WBGO Blog
  • Cafe Society: The Wrong Place For The Right People

    July 2, 2009. Posted by Andrew Meyer.

    Cafe SocietyOne of the features airing on the WBGO Journal airing Friday night, 7:30 on July 3, 2009 is an interview with Terry Trilling-Josephson, the widow of Barney Josephson.  Drawing on interviews she did with her late husband, Terry has put together a new book about his life and Cafe Society, the groundbreaking Manhattan nightclub which broke down the barriers between the races in the 1930's, on stage and in the audience.  In addition to the interview which airs on the Journal, here's an hour-long special featuring the full interview with Terry and including musical selections from some of the jazz and blues artists who played Cafe Society or the club that marked Barney Josephson's return to the New York music scene, The Cookery.

    Andrew Meyer

  • HONOR! Sacred Ellington with Jessye Norman, Soprano

    March 10, 2009. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    ellington_sacred1

    Genesis!  Exodus!  Leviticus! Deuteronomy!

    Duke Ellington composed three Sacred Concerts, and in his lifetime each was performed once – the first at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco in 1965, the second at St. John the Divine in New York in 1968, and the last at Westminster Abbey in London in 1973. Ellington's funeral took place at St. John the Divine at 112th and Amsterdam Avenue. It is a huge space, with a seating capacity of thousands who can look up and up and up to the vaulted ceiling. The cathedral has recently reopened after a thorough restoration. This past Saturday night, Carnegie Hall's HONOR! Series restaged music from the Sacred Concerts at St. John the Divine, and it was a sold out crowd. Read more

  • 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.

  • It's Election Day, Get Out And Vote!

    November 4, 2008. Posted by Andrew Meyer.

    Election Day, 2008

    Usually, going to vote at my polling station in Glen Ridge doesn't take a whole lot of time, a matter of minutes. It's an in and out affair. This morning, it was a very different story.

     Election Day, Linden Ave School

    From the time I walked in the door at the Linden Ave School, it took me a half hour! Everyone seemed good-natured about the wait, which I was told by poll workers had been as long as 45 mintues earlier. All I can say is it's great to see so many people getting out and taking care of their civic duty! 

    Looking for the latest information on the elections? You can find it on our website.  Also tune in tonight beginning at 8pm as WBGO and NPR bring you wall-to-wall coverage of the results of Election 2008!

    Andrew Meyer