Village Vanguard

John Rogers

Along with the latest from Rob Mazurek’s Exploding Star Orchestra, jazz-vocal supergroup säje, and keyboard whiz kid Justin Lee Schultz.

Stacy Kimball

Artistry and activism have always been fully entwined in the music of Vijay Iyer.

So it should come as no surprise that he sees his livestream trio engagement at The Village Vanguard this weekend as a chance to engage with our cultural moment, and the topic of systemic racism. During a recent phone interview, Iyer reflected on what form that commentary might take.

Courtesy of The Village Vanguard

Last Friday, Deborah Gordon set foot in The Village Vanguard for the first time in almost 12 weeks.

Priscilla Jiminez

Along with some duo magic from Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch, and a ray of sunshine from Matt Wilson.

John Rogers for NPR / johnrogersnyc.com

Kurt Rosenwinkel, the illustrious guitarist and composer, will appear at S.O.B.'s on Friday as part of the lineup for WBGO @ 40

Half-price tickets are available to anyone who purchases online using the code WBGO40. Those with festival passes for the Winter Jazzfest Marathon are also welcome to attend. As we count down to the show, we thought it would be appropriate to revisit a standout Rosenwinkel set from the WBGO archives.

WBGO

Lorraine Gordon will always be remembered for her indefatigable stewardship of The Village Vanguard, where she maintained the highest of standards. She was also a terrific storyteller — and had more than a few terrific stories to tell.

Joan Powers

The Branford Marsalis Quartet had been rampaging at the Village Vanguard for over an hour — in full burnout mode, practically rattling the pictures on the walls — when its leader swerved unexpectedly into a softer mode. Channeling his best Ben Webster warble on the tenor saxophone, Branford closed the set with a songbook ballad, “Sweet Lorraine.” For those in the room who recognized its gladsome melody, the implicit dedication rang clear.

Francis Wolff / Blue Note Records

One of the greatest jazz albums ever made was recorded 60 years ago today. It's A Night at the Village Vanguard, a live date by saxophonist Sonny Rollins, featuring a muscular backdrop of bass and drums. It's not a carefully plotted concept album, nor a manifesto, but a document with the slangy nonchalance of a conversation overheard on the street, extemporaneous and unburdened. It's a slice of musical vérité that captures a true master of the form on a good day, in a generous and jocular mood.