• Willie Jones III Lays The Groundwork With Gary Walker

    March 4, 2016. Posted by Josh Landes.

    Drummer Willie Jones III has a background that flows through studies with Tootie Heath, and work with Cedar Walton, Milt Jackson, Horace Silver and many others in his career who gave valuable lessons on and off stage. Jones' formidable skills add to the groundwork of where he is now, moving forward. He sat down with Morning Jazz host Gary Walker to talk "Groundwork", his new recording celebrated in performance through Sunday night at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York.


  • Next Vanguard Broadcast: Bill Charlap Trio 10/8

    October 2, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Bill Charlap Trio by Donald Dietz

    Live at the Village Vanguard continues on Wednesday, October 8th at 9pm. Pianist Bill Charlap leads his versatile trio featuring Peter Washington on bass and drummer Kenny Washington. They've played together for more than a decade now, which basically means two things - 1) They must like each other 2) They have created a trio sound akin to a Vulcan mind meld.
    So join us on the air, on line, or in the club. Wednesday, October 8th.
    Meanwhile, watch the trio performing at the Vanguard in 2004.
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  • Bourne in Montreal - Part Three

    June 30, 2008. Posted by Michael Bourne.

    Rainy FIJM

    Day Three Saturday June 28th

    Rainy but not raining, what Michele says folks in the Northwest call "spitting." Were it not wet I might've enjoyed the first group to be judged, a generic quartet fronted by saxist Jerrold Dubyk. All of these groups are good enough to be up for the prize, but only a few have that unique "thing" (tunes, grooves, presence, a character or sound) that elevates them into a winner. Dubyk's group was more or less the same as about half the groups in the competition -- except for the electric bass player's solo, which was only notes up and down the scale. "I don't want to be prejudicial," I said to some of the other judges, "but that was the worst bass solo I've ever heard." And they expressed consensus.

    Group #5 is a contender: WAZA, a trio with electric keys, electric bass, and an electrifying drummer. They played solid and quite compositional grooves, especially from the drummer. They were fun to listen to, as if listening to really hip toys. After a thunderstorm of funk from the bassist, Nancy, one of the judges, said "Now that was a bass solo!"
    Hank Jones was joined for duets by Brad Mehldau, and the interplay was wonderful. Hank played melodies or only changes elegantly while Brad danced around and through -- danced like Barishnykov.

    "Night in Tunisia" they played at first fragmented, but then Dizzy's tune blossomed. Hank's solo of "The Very Thought of You" was so deeply beautiful that Brad mostly listened, enraptured. Hank was again whimsically witty about which song they'd play next, or which piano they'd play. "Just One of Those Things" was a joyful finale, and I could hear the lyric: "it was great fun!"

  • An Interview With Brian Blade

    June 17, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Brian Blade

    Drummer and composer Brian Blade brings the Fellowship Band to the Village
    Vanguard this week. We are presenting them live on WBGO and NPR Music,
    tomorrow night at 9pm. Don't miss this.

    It's never an easy interview when your guest is a quiet, introspective person.
    But Brian and I share a passion for music made intently and intensely. I
    suppose that's why I love listening to The Fellowship Band. Especially when
    they play at the Village Vanguard.

    Anyway, listen to Brian Blade talk about music. My favorite story? One night,
    just before midnight, Brian biked through the French Quarter in New Orleans.
    He absolutely had to buy a Blind Willie Johnson record before the store closed.
    So Brian gets home, plays the music, and cannot go to bed. The bare sound
    of Johnson and his guitar was haunting. One of many stories you'll find when
    you listen to the interview here.

  • Tuesday Night - Sweet Rhythm

    June 4, 2008. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Map to Sweet Rhythm

    On the way home from the Jazz Gallery, walking up Seventh Avenue,
    used-to-be WBGO night man James Browne pulled me into his club Sweet
    Rhythm to see Lezlie Harrison sing. A long time ago, Lezlie hosted the
    jazz party on Saturday evenings on WBGO. She's never stopped using that
    fine voice, and moved me with her singing and the solos by Luca Tozzi on
    guitar and Greg Lewis on organ on "A Lover is Forever," once recorded by
    Etta James. I'm going to download Etta right now. Lezlie's drummer is
    Luca Santaniello. As I was leaving, Greg was rolling his Hammond out the
    door. Musicians work hard and give much! Wish I had photos.