Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 11:46 pm
Miguel Zenón, the prolific alto saxophonist and composer, has just released a new album called Identities Are Changeable. Based on his interviews with fellow Puerto Ricans living in New York, he's arranged a new book of music to reflect their varying experiences.
Jazz Night in America recorded this unique work live from the 2014 Newport Jazz Festival, and accompanies Zenón to his old stomping grounds in the Bronx.
Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 12:10 am
Jazz musicians find inspiration in many things. Himalayan art is not typically one of them.
Jazz Night in America visits the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City to hear interviews and live performances from each of the five finalists for the American Pianists Association's Cole Porter Fellow In Jazz: Kris Bowers, Emmet Cohen, Sullivan Fortner, Zach Lapidus and Christian Sands. Hear what visually inspires some of the most promising young jazz talent, from mandalas to fish.
Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 3:50 pm
New Yorkers of Puerto Rican descent are a diverse group. Some were born in Puerto Rico, some have never set foot on the island, and everyone else falls somewhere between.
But they do share a special identity, calling themselves "Nuyoricans." And when you look over the long list of notable Nuyoricans — everyone from Supreme Court Justice Sandra Sotomayor to Jennifer Lopez — it's kind of amazing how much they've contributed to American culture.
The son of pianist Kenny Drew, who rose to fame in the 1950s and '60s, Kenny Drew Jr. made his own way with a virtuosic career in both jazz and classical music. He favored direct, single-note lines, but could also play in a full orchestral style.
In this 1992 session, Drew interprets Monk's "In Walked Bud" — and he and host Marian McPartland collaborate in a performance of "Falling In Love With You."
Originally published on Fri November 7, 2014 11:48 am
Sun Ra was a big-band innovator, a pioneer of recording and playing with electronics, a poet, a cosmic philosopher, a bandleader and a keyboard innovator who claimed to be from Saturn. Herman Poole Blount would have turned 100 in 2014 had he not left us more than 20 years ago. But his spirit lives on, and so does his long-running band.
When Miles Davis returned to performing in the early 1980s, he asked his former bandmate and master composer, Wayne Shorter, to write something for him. What came out was a large ensemble work too unwieldy for Davis, and Shorter put it back on his shelf. "I asked him for a tune, and he gives me a [expletive deleted] symphony," Davis reportedly said at the time.