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Sunday 7/23/2017 Show: T.K. Blue

Photo: T.K. Blue | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.

The next show will air on Sunday, July 23, 2017 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.orgThis broadcast features leader, composer, arranger, alto and soprano saxophones, flute, mbira, sanza, and lukembi player T.K. Blue.

T.K. Blue, also known as Talib Kibwe, was born in New York City of a Trinidadian mother and Jamaican father. T.K. began playing music at the age of 8 years old on trumpet. After two years his interest shifted to academic and athletic endeavors… He returned to his musical studies in High School while playing the flute.

He took lessons from Billy Mitchell, the legendary tenor saxophonist with Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie, eventually pursuing music as a career after receiving a full academic scholarship to New York University, where he began playing soprano & alto saxophone. He earned a bachelor’s degree in both music and psychology. T.K. Blue went on to earn a master’s degree in music education from Teacher’s College at Columbia University.

After touring with Abdullah Ibrahim for three years, T.K. Blue moved to Paris, France to quench his cultural thirsts. Living in Paris afforded Blue numerous opportunities in traveling and performing in Africa.

T.K. Blue toured Europe with Sam Rivers and his eleven-piece saxophone choir called The Winds Of Manhattan. This group did a recording for Black Saint Records in Milan, Italy.

In Paris, T.K. connected with a group from Senegal called Xalam. He toured and recorded with Xalam for three years with the culmination in a feature film by Michel Blanc called Marche A’ L’Ombre.

In Paris T.K. Blue recorded his first project as a leader called Egyptian Oasis. This recording garnered many great reviews and eventually led Blue to tour Africa on three occasions for the USIA State Department, where he visited over 25 countries.

T.K. Blue met the great, iconic pianist during his stint with Abdullah Ibrahim. NEA Jazz Master Dr. Randy Weston was living in Annecy, France at this time. T.K. re-established his working relationship with Dr. Weston after moving to Paris. He went on to become Randy’s chief saxophonist/flutist, arranger, and musical director for over three decades. This union led to countless tours, recordings, concerts, clinics, radio, and television appearances.

T.K. Blue is the musical director and arranger for Dr. Randy Weston.

After moving back to NYC, T.K. debuted as Dr. Weston’s musical director during the recording of Spirit Of Our Ancestors on Verve Records. This project featured many jazz giants: Dizzy Gillespie, Pharoah Sanders, Idrees Sulieman, Benny Powell, Billy Harper, Dewey Redman, Alex Blake, Jamil Nasser, Idres Muhammad, Big Black, and Azzedin Weston.

While residing in Paris, T.K. Blue was blessed to meet the incredible poet Jayne Cortez in London during an international book fair organized by the late writer and activist John La Rose. He went on to become a member of Cortez’s backup band called the Firespitters, which recorded and toured internationally.

Blue has taught at Long Island University, but left the music faculty in 2014 to concentrate on performance, adjudication, clinics/workshops, and lessons for his private students.

T.K. Blue signed a new recording contract with Dot Time Records and his new CD is titled Amour.

(Bio adapted from http://www.tkblue.com/biography)

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

T.K. Blue will be at Harlem’s Farafina Café on July 24. He’ll also be in Brooklyn on July 28 at Medgar Evers College’s Jazzy Jazz series for a free outdoor performance. He leads a quartet for the Jazzmobile series in Harlem on August 1 and appears at Jazzmobile’s popular Grant’s Tomb concert on August 23.

Web Extras:

Watch T.K. Blue in this 2017 live clip.

Watch T.K. Blue play the blues standard “Stormy Monday” with Nazzz Jazz in this 2014 live clip.

Watch the video preview for T.K. Blue’s Amour release.

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 6/25/2017 Show: James Brandon Lewis

Photo: James Brandon Lewis @ the Cell Theater | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.

The next show will air on Sunday, June 25, 2017 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This week’s show features an interview with up-and-coming saxophonist James Brandon Lewis.

