WBGO Blog
  • Mohonk Redux

    January 28, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Here are a few images from Jazz on the Mountain, Michael Bourne's yearly January retreat at the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz. Fran Kaufman took these photos. Fran is always on the scene, taking shots of music in the making. Now thru February 24th, you can see more of Fran Kaufman's jazz photography at Brooklyn Academy of Music's Brooklyn Next Art series.

    Here's Steven Bernstein and the Millennial Territory Orchestra:
    Steve Bernstein and MTO by Fran Kaufman

    Vibraphonist Joe Locke:
    Joe Locke by Fran Kaufman

    Brasileiros - Maucha Adnet, Duduka da Fonseca, and Helio Alves:
    Maucha Adnet Duduka da Fonseca Helio Alves by Fran Kaufman

    And Michael Bourne very much in his element with Maucha Adnet and Dena DeRose:
    Maucha Adnet Michael Bourne Dena DeRose by Fran Kaufman

    Finally, a note from Michael Bourne:
    "Jazz on the Mountain" was the best it's been in the 9 years I've been working the jazzfest at Mohonk Mountain House. All three nights the enormous hotel was sold-out, first time ever for the whole Martin Luther King weekend. Every concert was a hit, which was especially heartening since I book artists that I personally like. Joe Locke was especially a hit, playing opening night with The Brazilian Trio (Helio Alves, Nilson Matta, Duduka da Fonseca) and Maucha Adnet, playing an electrifying show Saturday afternoon and getting a standing O with his own new Force of Four group, joining Dena DeRose on Sunday afternoon, and highlighting the free-form "Parlor Games" on Monday morning. When I asked folks which were favorite shows, every artist was enthusiastically named, including singer Kendra Shank, Steven Bernstein and the Millenial Territory Orchestra, Hipmotism with saxophonist Erik Lawrence and singer Marya Lawrence. Marya Lawrence was the surprise of the weekend, twice playing seriously bopping solos on a slide-kazoo. The Frank Vignola Quintet blew the roof off Sunday evening with the swinging vitality of Django's Hot Club Quintet but without trying to imitate Django. I "performed" "As Time Goes By" during the Monday morning musical mixing and matching of players from the weekend. We've already pretty much programmed next year's jazzfest, which will be my 10th at Mohonk." -- MBourne

  • 2nd Annual Brooklyn Jazz Underground Festival

    January 16, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Brooklyn Jazz Underground

    You'll find a lot of good new music Thursday through Saturday nights at Smalls. All of it from Brooklyn residents. The Brooklyn Jazz Underground celebrates their 2nd Annual Festival with a bunch of shows at the affordable (!) jazz hang in the West Village.
    Here's the schedule:

    Thursday, January 17
    8:00 PM: ANNE METTE IVERSEN QUARTET
    Anne Mette Iversen (bass), John Ellis (saxophones), Danny Grissett (piano), Otis Brown III (drums)

    10:00 PM: ALAN FERBER NONET
    Alan Ferber (trombone), Scott Wendholt (trumpet), Will Vinson (alto sax), Chris Cheek (tenor sax)
    Douglas Yates (bass clarinet), Nate Radley (guitar), Bryn Roberts (piano), Matt Clohesy (bass), Mark Ferber (drums)

    12:00 AM: EMER/LACKNER/BERNARD BAND with Mark Ferber
    Benny Lackner (piano), Will Bernard (guitar), Andrew Emer (bass), Mark Ferber (drums)

    Friday, January 18
    8:00 PM: DAN PRATT ORGAN QUARTET
    Dan Pratt (tenor sax), Alan Ferber (trombone), Jared Gold (bass), Mark Ferber (drums)

    10:00 PM: JEROME SABBAGH QUARTET
    Jerome Sabbagh (tenor sax), Ben Monder (guitar), Joe Martin (bass), Ted Poor (drums)

    12:00 AM: SUNNY JAIN COLLECTIVE
    Sunny Jain (drums), Steve Welsh (tenor sax), Marc Cary (piano), Gary Wang (bass)

