Musically speaking, it's hard to discern much of a connection to The Rite Of Spring in saxophonist Phil Woods' Rights Of Swing suite. But in the final "Presto" section, he and his French horn player leave a little Easter egg for us — like many jazz recordings before and after it.
WFIUThe great composer and bandleader was distraught over the 1967 death of Billy Strayhorn, his songwriting and arranging partner of 28 years. But Ellington took Strayhorn's passing as an impetus, born of necessity, to increase his own productivity. Here are five examples.
He was a soulful reedman, an amazing talent scout for decades and a bandleader of one of the country's most popular acts. Born in 1913, Herman led "Thundering Herds" that were both big draws and well-respected by the likes of Igor Stravinsky. Here are five recordings which still sound fresh today.
"Women in Jazz Day" officially hits New York City Friday, complete with a new documentary on the subject. While the celebration is deserving, it remains incomplete, commentator Lara Pellegrinelli says. She lists many more resources on the subject — on film, print and wax.
Clarinetist and composer Ben Goldberg says his is an "instrument that at times responds better to the oblique glance than direct confrontation." He picks five players who have worked with the difficult horn, yielding unique and personal beauty in the process.
At the 2013 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, every sort of performer was welcome. But the festival grounds were at the center of a much wider celebration of Louisiana music that continued during, around and after the last two weekends.
WWNOSome of the most iconic images of New Orleans musicians have come from its annual Jazz & Heritage festival — thanks to the scores of photographers who crowd the apron of the stage, vying for the best shots. Eve Troeh, of member station WWNO, tagged along with one of them this year.
Pianist and composer John Beasley isn't exactly a household name. But he's now been tapped twice to direct many of them during the star-studded International Jazz Day concert. So is it difficult to play "jazz police" in an ancient church in Istanbul?
WBGOBremen may be best known for its love of soccer and Beck's beer. But in April, more than 20,000 jazz fans and industry professionals descend upon the German port city for a festival designed specifically to showcase new acts from across Europe.
In 1982, Jaki Byard and Tommy Flanagan played a duet date in San Francisco. Both pianists were of equal stature, among the best-respected in jazz history. But a newly released recording of that event illustrates why their differences are plenty interesting, too.
From 1948 until 1966, the Palladium Ballroom, at the corner of 53rd and Broadway, was the city's mecca for Afro-Caribbean dance music. And for a lot of that time, Puente was one of the main attractions. A new box set compiles the Latin music legend's RCA recordings of this crucial period.
Jazz24The advent of bebop added a fresh sound to American music. It also added new voices to some metropolitan radio stations: the late-night jazz DJs who specialized in presenting this new music to their fellow hipster nightflies. Appreciative musicians often wrote them tributes like these.
As NPR's employees file their federal returns and take up shop in a new building, we look back at an interesting historical moment in the 1940s. A cabaret tax led to more jazz being performed in smaller venues that couldn't accommodate dancing. Of course, that's not the only reason why bebop sounds the way it does.
WBGOFor centuries, the country turned its back on black musicians — including the jazz artists whose creations embodied freedom and empowerment. Today, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival is one of Africa's largest musical gatherings. Here are five musicians who played the festival this year.
The Smithsonian Museum of American History kickstarted its annual campaign with a day of performances and discussions. In a morning ceremony, drummer Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez and pianist Randy Weston officially donated artifacts from their personal collections.