When the pianist Esbjorn Svensson died in a scuba accident in 2008, many fans of his group, the Swedish trio known as E.S.T., wondered if there might be some unreleased experiments lurking in a studio vault. There were. Just out is a disc called 301, which was recorded in 2008 during sessions for the group's final album.
Originally published on Mon June 25, 2012 12:01 pm
Musical genres always evolve in parallel worlds.
In the 1920s, composers of classical music such as Stravinsky and Copland began incorporating sensibilities of American jazz into their otherwise European musical culture. Various styles of folk music have always been fountainheads of inspiration for "classical" composers, so it was almost inevitable that blues-based music would make its way into the Western concert-music tradition.
Originally published on Fri October 2, 2009 11:08 am
This week's show is a tribute to the late pianist Dave McKenna with guest host, pianist and singer Daryl Sherman, who was a friend of McKenna's and is a musical fixture at New York's famous Waldorf Astoria.
It started in 1966 as a three-week agreement among composer and conductor Thad Jones, drummer Mel Lewis and Max Gordon, the proprietor of The Village Vanguard in New York. And it continues, gloriously.
The guitarist Marc Ribot has played in just about every conceivable setting in New York City. But through his involvement in punk bands, funk and soul groups, film scoring, the noise community, session work with rootsy singer-songwriters, South American and Caribbean folkloric projects, the contemporary classical scene and all the other experiments, he's also long held a love of jazz, from its hairiest to most clean-shaven expressions.
Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 10:36 am
Today, June 19, is a holiday known as Juneteenth — the oldest commemoration of slavery's end. Though the Emancipation Proclamation declared the freedom of slaves in Confederate states on Jan. 1, 1863, it was only on June 19, 1865 (months after Confederate forces had surrendered) that Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, to spread news of the war's end, and to enforce the proclamation in Texas. The date has since been noted in Texas and across the country as a celebration of African-American freedom and history, especially since the Civil Rights movement.
Ray Anderson's Pocket Brass Band is about watch-pocket size: With three horns and drums, it couldn't get much smaller. On its new Sweet Chicago Suite, Anderson makes what the group does sound easy. Just write some catchy, bluesy tunes and then have the band blast them out.