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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the pleasures of working with the talented team of WEMU music hosts is discovering what the weekly consensus of the “most-played” recording will be. Each Sweet 16 list topper reveals another aspect of the WEMU variety. During the week of March 4th through the 10th, the most played recording was Ciudad De Los Reyes by Gabriel Alegría and his Afro-Peruvian Sextet.
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.
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.
It is undeniable: siblings sound great together making music whether sisters, brothers or both. Some legendary examples are The Carter Family, The Haden Family, Phil & Buddy Guy, The Avett Brothers, The Isley Brothers, The Andrews Sisters, The Jackson 5, The Everly Brothers, The Louvin Brothers, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Katia & Marielle Labèque, The Allman Brothers, The Clayton Brothers and The Pointer Sisters.
Long Tall Marcia Ball is beloved in the blues world and by WEMU listeners, so when we received a new disc by newcomer Long Tall Deb, we had to see if she could live up the name like Ms. Ball. Long Tall Deb Landolt is worthy of the name and our attention.
WEMU wrapped up February and kicked off March with sixteen excellent choices for “our most played” category. “The Messenger” by guitarist Kevin Eubanks for Detroit’s Mack Avenue Records was at the top of the list where it deserves to be. Kevin came from a great jazz family in Philadelphia. From this essential foundation, Kevin Eubanks became one of Los Angeles’ in demand recording artists and the leader of The Tonight Show Band. After cooking in the cauldron of these experiences, Kevin Eubanks emerged with a strong individualistic sound on jazz guitar, borrowing liberally from the blues
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.
We played various approaches of vibraphone and marimbas with some piano, bass and drums. The initial inspiration for the feature came from "The Bespoke Man's Narrative", the new CD by pianist/composer Aaron Diehlfeaturing vibraphonist Warren Wolf. Diehl's debut CD has been highly anticipated for over two years!