June 11, 2012. Posted by Becca Pulliam.
From last summer's end, to set the stage for a new festival season, listen to JazzSet.
Trumpeter Sean Jones leads his group in music from his CD No Need for Words. Then Marcus Strickland (above) -- with Lawrence Fields, piano; Christian McBride, bass; and 2011 DJF Artist in Residence Jeff Tain Watts on drums -- brings full focus to Tain's closing set, especially the sign-off piece, "Attainment."
Hear a sample in the promo above. Come back for more, Wednesday at 6:30pm.
For info about some of this summer's festivals, click here and scroll down to the WBGO Festival Calendar.
© 2012 WBGO
September 3, 2011. Posted by Becca Pulliam.
Opening the festival, Jeff Tain Watts's Drum Club was a visual feast in itself with Tain upstage audience right, Joe Locke downstage left, and an ocean of percussion in between. One man on one instrument, Joe worked and danced and made melodies HAPPEN, climaxing solos with fully extended, 180-degree-arm-coming-down mallet strikes. Several times. In a row. He held his own and then some.
Upstage, Tony Lewis, Horacio Hernandez and Tain played kits on platforms left, center and right. In the middle tier, Rafael Statin played saxes, Susie Ibarra was at her beautiful kulintang -- a Philippine instrument of inverted, knobbed metal flower pots (an improvised description at best); conguero Pedro Martinez (in the photo); and bassist Bob Hurst. And the rest was all Tain’s turf, including a beautiful tympani down front. But he stayed mostly at his drumkit. Imagine rhythms flying, at first more abstract, then in deeper grooves, which the audience loved. The festival has begun.
© 2011 WBGO
June 30, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
In 1998, Branford Marsalis was the host of JazzSet. He was also the leader of an amazing jazz quartet. In August of that year, they played a concert at Washington Square Park in New York. WBGO was there to capture the performance.
I remember seeing this band at the Chicago Jazz Festival, just a few weeks after this recording. Branford, along with bassist Eric Revis, drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts, and the late pianist Kenny Kirkland had the unique ability to pin you to your seat for more than an hour. The music was relentless, whether it was some burnout tune or a ballad. Kenny Kirkland's "Mr. J.C." is a great example of the former. Enjoy the blistering solos from Kenny and Branford. Click here to listen.
© 2008 WBGO
April 9, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
The Village Vanguard is is one of my favorite places in New York. With that simple statement, it gives me great pleasure to introduce WBGO's newest adventure. We're starting a monthly concert series from the legendary jazz club. Our eventual plan is to air the shows live on WBGO, and stream them simultaneously on NPR's Music site. Last night, we took the first of many baby steps.
Guitarist Adam Rogers made his debut as a leader at the Vanguard, and we recorded our initial show for this series. An evening of "firsts," so to speak.
Here's the basic information:
Adam Rogers, guitar
Mark Turner, tenor
Edward Simon, piano
Scott Colley, bass
Jeff "Tain" Watts, drums
Long Ago and Far Away
We also recorded the second set. Someday you'll get to hear that, too! Stay tuned to the blog for more information about WBGO's new series, Live at the Village Vanguard.
© 2008 WBGO
December 29, 2007. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Joe Lovano, that is.
It's Lovano's 55th birthday today, and he's celebrating it with a three-day run with his quintet at the Palazzo del Popolo in Orvieto, Italy. What a way to end a monumental year. Wish I could be there, since Italy's Umbria region is one of my favorite places to be, but I'll be spending my New Year's Eve at Jazz Standard, with Trio da Paz, Kenny Barron, and a great New York crew for NPR's Toast of the Nation (hope you'll be listening!).
Incidentally, Toast of the Nation is where Lovano's 2007 began, as a member of the McCoy Tyner Quartet (bassist Christian McBride and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts make four) at Yoshi's. You can hear the fruits of that week at Yoshi's on record.
It's been such a banner year for Joe. Check out the video below. And when you see him again, raise a glass of my favorite Umbrian wine, Paolo Bea's Sagrantino de Montefalco, in honor of him.
Happy birthday, Joe Lovano. You're a class act.
© 2007 WBGO