August 14, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.
Kudos to JazzTimes! In the September issue, the cover story is "The Future Is Now: New Jazz Visionaries." Let me start by saying that I love the first part of that headline. I get so tired of hearing about the status of jazz, where is it going, what's going to happen to it, who will save it...you get where I'm going. My frustration comes from being on the jazz scene and seeing and all of the amazing talent, projects, bands, artists, compositions, collaborative efforts, etc. and then hearing those statements. It's like "What are you talking about? Have you checked out a show lately on any given night, at any given venue in the city, for starters?"
This article covers just a few of the "new visionaries." Christian Scott, Aaron Parks, Robert Glasper, Esperanza Spaulding, Marcus Strickland and others. Each artist has a full page story and photo. I think this issue was so necessary, and I really give it up to JazzTimes for making the blatently obvious even more obvious - that jazz is alive, well, and thriving. (Now, if cats could only earn the money that the music's worth...but that's another story).
Check out each of these artists when they're in a city near you. Both Aaron Parks and Esperanza Spaulding will be performing at the J&R MusicFest next Friday, August 22, and WBGO will be broadcasting it live! Learn more about it by clicking here.
Check out a live performance of Aaron Parks' "Nemesis" from the WBGO studios. It's NPR's "Song of the Day" with commentary by WBGO's Josh Jackson.
© 2008 WBGO
August 11, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.
Oscar-winner, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, and Soul legend Isaac Hayes passed away on Sunday in Memphis, TN. He was 65 years old.
Rhythm Revue host Felix Hernandez, will dedicate his entire program to Isaac Hayes this Saturday, August 16, from 10 AM - 2 PM on 88.3 FM and WBGO.org. Named New York's Best Radio Show by New York Magazine, Rhythm Revue is widely revered radio show that includes a mix of soul, Motown, funk, salsa and disco dance classics of the 60's, 70's, 80's.
"There aren't too many artists I would dedicate my whole show to," says Hernandez, who has done a dedication of this magnitude for only two other artists - James Brown and Marvin Gaye. When asked why he chose to add Hayes to this very selective list, his response was simple. "Singer, songwriter, producer, musician...he did so many things and worked in so many different capacities. He was an innovator. It's going to be a very varietal four hours."
Variety is an essential component when it comes to Isaac Hayes and his body of work. Though perhaps best known for his Grammy and Oscar-winning "Theme from Shaft," the multi-faceted Hayes got his start writing hits for Stax-label artists like Carla Thomas, Johnny Taylor, and Sam & Dave, for whom he penned the hits "Soul Man" and "Hold On, I'm Comin'." Over the course of Hayes' career, he would earn critical acclaim for a string of albums under his own name, as well as recognition as an actor, author, and humanitarian. He was inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. He was also the voice of the popular character "Chef" on Comedy Central's South Park.
Hot Buttered Soul, was the breakout album that put Hayes on the map as a new and ingenious artist, and one of the most influential in Soul and Pop music. Hayes was one of the first to produce what is commonly known as "concept albums," moving beyond creating work that was just a collection of songs, but albums that were a thematically continuous, single piece of work.
He also was the prime innovator of the "extended song", where he would fill an entire album side with just a track or two, including very long introductions or "raps" as they were called at the time. The most famous being his "By the Time I Get to Phoenix."
"This is one of the things he introduced to Pop music - not just Soul, but Pop in general," says Hernandez.
"Artists such as Barry White were heavily influenced by this style of writing, producing and arranging," adds WBGO's Bob Porter. "In his look, in his sound, arrangements, and song, he was a completely distinctive artist."
Hernandez will cover the breadth and scope of this musical icon with the detail and the unique perspective that is his trademark.
Tune in to 88.3 FM or WBGO.org on Saturday, August 16, at 10 AM.
© 2008 WBGO
August 10, 2008. Posted by Becca Pulliam.
Host Josh Jackson did the sendoff and WE ARE IN HERBIE HANCOCK HEAVEN .. the sun is blasting our tent and the music is rockin ..
You can listen & chat about it at npr.org/music ..
It's hard to get a photo as the stage at Newport is shaded. The performers look out toward the boats, and send their music direct to thousands of people on the grass. And you! Thanks for listening!
© 2008 WBGO