Interview: Herbie Hancock, Musician And Author Of 'Possibilities' Herbie Hancock's new memoir is titled Possibilities. Jessica Hancock/Courtesy of the artist hide caption itoggle caption Jessica Hancock/Courtesy of the artist Herbie Hancock's new memoir is titled Possibilities. Jessica Hancock/Courtesy of the artist To listen to the music of Herbie Hancock is to witness an artist in constant evolution. Now, at the age of 74, Hancock is looking back on his sweeping career in a memoir called Possibilities. Steve Inskeep: There is this wonderful story in the book that touches at once on several strands of your life: You talk about getting into funk, and how you were chanting when it happened. Herbie Hancock: The kind of music I had been playing before, with a band that we now call the Mwandishi band, was very far-out space music, untethered. You wanted to be tethered. I wanted to do something that was a little more earthy. Will you describe chanting, for those who have never done it? You were criticized for that change. Oh, yeah. That's a little too bald?
'Lush Life,' a Self-Portrait in Song Revive Big Band At Berklee An analysis of Miles Davis's Kind of Blue What is a classic album? Not a classical album – a classic album. One definition would be a recording that is both of superb quality and of enduring significance. I would suggest that Miles Davis’s 1959 recording Kind of Blue is indubitably a classic. There were several important records released in 1959, but no event or recording matches the importance of the release of the new Miles Davis album Kind of Blue on 17 August 1959. But popularity or commercial success do not correlate with musical worth, and it is in the music on the recording that we find both quality and significance. The pianist here is Bill Evans, who was new to Davis’s band and a vital contributor to the whole project. Evans makes his mark throughout the album, though Wynton Kelly substitutes for him on the bluesier and somewhat more traditional second track “Freddie Freeloader.” Musicians refer to the special sound on Kind of Blue as “modal.” A [D harmony] A [D harmony] B [Eb harmony] A [D harmony] Saxophone (Coltrane)
The 2014 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll : A Blog Supreme Steve Lehman edged out Wadada Leo Smith for the top spot in the 2014 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll. Willie Davis/Courtesy of the artist hide caption itoggle caption Willie Davis/Courtesy of the artist Steve Lehman edged out Wadada Leo Smith for the top spot in the 2014 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll. Willie Davis/Courtesy of the artist NPR Music is pleased to present a poll in which 140 jazz critics picked their favorite recordings of 2014. For nine consecutive years, this poll has been a labor of love by eminent critic Francis Davis. Below are full results of the 2014 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll, highlighted by a playlist of the Top 10 overall picks. Davis shares his thoughts on each of 2014's Top 10 Jazz Albums below. The 2014 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll Steve Lehman, Mise En Abîme. itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist Artist: Steve Lehman Album: Mise En Abîme Song: Chimera/Luchini 266 points, on 40 ballots. Wadada Leo Smith, The Great Lakes Suites Courtesy of the artist hide caption 11. 1.
Gilad Hekselman's Essential Jazz Listening Jazz guitarist Gilad Hekselman has created quite a buzz in the jazz community. In 2004, he arrived in New York, a student in his early twenties who had just received the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarship to attend The New School in New York. In 2005, Hekselman won the Gibson Montreux International Guitar Competition and the following year, he opened for legendary flamenco player Paco de Lucia at the Montreux Jazz Festival. In 2006, he released his debut album Splitlife to enthusiastic reviews. Hekselman has performed with many jazz greats including John Scofield and Mark Turner, and in 2012 he was featured on Esperanza Spalding’s Grammy-winning album “Radio Music Society.” Released in 2013 on JazzVillage, a sub-label of the revered Harmonia Mundi, Hekselman’s fourth album, This Just In, shows the guitarist’s growth and refinement in a very short time. Streaming Jazz Vinyl on the Interwebs Miles Davis Bill Evans “One of Bill’s best works in my opinion. Wes Montgomery
Joe Locke's Essential Jazz Listening Joe Locke is a renowned jazz vibraphone player who has recorded with everyone from Grover Washington Jr. and Kenny Barron to the Münster Symphony Orchestra and the Beastie Boys. The Jazz Journalists Association presented Locke the “Mallet Player of the Year” award in 2006, 2008 and 2009, and he has won Golden Ear Awards for “2005 Concert of the Year” and “2007 Concert of the Year.” Locke, the son of a classics professor, was raised in Rochester, New York and learned to play piano and drums at an early age. By the time he was 13, Locke had taken up vibraphone and during his teens, he studied with pianist Phil Markowitz and bassist Steve Davis. Locke has performed as a sideman on over 60 records ranging from Rod Stewart’s It Had to be You to Dianne Reeves’s Bridges. As a band leader, Locke has put out over 30 recordings, the latest of which, Love is a Pendulum has received superlative reviews. Streaming Jazz Vinyl on the Interwebs Art Tatum “Profound genius at the piano. Thelonious Monk
