Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 11:14 am
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.
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.
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.