WBGO Blog
  • In Memory Of 2014: Jazz Night Looks Back

    December 18, 2014. Posted by WBGO.

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    Gerald Wilson, 2010. (Image Credit: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for NAACP)

    This year saw the passing of numerous jazz legends. In Jazz Night In America's year in review, we pay tribute to bassist Charlie Haden, pianist Horace Silver and composer/bandleader Gerald Wilson, among others. We'll listen back to great live performances recorded over the past 30 years from these musicians — all from the WBGO vault — and highlight remembrances from friends and loved ones.

    Playlist

    • Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, "Teri" (Gerald Wilson)
    • Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, "Carlos" (Gerald Wilson)
    • Charlie Haden & Quartet West, "My Old Flame" (Coslow/Johnston) [from Sophisticated Ladies]
    • Charlie Haden & Quartet West with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, "Now Is The Hour" (Scott/Kaiha/Stewart arr. Broadbent)
    • Charlie Haden & Quartet West, "Child's Play" (Haden) from In Angel City
    • Horace Silver, "Gregory Is Here" (Silver) from In Pursuit of the 27th Man
    • Art Blakey Quintet, "Quicksilver" (Silver) from A Night at Birdland Vol. 1

    Personnel

    Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra: Wynton Marsalis, Sean Jones, Ryan Kisor, Marcus Printup, trumpet; Andre Hayward, Vincent Gardner, Wycliffe Gordon, trombone; Sherman Irby, Ted Nash, Walter Blanding, Victor Goines, Joe Temperley, reeds; Dan Nimmer, piano; Carlos Henriquez, bass; Ali Jackson, drums. Special guest: Anthony Wilson, guitar.

    Charlie Haden & Quartet West: Haden, bass; Ernie Watts, tenor saxophone, Alan Broadbent, piano; Rodney Green, drums. On "Now Is The Hour" and "Child's Play," substitute Larence Marable, drums.

    Horace Silver: Silver, piano; Randy Brecker, trumpet; Michael Brecker, tenor saxophone; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Mickey Roker, drums. Art Blakey Quintet: Lou Donaldson, alto saxophone; Clifford Brown, trumpet; Silver, piano; Curly Russell, bass; Blakey, drums.

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

  • A Jazz Piano Christmas 2014

    December 11, 2014. Posted by WBGO.

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    Harold Mabern, Kris Davis, Lynne Arriale and Cyrus Chestnut perform at A Jazz Piano Christmas 2014. (Image Credit: NPR)

    Every year, NPR Music invites a handful of the world's top keyboard players to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. We ask them to play some of their favorite holiday music for the audience — solo — and the recording becomes the public radio special A Jazz Piano Christmas.

    For its 25th anniversary, the program welcomes four artists. Harold Mabern, 78, is one of the great post-bop pianists. Kris Davis brings a distinct, experimental style that's made her a celebrated rising talent. The veteran performer Lynne Arriale returns to A Jazz Piano Christmas, and Cyrus Chestnut, at home in both the church and dialing up dazzling high-speed runs, has recently been named a professor at nearby Howard University.

    Jazz Night In America presents the 2014 edition of A Jazz Piano Christmas from the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center.

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

  • Ellis Marsalis At 80

    December 11, 2014. Posted by WBGO.

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    Ellis Marsalis celebrated his 80th birthday in performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center. (Image Credit: Lawrence Sumulong/Jazz at Lincoln Center)

    Ellis Marsalis has four famous musical sons — Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis — but considering his career, he's a father figure for many more musicians. In high school and college classrooms, he's been the major figure in New Orleans jazz education since the time that formal jazz education didn't exist. And as a pianist, he carved out a space for contemporary jazz in his hometown, and has grown into an elder statesman of the scene.

    He turned 80 in November, and to celebrate, Jazz at Lincoln Center — where his son Wynton is managing and artistic director — hosted him and his band at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola. Jazz Night In America was in the house for Ellis Marsalis' birthday.

    Copyright 2014 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .

  • Ellis Marsalis' 80th Birthday Concert

    December 10, 2014. Posted by WBGO.

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    Ellis Marsalis celebrates his 80th birthday in concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center. (Image Credit: Lawrence Sumulong/Jazz at Lincoln Center)

    Ellis Marsalis is a father figure of modern jazz — in quite a few ways. As a pianist, he was among the first generation of musicians to bring bebop to New Orleans, and even worked with Ornette Coleman before the saxophonist recorded his landmarks of free jazz. As an educator, many great musicians came through Marsalis' tutelage, whether in New Orleans' arts high school or at various university programs. And of course, he is also the actual father of several exceptional musicians named Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis.

    He turned 80 in November, and to celebrate, Jazz at Lincoln Center — where his son Wynton is managing and artistic director — hosted him and his band. Jazz Night In America fetes Ellis Marsalis with a special birthday performance from Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola.

    Set List

    • "Monkey Puzzle" (James Black)
    • "Homecoming" (Ellis Marsalis)
    • "Bloomdido" (Charlie Parker)
    • "Beautiful Old Ladies" (Harold Battiste)
    • "Sweet Georgia Brown" (Bernie/Pinkard)
    • "Creole Love Call" (Duke Ellington)
    • "Happy Birthday" [encore with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra]

    Personnel

    Ellis Marsalis, piano; Derek Douget, saxophones; Jason Stewart, bass; Herlin Riley, drums.

    Copyright 2014 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .

  • Johnny O'Neal: Listen, Closely

    December 4, 2014. Posted by WBGO.

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    Johnny O'Neal performs at Mezzrow. (Image Credit: NPR)

    Mezzrow is New York City's newest listening room: an intimate club for solo and duo performers where silence and attention are more than encouraged. It's a bit of a throwback, as is its Monday night host Johnny O'Neal. A virtuoso who shot onto the scene in the 1980s, the pianist is now re-establishing his presence in New York after decades off the radar. And on Mondays, he holds court at Mezzrow, singing the blues and welcoming guest after guest onto the tiny stage.

    Jazz Night in America stops into the Greenwich Village club to listen closely.

    Copyright 2014 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit .