Jazz and Blues

Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Cedar Walton's Latin Tinge

Cedar Walton
wikipedia

Pianist and composer Cedar Walton died this week, at the age of 79.

He was perhaps best known for his years with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1961-1964), where he presented some of his compositions that became jazz standards, like Ugetsu (Fantasy in D), Firm Roots, Bolivia and Mosaic.  He also recorded with John Coltrane on the famous Giant Steps album, but his alternate take of the title track was not released until a CD reissue many years later.

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Jazz & Blues
8:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Celebrating the Life and Art of Marian McPartland

Marian McPartland smiles while playing the piano during a celebration of her 90th birthday at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York on March 19, 2008.
Seth Wenig AP

Update: Marian McPartland died of natural causes Tuesday night at her home in Long Island, N.Y. As a remembrance, we are rerunning this piece, which first ran in October 2012. 

A new book chronicles the life and illustrious career of jazz piano legend Marian McPartland. She's known for her role as host of Piano Jazz on NPR for more than three decades, but her fans have known little else about Marian McPartland. Until now.

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Jazz & Blues
12:00 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Blues Turns Electric with 'Crawling King Snake'

Big Joe Williams was part of the first generation of blues players, and lived to help spark the blues revival of the 1960’s. An active performing and recording musician, he traveled the country starting in the 1920’s, and by the 1970’s, had become very popular on the folk circuit as well. He is best known for the songs “Baby Please Don’t Go” and “Crawling King Snake” which he recorded in 1941.

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Blues Time Machine
12:00 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Gershwin's 'Summertime' Becomes a Rock Classic

“Summertime” is considered one of George Gershwin’s finest songs. Collaborating with his brother Ira and lyricist DuBose Heyward, Gershwin composed the piece for his 1935 “folk-opera” Porgy and Bess.

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Jazz Caliente
11:33 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Wayne Wallace and the Bay Area Latin Music Scene

Wayne Wallace
David Belove

Wayne Wallace is a trombonist, a five-time Grammy nominee, a respected proponent of African American-Latin music, and an accomplished arranger, educator, and composer.  His playing and recording credits are impressive, too:  Pete Escovedo, Santana, Tito Puente, Steve Turre,  Max Roach and more.  The San Francisco native took some time from his busy schedule last week to talk with me about his latest CD, Latin Jazz-Jazz Latin and an upcoming project.

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Blues time Machine
12:00 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

'The Sky is Crying' with Three Legendary Guitarists

Elmore James is a giant of the blues. His work as a songwriter, singer and guitarist put him near the top of the short list of greats. The songs he wrote and revived—  “Dust My Broom”, “Cry For Me Baby” and “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” —are revered as blues standards.

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Another Maestro Passes: Steve Berrios 1945-2013

Steve Berrios plays timbales at Seattle's Jazz Alley, 2012
Johan Broberg

Master drummer and percussionist Steve Berrios died last week at age 68. He leaves a legacy of inspirational jazz and Latin music, and a large number of devoted friends who call him their musical father.

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Jazz & Blues
12:00 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

The Wolf Howls on 'Smokestack Lightning'

Howlin' Wolf

In the span of Howlin’ Wolf’s life and career he saw virtually the entire progression of blues from a rural, acoustic music through the birth of modern rock music. As a young man, he learned guitar from Delta master Charley Patton, and as an elder statesman performed with Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones. In between he sang some of the most compelling and memorable songs in all of American music, including “Back Door Man”, “Killing Floor” and “Spoonful”.

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Mambo Madness with the Spanish Harlem Orchestra

Spanish Harlem Orchestra
Atael Weissman Latin Jazz Network

This Sunday, July 28, the award-winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra presents a dance concert in the Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, CA.

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Blues Time Machine
12:00 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Obscure Origins of a Blues Classic: 'Catfish Blues'

Robert Petway

It’s one of the most widely played songs in the blues, but not much is known about Robert Petway, the man who recorded the definitive early version of “Catfish Blues”. The scant information that exists tells a familiar story of a Delta musician who headed to Chicago to make records. But after recording a mere 16 songs in 1941 and 1942, Petway seems to have disappeared from view.

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Live Latin Jazz and Dance Music This Week and Next

The Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band
Centrum Foundation

Grammy Award winner and Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement honoree Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band return to Seattle's Jazz Alley tonight through Sunday, July 21. 

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Jazz & Blues
12:00 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Trance Blues Inspired by Skip James

Skip James was one of the first influential blues players. Although he came from the same Mississippi culture that produced Delta blues, James had a unique sound, built around unusual guitar tunings and his eerie falsetto. Robert Johnson based his song “32-20 Blues” around James’ lesser known “22-20 Blues”, and Cream famously covered his song “I’m So Glad” on their 1966 debut Fresh Cream. (a future BTM episode)

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

The misunderstood drum

Conga drums
ehow.com

The Name

What North Americans call conga drums are actually "tumbadoras." 

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Blues Time Machine
12:00 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Still 'Broke and Hungry' 80 years later

Blind Lemon Jefferson

Blind Lemon Jefferson was one of the defining guitarists of Texas Blues of the 1920’s. Influenced by the country and gospel music of Texas, he also heard Mexican music played by farm workers. His unique guitar style and high, eerie voice were memorable; he recorded over 100 songs and was one of the best known bluesmen of his day. Some of his other well-known songs are “Black Snake Moan” and “Matchbox Blues”. He recorded “Broke and Hungry “ in 1926.

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

Where are the high honors for America's Latin Jazz artists?

Paquito D' Rivera, NEA Jazz Master and National Medal of Arts honoree
Lane Pederson

Looking over the list of the recently announced 2014 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters prompted me to search through the history of the awards for any Latin Jazz artists who have been so honored.

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