Tue September 17, 2013
A Blog Supreme

Melissa Aldana Wins Thelonious Monk Competition For Saxophonists

Melissa Aldana performs at the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Paul Morigi Getty Images for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

At a ceremony and concert last night in Washington, D.C., the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz named Melissa Aldana, 24, the winner of its annual competition for young musicians. The highest-profile event of its kind, this year's competition was open to saxophonists.

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Mon September 16, 2013
A Blog Supreme

Educated Guesses At The 2013 Monk Competition

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 12:19 pm

The 2013 finalists pose with Thelonious Monk Institute officials. Left to right: Godwin Louis, Melissa Aldana, institute honorary co-chair Billy Dee Williams, Tivon Pennicott, chairman T.S. Monk.
Steve Mundinger Courtesy of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

Yesterday's semifinal round of the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition was, to my ears, predictable.

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Mon September 16, 2013
Music Reviews

The Masters At His Fingertips, Art Hodes Pays Tribute To Bessie Smith

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 1:38 pm

Art Hodes performs at the Ole South in New York City circa 1946.
William Gottlieb Library of Congress via Flickr

Jazz pianist Art Hodes, born in Russia in 1904, grew up near Chicago. His recording career really took off in the 1940s in New York, where he also hosted a radio show and wrote for the magazine The Jazz Record. Later, he moved back to Chicago and the atmosphere that nurtured him.

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Sat September 14, 2013
Tiny Desk Concerts

Arturo O'Farrill: Tiny Desk Concert

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:10 pm

The Arturo O'Farrill Octect performs a Tiny Desk Concert in June 2013.
Hayley Bartels Hayley Bartels/NPR

Latin jazz works best when the musicians involved are as fluent in Afro-Cuban rhythms as they are in the deep grooves and advanced harmonics of bebop. Arturo O'Farrill has that pedigree in his DNA: His father, Chico O'Farrill, was part of a groundbreaking group of musicians who created the mash-up of Afro-Cuban music and jazz back in late-'40s New York.

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Fri September 13, 2013
World Cafe

Preservation Hall Jazz Band On World Cafe

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 2:28 pm

Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Courtesy of brittanicadotcom

New Orleans' Preservation Hall, the dirt-floor space off Bourbon Street, was founded in 1961 as a place for the elders of Crescent City jazz to play nightly. Today, World Cafe talks with Ben Jaffe; like his father Alan, who ran the space initially, Jaffe is a tuba player who guides the world-renowned band today.

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Fri September 13, 2013
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Kate McGarry On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 9:54 am

Kate McGarry.
Matteo Trisolini

Singer-songwriter Kate McGarry has traveled many musical paths, from Celtic music to swing and various genres in between. That ecumenical outlook on music began early in her childhood. Growing up among nine brothers and sisters, she heard a variety of pop music (the Beatles, Earth Wind and Fire, etc.) but she also recalls family outings to hear live Celtic music groups performing at a local Irish pub.

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Thu September 12, 2013
World Cafe

The Greyboy Allstars On World Cafe

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 2:28 pm

The Greyboy Allstars.
Courtesy of the artist

Almost 20 years ago, the members of the Greyboy Allstars got together to play a record release party for DJ Greyboy and discovered a perfect fusion. Call it rare groove, acid jazz or Electric Boogaloo (as they named their 1995 debut album), guitarist Elgin Park, keyboardist Robert Walter, saxophonist Karl Denson and the rhythm section of Chris Stillwell and Aaron Redfield have a special sound. These Allstars still draw from '60s boogaloo on their new album, Inland Emperor.

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Wed September 11, 2013
Music Interviews

'Singing Just To Me': Gregory Porter On Musical Inheritance

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 2:14 pm

Gregory Porter's latest album is entitled Liquid Spirit.
Shawn Peters Courtesy of the artist

In his first semester playing football at San Diego State University, Gregory Porter severely injured his shoulder. Doctors told him his days on the field were over, but there was some good news: The school would let him keep his athletic scholarship. Suddenly without football, but with a lot of time on his hands, Porter searched for a new calling — and found it in his voice.

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Wed September 11, 2013
Live At The Village Vanguard

Dave King Trio: Live At The Village Vanguard

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 12:54 pm

Dave King.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Perhaps you know Dave King as the drummer in The Bad Plus, or any number of avant-improv/indie-rock/Americana/electronic experimental bands rooted in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. But somewhere in that mix is a deep fondness for the jazz tradition, and recently, he made it a point to say so with a full-length album. I've Been Ringing You investigates standards, mostly slow and medium-tempo ballads, in rough-hewn textures.

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Tue September 10, 2013
A Blog Supreme

The Odd Jobs Of Dave King

Dave King.
Courtesy of the artist

Among musicians, drummers are the explorers, the tinkerers, the polymaths. They don't just play one instrument, but dozens at the very least.

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