March 31, 2015
One hundred years after she was born, Billie Holiday remains iconic in American music, not to mention jazz singing. Cassandra Wilson has made her career in jazz singing by embracing a wide range of American music, and it holds true on her latest project: a new album rearranging the Billie Holiday songbook. The new Coming Forth By Day, created with rocker Nick Cave's producer and rhythm section, reshapes songs like "Good Morning Heartache" and "Strange Fruit" with fresh textures and resonances.
For Billie Holiday's centennial, Jazz Night In America presents Cassandra Wilson in concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., performing her take on the classic tunes.
© 2015 WBGO
March 26, 2015
The genre choro — a word which means "cry" in Portuguese — is often described as "the New Orleans jazz of Brazil." Like its U.S. counterpart, both are Afro-Western hybrids which emerged in the early 20th century; both call for jam sessions showcasing improvisation and virtuosity. Both jazz and choro are also the domains of clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen. Her newest band, the quartet Choro Aventuroso, culminates an affinity and intense study of Brazilian music — one which began as part of an international community of jazz students at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Jazz Night In America visits Jazz at Lincoln Center to catch Cohen's group play its modernized take on waltzes, mazurkas and African-Brazilian rhythms such as the lundu — all of which help characterize the essence of choro.
© 2015 WBGO
March 24, 2015
The late, distinctively melodic jazz composer Kenny Wheeler was also a great trumpet player, though, being famously self-effacing, often declined to toot his own horn about his talents. Many musicians sang his praises, though, and when he died in 2014, saxophonist Steve Treseler and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen were inspired to revisit his music. As they traded notes and arrangements, they realized they had to record these tunes which had been so influential to their growth as musicians. So Jensen, herself a Pacific Northwest native, brought herself and her top-notch rhythm section to Treseler's hometown of Seattle, Wash. to make an album — and play some of it for the public.
Jazz Night In America flew to Seattle to capture Steve Treseler and Ingrid Jensen's tribute to Kenny Wheeler, live from the musician-owned Royal Room.
Steve Treseler, tenor saxophone; Ingrid Jensen, trumpet/effects; Geoff Keezer, piano; Martin Wind, bass; Jon Wikan, drums; Katie Jacobson, voice.
© 2015 WBGO