Drummer Matt Wilson is always a colorful player — a timekeeper who exploits all the timbres a snare drum can give him, finding melody in it. And when it's his gig, he's also a colorful personality with flailing limbs and goofy joy on his face.
One of Billie Holiday's most iconic songs is "Strange Fruit," a haunting protest against the inhumanity of racism. Many people know that the man who wrote the song was inspired by a photograph of a lynching. But they might not realize that he's also tied to another watershed moment in America's history.
Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 10:23 am
Sometimes known as the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, the New York band Antibalas — which means "bulletproof" in Spanish — is a large group of talented musicians who play rhythm-intensive Afrobeat music. In a seven-year stretch, Antibalas has released four albums and withstood a five-year hiatus in which several members worked on the Broadway musical FELA!
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.
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.
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.
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.