WBGO Blog
  • JD Allen Trio - "Son House"

    May 25, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    "I didn't know I loved her 'til they laid her down..."
    When I heard saxophonist JD Allen say those words from the stage during soundcheck today, I knew exactly what he was talking about. That's a line from "Death Letter," by Son House. It is an iconic blues song, and a favorite of mine.

    The JD Allen trio played a set of music from J&R Music World, one that drew heavily from their most recent release, I Am I Am. Except for "Son House," a song the band just recorded for a future release called Shine. Check it out:

     

    And just because you can, watch Son House perform "Death Letter:"

     

    "I didn't know I loved her 'til they laid her down..."
    -Josh

  • WBGO Studio Session - Jaleel Shaw Quintet

    May 6, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

     

    Watch "Flipside," from a studio session we did with saxophonist Jaleel Shaw.
    Shaw was recently honored with an ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer award. His new record is called Optimism. [Great title]. On that recording, "Flipside" is in the lead-off position, as it was during our studio date.
    We shot video only on the first take. The second was even better, and it will be part of the posted session. You'll have to wait until mid-month for that. Meanwhile, check out my other favorite sessions on NPR Music. And support young talent in jazz. Go to gigs. Buy records. And contribute to WBGO.
    -Josh

  • Jimmy Giuffre Dies at 86/An Update on Jim Hall

    April 26, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Jimmy Giuffre died on Thursday, a few days shy of his 87th birthday. Fans of jazz know Giuffre as the composer of the Woody Herman hit, "Four Brothers." Beyond that, Giuffre had a unique mind for music. As I listened to Sonny Rollins' "A Night at the Village Vanguard" yesterday, a record without piano or chordal instrumentation, I thought about how demanding it is to make music like that. Jimmy Giuffre was among one of the first to try, on his record Tangents in Jazz.

    I've always liked "The Train and The River," another Giuffre work that people describe as folk-chamber-jazz. When you listen to this, you might suspect that some musicians today like Bill Frisell owe a lot to Jimmy Giuffre. Yes, they do. Anyway, here are two versions of Giuffre's trio playing "The Train and The River," one from the television program The Sound of Jazz:

     

    Then, the great trio of Giuffre, trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, and guitarist Jim Hall, from the Newport Jazz Festival documentary, Jazz on a Summer's Day.

    One of the Jimmy Giuffre Three members, Jim Hall, has undergone back surgery for the last couple of months. He has been rehabilitating, and is expected to be released on Tuesday. WBGO wishes the distinguished guitarist and NEA Jazz Master a speedy recovery. Check out Jim Hall's Great Live Moment while you're here.
    -Josh