Deceptive Cadence helps celebrate the 25th anniversary of the original D.I.Y. music collaboration, Bang On A Can.
Members of the Bang on a Can All-Stars playing in Shanghai in 2009.
See the full article here.
Josh Jackson hosts The Checkout at WBGO, Jazz 88, Newark
“A vibraphonist from down the turnpike in Baltimore; a guitarist from across the pond in Norway. Both have dedicated themselves to hard-swinging jazz of the highest order, and both journey to downtown Manhattan to lead bands in the next installment of The Checkout: Live From 92Y Tribeca.
On Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. ET, The Checkout: Live series pairs the bands of Lage Lund and Warren Wolf in a double bill, in performance at 92Y Tribeca. The concert will be broadcast on air via WBGO and in an online video webcast at this page on NPR Music, with a live online chat. For more information about this series and the full concert archive, visit npr.org/checkoutlive.
See the full post here.
This is copyright protected, so just a few notes.
Piano Jazz has been one of the mainstay programs at NPR since 1979.
“Marian McPartland, the jazz pianist, is stepping down as the host of the “Piano Jazz” after more than three decades on the air, said a spokeswoman for NPR, Anna Christopher…[she] will stay on as the artistic director of the show…For now, the baton will be passed to Mr. [Jon] Weber, a jazz pianist from Chicago. He has recorded 13 new shows which will begin airing in the first week of January. Mr. Weber’s program will no longer be called “Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz,” but will be re-titled “Piano Jazz Rising Stars.” Mr. Weber will perform duets with guests and then interview them, just as Ms. McPartland has done with aplomb for years.”
See thew full notice here.
Watch Live Wednesday, Nov. 9 At 9 p.m. ET originated by WBGO, Jazz 88.3, Newark, NJ
by Patrick Jarenwattananon
November 2, 2011
“When he leads a band playing his own tunes, the New York-based tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry makes uncommon, beautiful music. Call it modern jazz if you must; it can get a bit abstract, a little loose. But “modern jazz” often connotes something hypertechnical, or noodly, or lost in advanced harmony, and this isn’t exactly that. It’s often slow, or at least deliberately spacious, and aspiring to something pretty and aching. And it’s finished by a player who gets a meaty, lustrous sound from the horn.
Later this month, Bill McHenry will release a new album’s worth of this music — his third with his current quartet — called Ghosts of the Sun. But before that, he’ll play a week at the Village Vanguard with a completely different lineup, including the great seasoned drummer Andrew Cyrille. NPR Music and WBGO will present a live video webcast and radio broadcast of the Bill McHenry Quartet from the club on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 9 p.m. ET. Visit this page for the live presentation, as well as a recording afterwards.”
by Anastasia Tsioulcas
5 Great Classical Performances And Talks from TED
Danielle de Niese
Benjamin Zander On Music And Passion
Maya Beiser In 8 Forms
Ethel Plays Phil Kline
Visit the web page and take advantage of these videos.
October 16, 2011
Musicians who have worked with Reich, NPR staffers and others reflect on his compositions.
“American composer Steve Reich turned 75 this week. The so-called minimalist credits jazz, African drumming and Balinese gamelan for inspiring his signature style. His music, from experimental tape loops to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Double Sextet, has inspired the generations of composers who followed.
In the early 1960s, when Reich was beginning his composition career, the contemporary classical music scene was dominated by atonal music like the works of Pierre Boulez.
‘It fell to my generation to basically say, Basta! Enough!’ Reich says.
Composer David Lang says he first heard Reich’s It’s Gonna Rain on an LP he came across at the record store where he worked.
‘I had never been prepared to hear anything like this,’ Lang says. ‘It didn’t have a melody; it didn’t have harmony, at least the way I had been prepared to understand it; it didn’t have a way of progressing. And I remember thinking, This is the coolest thing I ever heard in my life. I was 17 years old. I started thinking, the role of the composer is to experiment and explore and to find something new.’
