WBGO Blog
  • The Modern All-Stars: A Newport Jazz Festival Special

    July 25, 2020. Posted by Alex Ariff.

    image
    Top (L to R): Antonio Hart, Carl Allen, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, Benny Green. Bottom (L to R): Marlon Jordan, Tim Warfield, Mark Whitfield (Image Credit: Ken Franckling /Jazz Times)

    Christian McBride was 19, a vigorous young bassist just making his name on the scene, when he paid his first visit to the Newport Jazz Festival as a member of Jazz Futures. Skip ahead some 30 years, and McBride is the artistic director of the festival, as well as our esteemed host at Jazz Night in America. It's in these dual capacities that he helped curate the music in our three-part Newport Jazz Festival Special.

    We're calling this third episode The Modern All-Stars, and the name really fits. We'll be hearing from several stellar performances at Fort Adams State Park — everything from an acoustic Herbie Hancock Trio in 1988 to singer Cécile McLorin Salvant with Artemis in 2018. Also in the mix: a 2001 set by the late trumpeter Roy Hargrove, and even a bit of that Jazz Futures hit, which featured Hargrove alongside McBride and others.

    It's a fun and fitting conclusion to our series, which began with a celebration of the Newport Jazz Festival's first decade (The Golden Age) and continued with a look at its spectacular second phase (The Stars Shine). And as McBride would say, it's also a reminder that this story is still ongoing. Newport Jazz Lives! See you out there.

    Musicians

    Newport House Band: Coleman Hawkins, tenor sax; Zoot Sims, tenor sax; Clark Terry, trumpet; Howard McGhee, trumpet; Joe Zawinul, piano; Wendell Marshall, bass; Roy Haynes, drums.

    Herbie Hancock Trio: Buster Williams, bass; Al Foster, drums; Herbie Hancock, piano.

    Jazz Futures: Benny Green, piano; Christian McBride, bass; Carl Allen, drums; Marlon Jordan, trumpet; Tim Warfield, tenor sax; Antonio Hart, alto sax; Roy Hargrove, trumpet; Mark Whitfield, guitar.

    Roy Hargrove, trumpet; Larry Willis, piano; Bruce Williams, alto sax, Gerald Cannon, bass, Willie Jones III, drums.

    Artemis: Renee Rosnes, piano; Ingrid Jensen, trumpet; Melissa Aldana, alto sax; Noriko Ueda, bass; Allison Miller, drums; Anat Cohen, clarinet; Cécile McLorin-Salvant, vocals.

    Set List

    • "Undecided" (Newport House Band)
    • "Just One Of Those Things" (Herbie Hancock Trio)
    • "Captain Hook" (Jazz Futures)
    • "Nature Boy / To Wisdom The Prize" (Roy Hargrove)
    • "Fine and Mellow" (Artemis)

    Credits

    Special thanks to Jay Sweet, Charles Raggio, Billy Glassner, Christopher "Caps" Capotosto, and George Wein from the Newport Festivals Foundation.

    Producers: Trevor Smith, Sarah Geledi, Nate Chinen, Alex Ariff; Senior Producer: Katie Simon; Project Manager: Suraya Mohamed; Executive Producers: Gabrielle Armand, Anya Grundmann; Senior Director of NPR Music: Lauren Onkey.

    Copyright 2020 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center.

  • The Stars Shine: A Newport Jazz Festival Special

    July 24, 2020

    image
    Ray Charles performs at The Newport Jazz Festival in 1968. (Image Credit: /Newport Festivals Foundation)

    The Newport Jazz Festival was in full, glorious stride during the 1960s, featuring top-shelf talent not only from jazz but also the realms of soul, rock and more. That's the backdrop for The Stars Shine, episode two of our three-part Newport special.

    We'll hear festive sounds from both Ray Charles and saxophonist Cannonball Adderley in 1960; peerless jazz singer Sarah Vaughan in 1964; the incomparable Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1968; and Pops himself, Louis Armstrong, during a special birthday tribute in 1970.

    For all of us at Jazz Night in America, the Newport Jazz Festival is both hallowed ground and a cherished hang. Our host, Christian McBride, is the festival's artistic director. (Call that a disclosure, if you like; we think of it as a heavy asset.) So this summer, in the absence of a physical gathering, we've set out to lovingly recreate the festival experience, Jazz Night-style. We hope you enjoy.

    Musicians

    Ray Charles, piano and vocals; Hank Crawford, alto saxophone; David "Fathead" Newman, tenor saxophone; Leroy "Hog" Cooper, baritone saxophone; John Hunt, trumpet; Marcus Belgrave, trumpet; Edgar Willis, bass; Teagle Fleming, drums; with The Raelettes: Mary Ann Fisher; Darlene McRae; Margie Hendrix, vocals.

