Latest Jazz from NPR Music

The Checkout: Live
3:01 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Jaleel Shaw Quartet: Live At Berklee

Jaleel Shaw.
Michael Borgida Berklee College of Music

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 12:26 pm

Alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw keeps good company. He tours with Roy Haynes, the living legend of jazz drums. He grew up in the Philadelphia music community, where new creative ferment in black pop music abutted multiple generations of jazz elders. He knows the music of Charles Mingus quite well from playing in the Mingus Big Band.

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Live At The Village Vanguard
2:17 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Chris Potter Quartet: Live At The Village Vanguard

Chris Potter (center) performs live at the Village Vanguard.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 1:32 pm

The history of jazz is often told as a sequence of epic heroes, legends whose careers proceed from one great accomplishment to another. Coincidentally, the saxophonist Chris Potter, bright-toned and gymnastically powerful, has been reading Homer lately. That's inspired his latest suite of compositions, a collection of tuneful numbers based on The Odyssey. The Sirens is geared largely around a quartet of widely admired musicians, not least of whom is Potter himself.

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Music News
5:36 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Remembering Butch Morris, The Man Who Conducted Improvisation

Butch Morris leads a conduction at the 2007 Skopje Jazz Festival in Macedonia.
Samir Ljuma for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 6:18 pm

The jazz musician Butch Morris was beloved by his fellow musicians and acclaimed by critics and fans for his ability to conduct improvisation. While that may sound like a contradiction, Morris pulled it off — with jazz musicians and symphony orchestras around the world.

A resident of New York City, he died yesterday in a Brooklyn hospital of cancer. He was 65 years old.

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Live At The Village Vanguard
10:18 am
Wed January 30, 2013

David Virelles Continuum: Live At The Village Vanguard

David Virelles.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 10:05 am

David Virelles moved to New York in 2009 — and, following in a long line of Cuban-born pianists before him, quickly found himself in several bands led by elite jazz musicians. But Virelles also moved to study composition with iconoclast Henry Threadgill, and what he's come up with as a bandleader extends beyond music.

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Concerts
8:17 am
Wed January 30, 2013

McCoy Tyner: Live At SFJAZZ

McCoy Tyner at the SFJAZZ Center Opening Night concert.
Scott Chernis Courtesy of SFJAZZ

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 1:09 pm

Few pianists have been as influential to modern jazz practice as McCoy Tyner. His harmonic and rhythmic conceptions, notably displayed as a member of John Coltrane's "classic" quartet, are instantly recognizable. And at age 74, you can still hear his driving left hand and dense chordal suggestions in fine form.

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Concerts
8:06 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Joe Lovano & Joshua Redman: Live At SFJAZZ

Saxophonists Joshua Redman (center) and Joe Lovano (left) lead a performance at the SFJAZZ Center grand opening.
Scott Chernis Courtesy of SFJAZZ

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 12:18 pm

Once he had established himself as a world-class saxophonist, Joshua Redman moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he grew up. Soon afterward, he co-founded the SFJAZZ Collective, an all-star resident ensemble and touring group, and served as its artistic director for several years. When he stepped down from his post, his replacement was another titan of the tenor sax: Joe Lovano.

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NPR Story
5:24 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Bill Evans On Piano Jazz

Bill Evans is one of the giants of jazz piano.

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
2:01 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Ryan Truesdell's Gil Evans Centennial Project On JazzSet

Ryan Truesdell conducts the Gil Evans Centennial Project at Newport.
Erik Jacobs for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 3:21 pm

Gil Evans was born in Canada in 1912. He latched onto jazz and, in time, taught himself to write it. First, for dancers, Evans arranged tunes off the radio for the Claude Thornhill Orchestra as well as the sweet, warm sounds of flutes and French horns. Then Evans downsized the Thornhill sound to a nonet for The Birth of the Cool.

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Music Interviews
5:48 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

The New SFJAZZ Center, As Seen By Its Musicians

The interior of the auditorium at the new SFJAZZ Center.
Henrik Kam Courtesy of SFJAZZ

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 1:47 pm

In 1983, buoyed by a $10,000 grant from a city arts fund, a new concert presenter in San Francisco put together a festival called Jazz In The City. Fast-forward 30 years, and that organization — now called SFJAZZ and presenting more than 100 concerts a year — has raised $64 million, largely in private donations, for a new state-of-the-art performance space and permanent home. The SFJAZZ Center held a grand-opening ceremony Monday, and will celebrate Wednesday night with an all-star opening-night concert.

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A Blog Supreme
2:39 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Jose James On Touring With McCoy Tyner

Jose James.
Janette Beckman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 5:21 pm

Singer Jose James releases his album No Beginning, No End today. For a little while longer, you can still hear it via NPR Music's First Listen series. Plus, James recently gave an interview to host Melissa Block for today's episode of All Things Considered.

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