Tootie Heath says the drummer's responsibility is to be happy. There's no better believer in the happiness ethic than Matt Wilson — and we're happy, too, grooving first to Heath, then Wilson, in highlights of sets from August and September 2012.
Born in 1935 as the youngest of three brothers headed for great jazz careers, Albert "Tootie" Heath crosses two generations to join this trio with pianist Ethan Iverson and bassist Ben Street.
Every year, an all-star assemblage of today's jazz musicians called the SFJAZZ Collective picks a different all-time-great jazz composer to feature. The band then applies its own arrangements to that composer's tunes.
Ibrahim Maalouf plays a four-valve trumpet — most just have three. The extra valve, attached to the button a trumpeter pushes down, allows the Lebanese musician to play quarter-tones — the notes between notes that characterize Arabic "makams."
The narrative of jazz history often credits the music as a powerful, progressive force for racial integration in American culture. But what about gender equality? On that score, jazz in its first few decades would have to be given a less than stellar grade.
In this Piano Jazz episode recorded in 1992, we remember the remarkable talents of Shirley Scott, the "Queen of the Organ," as she solos on "Skylark" and joins host Marian McPartland for a piano duet of "In a Mellow Tone."
What is a mistake? By going through examples with his improvisational jazz quartet, Stefon Harris gets to a profound truth: many actions are perceived as mistakes only because we don't react to them appropriately.