Latest Jazz from NPR Music

A Blog Supreme
6:36 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

75 Years Of Charles Lloyd, Jazz's Spirit Warrior

Charles Lloyd performs with pianist Jason Moran in Munich in early 2013.
Dorothy Darr ECM Records

If you ask saxophonist Charles Lloyd about his career in music, he'd start many decades ago, in the Memphis where he grew up and the Mississippi of his grandfather's farm. The South is where he absorbed the blues, picked up a saxophone and met the all-time great musicians who would shape his future course.

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Music News
5:39 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

The 'Singing Sound' Of Saxophonist Charles Lloyd

Charles Lloyd, 75, continues to tour widely.
Dorothy Darr ECM Records

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 8:31 pm

Charles Lloyd has a way of talking that sounds a lot like the notes from his saxophone: full of youthful energy, yet packed with experiences reserved for grownups.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
5:19 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Linda Ronstadt On Piano Jazz

Linda Ronstadt at the 19th Annual Bridge School Benefit in 2005.
Tim Mosenfelder Getty Images

On this episode, Piano Jazz presents a special session with legendary vocalist Linda Ronstadt and pianist-arranger Alan Broadbent, recorded live at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Mass.

Ronstadt was born July 15, 1946, outside Tuscon, Arizona. She recalls that her family was always singing and playing music together, though none were professional musicians.

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Song Travels
4:13 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Catherine Russell On 'Song Travels'

Catherine Russell.
Stefan Falke Courtesy of the artist.

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 4:18 pm

As a child, singer Catherine Russell bounced on the knee of Louis Armstrong. Her father, Luis Russell, held the position of musical director for Armstrong, and her mother, Carline Ray, was trained at Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music. It was only natural that Russell would choose a musical path for her own life.

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Music Interviews
5:39 am
Sun March 10, 2013

Hiromi: Finding Music In The Daily Din

Hiromi's latest album is called Move.
Sakiko Nomura Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 11:20 am

Japanese pianist Hiromi approached the making of her latest album with a love for all kinds of sound, no matter how quotidian.

"Even a car honk, I love it," Hiromi says. "Sometimes, when you are at the crossing point of the street, you hear different car honks at the same time and you hear amazing chords."

She says there's one particular sound from daily life that she could never warm up to, however, even though she depends on it to wake up: the chime of an alarm clock.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
11:46 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Stacy Rowles On Piano Jazz

Stacy Rowles on the cover of Tell It Like It Is.
Courtesy of the artist

Stacy Rowles once wrote a note to her father, pianist and composer Jimmy Rowles, stating: "Dear Dad, if you buy me a flugelhorn, I'll play the [expletive] out of it." Indeed she did, and she picked up singing, as well. A longtime mainstay on the Los Angeles jazz scene, Rowles worked with the all-female quintet the Jazzbirds, led by the late multi-instrumentalist Betty O'Hara, as well as the Jazz Tap Ensemble and the DIVA Big Band.

Recently, host Marian McPartland remembered this 2001 session with Rowles.

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The Checkout: Live
5:57 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Walter Smith III: Live At Berklee

Walter Smith III performs at Boston's Cafe 939 for a special version of WBGO's The Checkout Live.
Michael Borgida for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 9:38 pm

If you've put an ear to some of the most talked-about jazz bands of the last few years, you've likely heard saxophonist Walter Smith III.

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
12:10 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Gregory Porter On JazzSet

Gregory Porter (center) performs with saxophonist Yohsuke Satoh at the annual Strings of Autumn International Music Festival in Prague.
Petra Hajska Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 2:15 pm

Gregory Porter's new album, Liquid Spirit, is out this week from Blue Note. Porter is making his career in a time-tested way. With two Grammy-nominated albums from a small label named Motema Music and a lot of touring — international touring — now he's gotten himself signed to a major labor.

On this JazzSet, Porter's singing at the annual Strings of Autumn International Music Festival in Prague. The Czech audience loves him! Applause between songs is running a minute or more.

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A Blog Supreme
2:59 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Time Is On Their Side: Ageless Jazz Drumming

"Killer" Ray Appleton, a veteran drummer with the wisdom of experience and ageless swing.
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist

I've been listening to two very good new albums led by drummers. After learning that both men are in their early 70s, I can't help but wonder how I process that fact in what I hear.

"Killer" Ray Appleton (b. 1941) and Barry Altschul (b. 1943) practice different styles. But they both came of musical age in the hard-bop era, spent many years living in Europe and eventually returned to New York. In other words, they've each got a lot of experience.

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World Cafe
3:35 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Next: Jesse Dee

Jesse Dee.
Michael D. Spencer Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 10:46 pm

Boston-based R&B singer-songwriter Jesse Dee has opened for concerts by soul legends Etta James and Al Green, among others. Released last month, his debut album On My Mind, In My Heart is an energetic collection of funky, feel-good grooves.

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