Kevin Whitehead http://wvasfm.org en After A Painful Year, Bud Powell's Triumpant 1953 Return http://wvasfm.org/post/after-painful-year-bud-powells-triumpant-1953-return The great bebop pianist <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15404849/bud-powell">Bud Powell</a> played several engagements at the New York jazz club Birdland in 1953. Parts of his shows were broadcast on the radio, and one listener recorded some onto acetate discs. A new collection of those recordings is out now: <em>Birdland 1953</em> on three CDs from <a href="http://www.espdisk.com/official/catalog/4073.html" target="_blank">ESP-Disk'</a>. The sound quality isn't much, but the music is terrific. Mon, 24 Mar 2014 17:31:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 45167 at http://wvasfm.org After A Painful Year, Bud Powell's Triumpant 1953 Return Still 'Out To Lunch' 50 Years Later http://wvasfm.org/post/still-out-lunch-50-years-later 1964 was a great year for cutting-edge jazz records like <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15404711/albert-ayler">Albert Ayler</a>'s <em>Spiritual Unity</em>, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15394783/john-coltrane">John Coltrane</a>'s <em>A Love Supreme </em>and <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15121790/andrew-hill">Andrew Hill</a>'s <em>Point of Departure</em>. But none sounds as far ahead of its time as <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15404201/eric-dolphy">Eric Dolphy</a>'s masterpiece <em>Out to Lunch</em>, recorded for Blue Note on Feb. 25, 1964. Tue, 25 Feb 2014 17:02:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 43679 at http://wvasfm.org Still 'Out To Lunch' 50 Years Later In Session: Frank Wess' 'Magic 201' Offers One Last Lesson http://wvasfm.org/post/session-frank-wess-magic-201-offers-one-last-lesson <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/18155899/frank-wess">Frank Wess</a>' new album, <em>Magic 201</em>, is a sequel to last year's similar helping of ballads and midtempo strollers, <em>Magic 101</em>. The new album is very nearly every bit as good, and made a little more poignant by Wess' death just before Halloween. On his last session as a leader in 2011, he was still sounding strong at 89.<p>When Wess was coming up, his hero was the dry and slippery saxophonist <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15389052/lester-young">Lester Young</a>, who gave him a few pointers. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 20:43:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 42894 at http://wvasfm.org In Session: Frank Wess' 'Magic 201' Offers One Last Lesson Too Much Of A Good Thing? Jane Ira Bloom's Beautiful Ballads http://wvasfm.org/post/too-much-good-thing-jane-ira-blooms-beautiful-ballads When soprano saxophonist <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/87942215/jane-ira-bloom">Jane Ira Bloom</a> plays <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15235424/kurt-weill">Kurt Weill</a>'s "My Ship" on her new album <em>Sixteen Sunsets</em>, a pale glow around her notes comes from a simple special effect: pointing her horn under the hood of a piano whose strings are free to resonate. Bloom has always been preoccupied with sound, and has one of the prettiest, clearest tones around on soprano. Fri, 31 Jan 2014 17:56:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 42257 at http://wvasfm.org Too Much Of A Good Thing? Jane Ira Bloom's Beautiful Ballads Lafayette Gilchrist: An Old Soul, At Ease In A Modern World http://wvasfm.org/post/lafayette-gilchrist-old-soul-ease-modern-world For someone who came to piano rather late, at 17, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15675864/lafayette-gilchrist">Lafayette Gilchrist</a> has dug deep into its history. He loves the old piano professors who'd pack the punch of a dance band into two hands at the keyboard. Players like Eubie Blake, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15404392/james-p-johnson">James P. Johnson</a> and <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/91365105/willie-the-lion-smith">Willie "The Lion" Smith</a> could keep going for hours without exhausting their folkloric materials. Mon, 20 Jan 2014 16:57:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 41580 at http://wvasfm.org Lafayette Gilchrist: An Old Soul, At Ease In A Modern World Michele Rosewoman Goes Back To Afro-Cuban Jazz's Future http://wvasfm.org/post/michele-rosewoman-goes-back-afro-cuban-jazzs-future When Michele Rosewoman was growing up in the Bay Area, she played piano from childhood and congas from her teens. After moving to New York in the late 1970s, she began making music in two areas: modern jazz and traditional Cuban music. Before long, she started combining the two in her New Yor-Uba band.<br /> Wed, 18 Dec 2013 19:57:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 39917 at http://wvasfm.org Michele Rosewoman Goes Back To Afro-Cuban Jazz's Future Ella Fitzgerald's Early Years Collected In A Chick Webb Box Set http://wvasfm.org/post/ella-fitzgeralds-early-years-collected-chick-webb-box-set Drummer Chick Webb's 1930s orchestra terrorized competitors in band battles and sent dancers into orbit at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom. They could be similarly explosive on record, but only rarely. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 18:19:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 39516 at http://wvasfm.org Ella Fitzgerald's Early Years Collected In A Chick Webb Box Set William Parker's Abstract Grooves Collected In Box Set http://wvasfm.org/post/william-parkers-abstract-grooves-collected-box-set <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/95438057/steve-lacy">Steve Lacy</a> used to say that the right partner can help you make music you couldn't get to by yourself. Take the quartet <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/16657984/william-parker">William Parker</a> founded in 2000, for example. Parker's bass tone was always sturdy as a tree trunk, but power drummer Hamid Drake gives him lift. The upshot is that free jazz can swing, too. The quartet's front line is another firm partnership: quicksilver alto saxophonist Rob Brown and flinty trumpeter Lewis Barnes. Thu, 05 Dec 2013 17:59:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 39193 at http://wvasfm.org William Parker's Abstract Grooves Collected In Box Set No Need To Cook The Books: Booker Ervin's Debut LP Reissued http://wvasfm.org/post/no-need-cook-books-booker-ervins-debut-lp-reissued Tenor saxophonist <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15625333/booker-ervin">Booker Ervin</a> came to New York in 1958. Pianist <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15736825/horace-parlan">Horace Parlan</a> heard him and invited Ervin to sit in one night with a band he worked in. That's how Ervin got hired by bassist <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15373151/charles-mingus">Charles Mingus</a>, who featured him on albums like <em>Blues and Roots</em> and <em>Mingus Ah Um</em>. Mon, 11 Nov 2013 16:08:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 37890 at http://wvasfm.org No Need To Cook The Books: Booker Ervin's Debut LP Reissued Amir ElSaffar Navigates Uncharted Blue Notes On 'Alchemy' http://wvasfm.org/post/amir-elsaffar-navigates-uncharted-blue-notes-alchemy Trumpeter <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/17897504/amir-elsaffar">Amir ElSaffar</a> grew up near Chicago, playing jazz trumpet. In the early 2000s, while in his mid-20s, he began investigating the music of his Iraqi heritage, studying in Baghdad and with expatriate musicians in Europe. Then he began combining the two.<p>ElSaffar's new album <em>Alchemy </em>is a step forward in defining and refining his concept. A couple of his earlier albums featured what struck me as an uneasy mix of jazz and traditional Iraqi instruments. Mon, 04 Nov 2013 17:08:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 37521 at http://wvasfm.org Amir ElSaffar Navigates Uncharted Blue Notes On 'Alchemy'