Latest Jazz from NPR Music

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
2:34 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Dee Dee Bridgewater On Piano Jazz

Dee Dee Bridgewater.
Courtesy of the artist

On this episode of Piano Jazz, host Marian McPartland welcomes vocalist and JazzSet host Dee Dee Bridgewater for a first-rate set of tunes by Duke Ellington, Kurt Weill, Antonion Carlos Jobim, the

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A Blog Supreme
4:15 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

History As Symphony: The African-American Experience In Jazz Suites

Duke Ellington's compositions present a timeless contribution to American music's legacy.
Victor Drees//Evening Standard Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 5:47 pm

The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s inspired several black artists to explore their African heritage and the black experience in America, from enslavement to life after emancipation and migration to cities in the north. In the musical world, pianist James P. Johnson composed Yamekraw: A Negro Rhapsody, a 12-minute portrait of a black community in Savannah, Ga. Yamekraw was orchestrated for a 1928 performance at Carnegie Hall by black composer William Grant Still, who would write his own Afro American Symphony in 1930.

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Favorite Sessions
8:03 am
Wed February 20, 2013

KCRW Presents: Jose James

Jose James performs before a live audience for KCRW.
KCRW

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 2:16 pm

Watching Jose James perform live was one of the most remarkable experiences we've had at our intimate in-studio sessions.

The soulful jazz singer blends his powerful vocals with hip-hop beats, smooth R&B choruses and an equally talented backing band. You'll never hear James' songs the same way again after hearing them live.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
2:59 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

George Duke On Piano Jazz

George Duke.
Courtesy of the artist

On this episode of Piano Jazz, multifaceted keyboardist George Duke joins host Marian McPartland for a session recorded in 1994.

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The Checkout: Live
2:02 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Orrin Evans: Live From 92Y Tribeca

Pianist Orrin Evans performs at 92Y Tribeca as part of WBGO's The Checkout Live concert series.
John Rogers johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 11:12 am

The pianist Orrin Evans splits much of his time between Philadelphia, where he grew up, and New York, a much larger jazz scene where he gigs often. A hard-charging player, seasoned with the harmonic touch of fellow Philadelphian McCoy Tyner, Evans is in high demand in a lot of places. Last year saw him release his 19th album as a bandleader or co-leader, Flip the Script. It's a trio recording, a format which both intimidates and excites him; here, he takes up the three-man challenge anew.

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A Blog Supreme
4:02 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Survey The Portland Jazz Scene With Five Great Tunes

Pianist Darrell Grant is one of the anchors of the Portland jazz community.
Hiroshi Iwaya Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 12:19 pm

No matter what a certain television series tells you, Portland, Ore., isn't all that weird. Sure, we make great coffee, ride bicycles, eat organic food — and, yes, there are a lot of hippies and hipsters here. But Portland is much more than that.

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
12:53 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Bill Frisell On JazzSet

Bill Frisell plays John Lennon songs on the Fort Stage at the Newport Jazz Festival.
Erik Jacobs for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 4:09 pm

On a video promoting Bill Frisell's album All We Are Saying, the guitarist shares the depth of his connection to John Lennon's music: "I don't know if I'd be playing guitar if it weren't for The Beatles." Frisell tells the story of how, several tours ago, a European presenter asked Frisell's band to play a Lennon set.

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Music Interviews
5:23 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Bryan Ferry: A Forward-Looking Musician Turns To The Past

The Bryan Ferry Orchestra's new album is titled The Jazz Age.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 3:05 am

Throughout his career, English musician Bryan Ferry has been one of popular music's most forward-looking performers. His band Roxy Music remodeled rock into an artsy, cosmopolitan sound in the early '70s and spearheaded the New Romantic style of the '80s.

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World Cafe
2:49 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Billy Cobham On World Cafe

Billy Cobham.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 10:51 am

From his 1970s breakthrough as a founding member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra to his influential role as a leading drummer in the style of jazz and jazz-fusion, Billy Cobham remains a powerful musical explorer. Born in Panama, raised in New York and residing in Switzerland, he translates his multicultural experience into a blend of jazz, rock and funk.

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Music Reviews
2:38 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Rudresh Mahanthappa: Bicultural Jazz, Ever Shifting

Rudresh Mahanthappa.
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 4:47 pm

Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa's quartet can sound like it's cross-pollinating Indian classical music and vintage Captain Beefheart. That befits a bicultural saxophonist who grew up in Boulder, where his Hindu family had a Christmas tree. For a long time, Mahanthappa resisted combining jazz and Indian music — it was almost too obvious a trajectory. But then he got serious about it.

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