I love live music! It is invigorating to watch the musicians interact with one another as they play. It is as much fun to observe the audience get into the music as it is to listen myself. That is one the exciting parts about broadcasting live from J&R Music World. For the past six years we have showcased numerous musicians debut their new CDs. I have produced the whole series and this has given me the opportunity to get to know the regulars. That is one of the unique privileges of working at a radio station being in the community. You get to interact with the listeners. They tell you what they like and don’t like. The listeners also get to know the artists and each other.
The very first concert we presented 6 years ago featured Grammy nominated pianist and composer Arturo O’Farrill. From the beginning, a young and eager 10 year-old named Travis Wolcott was one of two boys who would sit cross-legged on the floor in front of the stage. When the series first started, we held drawings for door prizes and Travis would help pull the winner’s names out of the box. His participation became a part of the show.
Travis and his brother Thomas, along with his dad Tom continued to attend the broadcasts and we became friends. My birthday or a holiday never came without a card from the Wolcotts. But the one constant reminder of how much a part of our lives this family has become was the sight of Travis each month in the front row as we presented artists at J&R.
Travis sat and watched and listened to every note and that he depended upon us made this all especially significant. Travis and Tom were on site early January 17 this year for our last scheduled broadcast from J&R, not coincidentally featuring Arturo’s sextet. Travis picked his familiar place on the floor and Tom and I reminisced about the drawing days.
People say you never think of the good time you are having as “the good old days”. But the Saturdays (and a few Tuesdays) we spent at J&R gave us wonderful memories, and a more great live music.
But then, the music ended. The series ended.
Our friends at J&R made it possible to bring the new music to our listeners and to special fans like Travis.
We won’t let him down. That’s why we ask for your support. Jazz88 is about giving our listeners music!
Next week, Cedar Walton's trio wraps up our 2008 concert series from the Village Vanguard. Don't worry, there's more to come:
The series kicks off 2009 with a performance from guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel on January 7, which will be available for download as a podcast. Grammy© winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard brings his quintet to the Vanguard in February along with special guests, and Grammy© nominated saxophonist David Sanchez follows in March with his quartet performing material from Sanchez's recent recording, Cultural Survival. In April, trumpeter and composer Tom Harrell and his quintet will play music from an upcoming release, Prana's Dance.
Live at the Village Vanguard Schedule
Wednesday, December 17 - Cedar Walton Trio
Wednesday, January 7 - Kurt Rosenwinkel Group
Wednesday, February 18 - Terence Blanchard Quintet
Wednesday, March 18 - David Sanchez Quartet
Wednesday, April 8 - Tom Harrell Quintet
Jenny Scheinman is celebrating the release of her album, Crossing the Field, with a quartet tonight - Jason Moran at the piano, Greg Cohen on bass, and Rudy Royston on drums. The band rehearsed for two hours yesterday afternoon, then played two sets for opening night. So expect a fairly cohesive unit for tonight's show.
Jenny is setting up onstage. Getting ready for a nice show.
Jenny Scheinman opens with "American Dipper" - male version - from an earlier recording, Shalagaster.
American Dipper is North America's only truly aquatic songbird.
Jenny calls "Albert," and she calls saxophonist Albert Ayler a great melodicist. I can hear that.
Band segues into "Through the Dark." Greg Cohen is the go-to guy in this band.
"That's Delight," from the new album, Crossing the Field.
"The Frog" could be a cool pop tune. I love the way this song evolves. And Greg Cohen is such an outstanding bassist. Such a complete musician.
This beautiful ballad called "Sleeping in the Aquifer." Nice imagery.
After playing a new original, "Bray," Scheinman launches into "Hard Sole Shoe," from the new recording. After a piano intro from Jason Moran, the groove is in the house.
We end the set with "Born Into This." Autobiographical, Ms. Scheinman???
