Latest Jazz from NPR Music

Music Reviews
12:03 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Miguel Zenon And Laurent Coq Play 'Hopscotch'

Miguel Zenon.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 2:57 pm

The new quartet album by alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón and pianist Laurent Coq is called Rayuela, which means "hopscotch." It's named for Julio Cortázar's novel, the fragmented tale of a wandering bohemian and his social circles in Parisian exile, as well as back home in Buenos Aires.

Read more
World Cafe
2:46 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Cassandra Wilson On World Cafe

Cassandra Wilson.
Courtesy of the artist

A pioneer who muddies the waters separating jazz, blues, country, soul and rock, Cassandra Wilson possesses a beautiful voice and more than three decades of musical experience. The two-time Grammy winner began her career with the M-base collective, but found success as a solo jazz singer.

Read more
JazzSet
4:15 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Regina Carter, Wynton Marsalis On JazzSet

Regina Carter (right) with Yacouba Sissoko.
Ayano His Newport Jazz Festival

JazzSet returns to the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival for performances from two complementary bandleaders on the main Fort Adams stage: violinist Regina Carter and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

Regina Carter started playing violin as a 4-year-old Suzuki method student in Detroit, and later played in school and community orchestras. After attending the New England Conservatory of Music, she chose jazz as her primary direction. JazzSet first presented her from the 1995 Telluride Jazz Festival — on a stage in the mountains, playing into the open air.

Read more
Mom And Dad's Record Collection
2:24 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Cole Porter Scores An Interracial Couple's Highs And Lows

Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine," a favorite song of listener Melanie Cowart's parents, became a fitting symbol for their relationship.
Sasha Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 6:09 pm

As summer winds down, All Things Considered is winding down its series "Mom and Dad's Record Collection."

Read more
A Blog Supreme
3:28 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Detroit's Jazz 'Patriarch' Improvised A Teaching Career

Marcus Belgrave will be featured at this weekend's Detroit Jazz Festival.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:12 pm

There's a lot of astounding information in this comprehensive profile of trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, "the reigning patriarch of Detroit jazz." After touring with Ray Charles for years, and getting opportunities with Max Roach and Charles Mingus, Belgrave opted not to stick it out in New York like many musicians of his caliber. Instead, he chose Detroit, where he's been since 1963.

Read more
A Blog Supreme
7:28 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Could Thelonious Monk Win The Jazz Competition Named After Him?

Pianist Kris Bowers performs in the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. He was later named the winner.
Brendan Hoffman WireImage

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:12 pm

Last week, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz announced the 12 semi-finalists for its annual competition for young musicians, often seen as the most prestigious in jazz today.

Read more
Tiny Desk Concerts
10:23 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Renaud Garcia-Fons: Tiny Desk Concert

Renaud Garcia Fons performs a Tiny Desk Concert at the NPR Music offices.
Michael Katzif NPR

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 10:06 am

Double bassist Renaud Garcia-Fons was destined to create music that spans genres and borders: He was born in France to a family with roots in the Catalonia region of Spain, and he's fluent in French, Spanish and English. Classical, jazz and flamenco represent equal parts of his musical DNA, and his technique reflects the delicate arco stylings of concert halls, the deep groove of jazz and the raw vitality of flamenco.

Read more
Piano Jazz
4:56 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Paul Winter On Piano Jazz

Paul Winter.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 12:05 pm

This episode of Piano Jazz features the unique music of soprano saxophonist Paul Winter. He joins host Marian McPartland, along with bassist Gary Mazzaroppi and drummer Glenn Davis, for a set of ballads and originals. The set also features an additional special soloist — a humpback whale.

"It was very impressive," remembers McPartland. "And we don't often do a show so full of ballads. It was a different sort of show."

Read more
JazzSet
11:50 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Kevin Eubanks On JazzSet

Blue Room." It's a nice club in Kansas City, in the historic district where Count Basie, Lester Young and Mary Lou Williams used to play." href="/post/kevin-eubanks-jazzset" class="noexit lightbox">
Note the message on Kevin Eubanks' cap: "Meet You at the Blue Room." It's a nice club in Kansas City, in the historic district where Count Basie, Lester Young and Mary Lou Williams used to play.
Len Katz Photography

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 9:58 am

Kevin Eubanks (briefly) and saxophonist Bill Pierce (in the mid 1980s) both played in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, the two-generation-spanning band that is so very important in jazz from 1950s through the '80s. Now Pierce chairs the Woodwinds Department at Berklee College.

Eubanks and Marvin Smith were in The Tonight Show band together for 15 years, with guitar riffs and rim shots for Jay Leno Monday through Friday. "Smitty" brought Los Angeles bassist Rene Camacho into this group.

Read more
Live At The Village Vanguard
3:10 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Ethan Iverson, Ben Street, Tootie Heath: Live At The Village Vanguard

L-R: Ethan Iverson, Ben Street, Albert "Tootie" Heath.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 8:01 am

Drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath, 77, has certainly played thousands of gigs like this one, where he's hired to bring his casual brilliance to the extended songbook of jazz standards. After all, he played on John Coltrane's first album as a leader, and with every other name in hard bop from the late 1950s onward. In contrast, pianist Ethan Iverson's schedule currently revolves around touring with The Bad Plus, a band whose repertoire almost entirely omits common-practice jazz.

Read more

Pages