WBGO Blog
  • Montreal Jazz Festival 2012: Does Canada Have a Jazz Sound?

    July 7, 2012. Posted by Simon Rentner.

    WBGO's Simon Rentner, reporting from the last day from Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, asks: Does Canadian Jazz Have A Sound?  Artistic Director and Jazz Festival co-founder André Ménard (above), Canadian singer Sonia Johnson, and our own Michael Bourne answer that question.

    FIJM 2009_CP_salles_0509_43 Jean-François Leblanc

  • Joey Calderazzo and Aaron Parks Find Synergy and Space on 176 Keys

    July 4, 2012. Posted by Simon Rentner.

    Burn down the "Jesus Room."  That doesn't sound good, but that's exactly what Joey Calderazzo and Aaron Parks accomplished at Montreal's Gesu Centre de Creativite on Gershwin's “Liza,” the last tune of the evening.  These two pianists -- unfamiliar with each other and separated by two generations -- started a bit more mild, warming up on Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweet Way."  But immediately the natural chemistry was there. Ten fingers on 176 keys can often be a handful on the ears. But they avoided the pitfalls of playing over each other, avoiding any chaotic clutter.  Instead, they coalesced into one sound, a single expression. They even hummed together.  It's these moments where the magic of jazz can be so spellbinding.   Two virtuosos came together for random interplay, left their egos behind, and created beautiful, unselfish music. Calderazzo humbly bragged that they only rehearsed once together, only 45 minutes before show time. Despite these straining odds, they were able to find moments of relaxation, pause, and space during the concert. They shared their common interest in the music of Keith Jarrett ("Rainbows”). But the high point of the show for me was Aaron Parks playing solo on Duke Ellington's "Melancholia."  That's the moment my heart skipped and a small tear crept in my eye.

    Joey Calderazzo and Aaron Parks

  • WBGO's Love For Moody Week

    December 23, 2010. Posted by Alex Rodriguez.

    WBGO Executive Director Cephas Bowles (left) showing some love for James Moody

    WBGO dedicates this week of programming to the memory of Newark native and jazz luminary James Moody, who passed away Thursday, December 9 at the age of 85.

    UPDATE: The final segment of our James Moody tribute airs tonight at 8 p.m., 88.3 on your fm dial. Or, have a listen to it here:

    As Becca and Brandy have mentioned previously, this week will feature some of our favorite Moody memories as we close out the 2010 broadcasting year (and look forward to Toast of the Nation.)

    Tonight at 6:00 p.m., we will air a special edition of JazzSet, recorded for Moody's 80th birthday at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC in 2005. It features some other heavy hitters, too, including Slide Hampton, Paquito D'Rivera, Roy Hargrove and Mulgrew Miller. The show will re-air on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

    Tomorrow at noon (right after the news) we will follow up with Piano Jazz, featuring an interview with Moody and the show's always-lovely host, Marian McPartland.

    On Thursday, we close out our special coverage with a compilation of Moody interviews from our extensive archives, edited by Simon Rentner. The hour-long feature begins at 8:00 p.m.

    Follow the links below for more WBGO coverage celebrating the life and music of James Moody:

    Doug Doyle remembers Moody for the WBGO Journal

    Becca Pulliam pulls some Moody music from the WBGO archives

    Eulus Cathey interviews Moody in 2009:

    Josh Jackson pays homage to Moody on The Checkout

    Finally, a video produced by Josh Jackson and Dan Karcher:

    WBGO has been truly blessed by Moody's presence for many years -- we're sad to see him go, yet so fortunate to be able to honor his legacy. Join us this week as we celebrate the life of one of one of New Jersey's greatest contributions to jazz history. Please, feel free to share your favorite Moody memories in the comment section below.