WBGO Blog
  • Booker T & Robert Randolph Live at WBGO

    July 29, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Click here to hear Booker T. Jones and pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph play live together for the first time at WBGO.

    This special Blues Hour with Michael Bourne celebrates the remarkable first-ever collaboration between two powerhouse artists – one an acknowledged master, another making his own mark for the future. Jones's new CD Sound the Alarm, and Randolph's new CD Lickety Split are just out. Both in the present – Booker T and Robert Randolph – live at WBGO, for you, our listeners. Enjoy!

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    Booker T. Jones is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Musicians Hall of Fame and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner. His classic tunes for the Memphis label Stax, like "Green Onions" and "Time is Tight," set a high bar for modern soul music.

    On the new record, which marks Booker T's return to Stax, he is joined by Anthony Hamilton, Raphael Saadiq, Mayer Hawthorne, Estelle, Vintage Trouble, Luke James and James Jay Picton, as well as Gary Clark Jr., Poncho Sanchez, and Sheila E.

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    Robert Randolph hails from Orange, New Jersey, where he grew up in the "sacred steel" tradition of the Pentecostal church, and he has since extended the sound of his instrument into a multitude of genres. Lickety Split, which captures the excitement of his live performances,  is his first recording for the Blue Note label.

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  • Singer Claire Martin Talks With Michael Bourne

    July 29, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Singer Claire Martin talks with WBGO's Michael Bourne about her new CD, Too Much In Love To Care, with pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Peter Washington, drummer Kenny Washington and Steve Wilson on saxophone and flute. Enjoy!

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  • Pianist Freddy Cole With Michael Bourne

    July 22, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Pianist Freddy Cole talks with WBGO's Michael Bourne about his new CD, This and That, and his seven-decade career in music. Enjoy!

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    L-R: Michael Bourne, Rhonda Hamilton, Freddy Cole
  • Bourne's Montreal: Nous Reviendrons A Montreal

    July 11, 2013. Posted by Michael Bourne.

    Montreal is the City of Festivals -- 108 through the year.

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    Festival International de JAZZ de Montreal is the biggest and best-known, although the Juste Pour Rire comedy festival is getting bigger and better-known.

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    While the jazzfest was happening, also happening was a circus festival. I'd like to have seen a troupe called Gandini Juggling, nine Brits juggling 80 apples in a show characterized as "Downton Abbey Meets Monty Python."

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    Meanwhile, an international fireworks festival happens every summer. Also a world choir festival in suburban Laval. Also a festival of First Natives, celebrating the Algonquin and other peoples here long before the British fought the French and Indian War. Not to forget the African Nights festival and the Francofolies, celebrating French culture in very French Quebec.

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    None of the other festivals contributes as much to the Quebec economy as FIJM does -- $64 million annually -- or generates as much media interest as FIJM does. Altogether this year the festival accredited 400 journalists and broadcasters representing 135 media outlets from 16 countries.

    Including us.

    Saxophonist Charles Lloyd with WBGO's Michael Bourne and Simon Rentner
    Saxophonist Charles Lloyd with WBGO's Michael Bourne and Simon Rentner

    This year was our ninth broadcasting from Montreal.

    Next year will be the 35th anniversary of WBGO and the 35th anniversary of FIJM. We will celebrate together wonderfully.

    To paraphrase the iconic song of Robert Charlebois:

    nous reviendrons a Montreal ...

  • Downbeat's Alkyer And Bourne Trade Montreal Stories

    July 10, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Frank Alkyer, publisher of Downbeat Magazine, talks with WBGO's Michael Bourne to share impressions of this year's Festival International du Jazz de Montreal, as well as their experiences in past years. Enjoy!

    Photo by David Tallacksen
    Photo by David Tallacksen