Cafe Racer is a coffeehouse and bar in Seattle near the University of Washington. Last Wednesday, it was the site of a shooting that left four people dead.
Cafe Racer is also a music venue, home to a Sunday-night improvisational jam session called The Racer Sessions. Sunday night's Racer Session wasn't inside — it was too soon for that — but the show did go on.
It's turning out to be a great year for jazz drummer Jack DeJohnette.
In January, he was named an NEA Jazz Master for lifetime achievement. He began celebrating his 70th birthday early — it's August 9 — by going on a short performance tour this month with his old friends, Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke. The celebration continues this summer, as he tours Europe with the Keith Jarrett trio. As if that's not enough, he also released one of the best albums of the year in any genre, Sound Travels.
Drummer Jack DeJohnette was 23 when he made his first recording with The Charles Lloyd Quartet in 1966. Since that time, he's been a driving force in the world of jazz. This year, DeJohnette will celebrate his birthday all year long — the big day is actually August 9 — with special events, including his current tour with his old friends Chick Corea (piano) and Stanley Clarke (bass).
Named the JJA Guitarist of the Year in June 2011, Russell Malone hails from Albany, Geo. Malone grew up absorbing music from his bedrock, the church, as well as popular blues and country tunes on radio and TV. For his golden-toned melodies played in octaves (try that some time!) and more, Malone is heavily influenced by Wes Montgomery.
A Toronto-based jazz trio whose approach to the genre has angered aficionados and grabbed the attention of young fans, BADBADNOTGOOD carries on jazz's rich tradition of reinvention and provocation. Its two full-length albums cover material that's of interest to your average oddball twentysomething: experimental rock, video-game soundtracks and electronic music, among others.
Pianist and singer Barbara Carroll is an old and dear friend of Piano Jazz host Marian McPartland. In fact, Carroll was the second ever guest to appear on Piano Jazz when the show began 30 years ago. Carroll recalls 1979 as a banner year for her, as well — it's the same year she started what became a 25 year run performing at Bemelman's Bar, at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan.