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Music Reviews
1:59 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

George Cables: A Heartfelt Tribute To His 'Muse'

Saxophonist Art Pepper called George Cables his favorite pianist.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 2:43 pm

In the 1970s and '80s, George Cables was the pianist of choice for saxophonists Dexter Gordon and Art Pepper; Pepper called him his favorite pianist.

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JazzSet
4:01 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Lewis Nash Quintet, Kurt Elling On JazzSet

Drummer Lewis Nash performs at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.
Erik Jacobs for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 3:23 pm

There are three stages at the Newport Jazz Festival. At least two are always running simultaneously. Given the surfeit of options, it's rare to hear a complete set. The question begins to nag: Should be we somewhere else? And away you go, leaving a work in progress to make sure you don't miss one getting underway.

But sometimes if you choose a spot on the lawn and stay put, the juxtaposition of two bands delivers a fine festival experience. Sunday morning, August 5, 2012, on the Quad Stage is such a time.

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Live At The Village Vanguard
3:32 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Jeff Ballard Fairgrounds: Live At The Village Vanguard

Jeff Ballard.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:10 pm

The drummer Jeff Ballard has a band called Fairgrounds. Well, he doesn't have a band as much as he has lots of bands, and knows lots of people to fill them — which might be expected of someone who has been a drummer for Chick Corea, Ray Charles and Brad Mehldau. With the Fairgrounds project, he gets to play a little fantasy baseball, mixing and matching sounds and musicians for his own ends.

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A Blog Supreme
10:44 am
Wed October 24, 2012

A Charles Mingus Anecdote That Has Nothing To Do With Breasts

Bassist Charles Mingus leads a band at the 1964 Monterey Jazz Festival, including Lonnie Hillyer (trumpet) and Charles McPherson (alto sax, obscured).
Ray Avery CTSIMAGES

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 2:36 pm

We interrupt this blog to bring you an announcement from the one and only Charles Mingus, the great bassist and composer:

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A Blog Supreme
5:45 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

'Treme,' Ep. 26: That's What Buddy Bolden Said

The Lambreaux men protest the demolition of housing projects.
Paul Schiraldi HBO

Certain episodes of Treme seem to wear their ideological hearts on their sleeves, and this was one. You open with Desiree's mother's house getting torn down in a city mix-up; you have Davis throwing around phrases like "preservation through neglect"; you see housing projects torn down amid protest with the implication of a corrupt deal; you get protagonists like the Bernette family being harassed by police; you witness clueless developers trying to build a national jazz center while waiting for the other shoe to drop.

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A Blog Supreme
6:41 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

For The Love Of James Moody: Five Tributes

Clarinet and saxophone player Paquito D'Rivera wore a James Moody T-shirt during a recent recording session in Brazil.
Jorge Rosenberg Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 7:43 pm

"James Moody is the most beloved jazz musician in the world," reedman Paquito D'Rivera says.

These may be strong words, but D'Rivera is far from alone in his appreciation of the tenor saxophonist, who died in 2010. On the bandstand, Moody was universally admired for his musicality, his generosity — he gave away mouthpieces, saxophones and, once, even the coat off his back — and his ability to illuminate any room with his personal warmth.

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Piano Jazz
1:42 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Ragtime Pianist And Early Jazz Musician Eubie Blake On Piano Jazz in 1980

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:06 pm

This week, Piano Jazz digs deep into the archives with a session featuring James Herbert "Eubie" Blake. He was the last of the known living original ragtime pianists when he appeared on the program in 1980 with host Marian McPartland.

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JazzSet
3:15 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

John Ellis, Darcy James Argue On JazzSet

Saxophonist John Ellis (center) performs with Matt Perrine (left) on sousaphone at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.
Erik Jacobs for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 3:27 pm

As we re-release these two sets from Newport, saxophonist John Ellis (leader of one, player in the other) is leading workshops in Portugal and Italy. Darcy James Argue has released a studio recording of Brooklyn Babylon, and his Secret Society tied with the Maria Schneider Orchestra for the Big Band of 2013 in the just-out DownBeat Critics Poll.

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A Blog Supreme
4:41 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Philip Dizack: What You Learn When You're Older

Philip Dizack at WBGO, with saxophonist Jake Saslow in the background.
Josh Jackson WBGO

A lot can happen in six years. For Milwaukee-bred trumpeter Philip Dizack, it marked the passage of an era worth documenting in his own artistic chronology.

"End of an Era represents a moment when what you had is gone," he says about his new album during this session from WBGO's The Checkout. "For me, it's specific things like family relationships that ended. Both of my grandparents passed away. All those things were very personal, but I saw that everyone goes through something. And it's all the same."

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A Blog Supreme
1:31 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

'Treme,' Ep. 25: Sugar Boy's Salute

Big Chief Albert Lambreaux (Clarke Peters, center) has his Mardi Gras Indian practice interrupted by a visit from members of the Creole Wild West tribe.
Paul Schiraldi HBO

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 2:41 pm

If you're one of the few viewers still confused about what Treme is saying about art, do note this episode's "play-within-a-play" staging of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot. The existentialist play revolves around two characters, Vladimir (nicknamed Didi) and Estragon (called Gogo), who wait interminably for a mysterious "Godot" by a desolate country road. It's clearly meant to parallel New Orleans residents' wait for essential social services, complete with the barren backdrop of the city post-Katrina.

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