Studio Sessions

Coming Up:

9/4/2015 - Terence Blanchard @ 12:15 p.m.

9/11/2015 - Anton Schwartz Trio @ 12:15 p.m.

9/17/2015 - Susan Pascal Quartet @ 12:15 p.m.

9/24/2015 - Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto @ 12:15 p.m.

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

Generally, jazz musicians who devote themselves to avant-garde and free jazz begin by working in ‘straight-ahead’ groups and then begin experiment with music concepts that are more ‘outside’.  Not so with Seattle saxophonist, Jacob Zimmerman.  In this KPLU Studio Session, he tells host, Abe Beeson, that a teacher turned him on to avant garde musicians when Jacob was in 6th grade, so he cut his teeth on adventurous artists like Anthony Braxton. But is his new album ‘Record Ban’ avant-garde?  

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

Guitarist Lee Ritenour has been playing with pianist Dave Grusin on and off since he was a teenager in the 70s, Dave plays on much of Lee’s new album A Twist Of Rit, but they haven’t played much in a duet setting.

Parker Miles Blohm

Tenor saxophonist, Kareem Kandi, has been a lynchpin of northwest jazz for 20 years, and when it comes to be-bop, he’s the real deal.  His classic tone (think Dexter Gordon and Pete Christlieb) and straight-ahead approach lays the music on the line.  Kareem plays with different groups in different instrumental configurations but when he came in for his first KPLU studio session, it was just Kareem on tenor sax, DeVonne Lewis on drums and Delvon Lamarr tearin’ it up on the Hammond B-3 organ.  Want a be-bop smack-down?  Here it is.

In 2003, Seattle jazz singer, Stephanie Porter released her debut CD, Mood Swings.  The CD presented Stephanie’s unmistakable voice, singing a selection of excellent songs from The Great American Songbook (like, Cheek To Cheek, Get Out Of Town and Misty). Her second CD, How Deep Is The Ocean, released in 2010, showed the world that she had grown tremendously as a singer and, here again, the songs on the disc were wonderfully-done standards.

Klem Daniels / KPLU

Drummer Ryan Leppich has graduated Mountlake Terrace HS and is preparing to go off to college.  However, while at MTHS, he formed a jazz quintet consisting of some of his school band mates as well as fine players from other high school jazz programs in the area.  

3 of the 5 are graduating, so we were fortunate to get them into the KPLU performance studio before they went their separate ways.   In this session they take on some pretty complex jazz compositions and they do with an ease that belies their years.  Dig in.

Michael Goude

The answer to that question, according to the members of the string trio, 3-Cent Stamp is a resounding, “YES.”  This group, based on beautiful Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, initially limited their repertoire to jazz songs that were extrapolated from classical music.  For example, ‘How Insensitive,’ heard in this studio session comes from Chopin.  Soon, though, they expanded their musical palette to include non-classically-based jazz and original compositions. 

In this studio session, hosted by KPLU’s Dick Stein, 3-Cent Stamp’s set begins with an original composition followed by the aforementioned ‘How Insensative.’  Then they wrap it up with a blues by Horace Sliver (Doodlin’) with vocalese lyrics by Jon Hendricks.

Aaron Hushagen

A couple of years ago jazz/blues singer Catherine Russell made a stop at KPLU for a live studio session that was amazing.  So when she made time to drop in again recently, we were thrilled.

When it comes to singing, it seems there’s nothing she can’t do, but one of the things we love most about her is her ability to breathe new, vibrant life into old, sometimes almost forgotten songs.  In this session she takes songs from the past and plops them right into the 21st century, reminding us that great music never dies.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

In this KPLU studio session, the US Army salutes jazz, with the 56th Army Jazz Band from Joint Base Lewis/McCord.  

Hosted by Abe Beeson, this sextet of talented troops gives us two original compositions by members of the band (Ego and Fifteen Day Dream) and a delightfully sneaky rearrangement of Miles Davis’ So What.   Abe and the guys also talk about what a sweet gig it is to serve their country by playing music that they love.

