Jazz and Blues

Jazz Caliente
1:09 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Time for a little respect for the teachers, champions of Latin Jazz

fundrum.blogspot.com

Every art form needs its champions, its teachers, those who believe deeply and share their passion.

I have tremendous respect for two such champions of Latin Jazz (one based in San Francisco, the other in the Bronx): John Santos and Bobby Sanabria.

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Jazz Northwest
12:00 pm
Sun August 12, 2012

Johnny Mandel concert at Jazz Port Townsend

Johnny Mandel conducting at Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend 2012, Bill Ramsay & Travis Ranney saxes.
Credit Jim Levitt

Johnny Mandel has enjoyed a seven-decade musical career that began in the 40s as a trombonist and arranger in big bands of Woody Herman, Count Basie and others.  He went on to greater fame as a film composer after settling in LA in the 50s, where he penned scores for “I Want To Live,” “The Sandpiper,” “The Americanization of Emily,” “Mash” and many others including popular songs “Close Enough for Love” and “A Time for Love”.  

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Jazz Caliente
11:49 am
Thu August 9, 2012

What's that sound? Beaded gourds and laughing drums

chekere
Andrea Corniel Photography

Latin Jazz is rich with percussion and compelling sounds.  Most of the percussion instruments originate from Africa, and are tied to spiritual and religious ceremonies.  Here are a couple of favorites:

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Jazz Northwest
1:40 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Jazz Port Townsend concert broadcast to feature "Dynamic Duos"

 

The first in a series of concert broadcasts from Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend features "Dynamic Duos" on KPLU's Jazz Northwest on Sunday, August 5 at 1 PM PDT.   The three duos selected by Artistic Director John Clayton for this unique concert are trombonists Wycliffe Gordon and Jiggs Whigham, guitarists Graham Dechter and Bruce Forman and drummers (drummists?) Jeff Hamilton and Matt Wilson.  

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Blues Time Machine
5:00 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Tracking the 'Big Road Blues' and a soul sold at the crossroads

The only known image of Tommy Johnson

Tommy Johnson’s songs may not be very well known, but he was a hugely influential blues player and also may be the source of one of the most enduring legends of the blues – the Devil and the Crossroads.

While this legend is sometimes associated with Robert Johnson (no relation), it was Tommy Johnson who first cultivated a story about himself that he met the devil at a crossroads, and sold his soul in exchange for his musical ability.

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Jazz Caliente
12:01 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

What Mambo is – improvisational near-riots and 'forbidden fruit'

Mambo Madness movie poster, 1955
Sonny Watson's Streetswing.com

According to Rebeca Mauleon's indispensable "Salsa Guidebook for Piano and Ensemble,"  the Mambo is:

An up-tempo dance style, developed through the 1940s and 1950s, which blended several elements of North American instrumentation and harmony with the Cuban son (a style of popular dance music that combined Spanish and African elements).

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Jazz Northwest
1:00 pm
Sun July 29, 2012

Jazz Northwest for 7/29/12

This week on Jazz Northwest we'll feature some songs for Summer including the Summer movement from Phil Dwyer's Changing Seasons suite for orchestra.  Pete Christlieb and Linda Small are visiting after Jazz Port Townsend and playing some great Bill Holman charts.  Something new from Pearl Django and other music from Portland to Vancouver BC as well as suggestions for live jazz around Seattle in the coming week.

 

Jazz & Blues
11:36 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Hearing, more than smell, brings (my) memories to life

I know. I know. It is widely assumed and believed that smell is the strongest sense tied to memory. But for me (and a handful of musicians that I spoke to), music – in some cases even just a few bars of a song -  can draw upon some of the most powerful memories in a persons life.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Jazz & Blues
8:17 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Jazz Caliente July 26: Hard Hands

Ray Barretto 1929-2006
Soul Portrait

This week's Jazz Caliente on KPLU includes music from conguero, composer and bandleader Ray Barretto.  One of the first musicians to introduce Latin percussion to American be-bop, he was known as Manos Duras (Hard Hands), a power hitter of the congas. 

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jazz
10:56 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

For jazz musicians looking for mentors, things ain't what they used to be

Trumpeter Terence Blanchard (center) is known as one of jazz's great cultivators of young talent, whether as an educator or leading bands with younger musicians like saxophonist Walter Smith III or pianist Fabian Almazan.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:14 pm

One of the great things about jazz is that it bridges generations. Because it relies on interactive improvisation and live performance, and thus can't be completely taught in a classroom or with a book, aspiring younger musicians seek the direct guidance of older, wiser ones. And more experienced musicians have plenty of reasons to take fresh talent under their wings, like gaining new bandmates with fresh skill sets, or helping future torch-bearers to thrive.

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Coming up on Jazz Northwest
12:00 pm
Sat July 21, 2012

Eduardo Mendonça & Show Brazil on Jazz NW July 22

Eduardo Mendonça and Show Brazil dancers at Olympic Sculpture Park.

  Exuberant Brazilian music and dance made for a perfect summer concert at the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park earlier this month when Earshot Jazz presented Eduardo Mendonça and Show Brazil for this Month's Art of Jazz concert.  Seven musicians and three dancers, plus audience participation provided additional reasons to celebrate summer in Seattle at the park on Elliot Bay.

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Jazz & Blues
10:02 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Jazz Caliente debuts today on KPLU 88.5

Kenton's Cuban Fire

Jazz Caliente debuts today at 2 p.m. on KPLU’s Mid Day Jazz.

It’s a three-song set featuring Latin Jazz:  the melodies and improvisation of jazz blended with Latin rhythms.

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Jazz Northwest
11:37 pm
Sun July 15, 2012

Bass players rule on Jazz NW!

 It's not often the bass player steps from the back of the band to front his own group but there are notable exceptions.... Charles Mingus, Ray Brown, and Ron Carter among others come to mind.  There are three with strong Seattle connections on Jazz Northwest this Sunday: Chuck Deardorf, the late Chuck Metcalf and Clipper Anderson.   We'll also hear an outstanding young alto saxophonist from Portland, Hailey Niswanger who recently graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston. She's playing two gigs in the area next week.

Jazz Northwest
1:00 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Jazz Northwest for July 8, 2012

Nearly two dozen high school jazz musicians performed in three groups at the new Bake's Place in Bellevue on the closing night of this year's Bellevue Jazz Festival.  The three groups were comprised of young musicians selected from ten area high schools and were mentored by professional jazz musicians.

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Jazz Northwest
1:00 pm
Sun July 1, 2012

A jazz variety on Jazz Northwest

A variety of Northwest jazz groups are featured on this edition of Jazz Northwest.   Trio to big band, Jelly Roll Morton to brand new compositions,  from musicians who live and work from Portland to Vancouver BC.  July 1 is Canada Day and the last day of the Vancouver and Victoria Jazz Festivals.  We'll hear a modern day interpretation of a Jelly Roll Morton tune recorded where he played in Vancouver BC.  Former resident Diane Schuur is back at Jazz Alley this week, and Pearl Django's eleventh CD features several new compositions.

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