    Cannonball Adderley Quintet: Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, alto saxophone; Nat Adderley, cornet; Barry Harris, piano; Sam Jones, bass; Louis Hayes; drums.

    Sarah Vaughan, vocals; Bob James, piano; Larry Rockwell, bass; Omar Clay, drums.

    Duke Ellington and His Orchestra: Duke Ellington, piano and composer; Johnny Hodges, alto saxophone; Harold Ashby, tenor saxophone and clarinet; Russell Procope, clarinet; Paul Gonsalves, tenor saxophone; Harry Carney, baritone saxophone; Cootie Williams, trumpet; Cat Anderson, trumpet; Mercer Ellington, trumpet; Herbie Jones, trumpet; Laurence Brown, trombone; George "Buster" Cooper, trombone; Chuck Connors, trombone; Jimmy Cleveland, trombone; Money Johnson, trombone; Jeff Castleman, bass; Dick Wilson, drums; Rufus Jones, drums.

    Louis Armstrong, vocals; Bobby Hackett, trumpet; Tyree Glenn, trombone; Dave McKenna, piano; Jack Lesberg, bass; Oliver Jackson, drums.

    Set List

    • "Indiana" (Newport House Band)
    • "What'd I Say" (Ray Charles)
    • "Work Song" (Cannonball Adderley Quintet)
    • "Stay On It" (Cannonball Adderley Quintet)
    • "Fly Me To The Moon" (Sarah Vaughan)
    • "Like Someone In Love" (Sarah Vaughan)
    • "Misty" (Sarah Vaughan)
    • "Sophisticated Lady" (Duke Ellington)
    • "The Biggest and Busiest Intersection" (Duke Ellington)
    • "Satin Doll" (Duke Ellington)
    • "Pennies From Heaven" (Louis Armstrong)
    • "Blueberry Hill" (Louis Armstrong)

    Credits

    Special thanks to Jay Sweet, Charles Raggio, Billy Glassner, Christopher "Caps" Capotosto, and George Wein from the Newport Festivals Foundation.

    Producers: Trevor Smith, Sarah Geledi, Nate Chinen, Alex Ariff; Senior Producer: Katie Simon; Project Manager: Suraya Mohamed; Executive Producers: Gabrielle Armand, Anya Grundman; Senior Director of NPR Music: Lauren Onkey.

    Copyright 2020 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center.

  • The Golden Age: A Newport Jazz Festival Special

    July 23, 2020

    image
    Fans sit under an umbrella as shade from the hot sun during the Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, R.I., on July 8, 1962. (Image Credit: Boston Globe/Getty Images)

    The Newport Jazz Festival was just one year old when the Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet blazed onto its stage in 1955. By 1960, when pianists Dave Brubeck and Horace Silver each played a rollicking set, the event was an institution, known all over the world. And so it remains today — though there's something to be said about the fest in that formative era, when every step forward was historic.

    For all of us at Jazz Night in America, the Newport Jazz Festival is both hallowed ground and a cherished hang. Our host, Christian McBride, is the festival's artistic director. (Call that a disclosure, if you like; we think of it as a heavy asset.) So this summer, in the absence of a physical gathering, we've set out to lovingly recreate the festival experience, Jazz Night-style.

    Our three-part series begins with The Golden Age — a jump back to the mid-to-late '50s, featuring McBride's selection of rare and unreleased Newport recordings by Brown and Roach, Brubeck and Silver, along with a killer festival house band. (Will there also be a taste of Muddy Waters? You'll have to listen to know for sure.)

    Musicians

    Newport House Band: Joe Zawinul, piano; Howard McGhee, trumpet; Clark Terry, trumpet; Zoot Sims, tenor saxophone; Wendell Marshall, bass; Roy Haynes, drums.

    Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet: Clifford Brown, trumpet; Max Roach, drums; Harold Land, tenor sax; Richie Powell, piano; George Morrow, bass.

    Dave Brubeck Quartet: Dave Brubeck, piano; Paul Desmond, alto saxophone; Eugene Wright, bass; Joe Morello, drums.

    Horace Silver Quintet: Horace Silver, piano; Blue Mitchell, trumpet; Junior Cook, tenor saxophone; Gene Taylor, bass; Roy Brooks, drums.

    Set List

    • "Chasin' At Newport" (Newport House Band)
    • "Jaquis" (Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet)
    • "I Get A Kick Out Of You" (Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet)
    • "Swanee River Boogie" (Dave Brubeck Quartet)
    • "Blue Rondo À La Turk" (Dave Brubeck Quartet)
    • "Señor Blues" (Horace Silver Quintet)
    • "Sister Sadie" (Horace Silver Quintet)
    • "Goodbye Newport Blues" (Muddy Waters)

    Credits

    Producers: Trevor Smith, Sarah Geledi, Nate Chinen, Alex Ariff; Senior Producer: Katie Simon; Project Manager: Suraya Mohamed; Executive Producers: Gabrielle Armand, Anya Grundman; Senior Director of NPR Music: Lauren Onkey.

