WBGO Blog
  • Al Foster Interview

    May 20, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Al Foster at the Village Vanguard

    I was pleasantly surprised that this interview actually happened, but I know
    all to well that persistence pays off in the long run. I say this because Al
    Foster
    is famously dodgy about giving interviews to press. Probably because
    everyone in the world wants to know about Al's relationship with Miles Davis.
    Sure, he played with Miles for more than a decade, and was a dear friend, even
    during Davis' self-imposed exile from the music scene in the late 1970s. Get
    beyond that, and you realize that Al Foster has had an extraordinary musical
    life. In this interview, Foster talks about growing up in Harlem, where he met
    many of the legendary jazz musicians who shaped his career. And Miles too.
    But did you know that Al Foster raised four daughters as a single father? One
    more reason this guy deserves a medal. At the end of it all, you start to realize
    why so many people regard Al Foster as one of the great messengers of our music.
    -Josh

    The Al Foster Quartet plays the Village Vanguard this week. You can hear them
    live on WBGO, tomorrow night at 9. I'll be your host. Stay tuned.

  • John Ellis & Double-wide

    May 15, 2008. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    John Ellis and Doublewide at the Jazz Standard

    This quartet was awesome at Jazz Standard Tuesday night .. John the mastermind and composer, conceptualist and detail man, on tenor, soprano, one song with bass clarinet .. Gary Versace on organ, wow! he plays it in unexpected ways .. Matt Perrine on sousaphone, Matt got into the sousaphone game after seeing Kirk Joseph of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and Matt says Kirk is a pied piper for thousands of young sousaphoni .. and Jason Marsalis, always determined to play it better the next time, even when there is no apparent room to improve. It's a 50% New Orleans resident band (Matt & Jason), and John lived there from 1993-97. He is inspired by street bands. The quartet is playing music from the new CD Double-wide, which refers to the double-bottom of low register organ and sousaphone. The Jazz Standard vibrates happily in that register. Tuesday night's music will be featured on JazzSet on Sunday, June 15, and Wednesday, June 18.

    Becca Pulliam

  • Alexis Cuadrado: Jazz from the Underground

    May 14, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Alexis Cuadrado

    In January, we did a studio session with Alexis Cuadrado's Puzzles Quartet.
    The bassist is part of the Brooklyn Jazz Underground, a collective of leaders
    based in... well, you get it. Anyway, the band plays next Friday at The Jazz
    Gallery
    . It's the official CD release party. Get your sneak preview here.
    -Josh