WBGO Blog
  • This Week on JazzSet: Kevin Eubanks Band at the Detroit Jazz Festival

    February 24, 2012. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Eubanks and Bill Pierce .. Thanks to Len Katz Photography
    Eubanks and Bill Pierce .. Thanks to Len Katz Photography

    Summer ends and the music transcends. Covering this Labor Day set from the Detroit Jazz Festival, Ross Davis wrote in JazzTimes that the guitarist  "featured his own fine lines and plenty of room for his band mates to shine, most especially saxophonist Bill Pierce."

    Hear a taste in Dee Dee's promo:

    Sunday, February 26, at 6pm and/or Wednesday at 6:30 on WBGO 88.3 FM and wbgo.org.

  • Either/Orchestra Ethiopian/Jazz on JazzSet

    February 17, 2012. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Listen Sunday, February 19, at 6pm and Wednesday at 6:30, for "The Collected Unconscious" -- a three-way suite composed by Russ Gershon for the Either/Orchestra, six horns and four rhythm players from Boston. The music dances between Ethiopian song styles of the mid 20th century, jazz, and Afro-Caribbean grooves provided by the E/O's Brazilian pianist, Venezuelan drummer and Dominican percussionist. Sounds crazy? Well it isn't. It's ingeniously full of melodies and changes and subtleties and hooks, as it works on your ears, heart, feet and burrows into your subconscious.

    In the spring of 2011, funded in part by a Kickstarter campaign, the E/O performed in the capital, Addis Ababa, and other provincial cities, deepening its relationship with the music and musicians. Then in November, as part of a short regional tour here in the Northeast, E/O brought this alluring new music to Tishman Auditorium at the New School, and now JazzSet brings it to you in Surround Sound .

    One of the best New York concerts of 2011, wrote the blog lucidculture.wordpress.com.

    Horns L to R: Charlie Kohlhase, Hailey Niswanger, Russ Gershon, Joel Yennior, Tom Halter, Dan Rosenthal .. Gilson Schachnik, piano; Rick McLaughlin, bass; Pablo Bencid, drums; Vicente Lebron, percussion .. Photos by David Tallacksen
    Horns L to R: Charlie Kohlhase, Hailey Niswanger, Russ Gershon, Joel Yennior, Tom Halter, Dan Rosenthal .. Gilson Schachnik, piano; Rick McLaughlin, bass; Pablo Bencid, drums; Vicente Lebron, percussion .. Photo by David Tallacksen

    Here's an additional tune, not in the JazzSet show. Composer Nerses Nalbandian, the Ethiopian national maestro, was of Armenian descent. To complete the circle, Nalbandian loved Xavier Cugat and Ray Charles! Check him out.

    Either/Orchestra plays "Mambo #1."

  • Mingus Orchestra, this week on JazzSet

    February 9, 2012. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Listen for the Mingus Orchestra .. Sunday, February 12, at 6pm and Wednesday, February 15, at 6:30 .. on WBGO Jazz 88.3/wbgo.org and at your convenience any time this week at wbgo.org/jazzset.

    Last February at St. Bartholomew's Church in Manhattan, blues, gospel shouts, and fight songs filled this sacred space. Wait til you hear bassoonist Michael Rabinowitz wailing on "Noddin Ya  Head Blues," John Clark's French horn on "Haitian Fight Song," Frank Lacy reciting from the Book of Ecclesiastes on "Ecclusiastics," Boris Kozlov bowing his bass on "Meditations for Moses." All composed by the great  Charles Mingus (1922-79).

    Thanks to Shannon Manning
    Thanks to Shannon Manning

    Above, Gunther Schuller conducts the Orchestra  in  "Noon Night" and "Taurus in the Arena of Life," two lyric tone poems. "I fought my whole life to bring composition and improvisation together on an equal level," Schuller says in an interview in allaboutjazz.com. "That's what Third Stream [music] is about and in many cases that has happened. . . . If there ever was a Third Steam composer, his name was Charlie Mingus."

    On President's Day weekend at Jazz Standard all weekend and on Sunday, up at Manhattan School of Music, you can hear more Mingus. High school students compete to play his demanding music with accuracy and passion. During this JazzSet, we'll hear more about that from co-producers Sue Mingus of Let My Children Hear Music, Inc., and Justin DiCioccio of MSM, and Jazz House Kids in Montclair, NJ -- winners last year and finalists in 2012. There's more about the fourth annual Mingus Competition here.

    12 02 09 MingusCompetition

    Let My Children Hear Music, Inc., and JazzSet thank the National Endowment for the Arts.