Latest Jazz from NPR Music

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

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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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A Blog Supreme
5:58 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Around The Jazz Internet: May 18, 2012

Which 10 albums would you give to a jazz neophyte?
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 7:07 pm

Among the notable musician deaths of this week was go-go pioneer Chuck Brown. As prelude to this week's links, I find it fascinating how jazz so directly led into something that could be called an original musical style.

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A Blog Supreme from NPR
2:37 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

The Harmonica-Playing Baron Of Belgium

Toots Thielemans performs at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands in July 2005. He's celebrating his 90th birthday with a series of concerts throughout his native Belgium.
Rick Nederstigt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:00 pm

People throughout Belgium are currently celebrating the harmonica player and guitarist Jean-Baptiste "Toots" Thielemans, born in Brussels on April 29, 1922. That puts the NEA Jazz Master, also made a Baron by the King of Belgium in 2001, just a few days past 90.

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A Blog Supreme
7:07 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Why One Saxophonist Covered His Idol

Jackie McLean, in an undated publicity headshot.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:00 pm

The late alto saxophone giant Jackie McLean would have been 81 this week. He died after a long illness in 2006, but continued performing and teaching until late in his life. One of the last songs he wrote and recorded was "Mr. E," which leads off his 1998 septet album Fire and Love.

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Music News
4:45 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Cecil Taylor: The Pianist Who's Also An Orchestra

Cecil Taylor, 83, is being feted in a two-week celebration of his music in New York City.
Peter Gannushkin downtownmusic.net

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 7:16 pm

When you hear Cecil Taylor perform, you never forget it. He's a force of nature at the piano, with a furious attack and a sound all his own.

"His piano is an orchestra," says Ben Ratliff, music critic for The New York Times. "Cecil has been with us for so long. And every once in a while he does these amazing, galvanizing solo piano performances. And you go see them, and you think, like, 'Wow. What was that? That was amazing.' And I can't get that anywhere else in the world. And that's unique."

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A Blog Supreme
3:20 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

The World-Class Jazz Club Run By Volunteers

Saxophonist Paul Dunmall and drummer Mark Sanders perform (with guitarist Hasse Poulsen, off camera) at The Vortex in London.
andynew Flickr

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:00 pm

As an acclaimed pianist and composer, Vijay Iyer is able to perform his music in concert halls and jazz clubs around the world. But few venues are quite like the one he played May 1-2 of this year.

Yesterday the BBC's Jazz on 3 posted a live recording of a new song by the Vijay Iyer Trio — too new, even, for the band's 2012 album Accelerando. The song is called "Hood":

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Song Of The Day
7:03 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Louis Armstrong: With Love And Grace, A Final 'Hello'

In January 1971, in one of his final performances, Louis Armstrong used "Hello Dolly" to convey the joy of being alive.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 6:07 pm

It was one of his final live performances. On Jan. 29, 1971, 69-year-old Louis Armstrong walked onto the stage at the National Press Club to accept an award. He'd planned to perform a couple of numbers and was under doctor's orders not to break out his trumpet, but Armstrong couldn't resist putting on a memorable show. He sang in a voice more gravelly than ever, blew his horn and played a few of his classics, starting with his rendition of "Hello Dolly."

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