Reich’s music became hugely influential, and not just for Lang. Artists such as Brian Eno, David Bowie and The National’s Bryce Dessner, as well as practitioners of hip-hop and house music, all owe something to the composer.
‘For a lot of musicians like myself, I think Steve Reich’s appeal is quite broad, and in a way just to open this big space for musicians to move in,’ says Dessner, who is also a classical guitarist and composer.
But Washington Post critic Tim Page says it’s not just Reich’s past music that intrigues his fans.
‘One of the things that’s really sort of extraordinary about Steve Reich is that he’s 75, and yet he’s still to whom everybody looks with great interest to see what he’ll do next,’ Page says. ‘And that’s a rarity — especially a rarity with a very radical composer.’
Reich himself is always looking forward. He says his 75th-birthday wish has already come true.
‘That young musicians around the world want to and actually do play my music very well,’ he says, ‘and to go around and hear that, in reality, is the best present a composer could ask for.’
This article is here.
Watch Live Wednesday, Oct. 12 At 9 p.m. ET
by Patrick Jarenwattananon
“The 27-year-old pianist Fabian Almazan is about to release his debut album, Personalities, and it is aptly titled. It features Almazan as composer, one who can write and arrange for films, for string quartet, for piano trio. It features Almazan the Cuban-American musician, demonstrating intuitive control over Latin jazz repertoire and feeling. And it features Almazan the modern jazzman, the musician who can play with that flexible, go-anywhere feeling so sought-after these days.
He’ll celebrate the digital release of his multiple Personalities with a week as a bandleader at New York’s cramped subterranean jazz mecca, the Village Vanguard. And for one night and one performance only, he’ll bring along a string quartet. WBGO and NPR Music will record and feature a live radio broadcast and video webcast of the Fabian Almazan Trio with string quartet on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 9 p.m. ET at this page.”
See the full article also at this page.
August 31, 2011
“For some, jazz is a form of music defined by innovation. It’s a language of hybrid invention, about a relentless quest for a new style, a new movement, a new expression. Alternately, there’s a powerful argument for jazz as a tradition: a language of core values, worthy of a lifetime of respectful study, representative of a century of African-American cultural achievement. As the prevailing aesthetic outlook has it, both are equally valid; jazz is tradition and innovation, at once.
Over the last 30 years, it’s hard to think of anyone who embodies this duality better than composer and pianist Geri Allen. As often as she’s been lionized for the freshness of her playing, she’s also been admired for the respect she’s shown for its living history. WBGO and NPR Music will proudly feature the Geri Allen Trio in the Live at the Village Vanguard series of live on-air radio/online video broadcasts on Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 9 p.m. ET.”
Visit the web page for information about the videocast and to read the rest of the article.
“We’re happy to announce that NPR Music is returning to the Newport Jazz Festival for a live webcast and recording Aug. 6-7, 2011.
Along with hosts, engineers and producers from WBGO (New Jersey/New York), WYPR (Baltimore) and WGBH (Boston), we’ll be presenting a live online stream of concerts from “the grandfather of jazz festivals.” You can visit npr.org/newportjazz for live coverage — including photos, blog and Twitter updates and the webcast — and revisit the site afterwards to explore a trove of festival recordings, including video highlights. Recordings from 2010 and 2009 are there now.
Visit NPR Music’s coverage of the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival at npr.org/newportjazz.
Once again, founder George Wein and his team have devised a diverse lineup for his signature jazz event. Iconic musicians like Eddie Palmieri, Wynton Marsalis, Randy Weston and Charles Lloyd are scheduled to perform, while exciting younger players like Esperanza Spalding, Hiromi and Trombone Shorty will play multiple sets. Also on the lineup are bands led by Steve Coleman, Joey DeFrancesco, Rudresh Mahanthappa and Bunky Green, Regina Carter, Avishai Cohen, Ambrose Akinmusire and many more. A schedule of our broadcast will appear close to the weekend of Aug. 6-7.
What? No Casey Abrams? LOst opportunity.
