Sat December 8, 2012
Best Music Of 2012

Top 10 Jazz Albums of 2012

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 9:31 am

The Vijay Iyer Trio is Marcus Gilmore (left, drums), Iyer (center, piano) and Stephan Crump (right, bass).
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist

For the better part of this year, I haven't been able to shake a certain phrase from the back of my mind. It was written by the pianist and composer Vijay Iyer in the liner notes to his brilliant trio album Accelerando: "[T]his album is in the lineage of American creative music based on dance rhythms."

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Fri December 7, 2012
Piano Jazz

Dave Brubeck On Piano Jazz

Dave Brubeck at the 32nd Kennedy Center Honors.
Kris Connor Getty Images

David Warren Brubeck (Dec. 6, 1920 - Dec. 5, 2012) in Concord, Calif. His father was a cattle rancher and his mother taught piano. His two older brothers, Henry and Howard, studied to become musicians, but Dave had no intentions of following them, although he took lessons from his mother. He could not read sheet music, but played well enough that this deficiency went mostly unnoticed.

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Fri December 7, 2012
The Fresh Air Interview

Celebrating The Life Of Jazz Pianist Dave Brubeck

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 1:28 pm

In a 1999 interview with Fresh Air's Terry Gross, Dave Brubeck talked about his decades in the music industry and his first love: rodeo roping.
Stephen Lovekin Getty Images

This interview was originally broadcast in 1999. Brubeck died on Wednesday at age 91.

In 1954, polls in the leading jazz magazines Metronome and Downbeat selected Dave Brubeck's band as the year's best instrumental group. That same year, Brubeck was the second jazz musician ever featured on the cover of Time Magazine (the first being Louie Armstrong).

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Thu December 6, 2012
JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Miguel Zenón And Dafnis Prieto On JazzSet

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 3:56 pm

Saxophonist Miguel Zenón performs with pianist Laurent Coq at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.
Erik Jacobs for NPR

In 2008 and 2011, respectively, Miguel Zenón and Dafnis Prieto received MacArthur Fellowships — known as "Genius Grants" — from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. They were cited for their achievements in expanding boundaries and combining vocabularies. And you can hear them in action from Newport on JazzSet.

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Thu December 6, 2012
A Blog Supreme

Dave Brubeck: Beyond 'Take Five'

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 10:13 am

Dave Brubeck rehearses with the San Diego Symphony in 1995.
Mitch Tobias Getty Images


Wed December 5, 2012
The Record

Remembering The Vital Force Of Jazz Pianist Dave Brubeck

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 6:34 pm

Dave Brubeck performing on the pilot episode of a television program in 1965.
CBS Photo Archive Getty Images

To listen to Neda Ulaby's appreciation of Dave Brubeck's life and career, as heard on All Things Considered, click the audio link.

For millions of Americans who came of age in the 1950s, Dave Brubeck was jazz. His performances on college campuses, Top 40 radio play, his role as a jazz ambassador for the U.S., his picture on the cover of Time magazine — all made him one of the most recognized and recognizable musicians of the era.

He died Wednesday morning, the day before his 92nd birthday, in Norwalk, Conn. The cause was heart failure.

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Sat December 1, 2012
Favorite Sessions

Graham Dechter: Youth, Steeped In Tradition

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 5:30 pm

Graham Dechter performs at the Jazz24 studios in Seattle.
Justin Steyer Jazz24

Graham Dechter is a 26-year-old jazz guitarist who's been living his dream. Dechter was invited to join the world-famous Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra at 19, and now, seven years later, he's leading his own group — and just released his second album, Takin It There. Here's a clip of the Graham Dechter Quartet performing the title track in the Jazz24/KPLU studios.


  • Jeff Hamilton, drums
  • Josh Nelson, piano
  • Christoph Luty, bass


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Fri November 30, 2012
JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Mulgrew Miller Trio On JazzSet

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 10:49 am

Mulgrew Miller.
Jean Francois Laberine

When the pianist Mulgrew Miller died on May 29, 2013, following a cerebral hemorrhage, the jazz world grieved the loss of this "wonderful musician and great spirit," in the words of his fellow pianist Kenny Barron.

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Thu November 29, 2012
A Blog Supreme

A Young Prodigy's Search, Cut Short

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 1:50 pm

Austin Peralta.
Ben Olsen Courtesy of the artist


Thu November 29, 2012
Live At The Village Vanguard

Wilson, Rosnes, Washington: Live At The Village Vanguard

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 10:48 am

Steve Wilson (saxophone), Renee Rosnes (piano) and Peter Washington (bass).
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

A saxophonist, a pianist and a bass player walk into a bar. But the bar happens to be one of the world's preeminent jazz clubs, where they're regularly sighted on stage. And they're working as a new collective band: no drummer, no hierarchy. So much for that joke.

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