Sun June 28, 2015
Music Interviews

The Sound Of Twin Danger: Frank Sinatra Meets The Clash

Twin Danger's Vanessa Bley and Stuart Matthewman
Sunny Khalsa Courtesy of the artist

Cocktail jazz isn't a sound you hear very much in pop music these days. But a duo known as Twin Danger is causing a scene with their self-titled debut album and live shows.

It's a familiar mood for saxophonist Stuart Matthewman; he co-wrote many of the biggest hits for Sade, like "No Ordinary Love" and "Your Love Is King."

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Fri June 26, 2015
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Tierney Sutton On Piano Jazz

Tierney Sutton.
Courtesy of the artist

Earlier this year, singer Tierney Sutton earned a Grammy nomination — her sixth — for Best Jazz Vocal Album for 2014's Paris Sessions. But when Sutton came on Piano Jazz in 2004, she had just released her album Dancing In The Dark, a tribute to Frank Sinatra.

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Fri June 26, 2015
A Blog Supreme

Five Canadian Artists Playing The Montreal Jazz Festival

Molly Johnson.
Courtesy of the artist

Canada produces a lot of top-flight jazz, but if you're not in the country, you'll probably have to head north to hear it. U.S. travel restrictions keep many of the nation's best musicians at home, where they've developed their own sound and scene.

Fortunately, Canada has wonderful jazz festivals. The granddaddy of them all is the Festival International du Jazz de Montreal (FIJM), a 10-day extravaganza which kicked off Thursday. Now in its 36th year, FIJM attracts more than six million visitors from around the world.

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Wed June 24, 2015
A Blog Supreme

The High Priestess Of Soul: Nina Simone In 5 Songs

Nina Simone's voice may have had a limited range, but its unique power and melancholy made for a legendary effect when paired with her genre-crossing piano.
Getty Images

There are certain figures in jazz history whose iconic status can be telegraphed by a single name: Miles. Billie. Bix. Coltrane. Though there is a deity-like ring to the stand-alone moniker, there's also a suggestion of the intense connection that these artists inspired in fans, and a notion that their messages remain relevant today.

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Wed June 24, 2015
Music Interviews

New Documentary Finds Nina Simone 'In Between The Black And White Keys'

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 6:34 pm

The documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? explores Nina Simone's rich and complicated life.
Courtesy of Peter Rodis/Netflix

Even those who didn't live through Nina Simone's heyday can recognize her songs, or at least her voice. Born Eunice Waymon, the passionate performer and activist died in 2003, and today her recordings still loom larger than the rest of her story.

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Sun June 21, 2015
Deceptive Cadence

Gunther Schuller, Who Bridged Classical Music And Jazz, Dies At 89

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 8:49 am

Gunther Schuller, shown conducting Charles Mingus's Epitaph in 2007, was a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, conductor and educator. He died Sunday at age 89.
Hiroyuki Ito Getty Images


Sun June 21, 2015
Music Interviews

Robert Glasper Puts His Trio On Shuffle

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 6:18 pm

Robert Glasper's new piano trio album is called Covered.
Don Q. Hannah Courtesy of the artist


Fri June 19, 2015
Jazz Night In America

All In The Family: Father-Son Pairings In Jazz

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 8:13 pm

Saxophonist Joshua Redman (left) performs on stage during the "Jazz sous les pommiers" jazz festival on May 9, 2013 in Coutances, France. Dewey Redman (right) performs in St. Paul, Minn., in 2007.
Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images and Chris Felver Getty Images

Jazz is all about great collaborations, and in honor of Father's Day this weekend, composer and bassist Christian McBride, host of NPR's Jazz Night In America and a regular All Things Considered guest, stopped by for a conversation about fathers and sons.

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Fri June 19, 2015
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Gerry Mulligan On Piano Jazz

Gerry Mulligan.
William P. Gottlieb Library of Congress

Gerry Mulligan, best known as a baritone saxophonist, was pivotal in developing the West Coast jazz sound, and was featured in big bands for years. He also composed and performed symphonic music and played piano.

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Mon June 15, 2015
Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program

The Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival With Akua Dixon

Akua Dixon (center) leads her string ensemble in concert.

Every spring, a New York City community organization puts on a month's worth of jazz events centered around the neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival turns the spotlight on a historically African-American region, and often some lesser-heard talents. Though Akua Dixon has played in just about every situation open to a cellist, less frequently does she lead a band bearing her own name. Her music often features her compositions and arrangements for a string ensemble, and occasionally adds her own voice to the mix as well.

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