North America's Best Jazz Clubs Jazz music is one of America’s great art forms, a musical blend of cultures — West African rhythms, elements of spirituals and the blues, and America’s marching band instruments, brass and reeds — that evolved throughout the 20th century. Its blooming spread across the nation. Jazz started off as a type of dance music played by self-taught instrumentalists in New Orleans, which was performed in brothels and bars. Harmonies and rhythms are an integral part of jazz, but equally important is the spontaneity. Jazz venues aren’t cavernous concert halls. Criteria for Inclusion: Choosing the “best” of anything will always lead to debate. Village Vanguard Photo: NPR In Brief: Max Gordon opened Village Vanguard at its current location in 1935. 178 7th Ave South ⇱ | (212) 255-4037 | villagevanguard.com Photo: John Beasley In Brief: In January 2013, SFJAZZ opened its doors in San Francisco’s Civic Center, offering world-class performances and forward-thinking educational programs. Blue Whale Cezanne
Cannonball Adderley: 5 Songs From A Joyous Soul : A Blog Supreme hide captionCannonball Adderley. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images Two words best encapsulate the music of alto saxophonist Julian "Cannonball" Adderley: "joy" and "soul." It's those two qualities that helped make it possible for Cannonball's music to bridge the post-bop of the 1950s and '60s and the jazz fusion of the '70s and beyond. As well as leading his own groups, he was part of the group Miles Davis used to record the landmark Kind of Blue. This Saturday marks the 84th anniversary of Cannonball's birth. Cannonball Adderley: 5 Songs From A Joyous Soul Cannonball Artist: Cannonball Adderley Album: Julian "Cannonball" Adderley Purchase Music When Cannonball Adderley arrived in New York in 1955, not long after the death of Charlie Parker, he was an immediate sensation. Purchase Featured Music "Cannonball" Album: Julian "Cannonball" Adderley Artist: Cannonball Adderley Label: Verve Released: 1956 Work Song Artist: Cannonball Adderley Album: Them Dirty Blues Purchase Music Stardust
John McLaughlin: Extrapolation If you were looking for one John McLaughlin record you might play for a curious friend, this would be the one. Extrapolation was McLaughlin's first album release as a leader, and it sounds as fresh today as it did way back in 1969. From the opening strains of "Extrapolation" to the closing softness of "Peace Piece," this album presents a fine modern European jazz quartet in full charge of the sounds of their time. Extrapolation features the under-appreciated John Surman on sax, Tony Oxley on drums and Brian Odges on bass. This quartet blazes through McLaughlin's JAZZ-blues-rock compositions and forms a hodge-podge of restless rhythms and irresistible hooks. Extrapolation also offers glimpses into the future. It would take the world 20 years to discover how truly timeless this album was. Related link: John McLaughlin Reviews @ All About Jazz Personnel: John McLaughlin- guitar, John Surman- sax, Brian Odges- bass, Tony Oxley- drums
Things We Like - Jack Bruce | Songs, Reviews, Credits Enthusiasts expecting to hear a continuation of the type of material that Jack Bruce (bass) had been responsible for during his tenure(s) with Cream or the Graham Bond Organisation might be in for quite a shock when spinning Things We Like (1970) for the first time. Instead of an album's worth of blues-based rockers, the seven instrumentals feature Bruce with other former Graham Bond stablemates John McLaughlin (guitar), Jon Hiseman (drums), and Dick Heckstall-Smith (sax) performing post-bop and free jazz. A majority of the compositions were penned by Bruce in his preteen days of formal scholarship at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music, where he also mastered the cello and composed a string quartet at the age of 11. After having gained significant clout from Cream, Bruce assembled what was initially a trio.
When a Jazz Musician Shook Up Classical Music A racially mixed audience settled into the red velvet seats of Carnegie Hall, their faces gazing up at the gilded proscenium in a mirror image of the orchestral piece they were about to hear: Duke Ellington’s “Black, Brown and Beige.” It was Jan. 23, 1943, and segregation was at its height, even in cosmopolitan New York City. Yet patrons like Eleanor Roosevelt and Frank Sinatra commingled with Count Basie and other Black celebrities in the illustrious venue for the debut of Ellington’s ambitious jazz suite with its groundbreaking theme — a celebration of the role and spirit of African-Americans in the history of the United States, the injustices committed against them, the struggles they faced and the triumphant emergence of their identity. The concert’s promoters had taken out newspaper ads calling the new work “Duke Ellington’s first symphony,” while the composer himself had described it as “a parallel to the history of the Negro in America.” Fate is being kind to me. Vitals: b.