Studio Sessions

Coming Up:

5/27/2016 - McTuff @ 12:15 p.m.

6/7/2016 - SOJ: Puget Sound Community School with mentor D'Vonne Lewis @ 12:15 p.m.

6/14/2016 - Anat Cohen and Fred Hersch @ 1:30 p.m.

6/20/2016 - Eugenie Jones @ 12:15 p.m.

Jacqueline Tabor: The Lady In The Gown

May 6, 2016
Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

Northwest vocalist Jacqueline Tabor discovered jazz when she was a kid watching old movies on TV.  She dug the black-and-white films noir that featured beautiful women in gowns singing jazz in dark, smoky nightclubs—she wanted to grow up to do that.  And, whaddaya know?  She’s now a lovely woman in a gown singing jazz from here to Japan.  

The nightclubs aren’t as smoky as they once were, but here she is, living her childhood dream—and doing it with a terrific band (see credits).  Together, they’ll treat you to three lovely pieces of music and a few good stories.

Parker Miles Blohm

To Seattle jazz lovers, guitarist Greg Ruby is probably best-known for the five years he spent as a member of the gypsy-jazz group, Pearl Django.  Since then, Greg has been involved in a number of groups and projects, the latest being ‘The Rhythm Runners.’ 

The band specializes in Prohibition-era jazz and, more specifically, the Prohibition jazz composed by a man named Franklin D. Waldron. 

Mr. Waldron was one of the pioneers of the Seattle jazz scene, and his music is featured on The Rhythm Runners new CD, ‘Washington Hall Stomp.’

Velocity — South Sound Sound

Apr 13, 2016

In the Puget Sound area, many may see Seattle as the hub of the regional jazz community, but Tacoma, just about 30 miles down I-5 has an extremely happening scene, as well. 

Take the band, Velocity—these guys get up on their back legs and howl. Their music is jazz rooted in funk and fusion and they can definitely throw down some killer grooves.  And they’re always challenging themselves.

Seattle pianist Ann Reynolds has been in a passionate relationship with Cuban music since her first visit to that country in 2000.  She fell in love with the music and people of that island and has returned there many times to study, compose and perform. 

Here at home she leads a band called Clave Gringa as a vehicle for her Cuban-flavored compositions.  When Clave Gringa came in for their first (of many, we hope) studio sessions, they performed three of Ann’s songs from their latest release, "Para Cuba Con Amor."  And, yes, you definitely feel the love.

The 200 Trio — 'It’s Fun To Swing'

Apr 1, 2016
Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

The three members of The 200 Trio are all in their early 20s, but as you’ll hear in this live KPLU Studio Session, they have a great affection for tried and true jazz standards from the 1940s, ‘50s and early ‘60s. 

When asked by host Abe Beeson why they were draw to this material their answers were varied, but all right on the money.  They said that they all really loved listening to that music and that the chord progressions were fun to play.  The last answer, though, is the one we liked best:  “And it’s fun to swing.” 

Amen.  It’s fun to listen to, as well.  Have at it.

Since the early 1990s, Seattle jazz lovers have had (and continue to have) the highly rewarding opportunity to see and hear the development of a great talent — pianist and composer Nelda Swiggett.  When she recorded with her first band, Room To Move, her lyrical improvisatory and composition skills were already on display. 

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

When trumpeter Terell Stafford was nearing the completion of his classical trumpet studies in college, he was also developing an interest in jazz.  Since jazz was frowned upon by his classical mentors, Terell had to meet covertly with the school’s jazz studies professor, pianist Kenny Barron.  Barron agreed to help Stafford, but only if they could keep it a secret from the classical professor.  So Terell began going to jam sessions.  

One night — well, no, we’ll stop here.  Terell tells the story much better in this performance/interview with KPLU’s Abe Beeson.  

The a cappella group, Take 6, really needs no introduction.  They’re loved by fans all over the planet and are the most award-winning vocal group in history — awards that just happen to include 10 Grammys. 

And, as if having these guys in the KPLU performance studio wasn’t enough of a treat, Take 6 did a song they’d never done live.  It was their first live performance of what would become their most recent single, "When Angels Cry," and will also be released on their next album, coming out sometime this year.

Singers:

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

All the members of this U.S. Navy Sextet agree that serving their country by playing jazz is a pretty sweet gig. 

Heck, yes!  Unlike most young jazz musicians, they have steady work, decent pay, job security and great benefits.  And do they ever have fun.

Other military jazz bands that we’ve hosted seem to gravitate to music from the golden age of jazz—the ‘modern jazz’ of the late 50s through mid-60s—guided by the greats: artists like Miles, Coltrane and Bill Evans. 

Michael Goude

 

 

In 2012, at age 24, drummer/vocalist Jamison Ross won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, without singing a note. After all, it was a drumming competition. Part of the prize was a recording contract with the Concord Jazz recording label. 

 

Earlier this year his record (titled 'Jamison') was released and this time it was his singing that caught the ears of critics and jazz fans, alike.  And now he’s been nominated for a ‘Best Jazz Vocal Album’ Grammy award. 

