A vital force on the West Coast jazz scene, Pete Jolly was a pianist and accordionist known for his movie soundtracks and television themes, including Get Smart, Dallas and M*A*S*H.
On this episode of Piano Jazz from 1986, Jolly showcases his swinging piano style with a solo in "You, The Night And The Music"; then, host Marian McPartland joins in for a performance of "Barbados." McPartland solos in "Close Enough For Love," and the two performers create a rousing finale as they play a two-person version of "Oleo."
In the noise-improv trio Borbetomagus, Jim Sauter hooks bells with Don Dietrich to obliterate any notion you have of the saxophone (sorry, birthday boy Adolphe Sax). In Oneida and Man Forever, Kid Millions is a psychedelic shaman of the drums. In "Game Jump," Sauter issues a brief warning that sounds something like a zombie-infested cruise ship bellowing its final notes before it plummets into a blood-freezing ocean. Then it's on.
Jon Batiste is from New Orleans, where a street parade might assemble around the corner on any given day. Evidently, he likes a good walkabout: He's liable to lead his band at a guerrilla concert in the New York City subway, or out of a venue, or — as he did at the Newport Jazz Festival — off stage and into the audience.
In November 1814, Col. Andrew Jackson marched on Pensacola, taking the Florida city away from Britain and Spain, while the Congress of Vienna was busy drawing new boundaries after the Napoleonic Wars. And 200 years ago today, in a little 10th-century town south of Brussels, Adolphe Sax was born.
Sax learned instrument-building from his father and soon was inventing new instruments of his own, including the one that bears his name. He patented the saxophone in 1846.
Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 11:46 pm
Miguel Zenón, the prolific alto saxophonist and composer, has just released a new album called Identities Are Changeable. Based on his interviews with fellow Puerto Ricans living in New York, he's arranged a new book of music to reflect their varying experiences.
Jazz Night in America recorded this unique work live from the 2014 Newport Jazz Festival, and accompanies Zenón to his old stomping grounds in the Bronx.
Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 12:10 am
Jazz musicians find inspiration in many things. Himalayan art is not typically one of them.
Jazz Night in America visits the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City to hear interviews and live performances from each of the five finalists for the American Pianists Association's Cole Porter Fellow In Jazz: Kris Bowers, Emmet Cohen, Sullivan Fortner, Zach Lapidus and Christian Sands. Hear what visually inspires some of the most promising young jazz talent, from mandalas to fish.
Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 3:50 pm
New Yorkers of Puerto Rican descent are a diverse group. Some were born in Puerto Rico, some have never set foot on the island, and everyone else falls somewhere between.
But they do share a special identity, calling themselves "Nuyoricans." And when you look over the long list of notable Nuyoricans — everyone from Supreme Court Justice Sandra Sotomayor to Jennifer Lopez — it's kind of amazing how much they've contributed to American culture.
The son of pianist Kenny Drew, who rose to fame in the 1950s and '60s, Kenny Drew Jr. made his own way with a virtuosic career in both jazz and classical music. He favored direct, single-note lines, but could also play in a full orchestral style.
In this 1992 session, Drew interprets Monk's "In Walked Bud" — and he and host Marian McPartland collaborate in a performance of "Falling In Love With You."
Originally published on Fri November 7, 2014 11:48 am
Sun Ra was a big-band innovator, a pioneer of recording and playing with electronics, a poet, a cosmic philosopher, a bandleader and a keyboard innovator who claimed to be from Saturn. Herman Poole Blount would have turned 100 in 2014 had he not left us more than 20 years ago. But his spirit lives on, and so does his long-running band.