WBGO Blog
  • JazzSet: The Keys to New Orleans

    November 12, 2008. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Henry Butler Photo
    JazzSet recorded the "Keys to New Orleans" concert, featuring pianists Jon Cleary, Henry Butler and Allen Toussaint, at the Kennedy Center on November 9. Mark Schramm was our onsite producer, Duke Markos at the recording console. Mark says the music was FANTASTIC, and more.

    "Jon Cleary got us off to great start with his fast-moving set of short tunes, a mix of originals and Bayou classics. He plays and sings with great spirit. Infectious!"

    "Henry Butler! Man, what an INCREDIBLE talent. He PLAYS the piano, the whole instrument -- what a left hand! He did a couple of his own tunes, and then (touchingly) one of Allen's compositions, 'Workin' in the Coal Mine.' Allen was and is an inspiration for Henry. They have a warm relationship on and off the stand. Henry sings in a deep, rich baritone."

    Listen to Henry Butler play "Workin' in the Coal Mine."

    "And then there was Allen. What can you say? The man is a legend for a reason. He opened both sets with two of his tunes, 'We are America' and 'Yes We Can,' which seemed appropriate given the setting and timing of this concert. Henry joined Allen for a little four-hand piano on Allen's tune 'Mr. Mardi Gras,' and Allen gave out some mardi gras presents to the audience while Henry played solo. Allen finished both his sets with extended versions of 'Southern Night' -- he painted a lovely picture of growing up in New Orleans, the people, the houses, the streets -- wonderful storytelling, and then the familiar song itself to finish up."

    Catch the full set on JazzSet in early 2009! In Surround Sound.

  • Blogging during the staff meeting?

    January 2, 2008

    This is the most painful part of being a team player. The monthly "all-staff meeting." Most of us are chomping at the bit to get back to the tons of work we have to do but acknowledge that it's important for the right hand to know what the left hand is doing. There's useful information exchanged here, for the most part. Upcoming stuff includes our broadcasts of Rhonda Hamilton's Midday Jazz Show from the International Association for Jazz Education in Toronto (Jan. 9-12) and Eliane Elias plays the music of Bill Evans live from J&R Music, Park Row, on January 19. Our winter fund drive is scheduled to begin January 30.

    Other stuff upcoming: Our next Newark Today broadcast will feature a return visit from Police Director Garry McCarthy. That's on January 10, 8 p.m. A call-in show with Newark's departing schools superintendent, January 31, 8 p.m. This'll be a rare opportunity to hear from (and to talk to) Marion Bolden, a 40-year veteran of the Newark public school system. There was more stuff happening but I was posting these blog comments and I missed it, so ... David Cruz