 

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

Pink Martini founder/pianist Thomas Lauderdale described the band this way: “If the United Nations had a house band in 1962, hopefully we’d be that band.”  

Fair enough, but after their visit to the KPLU studios for a live performance and interview with our All Things Considered host Ed Ronco, we feel strongly that they should be the house band for the planet from this day forward.  Their music is pan-global; their hearts are pure, and they make you want to dance.  So, why not?  Enjoy.

Pianist Danae Greenfield grew up and went to high school in Bellevue, Washington, where her talent and instinct for improvisation made her a standout in her school jazz band. 

She’s now a student at the prestigious Berklee School Of Music in Boston, playing and studying music during almost all of her waking hours. 

So, Christmas 2015 comes along and what does she do?  She returns to Bellevue to visit her friends and family —and play music during almost all of her waking hours. 

The Chairman of the Board.  Ol' Blue Eyes.  Those are just two of the appellations applied to Frank Sinatra over his long and revolutionary career.  To celebrate Sinatra’s 100th birthday (December 12, 1915) the Tierney Sutton Band launched a tour called "A Century Of Sinatra."  When they brought the show to Seattle, we invited this marvelous singer and her long-time trio for a studio session.

Parker Miles Blohm

Hugh Masekela is a man of many facets. He’s one of the world’s most famous jazz trumpet/flugelhorn players.  He’s also a singer, composer, political activist and (probably most germane to what you’re about to hear) a wonderful, witty and wise story-teller.

Parker Miles Blohm

Clarinetist (and sometime saxophonist) Anat Cohen is a one-woman music-blender.  Born and raised in Tel Aviv and now living in New York, Anat lays out a world of influences in almost every song she plays.  Jazz, classical, klezmer, tango, Brazilian — whatever style or genre of music you can think of, you’ll hear at least echoes of it in Ms. Cohen’s music if you listen long enough.  (And by "long enough" we mean, like, an evening’s performance from her and her band.) 

Chances are, you’ve never heard a quartet quite like The Westerlies.  Generally, a jazz quartet is a rhythm section (piano, bass, drums) with a lead instrument (say, saxophone).  Not The Westerlies.  No, no.  Here you have two trumpets and two trombones.  With this unique configuration, they present what is best described as chamber jazz—original compositions, unique arrangements and beautiful improvisation.

Parker Miles Blohm

For 15 years, The Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra has been a mainstay of the Northwest jazz scene, and ever since KPLU has been doing studio sessions in our Seattle studios, we’ve wanted to have them come in and play live for you.  One problem:  our studio isn’t big enough for the entire orchestra. 

Parker Miles Blohm

Karrin Allyson, a world-renowned jazz singer and a great friend to KPLU, has released a new album of some of her favorite songs from the musicals of Rodgers & Hammerstein—musicals that include "Oklahoma!", "The King And I" and "The Sound Of Music".    

Parker Miles Blohm

Trumpeter Marcus Printup can really, really play.  He’s also really, really devoted to jazz education and mentorship, which is what brought him to the Northwest.  

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

New Orleans trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah has a new record out.  It’s called ‘Stretch Music,’ which is a perfect title.  Not only does Christian stretch the idea of ‘jazz’ over all genres of music with this release, he also stretches how a record can be heard.  

‘Stretch Music’ has its own app—which turns the album into the first interactive media player as a record.  This means that the casual listener, or a musician who wants to play along with the songs, can listen to the instruments he or she selects.  

Parker Miles Blohm

Every so often, vocalist Francine Reed invades Seattle for a few months to take the stage at Teatro Zinzanni, 

  a permanent tent show that’s a wild mix of cirque, vaudeville, dinner theatre, glitz and glam.  And Francine fits right in whenever she takes her turn as diva-in-residence.  She was first introduced to an international audience when she joined Lyle Lovett’s Large Band.  During her current stint at Teatro, Francine and Teatro’s house band visited the KPLU

Pianist Jovino Santos Neto was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro but has made Seattle his home for some years now.  Lucky us.   Jovino is one of the most highly regarded Latin Jazz pianists in the world and is a three-time Latin Jazz Grammy nominee.  He teaches at Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts and leads groups of various sizes.

Parker Miles Blohm

Out of respect for Susan Pascal, Seattle’s first-call jazz vibraphonist (and a darn nice person), we resisted all temptations to use one of the many plays on the word ‘vibes’ in the title of this introduction.  We figure she’s heard ‘em all.  After all, she’s been a core member of the Seattle jazz community for many years.  In fact, her band for this studio session comes right off the top shelf of regional jazz linchpins—Chuck Deardorf on bass, Mark Ivester on drums and Dave Peterson on guitar.   

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

It’s not every day that you come across a jazz trio consisting of a saxophonist, a bassist and a vocalist.  But that’s what we have with Anton Schwartz (sax), Chuck Deardorf (bass) and Inga Swearingen (vocals).  When this interesting configuration of musicians came to KPLU for a live studio session, we knew we were going to hear something new.  And indeed we did.

Parker Miles Blohm / KPLU

Trumpeter, composer and multiple Grammy-winner, Terence Blanchard, has got a brand new bag—and a brand new album.

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.

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