If you've ever gone to the NYC Winter Jazzfest — specifically, the marathon of overlapping sets in roughly adjacent venues that sometimes lasts more than eight hours per night — you know that you're bombarded with choices. Stay in one theater where it's warm, or graze for three songs and move on? Stand in that slow-moving line, or find a new plan? See one of your favorite musicians, or take a risk on something you've never heard of before? Experimental, deep in-the-pocket, or somewhere in between?
Known as the longtime bandleader for NBC's Late Night With David Letterman — and, later, CBS' Late Show — Paul Shaffer first received training in the classics. But, thanks to rock 'n' roll, he grew up to lead what Letterman has called "the world's most dangerous band."
As a pianist and bandleader, Marian McPartland was a decorated jazz artist, recording and performing for well over half a century. At the same time, she was one of the music's great champions, as host of NPR's Piano Jazz for 33 years.
Guitarist Mimi Fox is in the vanguard of invigorating the jazz guitar tradition. She possesses a pure tone and an amazing set of chops and cooks whether playing bebop or ballads.
Her compositional abilities are evident on this 2006 Piano Jazz as she plays her own tune "Perpetually Hip." With host Marian McPartland on piano and Gary Mazzaroppi on bass, Fox tears up the fret board on "What is This Thing Called Love."
For one weekend each January, the epicenter of the New York jazz community is the Winter Jazzfest, a marathon where dozens of bands play a cluster of adjacent downtown venues over two frigid nights. At its peak, lines flow out the doors of clubs to see the famous and obscure alike, often presenting their newest projects for thousands of ticketholders.
Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 1:43 am
For decades, Detroit has launched countless jazz careers: Thad Jones and Donald Byrd, Paul Chambers and Ron Carter, Kenny Burrell and Tommy Flanagan, Yusef Lateef and Alice Coltrane, Betty Carter and Geri Allen. To the present day, the city's musical legacy remains strong, as witnessed every Labor Day at the Detroit Jazz Festival.
Violinist Regina Carter and bassist Rodney Whitaker take special delight performing in their hometown. Jazz Night in America features their sets at the Detroit Jazz Festival, and explores the Motor City's jazz scene through their eyes and ears.
The members of ADHD keep busy with a multitude of projects, but that's not to say they distract easily. Since forming on a whim in 2008, this award-winning Icelandic supergroup of sorts has produced five albums of expressive avant jazz. Yet bringing brothers Óskar and Ómar Guðjónsson (saxophone and guitar, respectively), Davíð Þór Jónsson (organ and piano) and Magnús Trygvason Eliassen (percussion) together into one room to record with us has taken a few years.
John McNeil may be the most important trumpet player you've never heard of.
Many aspiring musicians know him as an educator, through his many instructional books like The Art of Jazz Trumpet. But getting to know McNeil as a performer or recording artist hasn't always been easy: his records could be tough to find.