Take Five: A Weekly Jazz Sampler

5 Bands To Discover At Winter Jazzfest

fromWBGO

 Drummer Allison Miller performs at Winter Jazzfest this weekend. i i

Drummer Allison Miller performs at Winter Jazzfest this weekend. Smith Banfield hide caption

itoggle caption Smith Banfield
 Drummer Allison Miller performs at Winter Jazzfest this weekend.

Drummer Allison Miller performs at Winter Jazzfest this weekend.

Smith Banfield

New York City's annual Winter Jazzfest, held this weekend, speeds ahead. After hitting a brief roadblock — a dispute between the musicians union and the festival's curators — the event's course layout has expanded to five venues throughout two nights on some of the busiest blocks in Manhattan.

Musicians, agents, managers, concert presenters and fans swarm around to scope out the latest offerings — some by legends, but mostly by emerging artists. It's a sensory overload, stacked with all-star lineups, wall-to-wall performances and curious crowds. In the spirit of last year's preview, be on the lookout for these musicians at Winter Jazzfest.

5 Bands To Discover At Winter Jazzfest

Allison Miller

  • Album: Boom Tic Boom
  • Song: CFS (Candy Flavored Sidewalks)

When Allison Miller isn't touring with singer-songwriters (Erin McKeown, Ani DiFranco), the drummer displays her innate passion for swing in Honey Ear Trio and Boom Tic Boom. The latter received some critical attention in 2010, even popping up on some year-end Top 10 lists. A highlight of the disc — "CFS," which stands for "Candy Flavored Sidewalk" — features the irrepressible Jenny Scheinman (who also showcases at Winter Jazzfest this year) fiddling over Miller's joyful bluegrass shuffle.

Purchase Featured Music

Song
CFS (Candy Flavored Sidewalks)
Album
Boom Tic Boom
Artist
Allison Miller
Label
FOXHAVEN RECORDS

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

Cover for Dawn of Goodbye

Dominick Farinacci

  • Album: Dawn of Goodbye
  • Song: You Don't Know What Love is

A trumpet tone forged at The Juilliard School, Dominick Farinacci's warm and round sound could be best described as romantic. A smooth silkiness flows from his horn, caressing any standard he touches, and his balladry takes listeners straight to the boudoir. Despite the candle-lit polish, his finesse is admirable.

Purchase Featured Music

Song
You Don't Know What Love is
Album
Dawn of Goodbye
Artist
Dominick Farinacci
Label
Entertainment One Music
Released
2011

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

Cover for Standards

Bernie Worrell

  • Album: Standards
  • Song: Take the "A" Train

Self-proclaimed "Wizard of Woo" Bernie Worrell (Parliament, Funkadelic) returns to his childhood. Before this keyboard magician became massively popular for his inventions on synthesizers, he impressed his early professors with piano concertos and jazz standards. The repertoire of his youth re-emerges with the Bernie Worrell Orchestra, where he pays homage to one of his unlikely musical heroes: Duke Ellington. Whatever instrument he touches, he's likely to cast a spell.

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Take the "A" Train
Album
Standards
Artist
Bernie Worrell
Label
CMH Records
Released
2011

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

Cover for Plays Nat King Cole en Espanol

David Murray Cuban Ensemble

  • Album: Plays Nat King Cole en Espanol
  • Song: Tres Palabras

David Murray plows forward wherever he chooses, this time adapting obscure sessions by Nat King Cole, originally targeted for a Latin global audience. The saxophonist, in typically uncompromising fashion, takes refined and polished material — made for strings in 1958 and 1962 — and renders it rough and loose around the edges without losing any of its musicality. The groove that builds and crescendos at the end of "Tres Palabras" is particularly memorable.

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Tres Palabras
Album
Plays Nat King Cole en Espanol
Artist
David Murray Cuban Ensemble
Label
Motéma Music
Released
2011

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

Gilad Hekselman

  • Album: Hearts Wide Open
  • Song: Hazelnut Eyes

Burning on New York's jazz scene this year is Israeli guitarist Gilad Hekselman with his most mature outing to date, Hearts Wide Open. His working band features fiery talents Mark Turner on sax, Joe Martin on bass and Marcus Gilmore on drums; no shortage of ideas or inspiration there. Look for all the beat writers and hardcore jazz enthusiasts to circle this performance on the festival's calendar.

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Hazelnut Eyes
Album
Hearts Wide Open
Artist
Gilad Hekselman

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.