Latest Jazz from NPR Music

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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The Fresh Air Interview
11:06 am
Tue September 3, 2013

At 60, 'Challenges Are Opportunities' For John Zorn

John Zorn's latest album is Dreamachines, which is inspired by Brion Gysin and William Burroughs' cut-up techniques.
Scott Irvine Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 1:25 pm

At 60, New York City-based composer John Zorn is wiser, sure, but no less prolific, thoughtful and antagonistic than before. His oeuvre is fantastically wide, from cutthroat jazz improvisation and pummeling noise-rock to gorgeous chamber music and, believe it or not, a genuine Christmas album.

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A Blog Supreme
3:37 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Jazz With A Jamaican Accent

Monty Alexander (left) and Ernest Ranglin are known for their fluency in both jazz and Jamaican popular music.
Peter Dean Rickards Courtesy of the artist

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
1:38 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Dave Douglas On Piano Jazz

Dave Douglas.
Austin Nelson Courtesy of the artist

Composer, trumpeter and improviser Dave Douglas has a style that transcends the boundaries of traditional jazz. This approach has led to albums of experimental music both on his own and as a member of John Zorn's band Masada.

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A Blog Supreme
8:03 am
Thu August 29, 2013

How One Singer Made Four Debut Albums

Sathima Bea Benjamin in 1974.
Ian Bruce Huntley Courtesy of Matsuli Music

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 8:31 am

About a month before she died last week at age 76, Sathima Bea Benjamin finally properly celebrated her debut album. That's a bit of a complicated claim, of course, because depending on how you count, the South African vocalist either made her debut album in 1959, 1963, 1976 or 1979.

In 1959, as Beatty Benjamin, she recorded the LP My Songs for You. It was produced by the pianist Dollar Brand, who was later known as Abdullah Ibrahim; he was also her boyfriend and later became her husband. However, it was never released.

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