WBGO Blog
  • Memories of Ms. Melba Liston

    March 21, 2008. Posted by .

    Melba ListonOn the latest edition of our new podcast "We Insist!: Jazz Speaks Out," the subject is pianist, composer, humanitarian and Brooklynite Randy Weston and his groundbreaking recording Uhuru Afrika. Host Angelika Beener talks with Weston about his music and his love of Africa. They also talk about the first meeting between Weston and Melba Liston, the great trombonist and arranger who became a a 40+ year collaborator.

    Randy says Melba was the key component to the success of many of his greatest recordings, including, most dramatically, "Uhuru Afrika." You can hear more about Ms. Liston, Babatunde Olatunji, Langston Hughes, Geoffrey Holder and others in this interesting program which you can listen to on-Demand. Hear a humble genius talk about his great friend and musical partner.

    Randy Weston on Africa and Jazz

    You can also listen to other conversations with Terence Blanchard, who talks about Miles Davis' "A Tribute to Jack Johnson" and Dr. Robin D.G. Kelly, who talks about jazz and the Civil Rights Movement.

    Terence Blanchard on Miles and Jack Johnson

    Dr. Robin Kelley on Jazz and Civil Rights

  • Diane Schuur Interview with Michael Bourne

    March 18, 2008. Posted by Simon Rentner.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    Diane Schuur

    Pianist and singer extraordinaire Diane Schuur, better known to jazz insiders as "Deedles," visits WBGO to talk about her new record "Some Other Time," from Concord Records. During her interview with Michael Bourne, she reveals her passion for Dinah Washington, and the difficulties of formally teaching herself music as a sightless person.

    Listen to her full interview here.

  • Nat King Cole Born Today

    March 17, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    As the luck of the Irish would have it, Nathaniel Adams Cole , aka Nat King Cole, was born on this date. Most people know him more as the singer of "Nature Boy" than of "Danny Boy."
    I think I love Nat Cole's piano playing as much as, if not more than, I love his smoky voice. Years ago, I spent college scholarship money on the 18-CD set on Mosaic Records, The Complete Capitol Recordings of the Nat King Cole Trio. 349 songs from 1942-1961. Now out of print...
    I suppose that technically counted as an education expense, right?
    Anyway, here's a video of Nat Cole playing "Tea for Two." Listen for the "Foggy Day" quote in his introduction, and to his "Rhapsody in Blue" reference in his solo. - Josh

     

  • JazzSet Recording Jonathan Batiste Tonight at Jazz Standard

    March 17, 2008. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    Do you wonder where JazzSet gets our music? Tonight, March 17, we'll be at Jazz Standard on E. 27th between Park & Lex to record the young New Orleans pianist and Juilliard student Jonathan Batiste. Sets at 7:30 and 9:30, with Duuuke Markos doing the mix, WBGO's Yujin Cha and Josh Webb assisting. See you there!

    This past Friday, Chris Willis recorded the SF JAZZ Collective at Chicago Symphony Center for JazzSet.

    Becca Pulliam, JS Producer

  • Othella Dallas Interview with Michael Bourne

    March 14, 2008. Posted by Simon Rentner.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    Othella Dallas

    Othella Dallas - what a name! You can visualize it now, brilliantly flashing on a marquee. It may already ring familiar to your ear. She was once a rising vocal talent in America, singing at the Apollo in the mid 1950's with Sammy Davis Jr., Sonny Stitt, and King Curtis. After she landed the lead role in New York's production of "Jump for Joy," Duke Ellington composed two songs for her. But you probably don't know this - I didn't. She curbed her singing career in America to launch a ballet school in Switzerland, one that would become very successful. Now she returns to New York and joins Michael Bourne to tell her incredible story. - Simon

    Listen to the interview by clicking here.