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.
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.
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.
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.