Visionary composer and tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis’s bravest, yet most palpable artistic feat, Days Of FreeMan, opens with a poignant and profound introductory monologue from a maternal sage. She says, “The best thing of living is living who you are. You can’t be somebody else; you gotta be what God gave you to be and who you are. You look in the mirror and see yourself and say ‘I’m James Brandon Lewis.”’Next, bass and drums congeal around the sapphire melodic motif of “Brother 1976,” recalling one of those jazzy jewel-like hooks from a 1990s Native Tongue hip-hop jam. The effect is like 1990s hip-hop’s fascination with jazz being spit back by a prodigious jazz innovator. Welcome to Days Of FreeMan.

James Brandon Lewis is one of the modern titans of the tenor. He’s received accolades from mainstream cultural tastemakers such as Ebony Magazine who hailed him as one of “7 Young Players to Watch,” and earned the respect of a diverse cross section of esteemed artists. James has shared stages with such icons as Benny Golson, Geri Allen, Wallace Roney, Grammy® Award-winning singer Dorinda Clark Cole, and the late “Queen of Gospel Music,” Albertina Walker. In bold contrast, James has also worked with such intrepid artists as Weather Report bassist Alphonso Johnson, William Parker, Gerald Cleaver, Charles Gayle, Ed Shuller, Kirk Knuffke, Jason Hwang , Marilyn Crispell, Ken Filiano, Cooper Moore, Darius Jones, Eri Yamamoto, Federico Ughi, Kenny Wessel, Marvin “Bugalu” Smith, and Sabir Mateen. In addition, he has collaborated with the dance company CircuitDebris under the direction of Mersiha Mesihovic. James attended Howard University and holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts.

Currently, James resides in New York City where he actively gigs as a sideman and leads his own ensembles. In NYC, he is a co-founder of “Heroes Are Gang Leaders” with poet Thomas Sayers Ellis—a collective of poets and musicians—and he is a member of the collective “Dark Matter,” a conceptual musical collaboration exploring that which is invisible but is detected by it’s gravitational effects. Outside NYC, James is an active national and international touring artist with a highly respected profile. Some career highlights are playing such esteemed festivals as Winter Jazz Festival /Sony Okeh records Showcase with William Parker and Gerald Cleaver; The Eric Dolphy Festival with an ensemble featuring Grachan Moncur III, Richard Davis, Andrew Cyrille, Angelica Sanchez , Ted Daniel , and Alfred Patterson; and Princeton University as part of Fred Ho’s “Journey to the West,” an interdisciplinary dance and music project.

James is deep in an intrepid artistic continuum that explores identity and spirituality through challenging and awe-inspiring concepts and epiphanic playing that melds formalistic technique, bold exploration, and strains of gospel and blues. Each new James Brandon Lewis release presents a rich dialogue with his audience that is both fiery and cerebral. For his third album, Days Of FreeMan, he uses ideas from 1990s hip-hop to masterfully weave together threads of cultural identity, cross-generational identity, and personal reflection.

“I didn’t grow up a hip-hop head, but where I grew up in Buffalo, New York, on Freeman Street, the sound of 1990s hip-hop was ubiquitous,” James says. “I decided to go back and explore that time through music.”

Days Of Freeman is imaginatively organized in chapters with classic hip-hop style breaks and interludes functioning as chapter breathers. Like the cross-cultural and generational mosaic on Freeman Street proper, the album invites the listener into many dialogues. It is a nod to 1990s hip-hop, and explores rhyme-scapes and the musical conventions of that golden age of hip-hop in a revolutionary way. The album also explores hip-hop as a culture through taking inspiration from the original four pillars of hip-hop: dance, rapping, graffiti, and DJ-ing. Days Of FreeMan also loosely functions as a memoir with an underlay of nostalgia for the carefree boyhood days of fly nicknames, basketball, and those first encounters with the transformative power of music. Adding to the power and emotionality of this thread on growing up, are pontifications on love, identity, and God peppered throughout the album, culled from informal conversations James recorded with his grandmother, Pearl Lewis. James’s immersive creative process to realize his vision for Days Of FreeMan include poring over hip-hop documentaries for up to eight hours a day, and dissecting albums by KRS-One, Digable Planets, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, A Tribe Called Quest, Medeski, Martin & Wood, along with fearless jazz trumpeter Don Cherry’s 1985 album Home Boy and Lauryn Hill’s 1998 masterpiece The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill.

