February 13, 2012. Posted by Brandy Wood.
There's a tradition in many New York City jazz clubs: Monday nights are reserved for big bands. The Village Vanguard, the most storied of clubs, has observed this practice since 1966, when the originally titled Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra were booked in the club for three Monday nights in February. The performances have been taking place ever since.
On Monday, February 13 WBGO brought you its 50th broadcast from The Village Vanguard with the group who continues the tradition, now called the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Producer and host of Live at the Village Vanguard, Josh Jackson, said, "It makes a lot of sense to celebrate this exceptional band for our 50th program. The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra represents an ongoing 46 year commitment to the Village Vanguard. The VJO is the cornerstone of Monday night jazz performance in New York. Presenting them on Live at the Village Vanguard was overdue."
View both sets from the evening below:
You can see all of our live concert webcasts, and our archive of broadcasts from the Village Vanguard and the 92Y Tribeca, here.
The current lineup of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra consists of Nick Marchione, Tanya Darby, Terell Stafford, Scott Wendholt - trumpet/flugelhorn; John Mosca, Luis Bonilla, Jason Jackson, Douglas Purviance - Trombones; Dick Oatts, Billy Drewes, Rich Perry, Ralph Lalama, Gary Smulyan - reeds; Jim McNeely, David Wong, John Riley - rhythm.
© 2012 WBGO
November 22, 2011. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
WBGO says goodbye to our friend drummer Paul Motian, who passed away early this morning at age eighty at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan.
Motian first rose to prominence in the fifties in Bill Evans' trio with bassist Scott LaFaro, then played with Paul Bley, Keith Jarrett, and hundreds of others. He also led a trio for more than twenty years with tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano and guitarist Bill Frisell.
I chatted with Motian at the Village Vanguard on June 21, when he played two sets in fine form with saxophonist Mark Turner. Adding up all of the bands he had led or joined onstage at the club, we reckoned he probably performed there more than any other person in the club's 76 years of operation. He was certainly a favorite of the Vanguard's owner, Lorraine Gordon, who sets high sonic standards for the club. She booked Motian and his bands several times a year.
Motian was certainly a favorite of WBGO's, and his legacy lives on in the hundreds of musicians, many of them half, or even a quarter, of his age, with whom he shared his wisdom.
We were fortunate over the years to present Motian's live performances many times, including the June show at the Vanguard, which you can see by clicking on the pane below or listen to here. You can also hear Motian on two other WBGO broadcasts from the Vanguard, with saxophonist Bill McHenry on June 8, 2009, and with Frisell and Lovano on September 3, 2008.
Thank you, Paul, and rest easy: your light and sound shine on!
© 2011 WBGO
November 9, 2011. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
WBGO presents tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry with Orrin Evans on piano, Eric Revis on bass and Andrew Cyrille on drums, live from the Village Vanguard. The group will play highlights from McHenry's forthcoming CD release, Ghosts of the Sun.
Watch the archive of both sets below.
We're live from the Vanguard every month, in partnership with our friends at NPR Music, and you can check out some of our past broadcasts here. Explore a bit, and among other treats you'll discover our 2009 broadcast of two sets with McHenry's Quintet, also from the Village Vanguard. Enjoy!
© 2011 WBGO