• Herbie Hancock's Latest Voyage

    October 20, 2016

    Herbie Hancock always seems to be on some kind of voyage. Whether he's improvising in a spaceship surrounded by 11 keyboards or forming new iterations of bands, you can always count on him to push the possibilities and the boundaries of jazz.

    This concert presentation includes the most recent member of the group: Flying Lotus and Terrace Martin on keyboards and alto saxophone. It also features Lionel Loueke on guitar and vocals, James Genus on bass, and Trevor Lawrence Jr. on drums.

    On this radio episode, Jazz Night in America host Christian McBride sits down with Hancock to discuss his technological journey over the years. We'll also hear stories from Herbie's longtime keyboard tech, Bryan Bell, and a testimonial from Paris Strother, keyboard player for the R&B trio KING.


    Herbie Hancock (piano, keytar, vocals), James Genus (bass), Trevor Lawrence, Jr. (drums), Lionel Loueke (guitar, vocals), Terrace Martin (keyboards, vocals, alto saxophone)


    Producers: Alex Ariff, Patrick Jarenwattananon, Colin Marshall, Simon Rentner, Katie Simon; Editors: Colin Marshall, Nikki Boliaux; Audio Engineer: David Tallacksen; Concert Videographers: Colin Marshall, Nick Michael, Olivia Merrion, Chris Parks, AJ Wilhelm; Host, Christian McBride; Executive Producers: Gabrielle Armand, Anya Grundmann, Amy Niles; Special Thanks: Jay Eigenmann, Simon Rentner; Concert Produced By: This Is Our Music/Brice Rosenbloom, BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival/Jack Walsh; Funded in part by: The Argus Fund, Doris Duke Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Wyncote Foundation

    Copyright 2016 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center.

  • Oliver Jones: A Canadian Jazz Legend Heads Home

    October 13, 2016

    Oliver Jones. (Image Credit: Michael Slobodian/Michael Slobodian)

    Oliver Jones may be the most famous living jazz pianist you've never heard of. But in Canada, Jones is a hero — adored in his native Quebec and across the country for helping to build a vibrant jazz scene that can sustain the country's top musicians.

    A serious talent and a tireless advocate for Canadian jazz, Jones is a champion for local musicians — a folk hero of sorts. You can find his images on the sides of buildings and on his very own postage stamp. He's also a serious talent with charisma and charm that's been winning over fans for years.

    This week on Jazz Night In America, we'll introduce you to the 81-year-old ambassador for jazz — a former protege of another great Canadian pianist, Oscar Peterson. Here, Jones sits down with Peterson's daughter to discuss what jazz means to Canada and what Canada means to him.

    Jones celebrated his retirement this year with a special sold-out trio performance at the Montreal Jazz festival. Jazz Night was there to bid him farewell.

    Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

  • Dance Like Animals In Wynton Marsalis' 'Spaces'

    October 6, 2016

    In Spaces, Wynton Marsalis' new dance suite for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, each movement corresponds to a different animal — a chicken, a lion, a frog and more.

    He enlisted tap dancer Jared Grimes and "jooker" (street dancer) Lil Buck to embody the animals in their performances. In this piece, Marsalis also describes his fascination with the animal kingdom, his process of writing, and the way he attempts to draw on the spaces that all creatures inhabit.

    Copyright 2016 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center.

  • In 'Latin American Songbook,' Edward Simon Rethinks The American Jazz Standard

    September 20, 2016. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    In his new album, Latin American Songbook, jazz pianist Edward Simon offers a new take on some of his favorite Latin standards. (Image Credit: Scott Chernis/Courtesy of the artist)

    Many jazz pianists play tunes from the Great American Songbook, that beloved canon of standards from the early 20th century. But pianist Edward Simon has chosen to focus on another great collection of American standards for his newest album, Latin American Songbook.

    Growing up in Venezuela, near the northern edge of South America, was an advantage for Simon. His early listening encompassed music from the north — Cuba and Puerto Rico — and also extended southward to the music of Chile, Brazil and Argentina.

    When Simon set out to record Latin American Songbook, he realized that the collection couldn't possibly represent every country in the region — that was too vast a scope. Instead, he settled on Latin American songs that he simply loves to play.

    Besides growing up in the geographic center of Latin America, Simon came up in a musical household. The song "Volver" is a famous tango that his father sang as a bolero — so it's something of a family tradition for Simon to bring his own character to the song. His use of mixed meter gives "Volver" the mood of memory — the unreliability only adds to its loveliness.

    Simon wisely chooses standards that lend themselves to fresh harmonies and inventive arrangements. Even more essentially, without a singer on hand, he knows when to bring an extravagant lyricism to his piano lines, as in "Alfonsina Y El Mar."

    The combination of Latin standards and a jazz sensibility is always rich, but this recording really works because an expert musician applies himself so sincerely to songs that were formative for him. Simon puts his head and heart into Latin American Songbook, and the album gives Latin standards a rightful and joyful place at the center of instrumental jazz.

    Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

  • Robert Glasper Talks 'ArtScience,' The Latest From His Adventurous Jazz Crew

    September 10, 2016. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    Robert Glasper's latest album with his group, The Robert Glasper Experiement, is called ArtScience. (Image Credit: Mathieu Bitton/Courtesy of the artist)

    Robert Glasper is always making music. Solo or with his quartet, the Robert Glasper Experiment, he's released 9 albums and collaborated with everyone from Herbie Hancock to Kendrick Lamar, investigating the sounds and rhythms of jazz and hip-hop in equal measure,

    The Robert Glasper Experiment includes Casey Benjamin on sax, Derrick Hodge on bass, and Mark Colenburg on drums — with occasional cameos on record from Glasper's young song Riley. Their new album is ArtScience, out next week, and Glasper joined NPR's Scott Simon to talk about it. Hear their conversation at the audio link.

    Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.