WBGO Blog
  • Live Blog: Bill Charlap Trio at Village Vanguard 10.8.08

    October 8, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Vanguard Marquee: Bill Charlap Trio
    Hear an interview with Bill Charlap.
    Get a random sample of Bill Charlap's digital music collection.

    8:01pm
    Doors are open at the Vanguard, and folks are pouring in for tonight's show.

    8:05pm
    The trio rarely gets to the Vanguard with time to spare before the show.  I guess that's how they keep it fresh.  It's definitely how to keep the production crew on edge.

    8:10pm
    Some extramusical news from the Vanguard.  Last night, someone robbed the nail salon at street level, just above the Vanguard.  Normally, that would not be a problem.  But the genius burglars decided to turn on the faucets and flood the place.  That caused a mess inside the club.  Lorraine Gordon arrived at 4am to a flooded club that resembled a swimming pool, complete with cops and firemen.  Jed Eisenman from the Vanguard came in at 11am and got to work.  Folks who walk in tonight would never know the difference.  That's showbiz!

    8:40pm
    Bill Charlap?  Check.  Peter Washington?  Check.   Kenny Washington?  Not yet.

    9:02pm
    The band's all here...obviously.  They started with an underrated composer, Gigi Gryce.  This is "Satellite."  Not a song that even most jazz aficionados know.  But these guys know it just fine.

    9:07pm
    Not to diminish David Tallacksen's excellent recording skills, but it definitely helps when you have this kind of natural balance among the musicians.  You can't make a bad performance sound great.  Not to worry here.

    9:14pm
    After a lovely version of Gerry Mulligan's "Curtains," Bill Charlap moves directly into Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust."

    9:23pm
    The trio is swinging Lucky Thompson's "Prey-Loot" mercilessly.

    9:26pm
    Close your eyes, and you could almost imagine Peter Washington as Oscar Pettiford.  Such a crystalline tone.  It's a joy to hear Peter, always.

    9:32pm
    Harold Arlen's music always had a real blues feel.  I suspect that's a big reason why jazz musicians love his music.  This is "When the Sun Comes Out."

    9:37pm
    You're clear "Out of This World."  Another Harold Arlen composition.  Great rhythm driving this one.  Kenny Washington is providing the ultra-hip beat.

    9:51pm
    "Make Me Rainbows."  Bill Charlap's knowledge of the Great American Songbook runs pretty deep.  Nice swing.

    9:56pm
    Someone's cell phone just ruined this recording of Kern's "The Way You Look Tonight."  Even on vibrate, it interferes.  People turn them off!  What's so important???  Aarg...

    9:58pm
    The trio is burning thought the chord changes on "The Way You Look Tonight." I don't think I've heard many musicians play the Jerome Kern standard at this tempo.  Yowza.

    10:05pm
    Such a great trio when it comes to straight-ahead bebop and songbook.  They're on their own turf.  And you can hear it!

    10:08pm
    Just when I thought the show was over, surprise!  "Sophisticated Lady."  Duke Ellington gets the nod.

    10:14pm
    Goodnight, all.  We're back at the club in a few weeks.  Tell all your friends.
    -Josh

  • WBGO Hosts Share Their Love of Music and Sports on SportsJam

    October 6, 2008. Posted by Doug Doyle.

    Rhonda Hamilton Playing GolfDoug Doyle and Michael Carvin Golf

    Bob PorterPassionate is a word I would use to describe Rhonda Hamilton and Bob Porter's approach to jazz and blues. However, after playing a round of golf with Rhonda and her husband, drummer Michael Carvin, then sitting down with Bob to talk about his beloved Red Sox, both hosts may be even more crazy about their favorite sports.

    Check out my SportsJam sessions with Rhonda and Bob here.