Latest Jazz from NPR Music

JazzSet
4:09 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Catherine Russell, Virginia Mayhew On JazzSet

Catherine Russell performs at the Mary Lou Williams Festival.
Margot Schulman Courtesy of the Kennedy Center

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 2:41 pm

Catherine Russell is a lady born to music. Her father, Luis Russell (1902-63), was Louis Armstrong's orchestra leader beginning in the mid-1930s. Her mother, Carline Ray, is a bassist, singer, great all-around musician and a member of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, the 1940s all-woman band that swung as hard as the men. "This Daughter of Jazz Is One Cool Cat," reads the headline of Nat Hentoff's profile for The Wall Street Journal.

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World Cafe
3:49 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Yasek Manzano: Jazz From Havana's Streets

Yasek Manzano.
Courtesy of the artist

All month, World Cafe invites listeners to discover the music of Havana, Cuba, with the series Sense of Place.

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A Blog Supreme
5:20 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Jazz As A Liberal Arts Education

David Liebman.
Naoki Hayashi Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 12:17 pm

For conservatory-trained jazz musicians, it's a scary job market out there. Saxophonist Dave Liebman, an NEA Jazz Master and veteran statesman, paints a bleak picture:

In the current world of jazz education, the situation vis a vis graduating more and more of the most equipped musicians in history (every year more so) in stark contrast to the scarcity of paid performance and recording opportunities has assumed epic disproportion. To deny this would be like ignoring global warming. Serious educators are and should be concerned.

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Music Reviews
12:59 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

After 26 Years, The Sam Rivers Trio Resurfaces

Sam Rivers' trio with Dave Holland and Barry Altschul (not pictured) recently released its 2007 reunion show on CD.
Ken Weiss Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 2:12 pm

Jazz multi-instrumentalist Sam Rivers, who died at 88 in December 2011, recorded with many trios in the 1970s. But his most celebrated trio was barely recorded at all. In 2007, it played a reunion concert — its first in 26 years.

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A Blog Supreme
5:34 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

'Treme,' Ep. 22: 'Dem Songs Is Gonna Stand, Son'

Antoine Batiste (Wendell Pierce) plays in a tribute to tuba player Kerwin James.
Paul Schiraldi HBO

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 6:42 pm

If you've been watching the HBO series Treme with us, welcome back.

If you're new here, welcome in the first place. WBGO's Josh Jackson, a New Orleans native, and I have been watching the music-saturated program set in post-Katrina New Orleans for two years now. After every episode, we try to establish some context for the many musical references and live performances the show features.

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A Blog Supreme
2:56 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Jamison Ross Wins 2012 Thelonious Monk Competition For Drummers

Jamison Ross competes in the semifinal round of the 2012 Thelonious Monk Competition.
Steve Mundinger Courtesy of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 12:17 pm

In a ceremony and concert last night, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz recognized Jamison Ross, 24, as the winner of its annual competition for young musicians. The competition, the highest profile event of its kind, was open to drummers this year.

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A Blog Supreme
5:37 am
Sat September 22, 2012

What Did The Monk Competition Ever Do For You?

Emmet Cohen performs in the final round of the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, where he placed third. The 2012 competition takes place this weekend.
Brendan Hoffman WireImage

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 12:17 pm

Pianist Ethan Iverson launched a debate last month when he evoked "the dark side" of musical competition — specifically, of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, whose semifinals and finals take place this weekend in Washington, D.C. Iverson took issue with overemphasizing technical convention, and with the very nature of judging art, making the somewhat hyperbolic suggestion that Monk couldn't have competed in the contest named for him.

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Music Reviews
9:48 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Vince Guaraldi Didn't Just Play For 'Peanuts'

Vince Guaraldi had range, as well as an instrumental hit right when jazz was vanishing from AM radio.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 12:57 pm

There must have been times in 1963, when Vince Guaraldi was riding high on his surprise hit "Cast Your Fate to the Wind," when he thought, "This is what I'll be remembered for." Not that he minded. He said taking requests for the tune was like signing the back of a check. The song's got a great hook tied to a poppy, uplifting chord sequence.

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A Blog Supreme
4:55 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Five New Singers At The 2012 Monterey Jazz Festival

Meklit Hadero is based in the San Francisco Bay area, a two-hour drive north of Monterey.
Rus Anson Courtesy of the artist

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A Blog Supreme
4:42 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Finnish Patriotism, Christian Hymns And One Trumpeter's Mom

Dave Douglas.
Austin Nelson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 11:29 am

The band above is the new Dave Douglas Quintet, who we're webcasting live Wednesday night as part of WBGO's The Checkout: Live series. The quintet is actually six people: special guest Aoife O'Donovan, a folk and bluegrass singer, joins the band on stage and on the new album, Be Still.

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