For more information about the lineup, visit the official Newport Jazz Festival website. We hope you can join us at npr.org/newportjazz.
by Simon Rentner at A Blog Supreme
July 22, 2011
“If Argentine composer and performer Astor Piazzolla didn’t exist, the subgenre of “Nueva Tango” — a mix of tango, classical and jazz — wouldn’t, either, nor would this taster of accordion jazz. Piazzolla created a massive canon, influencing generations of bandoneon players after him, and he rejuvenated Argentina’s greatest musical tradition and export.
However, it was Piazzolla’s formative years in New York’s Greenwich Village — soaking in the swing of the 1930s — that often informs his style, a jazzier sound he leaned to during his later years.”
See the full article, complete with audio and video, here.
News From A Blog Supreme
“We’re happy to announce that NPR Music is returning to the Newport Jazz Festival for a live webcast and recording Aug. 6-7, 2011. Along with hosts, engineers and producers from WBGO (New Jersey/New York), WYPR (Baltimore) and WGBH (Boston), we’ll be presenting a live online stream of concerts from ‘the grandfather of jazz festivals.’”
See the full article here.
Watch Live On Wednesday, July 6 At 9 p.m. ET
Jimmy (left) and Albert “Tootie” Heath.
Jimmy Heath, saxophones
Albert “Tootie” Heath, drums
Jeb Patton, piano
David Wong, bass
“Jimmy is an affable jazz statesman — he has a new autobiography, and was named an NEA Jazz Master for 2003 — and Albert (nicknamed “Tootie”) has freelanced with anyone who’s anyone. Despite the 2005 death of their elder brother Percy, The Heath Brothers still convene on occasion. At the Village Vanguard this week, Jimmy and Tootie will add bass and piano to form a quartet. NPR Music and WBGO will be on hand for a live radio broadcast and online video webcast of their performance this Wednesday, July 6 at 9 p.m. ET. Check this page for live video, audio, chat and a recording afterwards.“
I recently “attended” three hour long concerts by ICE, the International Contemporary Ensemble, led by Ms Claire Chase. I attended them on line, courtesy of Q2 the 24/7 New Music stream from New York Public Radio.
Here are a couple of links to the videos still available at Q2
You can “attend” the concerts, and then go to the ICE web site and “buy a ticket” by making a contribution of financial support. I paid $10 for each.
So, today at The Record from NPR/music, we have the really wonderful Lara Pellegrinelli writing about Ms Chase: Following Claire Chase: A Week In The Life Of A Working Musician.
I often give a few lines from an article to entice the reader. But, Laura is such a good writer, I just cannot pick out any text without diminishing the rest of her article.
So see the complete article here.
by Alex W. Rodriguez
“Last month, my station, WBGO, celebrated its 32nd birthday. Strangely enough, another jazz titan turns the same age this Saturday: the Montreal International Jazz Festival. One of the largest music festivals of any kind in the world, it runs from June 25 through July 4.
The two of us have grown up together. WBGO’s Michael Bourne and Becca Pulliam first collaborated with the festival in the 1990s, and the station began live remote broadcasts from Montreal in 2004. This weekend, WBGO will be back in Montreal for another live broadcast.”
See the full article here.
The kids these days: They want to sound like Mark Turner. Well, at least the saxophone students do, and sure, certainly not all of them. But he’s still probably the most influential tenor man of his generation. Why is that?
Perhaps you haven’t heard of Turner, if you don’t follow modern jazz closely. He hasn’t put out any records as a clear leader for about 10 years now; he has no website. But he has an innovative sonic signature, a certain floating chromaticism, rhythmic mindfulness and lightness of tone, filled with subtleties. Basically, his music has personality, which keeps the best musicians ringing his phone, and the aspiring ones listening hard.
Watch Live On Tuesday, June 21 At 9 p.m. ET
Mark Turner, tenor saxophone
David Virelles, piano
Ben Street, bass
Paul Motian (!), drums
See the full article here. And come back for the videocast.
