• Matt Wilson's Arts And Crafts: Live At The Village Vanguard

    September 5, 2012. Posted by WBGO.

    Matt Wilson. (Image Credit: John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com)

    Drummer Matt Wilson is always a colorful player — a timekeeper who exploits all the timbres a snare drum can give him, finding melody in it. And when it's his gig, he's also a colorful personality with flailing limbs and goofy joy on his face. Though he's often played New York City's famed Village Vanguard as a sideman, he'll be especially pleased to be leading his first booking there as a leader with his Arts and Crafts band.

    A quartet with trumpet (Terell Stafford), organ (Gary Versace, who also plays piano and accordion) and bass (Martin Wind), Arts and Crafts released another album earlier this year, An Attitude for Gratitude. The band will draw from that record and its three predecessors during its weeklong run. WBGO and NPR Music present a recording from our broadcast of Matt Wilson's Arts and Crafts, live at the Village Vanguard.

    Set List

    • "We See" (Monk)
    • "The Scenic Route" (Wilson)
    • "The Cruise Blues" (Wind)
    • "Bubbles" (Wilson)
    • "Happy Days Are Here Again" (Ager/Yellen)
    • "No Outerwear" (Wilson)
    • "There's No You" (Hopper/Adair)
    • "Teen Town" (Pastorius)


    • Matt Wilson, drums
    • Terell Stafford, trumpet
    • Gary Versace, piano/organ
    • Martin Wind, bass


    Host and Producer: Josh Jackson; Audio Engineer: David Tallacksen; Production Assistant: Michael Downes. Recorded Sept. 5, 2012 at The Village Vanguard in New York, N.Y.

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  • Ethan Iverson, Ben Street, Tootie Heath: Live At The Village Vanguard

    August 22, 2012. Posted by WBGO.

    L-R: Ethan Iverson, Ben Street, Albert "Tootie" Heath. (Image Credit: John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com)

    Drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath, 77, has certainly played thousands of gigs like this one, where he's hired to bring his casual brilliance to the extended songbook of jazz standards. After all, he played on John Coltrane's first album as a leader, and with every other name in hard bop from the late 1950s onward. In contrast, pianist Ethan Iverson's schedule currently revolves around touring with The Bad Plus, a band whose repertoire almost entirely omits common-practice jazz. But away from the main unit, Iverson makes it a point to play the classics with his musical elders. Bassist Ben Street always provides an able pivot: He has already been asked to play in five other sets for the Live at the Village Vanguard series (including a date with Iverson in the Billy Hart Quartet).

    The promise of a week at New York's Village Vanguard with Iverson and Street lured Heath from his southern California base. One recording of this unit, Live at Smalls, was made in late 2009; here comes another. In a spacious, wry set of standards and blues heads, the trio of Ethan Iverson, Ben Street and Tootie Heath played this set for WBGO and NPR Music's live broadcast.


    • Ethan Iverson, piano
    • Ben Street, bass
    • Tootie Heath, drums

    Set List

    • "South Hampton" (Iverson)
    • "Nice Work If You Can Get It" (Gershwin)
    • "Insensatez" (Jobim)
    • "Shiny Stockings" (Foster)
    • "The Charleston" (Johnson)
    • "Memories Of You" (Blake)
    • "No Moe" (Rollins)
    • "Fire Waltz" (Waldron)
    • "Along Came Betty" (Golson)
    • "It Should've Happened A Long Time Ago" (Motian)
    • "Now's The Time" (Parker)


    Guest Host: Matt Wilson; Supervising Producer: Simon Rentner; Audio Engineer: David Tallacksen; Production Assistant: Michael Downes. Recorded Aug. 22, 2012 at The Village Vanguard in New York, N.Y.

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  • Heavy Rotation: Chano Dominguez, 'Freddie Freeloader'

    July 5, 2012. Posted by Gary Walker.

    Chano Dominguez. (Image Credit: Courtesy of the artist)

    With Supreme blogger Patrick Jarenwattananon on vacation, we asked jazz music directors from around public radio to highlight songs that have been in heavy rotation at their stations. Today's pick comes from Gary Walker, music director at WBGO in Newark, N.J.

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