• Pianist and Composer Nik Bärtsch

    May 30, 2008. Posted by Simon Rentner.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive


    Composer and pianist Nik Bärtsch likes to create mystery. He dresses in black and shaves his head. He also has a black belt in Aikido. His passion: the mystic energy of sound. As a minimalist who seeks the essence of groove, he often explores one rhythmic pattern for hours at a time. The result: a Steve Reich meets James Brown mash-up he calls "Ritual Groove Music" or "Zen Funk." Discover why his group Mobile sometimes performs for 36 hours at a time. Produced by WBGO's Simon Rentner.

    Listen to the podcast here.

  • Conrad Herwig's Latin Side of Wayne Shorter

    May 29, 2008. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    Tonight at the Blue Note, trombonist Conrad Herwig held a record release party for his Latin Side of Wayne Shorter. Conrad and Ronnie Cuber on baritone are on either side of young trumpeter Mike Rodriguez. There's a great contrast between Conrad's smooth higher register and Cuber's grainy punchy baritone. Lots of details to catch, lots of rhythm. I liked Adam's Apple a lot, I liked everything - Ping Pong, Tom Thumb, Virgo, El Gaucho, Adam's Apple and Footprints. I think we're playing The Latin Side of Wayne Shorter on WBGO! Conrad said it's not quite in the stores, but it IS on the radio. -- Becca Pulliam

  • JD Allen Trio - "Son House"

    May 25, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    "I didn't know I loved her 'til they laid her down..."
    When I heard saxophonist JD Allen say those words from the stage during soundcheck today, I knew exactly what he was talking about. That's a line from "Death Letter," by Son House. It is an iconic blues song, and a favorite of mine.

    The JD Allen trio played a set of music from J&R Music World, one that drew heavily from their most recent release, I Am I Am. Except for "Son House," a song the band just recorded for a future release called Shine. Check it out:


    And just because you can, watch Son House perform "Death Letter:"


    "I didn't know I loved her 'til they laid her down..."

  • Jimmy McGriff Has Died

    May 24, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Notes

    Jimmy McGriff: 4/3/36 - 5/24/08

    Details very limited, but the great organist's passing has been confirmed.