89.1 Jazz

6:00 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Stacey Kent's 'The Changing Lights' Will Light Up Your Valentine's Day

Stacey Kent - The Changing Lights
Credit Courtesy photo

This Valentine’s Day, WEMU will premiere the romantic music of singer-guitarist Stacey Kent and the new CD, The Changing Lights released on  Warner Brothers/Parlophone Reacords.  Each of her previous recordings have been a marvel of delicacy, swing, precision, subtle passion and just-barely disguised emotional frailty.  It is hard to believe that she and her band could top Breakfast On The Morning Tram or Dreamer In Concert  but The Changing Lights further explores Ms.

Read more
6:00 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Angelique Kidjo's Eve: Exceptional Example Of International Collaboration And Women's Culture

Cover of Eve by Angelique Kidjo to be released January 28th on 429 Records
Credit www.npr.org

Those who experienced Angelique Kidjo, Lizz Wright and Dianne Reeves appearing as Sing The Truth! at the 2011 Detroit Jazz Festival know that Ms.

Read more
6:00 am
Thu January 16, 2014

With The Wind And The Rain - Pure Pleasure from Guitarist Joshua Breakstone

Guitarist Joshua Breaksotne, at ease with his new repertoire on the CD With The Wind And The Rain
Credit www.caprirecords.com

I decided to look at guitarist Joshua Breakstone’s Facebook Page as I listened to his new CD, With The Wind And The Rain.  His lead photo from his practice room was the atmospheric view over the Hudson River with the New York City skyline in a velvet fog.  That must be a beautiful space because it has helped veteran jazz guitarist Joshua Breakstone further refine and define his tone, approach and construction of brilliant solo passages.  Joshua Breakstone has been recognized as a major force in jazz guitar since the late 1970s.  His first recording as a leader, Wonderful!

Read more
8:00 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Robert Prester Dogtown: a Wednesday Delight

The cover for Robert Prester's new CD Dogtown is as enjoyable as the music inside
Credit www.robertprester.com

WEMU listeners are discerning judges of good talent.  You have heard gifted pianists such as McCoy Tyner, Bebo Valdes, Chucho Valdes, Danilo Perez and Michel Camilo on 89.1 Jazz shows.  We think you will welcome pianist Robert Prester and his new CD Dogtown with open ears.  Not unlike Chucho Valdes and Danilo Perez, Robert Prester followed classical piano studies.  It is evident in his brilliant 32nd note runs and precise technique.  But like the aforementioned, Prester also plays with emotion, feeling, joy and improvisational bliss.  His partners on the disc revel

Read more
New Music
2:50 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Karen Marguth's 'A Way with Words' inspires more wordsmiths

  Planning a morning program starts the afternoon before the show. I review new music in the office while working on other tasks and research the next day's musical choices. As I listen to a disc, I immediately think of other music to go with it.

Read more
89.1 Jazz
2:10 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Welcome to Jason Marsalis' World of Mallets

Mallet master Jason Marsalis.
Credit free-times.com

Even though the official release of In A World Of  Mallets by Jason Marsalis is not until February 19th, we jumped on it immediately at WEMU.  With the panoply of vibes, tubular bells, marimbas and other mallet instruments this recording is like a breath of light, spring air.  Perhaps it’s the New Orleans vibe that percolates throughout the songs or the emergence of a new working group in jazz, but this is a welcome addition to the WEMU playlist.  

Read more
89.1 Jazz
2:59 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Smokey Mary is Harry Connick, Jr.’s ode to The Krewe of Orpheus

Credit bayoubuzz.com

While we made sure to stir up a good musical gumbo of your New Orleans Mardi Gras and Brazilian Carnaval favorites this morning on 89.1 Jazz, it was our pleasure to premiere Smokey Mary by Harry Connick, Jr.  Smokey Mary refers to the signature train float in the Orpheus Parade.  Twenty years ago Harry founded The Krewe of Orpheus, a racially integrated krewe, which was a radically new development in the New Orleans social clubs

Read more
89.1 Jazz
3:16 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Anders Osborne "Three Free Amigos" rewarding listening

Anders Osborne - embodiment of musical passion
Credit whiskeyjacques.com

Although “Three Free Amigos” is only six songs long, this E.P.

Read more
Volunteer Oppurtunities
11:47 am
Thu February 7, 2013

A call to loyal listeners: Volunteer!

WEMU welcomes volunteers for the Spring Pledge 

April 4th-11th

 WEMU's  Spring Pledge Drive is scheduled to begin April  4th, and we hope you'll help us take pledges in the studio. Volunteering  your time during an on-air fundraiser is a wonderful opportunity to support WEMU, and the experience is always fun!

Please plan on a two hour shift. This allows for smooth transitions each hour as newly arrived volunteers come up to speed.

We appreciate help from groups and individuals.

Please review the available shifts here. 

Read more
89.1 Jazz
2:22 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Aguabella Latin Jazz Band are flamekeepers

Aguabella Latin Jazz Band in concert at Saddleback College
Credit saddleback.edu

While we love to feature the all-time greats of music on WEMU, we also look for deserving unknown ensembles, such as The Aguabella Latin Jazz Band which received their CD premiere for “Baker: Gateway To Death Valley”  this morning.  We had actually played many of these musicians before when they were in the band led by the late, great conga player, Francisco Aguabella.  Today they keep Aguabella’s legacy alive.  Now you know how they found their beautiful name. 

Read more
89.1 Jazz
2:22 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Teeny Tucker: a tiny, but tremendous blues force

Teeny Tucker at the Blues Blast Awards
Credit teenytucker.com

This Tuesday was a perfect blues day on WEMU.  The cold and the clouds called for down-home story-filled music.  Our playlist this morning included local blues luminaries Johnnie Bassett and George Bedard along with Columbus Ohio’s blues emissary, Teeny Tucker.

