NPR Music

Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts
9:04 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Johnny O'Neal: Live at Mezzrow

Johnny O'Neal performs at Mezzrow.
NPR

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 11:58 pm

Pianist and singer Johnny O'Neal never learned to read music, but didn't really need to: He was one of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and even convincingly imitated the fast-fingered Art Tatum in the biopic Ray. Now, after decades off the scene — and with his health under control — he's re-establishing himself in New York as an incredible old-school performer.

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Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts
9:04 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Very Very Threadgill At Harlem Stage

Henry Threadgill studies a score in his dressing room at Very Very Threadgill.
Shahar Azran Courtesy of Harlem Stage

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 9:24 am

The saxophonist and composer Henry Threadgill, 70, has long been an standard-bearer for boundary-crossing music. In his wildly creative work, inspirations as disparate as rags, calypso and funk transmogrify into unique frameworks for improvisation. Pianist Jason Moran is one of his loyal fans — Threadgill is his favorite composer, he says — and programmed this tribute, gathering both Threadgill sidemen and up-and-comers to perform works from throughout Threadgill's career.

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Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts
9:04 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Miguel Zenón's 'Identities Are Changeable'

Miguel Zenón.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 5:02 pm

Miguel Zenón possesses rare talent, both for the level of his alto saxophone virtuosity and the ability to make complex compositions immediate and accessible. But he's but one of many who moved to New York City to pursue jazz. And he's one of over one million New-York-area residents of Puerto Rican origin.

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Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts
9:01 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Highlights From The Detroit Jazz Festival

Wallace Roney.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 10:25 pm

In the late 1960s, saxophonist Wayne Shorter wrote a number of large ensemble works for his employer at the time, trumpeter Miles Davis. They were never recorded, and eventually forgotten. Decades later, Shorter, now considered one of jazz's greatest composers, dug up the music and handed it over to trumpeter Wallace Roney (a protege of Miles Davis) to breathe new life into the charts. Roney presents that suite of music — or what he could before rain showers interceded — on this webcast of Jazz Night In America, live at the 2014 Detroit Jazz Festival.

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Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts
9:01 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Blue Note At 75: The Concert

Dr. Lonnie Smith at the Blue Note 75 concert.
NPR

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:18 pm

The iconic jazz record label Blue Note Records reached its 75th anniversary this year, and celebrated with an all-star concert featuring artists from its rich history and bright present. Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Lou Donaldson, and Bobby Hutcherson, whose Blue Note LPs defined a generation of jazz, were on hand; Jason Moran, Robert Glasper, Joe Lovano and Norah Jones also took up the torch, among many other musicians.

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