Jazz

You know his voice, playing the title roles on the animated TV series Bob's Burgers and Archer, not to mention a can of vegetables in the movie Wet Hot American Summer.

But none of that is why the 20-year comedy veteran Jon Benjamin spoke with All Things Considered. Instead, it was for the most "public radio" of reasons: He has recorded an experimental jazz album.

Jane Ira Bloom On Piano Jazz

Jan 15, 2016

A supreme soprano sax player, Jane Ira Bloom is known for her innovative use of movement and her high-energy compositions. Bloom's debut album, Modern Drama, caught the attention of NASA, which commissioned her to write three pieces in 1989. She went on to release several studio albums, including her highly praised Sixteen Sunsets.

On this 1993 episode of Piano Jazz, Bloom and host Marian McPartland combine forces to freely improvise — and to play "My Romance."

Guitarists Nels Cline and Julian Lage appear together on Mountain Stage, recorded live in Charleston, W.Va. A bona fide super-duo, Cline and Lage span multiple generations and genres with fluidity, precision and grace.

5 Must-See Acts At The 2016 Winter Jazzfest

Jan 13, 2016

New York City's Winter Jazzfest kicks off its 12th edition tonight, launching five days of nearly nonstop music. This year's installment is the biggest yet, featuring more than 120 groups and 600-plus musicians in and around Greenwich Village. What started as a one-night festival to give greater exposure to the city's highly talented yet underrated artists has turned into one of the finest jazz happenings in North America.

How A Korean Jazz Festival Found A Huge Young Audience

Jan 12, 2016

It was like discovering a parallel reality.

After completing a sponsored trip to South Korea for music professionals in October, I stayed in the country, striking out on my own. I grabbed a train to the Jarasum International Jazz Festival, a couple hours from Seoul, and arrived in the middle of a set by the international power pairing of Paolo Fresu, Omar Sosa and Trilok Gurtu.

Vermont musician Jamie Masefield has been improvising on the jazz mandolin for decades. He's recorded six albums, including one with Blue Note Records, and brings everything from folk and funk to the literature of Leo Tolstoy to the stage. But some years back, his eclectic creativity brought him to an unexpected second career.

When I meet Masefield at work, he's chipping away at some pinkish stone with a small hammer. "In the industry we call it 'rainbow stone,'" he offers. "It's very nice to work with."

James P. Johnson: The Father Of Stride

Jan 8, 2016

Many decades after James P. Johnson's death, his influence remains embedded in the playing of most jazz pianists. The early-20th-century musician's seminal work represents the cornerstone of jazz piano conception.

Here, Jazz Night In America visits Jazz at Lincoln Center to hear pianists like Aaron Diehl, Ethan Iverson, Marc Cary and ELEW pay tribute to one of the founding fathers of the art, and then digs into the James P. Johnson collection at the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University.

Paul Bley, a jazz pianist whose thoughtful but intuitive commitment to advanced improvisation became widely influential, died of natural causes Sunday. He was 83.

Bley was surrounded by family at his winter residence in Stuart, Fla., according to his daughter Vanessa Bley.

Eric Mintel On Piano Jazz

Jan 1, 2016

Pianist Eric Mintel is on a mission to bring jazz to the masses. His playing is straight-ahead but energetic, lyrical and always swinging. With his quartet, he's engaged audiences at the White House, the Kennedy Center and venues across the country.

On this episode of Piano Jazz from 2005, Mintel discusses improvisation and the art of getting gigs before sitting down with host Marian McPartland to play "These Foolish Things."

A tradition that dates back to the 1970s, NPR Music presents an all-night broadcast of live jazz performances every New Year's Eve.

In a sequence of high-energy concerts, performers counted down to midnight and rang in the new year across four time zones, with performances in Boston; Newport, R.I.; New York City; Chicago; and Northern California. The broadcast featured previously recorded concerts from Anat Cohen, Wycliffe Gordon, Wynton Marsalis, Clark Terry, Snarky Puppy, Dianne Reeves and Allen Toussaint.

Hear the performances in the playlist below.

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