WBGO Blog
  • Toast of the Nation New York - Looking Back

    January 2, 2008. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    We had a great time at the Jazz Standard on New Year's Eve - Trio da Paz and Kenny Barron put in a killer set! I definitely recommend you check it out, whether you're listening again or for the first time. NPR should soon be posting the audio for the entire Toast of the Nation broadcast on their new music website, npr.org/music. And in the meantime, here are just a few pictures from the evening.

    Front and center is Aurasonic's 'BreadMobile' - the audio truck.

    BreadMobile at the Jazz Standard

    Here is the Trio rehearsing with Kenny:

    Trio da Paz with Kenny Barron

    Drummer Duduka da Fonseca:

    Duduka

    The band:

    Trio da Paz at the Jazz Standard

  • "DIGGIN' THE CLASSICS": DONALD BYRD EDITION

    January 2, 2008. Posted by Stevan Smith.

    What's going on all!

    Welcome to my blog series "DIGGIN' THE CLASSICS"! When new releases in the music world get slow, we all tend to dig into our collections for some vintage pleasure. Join me for my weekly (or whenever I feel like it) quest for soundtrack satisfaction. This is a blog for music lovers! "Walk With Me".

    This edition celebrates: Donald Byrd- Places and Spaces (1975)

    Tracklisting:

    1. Change (Make you wanna Hustle)
    2. Wind Parade
    3. (Fallin' Like) Dominoes
    4. Places and Spaces
    5. You and the Music
    6. Night Whistler
    7. Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)

    I have only one word to describe this album: SEXY

    This is smooth jazz, funky jazz, "clean ya house jazz". I play this when my mood says,"A grown man just got home from work today....and he needs sometime to reflect".

    Here's my favorite track off of the album....Wind Parade:

     

    Recorded in the summer of 1975, Places & Spaces continued the influences of Byrd's prior release Street Lady. Exhibiting elements of Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, and Earth Wind & Fire...let's just say this wouldn't be the darling of a jazz purist. Groovin' guitars, mellow bass, and tantalizing horns makes for a perfect blend of jazz/soul/funk/disco harmony.

    Producer Larry Mizell (One half of the Mizell Brothers)

    Hooking up with the Mizell Brothers, as he did with his last 2 albums, Byrd continued his exploration into jazz-funk. The album was also a hot bed for samples. From acid jazz to hip hop, Places and Spaces also birthed many classics in other genres. For example, Black Moon's "Buck Em Down" Remix. A classic hip hop record of the early 90's that samples Byrd's "Wind Parade."

     

    A part of the Blue Note Records Rare Groove series, Donald Byrd's Places and Spaces demands rotation in your mp3 player. A true classic of the past, present and future.

  • Blogging during the staff meeting?

    January 2, 2008

    This is the most painful part of being a team player. The monthly "all-staff meeting." Most of us are chomping at the bit to get back to the tons of work we have to do but acknowledge that it's important for the right hand to know what the left hand is doing. There's useful information exchanged here, for the most part. Upcoming stuff includes our broadcasts of Rhonda Hamilton's Midday Jazz Show from the International Association for Jazz Education in Toronto (Jan. 9-12) and Eliane Elias plays the music of Bill Evans live from J&R Music, Park Row, on January 19. Our winter fund drive is scheduled to begin January 30.

    Other stuff upcoming: Our next Newark Today broadcast will feature a return visit from Police Director Garry McCarthy. That's on January 10, 8 p.m. A call-in show with Newark's departing schools superintendent, January 31, 8 p.m. This'll be a rare opportunity to hear from (and to talk to) Marion Bolden, a 40-year veteran of the Newark public school system. There was more stuff happening but I was posting these blog comments and I missed it, so ... David Cruz

  • My Favorite Albums of 2007

    January 2, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.

    2007 is ending, and though this year was pretty dry in my humble opinion, it was a GREAT year for music. Here are my favorite albums of 2007. I hope you'll check some of them out. And maybe some of these are your favorites, too!

    Terence Blanchard - A Tale of God's Will: A Requiem for Katrina (Blue Note)

    Jose Gonzalez - In Our Nature (Peacefrog)

    Radiohead - In Rainbows (Radiohead)

    Robert Glasper - In My Element (Blue Note)

    Kendrick Scott Oracle - The Source (World Culture Music)

    Charles Mingus Sextet w/ Eric Dolphy - Cornell 1964 (Blue Note)

    Common - Finding Forever (Geffen)

    Mike Moreno - Between the Lines (World Culture Music)

    Many of the people on my list are fantastic, young jazz musicians who are blazing the trails of this music. I can't wait to see what's in store for 2008 from some of my favorite artists!

    Angelika Beener

  • Upper Crust - Toast of the Nation Eats Across America

    December 31, 2007. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    If the dinner from Blue Smoke didn't get you salivating like Pavlov's dog, here's another menu highlight from Toast of the Nation, courtesy The Dakota in Minneapolis.

    While you're hearing a stew of Cuban/Gospel/Earth Wind and Fire, you would no doubt enjoy the following special menu for tonight from Executive Chef Jack Riebel. For the record, the chef will be happy to discuss vegetarian/dietary options for you. And for those of you who could not stomach The Omnivore's Dilemma, The Dakota proudly supports locally owned, independently & sustainably operated farms. Their meat is all natural with no added hormones or antibiotics.

    FIRST COURSES

    Carpaccio of Lamb - lamb’s lettuce, truffle pecorino, black radish
    House Smoked Salmon brioche, quail egg, hollandaise (domestic caviar supplement)

    Belgian Endive & Green Apple Salad with niman ranch bacon, gruyere cheese
    Oyster Stew “Edna Lewis” - salsify, chive, common crackers
    Seared Foie Gras - cipolinni onion, polenta, huckleberry

    ENTREES

    Peking Duck Breast - wild rice, scallion, fennel, truffle honey
    “Surf & Turf” - ribeye of american kobe, tempura prawn, jalapeño ponzu
    Crab Crusted Walleye - jumbo lump crab, honji menji mushroom, coconut broth
    Lofton Ridge Venison Loin - parsnip hash, candied chestnut, pancetta
    Cabbage Rolls - black bean, goat cheese, red pepper sauce
    Hawiian Blue Marlin - kahlua pork, maui onion, mu-shu cake

    DESSERTS

    Trifle - tropical fruit, candied macadamia nuts, strawberry sorbet
    Baked Alaska - hot chocolate, rumpleminz
    Egg Nog Trio - bread pudding, traditional, brûlé
    Chocolate Souffle - valrhona chocolate, vanilla anglaise
    Figgy Pudding -brandy caramel, rum raisin ice cream

    Don't forget to save room for champage...

    Josh