WBGO Blog
  • Bassist Derrick Hodge's "Live Today" With WBGO

    July 31, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Bassist Derrick Hodge performs live at WBGO for a special edition of Josh Jackson's weekly new music show,The Checkout, which broadcasts on Tuesday, August 6 at 6:30 p.m.

    That same day, Hodge's Blue Note CD, Live Today, hits stores: click to hear Jackson's sneak preview of the album for NPR's First Listen series.

    A member of the Grammy-winning Robert Glasper Experiment, this Philadelphia native knows no boundaries. Hodge performs with hip-hop and soul artists such as Jill Scott and Maxwell, and with classical composer Osvaldo Golijov. Hodge also works with trumpeter Terence Blanchard on film scores which include Spike Lee's When The Levees Broke and Miracle At St. Anna.

    Hodge will also perform on August 6 at 8:30 p.m. at The Cutting Room, 44 E. 32nd Street in New York, with Travis Sayles on keyboards, Mark Colenburg on drums and Ambrose Akinmusire on trumpet.

    Can't wait? Check out this video of Hodge's live broadcast for our Checkout Live series from the 92Y Tribeca in New York with Kris Bowers on piano, Dontae Winslow on trumpet, Jamire Williams on drums and Alan Hampton on guitar and vocals. There's more of Derrick and other cutting-edge performers in our video archive. Enjoy!

  • Booker T & Robert Randolph Live at WBGO

    July 29, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Click here to hear Booker T. Jones and pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph play live together for the first time at WBGO.

    This special Blues Hour with Michael Bourne celebrates the remarkable first-ever collaboration between two powerhouse artists – one an acknowledged master, another making his own mark for the future. Jones's new CD Sound the Alarm, and Randolph's new CD Lickety Split are just out. Both in the present – Booker T and Robert Randolph – live at WBGO, for you, our listeners. Enjoy!

    BTRR3

    Booker T. Jones is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Musicians Hall of Fame and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner. His classic tunes for the Memphis label Stax, like "Green Onions" and "Time is Tight," set a high bar for modern soul music.

    On the new record, which marks Booker T's return to Stax, he is joined by Anthony Hamilton, Raphael Saadiq, Mayer Hawthorne, Estelle, Vintage Trouble, Luke James and James Jay Picton, as well as Gary Clark Jr., Poncho Sanchez, and Sheila E.

    soundthealarm1

    Robert Randolph hails from Orange, New Jersey, where he grew up in the "sacred steel" tradition of the Pentecostal church, and he has since extended the sound of his instrument into a multitude of genres. Lickety Split, which captures the excitement of his live performances,  is his first recording for the Blue Note label.

    licketysplit1

  • Bourne's Montreal: Alain Caron, Steve Kuhn Trio at Gesu

    July 5, 2013. Posted by Michael Bourne.

    Alain Caron was honored with the Montreal jazzfest's Oscar Peterson Award, a lifetime achievement award honoring a Canadian artist. He's the first musician to be honored twice.

    Photo by Denis Alix
    Photo by Denis Alix

    In the 70's and 80's, Caron played electric bass in a very popular Quebecois jazz/rock power trio called Uzeb.

    They were honored with the OP Award as a group in 1972, and played their farewell concert on the festival's biggest outdoor stage back then, the first of the festival's Grands Evenements that I attended.

    I remember the group blasting into the night as tens of thousands of festgoers rocked the street.

    Photo by Denis Alix
    Photo by Denis Alix

    Alain Caron blasted again at the Gesu -- although he always looked so calm, meandering casually around the stage while the band blew the roof off.

    I can't remember a concert so loud (without being deafening) and so rocking at the Gesu. Something to do with musical dynamics, not the artifice of rock volume.

    Photo by Denis Alix
    Photo by Denis Alix

    Caron's tunes have solid hooks, and his drummer, Damien Schmitt, is the dynamo. Playing two differently tuned bass drums, various other drums, and cymbals aplenty. Playing with staggering speed and sounding like a firefight of machine guns and cannons.

    I pretty much lost interest in electric jazz/rock "fusion" -- or whatever it's still called -- back in the 70's, but live at the Gesu, feeling again the thunder of Caron's music was great fun.

    gesu1
    Photo by David Tallacksen

    "Jazz dans la nuit" concerts at the Gesu have been a festival of wonderful trios, and especially superb drummers. Bill Stewart with Peter Bernstein and Larry Goldings. Justin Faulkner with Jacky Terrasson. Dave King with The Bad Plus. Joey Baron with Steve Swallow and Steve Kuhn.

    Photo by Ulisse Lemerise B.
    Photo by Ulisse Lemerise B.

    All trios that play beyond the ancient concept of a pianist playing the lead with the bassist walking harmony and the drummer keeping time. Each of these trios uniquely created together a fourth musical presence. Drummers were melodic. Bassists played the lead sometimes. Pianists whipped up some grooves.

    Photo by Ulisse Lemerise B.
    Photo by Ulisse Lemerise B.

    I especially enjoyed Joey Baron, playing quietly, quickly, tunefully, every which way, always with a smile. Joey said he's happy playing with masters like Swallow and Kuhn. The Steves were as inspired by Joey. Kuhn's "Oceans in the Sky" was a symphonic whirlwind. Kuhn's "The Zoo" was a charming encore.

    Photo by David Tallacksen
    Photo by David Tallacksen