Wayne Escoffery Quartet: Live At The Village Vanguard When he isn't gigging with the modern masters, you might find the bright, energetic tenor saxophonist leading his own groups. A foursome in tow, he plays the Vanguard as a bandleader.

Wayne Escoffery. John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com hide caption

toggle caption
John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com

Wayne Escoffery.

John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com

Live At The Village Vanguard

Wayne Escoffery QuartetWBGO

Wayne Escoffery in Concert at the Village Vanguard - 06/09/2010

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/127538785/127737611" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

A bright, energetic tenor saxophonist, Wayne Escoffery always plays with great feeling and fun. Often he does so as a sideman to modern jazz masters, but occasionally he gets the chance to lead his own, hard-swinging groups. With a quartet in tow, he made one of his biggest gigs yet when he stays a week at the Village Vanguard for the first time as a bandleader. NPR Music and WBGO were there to capture part of it, in a live on-air broadcast and online video webcast heard on this page at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday, Jun. 9.

Escoffery's latest quartet record, 2009's Uptown, found him working out a variety of original tunes in the company and deep groove of an organ quartet. (His latest disc is a Tides Of Yesterday, a collaboration with vocalist Carolyn Leonhart, his wife.) But he went acoustic for his Vanguard residency, and called a number of attractive new originals — all in the spirit of friendly, modern post-bop — on Wednesday night's early set. Being his mother's birthday, he dedicated "Selena's Song" to her; in remembering the late pianist Hank Jones, Escoffery played Jones' ballad "Angel Face." Three veteran New York sidemen in pianist Kevin Hays, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Billy Drummond were along for the ride.

Born in the U.K., Escoffery spent his adolescence in Connecticut. There, his budding talent was discovered by Jackie McLean, who offered him a full ride to his jazz program at the University of Hartford, leading to further study with the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. After moving to New York, Escoffery quickly found himself busy, notably in groups like the Mingus Dynasty bands, Ben Riley's Monk Legacy ensemble, Jazz at Lincoln Center-commissioned ensembles and those fronted by singers such as Leonhart.

Perhaps his most visible role is alongside trumpeter Tom Harrell's outstanding straight-ahead quintet. NPR Music and WBGO actually recorded that ensemble at the Village Vanguard in 2009. But when Escoffery took the stage on Wednesday, it was his name atop the sign by the staircase.

Set List

  • "Chick's Tune"
  • "If I Am, Who You Were"
  • "Selena's Song"
  • "Perilous Desires"
  • "Angel Face" (Hank Jones)
  • "Banishment Of The Lost Spirit"

all compositions by Wayne Escoffery unless otherwise indicated

Personnel

  • Wayne Escoffery, tenor saxophone
  • Kevin Hays, piano
  • Joe Martin, bass
  • Billy Drummond, drums

Credits

  • Josh Jackson, producer and host
  • David Tallacksen, mix engineer
  • Alex W. Rodriguez, recording assistant
[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Ernie Andrews Courtesy of HighNote Records hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of HighNote Records

Ernie Andrews On Piano Jazz

Hear the vocalist bring his own special mix of energy, drama and humor to this 1998 episode with host Marian McPartland.

Ernie Andrews On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/549414757/549414978" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Patrice Rushen Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Patrice Rushen On Piano Jazz

Hear the songwriter and master keyboardist perform with host Marian McPartland on this 1987 episode.

Patrice Rushen On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/545865051/545871170" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Dennis Manuel/Courtesy of the artist

Aww Yeah, Summertime — With The Robert Glasper Experiment

This special summer festival episode features a clever synthesis of hip-hop, R&B and soul, recorded live across two music festivals in New York City.

Aww Yeah, Summertime — With The Robert Glasper Experiment

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/542780066/542781768" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Bill Charlap and his mother, Sandy Stewart. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Sandy Stewart And Bill Charlap On Piano Jazz

Hear the cabaret singer and her pianist son bring a rare combination of swing and sophistication to a session with host Marian McPartland.

Sandy Stewart And Bill Charlap On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/535960111/535960769" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Marian McPartland and Eddie Gomez in 1993. R.J. Capak/Piano Jazz Archives hide caption

toggle caption R.J. Capak/Piano Jazz Archives

Eddie Gomez On Piano Jazz

The Grammy-winning bassist's sense of swing shines through on this session with Marian McPartland, who joins in on "My Foolish Heart" and "All Of You."

Eddie Gomez On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/533993916/533995152" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Joshua Redman on saxophone, Scott Colley on bass, Brian Blade on drums and Ron Miles on cornet perform at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Lawrence Sumulong/Jazz at Lincoln Center hide caption

toggle caption Lawrence Sumulong/Jazz at Lincoln Center

Still Dreaming: Joshua Redman's Tribute To A Tribute

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

The saxophonist opens up about the legacy of his father, Dewey Redman, and performs with Still Dreaming — his own nod to the quartet his dad once helped convene as an homage to Ornette Coleman.

Terence Blanchard is the guest on this week's Piano Jazz. Henry Adebonojo/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Henry Adebonojo/Courtesy of the artist

Terence Blanchard On Piano Jazz

The Grammy award-winning trumpeter and composer joins Marian McPartland to perform standards like "I Thought About You" with bassist Gary Mazzaroppi.

Terence Blanchard On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/530240350/530241963" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top