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

  • Live Blog - JD Allen Trio at J&R Music World

    May 24, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    JD Allen Sign at J&R Music

    LISTEN TO TODAY'S SHOW ON DEMAND.
    WATCH JD ALLEN'S TRIO PLAY "SON HOUSE."

    4:00pm
    We're live from J&R in lower Manhattan, just across the way from City Hall and the Woolworth Building. Tenor saxophonist JD Allen is playing a set of all original compositions. We're celebrating the release of his recording, I AM I AM.

    4:02 First song is called "The Cross and the Crescent Sickle"

    4:07 Very strong association with the sound of John Coltrane, but JD Allen is his own man.

    4:09 Marcus Belgrave and James Carter are influences from Allen's hometown, Detroit. JD in New York for 14 years now.

    4:11 JD - "It's all a movie. I'm just trying to write the soundtrack."

    4:12 An original song called "Pagan."

    4:15 I'm not missing the absence of a piano. Reminds me of Sonny Rollins' great trio recordings from the Village Vanguard.

    4:17 "The North Star"

    4:20 Every great tenor saxophonist deserves an equally adept drummer. This band no exception. JD and drummer Rudy Royston are CONNECTED.

    4:22 But what makes this a special group is that they are ALL listening to each other.

    4:24 The inspiration for this record? Exodus 3:14 - I am that I am.

    4:25 Based his approach on James Carter. Went to high school together. Turned him on to Albert Ayler, Branford Marsalis etc.

    4:27 "Ezekiel." I'm assuming that JD got that one from the Bible, too.

    4:38 That last song is new. Called "Son House," like the amazing blues musician. Earlier today, JD told me that the trio is already playing an entirely new set of trio music. Record to be called "Shine." Then a standards record.

    4:40 Plays with trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, Dave Douglas' Don Cherry Project, drummer Cindy Blackman, and bassist Henry Grimes. Nice mix.

    4:49 That song was Freudian - "Id."

    4:50 I just heard some sad news. Organist Jimmy McGriff has died...

    4:52 This final song is "Hajile." That's "Elijah," if you have a mirror...

    4:55 This band so good. An encore, maybe???

    4:56 Encore - "Titus / I Am I Am"

    Thanks for listening! I'll post the audio online later today. Check back in around 8pm ET, and listen again.
    -Josh

  • Village Vanguard - Live Chat

    May 21, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    http://www.meebo.com/rooms

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    http://www.meebo.com/rooms

  • Studio Session - Berklee Blue Note Ensemble

    May 20, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Berklee Blue Note Ensemble

    Whenever you hear young performers from Berklee College of Music, you are hearing the future of music. WBGO presented the Berklee Blue Note Ensemble on Midday Jazz today. For a decade, Berklee students with strong jazz creds make an annual trek to the Blue Note in Note in New York. Bill Pierce has been a Berklee faculty member for more than three decades. He directs the student ensemble. They are:

    Melissa Aldana - saxophone (Santiago, Chile)
    Jeonglim Yang - bass (South Korea)
    Michael Palma - piano (Dallas, Texas)
    Dan Pugach - drums (Raanana, Israel)
    Jeremy Sinclair - trumpet (Dallas, Texas)
    Nadia Washington - vocals (Dallas, Texas)

    Listen to the session. Remember the names.
    -Josh

  • Al Foster Interview

    May 20, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Al Foster at the Village Vanguard

    I was pleasantly surprised that this interview actually happened, but I know
    all to well that persistence pays off in the long run. I say this because Al
    Foster
    is famously dodgy about giving interviews to press. Probably because
    everyone in the world wants to know about Al's relationship with Miles Davis.
    Sure, he played with Miles for more than a decade, and was a dear friend, even
    during Davis' self-imposed exile from the music scene in the late 1970s. Get
    beyond that, and you realize that Al Foster has had an extraordinary musical
    life. In this interview, Foster talks about growing up in Harlem, where he met
    many of the legendary jazz musicians who shaped his career. And Miles too.
    But did you know that Al Foster raised four daughters as a single father? One
    more reason this guy deserves a medal. At the end of it all, you start to realize
    why so many people regard Al Foster as one of the great messengers of our music.
    -Josh

    The Al Foster Quartet plays the Village Vanguard this week. You can hear them
    live on WBGO, tomorrow night at 9. I'll be your host. Stay tuned.