May 18, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
A perfectly tight set from Tom Harrell's Quintet tonight. This shot was taken
during a bass/flugelhorn duet on "Body and Soul," featuring Ugonna Okegwo
and Tom Harrell. The band also included Danny Grissett on piano, Wayne
Escoffery on tenor sax, and Johnathan Blake shaping the rhythmm on drums.
I'm definitely looking forward to our WBGO/NPR Music broadcast on Wednesday
evening, with the Al Foster Quartet.
© 2008 WBGO
May 13, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Long before the digital era and its master manipulators - Brian Eno, J Dilla et al - producer Teo Macero was splicing analog reels from various Miles Davis sessions, creating the sonic tapestry of Miles' early electric style. The saxophonist, composer, and master of the razor blade will be remembered at a memorial service this Sunday, May 18 at NYU’s Loewe Theatre, 35 West 4th Street, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event is open to the public.
Macero spent his later years in semi-retirement, occasionally helping the NYU Jazz Program. He produced two CD’s with the NYU Jazz Orchestra featuring his original compositions. Special guest soloists will join the NYU Jazz Orchestra for the memorial.
© 2008 WBGO
May 5, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Ronnie Mathews, a pianist who has contributed so much to jazz, is terminally ill. He is battling pancreatic cancer at First Methodist Hospital in Park Slope, Brooklyn. WBGO's Sheila Anderson visited yesterday, as did Mathews' friend, the pianist Barry Harris. Harris brought a keyboard, and played some music for the ailing Mathews.
If you would like to leave a message for Ronnie Mathews, you may do so. His home number is 718.783.4073. Messages will be delivered to him in the hospital.
WBGO and the jazz community send Ronnie Mathews wishes for strength and peace during this difficult time.
© 2008 WBGO
April 4, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.
Today marks 40 years since one of the greatest civil rights leaders and humanitarians was gunned down and taken away from us.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a march of sanitation workers protesting against low wages and poor working conditions.
I wasn't even born when Dr. King was assassinated, but I can only imagine the heartbreak that people felt upon first getting that worst piece of news.
It breaks my heart to think about it as I write this post. Time flies, and many people I talk to can hardly believe its been 40 years.
For me, it's important to really think about and help others to realize that King was not a man who was a dreamer as the media loves to portray. Yes, he was a man of unparalleled vision, and hope. But he was also a leader through action, and the hardest of hard workers. I would ask that on this day, you would read or listen to Dr. King speak about opposition to war, or why it is important to vote, for example. Not only was he ahead of his time but he is timeless. Take the time to really dig into King - the man, not just the dream.
© 2008 WBGO
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