Jazz

4:07pm

Fri August 1, 2014
Song Travels

Sam Friend On 'Song Travels'

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 10:58 am

Sam Friend.
Kaitlin Hanrahan Courtesy of the artist

Sam Friend and his band the New Orleans Swamp Donkeys play jazz, blues and originals, drawing on the sound of grassroots jazz combos from a century ago.

In this edition of Song Travels, Friend joins host Michael Feinstein to discuss his transition from New York trio musician to New Orleans bandleader. He shares his love of traditional "jass" with a rendition of "Sweet Lorraine" on six-string banjo.

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4:01pm

Fri August 1, 2014
Music News

'As Long As They Want To Play': Newport Jazz At 60

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 4:22 pm

Velma Middleton is accompanied by Louis Armstrong at the 1955 Newport Jazz Festival.
Paul S;ade Getty

This year, the Newport Jazz Festival is celebrating its 60th anniversary. For most of that time, its guiding force has been producer George Wein, who remembers all too well the first event in 1954.

It was pouring rain. Wein was being urged to call it off but refused. The audience stayed, broke out their umbrellas, and the musicians played. The scene was caught by a photographer.

"And that picture went out all over the world," Wein says, "of people sitting for five hours in the rain, listening to jazz."

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1:59pm

Fri August 1, 2014
A Blog Supreme

5 Acts Not To Miss At Newport Jazz 2014

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 4:07 pm

The audience at the main stage of the Newport Jazz Festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

2:41pm

Mon July 28, 2014
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Jessica Williams On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 3:12 pm

Jessica Williams.
Jimmy and Deana Katz Courtesy of the artist

Pianist and composer Jessica Williams has gained critical acclaim and multiple Grammy nominations for her writing and remarkable skill at the keyboard. Dave Brubeck called her "one of the greatest jazz pianists I have ever heard."

On this episode of Piano Jazz from 1992, Williams solos on "Why Do I Love You" and joins host McPartland for "Straight, No Chaser" — one of two Thelonious Monk tunes during the session.

Originally broadcast in the spring of 1992.

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2:03am

Sat July 19, 2014
Music Interviews

Fred Hersch Floats On, With A Dynamic Trio In Tow

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 8:57 am

Jazz pianist Fred Hersch released his latest album, a trio recording called Floating, in July.
Vincent Soyez Courtesy of the artist

The last time Fred Hersch was featured on Weekend Edition Saturday, the headline read, "Back On Stage By No Small Miracle." It was 2009, and scarcely a year earlier, the jazz pianist had suffered AIDS-related dementia and fallen into a coma for several months. Since recovering, Hersch has come roaring back to music, releasing a string of live albums to critical success.

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12:54pm

Fri July 18, 2014
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Carmen Lundy On Piano Jazz

Carmen Lundy.
Mark Hanauer Courtesy of the artist

Carmen Lundy's contralto voice perfectly conveys the soul and depth of her compositions. She joined Piano Jazz host Marian McPartland in 1999 to perform Mary Lou's Mass by Mary Lou Williams at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

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11:54am

Fri July 18, 2014
The Fresh Air Interview

'Live In The Present': Charlie Haden Remembered

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 3:22 pm

Charlie Haden plays upright bass with Keith Jarrett's band in New York City, 1975.
Jack Vartoogian Getty Images

4:58pm

Tue July 15, 2014
Music Reviews

A Sax Trio Taps Tradition While Thriving In The Present

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 7:23 pm

Melissa Aldana and Crash Trio released its self-titled debut album in June.
Courtesy of the artist

Melissa Aldana, who became the first female instrumentalist and first South American musician to win the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition last fall, is not the average talent-contest winner.

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5:23am

Sun July 13, 2014
Music Interviews

The New Thing In Jazz, Revisited

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 11:47 am

New Orleans pianist Henry Butler (left) and arranger and trumpeter Steven Bernstein will release their collaborative record, Viper's Drag, in the U.S. on July 15.
Courtesy of the artist

Impulse Records is the legendary label that proudly delivered the "new thing" in jazz in the 1960s: avant-garde records from the likes of John Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders. It also helped jazz cross over to a larger audience; quite a few flower children bought Impulse albums.

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5:59pm

Fri July 11, 2014
A Blog Supreme

Remembering Jazz Legend Charlie Haden, Who Crafted His Voice In Bass

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 9:39 pm

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