Read more
89.1 Jazz
3:24 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

"Magic Beans" by Benny Green is a delicacy!

Original sketch of pianist Benny Green in action
Credit bennygreenmusic.com

The majority of the classic Blue Note recordings of the 1950s and 1960s were characterized by highly conversant horn exchanges and brilliant, supportive rhythm sections.  For Benny Green to pay tribute to that era of jazz with the instrumentation of piano-bass-drums is quite a task.  But, Benny pulls it off with inspiration, energy and attitude. 

Read more
89.1 Jazz
3:06 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Guitarist Nate Najar channels Charlie Byrd on new CD

Cover of "Blues For Night People: The Nate Najar Trio Remembers Charlie Byrd"
Credit natenajar.com

The WEMU playlist this morning included many great guitarists.  My initial inspiration was to promote guitarist Jake Reichbart and his quartet at this afternoon’s free “Sesi Motors 501 Jazz Show” at Rush Street.  But, you can’t build a three and half hour program around one artist.  So, I went to our “new stacks” and checked out a disc that we’d had for a few weeks, gave it try, gave it two thumbs up and got it on the air.   It is “Blues For Night

Read more
89.1 Jazz
2:49 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

"Money Jungle: Provocative In Blue" by Terri Lynn Carrington premiered today.

Terri Lyne Carrington

In time for African American History month, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington pays tribute to three to icons of jazz and African American music:  Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach on her newest release.  In 1963, Ellington, Mingus and Roach made only one recording together: “Money Jungle” for Capitol Records.  The trio to realize the 2013 approach to “Money Jungle: Provocative In Blue” are pianist Gerald Clayton and bassist Christian McBride along with Ms. Carrington.

Read more
89.1 Jazz
1:49 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

"3.2.1" by pianist Pamela Hines is a pleasant surprise!

Pianist Pamela Hines in action
Credit karionproductions.blogspot.com

Often on first listen to a new CD, I’ll remark, “that’s nice…” and just file it away.  I’m very glad that I gave “3.2.1” by pianist Pamela Hines a second chance.  On the second pass, I heard the complexities that I missed in my first cursory review.  We receive many piano-bass-drums CDs re-working standards at WEMU, so if your disc is to make it on the air it must have a “special something”.  Pamela Hines has it.

Read more
89.1 Jazz
3:50 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

"Alpenglühen" WEMU "New Music Monday" premiere

Saxophonist Maximilian Geller
Credit Ozella Music

The jazz musician is fortunate to be able to hear new possibilities in old melodies and create new music from the gems of the past.  That is what saxophonist Maximilian Geller has accomplished with “Alpenglühen”, his new CD released recently in the US.  While all the songs on the disc are credited to Geller or band members such as pianist Walter Lang, it is clear that they have drawn inspiration from German, Swiss and French folk melodies to craft their elegant and sparkling repertoire.  According the label, Ozella Music, “Alpenglühen” can take you home and to faraway places: “to alpine cab

Read more
89.1 Jazz
2:34 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Hummingbird Parade provides musical escape for wintry weather

James Danderfer and The Hummingbird Parade
Credit music.cbc.ca

Our latest WEMU discovery is The Hummingbird Brigade, an 11 piece jazz ensemble from Vancouver, British Columbia led by saxophonist/clarinetist/flutist James Danderfer.  Danderfer explains the tone of his music as “New Orleans brass band-inspired”.  Building on the rich legacy of New Orleans street bands and the new approaches coming from the Crescent City by The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, The Soul Rebels and The Hot 8 Brass Band, Danderfer and his band-mates are adding to the street beat repertoire with well-crafted, highly rhythmic original music.  Mardi Gras day is coming up on Tuesday, Feb

Read more
89.1 Jazz
2:33 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Eric Burdon's blues manifesto "Til Your River Runs Dry" premiered on "89.1 Jazz".

Eric Burdon in studio 2012
Credit Dragon Lady via www.ericburdon.com

"'Til Your River Runs Dry" by Eric Burdon is the most revealing, personal and blues-drenched recording the former lead singer of The Animals and War has ever released.  Most of the songs deal with personal demons, release from self-destruction and potential salvation.  However, Eric Burdon remains true to form with  songs commenting on the ills of today's society such as "Water",  "Memorial Day", "Invitation To The White House" and "In The Ground".   Recorded in New Orleans and Los Angeles in 2010 and 2011, the disc was released in the U.K. in 2012.  It is officially released in the U.S.

Read more
Jazz Today
3:20 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

89.1 Jazz inspired by UMS Detroit jazz spectacular

Detroiter Karriem Riggins powered The D3 Trio in
Credit allaboutjazz.com

This morning's 89.1 Jazz  program reflected the unique musical experience of Monday evening's landmark concert: "From The Cass Corridor To The World: A Celebration Of Detroit's Musical Golden Age".   Perhaps we need an occasional reminder regarding the wealth, breadth and depth of our regional talent.  The "reminder" collected by University Musical Society with assistance from pianist Geri Allen, bassist Robert Hurst and drummer Karriem Riggins and all of their s

Read more
89.1 Jazz
1:25 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

89.1 Jazz honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr on Inaugural Day.

Bassist Robert Hurst performs at Hill Auditorium tonight.
Credit Living Music / UM School Of Music

Our short program was packed with music to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to get us ready for President Obama's second inaugural ceremony and tonight's special concert: "From Cass Corridor To The World: A Celebration Of Detroit's Golden Age Of Music". Thank you for choosing to listen to WEMU on this special day.

Read more