Jazz

8:03am

Tue December 25, 2012
Favorite Sessions

The New Standards: A Supergroup Celebrates 'Snow Days'

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 11:50 am

The New Standards recently performed "Snow Days" for The Current in Minneapolis.
Steven Cohen The Current

A jazz trio and Minnesota music supergroup, The New Standards features singer and pianist Chan Poling of The Suburbs, singer and bassist John Munson of Semisonic and Trip Shakespeare, and vibraphonist Steve Roehm of Electropolis and Billy Goat. With a repertoire composed largely of holiday classics and unexpected covers of contemporary pop and rock favorites, the band has long been a must-see live, but it's also hit the studio a handful of times, releasing albums in 2005 and 2008.

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4:21pm

Fri December 21, 2012
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Let It Snow: The Piano Jazz Holiday Show

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 9:00 am

Let it snow.
Keene and Chesire County Historical Photos via Flickr

Piano Jazz swings in the holiday season, as Marian McPartland and her guests from seasons past, present and future share favorite memories and unique musical performances of Christmas classics and original holiday tunes.

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4:12pm

Thu December 20, 2012
Best Music Of 2012

The Black Arts: Making Jazz In The Mainstream

Robert Glasper at SXSW in March 2012.
Erich Schlegel The Washington Post/Getty Images

Had you been watching The Tonight Show with Jay Leno one Monday night last March, you might have seen pianist Robert Glasper leading his Experiment band from the NBC studios in Burbank, Calif. Had you preferred the Late Show with David Letterman, you might have seen bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding front a horn-heavy ensemble at the Ed Sullivan Theater in midtown Manhattan.

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11:03am

Thu December 20, 2012
JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Dave Brubeck Quartet On JazzSet

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 10:23 am

Dave Brubeck at Newport.
Wiqan Ang for NPR

At the opening of his 2009 Newport Jazz Festival appearance, Dave Brubeck said, "A few concerts ago, we were in Washington, D.C., and [it] was Duke Ellington Month. So every church, joint and street corner were doing Duke Ellington, and I said to myself, 'He was my mentor, he helped me get started. Why don't I do some Ellington?' [And I said to the guys], 'Follow me, and I'll think of tunes as we go along.'"

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8:57am

Sun December 16, 2012
Music Interviews

Dave Douglas: Jazz Hymns Honor A Dying Wish

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 12:16 pm

Dave Douglas' new album, Be Still, includes hymns he played at his mother's funeral service.
Austin Nelson Courtesy of the artist

Dave Douglas has been an important player in the jazz world for more than two decades, producing a broad body of work as both a trumpet player and a composer. His newest album, Be Still, has a bittersweet backstory: It contains his arrangements of several hymns that his dying mother asked him to perform at her funeral service.

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4:17pm

Fri December 14, 2012
A Blog Supreme

5 Jazz Christmas Albums For 2012

The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra's new album is called Christmas Time Is Here.
Courtesy of the artist

There's a certain intensity of spirit in jazz and improvised music, to the point where it occasionally aligns with religious worship. You especially see it around Christmastime, when certain musicians who happen to be Christians purpose their craft in observance of the season.

Of course, sometimes jazz musicians just like playing familiar songs.

Here are five records, all from 2012, which run the gamut of Christmas jazz. From deep meditations on the holiday's narrative to more offbeat ways to get into the spirit, inventiveness isn't a scarce resource this winter.

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11:31am

Fri December 14, 2012
NPR Story

Steve Kuhn On Piano Jazz

Steve Kuhn.
Courtesy of the artist

Steve Kuhn's resume is a virtual who's-who of the jazz world.

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2:31pm

Thu December 13, 2012
JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Wynton Marsalis On JazzSet

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 10:32 am

The clock strikes midnight with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
Frank Stewart for Jazz at Lincoln Center

The energy in the room is palpable, as Wynton Marsalis launches into "Dipper Mouth Blues," a tune named for King Oliver's trumpet player, Louis Armstrong. "New Orleans Bump" features the whimsical clarinet of Victor Goines.

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6:10pm

Wed December 12, 2012
The Checkout: Live

The Cookers + Geri Allen And Timeline: Live From 92Y Tribeca

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 12:41 pm

The front line of The Cookers. L-R: Billy Harper, David Weiss, Eddie Henderson, Craig Handy.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Take a group of heavyweight jazz masters — the kind who helped to make the classic records that defined the modern idiom — and put them together on stage: Of course there'll be fireworks. But the all-star collection known as The Cookers has cohered into a band which has toured for five years now, and released three albums of mostly original compositions. Their latest, 2012's Believe, proudly captures this band's meat-and-potatoes spirit, and brings some deserved attention to its members' storied and ongoing careers.

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12:47pm

Tue December 11, 2012
Music Reviews

Bass Note: Mingus And The Jazz Workshop Concerts

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:28 pm

Jazz great Charles Mingus performs at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September 1964.
Ray Avery CTS Images

On a new box set from mail-order house Mosaic Records, Charles Mingus, The Jazz Workshop Concerts 1964-65, the jazz legend's bands usually number between five and eight players. The bassist often made those bands sound bigger. He'd been using midsize ensembles since the '50s, but his new ones were more flexible than ever, light on their feet but able to fill in backgrounds like a large group.

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