Host Marian McPartland tried for years to line-up elusive pianist Keith Jarrett for a Piano Jazz session. Following his stellar performance at Carnegie Hall in 2005, McPartland confronted the elusive performer and convinced him to put in an appearance on her show. The Allentown, Pa., native graciously invited McPartland and a small crew to his home studio, a converted barn next to his 18th-century farmhouse.
Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 11:16 am
As a child in Azerbaijan, Amina Figarova loved the piano at first sight. She would arrange all her dolls around her and play for them. "Nobody could stop me," she told an interviewer at All About Jazz. "I would sit and play and play." Figarova studied classical music and heard jazz at home, especially Herbie Hancock.
The jazz musician Ravi Coltrane, 47, didn't make his burden any lighter by choosing to play tenor and soprano saxophones — the same instruments his father, John Coltrane, indelibly stamped with his influence.
Ravi knew early he needed his own voice. On tenor, he has his own ways of bending and inflecting a note, applying flexible vibrato. Even when his noble sound bears witness to his heritage, Ravi Coltrane can draw on his father's language and make it his own.
For Dave Samuels, the love of his first two instruments — the drums and then the piano — naturally led him to the vibraphone. Samuels' gift for evocative melody and his rhythmic versatility make him one of the leading mallet players of his generation, empowering him to swing from the classic-cool sounds of Stan Getz and Gerry Mulligan to the contemporary rhythms of The Yellowjackets, Spyro Gyra and his Caribbean Jazz Project.
Since 1954, the Newport Jazz Festival has brought live music to seaside New England. This year, you can see it even if you can't be there: NPR Music returns to the Newport Jazz Festival for a live video webcast and recording on August 4-5, 2012.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:27 pm
With Supreme blogger Patrick Jarenwattananon on vacation, we asked jazz music directors from around public radio to highlight songs that have been in heavy rotation at their stations. Today's pick comes from Gary Walker, music director at WBGO in Newark, N.J.