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4:06 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Bruce Lundvall, Jazz Record Executive, Has Died

Bruce Lundvall attends a ceremony hosted by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which produces the Grammy Awards. In addition to his role as record executive, he also once served as director of the Recording Academy.
Noel Vasquez Getty Images

Bruce Lundvall, the longtime President of Blue Note Records who supported many top jazz artists over the last four decades, died yesterday, May 19. The cause was complications of Parkinson's Disease, according to a Blue Note statement. He was 79.

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Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program
3:56 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

A Tribute To Kenny Wheeler

Kenny Wheeler.
W. Patrick Hinely Courtesy of the artist

The late Kenny Wheeler's stunning compositions and imaginative improvisations on trumpet and flugelhorn left deep impressions on generations of musicians. Two such devotees — trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and saxophonist Steve Treseler — revisited Wheeler's compositions after his death in 2014 at age 84. And in doing so, they realized they wanted to record their arrangements, paying tribute to the man who catalyzed their own careers.

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First Listen
9:03 pm
Sun May 17, 2015

First Listen: Joshua Redman & The Bad Plus, 'The Bad Plus Joshua Redman'

Joshua Redman & The Bad Plus' new album, The Bad Plus Joshua Redman, comes out May 26.
Cameron Wittig Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 1:37 pm

For the last two years, pianist Ethan Iverson has been at the center of what looks, in hindsight, like a serious creative whirlwind. He re-conceptualized Stravinsky's ballet The Rite Of Spring in its entirety (!) for his trio The Bad Plus, and then, for good measure, recorded an album of all-original Bad Plus music (Inevitable Western).

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Music
4:14 pm
Sat May 16, 2015

50 Years Ago, Ramsey Lewis Joined 'The In Crowd'

Ramsey Lewis' hit single "The In Crowd" was recorded live in concert 50 years ago this month.
Courtesy of Ravinia Festival

Originally published on Sat May 16, 2015 5:16 pm

Fifty years ago, the Ramsey Lewis Trio sat in a Washington, D.C. coffee shop, musing over what it could add to its set that evening. It was booked for a run at Bohemian Caverns — the group had issued a live album made at the nightclub, and it was gearing up to record a follow-up live album. Over walked a waitress, who inquired about the band's predicament.

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Music Interviews
4:14 pm
Sat May 16, 2015

In HBO's 'Bessie,' Queen Latifah Stars As Empress Of The Blues

Queen Latifah plays blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO movie Bessie.
Frank Masi Courtesy of HBO

Originally published on Sat May 16, 2015 5:16 pm

A Mississippi car accident in 1937 cut short the life of Bessie Smith.

She was just 43 years old. But she'd already established her legacy as "Empress of the Blues" — a pioneering American performer who demanded respect and equal pay in a world dominated by men and controlled by whites.

She'd also achieved a degree of infamy for her boozing, her brawling and her sexual appetites.

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