• Roy Hargrove at J&R Music Fest - Listen Online

    August 25, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Roy Hargrove at J&R Music Festival

    Let it be said that trumpeter and flugelhorn player Roy Hargrove is still leading the style competition in jazz. Aside from his really fresh Adidas kicks (see above), Roy brought his highly functional quintet (saxophonist Justin Robinson, pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Danton Boller, and drummer Montez Coleman) to close the Friday evening festivities in City Hall Park. Listen to this tightly executed set of music, most of it coming from Roy Hargrove's new release, Earfood. My favorite? The ballad "Never Let Me Go." I've heard Roy play this so many times, I'm beginning to think the song belongs to him alone.
    Check out the set.


  • 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.


    April 1, 2008. Posted by Stevan Smith.

    This edition celebrates: Bobbi Humphrey- Blacks and Blues (1973)

    01. Chicago, Damn
    02. Harlem River Drive
    03. Just a Love Child
    04. Blacks and Blues
    05. Jasper Country Man
    06. Baby's Gone

    A true jazz-funk classic, and Humphrey's biggest hit, Blacks and Blues is a lesson in "cool jazz". Composed, produced, and partly arranged by the fantastic Mizell brothers (Larry & Fonce), this is an Lp that trend sends generations. Humphrey is never drowned out by her collaborators. Her performance as flautist (if you didn't know) fits snug in each melodic masterpiece. Bobbi even makes her vocal debut on the tracks, "Just A Love Child" and "Baby's Gone".

    "....Yeah, it's kind of like that".

    Some of my favorite tracks include "Chicago, Damn", "Harlem River Drive", and the title-track "Blacks and Blues".

    Here is an updated version of "Harlem River Drive" (Sorry no embed available). This had to be the late 80's or early 90's. Lol.

    Look what else I found: [display_podcast]

    Though this is not an album that would delight a purist, it is an excellent addition to any jazz collection. The moods are laid-back, soothing, and romantic. This is in heavy rotation on my (insert plug). If you haven't had the opportunity to check this album out. Please do. It is worth every minute (hint...ladies...hint...fellas).

    Perfect soundtrack for the Spring weather....well when it finally gets here.


  • 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

  • On the Shoulders of Giants

    March 26, 2008. Posted by Doug Doyle.

    Kareem Abdul-JabbarEven though Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has had his fill of basketball, he says he can never get enough jazz. You can tell the NBA's all-time leading scorer enjoys talking about his early days in Harlem and his love of jazz. Find out more.

    Click here for the latest session of SportsJam, WBGO's new podcast/on-demand feature. When you hear how serious Kareem is about music and basketball, you can understand why he has been so successful on and off the court. It's great to hear that Kareem listens to WBGO when he's in NYC, a place where he gave Knicks fans nightmares.
    -Doug Doyle