WBGO Blog
  • JD Allen Trio - "Son House"

    May 25, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    "I didn't know I loved her 'til they laid her down..."
    When I heard saxophonist JD Allen say those words from the stage during soundcheck today, I knew exactly what he was talking about. That's a line from "Death Letter," by Son House. It is an iconic blues song, and a favorite of mine.

    The JD Allen trio played a set of music from J&R Music World, one that drew heavily from their most recent release, I Am I Am. Except for "Son House," a song the band just recorded for a future release called Shine. Check it out:

     

    And just because you can, watch Son House perform "Death Letter:"

     

    "I didn't know I loved her 'til they laid her down..."
    -Josh

  • The Real Robert Glasper's Birthday Bash

    April 7, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive, Remix

    Robert Glasper Has His Cake

    I went to Robert Glasper's Third Annual Birthday Bash at Club Drom Saturday night. Make that Sunday morning. Though the show was advertised for an 11:30 hit, the music actually started at 1:15am. No worries. During the downtime, Robert treated the audience to a personally curated playlist of hip hop and party music. All emanating through the club's sound system, and sourced from his iPod.

    The core ensemble was the Robert Glasper Experiment - Glasper on Fender Rhodes, Derrick Hodge on his Callowhill 5-string electric bass, Casey Benjamin on alto sax and keytar (with Talk Box mod - imagine Frampton Comes Alive meets Common's "Don't Break My Heart," from Finding Forever), and drummer Chris "Daddy" Dave punching an endless array of beats.

    Q-Tip and Roy Hargrove

    Q-Tip and trumpeter Roy Hargrove joined in on the fun, as did singer Bilal. All of these individuals (and some of the musicians who were just there to check out the show) are part of something very exciting happening in music - the realization of hip hop and jazz coming together in a meaningful way. I can think of many examples of jazz and hip hop intermingling, so don't let me be misunderstood. These two forms have spoken to each other before. However, the current dialogue is spawning a certifiably important sound in music - a nexus of rhymes, beats, and improvisational flow that is socially aware, energetic, and heavy on the soul. And did I mention FUN?

    Casey Benjamin

    Call it nu-jazz, neo-soul, conscious hip hop, all of the above or none of the above. Or anything you wish. Basically, it's the return of functional music in a commercially saturated culture, a communal act of creation that has its roots in jazz, blues, and spirituals, stretching back to traditional African custom and practice. The Robert Glasper Experiment is all about droppin' the scientific method in a live setting. This kind of music has been underground for a very long time now. But ask any of the well-wishers onstage or in the club, and they will tell you that its time has come.
    -Josh

  • Jason Lindner and Now Vs. Now - Hear the Studio Session

    March 4, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Now Vs. Now Band Shot

    FYI - The WBGO studio session with Jason Lindner's Now Vs. Now has been posted. Five completely new songs. And for a little lagniappe, you can download two of them, and dig the video from the session. Check it out now. Versus now...
    -Josh
    PS See the band live at The Jazz Gallery, Friday and Saturday, 3/14 and 3/15.