Take Five

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

MLK Day was first observed as a federal holiday precisely 34 years ago.

The occasion provides a welcome prompt to reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy — as a leader of the Civil Rights Movement, as an emblem of resistance, and as a voice of unwavering conscience in American life.

Jonathan Chimene / WBGO

It’s time to start making your plans.

After all, the Winter Jazzfest is right around the corner — and its wild profusion of sounds and scenes can feel totally overwhelming, without a little prep. 

Dave Stapleton

New Year’s Eve is always a bonanza in New York jazz clubs.

So in this final Take Five of 2019, we’re spotlighting some of the best bookings in town. Those engagements may be sold out by now, but it never hurts to check — and some of these gigs stretch through the end of the week. Then there’s always the music itself, which you can sample here, and purchase for your enjoyment in 2020. Happy New Year! 

Chris Potter’s Circuits Trio, The Village Vanguard

Tom Copi / Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Woody Shaw, the groundbreaking trumpeter, would have turned 75 on Dec. 24.

Though he was born in North Carolina, Woody grew up in Newark from age one — eventually studying classical trumpet at Cleveland Junior High School and  jazz at Arts High. So it’s only fitting that the anniversary of his birth would occasion official proclamations from both Mayor Ras Baraka and Gov. Phil Murphy. And of course, only appropriate that we’d celebrate his music at WBGO. 

Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

This week, WBGO announcers take over Take Five with 12 — wait, make that a baker’s dozen — favorite holiday tracks. 

Have you broken the seal on Christmas music yet? Because we sure have.

John Rogers / Courtesy of the artist

Thanksgiving is upon us, and with it comes a call to gratitude. 

So in this Take Five, we offer reasons to be thankful.

Blue Note Records

Take Five goes international this week, with artists from South Africa, Germany, Cuba, Spain, Israel and the UK.

Chris Drukker

Also: new music by Nicholas Payton, Michael Dease, Nels Cline with Yuka Honda, and Big Band of Brothers.

Dimitry Medvedev

Also: Dick Hyman and Ken Peplowski finesse the songs of Lerner & Loewe, and Tyshawn Sorey goes deep with Marilyn Crispell.

Jean-Marc Lubrano

And a classic throwback from the late pianist Johnny Costa.

Concord Jazz

Along with two other recommended albums — a total of six. (We’re feeling generous.)

Shervin Lainez

New music that falls just outside the jazz sphere, in one way or another.

YouTube

And a smooth new groove from David Benoit and Friends.

Hollis King

Artists from five continents make up this week's playlist.

Blue Note Records

Along with the latest from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Buika, and Bushman’s Revenge.

The Newport Jazz Festival is upon us, and with it comes a rash of tough decisions.

Shervin Lainez

And introducing SPAGA, a new trio led by pianist Aron Magner of The Disco Biscuits.

Sully Sullivan

Along with gripping new music by the avant-garde super trio Alcorn / McPhee / Vandermark, pianist Victor Gould, and the late alto saxophonist Art Pepper.

Nathan West

Also: new music by Al Foster, Jeremy Udden, Aaron Novik and Keiko Matsui.

Erika Nj Allen

Righteous new music by the J.D. Allen Trio, William Parker’s In Order to Survive, Matthew Whitaker and more.

Josh Goleman

Plus: new music by Nature Work, ¿Que Vola? and Melissa Gardiner.

Desmond White

(And by "other gifts," we mean an irresistible groove from Avishai Cohen; a mysterious swirl by Ben LaMar Gay and JayVe Montgomery; and a choice morsel of Andy Summers playing Thelonious Monk.)

Courtesy of the artist

Plus: Wynton Marsalis airs symphonic ambitions and Andrew Cyrille receives his due.

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