Latest Jazz from NPR Music

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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A Blog Supreme
4:55 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Remembering Donald Byrd, Jazz Trumpeter Who Spanned Generations

Donald Byrd onstage, in an image circulated by his record label at the time, Blue Note Records.
Echoes/Redferns Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 11:23 am

The trumpeter and educator Donald Byrd, a top jazz practitioner in the '50s and '60s whose later work shaped black pop music through multiple generations, died Feb. 4 in Dover, Del. Haley Funeral Directors near Detroit confirmed the news, which was first circulated online last week. He was 80.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
1:30 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Randy Weston On Piano Jazz

Pianist Randy Weston recently returned to Piano Jazz for a new session with host Marian McPartland. Weston got his start playing with Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson and Kenny Dorham in the late 1940s and '50s, and won New Star Pianist in the 1955 Downbeat poll. By the end of that decade, Weston was inspired by the burgeoning civil rights movement in the U.S. and the independence movement among African nations.

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A Blog Supreme
4:12 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Why J Dilla May Be Jazz's Latest Great Innovator

J Dilla in the studio of fellow producer Madlib.
Roger Erickson Courtesy of the artist

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
2:52 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Jason Moran's 'Live: Time On The Quilts Of Gee's Bend' Suite On JazzSet

Jason Moran (left), Alicia Hall Moran (center), The Bandwagon and Bill Frisell (right) perform at the KC Jazz Club.
Scott Suchman Courtesy of the Kennedy Center

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 10:00 am

The Philadelphia Museum of Art recently commissioned Jason Moran to write music in conjunction with its exhibition of quilts made by a remarkable group of African-American women in a small rural community on a bend in the Alabama River.

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Take a Look!
11:49 am
Thu February 7, 2013

50 Great Jazz Vocals: The Mix

Billie Holiday topped Jazz24's list of the greatest jazz vocal songs with "Strange Fruit."
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 1:38 pm

This audio is no longer available.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
10:55 am
Wed February 6, 2013

When Your Grandfather Is The Greatest Living Jazz Drummer

Marcus Gilmore (left) and Roy Haynes perform together in Washington, D.C., in 2009. Haynes' daughter is Gilmore's mother.
Theo Wargo Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 3:44 pm

The drummer Marcus Gilmore is coming off a major year in his career. In 2012, DownBeat magazine named him its top Rising Star Drummer in its long-running Critics Poll; pianist Vijay Iyer's trio, of which Gilmore is a member, also took the Jazz Album and Jazz Group of the Year categories.

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Music Interviews
4:49 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

Wayne Shorter On Jazz: 'How Do You Rehearse The Unknown?'

Wayne Shorter turns 80 this year. His newest album is called Without a Net.
Robert Ascroft Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 6:41 pm

The New York Times doesn't mince words when it writes, "Wayne Shorter is generally acknowledged to be jazz's greatest living composer."

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NPR Story
12:57 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Bill Frisell On Piano Jazz

Bill Frisell.
Michael Wilson Courtesy of the artist

Guitarist and composer Bill Frisell brings his sparkling, atmospheric sound to this episode of Piano Jazz with host Marian McPartland, in a session that originally aired in October 2007.

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
2:08 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Lionel Loueke Trio On JazzSet

Lionel Loueke.
Brantley Gutierrez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 10:03 am

Lionel Loueke was born in Benin, West Africa, in 1973. As a youngster, he sang and played percussion, but didn't really take up the guitar until the age of 17. Loueke was so gifted on the instrument that he was sent to study music at the Ivory Coast's Institute of Art. He continued on to the American School of Modern Music in Paris, where he turned heads, and in 1999 came to America on scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

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