WBGO Blog
  • Great Live Moments - Jim Hall

    April 2, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Guitarist Jim Hall is the embodiment of what makes jazz special. First of all, there's something so absolutely honest about his music. If you need proof that Hall is the greatest living jazz guitarist, ask Pat Metheny. Or Bill Frisell. Or John Scofield. They will tell you that Jim Hall is their guy. I suspect musicians admire Jim for many of the reasons that we do.  Chiefly, Hall's asset is his ability to listen to the other band members. Just imagine all those Jim Hall duets with Bill Evans, Ron Carter, or any number of guitarists, not to mention his ensemble playing with Sonny Rollins... "Down From Antigua" is one of Jim Hall's trademark compositions. As many times as I've heard this tune, it still sounds fresh.
    WBGO recorded the Jim Hall Trio at The Jazz Forum, February 5, 1983.
    They are:
    Jim Hall, guitar
    Harvie Swartz - bass
    Ben Riley - drums

    Listen to "Down From Antigua" from the WBGO Archives.
    -Josh

  • Great Live Moments - Dexter Gordon

    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

    Check out "Soy Califa," from the WBGO Archives.
    -Josh

  • Great Live Moments - Roy Hargrove

    April 1, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    In 1996, trumpeter Roy Hargrove could hardly be called The Waco Kid. By this time, the Texas native was a fully-fledged gunslinger in the jazz tradition. Most musicians will tell you that playing a ballad is one of the hardest things to do...especially when you're playing to an audience. But when Roy Hargrove draws from the emotional wellspring, he's tapping a fairly deep reserve.
    Check out his take on the classic "Never Let Me Go," one of my all-time favorite ballads. Twas the week before Christmas, 1996, and Roy's quartet was stirring the house at the old Iridium location, near Lincoln Center. The quartet features pianist Allen Farnham, the late Dennis Irwin on bass, and drummer Karriem Riggins. And for those of you who like to sing the words, follow along:

    Never let me go
    Love me much too much
    If you let me go
    Life will lose its touch
    What would I be without you?
    There's no place for me without you

    Never let me go
    I'd be so lost if you went away
    There'd be a thousand hours in a day without you
    I know

    Because of one caress my world was overturned
    at the very start
    All my bridges burned by my flaming heart
    You'd never leave me would you?
    You couldn't hurt me could you?

    Never let me go
    Never let me go