Music

Music News from WEMU

Lead in text: 

Summer is finally here, and the Top of the Park and the Ann Arbor Summer Festival are right around the corner. There’s truly something for everyone this summer at the A2SF and WEMU is happy to be a media partner of the annual summertime celebration. Live Music with international and local favorites, movies under the stars, open-air spectacles, and there’s always great food and drinks. All The festival fun starts this Friday, June 14th!

Remembering Mulgrew Miller

Jun 12, 2013
David Tallacksen

The whole keyboard was Miller's canvas. His left hand could stride and swing with great authority, and when the two hands got together, he sent the train down the tracks. Hear music from WBGO's 25th-anniversary party, the Detroit Jazz Festival and the Kennedy Center Jazz Club.

 

JazzSet celebrates the art of the late piano great Mulgrew Miller.

 

Pianist and singer Freddy Cole gets better and better. If it’s possible, there is greater warmth and depth in his husky voice. His phrasing is even more subtle and sly. His sense of rhythm – just slightly behind the beat feels more suspenseful yet playful than before. His chemistry with the band seems to be more organic, tighter and empathetic.

  Is the guitar today’s universal instrument? Actually, the voice is our first and most universal instrument, but the guitar could follow shortly behind it. In permutations from the oud to the cittern, zither, bouzouki and many others, portable stringed instruments are easy to transport and play while singing. These instruments including today’s modern guitars are versatile in all styles of music. 

In late April, Bob Edwards Weekend (Saturdays from 8 to 10AM on WEMU) aired a revealing and insightful interview with pianist and producer Bob James. My curiosity about the new Bob James-David Sanborn collaboration, Quartette Humaine, was piqued. The four weeks of waiting are over and you and I can enjoy this new CD which is one of the finest examples of quartet interplay I’ve heard in a while. Legitimate comparisons will be made between Quartette Humaine and legendary Dave Brubeck Quartet featuring Paul Desmond.

 

johnmedeski.com

Artists reflect the unspoken needs of the viewers, readers and listeners. With A Different Time, pianist John Medeski takes us to that quiet, meditative place that is often out of reach given our frantic lives. Perhaps the age of the piano on which Medeski recorded the pieces has something to do with the classic, contemplative sound of A Different Time. The piano was built by the Gaveau piano manufacturers in central France in 1924. It was constructed in a style that predates the modern piano.

davidarnay.com

I admit it – I’m often skeptical regarding a concept CD from a new artist.  I think to myself - oh they need a gimmick to get to me to listen.  

One of the songs on Musica Para Un Dragon Dormido by pianist and composer Emilio Teubal is The Constant Reinventor. 

As we search for the best new music on  WEMU, we will often feature someone you’ve never heard before but think is worth your time. 

Festive Swingadelic

Apr 26, 2013

The music festival season starts very soon in Southeastern Michigan. In anticipation, we featured a very festive CD: Toussaintville by Swingadelic on 89.1 Jazz this morning. Swingadelic is 13-piece ensemble from Hoboken, New Jersey led by bassist Dave Post. Swingadelic’s previous CD, The Other Duke in tribute to composer/arranger Duke Pearson was huge WEMU listener and staff favorite.

Jazz Appreciation Month concludes with International Jazz Day on Tuesday, April 30th and the global release of Woman Child by the trans-national singing sensation, Cécile McLorin Salvant on April 29th. “Woman Child” truly is a cause for celebration.

Tom Marcello (creative commons)

The April 22nd birthday of two legendary bassists: Charles Mingus and Paul Chambers is another reason that Congressman John Conyers submitted the legislation designating April as Jazz Appreciation Month in 2001. 

Aguankó's Latin Jazz

Apr 20, 2013

While there was much more conversation than usual on 89.1 from the 8th through the 11th of April during the spring on-air pledge drive, we did play some good music. We are pleased to report that the most played new recording for the week ending April 14th was the excellent regional Latin jazz CD Elemental by Aguankó. We hold the leader of Aguankó, conga-player Alberto Nacif in the highest regard. As the original host of Cuban Fantasy, Alberto established WEMU’s Latin jazz credibility, now sustained by Marc Taras every Saturday evening from 7 to 9PM.

A Jazz Appreciation Month celebration should honor both the originators of the music and the new, emerging original voices. Our 89.1 Jazz premiere this morning achieved that goal. Breakthrough is the new CD by pianist Eldar Djangirov and his trio for a new label: Motéma Music. 

At a time of a national tragedy such as the Boston Marathon bombing, this music host’s first inclination is to present a program of supportive music to soothe you. But – life and new music goes on! Thus, I proceeded with my plan to premiere From Here On Out by the excellent Detroit quintet co-led by saxophonist James Hughes and trumpeter Jimmy Smith.

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.


 

Keep WEMU Live and Local

Apr 8, 2013

Share your support for public radio music! 

Step 1: Download and print this image or the I heart WEMU image.
Step 2: Hold it up and strike a pose.
Step 3: Ask a friend to snap a photo.

"Without Public Radio there is no music" -Esperanza Spalding

Jazz is Alive at EMU

Apr 1, 2013

Jazz   Is   Alive!  Benefit   Concert   &   Dance

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

 

New / old school soul sensation James Hunter tops WEMU’s Sweet Sixteen with Minute By Minute from March 18th through the 24th. It’s been five years since Hunter released a new CD.

 

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.

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.

Sunday Wilde

Sunday Wilde’s new CD, He Gave Me A Blue Nightgown was just perfect for a Friday premiere on WEMU when we play it a little loose and fun getting ready for the weekend

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.

Pages