John Rogers is a photographer living in New York City who specializes in jazz. A few weeks ago, he approached NPR with the idea to document the unique connection he shared with his friend Ornette Coleman. He was working on it when Coleman died last week at 85. Rogers finished the story for us here. --Ed.
For this year's edition of Make Music New York, we come not to praise the dead, but to sing the blues and create a new "exquisite corpse."
This Sunday, June 21 at 4 p.m. ET, join NPR Music and regulars at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center for a round-robin group improvisation at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. Everyone who sings or plays an instrument — amateur, student or professional — is invited to perform with us.
The last time Charlie Hunter came to the NPR studios, he brought an eight-string guitar with fanned-out frets that included bass strings. He's now pared down to just seven strings, but his guitar still produces a big, fat sound. Let The Bells Ring On is Hunter's new album, and it features two jazz innovators: trombonist Curtis Fowlkes and drummer Bobby Previte. It's a record that goes every which way, but in places is rooted in gospel and the music on which he grew up.
Pianist and vocalist Hazel Scott was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. A former child prodigy, she had a lifelong career as a jazz artist on both stage and screen, performing late into her life through the U.S. and Europe.
Ornette Colemandied Thursday, at the age of 85. Listen to a pair of conversations with the saxophonist and composer, as well as interviews with members of his quartet — Don Cherry and Charlie Haden — and his son, Denardo Coleman.
Say the name "Les Paul" to anybody born after 1960, and they'll probably think you're talking about an electric guitar. But the musician and inventor, who was born 100 years ago Tuesday, was also an accomplished jazz guitarist. Paul was never happier than when playing for a live audience.