April 3, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
I've been going to see more and more music these days, much to the detriment of my need for sleep. Tuesday evening, I decided to check out the Lee Konitz Trio with very special guest, Danilo Perez. The early set, anyway. I know my limitations.
Lee Konitz, at 80, is still making some amazing music. And as much as I get tired of hearing jazz repertory, I never tire of hearing Konitz play standards. Four songs in one set, three of which I recognized. All of which I enjoyed. Konitz has this way of never really playing the melody outright. Instead, he basically smashed the loaf into bread crumbs, and sprinkles them over the course of a 15 minute group improvisation. It takes a while to find it. And by the time you DO find it, you realize that the treasure is not at the end of the trail. It was the crumbs!
Kinda like that whole idea of jazz being more of a how than a what.
Tuesday night, the group (Konitz on alto sax, Danilo on piano, Rufus Reid on bass, and Matt Wilson on drums) played a strange, intermittent funk under "Stella by Starlight," then a less than foolish nod to people time - "I'll remember April." During the last song, I kept wondering if I was hearing a version of Thelonious Monk's "Bemsha Swing..." I wasn't. I was hearing the band play Bob Haggart's "What's New?"
If you want to find the answer to that question - what's new? - follow the bread crumbs to Jazz Standard. This band beats creative loafing any day.
© 2008 WBGO
April 2, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Saxophonist Dexter Gordon is a favorite of many WBGO hosts. On any given day here, you will hear Dexter. WBGO recorded the Dexter Gordon Quartet at the Village Vanguard in 1983. We're featuring a song from that set, one that originally appeared on a 1962 release for Blue Note Records, A Swingin' Affair. It's called "Soy Califa." Sounds like a nutritious beverage, but the loose translation is "I am the Caliph," or "I am the King." Kinda like Louis XIV saying, "L'Etat C'est Moi," or "I am the state..."
Dexter was definitely one of the kings, and his playing is sure to put you in a good state of mind.
Introducing the quartet:
Dexter Gordon, Tenor saxophone
Kirk Lightsey, Piano
David Eubanks, Bass
Eddie Gladden, Drums
© 2008 WBGO
April 2, 2008
As Web Developer at WBGO, I post a lot of content given to me by the people who work here. I am always surprised by what I discover and learn at the radio station.
I'd like to share with you the next WBGO Journal story "The Art of Sprawl" - a new art exhibit at the Jersey City Museum. I was asked to create an online photo gallery of pictures that were taken there.
This Friday, tune in to WBGO's Journal at 7:30.
© 2008 WBGO