• Renee Rosnes: Live at the Village Vanguard

    September 15, 2010. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

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  • Renee Rosnes Quartet: Live At The Village Vanguard

    September 15, 2010. Posted by WBGO.

    Renee Rosnes. (Image Credit: John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com)

    Renee Rosnes has been in the news lately as one half of a jazz power couple: She's married to fellow pianist Bill Charlap, and earlier this year they released the duet album Double Portrait. But she recently made headlines as one quarter of a jazz powerhouse: The Renee Rosnes Quartet. That foursome played a week at the Village Vanguard this September; NPR Music and WBGO were there to record and live broadcast the group both on air and online on Wednesday, Sept. 15.

    Let's be clear: Rosnes' talent on the piano is no fraction of anything. She's been on the New York scene for nearly 25 years, enough to play with late jazz legends and develop her own approach in doing so. At the Vanguard, she was full of subtle shadings on lesser-played standards and a few rambunctious originals. There was deep blues feeling and plenty of buttery swing, set forth among a variety of textures from her veteran bandmates. With Rosnes for her Vanguard run are the silky vibraphonist Steve Nelson and the reliable hookup of bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash.

    Raised in Vancouver, Rosnes moved to New York in the mid-1980s. Within years, she was playing in the bands of Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter and J.J. Johnson, among others. Her self-titled 1989 debut album features such guest stars as Shorter, Branford Marsalis and Herbie Hancock. She's gone on to make more than 10 additional albums under her name, recording for a while on Blue Note Records, and to join the all-star SFJAZZ collective at its inception.

    Rosnes is no stranger to the Vanguard, either as a sideperson or a bandleader. Her weeklong residency gave her the chance to exercise the latter capacity among frequent collaborators, a group of musicians she'll be taking on a brief West Coast tour later in 2010.

    Set List

    • "Summer Night" (Warren)
    • "Traveling Blues" (Tyner)
    • "Supper Time" (Berlin)
    • "Mirror Image" (Rosnes)
    • "Travessia" (Nascimento/Brant)
    • "Let The Wild Rumpus Start" (Rosnes)
    • "Mr. Gentle and Mr. Cool" (Ellington/Baker)


    • Renee Rosnes, piano
    • Steve Nelson, vibraphone
    • Peter Washington, bass
    • Lewis Nash, drums


    • Josh Jackson, producer and host
    • Duke Markos, mix engineer
    • Michael Downes, production assistant
    • Lara Pellegrinelli, moderator
  • Postscripts from Detroit

    September 10, 2010. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    FloatWBGO's Eulis Cathey says .. I had the pleasure during the weekend's activities to be an emcee, and present some of the music's finest. Two of those events happened at the Mack Avenue Pyramid stage - a cozy, intimate amphitheatre named for one of the Festival's major sponsors, the Detroit-based jazz label Mack Avenue Records. On a brisk Saturday night at the stage, Mike LeDonne on the Hammond B3 organ led a smoking set that relly warmed things up, with Eric Alexander on tenor sax, Peter Bernstein on guitar, and Joe Farnsworth on drums. Then on Monday afternoon, another treat: the newly reassembled group Horizon, first organized over 20 years ago, with alto saxophonist Bobby Watson, trumpeter Terell Stafford, pianist Edward Simon, bassist Essiet Essiet, and drummer Victor Lewis. They had the crowd clamoring for more, as they performed a scintillating set, with all members bringing their "A" game. It was all part of another great weekend of jazz at the 2010 Detroit International Jazz Festival.

    Jim DiFeo writes .. We arrived home and we are slowly returning to reality after a wonderful weekend of JAZZ. Yesterday [Monday] we saw the Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band followed by the Branford Marsalis Band who gave an outstanding performance. Christian McBride sat in with the Marsalis band for the song "In the Crease," which was a real treat. Next we thoroughly enjoyed Allen Toussaint as he took the audience on a trip through his life as a songwriter and his life in New Orleans. Toussaint is an amazing talent. Lastly, we caught the tail end of the Manhatten Transfer set with a big band conducted by Gerald Wilson. It does not get much better than the Manhattan Transfer (who swing like no one else) wrapping up the best JAZZ festival in the US. The weekend was a wonderful experience. Many thanks!