NPR Staff

Music Interviews
2:03 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Fred Hersch Floats On, With A Dynamic Trio In Tow

Jazz pianist Fred Hersch released his latest album, a trio recording called Floating, in July.
Vincent Soyez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 8:57 am

The last time Fred Hersch was featured on Weekend Edition Saturday, the headline read, "Back On Stage By No Small Miracle." It was 2009, and scarcely a year earlier, the jazz pianist had suffered AIDS-related dementia and fallen into a coma for several months. Since recovering, Hersch has come roaring back to music, releasing a string of live albums to critical success.

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Music Interviews
5:23 am
Sun July 13, 2014

The New Thing In Jazz, Revisited

New Orleans pianist Henry Butler (left) and arranger and trumpeter Steven Bernstein will release their collaborative record, Viper's Drag, in the U.S. on July 15.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 11:47 am

Impulse Records is the legendary label that proudly delivered the "new thing" in jazz in the 1960s: avant-garde records from the likes of John Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders. It also helped jazz cross over to a larger audience; quite a few flower children bought Impulse albums.

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Music Interviews
6:12 pm
Sat June 21, 2014

Bobby Hutcherson's Good Vibes For Fiery Times

Bobby Hutcherson's new album on Blue Note Records is Enjoy The View.
Scott Chernis Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 6:19 pm

The vibraphone is a special instrument. That spooky, smoky, sparkling sound — there's nothing like it. And there's nothing like hearing the vibes played by Bobby Hutcherson.

Hutcherson has covered a lot of ground on his instrument. In the 1950s he was already playing professional gigs, as a teenager. In the '60s, he was a leading light of jazz's avant garde, breaking new ground on some of the most revered LPs issued by Blue Note Records.

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NPR Jazz Live
4:57 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Cause For Celebration: The Iconic Blue Note Records At 75

Drummer Art Blakey, who recorded for Blue Note from 1954 to 1965, in the studio.
Francis Wolff Blue Note Records

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 11:48 pm

Blue Note Records is the kind of record label that people like to call "storied" — so celebrated and impactful that no one narrative can capture its essence. From swing to bebop and hard bop, through fusion and the avant-garde, Blue Note has been telling the story of jazz in the grooves of its records since 1939 — and for its 75th anniversary, it's releasing remastered vinyl editions of some gems from its catalog. But the real legacy of the label is too big to capture on disc.

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Music
5:18 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Heir To A Jazz Legacy, A Trumpeter Finds His Own Way

Theo Croker's new album, AfroPhysicist, comes out May 20.
Thomas Brodin Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 10:20 am

Jazz composer and trumpeter Theo Croker opens his new album, AfroPhysicist, with an ode to his grandfather: New Orleans jazz great Doc Cheatham. The thing is, Croker didn't grow up in New Orleans or any other jazz hub. He's from Jacksonville, Fla., and he was just a child when his grandfather died in 1997. It wasn't until his grandfather's memorial services — attended by jazz legends — that he decided to join the legacy.

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Music Interviews
5:18 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Sonny Rollins: 'You Can't Think And Play At The Same Time'

"Jazz improvisation is supposed to be the highest form of communication," Sonny Rollins says, "and getting that to the people is our job as musicians."
John Abbott Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 6:27 pm

When you consider that critics have been writing about him for over 60 years, it can seem as if there's nothing left to say about Sonny Rollins. But there is – because over the decades, the "Saxophone Colossus" has never stopped growing or adding to his sound.

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Music Interviews
6:25 pm
Sat April 26, 2014

René Marie On Singing, Sex And The Importance Of Being Eartha

Jazz singer René Marie's latest release is I Wanna Be Evil: With Love to Eartha Kitt.
Janice Yim Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 1:54 pm

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