Wed January 1, 2014
Toast Of The Nation

Cecile McLorin Salvant: Live In Washington, D.C.

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 1:00 pm

Cecile McLorin Salvant.
Margot Schulman Courtesy of the Kennedy Center

Among the breakout performers of 2013 was the young singer Cecile McLorin Salvant. Her unfussy, yet flexible delivery and penchant for material of an older vintage cut a distinct profile — especially for someone who turned 24 last year. It's no surprise that her recent album WomanChild was received with wide acclaim, named the top vocal album in NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll and collecting a Grammy nomination.

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Wed January 1, 2014
Toast Of The Nation

Donald Harrison Quintet: Live At Berklee

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 4:24 pm

Donald Harrison leads his quintet in concert.
Henry Hayes Courtesy of Berklee College of Music

Since attending Berklee College of Music, alto saxophonist Donald Harrison has been a Jazz Messenger, a leading Young Lion, a New Orleans torchbearer, and a famed mentor for new talent. As a bandleader, he merges all that and more. Accompanied by a young rhythm section and fellow New Orleanian Detroit Brooks (guitar), the "King of Nouveau Swing" returns to his alma mater — where, incidentally he also played Toast of The Nation a decade ago. The concert, part of the First Night Boston festival, was hosted by Eric Jackson of WGBH.

Set List

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Wed January 1, 2014
Toast Of The Nation

Bobby McFerrin's 'spirityouall': Live At Monterey

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 12:59 pm

Bobby McFerrin with his daughter, Madison McFerrin.
Craig Lovell Courtesy of Monterey Jazz Festival

Robert McFerrin, Sr., a baritone, was the first African American man to perform solo at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and an important interpreter of spirituals. He's clearly passed along some of his talent to his son, the world-renowned vocal gymnast Bobby McFerrin. And McFerrin the younger has recently taken an interest in his father's spiritual repertoire, putting his own spin on them for his 2013 recording spirityouall. At the Monterey Jazz Festival, he performs that material with his own progeny — his daughter Madison McFerrin.

Set List

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Wed January 1, 2014
Toast Of The Nation

Paquito D'Rivera: Live In Chicago

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 9:11 pm

Paquito D'Rivera performs with the Kaia String Quartet.
Aaron Edwards Courtesy of the Latino Music Festival/WFMT Radio Chicago

The reedman Paquito D'Rivera has made a career out of crossing genres. Born in Cuba, his larder is never out of Afro-Caribbean and Latin American sounds; he's made a name for himself as a jazz virtuoso and classical performer. Chicago's Latino Music Festival took advantage this year. Artistic director Elbio Barilari, himself a composer (and host of Fiesta!

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Wed January 1, 2014
Toast Of The Nation

Convergence With Larry Goldings: Live In Denver

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 1:02 pm

Convergence with Larry Goldings (foreground).
Travis Broxton Broxton Art

Every month, the members of the Colorado-born sextet Convergence gather from near and far at the Denver club Dazzle, often with a special guest. The band certainly has plenty of material to draw from — Convergence first converged in 1991. For Toast of the Nation 2013-14, it welcomed Hammond B-3 organist Larry Goldings from Los Angeles to ring in midnight in Mountain Time. Carlos Lando of KUVO hosts the festivities.

Set List

  • "Jim Jam (For Jim Hall)" (Goldings)
  • "Pegasus" (Goldings)
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Sat December 28, 2013
Music Interviews

'Together Again' With Wynton Marsalis, 20 Years Later

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 6:54 pm

Pianist Marcus Roberts, who is blind, hadn't worked with Wynton Marsalis for two decades before his latest slate of recordings.
John Douglas Courtesy of the artist

Marcus Roberts was a very young, very gifted pianist back in 1985, when Wynton Marsalis tapped him to join his band.

Six years later, Roberts went off to lead his own combo — and to write both jazz and classical music. And he taught. And he toured. And he recorded.

In fact, Marcus Roberts just released three new albums. One of them is a 12-part jazz suite. The other two take him back to the beginning: They're his first collaborations with Wynton Marsalis in 20 years.

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Fri December 27, 2013
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Gerald Wilson On Piano Jazz

Gerald Wilson.
Courtesy of the artist.

Composer and arranger Gerald Wilson has charted the course for some of the legends of jazz, including Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie.

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Fri December 27, 2013
JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Wynton Marsalis: New Year's Eve On JazzSet

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 2:18 pm

Wynton Marsalis performs during New Year's Eve 2011.
Fernando Leon Getty Images

This edition of JazzSet features a double helping of Wynton Marsalis celebrating New Year's Eve.

First, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra musicians play King Oliver and Jelly Roll Morton, merging "Dippermouth Blues" and "New Orleans Bump." Then, Marsalis invites Vince Giordano and members of his band, The Nighthawks, to play tunes made famous by Louis Armstrong in the Hot Fives and Sevens recordings.

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Tue December 24, 2013
A Blog Supreme

A History Of Phone Calls With Yusef Lateef

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 4:22 pm

John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

The multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef, famed in the jazz world for embracing tranquil spiritualism and non-Western sonorities in his own music, died Monday at his home near Amherst, Mass. The death was confirmed by several members of his family.

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Sat December 21, 2013
Tiny Desk Concerts

Preservation Hall Jazz Band: Tiny Desk Concert

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 5:14 pm

Preservation Hall Jazz Band performs at the Tiny Desk on Dec. 3, 2013.
John W. Poole John W. Poole

Our goal for this special holiday Tiny Desk Concert is simple: to bring you joy. Preservation Hall Jazz Band is a hot and historic outfit from New Orleans, and its members brought us a tuba-wielding Santa and some original holiday cheer and praise — what they call a Cajun Christmas from the French Quarter.

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