Jazz

This Saturday, April 30, marks the fifth anniversary of International Jazz Day, a celebration organized by UNESCO to celebrate jazz across the globe. To do our part, we're highlighting some of our favorite jazz musicians to play behind Bob Boilen's desk. Rising stars, young virtuosos, NEA Jazz Masters and veteran ensembles alike have played in NPR's D.C. offices. Here are five standout jazz performances at the Tiny Desk. Preservation Hall Jazz Band What better place to start this list than...

There are masterpieces of the studio, and certainly Sarah Vaughan left plenty of those behind. But the really crushing exhibitions from jazz musicians of her caliber come nightly, in clubs and concert halls, tossed off so repeatedly and seemingly casually that any given tune in any given set reeks of talent. Throw a dart at any one moment and there's probably something there. So how about the evening of May 31, 1978, at Rosy's Jazz Club in New Orleans, after her scat solo on "Fascinating...

Recently, two new jazz recordings came my way. One, titled Some Other Time: The Lost Session From The Black Forest , is an album of never-before-released studio recordings from Germany in 1968. Bill Evans plays piano and Eddie Gomez plays bass — but what made me to listen and re-listen to the album, mostly standards, was the drummer: Jack DeJohnette . I listened to those nearly 50-year-old studio recordings after I heard about the second new album, In Movement , which features two famous sons...

The Legacy Of The Benny Goodman Quartet

Apr 21, 2016

In the late 1930s, a bespectacled white man who played the clarinet was a teen idol. That was Benny Goodman, and he got to be that way from leading a quartet with Lionel Hampton, Teddy Wilson and Gene Krupa — one of jazz's first racially integrated bands. In a special stage show written by Geoffrey Ward and narrated by Wendell Pierce, a young band (Christian Sands, piano; Joel Ross, vibraphone; Sammy Miller, drums) with a rotating cast of clarinetists (Will Anderson, Peter Anderson, Patrick...

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page. High among the variously outstanding qualities of the band Snarky Puppy is its fecundity. This new music heard here isn't even the first Snarky record to come out this year — that would be the live album and concert film of collaborations called Family Dinner Vol. 2 , released in February. Count back and you arrive at seven full-length...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUJOTVL5zJU For more than 10 years, Diana Panton has been quietly building her jazz career. She's also a high-school French teacher by day, which means she mostly records and tours while her students are on vacation. But on her latest album, she's aiming for a new audience. I Believe In Little Things is Panton's first release made for kids. She decided to record it after some parents told her they were already playing her albums for their children. "When I make...

A swing-revival band formed in 1993, Squirrel Nut Zippers got together in Chapel Hill, N.C. Best known for its breakthrough single, "Hell," the group visited the World Cafe studio in 1996 to perform four songs, discuss how Squirrel Nut Zippers formed, and explain how they took a different approach to recording Hot , their latest record at the time . Read a note about World Cafe 's visit to North Carolina and the controversy surrounding HB2. Copyright 2016 WXPN-FM. To see more, visit WXPN-FM .

Ayako Shirasaki On Piano Jazz

Apr 15, 2016

Originally from Japan, pianist Ayako Shirasaki showed an early talent for jazz and classical styles. As an adult, she moved to New York and entered the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Kenny Barron and Ted Rosenthal. She's gone on to establish herself as one of New York's finest jazz pianists. On this 2006 episode of Piano Jazz , Shirasaki performs her compositions "Far Away" and "Falling Leaves." Originally broadcast in the fall of 2006. Set List "Con Alma" (Gillespie) ...

Barbara Lea On Piano Jazz

Apr 8, 2016

Vocalist Barbara Lea (1929–2011) was a widely respected and admired interpreter of classic American popular song. She began her career in the 1950s, and the Downbeat Critics Poll of 1956 recognized her as "Best New Singer." On this 1999 episode of Piano Jazz , Lea joins host Marian McPartland for a tribute to songwriter Hoagy Carmichael . The conservator of Carmichael's repertoire, Lea brings her skill to selections such as "Lazybones" and "Stardust." Originally broadcast in the fall of 1999....

Jymie Merritt: The Beat Goes Deep

Apr 7, 2016

Philadelphia bassist Jymie Merritt's place on the historical register of jazz was cemented by his work with major players like Art Blakey, Max Roach and Lee Morgan. But there's a lot more music for which he hasn't received due credit: notably, his own. Starting in the 1960s, he began developing a personal system of polyrhythms and harmonies called Forerunner, and a working ensemble called The Forerunners to match. The music is rich in mathematical complexity, but it left a mark on many...

Pages