WBGO Blog
  • Bob Porter on Working with Rudy Van Gelder

    August 26, 2016. Posted by Corey Goldberg.

    Van Gelder 2_0

    Rudy Van Gelder died at 91 this week at his home in New Jersey. During his career he took audio recording to a new level. He created the Blue Note sound, a sound that was his signature. Recordings captured by Rudy took on a timeless value, an audio session with seemingly no time stamp.

    Gary Walker talked with WBGO's Bob Porter, who produced 100 recordings at Van Gelder's studios with the legendary recording engineer.

    Michael Cuscuna interviewed Van Gelder for the Blute Note Perfect Takes collection.

  • Sugar Blue Visits the Blues Break

    August 26, 2016. Posted by Corey Goldberg.

    Just how did harmonica player Sugar Blue earn his nickname while busking? You'll never guess! He shares this tale and more plus a live performance sitting in with Michael Bourne on the Blues Break.

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  • Curtis Salgado Performs on the Blues Break

    August 24, 2016. Posted by Corey Goldberg.

    Portland-based singer, songwriter, and harmonica player Curtis Salgado stops by the Blues Break with guitarist Alan Hager to talk with Michael Bourne about his new album - and to heat up the studio with some live blues.

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  • 5 Musicians Pick Their Favorite Herbie Hancock Recordings

    August 9, 2016. Posted by Simon Rentner.

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    Herbie Hancock. (Image Credit: Douglas Kirkland/Courtesy of the artist)

    When you talk to jazz aficionados, you often hear about a ground zero, a Eureka moment of musical awakening that opens up the bounty of the music. For some of us (myself included), that moment was hearing Herbie Hancock for the first time.

    Perhaps that's because Hancock, more than most artists, is never afraid to explore the musical zeitgeist — from hard bop to jazz-rock, funk, hip-hop and beyond. He's recorded music over many decades (since 1962, to be exact) and has a deep repertoire to draw on, as he mentioned in a recent conversation. But that doesn't deter him from constantly searching for something new. "Possibilities" is one of his mantras, and the name of his recent memoir.

    At age 76, Hancock is ready to pen the next chapter, this time inked with some of the innovators of today: Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Jacob Collier, Terrace Martin and Robert Glasper, among others. Some of those artists will join Hancock in an outdoor concert in Brooklyn this Thursday, Aug. 11. NPR Music, Jazz Night In America, and The Checkout from WBGO will be there to capture it for later broadcast.

    As we gear up for the concert, I asked some of Hancock's newest musical allies, closest old friends and admirers from afar to share their favorite Herbie Hancock music from over the years.

    Copyright 2016 Newark Public Radio. To see more, visit Newark Public Radio.

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  • The Eminence Of J.J. Johnson, And His Partnership With Kai Winding

    August 5, 2016

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    Cover art to The Great Kai and J.J., 1960. (Image Credit: Courtesy of the artist)

    The trombone virtuoso J.J. Johnson was among the first to adapt the challenge laid down by bebop saxophonists and trumpeters to his more ungainly instrument. Among the recordings he left as evidence was a series of albums partnering with fellow trombonist Kai Winding. In a concert at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra trombonist Vincent Gardner recently took on that "Jay and Kai" repertoire, joined by sectionmate Elliot Mason, other members of the JLCO and special guests.

    Jazz Night in America hears the music of J.J. Johnson, as heard through Vincent Gardner, and pulls back the curtain on the trombone pioneer with biographer Joshua Berrett and widow Carolyn Johnson.

    Copyright 2016 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center.