WBGO Blog
  • This Week In JazzSet History: Christian McBride/Ray Brown Duet and "Tain"!!!

    April 18, 2012. Posted by Alex Ariff.

    Alexander Gelles Ariff is a musician/composer and graduate student in the Jazz History & Research Program at Rutgers University-Newark. Each week, he resurfaces gems from past JazzSets.

    This week in JazzSet history, it’s all about the music! In celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month, I’d like to express my appreciation for the preservation of great music. The JazzSet archive is like a time capsule into  the past 20 years of jazz—an ever evolving music. JazzSet captures the spontaneity of the live performance. I’m presenting a special gem this week: a duet between a 68-year-old Ray Brown and 22-year-old Christian McBride. Below is a recent photo of McBride that I shot at the Jazz House Kids summer concert in Montclair, NJ.

    ChristianMcBride_AlexAriff

    Ray Brown and Christian McBride performed a duet at 1994 Monterey Jazz Festival. The recording first aired April 22, 1995. They take their time at the beginning of each tune. First is “Things Ain't What They Used To Be,” and McBride takes the first solo. Second is the tune “Bye, Bye Blackbird." If you listen closely you can hear the audience singing along—you can also hear grunts of satisfaction from the bassists as the two engage in a musical conversation while trading-fours.

    120418ChristianRayCropped

    Beware! The wrath of "Tain"!! When drum Jeff "Tain" Watts is behind the kit, there is no groove he cannot tackle. In 2001, Watts brought in his 41st birthday at The Village Vanguard. JazzSet, with many thanks to proprietor Lorraine Gordon, aired the Jeff “Tain” Watts’ debut band: Ravi Coltrane, tenor; Paul Bollenbeck, guitar; David Budway, piano; Eric Revis, bass. The clip below begins in the piano solo and works its way to the end. The tune’s title—and the title of Watts’ debut album as a leader --is “The Impaler.” (We think this might be Watts' first week as a leader at The Vanguard. --Ed.)

    In an interview with JazzSet host Branford Marsalis, Watts explained how his roots culminated into forming The Impaler. Tain said, "A good thing about my generation is we were privy to Motown and James Brown, Classic R&B and Rock, but at the other side of the spectrum we were still 18 and 19 years old when Hip-Hop was put into effect.” Your work is much appreciated, Mister Tain, your exceptional drumming bares all!

  • James Farm on JazzSet: Joshua Redman, Aaron Parks, Matt Penman, Eric Harland

    April 14, 2012. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Photo by Jimmy Katz
    Photo by Jimmy Katz

    From Berklee Performance Center in Boston and the 2011 BeanTown Jazz Festival,  hear the amazing supergroup, James! Farm! this Sunday, April 15, at 6pm and Wednesday, April 18, at 6:30, on WBGO and wbgo.org. Dee Dee Bridgewater hosts!

    From left to right, Matt Penman plays bass; Joshua Redman, sax; Aaron Parks, piano; and Eric Harland, drums. The four high-profile players sound as hip as they look (above), giving a packed house a great show of original, contemporary, eclectic songs. There's a buzz around James Farm, but not that many chances to see them live, so -- thanks to WGBH Radio Boston for the Surround Sound recording in -- you better listen to this week's JazzSet.

  • Juan-Carlos Formell and Johnny's Dream Club on JazzSet

    April 6, 2012. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Sunday, April 8, at 6pm and Wednesday, April 11, at 6:30 ..

    (c) Monterey Jazz Festival, by Cole Thompson

    Juan-Carlos's magical, poetic music connects Havana, New Orleans, New York and on this occasion, the Monterey Jazz Festival.  Ricky Rodriguez from the Arturo O'Farrill Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra plays the bass. Lewis Kahn of many Fania All Stars recordings plays violin and trombone. Harvey Wainapel from the Bay Area guests on clarinet. With Manuel Valera on piano and  Jorge Leyva on percussion.

    "Las islas son malvadas y nadie lo suspecha" means "Islands are evil and no one knows." Listen:

    12 04 05 LEWISjuan-carlos formell_MJF54_2011 (c) Monterey Jazz Festival-Cole Thompson-2-2_med