January 12, 2008. Posted by David Tallacksen.
Tonight's activities ran the gamut: first up was the NEA Jazz Master Awards Concert. David Baker (himself an NEA Jazz Master) led the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra through some great Quincy Jones tunes and arrangements, and Kurt Elling joined them on some Sinatra favorites. Throughout, all six newly-inducted Jazz Masters were honored (being introduced by the likes of Nancy Wilson, Jon Hendricks and others), and the concert concluded with Paquito D'Rivera, Candido Camero and Joe Wilder joining the band for the classic Walkin'.
Then, it was on to see Christian Scott, who's no stranger to WBGO - he's performed live on WBGO from NJPAC, and done a studio session as well. The average age of the audience for Christian Scott was markedly younger than that of the Jazz Masters concert. But so was the average age of the performers. While the NEA Jazz Masters represent what has gotten Jazz to where it is, I'd like to think Christian Scott and his contemporaries represent the future. And it's an exciting direction. Take a listen to the studio session that Christian did, I think you'll agree.
- David Tallacksen
© 2008 WBGO
January 11, 2008. Posted by David Tallacksen.
© 2008 WBGO
January 11, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Since Branford Marsalis moved to Durham, North Carolina some years ago, he has become a major proponent of the local jazz scene. He joined the North Carolina Central University Jazz Ensemble today, under the direction of Ira Wiggins (his 21st year as Director of Jazz Studies at NCCU). The young talent was already swinging pretty heavily before Branford joined them. They played Oliver Nelson's arrangement of "Down by the Riverside," from the Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery Dynamic Duo recording. Check it out below:
When you're a North Carolina jazz unit, it makes perfect sense to play music from one of your state's native sons. Especially when you have saxophonist Branford Marsalis, an outspoken devotee of John Coltrane. Here's John Fedchock's arrangement of a Coltrane ballad, "Central Park West":
The set ended with another Coltrane original, "Giant Steps." NCCU's two Artists-in-Residence, Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo, join the students on Frank Foster's arrangement.
- Josh Jackson
© 2008 WBGO