How all of this preparation plays out musically is stunning. For years instrumentalists held fast to the lofty notion of “singing through the instrument,” but on Days Of FreeMan, Lewis aspires to MC through his tenor. The album’s title track perfectly captures the clipped cadence of a master MC with speech-like phrases and a long flowing solo that conjures up a blazing freestyle battle rap session. “Black Ark” traces the legacy of hip-hop from the balmy and pioneering dub explorations of Lee “Scratch” Perry in Jamaica (“Black Ark” is the name of his famed studio) to the burgeoning sounds of hip-hop blaring out in the Bronx. On “Lament for JLew,” in five vigorous minutes James ties together the dual lineages of classical music to hip-hop and classical music to rock using original classical-flavored motifs to illustrate the overlaps.The second to last track of Days Of FreeMan is the political and timely “Unarmed With A Mic” and is a reminder of hip-hop’s power as a form of protest music. On this track Lewis plays with seething sentimentality. The album concludes with “Epilogue,” a reprise of the infectious melody of the opening track “Brother 1976.”

On the album Lewis is accompanied by former Ornette Coleman Prime Time bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Bill Frisell and Ravi Coltrane drummer Rudy Royston. Both took the weighty undertaking of album deeply, researching 1990s hip-hop jams for inspiration and vision. Their attention to the vocabulary of the era Lewis sought to explore, and their panoramic musicality and sympathetic musical skills, match James’s artistic ideal to authentically and thoroughly fuse genres and cultures without pandering to trends in jazz-groove records. The record also features a guest spot from the gifted freestyle rapper Supernatural on the track “Days Of FreeMan.”

Days of FreeMan has turned out to be one James Brandon Lewis’s most ambitious works, and, interestingly enough, his most accessible. Reflecting on this intriguing duality he says: “The artist is charged with taking creative risks, but the universe lined up this time and I was able to connect with my audience conversationally.”

The James Brandon Lewis Trio’s latest release No Filter (BNS Records, 2016) is considered “an edgy but short LP which pays respect to early 90’s hip hop, experimental jazz, and groove” by All About Jazz.

(Bio from Lewis’s website)

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

James Brandon Lewis will be at Scholes Street Studio in Brooklyn NY on July 1.

Web Extras:

Watch the video preview of Lewis’s Days of FreeMan release.

Watch  the James Brandon Lewis Trio play live in this short clip.

Watch  Lewis play with Heroes are Gang Leaders in this live clip.

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 5/28/2017 Show: Kidd Jordan

Photo: Kidd Jordan @ the 2016 Vision Fest | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.

The next show will air on Sunday, May 28, 2017 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. Suga’ In My Bowl continues its Vision 22 coverage featuring the 2008 Lifetime of Achievement recipient composer, saxophonist, teacher and mentor Edward “Kidd” Jordan.

Edward “Kidd” Jordan (May 5, 1935) was born in Crowley, Louisiana, and was raised during the time when rice farming was the predominant economic activity in the area. Jordan has noted that the music in southwestern Louisiana was “strictly Zydeco and Blues from way around, and that’s what I came up listening to.” Zydeco musician Clifton Chenier hailed from the same area, as did tenor saxophonist Illinois Jacquet (whose music teacher also instructed Jordan).

