Jazz

With Supreme blogger Patrick Jarenwattananon on vacation, we asked jazz music directors from around public radio to highlight songs that have been in heavy rotation at their stations. Today's pick comes from Gary Walker, music director at WBGO in Newark, N.J.

Gretchen Parlato, Conrad Herwig On JazzSet

Jul 5, 2012

At the Newport Jazz Festival, we're visiting the Quad and Harbor Stages, where the first rows of audience sit snug up to the performer. With her understated style, love of the lyric and freedom, Gretchen Parlato makes that closeness work. Everyone leans in and listens.

In a good jazz rhythm section, the players function independently and as one. Their parts and accents crisscross and reinforce each other, interlocking like West African drummers. Beyond that, the bass is a band's ground floor. When it changes up, the earth shifts under all the players' feet. From moment to moment, Linda Oh's bass prowls or gallops, takes giant downward leaps, or stands its ground.

Happy Independence Day

Jul 3, 2012

Wishing each of you a safe and happy Fourth of July...be careful out there!

Heavy Rotation: George Benson, 'Naima'

Jul 3, 2012

With Supreme blogger Patrick Jarenwattananon on vacation, we asked jazz music directors from around public radio to highlight songs that have been in heavy rotation at their stations. Today's pick comes from Gary G. Vercelli of Northern California's Capital Public Radio.

The itinerant path of a touring musician is nothing new. Drummer Daniel Freedman has walked that walk with New York jazz groups, salsa units, forro bands and on international tours with Angelique Kidjo. He has also taken the road less travelled – by bus.

My American Dream Sounds Like Nina Simone

Jul 2, 2012

I discovered Nina Simone through the back door. I would like to claim that I grew up on her classic songs, like "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," "Four Women" and "Mississippi Goddam." But I didn't. Like so many of my generation, I found her through hip-hop loops and samples.

Today jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal celebrates his 82nd birthday, presumably near Montauban, France, where he will play a gig tomorrow. In fact, he'll spend most of the month in France, The Netherlands, Greece, Switzerland and Turkey doing what he does best: pouring himself into his enchanting music.

If you're a moviegoer, there's a good chance you'll recognize Stephane Wrembel's sound, if not his name.

This summer, Weekend Edition Saturday is listening to the sounds of music al fresco. Today, we present an audio postcard of a trumpeter we recently heard blowing "The Star-Spangled Banner" just down the street from NPR.

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