WBGO Blog
  • Studio Session - Alexis Cuadrado Puzzles Quartet

    January 16, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Bassist Alexis Cuadrado is one of ten bandleaders in the Brooklyn Jazz Underground (BJU), a music cooperative formed in January 2007. In a couple of months, the BJU will launch its own record label. One of the first releases is a quintet record from Cuadrado called Puzzles. Alexis brought his Puzzles Quartet into our studio yesterday. We'll bring you the full session when the record is released to the public. In the meantime, enjoy this video we made:

    The Alexis Cuadrado Puzzles Quartet is performing at Smalls, Saturday night at 8pm. It's part of the 2nd Annual Brooklyn Jazz Underground Festival, a three night music feast starting tomorrow night at Smalls, 183 West 10th Street (7th Avenue South).
    More about that in another post.
    - 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

  • goin' globalFEST

    January 10, 2008

    This is the fifth annual globalFEST, held as part of the annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters convention in NYC. It attracts a mix of music industry types and diggers of global music. This year, it's 12 acts on three stages, including

    Lo Cor de la Plana, from Marseille; Gypsy rockers Little Cow, from Budapest; Puerto Plata, the 84-year-old Dominican Sonero and Brooklyn's own Pistolera, who I especially dig.

    Here's a clip of their song Cazador (Hunter), a song about the Minutemen "border guards," which will give you an idea of where the (mostly) ladies are coming from.

    (Sample lyric: Dicen que están protegiendo la tierra contra ilegales. Pero cómo? si esta misma tierra fue robada al mexicano?/They say they are protecting the country from the illegals But how, if this same land was stolen from the Mexicans?)

     

    globalFEST is Sunday, January 13th at Webster Hall, 125 East 11th Street, NYC. First set at 7:00pm.