Archive | January, 2011

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (751-760)

29 Jan

Here is another 10 to add to the list.

Remember that there is no ranking system here, and if you don’t see your favorite jazz album yet, it doesn’t mean it won’t show up.

Hopefully these lists will inspire you to seek some of these albums out that perhaps you haven’t heard before, or revisit an old favorite. And as always, we want your thoughts on any or all of these albums. Either way, let’s get started with this week, and in no particular order, albums 751 through 760.

751. Soul Sauce – Cal Tjader (PolyGram, 1964) CLICK HERE TO BUY

752. Afro-Cuban – Kenny Dorham (Blue Note, 1955) CLICK HERE TO BUY

753. Something Different – Dexter Gordon (SteepleChase, 1975) CLICK HERE TO BUY

754. Alive! – Coleman Hawkins (Verve, 1962) CLICK HERE TO BUY

755. Concierto – Jim Hall (Columbia/Legacy, 1975) CLICK HERE TO BUY

756. Written in the Stars – Bill Charlap (Blue Note, 2000) CLICK HERE TO BUY

757. Songbook – Gerry Mulligan (Blue Note, 1957) CLICK HERE TO BUY

758. City Gates – George Adams (King, 1983) CLICK HERE TO BUY

759. Far Cry – Eric Dolphy (Prestige Records, 1960) CLICK HERE TO BUY

760. Life Between the Exit Signs – Keith Jarrett (Rhino, 1967) CLICK HERE TO BUY

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die – The First 750

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (741-750)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (731-740)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (721-730)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (711-720)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (701-710)

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Jacky Terrasson Trio's masterful live performance at KPLU

27 Jan

In a stunning three-song set on Jan. 18, Jacky Terrasson left no doubt that his group is one of the most exciting piano trios in jazz today.

This studio session marks the first visit from pianist, Jacky Terrasson, to the KPLU/Jazz24 studios.  We hope it’s the first of many.

In a stunning three-song set, Jacky left no doubt that his group is one of the most exciting piano trios in jazz today.

AUDIO

With bassist Ben Williams (winner of the annual Thelonious Monk International Competition in 2009) and mind-reading drummer, Jamire Willams, Terrasson took interviewer, Abe Beeson, and a small studio audience on a musical journey that was fueled by amazing improvisational invention, beautiful melodies and uncanny ensemble playing.

The trio began with a driving medley of Body & Soul, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and Michael Jackson’s Beat It, and then switched gears for Terrasson’s lovely ballad, My Church (which seemed to contain light echoes of other songs, such as Moon River and Many Rivers To Cross).  They ended the set with Jacky’s ethereal arrangement of Charlie Chaplin’s Smile.

If jazz has the power to paint pictures in the mind, the Jacky Terrasson Trio seems intent on painting masterpieces.

Jacky Terrasson Trio’s masterful live performance at KPLU

27 Jan

In a stunning three-song set on Jan. 18, Jacky Terrasson left no doubt that his group is one of the most exciting piano trios in jazz today.

This studio session marks the first visit from pianist, Jacky Terrasson, to the KPLU/Jazz24 studios.  We hope it’s the first of many.

In a stunning three-song set, Jacky left no doubt that his group is one of the most exciting piano trios in jazz today.

AUDIO

With bassist Ben Williams (winner of the annual Thelonious Monk International Competition in 2009) and mind-reading drummer, Jamire Willams, Terrasson took interviewer, Abe Beeson, and a small studio audience on a musical journey that was fueled by amazing improvisational invention, beautiful melodies and uncanny ensemble playing.

The trio began with a driving medley of Body & Soul, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and Michael Jackson’s Beat It, and then switched gears for Terrasson’s lovely ballad, My Church (which seemed to contain light echoes of other songs, such as Moon River and Many Rivers To Cross).  They ended the set with Jacky’s ethereal arrangement of Charlie Chaplin’s Smile.

If jazz has the power to paint pictures in the mind, the Jacky Terrasson Trio seems intent on painting masterpieces.

Five songs that give the blues a modern-day makeover

25 Jan

Time to feature another great conversation between KPLU’s Morning Edition Host Kirsten Kendrick and producer Nick Morrison. Today they take a look at blues musicians putting a modern day twist to their recordings.

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Mississippi blues master R.L. Burnside matches up with rapper Lyrics Born for a new take on the genre, a melding of modern and classic styles. zzazazz / Flickr

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I’ll admit I wasn’t a big fan of the blues before I started working here at KPLU. I didn’t know much about the music. But that changed when I started listening to the blues songs we play. I discovered I really like the blues and the bare-bones, gritty nature of it. So, why mess that up with a fancy remix, right? Wrong.

