New Music
3:13 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Thank You (with some new music)

New Music for Jazz April

Now that the spring pledge drive is over, I can start the daily premieres again. This morning's premiere: "Louie's Dream: For Our Jazz Heroes" was appropriate for April which is Jazz Appreciation Month.


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Live Jazz
6:24 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Jazz is Alive at EMU

Renowned area drummer Sean Dobbins

Jazz   Is   Alive!  Benefit   Concert   &   Dance

7pm   Saturday,   April   6th   at   the   EMU   Student   Center   Ballroom


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New Music
7:18 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Two Premieres for 89.1 Jazz Today

WEMU’s focus for Women’s History Month 2013 has been a living history approach. Throughout March we have balanced classic recordings of blues jazz women with new offerings.

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Top Music
3:40 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Harry Connick, Jr. tops WEMU's Sweet Sixteen

Harry Connick, Jr.'s "Smokey Mary" is available now!

WEMU listener favorite Harry Connick, Jr. was staff favorite from March 11th through the 17th.

Each week we track how many times we play a new CD. Between March 11th and the 17th, pianist and singer Harry Connick, Jr. claimed the top spot of our Sweet 16. We first premiered the disc on Mardi Gras 2013 (February 12th). The disc’s presence at the top of the list a month later is a testament to the authenticity of Harry Connick, Jr’s joyful New Orleans funk grooves.

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New Music
5:30 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Asuka Kakitani 'Blooms' Expressive Orchestral Compositions

Asuka Kakitani's Bloom is now available

We welcome Asuka Kakitani to the realm of expressive composers and arrangers with Bloom. Chronologically, March 21st is the second day of spring for 2013, but the weather proved otherwise. So, we dreamed of spring and listened to new music evoking rebirth and the beauty of nature by Asuka Kakitani and her Jazz Orchestra this morning on 89.1 Jazz.

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89.1 Jazz
8:23 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

89.1 Jazz honors Marian McPartland, turns 95

Today we honored a woman who helped shape the history of jazz as a musician, band leader, composer, 

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New Music
4:13 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

'The Blue Room' by Madeleine Peyroux

Madeleine Peyroux's "Blue Room" is available now from Universal Music

Blue is more than a color – it is a basic musical form and blue is a mood. Madeleine Peyroux explores all aspects of blue with her new CD The Blue Room. However, this isn’t a blues CD.

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New Music
6:30 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Rondi Charleston shows some promising 'Signs of Life'

"Signs of Life" is out now on Motema Records

With Signs Of Life, singer Rondi Charleston breathes new life into jazz classics and shares highly personal yet universal reflections on life. During Women’s History Month we are focusing on women of jazz and blues past and present. Rondi Charleston’s Signs Of Life is one of the most powerful and personal discs to be premiered this March.

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New Music
10:00 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

'The Jazz Age' is Timeless

'THE JAZZ AGE' is available now from Vinyl Factory.

Bryan Ferry, leader of the 1980s musical art rock sensation, Roxy Music, is also a brilliant musical historian. With the new CD The Jazz Age he has merged his two passions. He took Roxy Music favorites such as "Love Is The Drug", "The Bogus Man" and "Slave To Love" and orchestrated them for a 1920s style acoustic big jazz band. 

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New Music
12:28 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Water and Earth Reviewed

Water and Earth out now on HighNote Records

With Water And Air, trumpeter Jeremy Pelt re-affirms his dedication to modern black music. Over the years he has absorbed the foundations of jazz: call-and-response, pacing, drama, interplay and tension and release.  It is especially that final principle that operates throughout Air and Water.

"This music isn't about a change in the direction as much as it's about strengthening my commitment to my art at present." - Jeremy Pelt.

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New Music
7:52 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Robert Hurst with 'BoB a Palindrone' debuts on WEMU

BoB: A Palindrome Available March 12, 2013

In 2001 bassist Robert Hurst assembled some of his best musical friends for a recording session that is no longer hiding on a hard drive. 

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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.  

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Jazz, Blues, and More...
10:39 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Jose James Tops the Charts - WEMU's Sweet Sixteen

Jose James' new studio album is titled No Beginning No End

José James is simply beyond category. No Beginning No End is a culmination of his career and life weaving threads of jazz, balladry, R&B, classic and neo-soul plus hip-hop into a sensual stream of consciousness.

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5:54 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Menahan Street Band back on top of "Sweet 16"

Dunham Recording artists, The Menahan Street Band
Credit www.brooklynvegan.com

With their snaky rhythms, spooky harmonies and catchy licks, Brooklyn’s Menahan Street Band once again takes the top spot on WEMU’s “Sweet 16” for “The Crossing”.  All of the time spent backing up R&B and soul sensation Charles Bradley has sparked a giant leap of creativity and risk-taking in this leading soul/jazz/funk band. 

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4:01 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Menahan Street Band Tops "Sweet 16" Two Weeks In A Row.

