WBGO Blog
  • Olé!

    July 18, 2008. Posted by .

    There may be a bit of a glut of Flamenco dancers, singers and guitarists in NYC and environs nowadays, and tourists can get a skirt steak and soléa in more than a few Manhattan spots. But if you wanna get a look at the real deal "Flamenca pura," you will not be disappointed if you head out to Theater 80 on St. Mark's Place for a performance by Noche Flamenca. The group has started a six-week run at the venue and it's a perfect spot for them, so intimate you can see the sweat beads on the dancers' foreheads.

    If you're a fan of Flamenco or if you've ever wanted to get an introduction to the art form, I highly recommend them. You can hear some more about Noche Flamenca on the WBGO Journal tonight. Here's a clip from a dress rehearsal last week. Dig. - Cruz


  • Best Album Covers

    July 18, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

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    OK, I just had this crazy idea.  I'm sure it's not a first, but I never thought about doing this until today.  I was thinking to paint a mural on a wall in my apartment using my favorite album cover as inspiration.  But I have too many favorite covers, which then got me to thinking about all the dope album covers there are - not just in jazz, but in all of music.  So I thought I'd share just a slight few of my favorite album covers of all time - in no particular order.  If you have some favorites, share them with me.  I'd love to know what your mural would look like.

    Miles Davis - Bitches Brew

    Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

    Thelonious Monk - Underground

    John Coltrane - Coltrane

    The Beatles - St. Pepper's Lonely...

    Miles Davis - A Tribute to Jack Johnson

    Radiohead - Amnesiac

    Duke Ellington & John Coltrane

    Stevie Wonder - Innervisions, Talking Book, Songs in the Key...

    Marvin Gaye - What's Goin' On

    Wayne Shorter - Night Dreamer

    Herbie Hancock - Inventions and Dimensions

    The Jacksons - Destiny

    Michael Jackson - Off the Wall

    John Coltrane - A Love Supreme

    The Doors - The Doors

    Aretha Franklin - Young, Gifted and Black

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    coltrane.jpg

    inventions1.jpg

  • Nicholas Payton's Into the Blue

    July 18, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

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    Here's an album I'm recently checking out. Jazz trumpeter and Crescent City native Nicholas Payton has a new CD out called Into the Blue. It's been five years since the trailblazing trumpeter put out his Sonic Trance which left me, for one, looking for the next thing. That album was so different from everything he had done before, so I was really curious to see what was next (there was a tribute album in between, but I'm referring to Payton's original music). Needless to say, I'm happy he's back in the spotlight.

    I checked him out at the Jazz Standard last month, playing tracks from the new record, and it was really cool. Not what I would have expected...but then again, I didn't know what to expect. What I got was a road less traveled that was paved with certainty, purpose and spontaneity all at the same time. The band included rhodes and percussion. Nicholas was singing more than a handful of tunes (yes, entire tunes) and did really interesting covers - Joe Jackson's "Steppin' Out" for one (yeah 80s!).

    I recently read that this is the first album Payton has recorded in his home town of New Orleans. He had always recorded in New York - far away from the distractions of home. When I listen to this album, though I don't hear overt New Orleans influence, I can still feel the inspiration of home. It's a romantic and really feel good album. Nothing contrived, or regurgitated, like some groove-oriented jazz albums. It feels fresh, even in its familiarity. My favorite tune is the ballad "The Backward Step." It almost sounds like a meditation - but with a form, which I find really interesting. The melody is extremely poetic.

    I am happy to say that I am really enjoying this record. Well worth the wait.