Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 8:35 am
A dozen years after Kat Edmonson was very briefly a contestant on American Idol, she still occasionally finds herself fielding questions about the experience from incredulous interviewers. If nothing else, the recurrence of the topic reflects how profoundly incompatible her style of pop expression is with Idol's bias toward blunt-force power balladry. You'll hear no belting from Edmonson; she deals in more intimate, exact gestures.
It's a rare thing to have three pianists at three pianos in one studio. But given the marriage of keyboard masters Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes, host Marian McPartland thought it was a perfect opportunity to expand the Piano Jazz format with two of today's most gifted players as her guests.
Today's World Cafe guest is Florida bluesman Selwyn Birchwood. Out of the Tampa area, Birchwood, who plays guitar and lap steel, started out self-releasing his music before winning the 2013 International Blues Challenge with his band. That led to a record deal — and his debut album, Don't Call No Ambulance.
Composer and alto saxophonist Steve Coleman, 57, has been named one of 21 new recipients of the MacArthur Fellowship, commonly referred to as the "genius grant." The award is worth a unrestricted stipend of $625,000 over five years, as dispensed by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.