Jazz and Blues

Blues
12:53 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Stax Bassist Duck Dunn Remembered In Memphis

Donald "Duck" Dunn onstage about 1990.
David Redfern Redferns/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:49 pm

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A Blog Supreme
5:29 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Around the jazz Internet: May 11, 2012

Do conservatories produce "cookie cutter" musicians? (At least they'll be able to play a certain Jimmy Heath blues well.)
Diane Labommbarbe iStockPhoto

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 6:58 am

More links from this week:

  • Interesting discussions at George Colligan's blog this week. An informed opinion on the charge that music schools produce "cookie cutter" musicians. Some thoughts on sight reading, that misunderstood skill among the jazz community. And a low brass forum erupts.
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A Blog Supreme
5:50 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Why a jazz festival is asking musicians to 'Do It Yourself'

Mad Curious, with drummer Lenny Robinson, saxophonist Brian Settles and bassist Tarus Mateen, performs at a Capitalbop house show.
Giovanni Russonello Courtesy of Capitalbop

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 3:02 pm

The Undead Music Festival, which lifted off last night, has grown every year. On Friday, it will outgrow New York City.

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JazzSet
11:58 am
Thu May 10, 2012

'Miles Davis And Gil Evans: Still Ahead' On JazzSet

Terence Blanchard plays the role of Miles Davis' trumpet with commitment and emotion at Monterey.
Cole Thompson

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 9:05 am

Gil Evans was born on May 13, 1912. In three collaborations in the late 1950s, he and his friend and Miles Davis steered their projects into a new era for jazz.

Their first album was Miles Ahead. This Monterey Jazz Festival concert is called "Still Ahead," with music from the pair's second and third records, Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain.

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Jazz & Blues
12:45 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Son House's masterpiece 'Death Letter' tracked through time

His life reads like a blues song … 1920’s, a young preacher playing the blues, despite his church’s opposition. Kills a man in self-defense, 2 years in prison, and comes out to team up with the best-known blues man of the day, Charley Patton.

After limited commercial success of his own, he fades from view, working on farms and railroads. Thirtyfive years later, some dedicated blues fans track him down and he begins performing around the world, finally getting recognition as a blues master.

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Jazz & Blues
1:22 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

5 videos celebrating Ella Fitzgerald’s birthday

Louis Armstrong, left, makes a guest appearance as Ella Fitzgerald opens at the Empire Room of the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, March 30, 1971.
AP Photo

Known as the "First Lady of Jazz" singer Ella Fitzgerald was born April 25, 1917, in Newport News, Virginia.

From rather humble beginnings Fitzgerald and her smooth, silky voice climbed to the top of the jazz world, reports Biography.com. During her long career she worked with greats from Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong to Dizzy Gillespie and Frank Sinatra. In all Ella recorded over 200 albums and around 2,000 songs in her lifetime. She died on June 15, 1996.

Here’s five videos celebrating the great singers career:

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KPLU Listener Trip
9:40 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Join us for our Victoria JazzFest Weekend!

We'll be starting the jazz-filled weekend off the right way with multi-Grammy Award-winner and one of the world's pre-eminent female jazz vocalists, Diane Reeves on June 22nd!

Join KPLU for an exciting trip to the 28th TD Victoria International JazzFest, Friday, June 22 through Sunday, June 24. 

JazzFest features musical performances from around the world on 12 stages in the downtown area.  (This year's JazzFest is June 22-July 1.)  We've put together a fun-filled package for two that's specially priced (reflecting a 10% discount) for KPLU listeners!

More information

A Blog Supreme
9:09 am
Thu April 12, 2012

When jazz musicians get married, who plays the wedding?

The band on Ingrid Jensen's At Sea includes (left to right) Geoffrey Keezer, Jon Wikan, Jensen, Lage Lund and Matt Clohesy. Jensen and Wikan are married.
Angela Jimenez

Originally published on Thu April 12, 2012 8:30 am

Because of their skill and versatility, a lot of jazz-trained musicians occasionally find themselves playing wedding gigs. But what happens when jazz musicians themselves get hitched? How do they decide who, among their many musician friends, gets the gig?

