Jazz and Blues

News about jazz, blues, Studio Sessions, and music samplings from jazz artists in the northwest and around the world.

I'll be playing Nina Simone's "I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl" today at noon PT to start the Blue Plate Special.

Nina Simone's music inspired many, including a claymation artist.  This video comes from Aardman Animations, the folks who make Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep. 

Does anyone else think the bass player in this video looks like George Mraz?

If I Had My Way

Feb 23, 2011

Reverend Gary Davis was a legendary country blues/gospel guitarist and songwriter.  His song If I Had My Way was performed by the Peter, Paul and Mary and by the Grateful Dead (as Samson and Delilah).

Peter Yarrow's daughter Bethany and her musical partner Rufus Cappadocia played it for our Studio Session back in November.

Katy Bourne / Seattle Jazz Scene, allaboutjazz.com

Ron Hudson, internationally known jazz photograper and Seattle resident, passed away yesterday.  He had a career spanning 30-plus years full of breathtaking images and music.  A memorial service is being planned. 

A collection of images from Ron's website

Ron Hudson's book Right Down Front

So now you’ve seen the Jazz 100 list selected by our listeners, and you’ve got some introductory analysis on by Kirsten Kendrick and myself.

I felt that it was appropriate for the next step to be getting some thoughts from a fresh pair of eyes…and who better than two of the best in the business, KPLU’s Midday Jazz host Robin Lloyd and Evening Jazz host Abe Beeson?

See their thoughts on the Groove Notes blog

Sad to report the passing of British jazz pianist George Shearing, who died Monday from congestive heart failure in New York. He was 91. 

He came to the U.S. in 1947 and quickly established himself as a popular instrumentalist and composer. His recording of "September In The Rain" sold nearly a million copies, and his tune "Lullaby of Birdland" became a popular jazz favorite.

Listen to the Q&A here:

What is the greatest jazz recording ever? That's the questions we asked listeners of KPLU and our jazz stream Jazz 24. From that, we came up with our list of the Top 100 Quintessential Jazz Songs of All Time.

KPLU music and news host Kevin Kniestedt tabulated the nearly 3,000 votes.  One thousand five hundred songs were nominated over a period of several weeks.

zzazazz / Flickr

I’ll admit I wasn’t a big fan of the blues before I started working here at KPLU. I didn’t know much about the music. But that changed when I started listening to the blues songs we play. I discovered I really like the blues and the bare-bones, gritty nature of it. So, why mess that up with a fancy remix, right? Wrong.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve asked you to vote for your favorite jazz songs so that KPLU (along with our 24-hour jazz stream - Jazz24.org) can create a webstream of the 100 quintessential jazz songs of all time. 

Well, the response has been overwhelming! Thousands of votes have come in and we’re now tabulating the results and gathering the songs.

Courtesy Sony/BMB Masterworks

He's made his list, and checked it twice. KPLU All Blues host John Kessler has his 2010 top 10 blues albums list, and he's ready to share it with you.  What albums are on your list? Which from John's list would you not include?  Let's hear what you have to say!

If you are looking for some jazz in holiday style to get your hands on, you might want to consider these Christmas jazz albums I've listed on Groove Notes. Some might be more of a challenge to track down than others.

Gail Pettis and Dr. David Deacon-Joyner perform at the KPLU Christmas Jam
Justin Steyer / KPLU

The 14th-Annual KPLU Christmas Jam, our much-anticipated annual free holiday concert and live broadcast, was held on the Pacific Lutheran University campus on December 9, 2010.

This year we featured acclaimed jazz vocalist Gail Pettis, as well as the PLU Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Robert Miller. They performed classic holiday favorites from "This Christmas" to "Baby It's Cold Outside," and closed the program with an audience sing-along of "White Christmas."

Seven years in the making, ‘JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology’ will be released by Smithsonian Folkways on March 29th, 2011.

The six-CD box set traces the turning points of this 20th-century tale through its legendary innovators and exemplary exponents: Armstrong, Ellington, Basie, Parker, Gillespie, Davis, Hancock, Corea, Coltrane and many more. The set opens with Scott Joplin’s 1899 “Maple Leaf Rag” and spans the entire century, closing with Tomasz Stańko’s 2003 “Suspended Night Variation VIII.”

Wikimedia.org

Nominations for the Grammy Awards were announced last night. KPLU host, and jazz blogger Kevin Kniestedt has compiled a list of nominations in jazz categories, as well as some other categories in which jazz artists are included.

Celebrate Hallowe’en with Jazz Northwest as we feature some ghostly apparitions and scary music from resident Northwest musicians on the show. We’ll also have some samples of some of the artists who’ll be appearing during this coming final week of the 22nd annual Earshot Festival. Sunday at 1 - Hallowe’en on Jazz Northwest from 88-5, KPLU.

AP Photo

Jazz saxophone legend Sonny Rollins celebrated his 80th birthday on September 7th. KPLU's Kirsten Kendrick and Nick Morrison used the opportunity to talk about Rollins' life and play some of his great music. As part of a monthly contribution to NPR's music Web site, Nick compiled a list of five Sonny Rollins' songs that span his extensive career. And Nick talked with Kirsten about some of his selections.

Kirsten: Nick, when did Sonny Rollins first start coming into focus for jazz fans?

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