WBGO Blog
  • Djangology

    January 23, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Django Reinhardt, everyone's favorite gypsy jazz guitarist, would have celebrated a birthday today. Check him out in this French/Italian film, La Route du bonheur (or Saluti baci e), a year before he died.

     

    Or, if you prefer the cartoon Django from The Triplets of Belleville...

     

    The Frenchmen all prefer what they call "le jazz hot." Formidable!
    -Josh Jackson

  • JJ Johnson

    January 22, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    We celebrate the late trombonist, J. J. Johnson. He would have been 84 today.
    Jazz people around the world are unanimous in their praise of the brass player and composer. Play on...

     

    - Josh Jackson

  • And you don't stop ...

    January 15, 2008

    Residents of a Bronx building where hip hop was born say they have a plan to buy it so that they can keep it affordable. Tenants at the building on 1520 Sedgwick Avenue got word last year that the owners wanted to opt out of a state affordable housing program, which could mean big rent increases for them. They want to buy each apartment for a few thousand dollars each.
    During the 1970s, DJ Kool Herc spun records at parties in the basement rec. room, ushering in the the hip-hop era. While a lot of today's hip hop annoys me, the stuff that came out of the Bronx in the late 70's and early 80's is forever ingrained in my mind (and soul.)

    I was never at one of Herc's basement parties or any of those classic sets in abandoned buildings in the Bronx of the early 1980's. But I can remember my utter amazement at seeing break dancers and rappers for the first time in pre-Disney Times Square (circa 1980.) I'm sure I had no clue at the time that I was witnessing the birth of a nation.

    Here's a clip of Herc from a European documentary on the birth of hip hop. Dig it. - David Cruz