NPR Music

Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program
11:56 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Behind The SFJAZZ Collective's Original Approach To Joe Henderson

The SFJAZZ Collective: (L-R) Avishai Cohen, Matt Penman, Obed Calvaire, Miguel Zenón, David Sánchez, Robin Eubanks, Warren Wolf, Edward Simon.
Jay Blakesberg Courtesy of SFJAZZ

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 11:37 pm

The SFJAZZ Collective, an all-star octet representing the SFJAZZ institution in San Francisco, has an intriguing approach to repertoire. Each year, each member writes a new piece for the Collective, and also rearranges a composition by a modern jazz master. For the 2014-15 season, that master was tenor saxophone titan Joe Henderson, a longtime San Francisco resident.

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Music
3:19 pm
Sat March 14, 2015

Albert 'Tootie' Heath, Drummer Extraordinaire, Turns The Tables

Albert Heath
Michael Perez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 4:36 pm

Albert "Tootie" Heath is one of the most accomplished jazz drummers of the past 60 years. The 79-year-old has played with everyone from John Coltrane to Ethan Iverson, the piano player for The Bad Plus. Iverson and bassist Ben Street join Tootie Heath for his new album, Philadelphia Beat, named for the fertile jazz city of Heath's upbringing — where, as a young man starting out, he once piloted a group consisting only of the drums and two horns.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
3:19 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Mercer Ellington On Piano Jazz

Mercer Ellington.
David Redfern Redferns

Copyist, arranger and musician Mercer Ellington worked for his father, Duke Ellington, as a horn player before becoming manager of the group. He took on additional duties, including composition, resulting in his original tune "Things Ain't What They Used To Be."

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Song Travels
2:01 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Somi On Song Travels

Somi.
Devin Doyle Courtesy of the artist

American vocalist and songwriter Somi combines the music of her African heritage with American-style jazz, pop and soul. After her parents left Rwanda and Uganda, Somi spent 18 months living in Lagos, Nigeria; that time provided the inspiration for her 2014 album The Lagos Music Salon.

On this episode of Song Travels, Somi and host Michael Feinstein discuss the cultural roots of her music. She performs her original "Last Song" and joins Feinstein for "Embraceable You."

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Jazz Night In America
2:34 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Two Greats From Seattle, 'One Of The Most Important Jazz Cities'

Ernestine Anderson performs at the Windsor Jazz Festival in 1966.
David Redfern Redferns/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 11:02 am

Jazz bassist and composer Christian McBride recently finished a week-long West Coast tour in Seattle. It reminded him of how great a town it was for jazz, both historically and presently.

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