WBGO Blog
  • John Ellis and Double-Wide...Brooklyn Style

    July 24, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

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    If there were a roof on the Brooklyn Museum's Sculpture Garden, saxophonist John Ellis would have surely "blew it off!" His performance at the Brooklyn Museum with his band Double Wide was explosive! As part of Heart of Brooklyn and WBGO's Jazz: Brooklyn's Beat, Ellis brought his North Carolina and NOLA roots to New York's greatest borough (OK, that's one Brooklynites opinion, but whatever). Folks waited in the heat this past Saturday, posting up their prime-positioned seating to check out Ellis perform music from his latest CD Dance Like There's No Tomorrow (Hyena Records). He definitely had some genuine fans in the house, as when host Gary Walker introduced Michael Rojas as "on the tuba" a sizable amount of folks yelled out "SOUSAPHONE!" Walker was correct...it was the tuba on this day, but these audience members clearly had the CD because Ellis does indeed enlist the talented Matt Perrine on the lesser-known, low brass instrument on Dance Like There's No Tomorrow.

    The band, which was made up of Ellis, Michael Rojas on tuba, Brian Charette on the organ, and Jason Marsalis on drums, opened with the church-happy "All Up in the Aisles." As John would say, it's a "sanctified" tune.  It's definitely a get-up-and-move celebratory piece.  You can definitely feel those southern influences.
    The sets were infused with mosh, waltz, and soulful groove all in between.  Ellis' beautiful tone and gorgeous hefty floating lines made this performance really stand out for me.  Going to check out a lot of music, as I do, it's sometimes easy to let it become routine, but I love when an artist snaps me out of my trance.  Ellis is definitely one of those artists, and this is definitely one of those records.

  • Studio Session - Jaleel Shaw

    July 18, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

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    Check out alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw and his quintet live from the WBGO Performance Studio.  Shaw plays tracks from his recently released Optimism CD, which features Lage Lund (Guitar), Robert Glasper (Piano), Joe Martin (Bass), Johnathan Blake (Drums) and Jeremy Pelt (Trumpet & Flugel Horn).  Optimism has received rave reviews and it's not hard to understand why.  Shaw has proven to be a stellar musician and talented composer, winning the 2008 ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award. 

    Listen to the Jaleel Shaw Quintet's live in-studio performance here and now.

     Performers:

  • Jaleel Shaw: alto saxophone
  • Lage Lund: guitar
  • Aaron Parks: piano
  • Joe Martin: bass
  • Johnathan Blake: drums
  • Best Album Covers

    July 18, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

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    OK, I just had this crazy idea.  I'm sure it's not a first, but I never thought about doing this until today.  I was thinking to paint a mural on a wall in my apartment using my favorite album cover as inspiration.  But I have too many favorite covers, which then got me to thinking about all the dope album covers there are - not just in jazz, but in all of music.  So I thought I'd share just a slight few of my favorite album covers of all time - in no particular order.  If you have some favorites, share them with me.  I'd love to know what your mural would look like.

    Miles Davis - Bitches Brew

    Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

    Thelonious Monk - Underground

    John Coltrane - Coltrane

    The Beatles - St. Pepper's Lonely...

    Miles Davis - A Tribute to Jack Johnson

    Radiohead - Amnesiac

    Duke Ellington & John Coltrane

    Stevie Wonder - Innervisions, Talking Book, Songs in the Key...

    Marvin Gaye - What's Goin' On

    Wayne Shorter - Night Dreamer

    Herbie Hancock - Inventions and Dimensions

    The Jacksons - Destiny

    Michael Jackson - Off the Wall

    John Coltrane - A Love Supreme

    The Doors - The Doors

    Aretha Franklin - Young, Gifted and Black

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