July 27, 2008. Posted by Amy Niles.
I have had the good fortune to have been surrounded these past two years at WBGO by some of the greatest players in jazz. That's what you come to expect when you are a part of the world's most significant jazz radio station. But it's the people who have touched me for more than the music that they create who truly are a part of my heart.
I love the Moodys- James and Linda Moody.
© 2008 WBGO
July 25, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
WBGO bids farewell to Johnny Griffin, a master jazz musician. Many jazz people referred to Griffin as "The Little Giant," no doubt because of his dimunitive stature (he was a shade below 5 and a half feet tall). The consensus, however, was that Griffin's true stature loomed large in the music. Johnny Griffin could easily fall under the category of "hard bop saxophonist," but to do so would be an injustice. When you listen to the raw muscular sound of early Johnny Griffin records, you can hear a combination of saxophone legend Coleman Hawkins, the rough-and-tumble rhythm and blues of Griffin's Chicago hometown, and some definitive gospel wails. It was a big, combustible sound. One that will be missed.
If you're looking for good music from Griffin, you have plenty of options.
Some suggestions after the jump.
© 2008 WBGO
July 24, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.
If there were a roof on the Brooklyn Museum's Sculpture Garden, saxophonist John Ellis would have surely "blew it off!" His performance at the Brooklyn Museum with his band Double Wide was explosive! As part of Heart of Brooklyn and WBGO's Jazz: Brooklyn's Beat, Ellis brought his North Carolina and NOLA roots to New York's greatest borough (OK, that's one Brooklynites opinion, but whatever). Folks waited in the heat this past Saturday, posting up their prime-positioned seating to check out Ellis perform music from his latest CD Dance Like There's No Tomorrow (Hyena Records). He definitely had some genuine fans in the house, as when host Gary Walker introduced Michael Rojas as "on the tuba" a sizable amount of folks yelled out "SOUSAPHONE!" Walker was correct...it was the tuba on this day, but these audience members clearly had the CD because Ellis does indeed enlist the talented Matt Perrine on the lesser-known, low brass instrument on Dance Like There's No Tomorrow.
The band, which was made up of Ellis, Michael Rojas on tuba, Brian Charette on the organ, and Jason Marsalis on drums, opened with the church-happy "All Up in the Aisles." As John would say, it's a "sanctified" tune. It's definitely a get-up-and-move celebratory piece. You can definitely feel those southern influences.
The sets were infused with mosh, waltz, and soulful groove all in between. Ellis' beautiful tone and gorgeous hefty floating lines made this performance really stand out for me. Going to check out a lot of music, as I do, it's sometimes easy to let it become routine, but I love when an artist snaps me out of my trance. Ellis is definitely one of those artists, and this is definitely one of those records.
© 2008 WBGO