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Esperanza Spalding

Seven collaborative and five solo albums into her career at 31, Esperanza Spalding has always resolutely, intuitively, deftly expanded upon both her art and herself as a world-renowned genre- bending composer, bassist and vocalist. Spalding’s work, grounded in jazz traditions but never bound by them, has won her four Grammy awards and brought her onstage at the Oscars, the Nobel Prize Ceremony, the White House, and with Prince and Herbie Hancock. Not only does she know who she is, we know who she is. Or, rather, we think we do. The elastic self and work of a true artist is always changing; ideas are channeled, shape-shifting becomes necessary

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

2020: The Year in Jazz

Read "2020: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling

The COVID-19 pandemic put the jazz world in a tailspin, just like the world at large, in 2020. And there is plenty of uncertainty going into the new year about what “new normal: might emerge from the darkness. International Jazz Day, like so many other things, became an online virtual event this time around. Pianist Keith ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Billy Childs: L.A. Contentment

Read "Billy Childs: L.A. Contentment" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

Billy Childs says taking formal piano lessons as a young child “didn't register" at the time. He didn't recoil from the instrument by any means, but it wasn't yet exciting. But he had a neighbor who also played. Childs looked up to him. It was that neighbor who showed him stuff--taught him to play “ Cantaloupe ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Bassisterhood - Companion Mixtape

Read "Bassisterhood - Companion Mixtape" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Straight-ahead to experimental, electric or acoustic, funky or bluesy, instrumental or with vocals, these female bass players cover the whole low-end gamut with their fascinating projects. This mixtape is a fun-filled companion to the two parts of our show “Bassisterhood" (click here for Part 1 and Part 2). Happy listening!

ARTICLE: RADIO

Bassisterhood - Part 2

Read "Bassisterhood - Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

We continue our exploration of bands and projects lead by female bass players which have become exponentially more prominent in the past two decades. Here is the fascinating music by musicians that debunk commonly held stereotypes related to the physicality of music, and develop a personal way to synthesize their countless sources of inspiration.

The Volcanic World Of Pyroclastic Records

Read "The Volcanic World Of Pyroclastic Records" reviewed by Mark Corroto

As listeners we so often typecast musicians and music labels. Artists are pigeonholed into silos: classical, jazz, rock, blues, pop, etc.. Go into any record store (if you can find a brick & mortar one) and this segregation, a forced separation, is also evident. Even streaming services are divided in this manner. Maybe it is just ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Born on the Cusp of Drama - Celebrating Esperanza Spalding, Bobby Troup and Laura Nyro

Read "Born on the Cusp of Drama - Celebrating Esperanza Spalding, Bobby Troup and Laura Nyro" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

In astrology, October 18 zodiac people are on the Libra-Scorpio cusp, referred to as the Cusp of Drama. Esperanza Spalding, Bobby Troup and Laura Nyro share that birthday, which would certainly make for a dramatic dinner party. Besides shoutouts to this dynamic trio, vocalist Lee Wiley and pianist Thelonious Monk are celebrated as well. The broadcast ...

ARTICLE: TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five with Dion Kerr

Read "Take Five with Dion Kerr" reviewed by Dion Kerr

Meet Dion Kerr: Dion Kerr is a multi-dimensional artist (multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger, songwriter, photographer, and videographer) born and raised in South Florida. Kerr's work reflects a broad range of influences and mediums. He has toured and recorded all around the world as both a leader and a sideman to a wide variety of groups spanning across ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Your Brain on Frets and More

Read "Your Brain on Frets and More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Lots of guitar this week: John Scofield with Bill Frisell, Jim Hall, Pat Martino, Tiny Grimes, Kevin Eubanks with Dave Holland, Bill Jennings (an influence on B.B. King), and Paul Bollenback with Jim Snidero. We also have a couple of tracks from the currently unavailable Fred Hersch—Esperanza Spalding duo set live at the Village Vanguard (a ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Highlights of Jazz in the Late 2000s (2004 - 2010)

Read "Highlights of Jazz in the Late 2000s (2004 - 2010)" reviewed by Russell Perry

This is the 98th of 100 programs in the Jazz at 100 series. The programs have chronologically followed the history of recorded jazz and, as we approach the present, the question of historical perspective becomes relevant. Just how well can we predict what will endure? What will have lasting importance? We are in the ...


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Publisher's Desk

Best Jazz Releases of 2020... a running list! Read on.

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