This Valentine’s Day, WEMU will premiere the romantic music of singer-guitarist Stacey Kent and the new CD, The Changing Lights released on WarnerBrothers/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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
"'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.
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
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.