WBGO Blog
  • 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.

  • Piano notes

    June 10, 2010. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    10 06 10 Queen to MarianNote #1: On June 8, the Queen's official birthday, at a reception at Her Majesty's Consul General's Residence (near the UN), the Queen (not present) bestowed the honour of Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire upon Margaret Marian McPartland, who was present and seated under a good-sized Andy Warhol portrait of the Queen. Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz was noted in the presentation.

    Note #2: Sunday June13 at 6pm and Wednesday June 16 at 6:30 in a broadcast premiere on JazzSet, pianist Edward Simon - now a Guggenheim Fellow and member of the SF JAZZ Collective - presents his piece Sorrows and Triumphs . The performance by the septet Afinidad comes from the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, AR. David Binney is co-leader. The entire concert is really neat! Mystical and musical.

    David Binney at Afinidad rehearsal in Fayetteville
    David Binney at Afinidad rehearsal in Fayetteville

    The web extra piece at jazzset.npr.org is Simon's "Impossible Dream." Here's an excerpt with Gretchen Parlato vocals, Adam Rogers guitar, Scott Colley bass, Antonio Sanchez drums, Rogerio Boccato pc.

    Scott Colley
    Scott Colley

    Sorrows and Triumphs was created with support from Chamber Music America’s New Works: Creation & Presentation Program, funded generously through the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

  • Mary Lou Williams Centennial Is May 8

    May 6, 2010. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    This weekend marks 100 years since the birth in Atlanta of Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981), one of the greatest musicians and first women in jazz. Creative, profound, productive from her teens in Kansas City through her teaching at Duke University, her life inspired Duke Ellington to write “Mary Lou Williams is perpetually contemporary. Her music retains a standard of quality that is timeless. She is like Soul on Soul.”

    10 05 06 MLW lioness27
    Photo courtesy Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers Newark

    The Institute of Jazz Studies website is your quickest way to learn about her, just a click away. The online exhibit is thorough and beautifully done. Plan to spend at least 15 minutes with this multimedia biography. It comes from material in the Mary Lou Williams Collection (she was a saver and left everything to the IJS).

    This Sunday at 6pm, JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater features MLW in performances from more than 30 years ago, as she rocked the houses at the Universities of Michigan and Wisconsin. She tells and plays the history of jazz from spirituals through ragtime, blues, the “swingin left hand” a/k/a stride, and modern sounds. Only MLW could say "This music doesn't have anything to do with New Orleans or Africa. It's American music." And then she chuckles. Ronnie Boykins (1935-1980, veteran of the Sun Ra Arkestra) is on bass, Charli Persip on drums. (At Jazz Standard Tues night, when Mulgrew Miller played “Ev'ry Day I Have the Blues,” he paralleled MLW's Basie-like treatment of “Bag’s Groove” that closes the JazzSet.) Rebroadcast Wednesday at 6:30 or on demand any time.

    KEEP READING FOR A LIST OF MLW CELEBRATIONS . . .

    Read more