WBGO says goodbye to alto saxophonist and composer Ornette Coleman, who passed away today at age 85 from a heart attack.
Coleman, who won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for music, is best known as the originator of "free jazz," a movement which took its name from his 1960 album for Atlantic Records, which featured two quartets recorded independently on each stereo channel.
Ornette's own deeply emotional, immediately recognizable sound and compositions were deeply rooted in the jazz tradition, especially the legacy of Charlie Parker and the rhythm 'n blues of his Texas youth.
Coleman sat down with WBGO's Josh Jackson in 2008 for a memorable conversation, which we'd like to share with you again now.
Thank you, Ornette!
Saxophonist Mark Turner talks with Josh Jackson about his new ECM album Lathe Of Heaven. Turner performs at New York's Jazz Standard Sept. 18 through 21 with Avishai Cohen on trumpet, Joe Martin on bass, and Johnathan Blake and Justin Brown on drums.
Guitarist Bill Frisell joins Josh Jackson to talk about guitar memories from the 1950s. Frisell hosts "The Electric Guitar In America" at New York's Jazz At Lincoln Center June 6 and 7 with Greg Liesz on electric and pedal steel guitars, Tony Scherr on bass and Kenny Wollesen on drums.
Frisell visited WBGO June 4 to talk about the childhood musical inspirations he celebrates in the concerts and on his upcoming album "GUITAR IN THE SPACE AGE!"
Click to hear Frisell and his band perform The Beach Boys' "Surfer Girl," one of the tracks on the CD, which is slated for release by Sony/OKeh October 7.
A full version of Frisell's conversation with Jackson will air on WBGO's weekly new music magazine, The Checkout, in October. Frisell's 2012 performance at the Newport Jazz Festival was also featured on The Checkout.
Click on the image below to watch a video trailer for the album by Paul Moore and Paul Hicks, which features the band as they perform "Baja":
Josh Jackson, WBGO’s VP of Content, brings many artists to perform live at WBGO. This is one of the many ways we offer listeners musical experiences no one else can.
As we gear up to celebrate our 35th Anniversary in April, we asked Josh to list of some of his favorite sessions over the years.
“Each session was a different experience," says Jackson. " I like these...”
Drummer Mark Guiliana talks with WBGO's Josh Jackson about Mehliana, his electronic duo project with Brad Mehldau on keyboards, and their new album Taming the Dragon, released by Nonesuch Records Feb. 25, 2014. Enjoy!
WBGO says goodbye to Amiri Baraka, who died today at 79. The author, activist and Newark native made indelible contributions to literature and music criticism, in particular through Blues People, his groundbreaking 1963 collection of essays which traced the evolution of African-American music.
"He was one of the most insightful and brilliant observers jazz has ever attracted," said jazz writer Paul de Barros, upon learning of his death. "Part of a time when the context for jazz writing was so much broader and more connected -- in Baraka's case, to poetry, drama, social criticism and politics."
Many of us at WBGO had the good fortune to know Amiri, and his urbane, incisive and unrepentant wit. Most recently, WBGO's Josh Jackson sat down with Baraka to talk about Blues People on the 50th anniversary of its publication. We'd like to share the conversation with you again now.
Thank you, Amiri, and rest in peace. WBGO's condolences are with Baraka's family and many friends.
Friday, January 17, 2014
4:00pm to 9:00pm
Metropolitan Baptist Church
149 Springfield Avenue
Newark, NJ 07103
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Newark Symphony Hall
1020 Broad Street
Listen now to pianists Robert Glasper and Jason Moran talk with Josh Jackson about their Jan. 8 concert at New York's Town Hall to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Blue Note Records, part of the 2014 New York Winter Jazz Festival.
Jackson will host the Jan. 8 concert, and got the party started early with a hilarious conversation that touched on everything from double octaves to how to play jazz for the hip-hop generation.
"Just thinking outside the box and saying, 'Ok, this is who we are, and this is our sound,'" says Glasper, "it's opening the doors for so many other artists to do what they naturally want to do."
