Butch Morris leads a conduction at the 2007 Skopje Jazz Festival in Macedonia.
Samir Ljuma for NPR
January 30, 2013 The jazz musician was beloved by his fellow artists and acclaimed by critics and fans for his ability to spontaneously coerce music from an ensemble. Working with musicians of all stripes, he pioneered a system of real-time arranging he called Conduction. He was 65.
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Butch Morris in Amsterdam in 1986.
January 29, 2013 More than 25 years ago, the New-York-based musician pioneered a new vocabulary of ensemble interaction he called conduction. Since then, Morris, also a cornet player, directed more than 5,000 musicians around the world in real-time group improvisations. He was 65.
Herbie Hancock speaks with the current class of Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance masters degree students.
January 8, 2013 Starting around the 1960s, the music's advocates increasingly turned to institutions of higher education. Within a few decades, college campuses became an unavoidable part of the modern jazz world, training generations of musicians, providing employment and shaping the future audience.
Ben Olsen/Courtesy of the artist
November 29, 2012 The death of 22-year-old pianist Austin Peralta prematurely ended a rapidly expanding career. A child prodigy, at the end of his teenage years he cut Endless Planets, an album which showed a jazz-trained musician just beginning to utilize the enormity of the tones and rhythms around him.
Drummer Pete La Roca plays during the May 19, 1965 recording session for his album Basra.
Francis Wolff/Mosaic Images/Corbis
November 20, 2012 Born Peter Sims, the New York native played what he called his first jazz gig in 1957. It was immortalized as a Sonny Rollins live recording, and led to work with Joe Henderson, John Coltrane and more. The first-call player of New York's '50s and '60s heyday was 74 years old.
Mary Lou Williams.
November 16, 2012 Top ten deaths to listen to before you jazz, Blue Note's branding and Marian on Mary Lou. Plus, Dave Liebman recalls his former employer, Miles Davis; 51 gateway albums; Ambrose Akinmusire drops some knowledge; four bloggers on blogging; Dave Holland at large and LCD Soundsystem meets trumpet.
Trumpeter Ted Curson, depicted here on the cover of his album Urge, died last Sunday morning.
November 9, 2012 RIP Ted Curson, a new jazz singer, the Jazz Composers Collective's modern history, Hurricane Sandy and downtown New York and Miles Davis in 1985. Plus: a Branford Marsalis interview, Arbors Records' Mat Domber, and what the Pittsburgh Steelers radio announcer does in his spare time.
Eric Lewis, as ELEW, performs at the Blue Man Group's 20th anniversary after party in 2011.
Jemal Countess/Getty Images
October 26, 2012 This week's news features the making of ELEW, another "jazz is dead" debate, and Chicago music history from long ago and the present day alike. Plus, Ron Carter on bass evolution, Phil Schaap on economics, a new Wayne Shorter album and Miles Davis for Japanese liquor.
David S. Ware.
Michael Jackson/Courtesy of the artist
October 19, 2012 He wasn't a mainstream jazz musician, but the power of his vision for free improvisation won him acclaim from both the jazz community and beyond. The leader of a long-running quartet and a sideman to greats like Cecil Taylor, he was 62 when he died of complications from kidney disease.
The late John Tchicai (right) performs in London in 2010, with drummer Tony Marsh and bassist John Edwards.
October 12, 2012 The late John Tchicai, plus jazz in Central Park, Gary Burton and Herbie Hancock's Martian rock.
Times are (relatively) tough for Kenny G and other smooth jazz musicians, whose lifeline of radio airplay is quickly disappearing.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
October 5, 2012 Whither smooth jazz? Plus, Jenny Scheinman at home, Archie Shepp and new club openings.
October 4, 2012 On the new album Glad Rag Doll, Krall teams with producer T-Bone Burnett for a set of songs about love and independence that looks back to the style of the 1920s.
Madeleine Albright "sits in" with Chris Botti at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and final round gala.
Steve Mundinger/Courtesy of the Thelonious Monk Institute
September 28, 2012 Monk Competition madness, Don Byron interviewed, professor Sam and hints of a Clark Terry film.
Jamison Ross competes in the semifinal round of the 2012 Thelonious Monk Competition.
Steve Mundinger/Courtesy of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz
September 24, 2012 During the final round, the 24-year-old New Orleans musician made clear statements within the blues form with a lay audience in mind. He takes home a $25,000 scholarship and a recording contract. Justin Brown finished second, and Colin Stranahan third.
Emmet Cohen performs in the final round of the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, where he placed third. The 2012 competition takes place this weekend.
September 22, 2012 Jazz's most prestigious contest takes place this weekend — though not everyone agrees it deserves the prestige. Five former entrants, winners and semifinalists alike, reflect on what their experiences meant to them.
Guitarist John Abercrombie.
Howard Goodman/ECM Records
September 21, 2012 Cal Tjader saluted, Pepper Adams reinterpreted and a band parades through the Lower East Side.
From left to right, the panel included Terri Lyne Carrington, Lizz Wright, Jimmy Heath and Antonio Hart.
September 20, 2012 A panel of musicians assembled by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation had lots of ideas.
The Neil Cowley Trio is: (L-R) Evan Jenkins, Cowley, Rex Horan.
Courtesy of the artist
September 14, 2012 Adele's pianist, women in the avant-garde, Indiana jazz history and the 50 greatest saxophonists.
September 14, 2012 There comes a time in a jazz fan's life when he or she realizes that the rabbit hole goes far, far deeper than previously imagined. The new Spotify app from Blue Note Records begins to make sense of the data jumble in which fans happily abandon themselves.
Ornette Coleman, pictured here in 2006, was portrayed in a recently-restored 1986 documentary called Ornette: Made In America.
Robert Atanasovski/AFP/Getty Images
September 7, 2012 An Ornette Coleman documentary restored, plus the freewheeling Tim Berne and Herbie's Mwandishi.
Abel Meeropol watches as his sons, Robert and Michael, play with a train set.
Courtesy of Robert and Michael Meeropol
September 5, 2012 One of Billie Holiday's most iconic songs is "Strange Fruit," a haunting protest against the inhumanity of racism. Many people know that the man who wrote the song was inspired by a photograph of a lynching. But they might not realize that he's also tied to an iconic event in America's history.
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Drummer Jimmy Cobb plays at the 2012 Heineken Jazzaldia, the international jazz festival in San Sebastian, Spain.
Rafa Rivas/AFP/Getty Images
August 31, 2012 Drummer Jimmy Cobb questioned, a poetic Jazz Passenger and goodbye to bassist Charles Flores.
Marcus Belgrave will be featured at this weekend's Detroit Jazz Festival.
Courtesy of the artist
August 29, 2012 A big profile of trumpeter Marcus Belgrave emphasizes how he nurtured Detroit's jazz stars.
Pianist Kris Bowers performs in the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. He was later named the winner.
August 28, 2012 The recent announcement of the semifinalists for jazz's most prestigious contest left several musicians at unease. Thus, a debate was launched on the nature of music contests, and with it, perhaps a vision of a future beyond them.
The cover to Donald Byrd's Black Byrd, one of the hit albums for Byrd in the '70s.
Blue Note Records
August 24, 2012 The Thelonious Monk Competition, disco jazz and a legendarily wild record label, assessed.
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