WBGO Blog
  • Live Blog - JD Allen Trio at J&R Music World

    May 24, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    JD Allen Sign at J&R Music

    LISTEN TO TODAY'S SHOW ON DEMAND.
    WATCH JD ALLEN'S TRIO PLAY "SON HOUSE."

    4:00pm
    We're live from J&R in lower Manhattan, just across the way from City Hall and the Woolworth Building. Tenor saxophonist JD Allen is playing a set of all original compositions. We're celebrating the release of his recording, I AM I AM.

    4:02 First song is called "The Cross and the Crescent Sickle"

    4:07 Very strong association with the sound of John Coltrane, but JD Allen is his own man.

    4:09 Marcus Belgrave and James Carter are influences from Allen's hometown, Detroit. JD in New York for 14 years now.

    4:11 JD - "It's all a movie. I'm just trying to write the soundtrack."

    4:12 An original song called "Pagan."

    4:15 I'm not missing the absence of a piano. Reminds me of Sonny Rollins' great trio recordings from the Village Vanguard.

    4:17 "The North Star"

    4:20 Every great tenor saxophonist deserves an equally adept drummer. This band no exception. JD and drummer Rudy Royston are CONNECTED.

    4:22 But what makes this a special group is that they are ALL listening to each other.

    4:24 The inspiration for this record? Exodus 3:14 - I am that I am.

    4:25 Based his approach on James Carter. Went to high school together. Turned him on to Albert Ayler, Branford Marsalis etc.

    4:27 "Ezekiel." I'm assuming that JD got that one from the Bible, too.

    4:38 That last song is new. Called "Son House," like the amazing blues musician. Earlier today, JD told me that the trio is already playing an entirely new set of trio music. Record to be called "Shine." Then a standards record.

    4:40 Plays with trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, Dave Douglas' Don Cherry Project, drummer Cindy Blackman, and bassist Henry Grimes. Nice mix.

    4:49 That song was Freudian - "Id."

    4:50 I just heard some sad news. Organist Jimmy McGriff has died...

    4:52 This final song is "Hajile." That's "Elijah," if you have a mirror...

    4:55 This band so good. An encore, maybe???

    4:56 Encore - "Titus / I Am I Am"

    Thanks for listening! I'll post the audio online later today. Check back in around 8pm ET, and listen again.
    -Josh

  • Live Blog - Al Foster Quartet at the Village Vanguard

    May 21, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Join the live chat from the Village Vanguard.
    View photos of the event online.

    Josh Jackson in the Vanguard Stairwell

    9:01pm
    Greetings from the worst seat in the house! Because the Village Vanguard is underground, my wifi card gets a very limited signal, so I am blogging from the top of the rear stairwell. I can still hear the music, but visuals are a bit lackluster. There are some advantages, though - I'm close to the restroom and the bar...

    First song is Miles Davis' So What. From the album Kind of Blue.

    9:11 Crowd is definitely into it. This next one is Al Foster's original. Called "The Chief." Foster doesn't write a lot of music, so it's nice to hear. Eli DeGibri on soprano.

    9:17 Damn. These guys are great. Anyone agree?

    9:19 Man, Al Foster's cymbals....yowza.

    9:22 Horace Silver's "Peace." Al Foster's first recording was with Horace Silver's trumpeter, Blue Mitchell. Blue Note record called The Thing to Do.

    9:24 Very early Chick Corea on that record too...

    9:36 Still Taking the A Train. So will I later tonight...

    9:40 Cantaloupe Island, a Herbie Hancock tune. Lots of jazz classics for tonight's set.

    9:52 That song was another Foster original. Named "Brandyn," after Al's only son. He has FOUR daughters!!!

    9:54 Steve the club mgr just pointed out Sigourney Weaver in the house. Looking for Aliens right now...

    9:56 Love this one - Jean-Pierre, from Miles Davis...

    10:35 Thanks to everyone at the Village Vanguard, including Jed Eisenman, AND especially Lorraine Gordon, who I forgot in the end credits...She's gonna get me for that oversight...oy. And thanks to you all who listened tonight on WBGO, or NPR Music. Maybe you checked out some photos?

    Next show at the Village Vanguard is June 11th - Guillermo Klein y Los Guachos. And Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band on June 18th.
    Onward.
    -Josh Jackson, your humble producer and host for this series.