Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 4:26 pm
This episode of JazzSet was recorded at the 18th edition of the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Dee Dee Bridgewater is the emcee, while WBGO's Rhonda Hamilton serves as our co-host.
Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 12:23 pm
I was ready to forget about farro. This was a couple of years ago when I first attempted to cook the savory grain that also boasts an ancient pedigree. I had sampled farro in restaurants where I had enjoyed it transformed into risottos and incorporated into salads. I had come to adore its nutty earthiness and satisfying chew.
Since playing on John Coltrane's first release in 1957, drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath has participated in a number of landmark jazz records. Now 78, the musician is featured in a new trio session with players nearly half his age — pianist Ethan Iverson of The Bad Plus and bassist Ben Street.
Like a piece of gym equipment that always yields a great workout, most musicians have favorite tunes. For saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, "Who Wants Ice Cream" by trumpeter Ralph Alessi has proven especially fertile, drawing him back again and again since he recorded it as part of the album Spirit Fiction.
The quartet on jazz bassist Dave Holland's new album Prism is more electrified, and usually louder, than bands he's led before. Some reviewers see its music coming out of his early work with the electrified Miles Davis, but the parallel doesn't go far. Holland played bass guitar with Davis, not his usual bass violin. Plus, early electric Davis was gloriously unruly, while Holland loves the elegance of interlocking rhythm cycles, wheels within wheels.
For three years, jazz musician Vijay Iyer has worked with poet and performer Mike Ladd to set the words of war veterans to music. The resulting album, released earlier this month, is called <em>Holding It Down: The Veterans' Dreams Project</em>.
Vocalist Brianna Thomas and Michael Mwenso sang a duet of <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG5eeb_Ta3Y&feature=share&list=UU0XgYM_e-jE425-vYn_kgWg">"Don't Blame Me"</a> for the web series Capsulocity.
Credit Courtesy of Capsulocity
Brandon Bain had little in the way of formal vocal studies or video-editing training when he started his web series.
In the play Amanda (Jones), is devoted to finding a "gentleman caller" for her daughter and so Tom (Quinto) brings one home (Smith).
Credit Michael J. Lutch /
Zachary Quinto (left), Cherry Jones, Brian J. Smith and Celia Keenan-Bolger in <em>The Glass Menagerie</em>, which leaves out some of the elements — such as walls — you might expect in its St. Louis apartment set. The suggestive minimalism of the design is in keeping with the approach Tennessee Williams called for in his extensive stage directions.
Gabe Baltazar (fourth from left) at New York City's Birdland Club in 1962, with members of Stan Kenton's band and the Count Basie Orchestra. The photo, from Baltazar's collection, is signed by Kenton (fourth from from right) and trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison (second from right).
Credit Courtesy of Gabe Baltazar
The Paul Togawa Quartet at the El Sereno Club in Los Angeles in the late 1950s. Left to right: Gabe Baltazar, Paul Togawa, Dick Johnston, Buddy Woodson.
Saxophonist Gabe Baltazar got his big break after Stan Kenton heard him playing in a college band and invited him to join his Orchestra in 1960.
"One of my biggest highlights in Stan's band was being featured on a beautiful standard tune called 'Stairway to the Stars,'" the 83-year-old Baltazar says. "He liked that tune, and he thought it would be my signature song. And throughout my career, four years with the band, I was featured on that and it was just great."
A trio of artists will soon travel from Oklahoma to California, retracing the steps the Joad family from "The Grapes of Wrath" took as part of the upcoming 75th anniversary of John Steinbeck's novel-turned-film.
The artists — along with representatives from the California-based National Steinbeck Center — will travel along Route 66 gathering oral histories of people and asking what helps them get through hard times. The group will start in Oklahoma on Oct. 4 and make stops in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. The trip will conclude in California 10 days later.