The first few weeks of a new year are rough on hosts of free-form music programs.   The big year-end push is over, the holiday recordings are retired and fresh music is yet to arrive in the mail or come via download.  Thankfully at WEMU, we were able to snag some strong new music in late November and early December of 2012 to keep us jamming in to 2013.  One of of our most delightful discoveries was "The Crossing" by The Menahan Street Band".  I wrote a long article on their associations and genesis last week, so for more information check out the previous post. 

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6:23 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Winard Harper has the "Sweet 16" top spot

Between December 10th and the 16th, WEMU hosts played over 160 different new releases, so for one disc to rest atop that widely varied selection is indeed a rare honor.  We are pleased to reveal that the leader of that week's "Sweet 16" was drummer Winard Harper and his magnificent group, The Jeli Posse.

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4:49 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Bettye LaVette again claims "Sweet 16" top spot

As we WEMU hosts continue to be grateful to you, our listeners for your generous support, the new CD "Thankful 'N Thoughtful" by former Detroiter Bettye LaVette resonates with us.  Her new disc was the most-played recording on WEMU from November 26th through December 1st.  This week's "Sweet 16" is a fine cross-section of WEMU offerings from the modern-day boogie-woogie and roots music of pianist and singer Julian Fauth to the supremely soulful organ jazz sessions from home town hero, saxophonist Ben Jansson and the first-time appearance of west-coast jazz organ legend Chester "CT" Thompson

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5:20 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Pianist Julian Fouth tops "Sweet 16" third week in November

When I opened the package containing "Everybody Ought To Treat A Stranger Right" by pianist, singer and guitarist Julian Fauth, I knew that WEMU hosts would be happy to find this in the library.  His 2005 CD, "Songs Of Vice And Sorrow" was a host and listener favorite even though Julian was then a relatively young and unknown performer.  When I put the 2012  sound of Julian Fauth into the player, I was fully convinced.  This disc is tailor-made for WEMU. 

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5:38 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Driskell Wins 52nd District

Saline Mayor Gretchen Driskell has defeated incumbent Republican state representative Mark Ouimet in the 52nd district.  Hear more from WEMU's Andrew Cluley.

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6:00 pm
Tue October 30, 2012


Whether recording with a group or going solo, guitarist Charlie Hunter has long been a favorite of both WEMU listeners and hosts.  His newest offering pairs the 7-string guitarist up with drummer Scott Amendola.  Their depth of musical sound makes it hard to believe that there are just two musicians, but these two are so adept and so complementary that they fill all the musical spaces.  They will also likely fill all the spaces when they appear at The Magic Bag Theater in Ferndale on Thursday, November 1st. 

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4:44 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Joe Jackson's tribute to Duke Ellington, "The Duke" leads WEMU's "Sweet 16" September 24th to 30th.

Joe Jackson in concert

Never let it be said that when a major artist comes to town, that WEMU doesn't get behind the show and share music with listeners to let them know about the music they'll hear.  We got behind last week's Joe Jackson concert at The Michigan Theater featuring violinist Regina Carter in a real big way. 

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3:41 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Bassist Marcus Miller claims the sweetest spot in WEMU's "Sweet 16".

Perhaps it was because the lead track on Marcus Miller's new CD "Renaissance" was called "Detroit" that the disc resonated so soundly with WEMU listeners and staff.  Whatever the reason, it has become a fast favorite of listeners and staff alike. 

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3:42 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Dirty Dozen Brass Band reclaims top spot on WEMU's "Sweet 16".

When The Dirty Dozen Brass Band returned to Southeastern Michigan for a show at The Magic Bag Theater, WEMU hosts seized the opportunity to play selections from one of their favorite bands of all times.  We doubt that WEMU listeners minded hearing the ensemble again, as the band was beloved at venues such as The Ark, The Frog Island Music Festival, The Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival and Sully's in Dearborn. 

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5:01 pm
Thu September 6, 2012


Christian Scott at the 2012 Detroit Jazz Festival.
Nina Simone Simms-Bentley

Trumpeter Christian Scott delivered not only one of the most meaningful jazz CDs of 2012 with "Christian Atunde Adjuah", but he also delivered one of the most inspirational live performances of the year with his appearance in the "Tribute to Treme" at the 2012 Detroit Jazz Festival.   Scott's music is "as serious as your life", yet is imbued with energy and a celebration of life. 

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3:01 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Trumpeter Christian Scott takes the top spot on WEMU's "Sweet 16".

Christian Scott at The Bohemian Caverns.

Trumpeter Christian Scott immediately impressed WEMU and listeners with his first CD as a leader, "Rewind That" in 2006.  Since then we have anticipated each new release from this urbane, articulate and alternative trumpeter and composer.  His new CD "Christian Atunde Adjuah" demonstrates his "whisper technique" emphasizing breath control rather than mouthpiece technique.  His highly communicative approach recalls trumpet masters Clark Terry and Clifford Brown with a wholly modern approach.  This modernity also applies to his compositions - stretching the instrumentation and arrangements to

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