The trumpeter Ingrid Jensen is married to drummer Jon Wikan. Weeks before their 2004 wedding, NPR's Weekend Edition interviewed Jensen. Naturally, the subject came up:

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Groove Notes
5:18 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

One of Louis Armstrong's final performances (favorite recipes) out this month

Louis Armstrong

Originally, a limited vinyl release by the National Press Club in 1972, one of the last recordings of Louis Armstrong will be available widely for the first time via Smithsonian Folkways Recordings on April 24th as part of the Smithsonian’s celebration of the 11th annual Jazz Appreciation Month.

Armstrong often signed letters “Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours,” which makes for an apt title for the recording especially since his favorite recipes ― everything from Louisiana Caviar to the Sazerac ― are included in the liner notes, as they were in the original pressing.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Groove Notes
2:03 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Enough with the search for a ‘Jazz Savior’

Is Esperanza Spalding, seen here performing at the annual Starbucks shareholders meeting in Seattle, the jazz savior?
The Associated Press

Every so often, a barrage of articles and blog posts come out claiming that jazz has found the musician or musicians that are going to “save” jazz. More often than not, these musicians are achieving some current commercial success and popularity among a broad audience outside of the typical “jazz head” community.

But what would it mean to "save jazz"? And, what exactly does it need "saving" from?

Read more on Groove Notes.

Spring Pledge Drive
12:00 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

Thank you for supporting the KPLU Spring Pledge Drive!

As another successful pledge drive ends this season we hope you will continue to enjoy the commercial-free programming on KPLU, especially knowing you did your part to make it happen.

If you missed the pledge drive and would like to support KPLU, you can still be counted through April 9th!

We would also like to thank the various businesses who supported our volunteers and staff during the Spring Pledge Drive

Jazz & Blues
11:44 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Dick Hyman: A living, breathing encyclopedia of jazz

Dick Hyman
Michael Loccisano Getty Images

Dick Hyman was born March 8, 1927, in New York City. Classically trained, Hyman was drawn to jazz at an early age. Today, he's a living, breathing, swinging encyclopedia of jazz piano history, from ragtime and stride to bebop and beyond.

To hear my conversation with KPLU's Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick, click on the listen button above.

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Groove Notes
1:59 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

How Marilyn Monroe changed Ella Fitzgerald's life

Jazz icon Ella Fitzgerald’s voice is recognized by millions around the world. But few know about her career-defining friendship with Marilyn Monroe, to whom Fitzgerald said she “owe a real debt.”

While touring in the ’50s under the management of Norman Granz, Fitzgerald, like many African-American musicians at the time, faced significant adversity as a result of her race, especially in the Jim Crow states. Granz was a huge proponent of civil rights, and insisted that all of his musicians be treated equally at hotels and venues, regardless of race.

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Groove Notes
4:18 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

'Saxophonic, punk jazz iconoclast' Skerik releses new project

“I very much believe in a collaborative environment, and trying to get a real band where everyone has an equal say in writing the music, arranging the music and shaping the music. That’s always been a real priority for me.” – Skerik

Skerik’s most recent project released this week – Skerik’s Bandalabra: Live at the Royal Room – includes working with Seattle musicians Andy Coe (electric guitar), Evan Flory-Barnes (upright bass), and Donne Lewis (drums).

Skerik explains that it is a change of pace from the rock bands since a lot of the music is created in the moment.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Jazz NW
9:50 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Peter Bernstein Trio on Jazz Northwest

Peter Bernstein at Egan's in Seattle
Ray Pettis

Guitarist Peter Bernstein's recent appearance at Egan's in Seattle will be featured on Jazz Northwest on Sunday March 4 at 1 PM Pacific on 88.5 KPLU. Peter has been a part of the jazz scene in New York and abroad since 1989. He has played on over 60 recordings as well as festival, concert and club performances with musicians from all generations. His latest recording as a leader is Live At Smalls featuring Richard Wyands, John Webber, and Jimmy Cobb.

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