Jordan’s first instruments were C-melody and alto saxophones. While in high school, Jordan began performing “stock arrangements for three or four saxophones” with some older musicians, and immersed himself in the music of Charlie Parker. Jordan read transcribed solos in Down Beat magazine but also learned Parker’s music by ear. He credits Illinois Jacquet with first giving him the idea of playing free improvisation, but was more profoundly affected by the free jazz of Ornette Coleman (who had previously performed in the area with blues bands).

Jordan majored in music education at Southern University, attending the school at the same time as Alvin Batiste (his brother-in-law). He originally planned to become a classical alto saxophonist. He moved to New Orleans in 1955, and began playing frequent R&B gigs with musicians such as Guitar Slim, Ray Charles, Big Maybelle, Big Joe Turner, Chuck Willis (with George Adams on baritone) and Choker Campbell. Jordan has described these gigs as being “satisfying for me, because there was a feeling that you’d get from dealing with that. I’ve played with some of the great female vocalists, from Gladys Knight to Aretha Franklin, or Big Maybelle, Little Esther, Lena Horne, and there’s an aesthetic in dealing with those people that a whole lot of people don’t get to. And the aesthetic from the Blues is a part of the thing that I want to have in my playing. I don’t care how out it gets.”

Jordan performs on tenor, baritone, soprano, alto, C-melody and sopranino saxophones, as well as contrabass and bass clarinets. He has indicated a preference for playing “outside” music (for example, free improvisation) on tenor, because he closely associates the alto with his earlier study of classical repertoire, tone, and technique. Jordan has performed and recorded with a wide selection of musicians in styles ranging from R&B to avant-garde jazz, including Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, R.E.M., William Parker, Alvin Fielder, Archie Shepp, Fred Anderson, Ornette Coleman, Ellis Marsalis, Cannonball Adderley, Ed Blackwell, and Cecil Taylor. In 2008, he was awarded a lifetime recognition honor by the Vision Festival.

In his performances and recordings his music is entirely improvised: “Everything you hear on my albums is improvised.” he explains. “It’s collective improvisation, but there are no tunes. I tried writing down ideas a long time ago but I don’t do that anymore.”


The French Ministry of Culture recognized Jordan as a Knight (Chevalier) of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1985. The French government bestowed him with their highest artistic award for his impetus as a visionary educator and performer.

Jordan taught Donald Harrison and Branford Marsalis while the two were teenagers, and was an instructor at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). As an instructor of jazz studies at Southern University at New Orleans, Jordan encouraged his students to pursue new approaches to traditional musical forms. One of Jordan’s students was trombonist Charles Joseph, who would go on to co-found the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Jordan composed “Kidd Jordan’s Second Line” for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band prior to their first European appearance in 1982, and has also performed with the band.

In 2006, Jordan lost his home and most of his possessions during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A few weeks after the hurricane, he recorded the album Palm of Soul in Brooklyn with William Parker and Hamid Drake. Jordan has since returned to New Orleans In 2011, the television series Treme featured a track from Palm of Soul, “Last of the Chicken Wings.” Jordan later made a brief appearance in Treme.

(Bio adapted from Wikipedia)

Vision 22 starts Sunday, May 28 at Anthology Film Archives. Vision 22 features film, dance, music, visual art and poetry. Suga’ will open the program with a spoken word piece titled “Negroidal Noise” by Kalamu Ya Salaam featuring Kidd Jordan from his release My Story My Song.

Kidd Jordan will appear at Vision 22 on Friday, June 2, for the 9:30 p.m. set with the Dave Burrell Quartet: Dave Burrell – Piano, Kidd Jordan – Tenor Saxophone, William Parker – Bass, William Hooker – Drums. See our blog for an extended preview and full coverage of this year’s Vision Fest. WBAI proudly returns as a media sponsor.

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Web Extras:

Watch Jordan lead a quartet with bassist William Parker, drummer Hamid Drake, and the late violinist Billy Bang in this live performance.

Watch  Jordan with drummer Milford Graves and pianist DD Jackson in this 2013 live performance at the Vision Festival.

