Latest Jazz from NPR Music

Song Travels
12:45 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Jitterbug Vipers On 'Song Travels'

Jitterbug Vipers.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 9:24 am

Jitterbug Vipers' members perform 1930s-style "viper jazz" with a rock 'n' roll twist. The Austin band's original music — crafted by singer Sarah Sharp, guitarist Slim Richey, bassist Francie Meaux Jeaux and drummer Masumi Jones — recalls swing classics by Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Cab Calloway.

On this installment of Song Travels, you can hear Jitterbug Vipers perform a set live in the studio. Host Michael Feinstein also sits down with Sharp to discuss the history of viper jazz and the inspiration behind the band's sizzling original music.

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A Blog Supreme
8:33 am
Fri January 24, 2014

To Preserve 'America's Gift To The World,' A Jazz Elder Becomes A UCLA Professor

Kenny Burrell performs at his 80th birthday concert in 2011.
Reed Hutchinson UCLA

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 1:42 pm

Just before 11 o'clock on a crisp Monday night in Hollywood, 82-year-old Kenny Burrell put his Gibson guitar in its velvet-lined case and said goodnight to several members of the Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra Unlimited. He had just finished an intermission-free, two-hour-plus set with the large ensemble, as he has done once a month since the summer. Waiting patiently among the suits and smiles was a 21-year-old guitarist eager to meet his idol. When the room finally cleared, Burrell was amiable and inquisitive, talking to the young fan about music and Michigan, where he grew up.

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
4:21 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Patrick Cornelius On JazzSet

Patrick Cornelius performs at Berklee College of Music's Café 939 in Boston.
Michael Borgida Berklee College of Music

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 4:50 pm

While growing up in San Antonio, Patrick Cornelius listened to JazzSet on KRTU. Off the air, he taped the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band playing Lalo Schifrin's Gillespiana in the 1990s and more. Cornelius went on to complete degrees and diplomas from Berklee College of Music, the Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School.

In 2012, Cornelius won a New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble grant from Chamber Music America, and this episode of JazzSet features the composition for which he applied for support, titled While We're Still Young.

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The Checkout: Live
4:37 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Guillermo Klein: Live At Berklee

Guillermo Klein.
Michael Borgida Berklee College of Music

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 4:50 pm

Composer and bandleader Guillermo Klein is known largely for Los Guachos, a large ensemble which draws from Argentine folk forms, the New York jazz talent pool and a postmodern mash-up imagination. His is beguiling music, filled with human voices and off-kilter meter and cutting melody. It's a form he and some of his band first started developing at Berklee College of Music, where he and fellow Argentines learned to apply jazz concepts to the many sounds in their heads.

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Music Reviews
12:02 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Lafayette Gilchrist: An Old Soul, At Ease In A Modern World

Lafayette Gilchrist.
Leo H. Lubow

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 1:57 pm

For someone who came to piano rather late, at 17, Lafayette Gilchrist has dug deep into its history. He loves the old piano professors who'd pack the punch of a dance band into two hands at the keyboard. Players like Eubie Blake, James P. Johnson and Willie "The Lion" Smith could keep going for hours without exhausting their folkloric materials.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
10:55 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Robert Glasper Experiment: Tiny Desk Concert

NPR

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 8:37 pm

The third song in this Tiny Desk Concert, explains the jocose pianist Robert Glasper, first appeared on one of his trio's albums of acoustic, instrumental jazz. It was called "F.T.B." then, though it later acquired words and a singer and was retitled "Gonna Be Alright" on the record which won the 2013 Grammy for Best R&B Album. That in itself provides a sense of the worlds to which Glasper has access; depending on your point of view, he either freely traverses or explodes those boundaries.

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A Blog Supreme
11:14 am
Fri January 17, 2014

5 Donny Hathaway Covers By Jazz Musicians

Donny Hathaway remains widely admired in jazz, but much of his repertoire has yet to be tapped by improvisers.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Donny Hathaway's repertoire occupies a peculiar space in jazz. Though not a jazz artist, he has influenced a variety of jazz musicians through his work as a singer, keyboardist and composer. Still, jazz musicians have only skimmed the surface of his small but remarkable catalog.

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NPR Story
11:13 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Marian McPartland's Hickory House Trio On Piano Jazz

  • Listen: Hickory House Trio On Piano Jazz

With this episode of Piano Jazz, we remember drummer Joe Morello in a special reunion session with the Hickory House Trio recorded in 1990. He died on March 12, 2011, but during the 1950s, Marian McPartland, Morello, and bassist Bill Crow performed together at the Hickory House, one of the last jazz clubs on 52nd Street in Manhattan. In this session, guest host Crow shares music and memories from his days playing bass in the trio.

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A Blog Supreme
5:45 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Winter Jazzfest 2014: Tips Of The Iceberg

Rene Marie.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 7:07 pm

The logo for the 2014 Winter Jazzfest, marking the festival's 10th anniversary, is a giant iceberg floating into New York harbor. Like the iceberg, this year's edition was both big — 90-plus groups over five nights, representing just a small portion of a larger scene — and cold and wet, in that it rained both nights of the music marathon last Friday and Saturday evening. But Winter Jazzfest was hot on the inside, as we soaked up great music like a sponge.

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A Blog Supreme
5:38 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

The 2014 NEA Jazz Masters Concert

Clockwise from top left: Anthony Braxton, Keith Jarrett, Richard Davis, Jamey Aebersold.
Carolyn Wachnicki/Rose Anne Colavito/Ken Halfmann/John Nation Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:33 pm

In a concert and ceremony at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, the National Endowment for the Arts recognized its 2014 class of Jazz Masters.

The honor is the highest federally supported award for jazz artistry; those recognized receive a $25,000 grant and a tribute performance. The event was webcast live on the NEA's website, XM Satellite Radio and WBGO.org, as well as on NPR Music.

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