“Nico Muhly has a flair for entrances. His 2007 album, Speaks Volumes, opens with a cello toward the apex of its register that quickly takes a multi-octave plunge. Mothertongue, from 2008, frenetically launches with a repeated high-octane read-through of the alphabet. Last year’s I Drink the Air Before Me pierces with a series of staccato arrows paired with more luscious, ominous rumbles, while its sister release, A Good Understanding, is heralded by a bracing organ flourish.
Varied though these opening salvos may be, they always signal a true listening experience. With his newest album, Seeing Is Believing, Muhly doesn’t let listeners down: A repeated arabesque on a violin curves and twirls as several additional layers of strings and percussion are added to the spiral, at once complementing and contrasting the title work’s first four notes, culminating with the addition of winds. It’s not unlike the ever-expanding universe, the mapping of which inspired this concerto for solo electric six-string violin. For nearly 30 minutes, Muhly commands rapt attention, referencing influences from former mentor Philip Glass to Stravinsky, circa Rite of Spring, and Ravel at his most impressionistic.”
Nico Muhly Seeing Is Believeing
Released via Decca Records
See the full article, and listen to the whole album or individual tracks here.
“Erik Friedlander is resolutely a cellist. His Pettiford-inspired 2008 recording, Broken Arm Trio, rests firmly in the subset of jazz cello music. Friedlander’s newest recording, Bonebridge, congeals that trio (bassist Trevor Dunn, drummer Mike Sarin) with another jazz outlier: Tennessean Doug Wamble and his resonating slide guitar.
‘ It hit me like a ton of bricks,’ Friedlander says. ‘ I was really writing another book of music for the Broken Arm Trio. The music, however, was pushing me in another direction, and I was working against myself. I needed to uncork it. I thought slide guitar. It’s got the legato, soulful vibe, and it’s similar to the cello, but it’s completely different. So I wanted to play with that tension and see what happens when you put us together.’
See the full article and stream the complete album or individual tracks here.
From JazzCorner.com: “The Checkout: Live from 92YTribeca – New Performance Series with WBGO and NPR Music”
“92YTribeca and WBGO present The Checkout: Live from 92YTribeca, a new series created by Joshua Jackson, host of WBGO’s hour-long music magazine The Checkout, who is widely recognized as an unparalleled enthusiast for modern expressions in jazz. Curated by Jackson in conjunction with 92YTribeca, The Checkout: Live will convene some of the most exciting and innovative players on the NYC scene for monthly concerts that will be broadcast live on WBGO as well as streamed on WBGO.org. Portions will also be recorded for future broadcast and podcast as part of The Checkout.
The Checkout: Live series will also be video webcast live and archived at NPR Music as part of NPR Music’s ongoing commitment to bring the vibrant jazz scene to a nationwide audience through its website and mobile apps.”
See the full JazzCorner article here.
Watch A Live Webcast Wednesday, May 25 At 9 p.m. ET.
May 24, 2011
“There’s no one standard model of jazz, but there are standards. There’s a standard repertoire, for sure; also, standard conventions of instrumentation, group interaction, overall “sound.” Trumpeter Roy Hargrove, when he commits to playing straight-ahead jazz, leads a quintet that is very comfortable with those standards. If you’re new to jazz, it would seem distantly familiar, like how you might imagine jazz to be. If you aren’t new to jazz, you might just find it proves how satisfying those standards remain, and how much room for self-expression is in them.
Same guy, maybe a bit younger?
It’s what’s made Roy Hargrove a star in the jazz world, and what allows the Roy Hargrove quintet to play two straight weeks at the world-famous Village Vanguard in New York City. WBGO and NPR Music will present a live on-air broadcast and live video webcast of the band’s early performance this Wednesday, May 25 at 9 p.m. ET. The video and live chat will be hosted on this page.
See the full article also at the same page.
Nico Muhly: Gaming One’s Way Into Classical Music
“I want to offer a slightly more obscure but, I think, much more popular (in terms of numbers) counterexample. Although my parents had classical music on LP’s in the house, the childhood music I remember the most vividly is fragments from either live performances or, strangely, video games at my friends’ houses.
