Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 2:33 pm
The Sound Prints Quintet is (L-R): Lawrence Fields, Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano, Linda Oh, Joey Baron.
Credit John Rogers for NPR / johnrogersnyc.com
Few jazz bandleaders are as active — and as actively acclaimed — as saxophonist Joe Lovano and trumpeter Dave Douglas. But while they've met from time to time on the bandstand, their brief overlap in the SFJAZZ collective — during a season when the compositions of Wayne Shorter were featured — got them to lead a band together. It's a quintet in which they share compositional duties and top billing. And it's a band featuring two up-and-coming musicians in pianist Lawrence Fields and bassist Linda Oh, as well as Joey Baron, a drummer with whom they've grown up in music.
<em>Burning Bridge</em> personnel, left to right: Jason Kao Hwang (violin), Wang Guowei (erhu), Sun Li (pipa), Ken Filiano (string bass), Andrew Drury (drum set), Joseph Daley (tuba), Steve Swell (trombone), Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet/flugelhorn).
Jazz reflects who we are as a people — democracy in action and all that. But a jazz tune or solo is also a portrait of the musician who makes it; the music reflects the particular background and training that influences how composers compose and improvisers improvise. Jason Kao Hwang makes that autobiographical component explicit throughout his extended composition for eight pieces, Burning Bridge. His parents made the move from China around the end of WWII, and he grew up attending Presbyterian services in suburban Chicago.
Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 12:01 pm
Credit Jo Hale / Getty Images Entertainment
On this Piano Jazz session from 2004, Tony Bennett brings his effortlessly swinging singing to an impeccable set of tunes from the Great American Songbook, including music from Johnny Mercer, Jimmy Van Heusen, Ted Koehler, Alec Wilder and more.
Gretchen Parlato performing at the Caramoor Jazz Festival in Katonah, N.Y. July 28.
Credit Gabe Palacio / Courtesy of the Caramoor Festival
Ninety years ago near the village of Katonah, N.Y., art lovers Walter and Lucie Rosen bought Caramoor, a wooded estate, and built a home for their collection of painting and sculpture. Every room was a gallery, including their favorite, the Music Room; after they lost their only son in World War II, they presented a small concert series there to honor him. So began the transformation of Caramoor from a private home to an arts center and treasure for Westchester County, north of New York City.
Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:16 pm
By Patrick Jarenwattananon
The drummer Pete La Roca, a top freelance drummer during New York's post-bop heyday in the 1950s and '60s, died early this morning in New York. The cause was lung cancer, according to Randa Kirshbaum, a former girlfriend. He was 74 years old.
Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 11:34 am
The L.A. duo Foxygen just released a new song, "Shuggie," which Philadelphia's WXPN quickly embraced.
Credit Angel Ceballos
Our November edition of "Heavy Rotation" includes new favorite songs from public-radio stations across the country. Starting out west, Colorado Public Radio's OpenAir channel highlights one of Denver's most promising young voices, Esme Patterson. Kansas Public Radio's "Trail Mix" show is obsessed with folksinger Rayna Gellert. WEMU in Ypsilanti, Mich., is feeling blues belter Mary Bridget Davies. WXPN in Philadelphia recently added the wonderfully named Foxygen. And Vermont Public Radio is getting ready for winter with bassist Marcus Miller.