WBGO Blog
  • Eric Lewis Talks to Sheila Anderson

    November 7, 2016. Posted by Corey Goldberg.

    How did polite silence come to represent an intellectual audience response? Pianist Eric Lewis, aka ELEW, explains this bit of musical history and much more on this Salon Session with Sheila Anderson.

    eric lewis

  • The Lush Life Of Billy Strayhorn

    November 3, 2016

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    Billy Strayhorn (right), spent the majority of his career as a composer and arranger for Duke Ellington (left) and his orchestra. (Image Credit: David Redfern/Getty Images)

    The fruitful collaboration between Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington is widely known to have brought us such classics as "Take The 'A' Train," "Chelsea Bridge" and "Isfahan." But behind the music, Strayhorn's life and identity were complex.

    While composing some of the most harmonically rich jazz of its time — often in Ellington's shadow — Strayhorn was an outlier in that he led an openly gay life as a black man in the 1940s, an era rife with homophobia and racism.

    In this episode of Jazz Night In America, hear interviews with Strayhorn's family members and biographer, along with rare archival tape of Strayhorn himself. You'll also hear Strayhorn's music performed by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, including pianist Johnny O'Neal's rendition of "Lush Life."

    Copyright 2016 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center.

  • Remembering Bassist Bob Cranshaw

    November 3, 2016. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    Add new comment | Filed under: RIP

    Bob Cranshaw.jpg
    By Tom Marcello Webster, New York, USA - Bob Cranshaw - fender bass, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

    Bassist Bob Cranshaw is probably one of the most under-recognized musicians of his era. Cranshaw’s contributions were part of the musical lives of Lee Morgan, Stanley Turrentine, Clark Terry and a 50+ year association with tenor giant Sonny Rollins, to mention a few. He also played on countless stage and television productions, and worked in the NYC Musician's Union as an advocate for the rights of jazz musicians.

    Cranshaw and pianist Hank Jones, another giant of the music, worked together in a big band led by Johnny Hodges and were featured together on J.J. Johnson’s first big band recording as a leader.

    One night in New York, in 2007, WBGO captured these two masters together with Morning Jazz Host Gary Walker for spirited conversation in a duet musical setting. Listen here:

    Cranshaw was born in Evanston, Illinois, in 1932. He passed yesterday at the age of 83.

  • WBGO Kids Jazz: Elio Villafranca

    November 3, 2016. Posted by Brandy Wood.

  • Newark Stories: Sakina Pitts

    November 2, 2016. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    We're wrapping up our celebration of Newark's 350th Anniversary with a story from Sakina Pitts.

    In 1990, Pitts was an 8th grader at Chancellor Elementary School in Newark.

    And for most 8th graders, graduating elementary school is the beginning of their journey in figuring out what they want to be when they grow up.

    This was definitely the case for Pitts, whose path paved its way back to her elementary school as its principal.