Studio Sessions

Coming Up:

7/28/2015 - 3 Cent Stamp @ 12:15 p.m.

8/4/2015 - Stephanie Porter Band @ 12:15 p.m.

8/13/2015 - Jacob Zimmerman Quintet @ 12:15 p.m.

8/20/2015 - Kareem Kandi Band @ 12:15 p.m.

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.

Live Studio Session: Trio Subtonic

Jan 28, 2015
Justin Steyer

One of Portland, Oregon’s best known jazz group is Trio Subtonic.  They’ve made their mark on the Northwest independent and jazz music scenes, crafting three albums worth of original compositions by the band members: on keys, Galen Clark; on bass, Bill Athens; and on drums, Russ Kleiner.  

On a quick zoom through Seattle (they were in town for a one-nighter), the Trio kindly made time to visit the KPLU studios for a performance/interview with host Abe Beeson.  Check out their original blend of jazz, Brazilian and funk.  

Justin Steyer

Drummer Stanton Moore is one of the busiest drummers in New Orleans.  Everybody wants to work with him.  Likewise with the other members of his trio, David Torkanowsky (piano) and James Singleton (bass).  These three guys are among the most sought-after musicians in a city brimming with great players.

So it was a true delight to get them into the KPLU performance studio for this live session.  Buckle up, turn it up and take a ride with the Stanton Moore Trio.  

Justin Steyer

In 2015 the ongoing KPLU School Of Jazz program expanded its opportunities for high school jazz bands by beginning to feature them in our series of live Studio Sessions from our Seattle studios. The first group is this sextet from the Mercer Island High School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Mr. David Bentley.  

Michael Goude

KPLU rang in the new year of 2015 with a studio session featuring some old friends of the station who are also some of Seattle’s finest jazz musicians: Pearl Django and Gail Pettis.  

Pearl Django has long been regarded as one of America’s finest gypsy jazz bands. Gail is a two-time recipient of the Earshot Jazz ‘Jazz Vocalist Of The Year’ award.  

In this studio session hosted by Abe Beeson, they treated us to three great tunes and told us what 2015 has in store for them.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

It sure was hard to pick just five, but here are the best live KPLU studio sessions of the year. 

Blues guitarist and vocalist Elvin Bishop recently stopped by the KPLU performance studios and, as is usual with an Elvin Bishop show, a good time was had by all.  

In the mid-1960s Elvin was a founding member of the highly influential Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Since then Elvin's made a number of recording as a group leader.  

His latest is called "Can't Even Do Wrong Right." In this performance/interview hosted by Mary McCann, Bishop performs that title track as well as another original composition, "Old School." The band also gave us their beautiful rendition of the Percy Mayfield classic, "River's Invitation."

Justin Steyer

    

The group Omaha Diner is made up of four of the most gifted and adventurous musicians in jazz: drummer Bobby Previte, trumpeter Steven Bernstein, guitarist Charlie Hunter and saxophonist, Skerik.  

Along with the almost scary level of talent, the other thing that makes Omaha Diner unique is their musical repertoire.  They won’t even think about playing a song unless it has reached #1 on the Billboard Pop Music chart.

That’s right, Omaha Diner is a jazz band that plays only pop music. But boy, do they turn that pop music inside out.  

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