JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Dee Alexander And The Evolution Arkestra On JazzSetWBGO

Dee Alexander And The Evolution Arkestra On JazzSet

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/250500322/250420209" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Jazz Institute of Chicago and the city's Park District teamed up in December 2012 to present this free family concert with Dee Alexander. As we air it on JazzSet a year later, Alexander is just back from performing the show in Poland where, she writes, "everyone was on their feet."

The first half is a non-stop, 30-minute tribute to Jimi Hendrix followed by a hearty South Shore Cultural Center countdown to 2013. "Auld Lang Syne" morphs into "Ain't It Funky Now." See photo No. 5 in our gallery for Alexander's costume change ("I'm wearin' hot pants!") for the James Brown half. As she yells to the crowd, "Everybody down here on the floor. I don't want to dance by myself!" we have evidence of the people's compliance in photo No. 6.

DownBeat's David Whiteis points out that the Evolution Arkestra is 50 percent a string ensemble "alternating between furiously picked pizzicato runs and stuttering arco groans, and occasionally joining forces to create window-rattling sonic booms. Guitarist Scott Hesse invoked Hendrix's visionary fury by using precision, dynamic flexibility and rhythmic drive to build intensity and create music almost as riveting as anything Jimi could have summoned with his fabled high-velocity fusillades."

In the mid-1960s, Hendrix sang a heart-stopping plea for restraint: "Hey, Joe, where you goin' with that gun in your hand?" Alexander revisits "Hey Joe" only days after the school shootings in Newtown, Conn. She cries out, "Stop the violence! Put the guns down!" It's unforgettable.

Alexander is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Chicago magazine named her the singer of the year 2009. This past August, she sang her new show Songs My Mother Loved at the Newport Jazz Festival.

Our guest host is Toast of the Nation's Rhonda Hamilton, and we note NPR's Suraya Mohamed's great post-production of the live concert for New Year's Eve 2012. It airs with minimal changes, this week on JazzSet.

Personnel

  • Dee Alexander, voice
  • Miguel de la Cerna, piano
  • Tomeka Reid, cello
  • Harrison Bankhead, bass
  • Junius Paul, bass
  • Scott Hesse, guitar
  • Yusef Ernie Adams, percussion

Jimi Hendrix Set

  • "The Star-Spangled Banner"
  • "Little Wing"
  • "Who Knows"
  • "Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire"
  • "Purple Haze"
  • "If Six Was Nine"
  • "Hey Joe" (Billy Roberts)
  • "Auld Lang Syne"

James Brown Set

  • "Ain't It Funky Now"
  • "I Got the Feelin'"
  • "Licking Stick"
  • "Living In America"
  • "Soul Power"
  • "It's A Man's Man's Man's World"

Credits

Timothy Powell/Metro Mobile Recording, recording and mix engineer; Dayna Calderón, field producer. Recorded at South Shore Cultural Center, Dec. 7, 2012. Special thanks to the Jazz Institute of Chicago, Lauren Deutsch and the Chicago Park District.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Buster Williams performs at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola. Lawrence Sumulong /Courtesy of Jazz At Lincoln Center hide caption

toggle caption Lawrence Sumulong /Courtesy of Jazz At Lincoln Center

Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program

Buster Williams: The Low End Maestro

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

The low end has always been terra firma for Williams, one of the all-time great bassists in modern jazz. Hear highlights of a recent set with his post-bop ensemble, Something More.

Buster Williams: The Low End Maestro

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/528918610/528942262" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

T.S. Monk performs at the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz hide caption

toggle caption Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

T.S. Monk On Piano Jazz

The percussionist dedicated this 1995 set with host Marian McPartland to his father, Thelonious Monk.

T.S. Monk On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/528135123/528136364" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Carmen Cavallaro performs in 1971. Dick Darrell/Toronto Star via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Dick Darrell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Carmen Cavallaro On Piano Jazz

The pianist's tender style created an ideal atmosphere for romantics everywhere. In this 1989 session, he solos on his arrangement of a Cole Porter medley.

Carmen Cavallaro On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/527052788/527052981" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Dee Dee Bridgewater performs at Jazz At Lincoln Center. Frank Stewart/Jazz At Lincoln Center hide caption

toggle caption Frank Stewart/Jazz At Lincoln Center

Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program

Dee Dee Bridgewater: Fearless And Free

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

In words as well as music, hear how seriously Bridgewater takes her role as a music mentor and how it connects to her own experience in the jazz lineage.

Dee Dee Bridgewater: Fearless And Free

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/525854612/525857247" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

2017 NEA Jazz Masters Dave Holland, Dick Hyman, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Dr. Lonnie Smith (not pictured: Ira Gitler) at the 2017 NEA Jazz Masters Awards Dinner, sponsored by BMI, on April 2, 2017. Yassine El Mansouri/Courtesy of the Kennedy Center hide caption

toggle caption Yassine El Mansouri/Courtesy of the Kennedy Center

Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program

The 2017 NEA Jazz Masters, In Their Own Words

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Hear how the artists honored by the NEA this year — Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Dave Holland, Dick Hyman and Ira Gitler — earned their stripes and paid their jazz dues.

The 2017 NEA Jazz Masters, In Their Own Words

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/524881192/524881250" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Trudy Pitts performs on this week's Piano Jazz. Andrew Lepley/Redferns/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Andrew Lepley/Redferns/Getty Images

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Trudy Pitts On Piano Jazz

The organist performs Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo" with Marian McPartland in this 1992 session.

Trudy Pitts On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/515756064/515756319" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Barry Harris is featured in this episode of Piano Jazz. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Barry Harris On Piano Jazz

The seminal jazz pianist and educator joined host Marian McPartland in the fall of 2002.

Piano Jazz: 2/3/2017

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/513227454/513227735" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top