Music We Are: Tango African

April 14, 2009 by Joshua Jackson
Filed under New Music

musicweare_sDrummer Jack DeJohnette recently won a Grammy Award in the New Age category for his meditative work, Peace Time.  He’s back in action, this time with two longtime collaborators, pianist Danilo Perez and bassist John Patitucci.

Hear DeJohnette’s “Tango African,” from the supertrio recording, Music We Are.  It’s from Jack DeJohnette’s own label, Golden Beams Productions.  Give the drummer some – he also plays melodica, which he did on his very first recording as a leader.

Buy the music.

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The Checkout: April 7, 2009

April 7, 2009 by Joshua Jackson
Filed under Shows


Welcome to the first episode of The Checkout from WBGO.  In this show, we talk to trumpeter Tom Harrell, saxophonist Mark Turner, and pianist Omar Sosa.  Hear new music from the band of electric groove warriors called Rudder, and experience the new recording from the jazz trio Fly.

Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast while you're here.

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Mark Turner: An Interview

March 31, 2009 by Joshua Jackson
Filed under Interviews

markturner_sSaxophonist Mark Turner has always impressed jazz listeners with his quiet dedication to his craft.  On first listening, Turner's style can seem intellectual - and truth be known, it should.  Mark's a brilliant musician with a gift for writing rock-solid compositions, and you can hear some of them on the new Fly record, Sky & Country.

In this interview, Mark Turner talks about the concept and formation of the modern jazz trio, Fly, and how to listen to them.

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Marco Benevento: Me Not Me

March 30, 2009 by Joshua Jackson
Filed under Studio Sessions

benevento_s1The Marco Benevento Trio from the WBGO Studio.
Recorded March 7, 2009.
Marco Benevento - piano
Marc Friedman - bass
Andrew Barr - drums

Set List:
Seems So Long Ago, Nancy (Leonard Cohen)
Twin Killers (Deerhoof)
Mephisto (Benevento)

See some photos from the session.
Producer: Josh Jackson
Recorded by David Tallacksen

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Claudia Acuna: En Este Momento

March 30, 2009 by Joshua Jackson
Filed under Interviews

Singer Claudia Acuna and her band play music at WBGO.
Recorded March 19, 2009.

claudiawbgo_s1Claudia Acuna - vocals
Juancho Herrera - guitar
Jason Lindner - piano
Carlos Henderson - bass
Yayo Serka - drums

Set List:
El Cigarrito (Victor Jara)
Tulum (Claudia Acuna)
Every Time We Say Goodbye (Cole Porter)

See some photos from the session.
Producer: Josh Jackson
Recorded by David Tallacksen

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Rudder: Matorning

March 30, 2009 by Joshua Jackson
Filed under New Music

rudder_matorningRudder is a four member electronic groove outfit that recently played the Slipper Room, a burlesque club on the Lower East Side.  Don't worry - the guys weren't wearing pasties.  They were there to celebrate the release of their newest recording, Matorning.  Rudder seems like a collection of moonlighters -  saxophonist Chris Cheek plays in a number of jazz ensembles.  Henry Hey made a series of YouTube piano compositions set to speeches by George W. Bush, John McCain, and Sarah Palin – he plays keyboards.  You’ll find bassist Tim Lefebvre touring in the Chris Botti band, and drummer Keith Carlock is on the road with Steely Dan and James Taylor.

Rudder steers into a wave of sound the way that great funk ensembles do, and there’s some really great musicianship here. I’ve been pumping through the earbuds on the long subway rides home.  It’s called “Jackass Surcharge.”

Rudder's new record, Matorning, is available on Nineteen-Eight Records.

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Fly: Sky & Country

March 26, 2009 by Joshua Jackson
Filed under New Music


Fly is part jazz trio, and part music collective. Five years after their debut recording, saxophonist Mark Turner, bassist Larry Grenadier, and drummer Jeff Ballard return with their second effort, Sky & Country. Hear the lovely ballad “CJ,” from bassist Larry Grenadier.

Sky & Country is available on ECM Records.

Bonus audio:
Hear a listening session with New York Times music critic Ben Ratliff.

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Tom Harrell: An Interview

March 26, 2009 by Joshua Jackson
Filed under Interviews

harrell-sTrumpeter Tom Harrell is one of the most prolific composers and arrangers.  His writing has a certain airtight logic, and his fellow musicians love to play his music.  In January, Harrell released Prana Song, the second recording of all-original compositions featuring his working quintet.

The respected veteran trumpeter leads his band back downtown to perform his probing and accessible music.  Listen to this interview conducted at his home, and join us for the Tom Harrell Quintet on Live at the Village Vanguard.

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Omar Sosa: Across the Divide

March 13, 2009 by Joshua Jackson
Filed under Interviews


Pianist Omar Sosa has just release Across the Divide, a live recording from the Blue Note jazz club in New York.  Sosa's music does not readily fit into a category - it takes in Afro-Cuban clave rhythms, Yoruban folk elements, jazz improvisation, and a variety of world music traditions.  In this interview, Sosa talks about the kinship of his Cuban roots to some unlikely sources of American music - the banjo tradition and the high lonesome Appalachian sound of bluegrass.  It's a stunning combination when you hear it.

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