WBGO Blog
  • JazzSet in October

    October 3, 2011. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater is celebrating ten years with Dee Dee as host, and nearing our 20th anniversary on the air with live music every week. You have two chances to catch this week's show on WBGO Jazz 88 - Sundays at 6pm, Wednesdays at 6:30. Miss a show? Listen on demand. We're in Surround Sound. Here's our early fall line-up:

    THIS WED, OCT 5, HEAR 2012 NEA Jazz Master Von Freeman, born October 3, 1923

    We knew Freeman was born and stayed in Chicago, but until earlier this year, everyone including the man himself thought his birth year was 1922. Howard Reich of The Chicago Tribune suspected it was 1923, and writes here about how he corrected Von Freeman history. On this JazzSet from New Year's Eve, 2010, at the Green Mill, he dukes it out in a mock battle with fellow tenor Ed Petersen .

    Freeman by Jimmy Katz
    Freeman by Jimmy Katz

    Yotam, courtesy of the artist
    Yotam courtesy of the artist

    SUN, OCT 9, AND WED, OCT 12, DISCOVER Ben Williams & Sound Effect and the Yotam Silberstein Quartet .. two new talents from the KC Jazz Club

    Williams from the DC area won the Thelonious Monk International Bass Competition; now he leads a fresh-sounding quintet with Marcus Strickland on sax and Christian Sands on piano, to name just two. Guitarist Yotam from Tel Aviv made a great first impression on Kennedy Center audiences in the sold-out Ella! concert (as broadcast on JazzSet), and in Yotam's quartet you'll hear his boyhood friend from Israel, Roy Assaf on piano.

    NEXT, WE REPRISE TWO ALTERNATE ROUTES CONCERTS FROM NJPAC:

    SUN, OCT 16, AND WED, OCT 19, NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston & African Rhythms
    For pianist Weston, jazz is not a genre. It's home, celebrated in music from the opening "African Rhythms" to his long-time theme, "Love, the Mystery Of."

    SUN, OCT 23, AND WED, OCT 26, Danilo Perez AND Poncho Sanchez, Back to Back
    Danilo from Panama plays emotional, colorful, storytelling music from his album Providencia. Poncho from southern California and his long-running Latin jazz band (two dozen albums, one a year) party with the Newark audience, including some of his own family.

    SUN, OCT 30, AND WED, NOV 2, NEA Jazz Master Toots Thielemans and Kenny Werner at the Kennedy Center - broadcast premiere of a concert from March, 2010
    Toots holds the harmonica to his lips, the mic to his harmonica, and the music seems to come straight from his heart, with Guggenheim Fellow Kenny Werner on piano. The music comes from Belgium, the US and Brazil.

    Toots Thielemans by Jos Knaepen
    Thielemans by Jos Knaepen

    Hargrove by John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com
    Hargrove by John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com

    SUN, NOV 4, AND WED, NOV 7, The Second Set: Trumpeter Roy Hargrove Quintet at the Village Vanguard

    The first set aired Live from the Village Vanguard on WBGO and NPR Music. Here's the second set - all music, not a word from the stage. At the end, the audience claps for three minutes straight for Justin Robinson, alto; Sullivan Fortner, piano; Ameen Saleem, bass; Montez Coleman, drums; and Roy Hargrove. The sweetest tone in town.

  • JazzSet: Swiss Movement Revisited at the Kennedy Center

    November 14, 2008. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Javon Jackson
    On November 10 at the KC Jazz Club, JazzSet recorded the "Swiss Movement Revisited" show, featuring Javon Jackson on tenor and special guest Les McCann, singing at the keyboard. The title comes from the 1969 Les McCann Trio live-at-Montreux LP with Eddie Harris on sax. Swiss Movement captured a primal-screamin moment at the end of the 60s, with the sly & infectious anthem that asks the question, "Tryin' to make it Real, Compared to What?"

    Mark Schramm was our onsite producer for "Swiss Movement Revisited," and Mark reports.

    "Javon has put together a crack band to play this music. They've been together for a year now and it shows. The arrangements are tight but the band plays loose and with tremendous energy. After "Where Is the Love?" (think Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway), Javon brings on Les, who uses a motorized cart to get around. In Les's first blues - earthy, soulful, funny, intense - every note has meaning. There's a quality of directness of expression with Les that is very moving in person.

    "They played Eddie Harris' 'Cold Duck Time' (click to listen to the tune with a guitar solo by David Gilmore) from Swiss Movement, then an uptempo Javon original, then quieted down for an "Amazing Grace" duet with Les and Javon. Javon backed him perfectly. There was a lady sitting next to me at the back of the room and she had tears coming down her face at the end of that song. She wasn't the only one.

    "An excellent 'Freedom Jazz Dance' followed (yet another great Eddie Harris tune), and then came the set closer, 'Compared to What.' This is Les's signature tune, and he sings that song (an anti-war anthem, let's not forget) with all the passion of the original. The driving rhythm got people up out of their seats, dancing in the back of the room. I don't think I've ever seen that at the Jazz Club!

    "Between sets and after the show, Javon signed CDs out front of the club. His new one, Once Upon a Melody (Palmetto), is excellent by the way. Almost every person who bought one asked, 'Do you have a CD with you and Les?' And the answer was no. I can't tell you how many people came up and THANKED us for being there recording the concert."

    **

    "Swiss Movement Revisited" airs on JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater the first Sunday in February, launching 26 weeks of JazzSet in Surround Sound, thanks to underwriting from Neural Audio. Let us fire up all six of your speakers!

    Becca Pulliam