Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 2:41 pm
If you're one of the few viewers still confused about what Treme is saying about art, do note this episode's "play-within-a-play" staging of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot. The existentialist play revolves around two characters, Vladimir (nicknamed Didi) and Estragon (called Gogo), who wait interminably for a mysterious "Godot" by a desolate country road. It's clearly meant to parallel New Orleans residents' wait for essential social services, complete with the barren backdrop of the city post-Katrina.
The Either/Orchestra at the New School in New York City from left to right: Charlie Kohlhase, Hailey Niswanger, Russ Gershon, saxophones; Joel Yennior, trombone; Tom Halter and Dan Rosenthal, trumpets; Gilson Schachnik, piano; Rick McLaughlin, bass; Pablo Bencid, drums; Vicente Lebron, percussion.
Credit David Tallacksen / WBGO
One of the newest Either/Orchestra members is Hailey Niswanger on alto sax and flute.
Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 2:46 pm
A creative composer and his 10-piece band embed melodies from a golden musical age in the Horn of Africa into Western harmony, and an Afro-Caribbean breeze blows through it, as Russ Gershon and the Either/Orchestra present The Collected Unconscious in Tishman Auditorium at the New School in New York City, in Surround Sound on JazzSet.
Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 5:18 pm
We've reached episode three of Treme's third season and things are starting to get interesting. Through the Everett, Lt. Colson, Toni Bernette and Nelson storylines, we begin to see how deep police and government corruption runs in New Orleans. Davis is funding his next scheme; Janette is funding her next restaurant; Annie is funding her next musical adventure. The possible endgame for Chief Lambreaux (and by extension, his son) draws near. And a lot of dudes get laid.
Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 4:58 pm
Born in Tel Aviv, Anat Cohen came to New York two decades ago to study the masters of jazz. In so doing, the clarinetist and saxophonist started a bit of a stampede: Today, Israel is exporting some of the most vital jazz out there.
Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 5:05 pm
Django Reinhardt has achieved an almost godlike status among those who love jazz guitar. When he and violinist Stephane Grappelli formed the Quintet of the Hot Club of France in 1934, they created a new sound in jazz: The guitar and violin served as the lead instrumental voices, propelled by two hard-swinging rhythm guitars and a bass.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 1:52 pm
Happy long weekend.
Whither smooth jazz? Though straight-ahead and experimental fans might assume their, uh, less bumpy cousin is weathering the storm, the loss of many radio stations is affecting the field a lot. David Adler talks to many musicians and industry insiders for JazzTimes. That includes Kenny G, who is identified on subsequent reference as "G," in a sidebar.
Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 3:01 pm
From their spirited night of Chick Corea music alone, it's clear how Renee Rosnes and Bill Charlap love to play amongst horns and a rhythm section. Yet when they face each other at two pianos, with a wink and a nod, they do it all themselves.
Now on JazzSet, it's Rosnes on the left, Charlap on the right and — in Charlap's words — "a unique sound that is the sum of both of us."
Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 4:37 pm
Pianist Cyrus Chestnut took his time making a name for himself on the jazz scene: For a decade starting in the mid-1980s, he apprenticed as pianist for Jon Hendricks, Betty Carter, Donald Harrison and Wynton Marsalis. But since then, he's toured the world and recorded 15 albums as a bandleader.
In this performance and interview, Cyrus describes his gospel roots and his discovery of jazz, and discusses how he approaches interpreting other composers' music.
For all the plot development in the series' infancy, last Sunday's episode of Treme was unusually saturated in live performances. The second half of the episode, especially, seemed like one concert after another. Here with me to recap the musical goings-on is WBGO's Josh Jackson.