• Playdate With Matt Wilson Show #7: 3/18/14

    March 18, 2014. Posted by Becca Pulliam.


    Playdate #7 delivers The Message! Tonight at 6:30 p.m., host Matt Wilson presents hard bop innovator Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers live at New York City's Jazz Forum, in a vivid broadcast first heard on WBGO in 1983.

    Terence Blanchard and Donald Harrison, Jr. play trumpet and alto on "One by One," written by former Messenger Wayne Shorter. The pianist is Johnny O'Neal, still a must-see these days at New York clubs like Smalls and Smoke.

    Also from the present day, Jazz Forum's proprietor, Mark Morganelli, gives Playdate a succinct, affectionate portrait of his friend Blakey who - Mark recalls - drove a Rolls Royce.

    Morganelli sent us this photo of Mr. Blakey behind Woody Shaw at the Jazz Forum, a loft near Bleecker and Broadway.


    Born in Pittsburgh in 1919, Art Blakey emerged in the late 1940s playing drums with Thelonious Monk. He formed the Jazz Messengers in the middle 1950s.

    As host and drummer Matt Wilson says, "The Messengers were a jazz school before before there were jazz degrees from conservatories... an on-the-bandstand education."

    Over its thirty-plus years in existence, The Messengers produced more than ninety top-flight musicians, ranging from Wayne Shorter to Johnny Griffin, Wynton Kelly to Keith Jarrett, and Lee Morgan to Wynton Marsalis.

    Coincidentally, also from 1999 in this episode, we hear the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band play an exclusive arrangement of Monk's "Off Minor."

    We note with sadness the passing of drummer Ralph Penland earlier this week in California. Here on Playdate #7, Penland sounds great playing "Sky Dive" in Freddie Hubbard's sextet on New Year's Eve 1990.

    Guest tenor Ernie Watts joins the band, and the late keyboard man George Duke and bassist Stanley Clarke are in the audience at Catalina's for this set, first heard as part of New Year's Eve Coast to Coast, from WBGO and NPR.

    On the air, Freddie notes Penland's extraordinary drumming and says, "It's very seldom in Hollywood that I have a chance to play jazz... I haven't had this much fun for a long time!"

    And that's just to whet your appetite. Want more? Head to WBGO.ORG/PLAYDATE to stream all our shows and enjoy our web extras. Thanks for playing!

  • Playdate With Matt Wilson: Show Six, 3/11/14

    March 10, 2014. Posted by Alex Ariff.


    Playdate is WBGO's new series of highlights from our archive of live recordings. Tune in Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to hear Show #6, a celebration of trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie!

    Dizzy impacted countless musicians, and his legacy lives on Playdate this week, with the music music of Paquito D'Rivera, Jon Faddis, The Modern Jazz Quartet, and Ray Brown.

    Plus, a rare recording of the Terence Blanchard/Donald Harrison Group featuring pianist Mulgrew Miller.

    Miss a previous Playdate? Head to WBGO.ORG/PLAYDATE to stream Shows #1,#2, #3, #4, #5, and explore music extras and stories for every episode.

    We've crossed the midway point in this 8-part series. If you can't get the theme to Playdate--composed by drummer/host Matt Wilson--out of your head, now's the time to dig in.

    Hear the slow and fast versions of the theme, and follow along with sheet music, here You'll also be able to  revisit some of with Matt Wilson's Playdate cameos on the drum kit with Fred Hersch Trio, The Either Orchestra, and The Dewey Redman Quartet.

    DSC_0107Matt Wilson tracks Playdate at WBGO (pictured here) and at Duke Markos Studios.

    Other web extras for Playdate Show #6 this week include the full interview feature with bassist Christian McBride's on his work with mentor and fellow bassist, Ray Brown. Be sure to check back in with WBGO.ORG/PLAYDATE.

    We’ve already posted on Wayne Shorter, The Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, Ruth Brown, Sun Ra, Dorthaan Kirk, Chick Corea with Gary Burton, The "Salsa Meets Jazz" Series, Joe Henderson, The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Max Roach, Dexter Gordon, JazzSet’s coast-to-coast adventures, Bobby McFerrin with Astral Project, Mardi Gras, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and Stefon Harris.

    Tune in on Tuesday to hear the partial interview with an exclusive duet between McBride and Brown, and more music on WBGO's Playdate!

  • Trumpeter Takuya Kuroda Live At WBGO: Listen Now

    March 7, 2014. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Trumpeter Takuya Kuroda plays selections from his new Blue Note CD "Rising Son" live at WBGO with Corey King on trombone, Takeshi Ohbayashi on keyboards, Rashaan Carter on bass and Adam Jackson, drums. Enjoy!