WBGO Blog
  • Tuesday Night - Sweet Rhythm

    June 4, 2008. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Map to Sweet Rhythm

    On the way home from the Jazz Gallery, walking up Seventh Avenue,
    used-to-be WBGO night man James Browne pulled me into his club Sweet
    Rhythm to see Lezlie Harrison sing. A long time ago, Lezlie hosted the
    jazz party on Saturday evenings on WBGO. She's never stopped using that
    fine voice, and moved me with her singing and the solos by Luca Tozzi on
    guitar and Greg Lewis on organ on "A Lover is Forever," once recorded by
    Etta James. I'm going to download Etta right now. Lezlie's drummer is
    Luca Santaniello. As I was leaving, Greg was rolling his Hammond out the
    door. Musicians work hard and give much! Wish I had photos.
    -Becca

  • Tuesday Night - Jazz Gallery

    June 4, 2008. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Map to Jazz Gallery, NYC

    When you get to your folding chair at the Jazz Gallery on Hudson St.,
    there's a personal cardboard fan on your seat, and you think what a nice
    souvenir. But by the end of the Roy Hargrove Big Band set, you are using
    that fan! You ARE a fan! With 18 guys and a woman -- hallelujah Tanya
    Darby on trumpet -- crammed into one end of the oblong loft, and the
    audience filling the rest, from the back wall to sax players' feet, you
    FEEL this band and it feels GOOD! I love that there's only one mic, for
    Roy to speak and, briefly, sing. I love that he has about a square yard
    in which to conduct, then turn 180 and play. I love it all. He's
    expanding his small group music, and his writing is fresh and old school
    at the same time, all accents and syncopation, and the band is playing
    almost flawlessly. Gerald Clayton's on piano! The set's not too long.
    The Roy Hargrove Big Band plays the Jazz Gallery once more this summer
    on June 10. Then after that, your next opp to see them is June 15 at the
    Hollywood Bowl, so opt for the great vibes at the Gallery where the
    band, the sound and the audience are one and the same. And thanks to Zan
    Stewart for his motivating review in the Star Ledger.
    -Becca Pulliam

  • 2009 NEA Jazz Masters Announced

    June 3, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Jazz MastersThe National Endowment for the Arts today announced the recipients of the 2009 NEA Jazz Masters Award-the nation's highest honor in this distinctly American music. The six recipients will each receive a $25,000 grant award, and will be publicly honored in an awards ceremony and concert on Friday, October 17, 2008.
    The six 2009 NEA Jazz Masters are:
    George Benson (vocalist/guitar)
    Jimmy Cobb (drums)
    Lee Konitz (saxophone)
    Toots Thielemans (harmonica and guitar)
    Snooky Young (trumpet)
    Rudy Van Gelder (rec. engineer)

  • Allen Toussaint Talks About Bo Diddley

    June 2, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Bo Diddley Dies at 79
    Bo Diddley died this morning.  I learned about his death en route to an interview with Allen Toussaint, the legendary New Orleans R&B producer.  Toussaint, himself a fellow member of the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, shared some beautiful thoughts about the legendary Bo Diddley.
    Hear what he had to say.
    -Josh

  • Pianist and Composer Nik Bärtsch

    May 30, 2008. Posted by Simon Rentner.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    nikb.JPG

    Composer and pianist Nik Bärtsch likes to create mystery. He dresses in black and shaves his head. He also has a black belt in Aikido. His passion: the mystic energy of sound. As a minimalist who seeks the essence of groove, he often explores one rhythmic pattern for hours at a time. The result: a Steve Reich meets James Brown mash-up he calls "Ritual Groove Music" or "Zen Funk." Discover why his group Mobile sometimes performs for 36 hours at a time. Produced by WBGO's Simon Rentner.

    Listen to the podcast here.