WBGO Blog
  • Lionel Loueke - Karibu

    January 7, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Lionel Loueke - Karibu

    I just listened to the advance of guitarist Lionel Loueke's Karibu, slated for release on March 25th on Blue Note. It features the GILFEMA trio (Lionel, Massimo Biolcati and Ferenc Nemeth), with special guests...HERBIE HANCOCK and WAYNE SHORTER.

    Prepare yourself for an astonishing version of Coltrane's "Naima," featuring Wayne on soprano.

    ...when you buy the record, that is...

    Alas, don't fret! I'm not that cruel. I will chase Lionel down for an interview at IAJE in Toronto. So stay tuned to the blog action from IAJE 2008 next week.

    Incidentally, the first time I heard Lionel was with Terence Blanchard, at the Top of the Senator club. During IAJE. Terence said to me, "You gotta check out this cat from Benin. You've never heard anything like this." I'm still saying that to myself in 2008. - Josh

  • New Ertegun Hall of Fame Website

    January 7, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Ertegun Website Capture

    Jazz at Lincoln Center just launched a new website, featuring the thirty inductees of the Nesuhi Ertegun Hall of Fame.

    It's Flash based, so it has some snazzy design elements, but it takes forever to load pages. If you're patient, you'll find some valuable information about each artist, including photos, timelines, and a jukebox feature.

    Anyway, check it out here. - Josh

  • The Dearly Departed

    January 7, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    We lost two lights in the jazz community this weekend, singer Irene Reid and bassist Earl May.

    Here are their respective funeral arrangements.

    Irene Reid: Viewing: 2pm - 6:30pm
    Service: 6:30pm
    Thursday, January 10th
    The Greater Zion Hill Baptist Church
    127th and 8th Avenue, New York
    Earl May: Service: 11am
    Thursday, January 10th
    Bethany Baptist Church
    275 West Market Street
    Newark, New Jersey

    In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mr. May's name to:
    Jazzmobile
    154 West 127th Street
    New York, N.Y. 10027

    -Josh (on behalf of everyone at WBGO)

  • Sam Woodyard - Stompin' the Yard

    January 7, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    It's the birthday today of Sam Woodyard, one of the great drummers from Duke Ellington's Orchestra.

    Check out a killer solo from Sam Woodyard with Ellington, 1961.

     

    January seems to be a good month for drummers to join the world. This month alone, you'll find the birthdates of Kenny Clarke and Max Roach on the 9th and 10th (that's the bulk of bebop drums in two days). Then there's Grady Tate (1/14), Gene Krupa (1/15), and both Jeff "Tain" Watts and Jimmy Cobb on January 20th. - Josh

  • The smell of vinyl in the morning

    January 6, 2008

    joe-newman.jpg(Long ago mp3’s were stored on plastic, circular wafers known as LP’s…)

    I’ve told this story to Rhonda Hamilton on the air and was reminded of it today when I came across my LP copy of “Joe Newman Quintet at Count Basie’s.” This is a terrific album from the great Basie trumpet man (‘43-’47 & ‘52-‘61), recorded live (with a very "live" audience) at the Count’s joint in NYC in 1961. It has smoking performances of “Caravan” and “Midgets” and features Newman, Oliver Nelson on tenor, Ed Shaughnessy on drums, Lloyd Mayers on piano and Art Davis on bass. I bought the record at a flea market about 10 years ago in great condition for maybe $3. $3!

    Joe Newman was the first authentic jazz great I’d ever met. It was at a jam session in Newark’s Terrace Ballroom at Symphony Hall in the late 80’s. I was a kid trying to run a jam session and he was in his mid to late 60’s, I think, like royalty with all the younger players hanging around him. I don’t think he even played much, and if he did, it was very briefly. But I’ve always remembered that encounter for Newman’s easy politeness and overall grand hipness.

    I was thrilled to have a Joe Newman-led live session. I don’t think there are too many on record. Are there? When I got the record home, I immediately threw it on the turntable. As soon as the needle hits the record, the band tears into Juan Tizol’s “Caravan,” and I mean they are cooking. The trumpet, muted, high-pitched and rapid, like if it was Diz or somebody like that. The drums, ripping at a furious pace and the bass strolling like a power walker. “Wow,” I thought. “Joe Newman is on fire!” After about 2:30 of the cut, the pace was still so intense that I thought surely they couldn’t sustain it. It took me another 30 seconds before I realized that the LP was actually playing at 45 rpm. I laughed, thinking how much of a jazz neophyte I was (and really still am.) But it sounded great!

    This is what I do when I should be cleaning the house. – David Cruz