Latest Jazz from NPR Music

WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:39 am
Sun March 31, 2013

Bridging Arabic And Western Music With An Unusual Instrument

Classically trained Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf plays a four-valved trumpet, an innovation he credits to his famous father.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 31, 2013 3:25 pm

Ibrahim Maalouf plays a four-valve trumpet — most just have three. The extra valve, attached to the button a trumpeter pushes down, allows the Lebanese musician to play quarter-tones — the notes between notes that characterize Arabic "makams."

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A Blog Supreme
2:00 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

The Women In Charge Of The Band

Mary Lou Williams performs at the Cafe Society in New York in 1947.
William Gottlieb The Library of Congress

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 2:54 pm

The narrative of jazz history often credits the music as a powerful, progressive force for racial integration in American culture. But what about gender equality? On that score, jazz in its first few decades would have to be given a less than stellar grade.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
12:04 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Shirley Scott On Piano Jazz

Shirley Scott
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 4:21 pm

In this Piano Jazz episode recorded in 1992, we remember the remarkable talents of Shirley Scott, the "Queen of the Organ," as she solos on "Skylark" and joins host Marian McPartland for a piano duet of "In a Mellow Tone."

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
2:03 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

They Drive At 55: The Monterey Jazz Anniversary Tour

Christian McBride in rehearsal at the Kennedy Center.
Jeffrey Kliman Courtesy of the Kennedy Center.

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:20 pm

In September 2012, the Monterey Jazz Festival celebrated 55 years. The late Dave Brubeck was among the founders of the Monterey Jazz Festival. Dizzy Gillespie made many an appearance. Charles Mingus and Charles Lloyd recorded landmark albums.

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Live At The Village Vanguard
6:39 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Tom Harrell's 'Colors Of A Dream': Live At The Village Vanguard

Tom Harrell at the Village Vanguard.
John Rogers for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 9:42 am

At 66, the jazz trumpeter Tom Harrell is as busy as ever: His current band has released five excellent albums since 2007 alone. (It performed for this concert series in 2009.) He's so prolific that he's been writing and arranging music for other ensembles all the while. Last year, Harrell presented a nine-piece chamber jazz ensemble, and he's been at work on a new, piano-less project.

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Song Travels
4:41 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Matt Munisteri On 'Song Travels'

Matt Munisteri.
Courtesy of the artist

Matt Munisteri is a guitarist, vocalist and composer with an ear for a bygone era. A masterful and mainly self-trained musician in high demand, he has arranged for and performed with artists including Mark O'Connor, Julian Lage, Catherine Russell and Diana Krall.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
1:12 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Diana Krall On Piano Jazz

Diana Krall.
Jane Shirek Courtesy of the artist

Canadian pianist, singer and songwriter Diana Krall grew up in a town called Nanaimo on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Both her father (who collected jazz records and played a bit of stride piano) and her mother (also a pianist) encouraged her interest in jazz and exposed her to all of the great players. She began studying the piano at age 4 and had several small jazz groups while in high school.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
12:58 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Diana Krall On Piano Jazz

Diana Krall.
Bruce Weber Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 1:02 pm

Canadian pianist, singer and songwriter Diana Krall grew up in a town called Nanaimo on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Both her father (who collected jazz records and played a bit of stride piano) and her mother (also a pianist) encouraged her interest in jazz and exposed her to all of the great players. She began studying the piano at age 4 and had several small jazz groups while in high school.

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
2:26 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Chris Lightcap's 'Lost And Found New York' On JazzSet

Chris Lightcap performs at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center.
R.R. Jones Courtesy of the Kuumbwa Jazz Center

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:23 pm

When Chris Lightcap was a student in the Berkshires, he'd put his bass in his car and drive down the river to New York City, south on the Taconic to the Sawmill, over the Henry Hudson Bridge, up on a soaring bluff with a great view to the right of the New Jersey Palisades and George Washington Bridge and New York City coming up on the left. Right about there, Lightcap would ask himself, "What would it be like to live here?"

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The Checkout: Live
2:22 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Rosetta Trio: Live From 92Y Tribeca

Stephan Crump performs at the 92Y Tribeca.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:39 am

Stephan Crump's low-end theory will be familiar to fans of the world-renowned Vijay Iyer Trio, where Crump has discharged bass responsibilities for many years. Apart from his globetrotting and other sideman duties, he's also a composer, both for film and for his own bands. Of late, his best-known project has been the Rosetta Trio, featuring the dueling timbres of an electric guitarist and an acoustic foil.

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