Jazz

11:06am

Tue September 3, 2013
The Fresh Air Interview

At 60, 'Challenges Are Opportunities' For John Zorn

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 1:25 pm

John Zorn's latest album is Dreamachines, which is inspired by Brion Gysin and William Burroughs' cut-up techniques.
Scott Irvine Courtesy of the artist

At 60, New York City-based composer John Zorn is wiser, sure, but no less prolific, thoughtful and antagonistic than before. His oeuvre is fantastically wide, from cutthroat jazz improvisation and pummeling noise-rock to gorgeous chamber music and, believe it or not, a genuine Christmas album.

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3:37pm

Fri August 30, 2013
A Blog Supreme

Jazz With A Jamaican Accent

Monty Alexander (left) and Ernest Ranglin are known for their fluency in both jazz and Jamaican popular music.
Peter Dean Rickards Courtesy of the artist

1:38pm

Fri August 30, 2013
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Dave Douglas On Piano Jazz

Dave Douglas.
Austin Nelson Courtesy of the artist

Composer, trumpeter and improviser Dave Douglas has a style that transcends the boundaries of traditional jazz. This approach has led to albums of experimental music both on his own and as a member of John Zorn's band Masada.

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8:03am

Thu August 29, 2013
A Blog Supreme

How One Singer Made Four Debut Albums

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 8:31 am

Sathima Bea Benjamin in 1974.
Ian Bruce Huntley Courtesy of Matsuli Music

About a month before she died last week at age 76, Sathima Bea Benjamin finally properly celebrated her debut album. That's a bit of a complicated claim, of course, because depending on how you count, the South African vocalist either made her debut album in 1959, 1963, 1976 or 1979.

In 1959, as Beatty Benjamin, she recorded the LP My Songs for You. It was produced by the pianist Dollar Brand, who was later known as Abdullah Ibrahim; he was also her boyfriend and later became her husband. However, it was never released.

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5:28am

Sat August 24, 2013
A Blog Supreme

What Albert Murray Taught Us About Jazz

Albert Murray in 1974.
Craig Herndon The Washington Post/Getty Images

An essayist, cultural theorist, novelist, educator and biographer who died on August 18 at 97, Albert Murray spent more than five decades developing his thesis that America is a culturally miscegenated nation. His contention was that blacks are part white, and vice versa: that both races, in spite of slavery and racism, have borrowed from and created each other. In all of his writing, jazz music — derived from the blues idiom of African-Americans — was the soundtrack at the center of his aesthetic conception.

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1:45pm

Fri August 23, 2013
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Kenny Barron On Piano Jazz

Kenny Barron.
John Sann Courtesy of the artist

Kenny Barron is one of the most highly regarded players of his generation. Playing professionally since he was 15, Barron has worked with some of the jazz world's best, including Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Henderson and Roy Haynes.

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1:36pm

Fri August 23, 2013
Music

Fresh Air Remembers 'Piano Jazz' Host Marian McPartland

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz featured performances and conversation with a variety of pianists, including Ray Charles and Dave Brubeck.
Courtesy Marian McPartland

For more than 30 years, jazz pianist Marian McPartland hosted one of public radio's most beloved shows, Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz. As NPR's Felix Contreras writes, she "gave the world an intimate, insider's perspective on one of the most elusive topics in music — jazz improvisation." McPartland died of natural causes on Tuesday at the age of 95.

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3:54pm

Wed August 21, 2013
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Twilight World: Remembering Marian McPartland's Songs

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 5:51 pm

Of Marian McPartland's "Twilight World," the great singer Tony Bennett once said, "Well, that song will last forever. It's a beautiful song."
David Redfern Redferns

Jazz musicians strive for an individual voice. If a listener can tell right away who's playing, that's an achievement. The same is true of composers — and after only a few measures of music, you know it's Marian McPartland. The pianist and host of Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz died Tuesday night at her home in Long Island, N.Y. She was 95.

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11:19am

Wed August 21, 2013
Music Reviews

'Beauty' On Orrin Evans' Block

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 12:10 pm

Orrin Evans.
Courtesy of the artist

On Philadelphia pianist Orrin Evans' trio version of Ornette Coleman's "Blues Connotation," drummer Donald Edwards and bassist Eric Revis set a New Orleans second-line groove tinged with vintage hip-hop. A beat like that is catnip to Evans, who gets right down and rolls in it.

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7:04am

Wed August 21, 2013
The Record

Marian McPartland, 'Piano Jazz' Host, Has Died

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 4:23 pm

Marian McPartland.
Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland, who gave the world an intimate, insider's perspective on one of the most elusive topics in music — jazz improvisation — died of natural causes Tuesday night at her home in Long Island, N.Y. She was 95.

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