Jazz and Blues

Jazz Caliente
12:18 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

A giant of Cuban music, Bebo Valdes dies

Bebo Valdes 1918-2013
FOTOSONS.COM

Bebo Valdes, Cuban pianist, composer, arranger and bandleader died Friday March 22, 2013.  He was 94.

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Blues Time Machine
4:38 pm
Sun March 24, 2013

'Walkin' Blues' still has legs

Legendary bluesman Son House

It’s one of the defining songs of the Blues, written by one of its formative figures, Son House. The opening lyric “Woke up this morning…” would be considered trite today, but its 1930 recording date makes it more iconic than anything.

With its simple but insistent guitar rhythm and mournful lyrics, “Walkin’ Blues” is a virtual blueprint for Delta Blues, and a powerful influence on the development of modern blues.

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Award-winning trumpeter Arturo Sandoval returns to Seattle

Arturo Sandoval
kuumbwajazz.org

A protégé of the legendary jazz master Dizzy Gillespie, a founding member of the innovative Cuban group Irakere, a renowned classical musician who performs regularly with symphony orchestras around the world:  trumpeter, pianist and composer Arturo Sandoval returns to Seattle's Jazz Alley this week.

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Take 5
5:01 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Take 5 goes meta: A list of 5 songs about lists

Detail from the cover art to Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson.
Verve Records

Over the past few years, Take 5’s theme-based music lists have covered a wide variety of subjects. We’ve covered all the seasons of the year, all the holidays, different types of weather, the careers of jazz legends, the cutting-edge work of up-and-coming jazz artists and have gotten into the musical minutiae of things like flowers, birds, baseball, prohibition and civil rights.  And now it’s time for Take 5 to go meta and present a five-song list of songs about….LISTS.  It had to happen sooner or later.

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Jazz & Blues
12:00 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

'Early in the Morning' - samba, rumba and history

Louis Jordan's music was a bridge between jazz and rock.

Louis Jordan is one of the pioneers of American music, and an important force in the transition from the Jazz Era to Rock and Roll. He was one of the first to down-size the big band format to a combo of five or six players, pounding out high energy jump, swing and rhythm and blues for dance audiences.

One of the early bands to use electric guitar, he established a musical style that rock originators like Bill Haley followed closely. Louis Jordan’s 1947 recording of “Early in the Morning” is an example of the influence of Afro Cuban rhythms on American music.

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Jazz Caliente
11:05 am
Thu March 14, 2013

How the Puerto Ricans saved Afro-Cuban Jazz

The extremely quotable drummer, percussionist, producer and educator Bobby Sanabria
Joe Conzo, Jr.

“If it wasn’t for the Puerto Rican community of Spanish Harlem, of the South Bronx, Afro Cuban music would never have survived in this country, and expanded to the heights that it has.”—Bobby Sanabria from the film “From Mambo to Hip Hop”

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Jazz and Blues
4:46 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Girl Scouts are stuck on Dick Stein

Dick Stein is honored by the Girl Scouts for suggesting a sticker saying "I Bought Girl Scout Cookies" in the Anderson University Center at PLU on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.
John Froschauer

KPLU's Midday Jazz Host Dick Stein is one smart cookie. And his ideas aren’t half-baked, either.  

Stein was honored today by the Girl Scouts of Western Washington on the Pacific Lutheran University campus for coming up with a good idea that really stuck.

Like thousands of other Western Washington residents, Stein buys Girl Scout Cookies every year. 

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Blues Time Machine
12:00 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

'Shake 'Em On Down' created the cutting edge for blues

Bukka White

Most blues started in the country before becoming urbanized, and Bukka White brought his brand of Mississippi blues to Chicago in the 1930’s and 40’s.

It is likely that he met and learned from elemental bluesman Charley Patton, and he was known for playing a National steel guitar with a slide. He recorded “Shake ‘Em On Down” in 1937 and established the cutting edge.

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Innovators in Cuban Jazz: Grupo Irakere

Irakere album cover
stereophile.com

The pioneering Cuban jazz band, Irakere, nurtured some of Cuba's leading musicians who went on to gain international fame.

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Jazz
11:59 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Time is on their side: Ageless jazz drumming

"Killer" Ray Appleton, a veteran drummer with the wisdom of experience and ageless swing.
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 11:59 am

I've been listening to two very good new albums led by drummers. After learning that both men are in their early 70s, I can't help but wonder how I process that fact in what I hear.

"Killer" Ray Appleton (b. 1941) and Barry Altschul (b. 1943) practice different styles. But they both came of musical age in the hard-bop era, spent many years living in Europe and eventually returned to New York. In other words, they've each got a lot of experience.

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Blues Time Machine
12:00 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Little Walter's 'Mellow Down Easy' rips through time

Little Walter

Little Walter made a harmonica sound like nothing that had been heard before – somewhere between a saxophone and an electric guitar. By the early 1950’s he not only used amplification, he used the amp to creatively alter his sound with distortion and sonic effects.

You might say he was the Jimi Hendrix of the harmonica. One song in particular has rolled through history: 'Mellow Down Easy.'

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Latin Jazz Birthday: Willie Bobo

Willie Bobo February 28, 1934-September 15, 1983
afrocubanlatinjazz4.blogspot.com

William Correa was born to Puerto Rican parents in Brooklyn, and was raised surrounded by music in El Barrio.  At 14 he began learning to play bongos, later graduating to conga, timbales and trap drums.  

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Blues Time Machine
12:00 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Still a mystery who wrote 'One Way Out'

It’s another one of those mysteries — who actually wrote “One Way Out”?

Elmore James recorded it in 1961, but didn’t release it until ’65. Sonny Boy Williamson released a version in 1961 and 1965 and G.L. Crockett had a 1965 hit with the same song under a different name.

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

A Sampling of Seattle's Latin Jazz

Fred Hoadley and Sonando at Tula's
Daniel Sheehan

Seattle is home to a number of very talented musicians whose focus is Latin Jazz.  Here are three bands well worth searching for in the clubs and concert halls of the Emerald City:

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Jazz & Blues
8:40 am
Thu February 21, 2013

3 local high school jazz bands to compete in elite NYC competition

Garfield High School jazz band
www.theculturemom.com

Three Seattle-area high school jazz bands have been selected from nearly 100 schools across the country to compete in this year’s prestigious Essentially Ellington Competition in New York City.

Jazz bands from Garfield and Roosevelt in Seattle as well as Edmonds-Woodway were the only three high schools selected from a region that includes 11 states and several Canadian provinces.

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