Jazz

Among the qualities that make Brad Mehldau and Chris Thile a not-quite-unlikely pairing — virtuosity, curiosity, a natural drive to bridge divisions of style — the one that may run deepest is a sense of resonant, articulate melancholy.

This year's Winter Jazzfest, which took place last week in New York City, presented an explicit theme of "Celebrating Social Justice." Conceptually and musically, Winter Jazzfest pushes the genre forward; after taking in as many of the 130-plus acts across many stages in Manhattan and Brooklyn as they could, our team reported back with some of the festival's highlights.


"Stories like forests are subject to seasons."

There is a sense of pensive melancholy as the wail of Keyon Harrold's trumpet pushes its way past the Hitchcock-esque piano that sets the tone for "Stay This Way." With Philadelphia singer Bilal and Southern rapper Big K.R.I.T. contributing vocals, the song asks if euphoric moments are meant to last, or if they're naturally fleeting.

Near the beginning of the track, Bilal sings almost waveringly:

Toots Thielemans On Piano Jazz

Jan 6, 2017

This week, Piano Jazz remembers Jean-Baptiste "Toots" Thielemans (1922 – 2016), unrivaled master of the jazz harmonica.

Loston Harris On Piano Jazz

Dec 30, 2016

For more than a decade, Loston Harris has headlined at Bemelmans Bar in Manhattan, delighting audiences with his smooth, soulful voice and piano style. Harris began his jazz career as a drummer, but was encouraged by mentor Ellis Marsalis to switch to the piano. There, he discovered a new instrument and a new musical world.

The New Year holiday tradition continues with the Toast of the Nation jazz party. Spirited, improvised and swinging, each hour was recorded live at Blue Note venues throughout the country and the world.

The Robert Glasper Experiment took a left turn with the recording of its new album, ArtScience. Instead of recruiting big-name guests, the core quartet wrote and recorded it entirely on its own. The band continues to expand on its genre-hopping sound — rooted in jazz but exploring elements of R&B, hip-hop and more — particularly in this performance of "Day To Day."

SET LIST

  • "Day To Day"

Photo: Brian Lowe/KCRW.

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