WBGO Blog
  • Cassandra Wilson Sings Billie Holiday

    March 31, 2015

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    Cassandra Wilson. (Image Credit: Mark Seliger/Courtesy of the artist)

    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.

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .

  • Anat Cohen's Roots Of Rio

    March 26, 2015

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    Anat Cohen. (Image Credit: Jimmy Katz/Anzic Records)

    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.

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .

  • Ingrid Jensen And Steve Treseler Play Kenny Wheeler

    March 24, 2015

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    Steve Treseler and Ingrid Jensen. (Image Credit: Steve Korn/Courtesy of the artists)

    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.

    Personnel

    Steve Treseler, tenor saxophone; Ingrid Jensen, trumpet/effects; Geoff Keezer, piano; Martin Wind, bass; Jon Wikan, drums; Katie Jacobson, voice.

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .

  • The Best Of Jazz Night In America, Season One (So Far)

    March 19, 2015

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    A scene from the performance of Ochas, a suite by Wynton Marsalis for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra featuring Pedrito Martinez and Chucho Valdés. (Image Credit: Lawrence Sumulong/Jazz at Lincoln Center)

    In our first 19 Jazz Night In America webcasts, we've presented over 150 musicians from 13 venues in six cities — with many more musicians and locations on the way. Whether in huge concert auditoriums like Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall to tiny basement salons like Mezzrow in New York, we've heard from living legends, rising stars and very, very talented artists somewhere in between.

    For our 20th episode, we've selected some of our favorite moments of the bunch. Jazz Night In America presents highlights from its first batch of programs, featuring artists like Lou Donaldson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Wynton Marsalis, Pedrito Martinez, Robert Glasper, Miguel Zenón, Johnny O'Neal and many more.

    Copyright 2015 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .

  • Behind The SFJAZZ Collective's Original Approach To Joe Henderson

    March 19, 2015

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    The SFJAZZ Collective: (L-R) Avishai Cohen, Matt Penman, Obed Calvaire, Miguel Zenón, David Sánchez, Robin Eubanks, Warren Wolf, Edward Simon. (Image Credit: Jay Blakesberg/Courtesy of SFJAZZ)

    The SFJAZZ Collective, an all-star octet representing the SFJAZZ institution in San Francisco, has an intriguing approach to repertoire. Each year, each member writes a new piece for the Collective, and also rearranges a composition by a modern jazz master. For the 2014-15 season, that master was tenor saxophone titan Joe Henderson, a longtime San Francisco resident.

    Jazz Night In America goes behind the creation of the ensemble's new repertoire, with music from a four-night concert run in October of last year (now collected on the double-CD release Live: SFJAZZ Center 2014). Hear Joe Henderson classics reimagined, as well as new work from artists like saxophonist David Sánchez and trombonist Robin Eubanks.

    Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.