There is a new trend of techno-blues out there and I have to say I am fascinated by it. I hope you will be too.

I learned about blues musicians delving into the world of remixing and sampling from KPLU’s Nick Morrison. He and I do occasional interviews about music and the blues is Nick’s favorite kind of music. He’s enjoyed seeing it evolve from acoustic blues, to electric blues, to rock blues.

He was particularly interested in finding out how the newest studio technology has impacted the blues. It’s the topic of the latest monthly list Nick wrote for NPR’s music website.

1. Little Axe – Ride On – The Wolf That House Built

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Little Axe is the brainchild of singer-guitarist Skip MacDonald and producer Adrian Sherwood. MacDonald was part of the original studio rhythm section for Sugarhill Records, and can be heard on early rap recordings by the likes of Grandmaster Flash and The Sugarhill Gang. Little Axe created a template for reimagining and remixing the blues. “Ride On” features samples of Leadbelly’s “Ride On” from his Library of Congress recordings and also weaves in some Howlin’ Wolf.

2. R.L. Burnside (featuring Lyrics Born) – Someday Baby – A Bothered Mind

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“Someday Baby” has been recorded several times since it was first laid down by Sleepy John Estes in 1935. In this version, Mississippi bluesman R.L. Burnside enlists the services of rapper Lyrics Born to turn this classic blues into an exercise in call-and-response between yesterday and today.

3. Tangle Eye – Work Song – Alan Lomax’s Southern Journey Remixed

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Scott Billington and Steve Reynolds are musicians and producers who collaborate as Tangle Eye. They had the delightful idea of adding instrumentation, rhythm tracks and samples to some of the a cappella field recordings made by folklorist Alan Lomax in the 1940s and ‘50s. “Work Song” is their remix of a song called “Rosie” (hear the song) sung by a prison work gang led by a man named C.B. “88” Cook.

4. Slo Leak – Drunk – When the Clock Strikes 12

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Slo Leak is guitarist, producer and vocalist Danny Kortchmar and guitarist-vocalist Charlie Karp. Kortchmar spent years in the L.A. rock scene, where he worked with artists such as Jackson Browne and Carole King, but he evidently always had one foot in the blues. Since the late 1990s, Slo Leak has been successfully applying modern studio techniques to blues and R&B. “Drunk” was originally performed by Joe Liggins and The Honeydrippers, a popular jump-blues band in the 1940s and ‘50s. Kortchmar and Karp sample some of that original recording and drag a few other surprises into the performance.

5. Euphoria – Back Against the Wall – Precious Time

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This takes elements of the blues all the way into the world of electronica, as performed by the group Euphoria. The sound of Ken Ramm’s slide guitar and Howard Levy’s harmonica evolved out of a long blues tradition. Grafting those sounds onto a dance beat is an experiment, just as it was an experiment the first time a blues guitarist slid the neck of a broken bottle up the fretboard of an acoustic guitar, just to see what it would sound like.

In-Studio with Martin Taylor and Pearl Django

24 Jan

Martin Taylor is widely considered to be one of today’s finest solo jazz guitarists. While still in his early 20’s, he was introduced to the world’s jazz audience as the guitarist with Stephane Grappelli, a gypsy-jazz violinist and co-founder (along with Django Reinhardt) of the Quintette du Hot Club de France, but Martin’s familiarity with gypsy music goes all the way back to his childhood in Scotland.

As you’ll hear in this interview, Taylor’s father was descended from Romany (gypsy) stock so Martin grew up surrounded by gypsy music and traditions. On a recent visit to Seattle, Martin teamed up with Pearl Django, the Northwest’s premier gypsy jazz quintet, for a few nightclub gigs and a visit to the KPLU/Jazz 24 studios. Taylor was obviously enjoying taking a trip back to his gypsy-jazz roots and the members of Pearl Django were thrilled to accompany him.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE PERFORMANCE

Happy Thursday from Robin Lloyd

20 Jan

Here are some fun videos from KPLU’s Midday Jazz Host Robin Lloyd. Have a great Thursday, and be sure to tune in to and hear Robin today from noon-3 PST!

Otis Redding, Ray Vega and Thomas Marriott, and Steve Turre playing shells with Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra

Four Years Since Brecker

13 Jan

Four years ago today we lost a truly remarkable musician and a very special man. 15-time Grammy winner Michael Brecker passed away January 13, 2007 after a difficult myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a cancer of the blood marrow. Brecker was one of the most talented tenor saxophonists of the last 30 years, and the most influential since Wayne Shorter.

Here are a few videos of  Michael:

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