    Saturday, January 19
    8:00 PM: ALEXIS CUADRADO PUZZLES QUARTET
    Alexis Cuadrado (bass), Loren Stillman (alto sax), Brad Shepik (guitar), Mark Ferber (drums)

    10:00 PM: TED POOR & BAD TOUCH
    Ted Poor (drums), Loren Stillman (alto sax), Nate Radley (guitar), Gary Versace (piano/organ)

    12:00 AM: TANYA KALMANOVITCH'S GIRLFIGHT
    Tanya Kalmanovitch (viola/violin), Jacob Wick (trumpet), Aryeh Kobrinsky (bass),
    Jonathan Goldberger (guitar), Fred Kennedy (drums)

    - Josh Jackson

  • IAJE Evening 3 - Q's Jook Joint

    January 14, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Quincy Jones with WBGO’s Josh Jackson

    Sometimes, everything works in your favor. Earlier this evening, I was God - well, the The Voice of God, actually - during the NEA Jazz Master Awards Concert. I only get this opportunity once a year, so I do my best to take advantage of the moment. When you're posing as a deity in a crowd of real ones, you might as well take control of reality. Michael Bourne refers to this unique ability of customizing your universe as being a Master of Space and Time.

    Backstage was a real hang. Old friends Quincy Jones and Jon Hendricks, who share a lot of history, swapped stories about an era of music that I know only about because I read books. They lived it.

    NEA Jazz Masters Quincy Jones and Jon Hendricks

    But I'm not afraid to talk to anyone. So I struck a note with Hendricks shortly after I took this photo. At 86, he's 53 years my senior. And he has more energy then I do. No more than ten minutes later, I'm in a cab with him. We're meeting Quincy Jones and a couple of friends for dinner. This is really happening...

    Food at Spice Room

    We gather at Greg Couillard's Spice Room and Chutney Bar, a private dining area in a Yorkville mall. The room seats about 40. It's 11:30pm. The place is ours alone.

    Couillard, from one of Canada's oldest families, and David Nganga, a Kenyan, are two of Toronto's finest chefs. They combine dishes with an understanding of spices from every world trade route - Africa, Asia, Indonesia, the Middle East, the Caribbean, India. They brought five courses of their own creation, and each one worked. Giant prawns, short ribs, lamb chops on a bed of chutney, flying fish and callalou pepperpot, Alberta filet mignon with foie gras, a dessert sampler to die for, and biscuits so good that a Southerner like myself had to ask for seconds.

    Dinner with the Jazz Masters

    I did not bring a microphone, nor a recorder. This wasn't the right time for such things. Anyway, we were improvising. What I can tell you is that the conversation went many places - New Orleans, Brazil, Toledo [OH], Dubai, Vegas, Miami's South Beach, New York. The stories were many - Q on the road with Lionel Hampton, Sing a Song of Basie, teaching kids about jazz and democracy, you name it.

    What fascinated me most about Quincy Jones was his understanding of international politics. He knows the internal dynamics of most nation states, including the United States. He's an international businessman and a humanitarian. He has to know it all.

    What you need to know about Quincy is that he is jazz. He never sleeps. He uses his power and wealth to affect social change. He's sending an envoy of New Orleans musicians to the favelas of Rio this year to show the rest of the world that poverty exists, and that it's inhumane. He's followed everywhere he goes (except to tonight's dinner) by a camera crew. They're making video podcasts. You should watch them.

    He loves great food. His favorite is gumbo from New Orleans' Dooky Chase Restaurant, run by the Queen of Creole cooking, Leah Chase. Q knows the Chase family. He has the gumbo recipe, and someone cooks it for him when he's nowhere near New Orleans.

    Quincy is also opening five clubs this year, in the US and abroad. They're called Q's Jook Joints. Frankly, wherever Quincy Jones is, that's where you'll find the real Q's Jook Joint. I'm glad that for one night, I got to jam there with two masters - Quincy Jones and Jon Hendricks.

    When you're a Master of the Universe, even for just one day, you'd better know how to improvise.

    -Josh Jackson