For me, living in the country, playing a video game was sort of like music minus one: The actions of my hands informed, in a strange way, the things I heard. Collect a coin, and a delighted glockenspiel sounds. Move from navigating a level above ground to one below ground, and the eager French chromaticism of the score changes to a spare, beat-driven minimal texture. Hit a star, and suddenly the score does a metric modulation. All of these things come to bear in a later musical education; I’m positive I understand how augmented chords change an emotional texture because of Nintendo music.
These are private musical revelations that happened in the manic, parched late-night of a sleepover, but then came to bear later in the context of actual chamber music.”
See the full article here.
by Anastasia Tsioulcas
Steve Reich takes a bow at his 75th birthday concert at Carnegie Hall alongside members of the Kronos Quartet and So Percussion.
“This October, composer Steve Reich is turning 75 — an age that for many other artists, especially ones as widely adored as Reich, wouldn’t be marked by much more than a few valedictory laps. Instead, he continues to make innovative music and is still one of the most important and influential voices of our era.
That fact became vivid reality this past Saturday evening at Carnegie Hall, when Reich was feted with a concert that was not at all a retrospective. Instead, it was comprised entirely of works Reich has written only within the last four years, performed by artists who have become Reich colleagues as well as fans: the Kronos Quartet, longstanding partners of Reich, all the way back to 1988′s Different Trains; the downtown denizens of Bang on a Can; So Percussion; and the sextet eighth blackbird.
See the full really great article here, along with photos and a video.
By Josh Jackson
“In late March, The Bad Plus descended upon Duke University to unveil its take on Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. You can now hear a recording of On Sacred Ground: Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring at The Checkout.
The Bad Plus plays its take on The Rite of Spring at Duke Performances, backed by a multimedia backdrop created by architect Cristina Guadalupe and filmmaker Noah Hutton.
These are my sources for music and information. If you have any suggestions for me, I would appreciate seeing them in Comments.
New Amsterdam Records – “…a non-profit-model record label and artists’ service organization that supports the public’s engagement with new music by composers and performers whose work grows from the fertile ground between genres….”
From NPR/music and WNYC’s New Sounds: “The Unsound Music Festival – Hear A Mix Of Modern Composers From This Year’s Concert Series”
by John Schaefer
“There is music, and there is noise. That statement, uninteresting in itself, becomes less so when you try to determine the boundary between the two. Sound exists as a spectrum, and the bar between music and noise exists in very different places along that spectrum for each listener. At one extreme, you can still find, say, a diehard Bach fan who says that all rock music sounds like noise. This may not be just a dismissive opinion, but a genuine experience of amplified music as being disorganized and grating. In other words, noise. At the other end, you have someone like the late John Cage, who famously said that everything we do is music, and who loved to listen to the sounds of the world coming through the window of his Sixth Avenue apartment in Manhattan. Even Cage, though, was initially repulsed by the dense blocks of sound created by Glenn Branca in his symphonies for electric guitars. The point is, “music” and “noise” are in the ear of the beholder, and the ways we divide and organize the sounds around us are as unpredictable as we are.
This kind of thinking seems to reside at the heart of the Unsound Festival. It has certainly been a part of my thinking in programming New Sounds, the long-running WNYC new-music show that was distributed by NPR for much of the 1980s and ’90s. Sounds that may not seem musical at first can become musical in context, and sounds that some people have deep emotional and physical responses to may not be recognizable as “music” to many others. Examples: Train whistles and spoken voices become not just musical, but melodic in Steve Reich’s Different Trains. Listening to Ben Frost’s By the Throat can be genuinely unsettling, and nowhere more so than in the moments where the recognizable instruments fall away, leaving the whistling Arctic wind, wolf howls and blocks of distorted sound. These are the types of artists who have appeared, both on recordings and in person, on New Sounds over the years, and both will be represented in the Unsound Festival this year, as well.
Brian Eno (right) and his protege, composer Ben Frost, are featured at this year’s Unsound Festival in New York City.
See John’s full article here. And take a lokk at “New Sounds’ “Unsound” Playlist” at the end of the page. Wow!