WBGO Blog
  • Sam Ulano Interviewed by Rob Crocker: My Life as a Jazz Drummer and Teacher

    May 2, 2008. Posted by Rob Crocker.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    sam3.jpgsamu-11.jpg

    My first blog entry for WBGO had to be, I thought, something special. Sam Ulano was just that. The name Sam Ulano has been floating around the Jazz Drum World for decades. He was a good friend to Max Roach and Buddy Rich (in this interview he talks about Max coming to perform drum clinics at Sam's studio in the Bronx, and people's misconception of Buddy). Sam, aside from being a good drummer, always had the rep' of being the Great Teacher - actually, teaching the trick of reading drum music. His students included Barry Altschul, Marvin ‘Smitty' Smith, Dion Parsons - and his first student was Art Taylor (back in the ‘40s). At the age of 87, his mind is still sharp and he continues to teach and write books.

    At the start of the interview, he is a bit off mic because he's busy putting his drumsticks in order (so he can illustrate his technique). He also starts with some drum history that I, and maybe you, never think about (from 1812-1920). This leads into his philosophy about what going wrong in drumming today. The music featured in the interview are from his recordings in the ‘50s and ‘60s, including the record that got him appearances on nationwide television and radio. In the interview, we talk about all this and much more and conclude with The Hit. - Rob Crocker

  • Cedar at Smoke .. Luciana at Kennedy Center

    May 2, 2008. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    The JazzSet team is in two cities tonight!

    I, Becca, enjoyed TWO Cedar Walton Trio sets at Smoke. Highlight of first: a Strayhorn medley -- Lush Life at a clip, Daydream with a Latin feel, Rain Check with drum breaks each of which got applause. Highlight of second: Ironclad, which Mr. Walton reminded me is on is live at Yoshi's album. He said "we could play that all night." It has a wonderful ending that they cycle over and over, and evokes Ahmad Jamal. I'm a long-time Cedar Walton fan, for his clarity, commitment, colorfulness, on top of it-ness, logic. David Williams on bass, Joe Farnsworth on drums, at Smoke through Saturday. The young guys to my left were from Japan, the young woman who sat on my right for the second set from Italy.

    Then in an email that I read when I got home, Duke Markos -- who's in Washington DC to record Luciana Souza for JazzSet -- wrote enthusiastically of her set, "Yes, real bossa nova. Using time and space (not quite as much time and space as Shirley Horn). No frenetic lines of notes. Thoughtful. Reflective. Spare in spots. You have to concentrate. The lyrics are central. She has a wonderful group. They step up when asked, nice interplay in the background. This is her last regular concert before she goes on her 1 year hiatus [to have] her baby."�

  • WBGO Widget

    May 1, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    WBGO Widget Grab

    Attention Mac users. While I was trolling on the interwebs tonight, I saw something that took me by surprise.  Gary Von Schilling (someone I don't know, but he's clearly a fan of WBGO) created a widget that directs you to our web stream.
    Find it here.
    -Josh