Latest Jazz from NPR Music

A Blog Supreme
5:39 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

The Different Beat Of The Same Drummer

Henry Cole (center) has assembled many of his favorite musicians across genre to create what he calls the Afrobeat Collective.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:58 pm

The drummer Henry Cole plays brilliantly in the quartet of saxophonist and fellow Puerto Rican Miguel Zenón, a band responsible for my favorite jazz album of 2011 (Alma Adentro) and one of my favorites of 2009 (Esta Plena). This year, Cole released his debut album as a bandleader, an Afrobeat record called Roots Before Branches.

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Music Reviews
12:52 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Anti-Virtuoso Piano, Delicate And Despoiled

Left to right: Masabumi Kikuchi, Thomas Morgan, Paul Motian.
John Rogers

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 1:11 pm

The death of a great musician ripples through the jazz community. It's a special loss to those improvisers we might call immediate survivors: working partners who'll miss that special interaction with a singular musician.

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A Blog Supreme
7:33 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Around The Jazz Internet: May 25, 2012

Metallica's bassist Robert Trujillo will finance a film about his hero, pioneering electric bassist Jaco Pastorius.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Happy long weekend all. A heads-up that next Wednesday you will want to dance with us to Henry Cole's Afrobeat Collective, with the Gilad Hekselman Quartet. And now, these links:

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The Checkout: Live
3:05 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Henry Cole & The Afrobeat Collective + Gilad Hekselman Quartet: Live From 92Y Tribeca

Henry Cole.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 6:34 pm

The Puerto Rican drummer Henry Cole is probably best known in the U.S. as a stellar jazz accompanist, with bands led by compatriots and saxophonists David Sánchez and Miguel Zenón. Back in San Juan, Cole also works with poets and rappers, bomba musicians and pleneros, rockers and salsa ringleaders. He found they could all get down to Fela Kuti-style Afrobeat, and many jam sessions later, he found a way to record that sound for the 2012 album Roots Before Branches, with top New York jazz soloists coursing through it.

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A Blog Supreme
6:03 am
Fri May 25, 2012

An Uncommon 'Riddle': Joshua Redman Covers His Musical Peer

In this promotional image of the band James Farm, Joshua Redman is second from left, and Aaron Parks is to his left.
Jimmy Katz Nonesuch Records

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:59 pm

In addition to being a very good performance of a very likeable song, this YouTube clip is a very specific and increasingly rare type of cover.

The performers are the Joshua Redman Trio: Reuben Rogers on bass, Gregory Hutchinson on drums, Redman on alto saxophone. (He usually plays tenor or soprano, so this is unusual.) And the tune is "Riddle Me This," by Aaron Parks, who is roughly Redman's contemporary. As you see, Aaron Parks is not on this gig, nor could he, as a pianist, possibly play in the Joshua Redman Trio.

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JazzSet
12:28 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Alexis Cuadrado's 'A Lorca Soundscape' On JazzSet

Alexis Cuadrado sets surrealist Spanish poems to music in a concert at 92Y Tribeca.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 3:51 pm

It began with the crisis on Wall Street in 2008. Alexis Cuadrado, from Barcelona and now Brooklyn, remembered the poetry of the surrealist Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936), whom all Spanish students study in school.

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Alt.Latino
10:05 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Guest DJ: Ana Tijoux Talks Hip-Hop, Chilean Politics And Being Married To Jazz

Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 11:09 am

  • Listen to this week's show

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A Blog Supreme
5:38 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

'It Can't Be Done': The Difficulty Of Growing A Jazz Audience

Pianist and composer Kurt Ellenberger says it "seems insurmountable" to develop jazz audiences in the face of the dominant culture.
Mykola Velychko iStockPhoto

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:59 pm

Last week, we published a much-discussed blog post about the connection — or lack thereof — between jazz education and the development of new audiences. It examined a viewpoint by pianist, composer and music professor Kurt Ellenberger, and concluded by challenging Ellenberger to suggest some ways to win new audiences. Here is Ellenberger's response.

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Song Of The Day
7:03 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Sonnymoon: The Sunnier Side Of Mortality

Sonnymoon.
Courtesy of the artist

Singing about one's imminent death requires a certain level of delicacy, because it's way too easy to dive into melodramatic gloom. But Sonnymoon's "Just Before Dawn" — in which Anna Wise's ethereal vocals float across Dane Orr's palpitating soundscape as she contemplates mortality — takes on a more hopeful, universal tone. "Every night, you should have someone to hold," Wise sings, "to tell you that you did okay when your mind is against you."

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A Blog Supreme
1:10 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Crashing On Couches To Talk To Musicians

Jason Crane.
Courtesy of Jason Crane

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:59 pm

Usually, it's the musicians who go on tour, and the journalists who write about them for local publications. But one journalist is taking to the road to talk to musicians where they live.

As of today, Jason Crane has produced 374 episodes of The Jazz Session, a podcast of interviews with top jazz musicians. Last week, he announced he was going on a "World Tour."

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