• Twofer from Detroit Jazz Festival on JazzSet: Sean Jones, Jeff Tain Watts

    June 11, 2012. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Marcus Strickland in the Jeff Tain Watts Four .. photo by Jeff Forman, DJF
    Marcus Strickland in the Jeff Tain Watts Four .. photo by Jeff Forman, DJF

    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.

  • Sing the Truth! Listen Now

    September 7, 2011. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Wright, Kidjo, Reeves .. Photo: Jeff Forman
    Lizz Wright, Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves .. Photo: Jeff Forman

    The audio for this post is no longer available.

    Three women, three unique voices and musical choices with superb musicians, unfolding with the arc of a theater production on a hot night in the Motor City -- that's Sing the Truth! from the Detroit Jazz Festival.

    Listen now to Sing the Truth!  along with highlights from the DJF set by trumpeter Sean Jones by clicking on the links below.

    The musicians are Geri Allen, Romero Lubambo, James Genus, Munyungo Jackson, and musical director Terri Lyne Carrington. Sean's band is Brian Hogans, Orrin Evans, Luques Curtis, and Obed Calvaire.

    Special thanks to host Rhonda Hamilton and music mixer Duke Markos. Thanks to Terri Pontremoli and everyone in Detroit who made our special Labor Day broadcast of Sing the Truth! possible.


    Olive Juice and Forgiveness (both composed by Jones)


    Bold Soul Sister (Ike & Tina Turner)

    I've Got to Use My Imagination (Gerry Goffin, Barry Goldberg)

    Freedom Dance (Reeves)

    Saduva (Miriam Makeba)


    Both Sides Now (Joni Mitchell)

    How I Got Over (Clara Ward)

    Baby I Love You (Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, Phil Spector)

    All That You Have Is Your Soul (Tracy Chapman)


    32 Flavors (Ani Di Franco)

    Gimme Shelter (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards)

    Medley of The Music Is the Magic (Abbey Lincoln), CC Rider (trad arr Odetta), Pata Pata (Makeba)

    Transitions (Jones)

    Some thought this opening night concert of the Detroit Jazz Festival should have been on CLOSING night. What could follow it? Well, three days and two nights of four stages of music, one night quickly moved indoors because of thunderstorms, temperatures in the 90s plunging into the 50s, a panoply of music and the people who come out and see it, and the experiences and emotions that come with that, that's what Sing the Truth! helped to get started.

    Mark Stryker wrote in the Detroit Free Press, " This was the most intelligent and satisfying mix of progressive ideas and traditional programming since I started covering the event 15 years ago. . . ."

    Thanks also to our hardworking friends at the Detroit Jazz Festival for making it all happen, and for letting WBGO play a part. And you can always check back to wbgo.org/detroit to read all of our interviews, photos and updates that comprise our comprehensive coverage of the event.

    See you at Detroit 2012!

  • Saturday at the Detroit Jazz Festival .. hot and stormy

    September 4, 2011. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Warren Wolf, the young vibes man from Baltimore with the strong new CD, played for keeps in overwhelming heat. Warren’s on the fall schedule for Josh Jackson’s Live from the 92Y series. Buy your ticket.

    Warren Wolf .. Photo by Jeff Forman
    Warren Wolf .. Photo by Jeff Forman

    Sean Jones on the amphitheatre stage was “killin” says Josh, in fact JJ tweeted “best set of the festival so far.” Listen for Sean, Labor Day at noon on Jazz 88 and WBGO dot org.

    Sean Jones .. Photo by Jeff Forman
    Sean Jones .. Photo by Jeff Forman

    After Sean, a serious storm blew in. The Sun Ra Arkestra squeezed a brief acoustic set between the first storm and a second that came barreling in from the west. To save the night, the Festival moved some music to the hotel as a HIGH WIND JAM SESSION, and the Dave Holland Octet delivered a performance I won’t forget!

    The bar was crowded and noisy, yet Dave’s acoustic bass reached out to everyone. He’s so musical and projects without forcing, and as for Chris Potter, his tenor is like a ribbon and a knife at the same time. Gary Smulyan crooned on bari. With great writing and solos all around, people – on their feet – turned to face and love the band, all the way to the end.

    Later Dave told me a good story. When he played with Miles, he experienced how a musician could quiet a noisy room. On the intro to the ballad “I Fall in Love Too Easily,” for example, Miles would start alone, playing naturally, not raising his trumpet. The band would join in, and somewhere in the second or third chorus, Dave says, the people stopped talking and started listening, because - through his music – Miles had insisted.

    Dave Holland in the Volt .. Photo by Jeff Forman
    Dave Holland in the Volt .. Photo by Jeff Forman