Latest Jazz from NPR Music

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

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

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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NPR Story
11:31 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Steve Kuhn On Piano Jazz

Steve Kuhn.
Courtesy of the artist

Steve Kuhn's resume is a virtual who's-who of the jazz world.

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
2:31 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Wynton Marsalis On JazzSet

The clock strikes midnight with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
Frank Stewart for Jazz at Lincoln Center

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 10:32 am

The energy in the room is palpable, as Wynton Marsalis launches into "Dipper Mouth Blues," a tune named for King Oliver's trumpet player, Louis Armstrong. "New Orleans Bump" features the whimsical clarinet of Victor Goines.

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The Checkout: Live
6:10 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

The Cookers + Geri Allen And Timeline: Live From 92Y Tribeca

The front line of The Cookers. L-R: Billy Harper, David Weiss, Eddie Henderson, Craig Handy.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 12:41 pm

Take a group of heavyweight jazz masters — the kind who helped to make the classic records that defined the modern idiom — and put them together on stage: Of course there'll be fireworks. But the all-star collection known as The Cookers has cohered into a band which has toured for five years now, and released three albums of mostly original compositions. Their latest, 2012's Believe, proudly captures this band's meat-and-potatoes spirit, and brings some deserved attention to its members' storied and ongoing careers.

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CD Selections
12:47 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Bass Note: Mingus And The Jazz Workshop Concerts

Jazz great Charles Mingus performs at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September 1964.
Ray Avery CTS Images

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:28 pm

On a new box set from mail-order house Mosaic Records, Charles Mingus, The Jazz Workshop Concerts 1964-65, the jazz legend's bands usually number between five and eight players. The bassist often made those bands sound bigger. He'd been using midsize ensembles since the '50s, but his new ones were more flexible than ever, light on their feet but able to fill in backgrounds like a large group.

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Piano Jazz
3:40 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Dave Brubeck On Piano Jazz

Dave Brubeck at the 32nd Kennedy Center Honors.
Kris Connor Getty Images

David Warren Brubeck (Dec. 6, 1920 - Dec. 5, 2012) in Concord, Calif. His father was a cattle rancher and his mother taught piano. His two older brothers, Henry and Howard, studied to become musicians, but Dave had no intentions of following them, although he took lessons from his mother. He could not read sheet music, but played well enough that this deficiency went mostly unnoticed.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
10:42 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Celebrating The Life Of Jazz Pianist Dave Brubeck

In a 1999 interview with Fresh Air's Terry Gross, Dave Brubeck talked about his decades in the music industry and his first love: rodeo roping.
Stephen Lovekin Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 1:28 pm

This interview was originally broadcast in 1999. Brubeck died on Wednesday at age 91.

In 1954, polls in the leading jazz magazines Metronome and Downbeat selected Dave Brubeck's band as the year's best instrumental group. That same year, Brubeck was the second jazz musician ever featured on the cover of Time Magazine (the first being Louie Armstrong).

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
4:50 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Miguel Zenón And Dafnis Prieto On JazzSet

Saxophonist Miguel Zenón performs with pianist Laurent Coq at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.
Erik Jacobs for NPR

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 3:56 pm

In 2008 and 2011, respectively, Miguel Zenón and Dafnis Prieto received MacArthur Fellowships — known as "Genius Grants" — from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. They were cited for their achievements in expanding boundaries and combining vocabularies. And you can hear them in action from Newport on JazzSet.

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