WBGO Blog
  • Live Blog: Kurt Rosenwinkel at Village Vanguard 1.7.09

    January 7, 2009. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Kurt Rosenwinkel Onstage at the Village Vanguard
    See some photos.

    Listen to the show on NPR.
    Check out the bonus audio.

    8:00pm
    I arrived at the Village Vanguard at 6pm this evening.  Kurt was already onstage "shredding," as he called it.  The guitarist is acutely dedicated to his craft and his sound.  He played alone for nearly two hours.  I could actually hear him processing each note.

    8:10PM
    Drummer Kendrick Scott just arrived.  He's backstage hitting the practice pad.  For a moment, he laid down his sticks.  On them, he wrote, "Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace."  He says it's from the Peace Prayer of St. Francis (of Assisi).

    8:23PM
    The band's all here.  Hail, hail.

    9:04pm
    A Rosenwinkel original, "Our Secret World," kicks off the show.   Everyone on the band spent plenty of time warming up, so they should be ready.

    9:22pm
    This is quite a quartet of young modernists.  Pianist Aaron Parks' "Peaceful Warrior" is such a beautiful composition.  And these guys like to play it...

    9:26pm
    Nice to hear these four swing in that traditional feel.  Listen closely, and you might figure out why this song is called "A Shifting Design."

    9:46pm
    Beautiful ballad that just wafts in the air.  Kurt had a lovely guitar intro.  Aaron and Kurt manage to play well as two strong chordal instrumentalists.  Not easy to do.

    9:49pm
    The song is called "Path of the Heart," by the way.

    10:00pm
    New music debuts on our live concert from the Village Vanguard.  "Untitled" from Kurt Rosenwinkel.

    10:09pm
    Killing through Kurt's "Zhivago" to close the set.  Rock it, baby!

  • Live Blog: Cedar Walton Trio at the Village Vanguard 12.17.08

    December 17, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Cedar Walton Trio Sign at Village Vanguard
    See some photos.

    8pm
    We're an hour from showtime.  Earlier today, I visited Cedar Walton at his home in Brooklyn.  I'll post the interview with the complete wrap-up of our time at the Vanguard tonight.  Stay tuned.

    8:03pm
    Not a full house expected tonight.  Could be that the recession is starting to put a dent in recreation budgets.  Not a good sign for jazz.

    8:06pm
    Epoch Films is shooting a Heineken commercial in the Village Vanguard tomorrow.  Keep an eye out for that in the near future.  Real musicians will not be a part of the shoot.  Just actors.  They have reserved all parking spots on both sides of the club.  As you might know, parking spaces in NYC are a premium, so the neighbors are none too thrilled about finding a spot for their cars.

    8:19pm
    Bassist David Williams is the first member of the trio to arrive tonight.  More later.

    8:47pm
    Drummer Lewis Nash just arrived.  He recently finished recording a studio date for Willie Nelson with Joe Sample, Christian McBride, and guitarist Anthony Wilson.  Willie sings standards!

    8:50pm
    Still no leader...Cedar Walton, paging Cedar Walton???

    8:51pm
    Cedar must have heard the page.  And he was looking for parking...

    9:01pm
    "Cedar's Blues" opens the show, and the trio is swinging mercilessly.

    9:11pm
    "Dear Ruth," an original composition dedicated to Cedar's mom.  She was a piano teacher.  She must have been a good one!

    9:19pm
    Lots of original compositions so far.  This one is "Sixth Avenue."  Funky.

    9:30pm
    This is "Back to the Holy Land," I think.  Cedar is calling songs on the fly.

    9:51pm
    Sorry for the long break in action.  We're listening to "Time After Time."  This is such a great trio.  Plenty of chemistry.

    9:58pm
    "Body and Soul" with a samba beat.  I just heard a reference to "Mona Lisa" go by...

    10:06pm
    A little Christmas Music, anyone?  With some blues for good measure.

  • Live Blog: Ravi Coltrane at the Village Vanguard 11.19.08

    November 19, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Ravi Coltrane Marquee

    Listen to the show.
    See some photos.
    Hear an interview with Ravi Coltrane.

    8:06pm
    Doors have opened at the Village Vanguard for tonight's show.  More than 40 years have passed since a saxophonist named Coltrane led a group at this club.  This evening, we will hear Ravi Coltrane's debut.  Welcome.

    8:28pm
    None of the musicians are here.  Ravi and the band tend to operate freely on their own internal clock.  We, on the other hand, are following a master clock.  Thirty-two minutes to showtime!

    9:03pm
    We're live from the Village Vanguard.  Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane is playing an original, "Amalgams," from his upcoming release, Blending Times.  The quartet includes pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer E.J. Strickland.

    9:12pm
    Pianist Luis Perdomo just crashed the keyboards.  Bassist Drew Gress is now taking a solo.   Gress was featured in pianist Uri Caine July performance of Live at the Village Vanguard.  Check out the entire series.

    9:18pm
    Another Ravi Coltrane original, "Round Two," begins peacefully.

    9:29pm
    "Trading Duos" seems fairly self-explanatory.  Band members sort of move in and out of this composition.  I'malways a fan of the sax/drums sections.

    9:37pm
    This composition named after Ravi's first son, William (John Coltrane's middle name).  "One Wheeler Will."

    9:46pm
    After a long and heartfelt introduction, Ravi plays "Jagadishwar," a composition by Alice Coltrane, his mother.  She passed away on January 12th 2007.  On Ravi's upcoming release, Blending Times, he closes with a harp/bass/saxophone version of Charlie Haden's "For Turiya."  Turiya is Alice Coltrane.

    10:00pm
    The quartet is closing with "Giant Steps," a Coltrane original.  John Coltrane, that is.