The Checkout

Saturday, 12am - 1am

Hosted by Simon Rentner

Music and interviews featuring cutting edge artists from around the world. Including "Check This Out", which showcases new releases of jazz and related music.

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Click here for full show archives

Courtesy of the artist

We’ve always admired Shai Maestro’s fearless approach to music.

The Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice teamed up with The Checkout for a special presentation.

WBGO

For years, the French accordionist Vincent Peirani resisted playing tango. Why would a modernist like himself venture down a predictable road? Now, with Abrazo, he not only embraces the tango, but puts his own squeeze on the tradition too.

Anka

Pianist and songwriter Chilly Gonzales is on the record saying he hates Christmas. In reality, it’s a little more complicated than that.

Courtesy of the artist

Clark Terry, the matchless trumpeter and flugelhorn player, was born 100 years ago today.

Jean-Baptiste Millot

Only a few modern harpists are redefining their instrument. Meet Laura Perrudin, a French singer-songwriter breaking ground with her chromatic electric harp.

Jonathan Chimene / WBGO

Lakecia Benjamin hasn’t played with a band since mid-March. 

A saxophonist and bandleader unmistakably on the rise, she admits being hesitant to step outside of her protective bubble. But on Friday morning she’ll lead a group at Roulette in Brooklyn, to kick off Jazzfest Berlin—New York.

Leslie Frempong

Angel Bat Dawid, the Chicago-based clarinetist, composer and singer, has been embarked on a journey.

On this My Music edition of The Checkout, she shares some of that experience — from her upbringing with missionary parents in Kenya to the thrill of meeting creative role model Henry Threadgill. We’ll hear music from The Oracle, her acclaimed 2019 debut — along with sounds from her hero Yusef Lateef, the autophysiopsychic musician whose centennial we observed this year.

M. McCartney

“I think so much of what I do is intuitive,” says Diana Krall. “It’s based on a feeling.”

courtesy of artist

Two years after creating his Juno Award-winning album The Seasons of Being, pianist Andy Milne is ready to talk about its significance.

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The musical fruits in our epic Fall Preview are now dropping to the public. The chief compiler of that undertaking, WBGO editorial director Nate Chinen, highlights some of his picks in this episode of The Checkout. Afternoon Jazz host Keanna Faircloth also crashes the listening party.

Jimmy Katz

Gary Peacock, who died on Sept. 4 at 85, was a bassist who truly lived in the moment. That was the case every time he picked up his instrument, and no less true of an engaging interview with The Checkout in 2014, at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. 

Craig Lovell

Years ago, The Checkout campaigned for Bobby McFerrin to become recognized as a NEA Jazz Master. That milestone happened this year— and his daughter, vocalist Madison McFerrin is here to give thanks for also being an incredible father.

Erin Patrice O'Brien

Maybe it’s destiny that harpist Brandee Younger moves into “The House That Trane Built,” Impulse! Records. In this episode of The Checkout, Younger talks about this welcome news — the honor, excitement, and complications that come with being signed to the legendary label.

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Among the countless things made difficult by the pandemic is the act of making music together. 

 

As we’ve discussed here before, pianist Dan Tepfer devised one solution to this problem through technology. Now, having mastered the tricky Jacktrip software, he’s performing with jazz vocal superstar Cécile McLorin Salvant and others.

 

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Samora Pinderhughes writes piercing melodies that linger in your memory. His heartbreaking songs seem especially pertinent now. Watch this pianist and singer premiere a few of them — including “Process,” which releases today as a single — in a stirring concert video.

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With jazz clubs shuttered, festivals canceled, and new album releases postponed, it’s difficult to get a pulse on today’s music scene. However, one musician-led organization is leading the way in keeping artists busy in a virtual space.

 

 

 

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Jazz stars aligned in mid-April when New York City was in full lockdown. The Checkout, with help from pianist Greg Spero, beamed-in some big name musicians from around the globe including Sirintip, Marquis Hill and others. Experience the best moments from that session now.

 

 

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As live concerts sadly fade into memory, we can at least remind you of some heavy moments fom The Checkout Live. Here’s mixtape (Volume 1) featuring performances by Justin Brown, BIGYUKI, Thiefs, Mwenso and The Shakes, and Mark Guiliana’s Beat Music.

 

 

Set list below (with links to corresponding podcasts)

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Samora Pinderhughes released Black Spring in April — one month before the killing of George Floyd and our country’s larger moment of reckoning. But his EP eerily serves as a musical reflection on our current wave of unrest. 

Robert Lewis

A few months ago, saxophonist-composer Tim Berne and guitarist-producer David Torn were on the road with their band Sun of Goldfinger when coronavirus restrictions went into effect.

Normally, singer and songwriter Becca Stevens and her husband Nathan Schram, violist for Attacca Quartet, spend their summers apart while on the road. In fact, before their quarantine, they were lucky to have two straight weeks at home together. But after canceled tours, the two have used their newfound time to connect as a couple and as musicians.

2020 looked mighty bright for Nduduzo Makhathini. In January, jazz fans and critics alike jammed themselves into the Zürcher Gallery at the NYC Winter Jazzfest to get a glimpse of the rising star pianist. The buzz was real for the first South African artist ever to be signed to Blue Note Records.

Drummer Alvester Garnett joined MacArthur "genius" violinist Regina Carter's band in 1998. It was purely professional at first, but it soon grew into a romantic relationship; the couple married in 2004. "She's the boss two-times over," Garnett says half-jokingly.

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Real-time dialogue is at the heart of improvisation — and it has been all but impossible in an era of social distancing.

The limits of our technology, and the stubborn fact of our physical separation, put a damper on the instantaneous connection needed for true musical exchange.

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