Jazz

8:03am

Thu December 12, 2013
Best Music Of 2013

Heavy Rotation: Public Radio's Songs Of 2013

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 11:15 am

British songwriter Laura Mvula was a favorite on public radio stations around the country.
Larry Hirshowitz KCRW

This audio is no longer available.

Our friends in the public radio system are some of the most open-minded listeners we know. Each month, our Heavy Rotation series brings you free downloads of what our fellow programmers and producers are experiencing on repeat.

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1:19pm

Wed December 11, 2013
Music Reviews

Ella Fitzgerald's Early Years Collected In A Chick Webb Box Set

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 9:44 am

Ella Fitzgerald sings with bandleader Chick Webb in Asbury Park, N.J., in 1938.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Drummer Chick Webb's 1930s orchestra terrorized competitors in band battles and sent dancers into orbit at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom. They could be similarly explosive on record, but only rarely. Early on, they did have some hot Edgar Sampson arrangements that Benny Goodman would soon turn into hits, like "Blue Lou" and "Don't Be That Way." But the Webb band also had an old-school crooner, Charles Linton, with pre-jazz-age enunciation.

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4:58am

Wed December 11, 2013
A Blog Supreme

Remembering Jim Hall, A Different Sort Of Guitar God

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 10:10 am

Jim Hall performs with his trio and fellow guitarist Julian Lage at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Jim Hall was a guitar god, but not in the sense that he could blaze through a zillion notes a minute. He was worshipped by guitarists around the world, but you'd never know it from talking to him.

"I don't really have all that much technique anyway, so I try to the best with what I have you know," he said to me earlier this year.

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12:01pm

Tue December 10, 2013
A Blog Supreme

O Brothers: Drummers Brian and Brady Blade

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 2:04 pm

Brian (left) and Brady Blade.
Megan Holmes/Mary Ellen Matthews Courtesy of the artists

If the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, sometimes two apples will land on similar turf. Brian Blade has been Wayne Shorter's drummer for several years and leads his own project called The Fellowship Band. His older brother Brady Blade is perhaps best known for his drumming with Emmylou Harris and is an all-around music industry mover and shaker.

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4:12pm

Fri December 6, 2013
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Ellen Seeling On Piano Jazz

Ellen Seeling.
Courtesy of the artist

For this 2006 episode of Piano Jazz, trumpeter Ellen Seeling brought her longtime collaborator and the assistant director of the Montclair Women's Big Band, saxophonist Jean Fineberg, as well as New York drummer Allison Miller.

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12:59pm

Thu December 5, 2013
Music Reviews

William Parker's Abstract Grooves Collected In Box Set

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 2:55 pm

William Parker.
Roberto Serra - Iguana Press Getty Images

Steve Lacy used to say that the right partner can help you make music you couldn't get to by yourself. Take the quartet William Parker founded in 2000, for example. Parker's bass tone was always sturdy as a tree trunk, but power drummer Hamid Drake gives him lift. The upshot is that free jazz can swing, too. The quartet's front line is another firm partnership: quicksilver alto saxophonist Rob Brown and flinty trumpeter Lewis Barnes.

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12:34pm

Thu December 5, 2013
A Blog Supreme

Wade In The Water: 5 Jazz Takes On Spirituals

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 4:21 pm

The gospel/folk singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe was accompanied by a jazz orchestra on her debut recording.
Chris Ware Getty Images

3:10pm

Wed December 4, 2013
The Checkout: Live

Patrick Cornelius: Live At Berklee

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 12:39 pm

Patrick Cornelius.
Michael Borgida Berklee College of Music

Many jazz musicians write music here and there, but it's still a leap for someone to go from "writing tunes" to taking pride in the art of composition. The alto saxophonist Patrick Cornelius, based in New York for a decade now, is headed that way. After releasing his fourth album, Infinite Blue, earlier this year, he's now set to premiere a new set of compositions for jazz octet. While We're Still Young is a suite based on the illustrated book of children's poems When We Were Very Young, by Winnie-The-Pooh creator A.A.

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3:05pm

Wed December 4, 2013
Live At The Village Vanguard

Brian Blade Fellowship: Live At The Village Vanguard

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 1:23 pm

John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

A Brian Blade Fellowship concert feels a bit like a family reunion. Its core — drummer Blade, pianist Jon Cowherd and bassist Chris Thomas — has played together for more than 20 years, and its horn players have stayed loyal to the operation, too. Its repertoire feels rooted in a deep emotional well where sacred abuts secular and jazz meets its Southern folk cousins. Sparks always seem to fly when it gathers for an infrequent recording or string of tour dates.

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5:14pm

Tue December 3, 2013
Music Reviews

27 Years Ago, Keith Jarrett Was A One-Man Band

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 6:57 pm

Keith Jarrett circa 1986.
Toshinari Koinuma Courtesy of the artist

Keith Jarrett is a jazz legend. His catalog of recordings includes solo piano improvisations, trio and quartet works, classical performances, early sessions with Charles Lloyd and late ones with Miles Davis. But there's nothing quite like Jarrett's new double-CD set No End: It was recorded in his home studio in 1986, and he plays all the instruments — notably drums, bass and electric guitar.

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