NPR Music

Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts
7:20 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Home Cooking: The Philadelphia Jazz Organ Tradition In Concert

Sonny Keaton performs during the Home Cooking concert.
WXPN

The Hammond electronic organ was developed with churches in mind, as a lower-cost alternative to pipe organs. But in Philadelphia, a keyboard player named Jimmy Smith was inspired by early jazz experiments on the instrument, and found a devastating way to adapt the new bebop style to the Hammond B-3. It seeded a new tradition of organ players in Philadelphia — major figures like "Groove" Holmes, Jimmy McGriff, Papa John and Joey DeFrancesco, and Trudy Pitts — and kickstarted a new sound in jazz at large.

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Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts
6:50 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Cassandra Wilson Sings Billie Holiday

Cassandra Wilson.
Mark Seliger Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 7:22 pm

One hundred years after she was born, Billie Holiday remains iconic in American music, not to mention jazz singing. Cassandra Wilson has made her career in jazz singing by embracing a wide range of American music, and it holds true on her latest project: a new album rearranging the Billie Holiday songbook. The new Coming Forth By Day, created with rocker Nick Cave's producer and rhythm section, reshapes songs like "Good Morning Heartache" and "Strange Fruit" with fresh textures and resonances.

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A Blog Supreme
4:03 am
Sat March 28, 2015

Three Jazz Pianists, A Generation After Apartheid

Nduduzo Makhathini, from rural Eastern South Africa, connected to jazz as a way to heal others through music.
Ignatius Mokone Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 9:47 am

In South Africa, the major art of resistance during apartheid was jazz: a melting pot where folk songs and hymns defiantly mixed with influences from South Asia, America and West Africa. South African jazz's central formula — its equivalent to the 12-bar blues — is a buoyant, four-chord progression that even seems to evoke a blending motion.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
3:10 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Dardanelle Hadley On Piano Jazz

Dardanelle Hadley, pictured here on vibes circa 1938-1948.
William Gottlieb Library of Congress

Jazz vocalist and pianist Dardanelle Hadley was born Marcia Marie Mullen, the daughter of vocalist and pianist Marcius Mosely "Buck" Mullen. In the 1940s, she formed a trio that played regularly at the Copacabana Club in New York, and she went on to work with jazz greats such as Bucky Pizzarelli and Grady Tate.

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Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program
11:37 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Anat Cohen's Roots Of Rio

Anat Cohen.
Jimmy Katz Anzic Records

The genre choro — a word which means "cry" in Portuguese — is often described as "the New Orleans jazz of Brazil." Like its U.S. counterpart, both are Afro-Western hybrids which emerged in the early 20th century; both call for jam sessions showcasing improvisation and virtuosity. Both jazz and choro are also the domains of clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen. Her newest band, the quartet Choro Aventuroso, culminates an affinity and intense study of Brazilian music — one which began as part of an international community of jazz students at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

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