Latest Jazz from NPR Music

JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
2:42 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio On JazzSet

Dr. Lonnie Smith.
Benedict Smith Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 1:58 pm

Hammond B3 organ master Dr. Lonnie Smith recently led his trio through a soulful set before a sold-out house at the Kennedy Center Jazz Club in Washington, D.C. The good doctor turns 70 this year, and he's still a leader and innovator on his instrument. He's also gaining a whole new audience, as young musicians and producers sample his deep, relentless grooves.

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Toast Of The Nation
6:28 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Clark Terry Quintet: Live In Chicago

Clark Terry.
Courtesy of the artist

In 2013, the Jazz Showcase in Chicago, founded and still run by Joe Segal, celebrates 65 years of presenting jazz. The venue has hosted NPR recordings several times, including Toast of the Nation 1989. That's when trumpeter Clark Terry brought a quintet into the club, featuring his long-time friend Red Holloway on saxophone. Now 92, Terry — who played in the bands of both Count Basie and Duke Ellington — is universally recognized as a living legend. He and his band were in great spirits as 1989 turned to 1990.

Set List

  • "The Hymn" (Parker)
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Toast Of The Nation
6:20 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Dee Alexander's Funkin' With Electric Soul: Live In Chicago

Dee Alexander salutes Jimi Hendrix during her Funkin' With Electric Soul show.
Marc PoKempner

It started as a bongo beat — a nod to James Brown, just after his death in late 2006. Then came a few signature riffs. And an ecstatic response from the crowd. Before long, the Godfather of Soul was permanently embedded in the Evolution Ensemble's repertoire. For leader Dee Alexander, a powerful and versatile vocalist, it was all part of the same continuum — as was the music of Jimi Hendrix, whose music carried the same revolutionary weight.

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Toast Of The Nation
6:08 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band: Live At Monterey Jazz Festival

Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band in concert at the Monterey Jazz Festival.
Tomas Ovalle

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 5:03 pm

The composer/arranger Gordon Goodwin, leader of the Big Phat Band, says he had the opportunity to play the Monterey Jazz Festival some "three or two or four decades ago." In 2012, Goodwin, who plays keyboards and reeds, returned with his large jazz orchestra.

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Favorite Sessions
8:03 am
Sat December 29, 2012

KCRW Presents: Robert Glasper Experiment

KCRW

The Robert Glasper Experiment makes a unique mix of jazz, soul and R&B. It's impossible to classify as one particular genre, but as a sound, it's as eclectic and different as it is cohesive and round. Watch the group (with Robert Glasper on keys) perform "Lift Off" from Black Radio, released earlier this year.

Enjoy the full performance from KCRW here.

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Favorite Sessions
8:03 am
Tue December 25, 2012

The New Standards: A Supergroup Celebrates 'Snow Days'

The New Standards recently performed "Snow Days" for The Current in Minneapolis.
Steven Cohen The Current

A jazz trio and Minnesota music supergroup, The New Standards features singer and pianist Chan Poling of The Suburbs, singer and bassist John Munson of Semisonic and Trip Shakespeare, and vibraphonist Steve Roehm of Electropolis and Billy Goat. With a repertoire composed largely of holiday classics and unexpected covers of contemporary pop and rock favorites, the band has long been a must-see live, but it's also hit the studio a handful of times, releasing albums in 2005 and 2008.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
4:21 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Let It Snow: The Piano Jazz Holiday Show

Let it snow.
Keene and Chesire County Historical Photos via Flickr

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 9:00 am

Piano Jazz swings in the holiday season, as Marian McPartland and her guests from seasons past, present and future share favorite memories and unique musical performances of Christmas classics and original holiday tunes.

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Best Music Of 2012
4:12 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

The Black Arts: Making Jazz In The Mainstream

Robert Glasper at SXSW in March 2012.
Erich Schlegel The Washington Post/Getty Images

Had you been watching The Tonight Show with Jay Leno one Monday night last March, you might have seen pianist Robert Glasper leading his Experiment band from the NBC studios in Burbank, Calif. Had you preferred the Late Show with David Letterman, you might have seen bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding front a horn-heavy ensemble at the Ed Sullivan Theater in midtown Manhattan.

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
11:03 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Dave Brubeck Quartet On JazzSet

Dave Brubeck at Newport.
Wiqan Ang for NPR

At the opening of his 2009 Newport Jazz Festival appearance, Dave Brubeck said, "A few concerts ago, we were in Washington, D.C., and [it] was Duke Ellington Month. So every church, joint and street corner were doing Duke Ellington, and I said to myself, 'He was my mentor, he helped me get started. Why don't I do some Ellington?' [And I said to the guys], 'Follow me, and I'll think of tunes as we go along.'"

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Music Interviews
9:11 am
Sun December 16, 2012

Dave Douglas: Jazz Hymns Honor A Dying Wish

Dave Douglas' new album, Be Still, includes hymns he played at his mother's funeral service.
Austin Nelson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 12:16 pm

Dave Douglas has been an important player in the jazz world for more than two decades, producing a broad body of work as both a trumpet player and a composer. His newest album, Be Still, has a bittersweet backstory: It contains his arrangements of several hymns that his dying mother asked him to perform at her funeral service.

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