Jazz

10:25am

Fri October 26, 2012
Piano Jazz

Willie Nelson On Piano Jazz

Willie Nelson.
Frazer Henderson Getty Images Entertainment

Singer-songwriter Willie Nelson was born April 30, 1933, in the small farming community of Abbott, Texas. His early interest in music came about through singing in church, and he wrote his first song at age 7. By age 9, he'd begun playing in a local band; after high school, Nelson served briefly in the Air Force and studied at Baylor University. In the mid-'50s, he worked as a disc jockey in Texas and Washington state, played in honky-tonks and continued to write songs.

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4:01pm

Thu October 25, 2012
JazzSet

Lewis Nash Quintet, Kurt Elling On JazzSet

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 3:23 pm

Drummer Lewis Nash performs at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.
Erik Jacobs for NPR

There are three stages at the Newport Jazz Festival. At least two are always running simultaneously. Given the surfeit of options, it's rare to hear a complete set. The question begins to nag: Should be we somewhere else? And away you go, leaving a work in progress to make sure you don't miss one getting underway.

But sometimes if you choose a spot on the lawn and stay put, the juxtaposition of two bands delivers a fine festival experience. Sunday morning, August 5, 2012, on the Quad Stage is such a time.

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4:26pm

Wed October 24, 2012
Live At The Village Vanguard

Jeff Ballard Fairgrounds: Live At The Village Vanguard

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:10 pm

Jeff Ballard.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

The drummer Jeff Ballard has a band called Fairgrounds. Well, he doesn't have a band as much as he has lots of bands, and knows lots of people to fill them — which might be expected of someone who has been a drummer for Chick Corea, Ray Charles and Brad Mehldau. With the Fairgrounds project, he gets to play a little fantasy baseball, mixing and matching sounds and musicians for his own ends.

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10:44am

Wed October 24, 2012
A Blog Supreme

A Charles Mingus Anecdote That Has Nothing To Do With Breasts

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 2:36 pm

Bassist Charles Mingus leads a band at the 1964 Monterey Jazz Festival, including Lonnie Hillyer (trumpet) and Charles McPherson (alto sax, obscured).
Ray Avery CTSIMAGES

We interrupt this blog to bring you an announcement from the one and only Charles Mingus, the great bassist and composer:

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5:45pm

Mon October 22, 2012
A Blog Supreme

'Treme,' Ep. 26: That's What Buddy Bolden Said

The Lambreaux men protest the demolition of housing projects.
Paul Schiraldi HBO

Certain episodes of Treme seem to wear their ideological hearts on their sleeves, and this was one. You open with Desiree's mother's house getting torn down in a city mix-up; you have Davis throwing around phrases like "preservation through neglect"; you see housing projects torn down amid protest with the implication of a corrupt deal; you get protagonists like the Bernette family being harassed by police; you witness clueless developers trying to build a national jazz center while waiting for the other shoe to drop.

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7:54pm

Fri October 19, 2012
A Blog Supreme

Saxophonist David S. Ware, A 'One-Of-A-Kind' Improviser, Has Died

Originally published on Sat October 20, 2012 2:15 pm

David S. Ware.
Michael Jackson Courtesy of the artist

The saxophonist David S. Ware, one of the most prominent and powerful musicians dedicated to free improvising, died Thursday in New Brunswick, N.J. The cause was related to a 2009 kidney transplant. He was 62.

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6:41pm

Fri October 19, 2012
A Blog Supreme

For The Love Of James Moody: Five Tributes

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 7:43 pm

Clarinet and saxophone player Paquito D'Rivera wore a James Moody T-shirt during a recent recording session in Brazil.
Jorge Rosenberg Courtesy of the artist

"James Moody is the most beloved jazz musician in the world," reedman Paquito D'Rivera says.

These may be strong words, but D'Rivera is far from alone in his appreciation of the tenor saxophonist, who died in 2010. On the bandstand, Moody was universally admired for his musicality, his generosity — he gave away mouthpieces, saxophones and, once, even the coat off his back — and his ability to illuminate any room with his personal warmth.

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2:58pm

Fri October 19, 2012
Music Reviews

Elina Duni: Love, Lust And Albanian Folk Songs

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 7:12 pm

On Matane Malit, the Elina Duni Quartet lays expansive instrumentation over traditional Albanian folk melodies.
Blerta Kambo Courtesy of the artist

The spread of formal jazz education has created a new breed of global musician: one who uses improvisation, and other devices associated with jazz, to transform folk and traditional music. The Albanian singer Elina Duni is part of this rising class. Her latest release, Matane Malit ("Beyond the Mountain"), offers a transfixing balance of old and new.

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1:42pm

Fri October 19, 2012
Piano Jazz

Eubie Blake On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:06 pm

This week, Piano Jazz digs deep into the archives with a session featuring James Herbert "Eubie" Blake. He was the last of the known living original ragtime pianists when he appeared on the program in 1980 with host Marian McPartland.

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3:15pm

Thu October 18, 2012
JazzSet

John Ellis, Darcy James Argue On JazzSet

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 3:27 pm

Saxophonist John Ellis (center) performs with Matt Perrine (left) on sousaphone at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.
Erik Jacobs for NPR

As we re-release these two sets from Newport, saxophonist John Ellis (leader of one, player in the other) is leading workshops in Portugal and Italy. Darcy James Argue has released a studio recording of Brooklyn Babylon, and his Secret Society tied with the Maria Schneider Orchestra for the Big Band of 2013 in the just-out DownBeat Critics Poll.

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