March 24, 2015
The late, distinctively melodic jazz composer Kenny Wheeler was also a great trumpet player, though, being famously self-effacing, often declined to toot his own horn about his talents. Many musicians sang his praises, though, and when he died in 2014, saxophonist Steve Treseler and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen were inspired to revisit his music. As they traded notes and arrangements, they realized they had to record these tunes which had been so influential to their growth as musicians. So Jensen, herself a Pacific Northwest native, brought herself and her top-notch rhythm section to Treseler's hometown of Seattle, Wash. to make an album — and play some of it for the public.
Jazz Night In America flew to Seattle to capture Steve Treseler and Ingrid Jensen's tribute to Kenny Wheeler, live from the musician-owned Royal Room.
Steve Treseler, tenor saxophone; Ingrid Jensen, trumpet/effects; Geoff Keezer, piano; Martin Wind, bass; Jon Wikan, drums; Katie Jacobson, voice.
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March 19, 2015A scene from the performance of Ochas, a suite by Wynton Marsalis for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra featuring Pedrito Martinez and Chucho Valdés. (Image Credit: Lawrence Sumulong/Jazz at Lincoln Center)
In our first 19 Jazz Night In America webcasts, we've presented over 150 musicians from 13 venues in six cities — with many more musicians and locations on the way. Whether in huge concert auditoriums like Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall to tiny basement salons like Mezzrow in New York, we've heard from living legends, rising stars and very, very talented artists somewhere in between.
For our 20th episode, we've selected some of our favorite moments of the bunch. Jazz Night In America presents highlights from its first batch of programs, featuring artists like Lou Donaldson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Wynton Marsalis, Pedrito Martinez, Robert Glasper, Miguel Zenón, Johnny O'Neal and many more.
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March 19, 2015The SFJAZZ Collective: (L-R) Avishai Cohen, Matt Penman, Obed Calvaire, Miguel Zenón, David Sánchez, Robin Eubanks, Warren Wolf, Edward Simon. (Image Credit: Jay Blakesberg/Courtesy of SFJAZZ)
The SFJAZZ Collective, an all-star octet representing the SFJAZZ institution in San Francisco, has an intriguing approach to repertoire. Each year, each member writes a new piece for the Collective, and also rearranges a composition by a modern jazz master. For the 2014-15 season, that master was tenor saxophone titan Joe Henderson, a longtime San Francisco resident.
Jazz Night In America goes behind the creation of the ensemble's new repertoire, with music from a four-night concert run in October of last year (now collected on the double-CD release Live: SFJAZZ Center 2014). Hear Joe Henderson classics reimagined, as well as new work from artists like saxophonist David Sánchez and trombonist Robin Eubanks.Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
© 2015 WBGO
March 18, 2015
Every year, each of the eight members of the SFJAZZ Collective is tasked with two writing assignments. The first: Compose a new piece specifically for the band, which gathers some of the most outstanding performers on the modern jazz scene. The second: Rearrange a composition by the elder artist that the Collective has chosen to feature that year. For the 2014-15 season, SFJAZZ is paying tribute to a tenor saxophone titan, a composer of classic tunes and a long-time San Francisco resident: the late Joe Henderson.
From the purpose-built SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, Jazz Night In America features the SFJAZZ Collective as it reimagines Joe Henderson — both iconic standards like "Recorda-Me" and lesser-known material — and imagines new jazz works specifically for its own strengths.
Miguel Zenón, alto saxophone; David Sánchez, tenor saxophone, Avishai Cohen, trumpet; Robin Eubanks, trombone; Warren Wolf, vibraphone; Edward Simon, piano; Matt Penman, bass; Obed Calvaire, drums.
© 2015 WBGO
March 14, 2015
Albert "Tootie" Heath is one of the most accomplished jazz drummers of the past 60 years. The 79-year-old has played with everyone from John Coltrane to Ethan Iverson, the piano player for The Bad Plus. Iverson and bassist Ben Street join Tootie Heath for his new album, Philadelphia Beat, named for the fertile jazz city of Heath's upbringing — where, as a young man starting out, he once piloted a group consisting only of the drums and two horns.
"That's a real strange instrumentation. I mean, most people need the bass, and a lot of people like a piano in there or some melodic chordal instrument — and we didn't have any of that," Heath says. "But the place across the street from where I lived, some adult people were good enough to let us come in there and play in it. It must have been awful. And one guy came up and gave us 75 cents as a tip. He was drunk, of course, and he walked away — 'Oh, you kids are great.' And I realized: That's a quarter apiece. Hey man, we can get paid doing this!"
NPR's Arun Rath had been dying to interview Heath for years. When he got the chance, it turned out the artist had some questions for him, as well. Hear their conversation, including stories about needling his band with tough arrangements and learning from the jazzmen in his own family, at the audio link.Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
© 2015 WBGO