An Interview With Odetta


A voice of the Civil Rights Era has been hushed.
Odetta, a champion of the real folk blues, died. She was 77.
In 2001, WBGO's Michael Bourne spoke with Odetta during the Blues Hour. She had recently released a tribute record to folk singer Leadbelly.
Click here to listen to some of that interview.

Broadway Unplugged: Michael Bourne Interviews Scott Siegel

Broadway Unplugged LogoThe Town Hall was built in the 1920's for orators, and musicians also discovered that the acoustics are superb. None of today's audio tech existed back then, but no mics are ever needed there. "Broadway Unplugged" is an annual concert that gathers some of Broadway's best singers performing without mics and sounding that much more real. I've attended the last two years and I've been thrilled hearing (and feeling) all these beautiful voices, not amplified through speakers, but directly from the throats (and the hearts) of the singers.

Scott Siegel is the producer and host. In this interview, we talked about the upcoming 5th annual "Broadway Unplugged" -- Monday the 17th at 8 at Town Hall -- for tonight's WBGO Journal. And we kept on talking, including listening to highlights from last year's show: Max von Essen and Sarah Jane McMahon singing "Tonight" from West Side Story, Lorinda Lisitza singing a heartbreaking "Surabaya Johnny" from Happy End, Marc Kudisch singing "I'm Still Here" from The Glorious Ones, and Bill Daugherty singing a show-stopping "Sit Down, You're Rocking The Boat" from Guys and Dolls.
-Michael Bourne

Live Blog: Jenny Scheinman at the Village Vanguard 10.29.08

Village Vanguard Sign, Dusk 10.29.08

See some photos.

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???

Jenny Scheinman: Interview and Personal Playlist

Jenny Scheinman Photo by Michael Wilson
We're broadcasting violinist Jenny Scheinman tonight at the Village Vanguard.  While you're waiting for the show, you can listen to this interview with Jenny, or check out some songs she included in her personal playlist.

Milton Nascimento and the Jobim Trio: The Birthday Concert

Milton Nascimento’s Cake

Listen to the concert.

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

An Interview With Anat Cohen

Anat Cohen Press Photo
Photo by Osnat Rom

You'll be hearing a lot about Anat Cohen on WBGO this week.  Last year, she debuted at the Village Vanguard, the first female instrumental leader to do so.  This week, her quartet takes the stage at the Vanguard to celebrate her recent release, Notes From the Village.  We'll take you there.  Later this week, you can also hear Anat Cohen's recent performance from the Kennedy Center on JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater.  We hope you get a chance to discover an exciting new voice in music.
So while you're waiting for all this excitement, listen to this recent conversation with Anat Cohen.  You can also listen to what's on her iPod, arranged by entropy.

Anat Cohen Plays a Game of Shuffle

Anat Cohen Press Photo
Photo by Osnat Rom

Question: What do the following songs have in common?

1. Anat Cohen/Alon Yavnai "Very Early" unreleased music
2. Dr. Lonnie Smith "The Whip"
3. Joe Zawinul "Mi Gente (My People)"
4. Meade Lux Lewis "Blues Whistle"
5. Duke Ellington's Blanton-Webster Band "Blue Serge"
6. A chorino
7. Django Reinhardt's "Djangology"

Answer: They are all part of Anat Cohen's digital library.
And our newest game of Shuffle. Listen to it here.
Wednesday at 9pm, WBGO and NPR present the Anat Cohen Quartet.
Join us for the next installment of Live at the Village Vanguard.
See you on the radio.

Paul Motian/Bill Frisell/Joe Lovano at the Vanguard


We're back at the Village Vanguard tomorrow night.  9PM ET.  Join us.