Jazz

5:56pm

Tue May 19, 2015
Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program

A Tribute To Kenny Wheeler

Kenny Wheeler.
W. Patrick Hinely Courtesy of the artist

The late Kenny Wheeler's stunning compositions and imaginative improvisations on trumpet and flugelhorn left deep impressions on generations of musicians. Two such devotees — trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and saxophonist Steve Treseler — revisited Wheeler's compositions after his death in 2014 at age 84. And in doing so, they realized they wanted to record their arrangements, paying tribute to the man who catalyzed their own careers.

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11:03pm

Sun May 17, 2015
First Listen

Review: Joshua Redman & The Bad Plus, 'The Bad Plus Joshua Redman'

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 10:35 pm

Joshua Redman & The Bad Plus' new album, The Bad Plus Joshua Redman, comes out May 26.
Cameron Wittig Courtesy of the artist

For the last two years, pianist Ethan Iverson has been at the center of what looks, in hindsight, like a serious creative whirlwind. He re-conceptualized Stravinsky's ballet The Rite Of Spring in its entirety (!) for his trio The Bad Plus, and then, for good measure, recorded an album of all-original Bad Plus music (Inevitable Western).

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6:14pm

Sat May 16, 2015
Music

50 Years Ago, Ramsey Lewis Joined 'The In Crowd'

Originally published on Sat May 16, 2015 7:16 pm

Ramsey Lewis' hit single "The In Crowd" was recorded live in concert 50 years ago this month.
Courtesy of Ravinia Festival

Fifty years ago, the Ramsey Lewis Trio sat in a Washington, D.C. coffee shop, musing over what it could add to its set that evening. It was booked for a run at Bohemian Caverns — the group had issued a live album made at the nightclub, and it was gearing up to record a follow-up live album. Over walked a waitress, who inquired about the band's predicament.

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12:03pm

Fri May 15, 2015
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Gonzalo Rubalcaba On Piano Jazz

Gonzalo Rubalcaba is shown performing during the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival.
Eva Hambach AFP/Getty Images

The music of pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba is a potent mixture of Cuban and American jazz. His style sounds both melodic and rhythmic, filled with exciting and intriguing influences. He plays everything from jazz to classical, as well as music from his native Cuba.

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4:02pm

Thu May 14, 2015
Songs We Love

Songs We Love: Anat Cohen, 'Putty Boy Strut'

Originally published on Wed July 8, 2015 10:12 am

Israeli jazz reedist Anat Cohen.
Augusta Sagnelli Courtesy of the artist

It begins with meandering clarinet and clipped, four-on-the-floor percussion. A little bit later comes a countermelody, and the image that comes to mind is something from early New Orleans, or perhaps a Mediterranean folk song. It's even called "Putty Boy Strut" — that could be an obscure Jelly Roll Morton tune, right?

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5:18pm

Sun May 10, 2015
Music

Kamasi Washington's 3-Hour Jazz 'Epic,' Complete With Creation Myth

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 6:52 pm

Kamasi Washington's new album is called The Epic.
Courtesy of the artist

When Kamasi Washington called his new album The Epic, he meant it.

His band has two drummers, two bass players, both piano and keyboards. There are three horns and two lead vocals. There's a 20-piece choir and a 32-piece string section.

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5:51am

Sun May 10, 2015
Music

At 70, Keith Jarrett Is Learning How To Bottle Inspiration

Originally published on Sun May 10, 2015 5:37 pm

Jazz pianist Keith Jarrett is celebrating his 70th birthday with two new releases: the classical exploration Barber/Bartók and the live compilation Creation.
Henry Leutwyler Courtesy of the artist

Keith Jarrett hit a milestone this past week: The famed jazz pianist turned 70 years old, and he's decided to mark the occasion with two new releases. One offers his take on two important classical works; the other, Creation, documents how his creative process plays out in front of a host of live audiences.

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12:02pm

Fri May 8, 2015
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Sharon Freeman On Piano Jazz

Sharon Freeman.
Barbara Weinberg Barefield Wikimedia Commons

In addition to being a lauded pianist, composer and arranger, Sharon Freeman is an accomplished French-horn player. She's worked with many jazz greats, including Gil Evans, Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton and Charlie Haden.

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5:19pm

Thu May 7, 2015
Music

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

4:21pm

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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