• The Dave King Trio Live At The Village Vanguard

    September 12, 2013. Posted by Rachel Cantrell.

    The Dave King Trio loves a good room. Since there is none finer than the 123-seat Village Vanguard, we hope you will enjoy our live broadcast of this group from the club on Wednesday, September 11 at 8:30 p.m. Click the link to hear this concert, and review the comments of listeners during the show. Enjoy!

    Photo by John Rogers for NPR/WBGO
    L-R: Carrothers, Peterson, King photo by John Rogers for NPR/WBGO

    More than a taste of High Lonesome infuses the trio’s moody renderings of jazz standards on their 2012 debut CD I’ve Been Ringing You. The disc was recorded, with a minimum of intervention, over an afternoon in a church choir loft off Highway 7 in Hopkins, Minnesota; all three musicians hail from the North Star State.

    All of this atmospheric instrospection may surprise those who know King from his day job, as the emotionally direct drummer of The Bad Plus. King’s askew, genre-defying rhythms are the Tesla coil of that trio’s paint-peeling take on jazz, which has reached the ears of a post-rock generation, earning fans along the way.

    You’ll hear none of that here. The Dave King Trio comes to play jazz, and plays it with quiet assurance. It features a mellower, almost ghostly sound from the drummer, as his ride cymbal floats above Bill Carrothers’ piano intro on Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman,” or in a swinging duet with with Billy Peterson’s bass on “Some Will Say We’re In Love.”

    Yet as always with King, there are surprises: he opens Gordon Jenkins’ deep-blue classic “Goodbye” with the eerie, ethereal whine of something called a “waterphone,” then settles into a soft dialogue on wire brushes with Carrothers’ piano. These three musicians inhabit the heart of the jazz tradition, yet push expectations as they move their sound through a room.

    The trio’s residency at Village Vanguard runs through Sunday, September 15th. WBGO and NPR Music featured this live concert by the band, broadcast on air and as a video webcast, on Wednesday, September 11th at 8:30 p.m.

    Did King bring his waterphone? Tune in to find out.

  • Jimmy Cobb Live At The Village Vanguard 8/21/13

    August 20, 2013. Posted by Rachel Cantrell.

    Jimmy Cobb nestles his drums in the perfect space between sensitivity and assertiveness. Tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson joined Cobb’s trio for our live broadcast from the Village Vanguard on Wednesday, August 21 at 8:30 p.m. Review our live chat and preview of the show below.


    This NEA Jazz Master builds up a soloist with unwavering intensity that never overpowers. Take, for example, the way he launches one of Davis’s most iconic recordings, “All Blues," from the 1959 Columbia album Kind of Blue.

    First, he lays a bed for Davis by playing his snare drum with wire brushes, while Bill Evans plays a rolling chord vamp. Then he shifts for the entrance of Davis’s trumpet solo.

    Cobb’s addition of solid hits on his ride cymbal creates a transition which is smooth yet stark, a complete change in mood. It’s subtle. It’s confident. It’s Cobb.

    This touch can be heard on many of Davis’s masterpieces, which include Sketches of Spain and Someday My Prince Will Come. But the Kind of Blue session remains a kind of touchstone for Cobb, which he honors with his “So What” touring band.

    Javon Jackson is a regular member of Cobb’s “So What” ensemble, and Cobb also plays with Jackson in a group the saxophonist leads, “We Four,” which pays homage to John Coltrane.

    Jackson is a graduate of that elite finishing school in jazz, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. They’ll be joined at the Vanguard on Wednesday night by Japanese pianist Tadataka Unno and Italian bassist Paolo Benedettini. WBGO and NPR Music will feature this live concert by the band, broadcast on air and as a video webcast, on Wednesday, August 21st at 8:30 p.m.

  • Drummer Jimmy Cobb Talks With Michael Bourne

    August 19, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.

    Drummer Jimmy Cobb talks with Michael Bourne about his performance in a WBGO live broadcast from the Village Vanguard on Wednesday, August 21 at 8:30 p.m. Cobb's trio, with Tadataka Unno on piano and Paolo Benedettini on bass, will be joined at the Vanguard by special guest tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson. Enjoy!