February 5, 2015
His instrument is now synonymous with jazz, but Coleman Hawkins was the first to carve out a place for the tenor saxophone in the music. A burly-toned player with an advanced harmonic understanding, Hawkins was not only a titan of early jazz, but also a progenitor of developments to come.
Eric Reed, one of the standout pianists of his own generation, came to Jazz at Lincoln Center last November to celebrate the 110th birthday anniversary of Coleman Hawkins. Jazz Night In America visits Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola to take in a special set led by the hard-swinging Reed.
Eric Reed, piano; Tivon Pennicott, tenor saxophone; Warren Vache, cornet; Dezron Douglas, bass; Willie Jones III, drums.
© 2015 WBGO
January 29, 2015Our Point of View features pianist Robert Glasper, saxophonist Marcus Strickland and bassist Derrick Hodge. (Image Credit: NPR)
Blue Note Records made its name on names: Sonny Clark, Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley, Grant Green, Paul Chambers, Tony Williams, and many more who have etched their marks on jazz history. For its 75th anniversary, the label gathered together a new crop of artists — those pushing the label forward now — and sent them on tour together, performing each others' compositions.
Together, Robert Glasper, Ambrose Akinmusire, Marcus Strickland, Lionel Loueke, Derrick Hodge and Kendrick Scott are known as Our Point of View. WBGO and Jazz Night In America presented the only East Coast appearance of the band in late 2014, at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City.
© 2015 WBGO
January 22, 2015
In 1984, when a young Steven Bernstein first encountered the blind virtuoso New Orleans pianist and singer Henry Butler, he was astonished. "This is it," he recalls thinking. "This is like the music that I always imagined. Everything you ever loved about music, all being in one place. But now it's all coming from one person." Nearly two decades later, Butler and Bernstein finally had the chance to collaborate when they were booked for a run together at New York's Jazz Standard. It was an intriguing pairing: Bernstein, with his trumpet and arranging chops, and a wealth of downtown New York experience; Butler, with his deep well of knowledge and talent. They plotted a program of early blues and Butler originals, were invited to record for a major jazz label and continue to play residencies at Jazz Standard.
Jazz Night In America looks at how the collaboration took shape, and visits the club where it all began for a live performance in December 2014 by Butler, Bernstein and the Hot 9.
© 2015 WBGO