Sun December 1, 2013
Music Interviews

Ben Allison: Leading A Stellar Band Far Beyond The World

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 7:55 pm

The Stars Look Very Different Today, the new album from bassist and composer Ben Allison (far right) and his band, comes out Dec. 3.
Courtesy of the artist

Most music fans will recognize the title of Ben Allison's new album, The Stars Look Very Different Today, as a reference to the song "Space Oddity," itself a reference to the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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Sun December 1, 2013
Music Interviews

Bringing Jazz On Walkabout: Jon Batiste And Stay Human

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 2:25 pm

Jon Batiste (second from left) and the Stay Human band.
Peter Lueders Courtesy of the artist

Pianist Jonathan Batiste was born and raised in New Orleans as part of the Batiste jazz family dynasty there. He was playing with the family band by age 8. Eventually he took his talents to Julliard, and that's where he met the rest of Stay Human: Joe Saylor on the drums, Ibanda Ruhumbika on tuba and Eddie Barbash on alto sax.

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Thu November 28, 2013
JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Jason Moran On JazzSet

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 1:27 pm

Jason Moran and The Bandwagon perform in the KC Jazz Club.
Jati Lindsay Courtesy of the Kennedy Center

He's not 40 yet, but Jason Moran is a 2010 MacArthur Fellow, the Artistic Advisor for Jazz at the Kennedy Center, and a Resident Artistic Director at SFJAZZ in San Francisco. He grew up in Houston, teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music and lives in New York, home to an early 20th century piano tradition of which he is more than aware. Moran has led this trio, The Bandwagon, for more than a dozen years.

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Tue November 26, 2013
A Blog Supreme

Drummer Chico Hamilton, West Coast Jazz Pioneer, Dies

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 7:17 pm

Chico Hamilton.
Todd Boebel Courtesy of the artist


Fri November 22, 2013
Music Interviews

Esperanza Spalding: Guantanamo Doesn't Represent 'Our America'

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 3:24 pm

Grammy Award-winner Esperanza Spalding in her video 'We Are America."

Grammy Award-winning musician Esperanza Spalding has a problem with using the phrase "protest song" to describe her new recording, "We Are America." The song, along with its accompanying music video, demands congressional action to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.

" 'Protest' doesn't seem accurate to me," she tells NPR's Celeste Headlee. "We weren't thinking of a 'protest' song, we're thinking of a 'let's get together and do something pro-active, creative and productive' song."

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Fri November 22, 2013
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Kenny Werner On Piano Jazz

Kenny Werner.
Richard Conde

Pianist, composer and author Kenny Werner is known for his 1996 book Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within, which has become a university textbook for improvising musicians and other artists. His album of original compositions, No Beginning No End -- a meditation on loss, death and renewal — was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in 2010.

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Sun November 17, 2013
Music Interviews

A Young Brit Takes On The American Songbook

Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 11:24 am

Anthony Strong.
Thibault Stipal Courtesy of the artist


Sat November 16, 2013
Music Interviews

'Something That Is Very Real For Me': Ted Nash Completes His 'Chakra'

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 5:29 pm

Ted Nash's new album, Chakra, is out now.
Courtesy of the artist

Working as a jazz musician in the 21st century is difficult enough, but hardly anybody tries to make a go of it with a big band anymore. Yet that's exactly what Ted Nash does on his latest album, Chakra.

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Fri November 15, 2013
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Robert Glasper On Piano Jazz

Robert Glasper.
Erich Schlegel The Washington Post/Getty Images

Born and raised in Houston, pianist Robert Glasper literally grew up in jazz clubs. His mother performed with a jazz band, and she preferred to bring her young son with her, rather than leave him with a sitter. Glasper and his mother were also active in music at their church — his mother sang and played piano, and by age 12, her son had assumed some of the piano duties.

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Thu November 14, 2013
JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Amir ElSaffar And Two Rivers On JazzSet

Two Rivers achieves long meters at breakneck speeds, even in non-Western modes and odd.
Adam Kissick for NPR

"I feel as though there's almost two streams going through my veins, two bloodstreams," says trumpeter and composer Amir ElSaffar, leader of Two Rivers. "A lot of my life has been about reconciling the two."

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