August 25, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Let it be said that trumpeter and flugelhorn player Roy Hargrove is still leading the style competition in jazz. Aside from his really fresh Adidas kicks (see above), Roy brought his highly functional quintet (saxophonist Justin Robinson, pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Danton Boller, and drummer Montez Coleman) to close the Friday evening festivities in City Hall Park. Listen to this tightly executed set of music, most of it coming from Roy Hargrove's new release, Earfood. My favorite? The ballad "Never Let Me Go." I've heard Roy play this so many times, I'm beginning to think the song belongs to him alone.
Check out the set.
© 2008 WBGO
August 14, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.
Kudos to JazzTimes! In the September issue, the cover story is "The Future Is Now: New Jazz Visionaries." Let me start by saying that I love the first part of that headline. I get so tired of hearing about the status of jazz, where is it going, what's going to happen to it, who will save it...you get where I'm going. My frustration comes from being on the jazz scene and seeing and all of the amazing talent, projects, bands, artists, compositions, collaborative efforts, etc. and then hearing those statements. It's like "What are you talking about? Have you checked out a show lately on any given night, at any given venue in the city, for starters?"
This article covers just a few of the "new visionaries." Christian Scott, Aaron Parks, Robert Glasper, Esperanza Spaulding, Marcus Strickland and others. Each artist has a full page story and photo. I think this issue was so necessary, and I really give it up to JazzTimes for making the blatently obvious even more obvious - that jazz is alive, well, and thriving. (Now, if cats could only earn the money that the music's worth...but that's another story).
Check out each of these artists when they're in a city near you. Both Aaron Parks and Esperanza Spaulding will be performing at the J&R MusicFest next Friday, August 22, and WBGO will be broadcasting it live! Learn more about it by clicking here.
Check out a live performance of Aaron Parks' "Nemesis" from the WBGO studios. It's NPR's "Song of the Day" with commentary by WBGO's Josh Jackson.
© 2008 WBGO
July 31, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Earlier this summer, WBGO launched NPR's first concert series of live jazz webcasts, "Live at the Village Vanguard," which offers monthly shows from the legendary New York City venue. Next weekend, August 9 and 10, WBGO and NPR Music are teaming up to live webcast main stage acts from the JVC Jazz Festival Newport. On the bill are legendary pianist Herbie Hancock; producer, performer and Jazz Festival founder George Wein; guitarist Howard Alden; along with rising jazz stars Esperanza Spalding and Guillermo Klein y Los Guachos. I'll be your host. Should be fun.
Check out one of my favorite performances captured at Newport.
© 2008 WBGO