    Copyright 2020 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center.

  • Inspired By Injustice, Wynton Marsalis Reflects On His Music

    July 2, 2020. Posted by Alex Ariff.

    image
    (Image Credit: Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center)

    Wynton Marsalis has always been deeply engaged in the subject of American race relations. The issue was a crucial part of his education as a young musician in New Orleans, and it has been a core preoccupation of his own work going as far back as Black Codes (From the Underground), a trailblazing album from 1985.

    "Our racial problems have been so documented that we have a tendency to not realize that we're all on this same boat," Marsalis told Good Morning America in 1997 after he became the first jazz artist to win a Pulitzer Prize for his oratorio Blood on the Fields. "When I write the music, it's not just the history of Blacks, it's an American story."

    In this episode of Jazz Night, Marsalis expands on that idea and more in a conversation with our host, Christian McBride. Reflecting on our current wave of protests and the removal of public monuments, they connect this moment with a historical struggle. We'll also hear some of the music Marsalis has made to this end, from Black Codes to Blood on the Fields to a small-group work, From the Plantation to the Penitentiary.

    SET LIST

    All music and words written by Wynton Marsalis

    • "Black Codes" from Black Codes (From The Underground) (1985)
    • "Work Song (Blood on the Fields)" from Blood on the Fields (1997)
    • "Find Me" from From the Plantation to the Penitentiary (2007)
    • "El 'Gran' Baile de la Reina" from All Rise (2002)

    CREDITS

    Writer and Producer: Alex Ariff; Senior Producer: Katie Simon; Host: Christian McBride; Project Manager: Suraya Mohamed; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann and Gabrielle Armand; Senior Director of NPR Music: Lauren Onkey.

    Copyright 2020 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center.

  • The Evolution Of Jon Batiste

    May 28, 2020. Posted by Alex Ariff.

    image
    (Image Credit: Becky Harlan/WBGO )

    Jon Batiste spent his 33rd birthday playing an intimate, private concert with his band in the round while Jazz Night in America captured the show. He kept it classy, donning a suede jacket and playing selections from his two latest Verve releases, Chronology of A Dream and Anatomy of Angels.

    You probably know Jon Batiste as bandleader and musical director on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. But his credentials are deep as the roots of the Batiste family tree. He's the co-artistic director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and has been a collaborator with everyone from pop singer Tori Kelly to the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. He's graduate of both the New Orleans Center of the Creative Arts and the Juilliard School, and an alumni of both Wynton Marsalis' and Roy Hargrove's bands.

    For the past decade, he's developed his version of "jazz 2.0," which includes what he calls "social music." Its lineage stems from Batiste's native New Orleans but also runs through his adopted hometown of New York City, thanks to elders like Lionel Hampton and Dr. Billy Taylor, who brought jazz from the concert halls to the streets. But Batiste is also a part of yet another lineage: jazz musicians in late-night television. On our radio show — with help from Batiste's Late Show predecessor Paul Shaffer, its current Executive Producer, Chris Licht, and NPR television critic Eric Deggans — we'll trace some of that history, learning how Jon Batiste developed his role.

    Video Set List:

    • "If You're Happy And You Know It" (Joe Raposo, arr. Jon Batiste)
    • "PRINCE"
    • "HIGHER"
    • "Round Midnight" (Thelonious Monk, Bernard D. Hanighen, Charles Cootie Williams)
    • "PWWR"
    • "BLACCK"
    • "SOULFUL" (Roy Hargrove)
    • "ORDR"

    Musicians:

    Jonathan Batiste: piano, vocals, bandleader; Giveton Gelin: trumpet; Jon Lampley: trumpet, tuba; Eddie Barbash: alto saxophone; Tivon Pennicott: tenor saxophone; Endea Owens: bass; Joe Saylor: drums; Negah Santos: percussion.

    Credits:

    Producers: Alex Ariff, Colin Marshall, Katie Simon; Concert Recording Engineer: David Tallacksen; House Audio Engineers: Greg Hanson, Meghan England; Concert Video Director: Colin Marshall; Director of Photography: Nickolai Hammar; Videographers: Tsering Bista, Jack Corbett, Annabel Edwards, Nickolai Hammar, Niki Walker; Editor: Annabel Edwards; Lighting Designer: Igor Yachmenov; Lighting Board Operation: Zack Lobel; Lighting Deck Electrician: Tricia Swietek; Project Manager: Suraya Mohamed; Senior Producers: Colin Marshall, Katie Simon; Supervising Editor: Keith Jenkins; Executive Producers: Gabrielle Armand, Anya Grundman; Senior Director of NPR Music: Lauren Onkey.

    Copyright 2020 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center.