Latest Jazz from NPR Music

The Record
5:57 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Albert Murray, Writer And Co-Founder Of Jazz At Lincoln Center, Dies

Writer, historian and critic Albert Murray in New York City in 2000.
Chris Felver Getty Images

Albert Murray, the influential writer and critic who helped found Jazz at Lincoln Center, died Sunday at home in Harlem. He was 97 years old. Duke Ellington once described him as the "unsquarest person I know."

For Murray, jazz and blues were more than just musical forms. They were a survival technique — an improvisatory response to hardship and uncertainty, as he told NPR in 1997: "You don't know how many bars you have, but however many of them you can make swing, the better off you are. That's about it."

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A Blog Supreme
5:16 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Jazz Piano Giant Cedar Walton Dies At 79

Cedar Walton in 2008.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 12:48 am

Cedar Walton, one of the top jazz pianists to emerge in the aftermath of bebop, died Monday morning at his home in Brooklyn, N.Y., according to his wife, Martha. Walton was 79.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
3:44 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Lee Konitz On Piano Jazz

Lee Konitz.
Bob Travis Courtesy of the artist

On this episode of Piano Jazz, alto saxophonist Lee Konitz stops by to present a master class in improvisation on the standards. Konitz and host Marian McPartland get together for a set that includes "Stella By Starlight," "Body & Soul" and "All the Things You Are."

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
4:13 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Sean Jones, Jeff 'Tain' Watts On JazzSet

Sean Jones performs at the Detroit Jazz Festival.
Jeff Forman

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 3:30 pm

Ohio-born trumpeter Sean Jones played lead for approximately five years with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis was a member of Sean's section. When was asked what he learned from Marsalis, Jones answered in two words: "work ethic."

Now 35-year-old Sean Jones is touring with the Marcus Miller group, an Associate Professor at Duquesne University and Oberlin Conservatory, Interim Artistic Director for the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, and leading his group in Detroit with music from his album No Need for Words.

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Live At The Village Vanguard
1:21 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Jimmy Cobb: Live At The Village Vanguard

Jimmy Cobb.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 10:44 am

The drummer Jimmy Cobb is 84 — which, even if you didn't know his name, would signal that he's been around the jazz scene for a while. But he's been more than around: He was the drummer when Miles Davis recorded his late-'50s and early-'60s masterpieces, and then toured with Sarah Vaughan for nearly a decade. He's freelanced with just about every great of his generation.

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A Blog Supreme
8:03 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Woody Shaw: The Last Great Trumpet Innovator

Woody Shaw made his first recordings 50 years ago at age 18.
Tom Copi San Francisco

Woody Shaw, who made his first recordings 50 years ago this summer, might be the jazz trumpet's least appreciated giant. Not among musicians, mind you; they recognize his genius whether they're horn players or not. Yet even hardcore fans often know Shaw's name more than his music.

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Newport Jazz Festival
12:26 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Marcus Miller, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2013

Marcus Miller performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 12:47 pm

Few musicians today are as versatile as Marcus Miller: bassist, keyboardist, bass clarinetist, film composer, producer and more. He does jazz, rock, jazz-rock, pop, R&B, smooth jazz — anything that black musicians have invented in the last half-century. He was in Miles Davis' last band, and the ethos of that music tends to carry over into his own. His band closed out day one on the main Fort stage.

Set List

All compositions by Marcus Miller.

  • "Detroit"
  • "Redemption"
  • "Revelation"
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Newport Jazz Festival
5:46 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Donny McCaslin Group, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2013

The Donny McCaslin Group performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival.
Adam Kissick NPR

Should you ever meet Donny McCaslin, you'll encounter an imposingly tall fellow who's one of the nicest guys you'll shake hands with — and who wields a sax like few others. His band has gone electro-funk with fuzz-dub bass, analog synths and hard grooves. One of his newer tunes is called "Stadium Jazz," which is a little tongue-in-cheek and with a little bit of the grand vision implied. They played a side stage in the morning. The audience didn't know what hit 'em.

Personnel

  • Donny McCaslin, tenor saxophone
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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
12:22 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Jimmy Heath On Piano Jazz

Jimmy Heath.
Lonnie Timmons III Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 8:20 am

Saxophonist, composer and NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath is the middle child of an illustrious jazz family, the Heath Brothers. A bebop player and big-band leader, Heath also performed with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane.

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A Blog Supreme
4:20 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Derrick Hodge: Finding Music In Unexpected Moments

Many musicians discover their love for music through church, but Derrick Hodge found church through music. His debut solo album, Live Today, comes out August 6.
Chris Baldwin Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 12:45 pm

There are some weird sounds in jazz musician Derrick Hodge's song "Table Jawn." It was recorded at the breakfast table, during an argument Hodge was having with some bandmates.

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