. Read more

  • Today is the 100th anniv of Milt Hinton's birth .. we celebrated his 80th

    June 23, 2010. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Clark Terry was an MC. Ray Brown was the lead-off bass player, with youngster John Clayton. Sylvia Sims sang. Joe Williams sang. Doc Cheatham played duets with newcomer Wynton Marsalis. NY Mayor Dinkins sent a proclamation that June 23, 1990, was "Milt Hinton Day." A choir of first-call bassists canceled whatever to come together and celebrate.

    Bassists, from left: Lynn Seaton, Lonnie Plaxico, Charnett Moffit, Jack Lesberg, Bob Haggart, Milt Hinton, John Clayton, Eddie Gomez, Dick Hyman, Richard David, Bill Crow, Major Holley, Ron Carter and Rufus Reid perform "The Judge Meets the Section" at MH 80th Birthday Concert at Town Hall on June 23, 1990.  Photo by Tad Hershorn
    Bassists, from left: Lynn Seaton, Lonnie Plaxico, Charnett Moffett, Jack Lesberg, Bob Haggart, Milt Hinton, John Clayton, Eddie Gomez, Richard Davis, Bill Crow, Major Holley, Ron Carter and Rufus Reid perform at the MH 80th Birthday Concert at Town Hall on June 23, 1990. Photo by Tad Hershorn

    As host Michael Bourne noted on the two-hour broadcast, the young-at-heart elder statesman had played on more than 600 albums. He and wife Mona Hinton were loved. Milt closed the concert with some solo slap bass, then honored a request to sing "Old Man Time." Dick Hyman on piano, Bob Rosengarden on drums. Please listen.