WBGO Blog
  • Live Blog from the Village Vanguard: Kenny Barron 4

    August 27, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Kenny Barron 4 at the Vanguard

    Listen to the show.
    View some photos from tonight.

    8:59pm
    Thanks for joining us tonight. It seems that New Yorkers consistently pack the Village Vanguard when Kenny Barron plays. Tonight is no exception to that rule. Another crowded house for our live show. Enjoy.

    The Kenny Barron 4 are:
    Kenny Barron - piano
    Kiyoshi Kitagawa - bass
    Francisco Mela - drums
    Dayna Stephens - tenor saxophone

    9:00pm
    It has come.

    9:01pm
    After a brief introduction of the band members, Kenny Barron launches into "Softly As in a Morning Sunrise."
    A standard from a standard-bearer of modern improvisation.

    9:10pm
    Nice bass solo from Kiyoshi Kitagawa. I can hear him breathing. Kiyoshi has been with Kenny Barron for ten years.

    9:15pm Um Beijo, a Barron original. On the new CD, The Traveler. Lyrics on the record, sung by Grady Tate.
    "A kiss."

    9:19pm
    Dayna Stephens is a young saxophonist with a well-tempered sound. Smoky. I like it.

    9:25pm
    "Shuffle Boil," a Thelonious Monk composition. Perhaps you know about Sphere, the band that assembled after Monk's passing to continue his music in the famous Monk quartet sound? Kenny Barron, Charlie Rouse (then Gary Bartz), Buster Williams, and Ben Riley. Great records.

    9:36pm
    Shuffle Boil is at a full boil. Dayna Stephens with a Charlie Rouse-ing solo. Forgive the bad pun...People who know me will tell you I cannot help myself...

    9:38pm
    Who needs the Democratic National Convention? Give me this.

    9:42pm
    "Blame it on My Youth"
    Kenny Barron was a great admirer of pianist Tommy Flanagan. Flanagan's photo is right next to the piano at the Village Vanguard.

    9:52pm
    Another original, "New Samba."

  • Aaron Parks at J&R Music Fest - Listen Online

    August 25, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Aaron Parks at J&R Music Fest

    Pianist Aaron Parks opened the day of free music at City Hall Park on Friday. Parks played music from his newly minted Blue Note recording, Invisible Cinema, released earlier in the week. Perhaps you heard our studio session?
    Or checked out the Song of the Day on NPR?

    Anyway, as Darcy Argue points out, Parks and company (guitarist Mike Moreno, bassist Matt Penman, drummer Kendrick Scott) started promptly at 5pm. Sharp. You can thank or curse me for that (radio is a slave to the clock, folks). Or you can just listen to the full set now, and dig the shape of jazz to come.
    -Josh

  • Esperanza Spalding at J&R Music Fest - Listen Online

    August 25, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Esperanza Spalding at J&R Music Festival

    Bassist, composer, and singer Esperanza Spalding is starting her professional career on a fast upward trajectory. "With a bullet," as the record industry would say. She has plenty of star power, and she's parlayed her recent television appearances into a sideline attraction - putting new faces in the jazz crowd. Check out her set of music from the J&R Music Festival, and you'll see why. She's got skillz.
    Esperanza and the band - Leo Genovese on keys, Ricardo Vogt on guitar, Otis Brown III on drums - added serious panache to the day of free live music in City Hall Park.
    If you missed the show, listen to it now.
    -Josh