WBGO Blog
  • Toast of the Nation New York - The Eats

    December 31, 2007. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    We had a productive soundcheck and rehearsal with Trio da Paz, Kenny Barron, and singers Pamela Driggs and Maucha Adnet.

    We spent more than an hour making sure that what the nation hears in New York will most assuredly sound like Rio de Janeiro. Michael Bourne was in fine form, and he has a story from Antonio Carlos Jobim to lead us into the countdown. We've practiced everything. Next time, it's for real.

    After rehearsal, we ran upstairs to Blue Smoke for eats. Here's what it took to feed the New York crew.

    SIDES

    Macaroni and Cheese x 2, Braised Collard Greens With Bacon, Sweet Potato Fries with Maple Dip, Mashed Potatoes and Onions, Creamed Spinach

    ENTRES

    Seared Atlantic Salmon with Tomatillo Sauce, Scallion-Pepper Rice & Pico de Gallo

    Rhapsody In 'Cue (x 3) = St. Louis Spareribs, Pulled Pork, Smoked Chicken and Hot Link

    Kansas City Spareribs (saucy) - one full rack

    Memphis-Style Baby Back Ribs (leanest) - two full racks

    Eight large, moist towlettes and many toothpicks. Hey, it's barbeque!

    We're currently recording the first set from Jazz Standard.

    Saucily yours,

    Josh

     
     
     

     
  • Toast of the Nation New York - The Musicians

    December 31, 2007. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    There's some serious talent on the stage tonight.

    Trio da Paz are Romero Lubambo on guitar, Nilson Matta on bass, and Duduka da Fonseca on percussion. They are some of the best Brazilian jazz musicians on the scene. When you want samba, bossa nova, and other native Brazilian styles fused with jazz improvisation, these are your go-to guys. Singers Pamela Driggs and Maucha Adnet will each join the trio for a song before midnight.

    Kenny Barron is a certifiable jazz master, for sure (it's time for the NEA to recognize this). He's played with Dizzy Gillespie, Jim Hall, Freddie Hubbard, Stan Getz and a slew of other great musicians. His work in Gillespie's 1960s Quintet with James Moody is outstanding. The final records with Getz are worth having, especially People Time, the sax and piano duets. The duet recording with bassist Charlie Haden, Night and the City, is a not-so-distant classic. Kenny Barron was also a part of Sphere, the Thelonious Monk tribute group that became its own thing.

    Did I mention that he taught music at Rutgers University in Newark for 27 years? I'll leave the rest out for you to discover. There's plenty more.

    Kenny Barron and his wife used to go to the Union Square Greenmarket on Saturday mornings. At noon, they'd visit a nearby café for Brazilian food and a great trio. Kenny was digging Romero Lubambo on guitar, Nilson Matta on bass, and Duduka da Fonseca on drums. aka Trio da Paz. In 2002, these four recorded a CD together. It's called Canta Brasil.

    Kenny Barron

    Kenny Barron and Trio da Paz have a lot of chemistry. Stay tuned.

    Josh

  • J-Lo is 55!

    December 29, 2007. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Joe Lovano, that is.

    It's Lovano's 55th birthday today, and he's celebrating it with a three-day run with his quintet at the Palazzo del Popolo in Orvieto, Italy. What a way to end a monumental year. Wish I could be there, since Italy's Umbria region is one of my favorite places to be, but I'll be spending my New Year's Eve at Jazz Standard, with Trio da Paz, Kenny Barron, and a great New York crew for NPR's Toast of the Nation (hope you'll be listening!).

    Incidentally, Toast of the Nation is where Lovano's 2007 began, as a member of the McCoy Tyner Quartet (bassist Christian McBride and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts make four) at Yoshi's. You can hear the fruits of that week at Yoshi's on record.

    It's been such a banner year for Joe. Check out the video below. And when you see him again, raise a glass of my favorite Umbrian wine, Paolo Bea's Sagrantino de Montefalco, in honor of him.

    Happy birthday, Joe Lovano. You're a class act.