January 15, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
Activist Susan Brecker talks with Gary Walker about "The Nearness of You," a concert at New York's Jazz At Lincoln Center Jan. 20 to celebrate her late husband, saxophonist Michael Brecker. The concert, with James Taylor, Paul Simon, Bobby McFerrin and others, will raise funds for cancer research at Columbia University.
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January 15, 2015Jamison Ross performs at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Drums Competition in 2012. (Image Credit: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz)
Like many a jazz label throughout history, Prestige Records was a small, independent company which happened to document greats: musicians like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Thelonious Monk, among others. Last year marked its 65th anniversary.
Among the festivities was a performance led by drummer Jamison Ross. A recent winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, the 26-year-old's roots in jazz and gospel give him thrilling chops and unfailing feel. At Jazz at Lincoln Center, Ross' trio took on highlights from the Prestige catalog — specifically, tracks recorded by Rudy Van Gelder, who engineered many of jazz's all-time-great sessions on Prestige or otherwise. Van Gelder was also in the house to celebrate his 90th birthday.
Jazz Night In America airs that set by the Jamison Ross Trio, featuring fellow rising stars Melissa Aldana (tenor saxophone) and Mike Rodriguez (trumpet).
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January 14, 2015Christian McBride is the host of NPR's Jazz Night In America. (Image Credit: Anna Webber/Courtesy of the artist)
Christian McBride likely doesn't need much of an introduction. He's a bassist who's worked with everyone from McCoy Tyner to Diana Krall to Paul McCartney. His latest gig is as the host of NPR's Jazz Night In America, "a portrait of jazz music today, as seen through many of its exceptional live performances and performers," as we wrote in October.
McBride recently sat down with NPR's Audie Cornish to discuss what he's excited about in jazz this year. Two new albums came to mind, including Fresh Cut Orchestra's From The Vine ("I really like the way that they work with layers") and pianist Aaron Goldberg's The Now ("I think Aaron is absolutely brilliant"). McBride says he's particularly drawn to Goldberg's commitment to the swing.
"Everything is cyclical," McBride says. "In the jazz world right now, it's not too popular to play swing rhythms. But if you're talking about something with a legacy as deep and as vast as jazz, one thing that's always been constant in that tradition is the swing rhythm."
McBride says he's also looking forward to celebrating two major birthdays in jazz. Herbie Hancock turns 75, and McBride shares a cut from The Warner Bros. Years (1969-1972), a collection that highlights the Mwandishi band: "It was funky, it was swingin', it was avant-garde, it was land, it was water, it was everything."
Roy Haynes, an icon to jazz drummers, turns 90 this year.
"Without a doubt, Roy Haynes is a science project," McBride says. "He is still so spry at age 90 and still sounding great."
You can hear the conversation by clicking on the audio link.Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
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