Jazz

5:25pm

Mon April 22, 2013
Tiny Desk Concerts

Omar Sosa & Paolo Fresu: Tiny Desk Concert

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:35 pm

Lizzie Chen NPR

You don't really listen to an Omar Sosa concert so much as experience it. The Cuban-born pianist's overall demeanor exudes a sense of calm and deep reflection, while a spiritual connection to music and his ancestors comes through in his piano playing.

Read more

12:55pm

Sat April 20, 2013
A Blog Supreme

Tito Puente: 90 Years Of Getting People To Dance

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 7:38 pm

Tito Puente on vibraphone at the Palladium.
Courtesy of the artist

The percussionist and bandleader Tito Puente would have celebrated his 90th birthday this weekend on April 20. And the recently released box set Quatro: The Definitive Collection is a great place to start celebrating the once and forever King of Latin Music. It captures the driving sound of big band mambo and cha-cha-cha that launched people onto dance floors for decades.

Read more

2:05pm

Fri April 19, 2013
Song Travels

Bette Midler On 'Song Travels'

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 10:09 am

"In a way, I use music like we use the Internet," Bette Midler says. "One link brings you to another link, and from that link you move onto another.
Courtesy of the artist

The Divine Miss M — singer, actress and comedian Bette Midler — is Song Travels host Michael Feinstein's guest for an hour of pure radio fun. Midler opens a crate of favorite tunes from her record collection, from Louis Jordan to vintage Hawaiian music to Destiny's Child, along with stories from her multifaceted career.

Here, Feinstein presents her with a solo arrangement of "And I'll Be There," a song written for her by the legendary songwriting team of Alan and Marilyn Bergman.

Read more

2:03pm

Fri April 19, 2013
NPR Story

Esperanza Spalding On Piano Jazz

Esperanza Spalding.
Johann Sauty Courtesy of the artist

On this Piano Jazz from 2008, bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding brings her neo-soul style to a set of standards with the aid of pianist Leo Genovese. Spalding is one of the most talked about artists in jazz today.

Read more

4:59pm

Thu April 18, 2013
A Blog Supreme

Jazz Salutes Its Disc Jockeys

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 4:42 pm

Symphony Sid Torin (left) hosts a program at WHOM featuring the saxophonist Arnett Cobb.
William Gottlieb The Library of Congress

The advent of bebop added a fresh sound to American music. It also added new voices to some metropolitan radio stations: the late-night jazz DJs who specialized in presenting this new music to their fellow hipster nightflies.

To recognize the work of the groundbreaking DJs who lent them critical exposure, jazz musicians of the period would occasionally write songs in their honor. Here are five of those songs.

Read more

12:34pm

Thu April 18, 2013
JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Terri Lyne Carrington On JazzSet

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 2:00 pm

Phil Farnsworth Berklee College of Music

Money Jungle has a story. One day in 1962, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach recorded an album and gave it that provocative title. The repertoire was new blues by Ellington, who was in his 60s, while Roach and Mingus were each about 40.

Read more

2:58pm

Wed April 17, 2013
Wisdom Watch

Jazz Great Hugh Masekela, Fresh Because He's Fascinated

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 7:58 pm

Mark Shoul Courtesy of the artist

"I was a good boy," South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela assures NPR's Michel Martin. But still, he says, "as a kid, I was whipped on a slow day at least three times."

Eventually, Masekela told his chaplain, "If I can get a trumpet, Father, I won't bother anybody."

His wish came true.

Read more

4:27pm

Tue April 16, 2013
A Blog Supreme

How Taxes And Moving Changed The Sound Of Jazz

The bebop innovator Dizzy Gillespie on 52nd Street in New York, which was filled with small jazz clubs in the 1940s.
William Gottlieb The Library of Congress

This week — when many of us at NPR rushed to file our U.S. federal income-tax returns, then moved to a new headquarters — I'm reminded of a moment in jazz history. Namely, the mid-1940s, when a new style called bebop came into popularity.

Read more

2:03pm

Fri April 12, 2013
Piano Jazz With Jon Weber

Laurence Hobgood On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 1:51 pm

Laurence Hobgood.
Courtesy of the artist

Pianist and 2010 Grammy winner Laurence Hobgood was born in Salisbury, N.C., and grew up in Texas and Illinois. He took up piano at age 6 and showed a knack for improvisation early on, playing his own versions of pieces by Bach and Chopin. In 1988, Hobgood relocated to Chicago, where he met an up-and-coming vocalist named Kurt Elling.

Read more

1:58pm

Fri April 12, 2013
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Eddie Palmieri On Piano Jazz

Eddie Palmieri.
Jason Goodman Courtesy of the NEA

On this episode of Piano Jazz, pianist and 2013 NEA Jazz Master Eddie Palmieri brings along bassist Hugo Duran and percussionists Jose Claussell, Richie Flores, and Mark Quinones for a raucous set of original tunes with an Afro-Caribbean flavor.

Read more

Pages