Jazz

4:15pm

Wed July 17, 2013
A Blog Supreme

Remembering Laurie Frink, The 'Trumpet Mother' Of The Jazz Scene

Laurie Frink takes a moment to practice during a recording session for Darcy James Argue's Secret Society.
Lindsay Beyerstein

Sometimes, the most important musicians are the ones farthest away from the spotlight.

Read more

9:47am

Fri July 12, 2013
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

John Bunch On Piano Jazz

Pianist John Bunch was born in Tipton, Ind., a small farming community north of Indianapolis. As a boy, he studied piano, and at 14, he was already playing with bands in central Indiana. During WWII, he served on a B17 Flying Fortress that was shot down over Germany. Bunch and his crew were taken captive, and while in a prison camp, he learned to arrange for big bands.

Read more

1:36pm

Thu July 11, 2013
A Blog Supreme

Crystalline New Music For Flutes And Mallets

Nicole Mitchell.
Kristi Sutton Elias Courtesy of the artist

If you look at the cover art of new albums by flutists Nicole Mitchell and Anna Webber, you'll see crystals. On Percussive Mechanics, Webber depicts a handful of glass shards carefully arranged as if to create an abstract sculpture. On Aquarius, Mitchell wraps herself in a sting of icicle lights — the kind you see hanging around Christmastime — which is appropriate, as her band is called Ice Crystal.

Read more

5:27pm

Mon July 8, 2013
Music Reviews

On Two New Albums, A Modern-Minded Brass Band Cuts Loose

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:36 pm

Virginia's No BS! Brass Band adopts and ultimately expands the brass-band tradition.
PJ Sykes Courtesy of the artist

Brass bands often bring New Orleans to mind. But some 1,000 miles away from southeast Louisiana, there's a different kind of brass band at work: the No BS! Brass Band of Richmond, Va.

Since the late 1970s, the brass-band repertoire has morphed into a new sound with the addition of funk, hip-hop and post-bop jazz. With as many as 13 members, No BS! Brass Band picks up on — and expands — that new tradition.

Read more

9:54am

Sat July 6, 2013
Music Interviews

George Benson Follows The Path Of His 'Unforgettable' Idol

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 1:22 pm

George Benson's latest album, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole, is a tribute to his hero.
Greg Allen Courtesy of the artist

You could say George Benson's latest album, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole, was conceived decades ago. Benson was just a kid when he first mimicked Cole off the radio, singing his own version of "Mona Lisa" while accompanying himself on the ukulele. He even made a recording.

Read more

2:24pm

Fri July 5, 2013
NPR Story

Ron Carter On Piano Jazz

Ron Carter first appeared on the national scene as a member of Miles Davis' second great quintet, which coalesced around the recording of Davis' album Seven Steps to Heaven.

Read more

12:43pm

Fri July 5, 2013
Song Travels

Mark O'Connor On 'Song Travels'

Mark O'Connor.
Jim McGuire Courtesy of the artist

Violinist Mark O'Connor is one of the most versatile fiddlers in music today: He seems equally at home playing bluegrass, country, jazz and classical. With its roots in Texas fiddling, O'Connor's music has shaped an entirely American school of string playing. His approach to teaching violin is considered a rival to the Suzuki method.

Read more

7:44am

Thu July 4, 2013
A Blog Supreme

Patriotism And Protest: Jazz For July 4

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 9:41 am

Louis Armstrong spoke out against the federal government regarding racial issues, but happily played the National Anthem at Newport in 1960.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Jazz music has become a point of pride for the United States of America: a homegrown art form forged from folk traditions. But jazz recordings of American patriotic songs aren't abundant. Perhaps because many of jazz's foremost creators were black Americans who lived in a society which actively discriminated against them, many didn't think to tackle that material.

Read more

8:03am

Tue July 2, 2013
A Blog Supreme

Facing Illness, An Improviser Learns The Art Of Patience

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 10:07 am

Dayna Stephens.
Courtesy of the artist

Dayna Stephens is a patient musician. The 34-year-old tenor saxophonist and composer fashions supple, searching improvisations that brim with melodic cogency. His compositions often exude a widescreen sensibility with languid, narrative-like passages, suspenseful interludes and sumptuous harmonies.

Read more

7:40am

Sun June 30, 2013
Music Interviews

John Scofield Returns To The Scene Of The Jam

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 12:43 pm

John Scofield's latest album is the genre-fluid, continent hopping Uberjam Deux.
Frank Stefan Kimmel Courtesy of the artist

If you sample the first few notes of guitarist John Scofield's new album, Uberjam Deux, you might mistake it for something out of West Africa. But a spin through the tracks takes you to another hemisphere with a sound right out of Jamaica, then to American shores with a soulful homage to Al Green.

Read more

Pages