April 27, 2012. Posted by Simon Rentner.
Nobody doubts Dan Morgenstern’s storied life. His 8 Grammy awards, NEA Jazz Master honors, and other laurels back up this fact. But when we see him at WBGO – every time he co-hosts Jazz from The Archives – we witness his character. All of the awards and compliments in the world could never turn him into a blowhard. His friends and close peers all know about his sensitivity in his writings and compassion for his subjects, and they also rely on his insight and analysis.
That lightness of being is reflected in WBGO’s recording studio, the way he smiles, bobs his head, and dances to the music he plays on the radio. His enthusiasm for jazz is “Olympic” in its brightness and scope. His work ethic -- unyielding. The torch within just keeps burning, and he passes all of that fire and knowledge to the next person so effortlessly.
As Morgenstern prepared to step down from his longtime role as director of the Instutitute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University-Newark's Dana Library, he sat down with me in our studios for an extended conversation. We talked about his childhood, growing up Jewish during World War II. He hesitatingly talks about when he was saved by the Danish how that experience shaped him.
He also talked about his early musical encounters, one with composer Albam Berg, who befriended Morgenstern’s father. And, he shared the epiphanous moment that changed his life, the moment he saw Fats Waller. He also spoke candidly about being the editor of Down Beat Magazine in the 1960s, when America was being torn apart by civil rights unrest, and how he, as “Mr. Whitey” – was perceived by some as a symbol of America’s institutional racism.
His story, as rich as it is layered, is well worth telling and hearing. And it may be fully told one day. Now that he’s stepped down from the IJS, he told me, he may find time to write that autobiography.
In the meantime, Dan, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, so we can share them with our listeners here. We featured a segment of our conversation on Friday's WBGO Journal, and are happy to share our conversation in its entirety with you now. Enjoy! – Simon Rentner
© 2012 WBGO
April 23, 2012. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
The New School Swingers performed live in the WBGO studios today, the ninth and last in our series of student performances for Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM). Listen to audio from this broadcast here. A full set list and links to hear our other JAM broadcasts are below.
The ensemble, which has members from South Africa and Sweden as well as the United States, performed "hot swing" classics from the 1930s, including Duke Ellington's "C Jam Blues," Django Reinhardt's "Minor Swing" and Fats Waller's "Honeysuckle Rose."
We hope you enjoy our Jazz Appreciation Month festival of student ensembles!
Members of the New School Swingers
Alto: Ross Harris
Trumpet: Lesedi Ntsane
Violin: Anna Fuerstenberg
Piano and bandleader: Dinos San Pedro
Bass: Ben Murphy
Drums: Alex Kirkpatrick
Guitar: Nelsen Hutchison
New School Swingers Set List
"C Jam Blues" - Duke Ellington
"Dinah" - Harry Ackst, Sam L. Lewis and Joe Young
"Minor Swing - Django Reinhardt
"Funeral March" - Ben Murphy
"Nuages" - Django Reinhardt
"You're The One" - Dinos San Pedro
"Honeysuckle Rose" - Fats Waller and Andy Razaf
"Everybody Loves My Baby" - Spencer Williams, Jack Palmer
"Thick And Thin" - Dinos San Pedro
"I'll Fly Away" - Albert Brumley
WBGO JAM Live Broadcasts 2012
© 2012 WBGO
April 19, 2012. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
The LaGuardia High School Senior Jazz Band, directed by Kevin Blancq, performed live in the WBGO studios today in the seventh in our series of student performance for Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM). Listen to audio from this broadcast here. A full set list and links to all of our JAM broadcasts are below.
The group performed eight songs including Duke Ellington's "Cotton Club Stomp" and Herbie Hancock's "One Finger Stomp," and were interviewed between songs by host Eulis Cathey.
We hope you enjoy our Jazz Appreication Month festival of student ensembles!
La Guardia High School Senior Jazz Band Members
Zach HIcks - alto sax, flute
Alex Morano - alto sax, tenor sax, clarinet
Jaedon Alvira - tenor sax, alto sax, soprano sax
Malcolm-Jamal Matthews - tenor sax
Luis Garcia - bari sax, flute
Eli Greenhoe, Nick Saia - guitar
Adale Jackson, Isaac Sleator - piano
Damon Korf - bass
Russell Holzman, Corey Garcia - drums
La Guardia High School Senior Jazz Band Set List
"Cotton Club Stomp"
- Duke Elington feat. Adale Jackson, piano; Adam O'Farrill, trumpet; Luis Garcia, bari sax
- Gil Evans (transcribed by band member Rex Bennett) - feat. Adale Jackson, piano; Jaedon Alvira, soprano sax; Rex Bennett, bone
"Sunset & The Mockingbird"
- Duke Ellington, feat. Adale Jackson, piano; Alex Morano, clar; Zach Hicks, alto sax
"One Finger Snap"
- Herbie Hancock, arr. Bob Mintzer feat. Zach Hicks, flute; Nick Saia, guitar; Rex Bennett, bone; Adam O'Farrill, piano; Adale Jackson, piano
- Adam O'Farrill, Wednesday Combo (sponsored by the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz) - Zach Hicks, reeds; Adam O'Farrill, trumpet; Eli Greenhoe, guitar, Isaac Sleator, piano; Damon Korf, bass; Russell Holzman, drums.
"Black, Brown, & Beautiful"
- Oliver Nelson feat. Zach Hicks, alto sax
"It Ain't Necessarily So"
- arr. Gil Evans, adaptation, Kevin Blancq feat. Eli Greenhoe & Nick Saia, guitars
"Blues In Frankie's Flat"
- Frank Foster feat. Malcolm-Jamal Matthews & Jaedon Alvira, tenor sax; Daniel Wenger, bone; Adam O'Farrill, trumpet; Luis Garcia, bari sax
WBGO JAM Live Broadcasts 2012
© 2012 WBGO