WBGO Blog
  • Slices of Toast: The Bad Plus New Year's on JazzSet

    December 23, 2010. Posted by Alex Rodriguez.

    toast_of_the_nation_logo

    The latest edition of JazzSet, produced by WBGO Senior Producer Becca Pulliam, features music from last year's Toast of the Nation extravaganza (which happened to be my first gig with the station, as an assistant producer.) Follow the link for the full hour of music and Becca's rundown of the evening.

    The Bad Plus - 6.30.09
    The Bad Plus at the 2009 Montreal Jazz Festival
  • 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.

  • Women in Jazz - More!

    May 25, 2010. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Virgina Mayhew .. photo by Margot Schulman, Kenn Ctr
    Virgina Mayhew .. photo by Margot Schulman, Kenn Ctr

    The Fest climaxed on Saturday night with a full performance of Mary Lou's Mass featuring Carmen Lundy, the 20-piece Howard University vocal ensemble Afro Blue directed by Connaitre Miller, and the Geri Allen Trio with Kenny Davis and Andrew Cyrille (who  worked with MLW). Lundy and Allen quietly cast a breath-holding spell with Lazarus, the story of the rich man and the beggar that begins unforgettably with "There was a selfish rich man who clothed himself in purple and fine linens, there also was a beggar-man named Lazarus. . ." (at least I think those are the words). It is one of the 15 brief movements of the Mass, which also unfolds like a history of the music, and this performance was powerful and effective.

    Earlier, Geri Allen received the Lifetime Achievement Award. And she's so young! Her daughter was there to enjoy this honor with Geri.

    Virginia Mayhew led a piano-free quartet in MLW compositions including Medi I and Medi II. Virginia had taken the music off recordings at the Institute of Jazz Studies. Her saxophone has a wonderful dry tone. To open the concert, Ann Patterson's Maiden Voyage came from Los Angeles with MLW charts from the 1940s and 60s (written for Ellington). This big band played well. Carol Chaikin on tenor took some strong solos. Saxophonist Patterson is the musical heart, and has worked intensely since 1980 to organize and lead Maiden Voyage. There's no institution behind it. There's Ann. Claire Daly, bari from New York, soloed on Chief Natoma. Other tunes were Lonely Moments (which the late Hank Jones used to play), Scratchin in the Gravel, O.W., Scorpio from the Zodiac Suite, New Musical Express. The full swing to modern MLW arc was traversed.

    In the 2010-11 season, JazzSet will feature this music from the 15th annual Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center. Stay with us!