Jazz

Kendrick Scott opened his first set on Tuesday night, at the Jazz Standard in New York City, with a pensive new composition titled "Home." It had a bittersweet melody, a waft of dark harmony, and a beat defined both by chop and flow. "I'm just going to send this out as a meditation for everybody in Houston, Texas right now," said Scott, a drummer, as he introduced the tune.

WRTI's 2017 Labor Day Weekend Jazz Countdown!

Aug 29, 2017

It's a must-listen event! The top 100 jazz songs that you voted for, broadcast throughout the holiday weekend. Listen starting on Friday, September 1st from 6 to 10 pm, then Saturday from 6 to 9 pm, Sunday from 9 pm to midnight, and Monday starting at 6 pm, and ending when the #1 song is played.

The List:

Jazz giant John Coltrane was born and raised in North Carolina, died in New York, and in between he spent 15 years in Philadelphia. WRTI’s Susan Lewis looks at the role the city played in the career of this master sax player and composer, who would have turned 91 on September 23rd.

Vijay Iyer is an acclaimed jazz pianist, MacArthur winner and Harvard professor of music. His new album, recorded with a six-person band, is called Far From Over. With the band, he says, he wanted to write with "different dance rhythms and dance impulses" in mind; the record also reflects Iyer's belief that jazz is "a category that keeps shifting."

At 46, Ben Jaffe is almost exactly the same age as Jazz Fest. Like a lot of New Orleans natives, he has memories of the annual event stretching back to childhood, though his experience is a little more rarefied than most. "That's where I got to sit on Fats Domino's lap and then hear him play," he says. It's where I heard Allen Toussaint play for the first time as a child.

What are some exciting events that have happened in the month of August? In 1620, the Mayflower set sail from Southampton, England with 102 Pilgrims. In 1866, President Andrew Johnson declared the U.S. Civil War over, and in 1896, gold was first discovered in the Klondike. And in jazz history? Three of the most renowned pianists were born.

When WRTI Jazz Host Bob Perkins talks about one of his all-time favorite pianists, what does he call him?  The Wonderful Wizard of OZcar!  One of the great jazz pianists of all time, master of the keyboard Oscar Peterson, said he was intimidated by jazz pianist Art Tatum and admired Nat King Cole. But "O.P.," as his friends called him, was a magician who followed his own muse.


As we celebrate the legacy of jazz pianist Bill Evans, you might be surprised to know that some cool cats named Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, and especially—Johann Sebastian Bach—helped shape his sound.

Vote For Your Favorite Jazz Song Today!

Aug 8, 2017

Who sung it? Who swung it? Who brung it? We want to know. Vote for your #1 favorite jazz song here.  We're counting down our listener-selected top 100 jazz songs starting on Friday, September 1st at 6 pm. The fun continues through Monday, September 4th. Please vote below.  WRTI's 2017 Labor Day Weekend Jazz Countdown is a must-listen event. Tune in! And thank you so much for your participation. Voting ends on August 28th.

There's an emblematic photograph of Herbie Hancock on the back cover of his album Sunlight, which he began recording 40 years ago this month. He's depicted against a red backdrop with a Sennheiser vocoder headset on his cranium, which is bowed in deep focus.

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