WBGO was part of an extraordinary evening last night at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. After Saturday's Latin Jazz tour with Paquito D'Rivera at the Victoria Theater, we wrapped up our weekend coverage of NJPAC's Alternate Routes festival tonight at Prudential Hall. The muse of Minas Gerais, Brazil's Milton Nascimento, celebrated his 66th birthday onstage with the Jobim Trio, featuring Antonio Carlos Jobim's son and grandson, guitarist Paulo Jobim and pianist Daniel Jobim. Rodrigo Villa supported on bass, as did the steady rhythm of drummer Paolo Braga. They played new arrangements of bossa nova classics (largely from the Antonio Carlos Jobim/Vinicius De Moraes songbook), a Dorival Caymmi standard, and a few anthems from Nascimento's time in the clube da esquina movement in Brazil's popular music. All in all, it was a beautiful view into the modern identity of Brazilian song, with a willing audience of Portuguese speakers from Newark's Ironbound neighborhood. Here's the rundown of the show, and what you'll hear when you listen online:
1. Garota de Ipanema - AC Jobim (not available online)
2. Aguas de Marco - AC Jobim
3. So Tinha De Ser Com Voce - Elis Regina
4. O Vento - Dorival Caymmi
5. Brigas Nunca Mais - AC Jobim/Vinicius De Moraes
6. Inutil Paisagem - AC Jobim/Aloysio de Oliveira
7. Chega de Saudades - AC Jobim/De Moraes
8. Medo de Amar - Vinicius De Moraes
9. Velho Riacho (Pra Nao Sofrer) - AC Jobim
10. Esperanca Perdida - AC Jobim/Billy Blanco
11. Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar - AC Jobim/De Moraes
12. Dias Azuis - Daniel Jobim
13. Para Lennon e McCartney - Lo Borges-F.Brant/Nascimento
14. Cravo e Canela - Nascimento
15. Samba Do Aviao - AC Jobim
16. Maria, Maria [encore] - Nascimento
Paquito D'Rivera inaugurated a weekend of "Alternate Routes" at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and WBGO was there to broadcast the event. Part of the three day Encuentros! Latin Jazz festival, D'Rivera's two sets at the Victoria Theater were a pan-Latin, pan-Caribbean, and steelpan affair. Andy Narell joined core members of D'Rivera's group for "Paquito's Latin Side of Jazz," along with bandoneon player Hector del Curto. Taken together, the concert featured carnival-inspired jazz from Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina's tango and nuevo tango traditions, blues for both a fictitious journalist from Kazakhstan and a very real 26-inch "living doll" named Chiquita, a Venezuelan waltz, and jazz from a Puerto Rican. Here's the breakdown:
1. Kalinda - composed by Andy Narell
2. Bandoneon interlude featuring Hector del Curto
3. Oblivion - composed by Astor Piazzolla
4. Borat in Syracuse - composed by Paquito D'Rivera
5. Manha de Carnaval - composed by Luiz Bonfa
6. La Yumba/Caravan - composed by Osvaldo Pugliese/Juan Tizol
1. Valse Venezolano - composed by Paquito D'Rivera
2. Preludio #3 - composed by Roberto Pansera
3. Chiquita Blues - composed by Paquito D'Rivera
4. Libertango - composed by Astor Piazzolla
5. To Brenda With Love - composed by Paquito D'Rivera
Enjoy the concert, and check out more photos after the jump.
Andy Narell playing his steelpan with Paquito D'Rivera at NJPAC.
Hector del Curto's bandoneon.
Paquito D'Rivera warming up his signature rosewood clarinet.
Anat walked into the club a few minutes before doors opened to the public. She's using a new reed on her soprano saxophone tonight, so she spent some time warming up the soprano and breaking in the new reed.
The first set is sold out tonight. There's a party of 16, a party of 10, and a party in the Village Vanguard tonight.
Anat and I have talked through tonight's program. Should be a good one!
Pianist Jason Lindner just arrived. He and Anat are talking about how to end the second set. They're ahead of everyone tonight.
The band's all here. Showtime in T minus 8 minutes.
We're live. Anat Cohen and her quartet (Jason Lindner, piano; Joe Martin, bass; Daniel Freedman, drums) are blasting into a modern arrangement of Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz."
Anat quotes "Pop Goes the Weasel." Thad Jones would be proud. His quote of it from Count Basie's version of "April in Paris" is one for the ages. One more time!
Montuno, baby! Ernesto Lecuona's "Siboney," played with vigor. Anat's clarinet tone is the sound of unbridled optimism. It's refreshing.
This is such a difficult song to cover. If you're gonna tackle Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come," you better bring everything you have to this song. I believe Anat has done that.
"Washington Square Park" opens with Jason Lindner plucking the piano strings, which are covered with paper. It makes the piano sound like a berimbau, or some kind of African-based instrument. Very cool.
Anat switches to tenor sax.
That song went to a lot of places. All in Washington Square Park. Now, we're moving into the blues with Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'. As an aside, I really love Taj Mahal's version...
Clsong out the set with the Brazilian Duke Ellington, Pixinguinha. His composition "Um A Zero." Tudo bem!
Kenny Garrett visited Afternoon Jazz this weekend, as he celebrated his recent release, Sketches of MD, on Mack Avenue Records. Kenny brought a young group to the Iridium last week, and to J&R Music World on Saturday: Cory Henry on Hammond B-3 organ; electric bassist Kona Khashu, and drummer Justin Brown. Monifa Brown hosted the concert and interview. Click here to listen.
A bonus photo from WBGO's Thurston Briscoe after the jump.