WBGO Blog
  • 'Treme,' Episode 5: Struttin' With Some Southern Cooking

    May 10, 2010. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

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    L-R: Actual New York chefs Tom Colicchio, Eric Rispert, Wylie Dufresne, David Chang crash the fictional New Orleans restaurant of Janette Desautel. (Image Credit: Paul Schiraldi/HBO)

    So you know when, in episode five of Treme, those four big-time chefs come in from New York to eat at Janette's restaurant? She makes a point not to "out New York" them, but still hits them with artful Southern cooking: sweet potato andouille shrimp soup, rabbit kidneys wrapped in bacon lardons, crawfish and grits, lamb, etc. Janette impresses those guys, and they seem loose and relaxed. It seems to me to be saying something to the effect of "we do it our own way here" — but still at a very high level, objectively speaking.

    Well-stated. Negotiating the line between New Orleans and New York has its rewards, whether you're a big chief, a big chef, or Louis Armstrong. Negotiating your way through a plate of grits and grillades versus a pastrami sandwich is helpful to understand the difference.

    Oh, hello again Josh Jackson of WBGO. You know, I can see a theoretical parallel scene in my head: Delmond is going to show up in a later episode with a bunch of New York jazz musicians, and they're going to be really impressed with the local talent.

    They should be. Connecting to the music of New Orleans can be a powerful experience. On that note ...

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  • Mary Lou Williams Centennial Is May 8

    May 6, 2010. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    This weekend marks 100 years since the birth in Atlanta of Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981), one of the greatest musicians and first women in jazz. Creative, profound, productive from her teens in Kansas City through her teaching at Duke University, her life inspired Duke Ellington to write “Mary Lou Williams is perpetually contemporary. Her music retains a standard of quality that is timeless. She is like Soul on Soul.”

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    Photo courtesy Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers Newark

    The Institute of Jazz Studies website is your quickest way to learn about her, just a click away. The online exhibit is thorough and beautifully done. Plan to spend at least 15 minutes with this multimedia biography. It comes from material in the Mary Lou Williams Collection (she was a saver and left everything to the IJS).

    This Sunday at 6pm, JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater features MLW in performances from more than 30 years ago, as she rocked the houses at the Universities of Michigan and Wisconsin. She tells and plays the history of jazz from spirituals through ragtime, blues, the “swingin left hand” a/k/a stride, and modern sounds. Only MLW could say "This music doesn't have anything to do with New Orleans or Africa. It's American music." And then she chuckles. Ronnie Boykins (1935-1980, veteran of the Sun Ra Arkestra) is on bass, Charli Persip on drums. (At Jazz Standard Tues night, when Mulgrew Miller played “Ev'ry Day I Have the Blues,” he paralleled MLW's Basie-like treatment of “Bag’s Groove” that closes the JazzSet.) Rebroadcast Wednesday at 6:30 or on demand any time.

    KEEP READING FOR A LIST OF MLW CELEBRATIONS . . .

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  • Newark Mayoral Debate tonight at 8pm on WBGO

    May 5, 2010. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    The Newark, NJ mayoral debate will take place tonight at 8 p.m. on Cablevision channel 78, and simulcast on WBGO Jazz 88.3FM.  News 12 NJ's anchor Bryan Jenkins and WBGO's reporter Monica Miller will be asking questions with the host of the debate, anchor Jeff Henig from Cablevision of Hudson County. All four candidates are scheduled to take part in the debate.
    usflag 1) Yvonne Garrett Moore is a resident of the Clinton Hill district and lived in the neighborhood during the 1967 riots. The former performing artist served as a Board Member on the Municipal Art Council and Advisor for the State Arts Commission in Tennessee  where she worked on projects to improve urban blight. She is a mother of four and grandmother of seven.

    2) Mirna White moved to Newark in 2008 to be a part of the city's Renaissance. She worked for Verizon Telecommunications for 12 years before becoming an attorney. Minor practiced criminal defense, real estate and family law before running for mayor. She has a young son and is a volunteer who feeds the homeless and mentors children.

    3) Mayor Cory Booker is seeking a second term to run New Jersey's largest city. The Rhodes Scholar and Yale Law School graduate served one term as Central Ward City Councilman before running for mayor in 2002 when he lost the election to former Mayor Sharpe James. Four years later, he was successful in his bid for mayor.

    4) Former Essex County Prosecutor Clifford Minor left public service 17 years ago for private practice.