Aaron Hushagen / KPLU

The Bad Plus is one of the most in-demand trios in jazz.  Joshua Redman is one of the most in-demand saxophonists.  When the trio and the saxophonist joined forces to become The Bad Plus Joshua Redman, the star-power threatened to be blinding, so when they came to KPLU for a live session, we all had sunglasses near at hand.

Aaron Hushagen / KPLU

As we welcomed Lynnwood’s Meadowdale High School Jazz Combo into the KPLU live performance studio, they looked like normal, hard-working music students.  When they started to play, however, it was soon clear to us that we were hearing a band that was a cut above.  

Along with their mentor, trumpeter Michael Van Bebber, the combo nailed each of the 3 songs they performed.  If you have doubts about whether or not high school students can really play jazz, listen to this session.  Your doubts will disappear.  Out thanks to the band for such a fine performance and kudos to the band’s director, Jeff Horenstein.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

The first time we met pianist Justin Kauflin he was in Seattle as part of the Seattle International Film Festival, which was showing a documentary about the friendship between the young Justin and veteran jazz trumpeter Clark Terry.

The movie is called Keep On Keepin’ On and if you haven’t seen it, you’re missing a lovely story. Mr. Terry has since passed on but Justin is still very much with us (he’s only 29, after all) and growing by leaps and bounds as a musician.

Aaron Hushagen / KPLU

When trumpeter Lance Buller takes the stage, the audience knows it’s in for a good time.  He’s serious about his music but he’s also serious about making sure his listeners have fun.  Put another way:  he’s a terrific jazz trumpeter but he’s also an entertainer.  

Lance’s latest show is a tribute to his 3 greatest influences.  It’s called The 3 Louis—Louis Armstrong, Louis Jordan & Louis Prima.  We invited Lance and The Roadstars into the KPLU performance studio to give us a preview of the new show.  As we expected, good times ensued.  Enjoy!

Justin Steyer / KPLU

The Interlake High School Jazz Combo is doing it right.  They’ve got chops, poise and the ability to select and arrange great material.  

Of course, some of that ability to select and arrange might—just might—be aided and abetted by the band’s director, Paul Gillespie, and/or their mentor, jazz trumpeter, Thomas Marriott.  

In this studio session, the band (with Marriott sitting in) performed three songs:  This Is For Albert (by Wayne Shorter), Stoner Hill (by Brian Blade) and Sonny Rollin’s classic, Doxy, here given an inventive treatment by the band.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

McTuff is a Seattle organ trio consisting of Joe Doria (Hammond B-3 organ), Andy Coe (guitar) and Tarik Abouzeid (drums).  

The band breaks through the constraints of genre expectations and reaches a wide range of music lovers.  They can play for an audience of jazz purists who just want to listen to the music or they can play for an audience of people who just want to dance.  And they do that by being exactly who they are:  three inventive musicians who don’t mind bringin’ on the funk.

Michael Goude / KPLU

Since the late 1970's, Seattle pianist Dave Peck has been a bright spot in the regional jazz scene.  

From his early career as an accompanist for visiting jazz artists at Jazz Alley, through a long, productive partnership with saxophonist Bud Shank, to his continuing role as the leader of his own group, Dave's given us a lot of wonderful, adventurous music over the years.  

In this studio session, hosted by Jim Wilke, Dave talks about his career, his approach to performing and why his band never--never--rehearses.  It's a revealing conversation interspersed with 3 of Dave's favorite songs:  If I Were A Bell, Here's That Rainy Day and Stella By Starlight.  The Dave Peck Trio includes Eric Eagle (drums) and Jeff Johnson (bass).  

KPLU

For about a quarter-century Peter Bernstein has been one of the most in-demand guitarists in jazz.  So in-demand in fact, his fans were more likely to hear him on someone else’s CD rather than his own.  

However, even though he’s sought after as a side-man, Peter’s slowly been putting together a fine discography of his own, with 10 CD releases since 1992.  In this studio session with Abe Beeson, there’s no question about who’s leading the band.  

Here’s Peter Bernstein front and center, performing 3 of his favorite pieces in a trio setting that includes Chuck Deardorf on bass and Matt Jorgensen on drums.

Zach Powers

For years, Pacific Lutheran University has had a first-rate jazz education program.  These days it’s overseen by Dr. David Deacon-Joyner, an honored jazz educator, a terrific pianist and a great guy to hang out with.

