Archive for January, 2007

January 26, 2007: Jazz and Hip Hop

Friday, January 26th, 2007

Even though the recent Ken Burns documentary on jazz generally dismisses hip hop as a musical genre, one of the clips featured in episode 10 (used to demonstrate the contemporary relevance of jazz) shows bassist Ron Carter performing with French rapper MC Solaar. We’ll play you the Carter/MC Solaar collaboration, as well as more music resulting from the historical connections between hip hop and jazz. From the calypsonians like Mighty Sparrow, to Gil-Scott Heron, to Herbie Hancock‘s classic track “Rockit” (featuring DJ Grand Mixer DXT on turntables), listen here to jazz and hip hop droppin’ science. Bryan does the worm in the studio while Rob finds a word that rhymes with “orange.”

January 19, 2007: Remembering Alice Coltrane

Friday, January 19th, 2007

Rob and Bryan remember jazz legend Alice Coltrane, who passed away one week ago today. Featuring music spanning the range of her career, including her early work with vibraphonist Terry Gibbs, her tenure with the John Coltrane quartet/quintet, and her most recent recording “Translinear Light.”

Alice Coltrane (1937-2007)

Monday, January 15th, 2007

From Wikipedia:

Alice Coltrane, born Alice McLeod (August 27, 1937–January 12, 2007) was an American jazz pianist, organist, harpist, and composer.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Coltrane studied classical music, and was given piano lessons by Bud Powell. She began playing jazz as a professional in Detroit, with her own trio and as a duo with vibist Terry Pollard. From 1962 to 1963 she played with Terry Gibbs’s quartet, during which time she met John Coltrane. She played piano with his group from 1965 until his death in 1967, and married him in 1966. In addition to John becoming step-father to Alice’s daughter Miki, they had three children: drummer John Jr., and saxophonists Oran and Ravi. John Jr. died in a car crash at the beginning of the 1980s.

After her husband’s death she continued to play with her own groups, moving into more and more meditative music, and later playing with her children. She was one of the few harpists in the history of jazz. In the early 1970s, after years of involvement with Eastern religion, Coltrane took the name Swamini Turiyasangitananda. She was a devotee of the Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba. She continued to perform under the name Alice Coltrane, however.

Alice Coltrane died of respiratory failure at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center in suburban Los Angeles. Reportedly she had been in frail health for some time prior to her death.

January 11, 2007: Jazz and Civil Rights

Friday, January 12th, 2007

In honor of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Rob and Bryan discuss jazz and its connections to the American Civil Rights Movement, as well as global struggles for justice and peace. Featured music includes selections from The Chicago Underground Duo, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Ernest Ranglin, Nina Simone, Winston “Mankuku” Ngozi, and others.

January 5, 2007: Jazz Poetics

Friday, January 5th, 2007

This show investigates the long relationship between the spoken and written word and jazz music. Musical selections include jazz and poetry from Don Byron and Sadiq, Charles Mingus and Jean Sheppard, Steve Coleman and the Mystic Rhythm Society, Tom Waits, Babs Gonzalez, and more. Also featured: beatnik language instruction from Del Close and John Brent. Dig it!