WBGO Blog
  • Jimmy Cobb: Live At The Village Vanguard

    August 21, 2013. Posted by WBGO.

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    Jimmy Cobb. (Image Credit: John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com)

    The drummer Jimmy Cobb is 84 — which, even if you didn't know his name, would signal that he's been around the jazz scene for a while. But he's been more than around: He was the drummer when Miles Davis recorded his late-'50s and early-'60s masterpieces, and then toured with Sarah Vaughan for nearly a decade. He's freelanced with just about every great of his generation. He's still touring around the world, these days often fronting the bands and recordings.

    Cobb brings an international trio to New York's Village Vanguard for a week — and, for one night, welcomes trusted tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson. WBGO and NPR Music presented a live video webcast and radio broadcast of that quartet.

    Set List

    • "My Shining Hour" (Arlen/Mercer)
    • "John Paul Jones [aka 'Trane's Blues']" (J. Coltrane)
    • "If I Were A Bell" (F. Loesser)
    • "You Don't Know What Love Is" (de Paul/Raye)
    • "Bolivia" (C. Walton)
    • "Someday My Prince Will Come" (Churchill/Morey)

    Personnel

    • Jimmy Cobb, drums
    • Javon Jackson, saxophone
    • Tadataka Unno, piano
    • Paolo Benedettini, bass
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  • Oui Et Oui: Montreal Jazz's French Connection

    June 27, 2013. Posted by Simon Rentner.

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    Caravan Palace. (Image Credit: Courtesy of the artist)

    Montreal is a city of two cultures: French and English, usually commingling, sometimes colliding. In their fight for cultural relevance, they are often at odds. In literature, they call this "two solitudes": part English, part French, but not quite either.

    Yet as Montreal modernizes and these divisions become less noticeable, one thing remains clear: Music, art and food still belong to the French. From chanson to Monet to foie gras, let's face it, France wins.

    So, naturally, the Montreal International Jazz Festival — Canada's grandest music event of the year — props up the city's elite Francophones. (See: the new Grévin museum.) Some are formed at home and others come from abroad, yet Americans have no clue about the majority of these artists. Most French musicians, and let's throw the Quebecois in that category, can't find gigs in the U.S.

    For American first-timers to the festival, this can be a revelation. Here are five French or Quebecois artists featured this year. Follow WBGO for more annual coverage from Montreal.

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  • Kenny Barron Quintet: Live At The Village Vanguard

    June 5, 2013. Posted by WBGO.

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    Kenny Barron. (Image Credit: John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com)

    Among jazz musicians, especially in New York City, pianist Kenny Barron is considered an institution. He spent years in bands led by the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Yusef Lateef and Stan Getz, and brings that wisdom to every note. He's put out dozens of albums, continues to write new music, and turns up in classrooms and on concert stages throughout the city. And he continues to play brilliantly, with clarity and ebullience alike — his latest album pairs him with an all-Brazilian band.

    For his 70th birthday week, Barron's band is playing another jazz institution: the Village Vanguard. Included in the repertoire are songs by the late Mulgrew Miller, another pianist of gentle temperament and profound capability. WBGO and NPR Music presented a live video webcast and radio broadcast of the Kenny Barron Quintet.

    Set List

    • "5/4 Blues" (Barron)
    • "Second Thoughts" (Mulgrew Miller)
    • "Mariposa de Sueño" (Samora Pinderhughes)
    • "Rain, Rain" (Barron)
    • "DPW" (Barron)

    Personnel

    • Kenny Barron, piano
    • Vincent Herring, alto saxophone
    • Brandon Lee, trumpet
    • Kiyoshi Kitagawa, bass
    • Lee Pearson, drums
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