WBGO Blog
  • 'Everything Is Cyclical': Christian McBride Looks At 2015 In Jazz

    January 14, 2015

    image
    Christian McBride is the host of NPR's Jazz Night In America. (Image Credit: Anna Webber/Courtesy of the artist)

    Christian McBride likely doesn't need much of an introduction. He's a bassist who's worked with everyone from McCoy Tyner to Diana Krall to Paul McCartney. His latest gig is as the host of NPR's Jazz Night In America, "a portrait of jazz music today, as seen through many of its exceptional live performances and performers," as we wrote in October.

    McBride recently sat down with NPR's Audie Cornish to discuss what he's excited about in jazz this year. Two new albums came to mind, including Fresh Cut Orchestra's From The Vine ("I really like the way that they work with layers") and pianist Aaron Goldberg's The Now ("I think Aaron is absolutely brilliant"). McBride says he's particularly drawn to Goldberg's commitment to the swing.

    "Everything is cyclical," McBride says. "In the jazz world right now, it's not too popular to play swing rhythms. But if you're talking about something with a legacy as deep and as vast as jazz, one thing that's always been constant in that tradition is the swing rhythm."

    McBride says he's also looking forward to celebrating two major birthdays in jazz. Herbie Hancock turns 75, and McBride shares a cut from The Warner Bros. Years (1969-1972), a collection that highlights the Mwandishi band: "It was funky, it was swingin', it was avant-garde, it was land, it was water, it was everything."

    Roy Haynes, an icon to jazz drummers, turns 90 this year.

    "Without a doubt, Roy Haynes is a science project," McBride says. "He is still so spry at age 90 and still sounding great."

    You can hear the conversation by clicking on the audio link.

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

  • 5 Locally Grown Projects At Winter Jazzfest 2015

    January 8, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    image
    Eddie Henderson performs three times at the 2015 Winter Jazzfest. (Image Credit: Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artist)

    New York's Winter Jazzfest seems to grow like kudzu: fast and far. This year's installment, the 11th annual, features 500 musicians in styles ranging from gypsy swing to electronic.

    The festival's signature event is a two-day marathon, this Friday and Saturday, of overlapping performances at 10 clubs around Greenwich Village. Friday's highlights include celebrations of the music of David Murray and John Lurie. Saturday's concerts include showcases inspired by hot jazz from the 1920s and hip-hop. A single ticket offers admission to any and all of these concerts, more than 100 in all. All of Winter Jazzfest's groups are streaming around the clock on WBGO's HD2 channel.

    WJF now features artists from around the world, but its main attraction is still the chance to hear new projects by New York music makers. For this profile, I've chosen five surprising turns by stalwarts of the city's improvised-music scene.

    Copyright 2015 Newark Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.wbgo.org.

    Read more
  • Live From Detroit

    December 31, 2014. Posted by WBGO.

    image
    Rodney Whitaker. (Image Credit: Courtesy of the artist)

    For decades, Detroit has launched countless jazz careers: Thad Jones and Donald Byrd, Paul Chambers and Ron Carter, Kenny Burrell and Tommy Flanagan, Yusef Lateef and Alice Coltrane, Betty Carter and Geri Allen. To the present day, the city's musical legacy remains strong, as witnessed every Labor Day at the Detroit Jazz Festival.

    Violinist Regina Carter and bassist Rodney Whitaker take special delight performing in their hometown. Jazz Night in America features their sets at the Detroit Jazz Festival, and explores the Motor City's jazz scene through their eyes and ears.

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