Thu May 7, 2015

Violinist Federico Britos Returns To The Hot Club

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 7:25 pm

In his long career, 76-year-old Uruguayan violinist Federico Britos has played with many of the top jazz artists in the U.S. and Latin America.
Courtesy of the artist


Mon May 4, 2015
Tiny Desk Concerts

Vijay Iyer Trio: Tiny Desk Concert

Vijay Iyer Trio performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 20, 2015.
Olivia Merrion NPR

Vijay Iyer is probably best known as a pianist and bandleader in the African-American creative improvisational tradition — most say "jazz" for short — though he's also several other things in music. He's a composer of chamber, large-ensemble and mixed-media works; a Harvard professor; a student of Indian classical music; a father and New York City resident. Committed as he is to multiplicity, there's one place where you can see many of his interests distilled at once: in the trio he's led for nearly a dozen years.

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Sun May 3, 2015
Jazz Night In America

A New Jazz Suite For Head, Shoulders, Knees And Toes

Originally published on Sun May 3, 2015 6:20 pm

Steve Coleman's new album is called Synovial Joints.
Jeff Fusco John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Is there a modern-day equivalent to Duke Ellington? Or Ornette Coleman?

Who are the people today who think differently about jazz — who have created new forms, and expanded the musical vocabulary?

For 30 years, saxophonist Steve Coleman has been pushing the music forward, traveling the world to collect new sounds, rhythms and ideas. Along the way he's mentored many of the most exciting younger artists in jazz — musicians like Ambrose Akinmusire, Jason Moran and Vijay Iyer.

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Fri May 1, 2015
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Shirley Horn On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 2:24 pm

Shirley Horn.
Courtesy of the artist

Jazz musicians have long admired pianist and vocalist Shirley Horn (1934–2005), whose sensitive and relaxed playing style and unique vocals earned her comparisons to fellow jazz greats such as Count Basie and Nat King Cole.

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Tue April 28, 2015
Jazz Night In America

How Bessie Smith Ushered In The Jazz Age

Originally published on Tue April 28, 2015 7:53 pm

Jazz and blues are often treated as one and the same — but how did one end up taking over and surpassing the other, ushering in the jazz age?

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Sun April 26, 2015
First Listen

Review: Kamasi Washington, 'The Epic'

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 4:00 pm

Kamashi Washington's new album, The Epic, comes out May 5.
Mike Park Courtesy of the artist

The word "epic" sits cheerily amid the most overused hyperbole of our age. Teenage bros proclaim their recent "pretty epic" mild successes; sports commentators call anything which ends dramatically an "epic game"; the Internet-literate are quick to point out an "epic FAIL." But what else do you call a three-CD, nearly three-hour album anchored by a 10-piece jazz band, featuring a 32-piece orchestra and 20-member choir, and driven by the daydream of an imaginary martial arts grandmaster?

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Fri April 24, 2015
Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts

The Bad Plus Joshua Redman At Detroit Jazz Festival

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 8:31 am

Joshua Redman and The Bad Plus play the Detroit Jazz Festival.
Susan Hale Thomas NPR

Saxophonist Joshua Redman and the collaborative trio The Bad Plus both stand among the most celebrated, thoughtful and prominent jazz acts of the last couple decades. That, and their contrasting aesthetic sensibilities, made it at least news when they first got together in 2011. As it turns out, that collaboration bore lasting fruit: After a series of gigs last summer, they went into the studio with each others' tunes to record The Bad Plus Joshua Redman (say it out loud), to be released in late May.

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Fri April 24, 2015
Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts

Kamasi Washington's 'The Epic' In Concert

Originally published on Wed June 3, 2015 9:04 pm

Kamasi Washington at the Regent Theater in L.A.

Saxophonist and composer Kamasi Washington, 34, has been working on releasing his now three-CD, nearly three-hour, choir-and-strings-assisted album The Epic for the better part of five years now. Even longer, if you consider how long his 10-piece working band has known each other: Most of its members, known collectively as The Next Step or The West Coast Get Down, have known each other since at least high school decades ago in South Central Los Angeles, and in some instances well before that.

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Fri April 24, 2015
Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts

Celebrating Joe Temperley In Concert

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 11:57 am

Joe Temperley and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
Frank Stewart Jazz at Lincoln Center

For 25 years, the baritone saxophone chair of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra has been held by a one Joe Temperley. The Scottish musician, now 85, carries tons of credits to his C.V., especially with big bands: Thad Jones-Mel Lewis, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Clark Terry and — most notably — the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

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Fri April 24, 2015
Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts

Vijay Iyer Trio At Metropolitan Museum Of Art

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 11:34 am

Vijay Iyer Trio plays the Temple of Dendur.

The pianist and composer Vijay Iyer frames his new trio recording, Break Stuff, around the idea of musical breaks: "a break in music is still music: a span of time in which to act," he writes. Formally, he's referring to breakbeats and other musical breakdowns, but more generally, Iyer's trio exploits opportunities to rupture convention.

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