Take Five

Seiichi Nitsuma

Here is some brand-new music with the lift we all need.

Lior Tzemach

Hear some new music that speaks clearly of human connection.

Tjasa Gnezda

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary music.

This edition of Take Five delivers on that front, with selections from noteworthy albums on the near horizon or in the immediate rearview. Each track goes to some places you might not expect — so buckle up and settle in.

Jonathan Chimene

Roy Haynes, the inexhaustibly propulsive drummer, bandleader and NEA Jazz Master, turns 95 this week, on March 13.

In his honor, we’re devoting this week’s Take Five to a handful of his indelible performances on record and on film. Our announcers chose four of the picks, with a personal story for good measure; our editorial director couldn’t resist making a selection too. Happy listening — and don’t miss the slideshow above, featuring vivid recent photographs by Jonathan Chimene. This one’s for Roy! 

courtesy of the artist

Along with the latest magical hookup by Béla Fleck and Toumani Diabaté.

Miles Davis led such a prismatic and changeable career that any attempt at summation is destined to feel incomplete.

But the 2019 documentary Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool does an impressive job of it, portraying the trumpeter in his myriad phases and moods, and in an unvarnished yet sympathetic light.

Amazon Music

Including the latest from Reverso, co-led by Ryan Keberle and Frank Woeste.

Sylvain Gripoix

Along with choice new music from Jeff Davis and Kandace Springs.

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.


And a smooth new groove from David Benoit and Friends.

Hollis King

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