They also talked about and played some of their favorite recordings by Sam Rivers, Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock and Freddie Hubbard.
Click here to hear Jackson's full hour-long conversation with Moran and Glasper. Enjoy!
Glasper and Moran braved the mountains of snow dumped on the tri-state area by Super Storm Hercules, with their three young sons in tow, to reach the WBGO studios in Newark for the interview on Friday.
The Jan. 8 concert commemorates Blue Note's first recording session, held Jan. 6, 1939, with boogie-woogie pianists Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis. The pianists will be joined at Town Hall by drummer Eric Harland, tenor saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, vocalist Bilal and Alan Hampton on bass.
The show kicks off a year of celebrations by Blue Note, which over eight decades has recorded artists ranging from from Sidney Bechet and Thelonious Monk to Norah Jones, as well as Moran, who has been with Blue Note since his first recording for the label fifteen years ago, and Glasper, who released his sixth Blue Note album in October.
"There's not really many labels that will just let you be who you are," says Moran. "They have continued to say, 'Oh, we see where you're going, here's your open canvas, your open palette, and go ahead and make something.' "
Moran and Glasper both graduated from Houston's High School For Performing And Visual Arts - several years apart - and performed together in January of 2011 as part of WBGO's "Houstonians in NYC" concert at the 92Y Tribeca.
NEWARK, NJ, August 19, 2013 - Josh Jackson has been named to the newly-created position of Vice President of Content of WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM, it was announced today by Amy Niles, the station's Acting President and CEO. Jackson, who continues as host of WBGO's hour-long music magazine, The Checkout, was previously Special Projects Producer.
"I am pleased to name Josh as our Vice President of Content," said Niles. "This new position reflects the evolving nature of WBGO as both a creator and distributor of content for our communities of Jazz and News. Josh has a keen understanding and respect for the past, present and future of jazz. He is the personification of WBGO's mission to continue the vibrancy of this music as a cultural art form and his enthusiasm for broadcasting is contagious."
Jackson began his radio career at WWOZ in New Orleans, moved to New York to become the associate producer of Jazz from Lincoln Center with Ed Bradley and joined WBGO in 2001. He has created three multi-platform concert programs, Live at the Village Vanguard, The Checkout: Live at 92Y Tribeca and The Checkout: Live at Berklee, all in partnership with NPR. Jackson has produced award-winning documentaries and hundreds of live concert recordings while at WBGO. He is the co-founder of Joyride Media and the 2010 and 2012 recipient of the Jazz Journalists Association's Willis Conover-Marian McPartland Award for Broadcasting.
Jackson's recent programming initiative is WBGO Radar - a discovery service for new music. Jackson and WBGO Music Director Gary Walker review new recordings and consider them for exclusive debuts at WBGO.org/RADAR.
Bassist Derrick Hodge performs live at WBGO for a special edition of Josh Jackson's weekly new music show,The Checkout, which broadcasts on Tuesday, August 6 at 6:30 p.m.
That same day, Hodge's Blue Note CD, Live Today, hits stores: click to hear Jackson's sneak preview of the album for NPR's First Listen series.
A member of the Grammy-winning Robert Glasper Experiment, this Philadelphia native knows no boundaries. Hodge performs with hip-hop and soul artists such as Jill Scott and Maxwell, and with classical composer Osvaldo Golijov. Hodge also works with trumpeter Terence Blanchard on film scores which include Spike Lee's When The Levees Broke and Miracle At St. Anna.
Hodge will also perform on August 6 at 8:30 p.m. at The Cutting Room, 44 E. 32nd Street in New York, with Travis Sayles on keyboards, Mark Colenburg on drums and Ambrose Akinmusire on trumpet.
Can't wait? Check out this video of Hodge's live broadcast for our Checkout Live series from the 92Y Tribeca in New York with Kris Bowers on piano, Dontae Winslow on trumpet, Jamire Williams on drums and Alan Hampton on guitar and vocals. There's more of Derrick and other cutting-edge performers in our video archive. Enjoy!