April 8, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Abbey Lincoln is proof that a rose by any other name smells as sweet. The reigning diva of jazz has had more than a few names over the years. She was born Anna Marie Wooldridge. Her earliest professional names include Gaby Wooldridge and Gaby Lee. For eight years, she was legally Mrs. Max Roach. The cultural minister of Zaire bestowed the name Aminata Moseka.
Abbey Lincoln has certainly earned the right of the great singers in our music, those who need only one name. Billie. Sarah. Ella. Carmen. Betty. Abbey.
For decades, Ms. Lincoln has also been the poet laureate of jazz. Her songs have expressed the essential components of a life unfolding, the sum of our strengths and vulnerabilities. That which makes us human. What's right and what's wrong with us. What we have done. What we can do better.
WBGO recorded Abbey Lincoln at Iridium in New York, October 1996. Marc Cary is the pianist, Michael Bowie the bassist, Aaron Walker the drummer.
© 2008 WBGO
April 8, 2008
I was at the Museum of Modern Art this week for a press screening of a film ("Mickey One" starring a very young Warren Beatty, with music by Eddie Sauter, solos by Stan Getz) that will be part of a film and animation series and art exhibit called Jazz Score. I'll have some more about this on the WBGO Journal very soon, but that's not what this post is about.
The screening sent me to the web looking for jazz animation and I came across this great animation of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" on You Tube. Take a look. Let it load so that it syncs up. It'll give you a great appreciation of the genius of Coltrane. Emjoy - David Cruz
© 2008 WBGO
April 7, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
You may know guitarist Kevin Eubanks from the Tonight Show Band. Each weeknight, he sits in front of the band, acting as a comic foil for host Jay Leno. Kevin has actually been the music director for the show since 1995, when Branford Marsalis departed. Eubanks has been on the show since 1992. He even penned the show's closing theme song, "Kevin's Country."
Kevin Eubanks is a jazz musician by calling. In fact, music is genetically programmed into the Eubanks clan. Just ask trombonist Robin Eubanks, who is currently blazing trails with the SF Jazz Collective touring ensemble.
Check out Kevin on "Blues for Wes," a duet tribute to one of the heroes of jazz guitar, Wes Montgomery. This selection is a duet recording with bassist Cameron Brown. WBGO recorded it in 1983 at the Jazz Forum in New York. Johnny Carson was still the host of the Tonight Show. Kevin Eubanks was starting a solo career. His television career was yet to come.
© 2008 WBGO
April 7, 2008. Posted by Simon Rentner.
After listening to WBGO for years as a fan, I now find myself selling underwriting spots for the station as a Senior Account Executive. Not only do I have the unique opportunity to do something I enjoy for living, but working with underwriters to get their messages on air has its unexpected benefits. There are some great perks to my job. For instance, I talk to underwriters who "get it" when it comes to WBGO and the "Jazz lifestyle" on a daily basis.
One of these occurrences happened on April Fool's day, when my client from the Manhattan School of Music invited me to the John C. Borden Auditorium for the 50th anniversary concert celebrating Kenya, the landmark recording by Machito and his Afro-Cuban's Jazz Orchestra. Bobby Sanabria led the MSM orchestra in a recreation of the music from that incredible album.
The joint was jumping! It is rare to attend an event where young and old; black and white; Jews and gentile get together and get down! By the the second encore -- when Bobby put on his porkpie hat and danced around -- I felt like I was transported back to the Palladium in its heyday!
But the highlight of the evening occurred when NEA Jazz Master Candido Camero took the stage with the young pros of the MSM Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra. Candido performed on the original Kenya recording and will be celebrating his 87th birthday this month. It's remarkable that this was the first time Kenya was played for the public. The whole experience was incredible, a once in a lifetime event that makes me proud to be part of WBGO and the jazz community! By the way, PBS and the BBC filmed the show for a special broadcast in January and February of 2009. - Randy Moore
© 2008 WBGO