Latest Jazz from NPR Music

Music Reviews
11:41 am
Mon September 16, 2013

The Masters At His Fingertips, Art Hodes Pays Tribute To Bessie Smith

Art Hodes performs at the Ole South in New York City circa 1946.
William Gottlieb Library of Congress via Flickr

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 1:38 pm

Jazz pianist Art Hodes, born in Russia in 1904, grew up near Chicago. His recording career really took off in the 1940s in New York, where he also hosted a radio show and wrote for the magazine The Jazz Record. Later, he moved back to Chicago and the atmosphere that nurtured him.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
10:42 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Arturo O'Farrill: Tiny Desk Concert

The Arturo O'Farrill Octect performs a Tiny Desk Concert in June 2013.
Hayley Bartels Hayley Bartels/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:10 pm

Latin jazz works best when the musicians involved are as fluent in Afro-Cuban rhythms as they are in the deep grooves and advanced harmonics of bebop. Arturo O'Farrill has that pedigree in his DNA: His father, Chico O'Farrill, was part of a groundbreaking group of musicians who created the mash-up of Afro-Cuban music and jazz back in late-'40s New York.

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World Cafe
3:07 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Preservation Hall Jazz Band On World Cafe

Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Courtesy of brittanicadotcom

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 2:28 pm

New Orleans' Preservation Hall, the dirt-floor space off Bourbon Street, was founded in 1961 as a place for the elders of Crescent City jazz to play nightly. Today, World Cafe talks with Ben Jaffe; like his father Alan, who ran the space initially, Jaffe is a tuba player who guides the world-renowned band today.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
10:47 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Kate McGarry On Piano Jazz

Kate McGarry.
Matteo Trisolini

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 9:54 am

Singer-songwriter Kate McGarry has traveled many musical paths, from Celtic music to swing and various genres in between. That ecumenical outlook on music began early in her childhood. Growing up among nine brothers and sisters, she heard a variety of pop music (the Beatles, Earth Wind and Fire, etc.) but she also recalls family outings to hear live Celtic music groups performing at a local Irish pub.

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World Cafe
2:00 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

The Greyboy Allstars On World Cafe

The Greyboy Allstars.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 2:28 pm

Almost 20 years ago, the members of the Greyboy Allstars got together to play a record release party for DJ Greyboy and discovered a perfect fusion. Call it rare groove, acid jazz or Electric Boogaloo (as they named their 1995 debut album), guitarist Elgin Park, keyboardist Robert Walter, saxophonist Karl Denson and the rhythm section of Chris Stillwell and Aaron Redfield have a special sound. These Allstars still draw from '60s boogaloo on their new album, Inland Emperor.

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Music Interviews
5:44 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

'Singing Just To Me': Gregory Porter On Musical Inheritance

Gregory Porter's latest album is entitled Liquid Spirit.
Shawn Peters Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 2:14 pm

In his first semester playing football at San Diego State University, Gregory Porter severely injured his shoulder. Doctors told him his days on the field were over, but there was some good news: The school would let him keep his athletic scholarship. Suddenly without football, but with a lot of time on his hands, Porter searched for a new calling — and found it in his voice.

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Live At The Village Vanguard
10:16 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Dave King Trio: Live At The Village Vanguard

Dave King.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 12:54 pm

Perhaps you know Dave King as the drummer in The Bad Plus, or any number of avant-improv/indie-rock/Americana/electronic experimental bands rooted in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. But somewhere in that mix is a deep fondness for the jazz tradition, and recently, he made it a point to say so with a full-length album. I've Been Ringing You investigates standards, mostly slow and medium-tempo ballads, in rough-hewn textures.

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A Blog Supreme
9:03 am
Tue September 10, 2013

The Odd Jobs Of Dave King

Dave King.
Courtesy of the artist

Among musicians, drummers are the explorers, the tinkerers, the polymaths. They don't just play one instrument, but dozens at the very least.

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Music Reviews
12:20 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

When Duke Flirted With The Queen

Duke Ellington, looking dapper in 1958.
Evening Standard Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 9:35 am

In 1958, at an arts festival in Yorkshire, Duke Ellington was presented to Queen Elizabeth II. They tied up the reception line for a few minutes, exchanging royal pleasantries; our Duke politely flirted with Her Majesty. Soon afterward, maybe that very night, Ellington outlined the movements of The Queen's Suite. He recorded it with his orchestra the following year, sent it to Her Majesty, and declined to release it to the public in his lifetime. It's not clear whether Queen Elizabeth has listened to it.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
12:36 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Chuck Mangione On Piano Jazz

Chuck Mangione.
Courtesy of the artist

Flugelhorn player Chuck Mangione is widely known for the crossover success of his catchy mid-1970s tunes. But his jazz credentials are rock-solid: His mentor Dizzy Gillespie once recommended him for a spot in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Mangione and bassist Gary Mazzaroppi team up with host Marian McPartland for some dynamic trio work in a session from 1999, including his famous tune "Feels So Good" and a few beloved standards.

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