Michael Goude / KPLU

The members of Tyrant Lizard are all involved in the University Of Washington’s Improvised Music Project.  When they came to KPLU for a live studio session, they immediately stated their improvisational intentions by beginning the show with a gorgeous version of Don’t Fence Me In.  (So the first thing we knew about the band was that they have a sense of humor.)  

Aaron Hushagen / KPLU

Pianist and composer Omar Sosa left his home in Cuba in 1993 but carried his Yoruban spiritual beliefs with him.  These beliefs are the underpinning of his approach to jazz, as you’ll hear in this live studio session, hosted by Abe Beeson.

Quarteto Afrocubano consists of Sosa, Ernesto Simpson (drums), Childo Tomas (electric bass) and Leandro Saint-Hill (sax and flute).  Together they present music that is compelling, uplifting and somehow charmed…music that fills the soul while also always making room for the ‘spirits.’

Justin Steyer / KPLU

We’ve been having a great time bringing some of the excellent regional high school jazz bands into the KPLU studios for live performances.  The musicians of the Bellevue High School Jazz band came in loaded for bear.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

If any three living guitarists have earned the right to the name "The Great Guitars" it's Mundell Lowe (age 92), Bucky Pizzarelli (age 89), and John Pisano (the baby of the group at 84).  From the early days of New Orleans jazz, through the swing era, to accompanying many of America's greatest vocalists in the recording studio and television bands, these guys, collectively, have covered it all.

Recently KPLU presented yet another excellent Puget Sound area high-school jazz band in a live studio session.  This time around it was the Mt. Si High School Jazz Combo from the Snoqualmie Valley School District.  

Justin Steyer

At KPLU and Jazz24 we would be hard-pressed to name a musician who is more fun to have as a guest in our performance studio than singer/songwriter/pianist, Ann Hampton Callaway.  

Every time she shows up, she’s ready for fun.  Oftentimes when she stops by for a studio session, we can hear her before we see her.  Her infectious laugh precedes her almost everywhere she goes.

Live Studio Session: The Bill Anschell Trio

Mar 10, 2015
Justin Steyer / KPLU

In a city full of terrific jazz pianists, Bill Anchell is in the top tier of that group.  You can see and hear him in a variety of Northwest venues, either leading his own groups or working in groups led by his many musical colleagues.  

Justin Steyer

Song List: 

  1. "Feeling Good"
  2. "The Music Is The Magic"
  3. "I Love Being Here With You"

Lynne Arriale (piano), Carla Cook (vocals) and Grace Kelly (saxophone) are all headline jazz artists who lead their own bands.  Not long ago, though, these three extremely talented players decided it would be fun to get together and pay tribute to the musicians and the songs that initially inspired them to pursue a life in jazz.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

Back in 2012, bassist Christian McBride stopped by the KPLU performance studios for a mini-concert with pianist Peter Martin.  It was one of the most elevating duet performance we’d ever heard.  

This time, though, Christian brought his trio with him: Pianist Christian Sands, and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr.  

Live Studio Session: New West Guitar Group

Feb 20, 2015
Justin Steyer

The New West Guitar Group is one of the most eclectic guitar ensembles you’ll ever hear. This trio mixes the sound of electric and acoustic guitars as they search all genres of music for great songs to play, as well as writing many of their own.

Martha Kang

As part of the KPLU School Of Jazz project, we present regional high school jazz bands in our Studio Sessions.  The bands, under the direction of their faculty band-director perform three songs, as well as getting the chance to talk about what jazz means to them.

Justin Steyer

Yes, in this live solo studio session, British jazz superstar  Jamie Cullum does, indeed, play the entire piano. In "Please Don’t Stop The Music," he plays the keyboard with one hand while beating out a rhythm on the piano’s cabinet with the other. As you might guess from that, a studio session with Jamie Cullum is a whole lot of fun.

Martha Kang

Since the mid-1970s, Marcia Ball has been doing her part to turn the world into a party with her blues and boogie-woogie piano playing and singing, so we were overjoyed to welcome her back to the KPLU performance studio. Sure enough, she turned it into a party. Again.

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