WBGO Blog
  • IAJE Day 2 - ASCAP/IAJE Commissions

    January 10, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    In 2007, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and the International Association for Jazz Education honored the life and work of Frank Foster (or Uncle Frank, as we call him at WBGO) by commissioning two works in his honor. These works were premiered at the conference today.

    The first was "Vinifero," a composition by Ayn Inserto. The tenor soloist is George Garzone. Check it out:

    Ayn Inserto - Vinifero

    The second piece is one that the composer, Tim Hagans, describes as a love story. Ingrid Jensen is the soloist. Hagans also notes that the commission refers to Frank Foster's "Shiny Stockings," but I missed it. It's called "Box of Canoli," as you might expect a love song to be named...

    Tim Hagans - Box of Canoli

    Both commissions were performed by Darcy James Argue's Secret Society North, the Canadian splinter cell of his New York Area band.

    Here's what Frank Foster had to say about it all:

    Frank Foster - ASCAP/IAJE speech

    Swing is the thing, baby. - Josh

  • Lionel Loueke - Karibu

    January 7, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Lionel Loueke - Karibu

    I just listened to the advance of guitarist Lionel Loueke's Karibu, slated for release on March 25th on Blue Note. It features the GILFEMA trio (Lionel, Massimo Biolcati and Ferenc Nemeth), with special guests...HERBIE HANCOCK and WAYNE SHORTER.

    Prepare yourself for an astonishing version of Coltrane's "Naima," featuring Wayne on soprano.

    ...when you buy the record, that is...

    Alas, don't fret! I'm not that cruel. I will chase Lionel down for an interview at IAJE in Toronto. So stay tuned to the blog action from IAJE 2008 next week.

    Incidentally, the first time I heard Lionel was with Terence Blanchard, at the Top of the Senator club. During IAJE. Terence said to me, "You gotta check out this cat from Benin. You've never heard anything like this." I'm still saying that to myself in 2008. - Josh

  • The smell of vinyl in the morning

    January 6, 2008

    joe-newman.jpg(Long ago mp3’s were stored on plastic, circular wafers known as LP’s…)

    I’ve told this story to Rhonda Hamilton on the air and was reminded of it today when I came across my LP copy of “Joe Newman Quintet at Count Basie’s.” This is a terrific album from the great Basie trumpet man (‘43-’47 & ‘52-‘61), recorded live (with a very "live" audience) at the Count’s joint in NYC in 1961. It has smoking performances of “Caravan” and “Midgets” and features Newman, Oliver Nelson on tenor, Ed Shaughnessy on drums, Lloyd Mayers on piano and Art Davis on bass. I bought the record at a flea market about 10 years ago in great condition for maybe $3. $3!

    Joe Newman was the first authentic jazz great I’d ever met. It was at a jam session in Newark’s Terrace Ballroom at Symphony Hall in the late 80’s. I was a kid trying to run a jam session and he was in his mid to late 60’s, I think, like royalty with all the younger players hanging around him. I don’t think he even played much, and if he did, it was very briefly. But I’ve always remembered that encounter for Newman’s easy politeness and overall grand hipness.

    I was thrilled to have a Joe Newman-led live session. I don’t think there are too many on record. Are there? When I got the record home, I immediately threw it on the turntable. As soon as the needle hits the record, the band tears into Juan Tizol’s “Caravan,” and I mean they are cooking. The trumpet, muted, high-pitched and rapid, like if it was Diz or somebody like that. The drums, ripping at a furious pace and the bass strolling like a power walker. “Wow,” I thought. “Joe Newman is on fire!” After about 2:30 of the cut, the pace was still so intense that I thought surely they couldn’t sustain it. It took me another 30 seconds before I realized that the LP was actually playing at 45 rpm. I laughed, thinking how much of a jazz neophyte I was (and really still am.) But it sounded great!

    This is what I do when I should be cleaning the house. – David Cruz