Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 11:08 am
Lionel Loueke (left) and Miguel Zenon (right) join Jeff Ballard in the drummer's rhythm-oriented trio.
Credit Andrea Boccalini / Courtesy of the artist
This week's Winter Jazzfest seems to be a kind of turning point — for the festival, and maybe for jazz in New York City. What started 10 years ago as a one-night showcase under one roof has expanded to five days at 10 venues, featuring more than 90 groups in a vast array of styles.
Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 7:21 pm
By Francis Davis
The late documentary filmmaker Jean Bach stands next to an enlarged 1958 photograph of many jazz musicians titled "A Great Day in Harlem." Her documentary about the photo shoot was nominated for an Academy Award in 1995.
Credit Thomas Monaster/New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images
Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 12:58 pm
The Wynton Marsalis Septet.
Credit Frank Stewart / Courtesy of Jazz at Lincoln Center
Much as families reunite around the holidays, Jazz at Lincoln Center's artistic director Wynton Marsalis convened his own family reunion of sorts at the end of the year. His septet(s), his working configuration of the 1990s and easily among his best bands, gathered anew for a six-night run to cap the year — including New Year's Eve. The four-horn frontline showcases Marsalis the arranger; the rhythm section floats it with buoyant bounce. Along with WBGO host Josh Jackson, the septet rang in 2014 at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in New York.
This week's installment of Piano Jazz marks a true milestone, as host Marian McPartland appears as a guest on the program with guest host Elvis Costello. In part one of this all-new interview, McPartland and Costello recount some memorable moments from the program's 30-year (and counting!) run.
Singer-songwriter Gregory Porter first broke through with his 2010 album Water and has since carved out a reputation as one of the next great jazz singers. His most recent album, Liquid Spirit, topped many year-end lists and appeared on NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums of 2013.
Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 1:00 pm
Cecile McLorin Salvant.
Credit Margot Schulman / Courtesy of the Kennedy Center
Among the breakout performers of 2013 was the young singer Cecile McLorin Salvant. Her unfussy, yet flexible delivery and penchant for material of an older vintage cut a distinct profile — especially for someone who turned 24 last year. It's no surprise that her recent album WomanChild was received with wide acclaim, named the top vocal album in NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll and collecting a Grammy nomination.
Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 4:24 pm
Donald Harrison leads his quintet in concert.
Credit Henry Hayes / Courtesy of Berklee College of Music
Since attending Berklee College of Music, alto saxophonist Donald Harrison has been a Jazz Messenger, a leading Young Lion, a New Orleans torchbearer, and a famed mentor for new talent. As a bandleader, he merges all that and more. Accompanied by a young rhythm section and fellow New Orleanian Detroit Brooks (guitar), the "King of Nouveau Swing" returns to his alma mater — where, incidentally he also played Toast of The Nation a decade ago. The concert, part of the First Night Boston festival, was hosted by Eric Jackson of WGBH.
Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 12:59 pm
Bobby McFerrin with his daughter, Madison McFerrin.
Credit Craig Lovell / Courtesy of Monterey Jazz Festival
Robert McFerrin, Sr., a baritone, was the first African American man to perform solo at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and an important interpreter of spirituals. He's clearly passed along some of his talent to his son, the world-renowned vocal gymnast Bobby McFerrin. And McFerrin the younger has recently taken an interest in his father's spiritual repertoire, putting his own spin on them for his 2013 recording spirityouall. At the Monterey Jazz Festival, he performs that material with his own progeny — his daughter Madison McFerrin.
Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 9:11 pm
Paquito D'Rivera performs with the Kaia String Quartet.
Credit Aaron Edwards / Courtesy of the Latino Music Festival/WFMT Radio Chicago
The reedman Paquito D'Rivera has made a career out of crossing genres. Born in Cuba, his larder is never out of Afro-Caribbean and Latin American sounds; he's made a name for himself as a jazz virtuoso and classical performer. Chicago's Latino Music Festival took advantage this year. Artistic director Elbio Barilari, himself a composer (and host of Fiesta!
Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 1:02 pm
Convergence with Larry Goldings (foreground).
Credit Travis Broxton / Broxton Art
Every month, the members of the Colorado-born sextet Convergence gather from near and far at the Denver club Dazzle, often with a special guest. The band certainly has plenty of material to draw from — Convergence first converged in 1991. For Toast of the Nation 2013-14, it welcomed Hammond B-3 organist Larry Goldings from Los Angeles to ring in midnight in Mountain Time. Carlos Lando of KUVO hosts the festivities.