WBGO Blog
  • Ben Sidran & Mike Mainieri Talking Jazz

    May 20, 2008. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    Why had I never heard Mike Mainieri up close? What a pleasure to finally do so! At Jazz Standard last night, the New York vibist joined Ben Sidran & his trio, and the music & talk were totally absorbing. In the first set, we learned that boy-Mainieri's mom went to work to buy him a set of vibes, boy-wonder-Mainieri worked with Paul Whiteman, youth-Mainieri joined legendary Buddy Rich. They spent three weeks in Kabul (JFK's State Dept sponsored this), then went on to India, where Rich split suddenly, leaving behind his drums and young band behind to finish the tour. Years later, in the US, an Indian man came up to Mainieri and said "I was living in New Delhi, and I knew you were not Buddy Rich." Ben is truly onto something, to feature his peers and those slightly ahead of him telling stories that -- up til now -- Ben has enjoyed privately. I love this format. Thank you! Come back soon!! By the way, Ben says Talking Jazz is radio, narrowcasting to the room. I hope he can extend its reach.

  • Studio Session - Berklee Blue Note Ensemble

    May 20, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Berklee Blue Note Ensemble

    Whenever you hear young performers from Berklee College of Music, you are hearing the future of music. WBGO presented the Berklee Blue Note Ensemble on Midday Jazz today. For a decade, Berklee students with strong jazz creds make an annual trek to the Blue Note in Note in New York. Bill Pierce has been a Berklee faculty member for more than three decades. He directs the student ensemble. They are:

    Melissa Aldana - saxophone (Santiago, Chile)
    Jeonglim Yang - bass (South Korea)
    Michael Palma - piano (Dallas, Texas)
    Dan Pugach - drums (Raanana, Israel)
    Jeremy Sinclair - trumpet (Dallas, Texas)
    Nadia Washington - vocals (Dallas, Texas)

    Listen to the session. Remember the names.
    -Josh

  • Al Foster Interview

    May 20, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Al Foster at the Village Vanguard

    I was pleasantly surprised that this interview actually happened, but I know
    all to well that persistence pays off in the long run. I say this because Al
    Foster
    is famously dodgy about giving interviews to press. Probably because
    everyone in the world wants to know about Al's relationship with Miles Davis.
    Sure, he played with Miles for more than a decade, and was a dear friend, even
    during Davis' self-imposed exile from the music scene in the late 1970s. Get
    beyond that, and you realize that Al Foster has had an extraordinary musical
    life. In this interview, Foster talks about growing up in Harlem, where he met
    many of the legendary jazz musicians who shaped his career. And Miles too.
    But did you know that Al Foster raised four daughters as a single father? One
    more reason this guy deserves a medal. At the end of it all, you start to realize
    why so many people regard Al Foster as one of the great messengers of our music.
    -Josh

    The Al Foster Quartet plays the Village Vanguard this week. You can hear them
    live on WBGO, tomorrow night at 9. I'll be your host. Stay tuned.