WBGO Blog
  • Live Blog from the Village Vanguard: Kenny Barron 4

    August 27, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Kenny Barron 4 at the Vanguard

    Listen to the show.
    View some photos from tonight.

    8:59pm
    Thanks for joining us tonight. It seems that New Yorkers consistently pack the Village Vanguard when Kenny Barron plays. Tonight is no exception to that rule. Another crowded house for our live show. Enjoy.

    The Kenny Barron 4 are:
    Kenny Barron - piano
    Kiyoshi Kitagawa - bass
    Francisco Mela - drums
    Dayna Stephens - tenor saxophone

    9:00pm
    It has come.

    9:01pm
    After a brief introduction of the band members, Kenny Barron launches into "Softly As in a Morning Sunrise."
    A standard from a standard-bearer of modern improvisation.

    9:10pm
    Nice bass solo from Kiyoshi Kitagawa. I can hear him breathing. Kiyoshi has been with Kenny Barron for ten years.

    9:15pm Um Beijo, a Barron original. On the new CD, The Traveler. Lyrics on the record, sung by Grady Tate.
    "A kiss."

    9:19pm
    Dayna Stephens is a young saxophonist with a well-tempered sound. Smoky. I like it.

    9:25pm
    "Shuffle Boil," a Thelonious Monk composition. Perhaps you know about Sphere, the band that assembled after Monk's passing to continue his music in the famous Monk quartet sound? Kenny Barron, Charlie Rouse (then Gary Bartz), Buster Williams, and Ben Riley. Great records.

    9:36pm
    Shuffle Boil is at a full boil. Dayna Stephens with a Charlie Rouse-ing solo. Forgive the bad pun...People who know me will tell you I cannot help myself...

    9:38pm
    Who needs the Democratic National Convention? Give me this.

    9:42pm
    "Blame it on My Youth"
    Kenny Barron was a great admirer of pianist Tommy Flanagan. Flanagan's photo is right next to the piano at the Village Vanguard.

    9:52pm
    Another original, "New Samba."

  • Kenny Barron - Interview and Shuffle

    August 27, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Kenny Barron Photo by Carol Friedman

    We're presenting pianist Kenny Barron tonight at the Village Vanguard. Barron's new recording, The Traveler, released yesterday. We talk about living with music, something that Kenny Barron has done for most of his life. Hear the honesty, humility, and everything else that makes Kenny Barron one of today's most well-regarded jazz musicians. It's all in this interview.

    Now seems as good a time as any to tell you about an idea that has been germinating in my mind. I have been building a Frankenstein in WBGO's covert ops laboratory. It's a radio show/new media platform/chimera called Living With Music, and you will be hearing more about this in the coming months. One of the features is called Shuffle, where I invite a musician into the studio, ask them to bring their digital music player, set it to access their playlist randomly, and we improvise from there. I always thought it was a perfect vehicle for the broad listening habits of jazz musicians. Jazz covers of Sting and Radiohead, a string quartet playing a famous jazz tune, an original composition... that's just some of the stuff on Kenny Barron's iPod. So here's a sample of the feature, before it gets edited into a finely-crafted production for Living With Music. Let's call it a rough edit, if you care about the nitty gritty details of production terminology.
    Check it out.

    -Josh