WBGO Blog
  • Al Foster Interview

    May 20, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Al Foster at the Village Vanguard

    I was pleasantly surprised that this interview actually happened, but I know
    all to well that persistence pays off in the long run. I say this because Al
    Foster
    is famously dodgy about giving interviews to press. Probably because
    everyone in the world wants to know about Al's relationship with Miles Davis.
    Sure, he played with Miles for more than a decade, and was a dear friend, even
    during Davis' self-imposed exile from the music scene in the late 1970s. Get
    beyond that, and you realize that Al Foster has had an extraordinary musical
    life. In this interview, Foster talks about growing up in Harlem, where he met
    many of the legendary jazz musicians who shaped his career. And Miles too.
    But did you know that Al Foster raised four daughters as a single father? One
    more reason this guy deserves a medal. At the end of it all, you start to realize
    why so many people regard Al Foster as one of the great messengers of our music.
    -Josh

    The Al Foster Quartet plays the Village Vanguard this week. You can hear them
    live on WBGO, tomorrow night at 9. I'll be your host. Stay tuned.

  • Vibraphonist Walt Dickerson 4/16/28-5/15/08

    May 18, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Walt Dickerson

    Sad news to report. On May 15th, vibraphonist Walt Dickerson died of cardiac arrest at his home in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. He was 80. Walt made a string of amazing records in the 1960s for Prestige that rarely receive much notice beyond the realm of the hardcore jazz fan. I highly recommend them - This is Walt Dickerson, A Sense of Direction, Relativity, and my favorite, To My Queen - a quartet date with bassist George Tucker, drummer Andrew Cyrille and pianist Andrew Hill. Walt also cut some stuff for SteepleChase Records, and he collaborated with Sun Ra. They made a few intriguing records together, including Impressions of a Patch of Blue, based on Jerry Goldsmith's music for the Academy Award winning film starring Sidney Poitier and Shelley Winters (you MUST watch this movie). Walt's music is not so easy to find, but very much worth the effort. He will be missed.

    -Josh

  • Tom Harrell Quintet at the Vanguard

    May 18, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Notes

    Ugonna Okegwo and Tom Harrell

    A perfectly tight set from Tom Harrell's Quintet tonight. This shot was taken
    during a bass/flugelhorn duet on "Body and Soul," featuring Ugonna Okegwo
    and Tom Harrell. The band also included Danny Grissett on piano, Wayne
    Escoffery on tenor sax, and Johnathan Blake shaping the rhythmm on drums.
    I'm definitely looking forward to our WBGO/NPR Music broadcast on Wednesday
    evening, with the Al Foster Quartet.
    -Josh