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.
Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 11:24 am
After moving from Mexico City to the U.S. to study jazz, it didn't take drummer Antonio Sánchez long to find himself in the bands of international stars — folks like Pat Metheny, or Michael Brecker, or Chick Corea. It's easy to see why he's so busy; five minutes of watching him layer on polyrhythms will suffice. But he's got more than one talent: He also has a degree in classical piano, and has made a few records which show off his composing, starting with 2007's Migration.
Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 4:00 pm
Clarence Penn is one of those jazz-trained drummers who prove too versatile, too accomplished, too good to have too much free time. He joined Ellis Marsalis' band when he was still in college; he's another graduate of Betty Carter finishing school. Since then, he's stayed busy touring with anyone and everyone — perhaps too busy to have put out a record of his own since 2002. That hopefully changes this year with the release of Dalí In Cobble Hill, an album of original music for quartet; we'll get a preview at the 92Y Tribeca.
In the first generation of bebop musicians, Ray Brown was king of the jazz bass. Today, the "go-to" jazz bassist is Christian McBride, so we were delighted to have McBride stop by the KPLU studios for a performance with pianist Peter Martin.
When Baron Toots Thielemans, the Belgian harmonica legend, guested on Gregoire Maret's self-titled debut, the sense was that Maret himself had been knighted. He'd already proven himself worthy on recordings with Pat Metheny and Jacky Terrasson, but until recently, the 37-year-old didn't have his own singular statement to drive the point home.
The Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda was born in Bogotá, and began playing at 13. A few years later, in the mid-1990s, he moved to New York, where he studied jazz trumpet. Then he returned to the harp with a new perspective and set of skills.