Jazz United Podcast

It’s never a bad time to talk about Thelonious Monk. His indomitable music and incorruptible example serve as a renewable resource, because there’s always something fresh to uncover, another brilliant corner to explore.

David Redfern / Redferns/Getty

Right about now, in any other year, many of us would be gearing up for a trip to Newport, R.I.

This year, of course, is different. The Newport Jazz Festival is one of countless pleasures put on hold, with a hopeful marker in place for next year. Which got us thinking not only about what we’re missing, but also about what the festival means — as a summer ritual, as a rite of passage, as a historical nexus, as a brand name.

John Abbott

Charles Tolliver has lived his share of jazz history. As a fiery young sideman with Jackie McLean and Max Roach in the 1960s, he joined a lineage of exalted post-bop trumpeters, more than holding his own. But Tolliver also set a model of self-determination in the ‘70s, with a DIY record label called Strata-East.

WBGO

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve been sorely missing live music. But in at least one sense, we haven’t lost the experience of real-time musical exchange.

This past February — before the phrase “social distancing” had entered our lexicon — the two of us, Greg Bryant and Nate Chinen, got together to hear some music.

Greg had recently moved up from Nashville to become the host of Jazz After Hours on WBGO. Nate, WBGO’s editorial director, suggested catching a set someplace before the overnight shift, which is how we found ourselves at the Jazz Standard for the Ravi Coltrane Quartet.