Watch  Jordan in this 2017 improvised set at the Hi Ho Lounge in New Orleans.

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 4/2/2017 Show: Claire Daly

Photo: Claire Daly | © Judy Schiller (supplied by Claire Daly)

The next show will air on Sunday, April 2, 2017 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. “Suga’ In My Bowl” continues to honor women who solo by recognizing baritone saxohphone and flute player, educator and composer Claire Daly.

Claire Daly grew up in Yonkers, NY, affording her access to many jazz greats performing live in NYC. Her father supported her enthusiasm about the music and brought her to many live shows including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Benny Goodman and more. At the same time, she was hearing contemporary music with her peers at venues like The Schaeffer Music Festivals in Central Park. Her taste runs from the classics through the avant garde, and Daly still believes in the importance of hearing live music regularly.

She graduated Berklee College of Music as an alto player and traveled on the road with both jazz and rock bands, but her life changed significantly the first time she played a baritone sax. It happened to be the first horn tuba player Howard Johnson had owned, for sale by a mutual friend. “It was an epiphany. I felt like, There I am – this is my voice.” Daly hasn’t looked back and has become a well known, leading voice on the big horn.

Her first CD as a leader was released on Koch Jazz in 1999. Swing Low was received very warmly. Daly was nominated by the Jazz Journalist Association for “Best New Artist of the Year” and Swing Low was subsequently added to a listening station in the William Jefferson Clinton Library in Little Rock, AK as a CD significant to the President while in office. Since then, she has been a winner/nominee of many critic and reader polls and has won the JJA Baritone Saxophonist of the Year award.

The Mary Joyce Project was composed by Claire and Steve Hudson. It is music dedicated to her father’s cousin – Mary Joyce – who traveled by dogsled from Juneau to Fairbanks AK, solo, in unchartered territory, in 1934/35. Mary is an American hero and an Alaskan legend. Adventurous women run in the family. The piece premiered in Juneau. Claire has always liked a good theme and Mary made an unforgettable impression on her as a child when she came to stay with the Daly family.

Her move back home to New York from Boston was the beginning of her playing extensively as a freelance musician in NY. She struck up a lifetime collaboration with pianist/composer Joel Forrester (composer of the theme for “Fresh Air” w Terry Gross on NPR). Their band People Like Us released 5 CDs on Koch Jazz and they continue to play and record 25 years later. She was the original baritone player in the Diva Big Band, anchoring it’s section for the first 7 years as well as doing multiple recordings as a side person (Taj Mahal, George Garzone, many more) and leading her own groups. Some projects include Movin’ On, Heaven Help Us All, The Honorable Hustlers (with beat boxer Napoleon Maddox), Speak, Spake, Spoke with wordslinger Kirpal Gordon, Scaribari, Rah Rah – a tribute to Rahsaan Roland Kirk and The Mary Joyce Project.

In 2012, The North Coast Brewing Co. in California produced a CD for Claire called Baritone Monk to promote their Brother Thelonious Ale. It was on the Jazzweek Charts for 24 weeks – 9 of which were top ten. This led to headlining at the Monterey Jazz Festival, KC Rhythm‘n Ribs Fest, Pittsfield Jazz Festival and more in addition to touring the United States with the quartet.

Her most current project is called 2648 West Grand Boulevard and features jazz versions of Motown tunes from the Detroit years. It’s on the Glass Beach Jazz label, produced by Doug Moody. This CD is very close to Claire’s heart. It is likely that the first live music she heard was when she was under 10 years old. Her father asked to bring the kids in for a minute to hear The Supremes at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. The music and the spectacle were deeply influential to Claire, who grew up listening to the Motown sound as the soundtrack of her early years.

She continues to live in New York City, travel, teach (Jazz at Lincoln Center MSJA, Litchfield Jazz Camp), give clinics, teach privately and tour. Performing, listening, learning and mentoring young players are Claire’s musical goals.

(Bio adapted from http://www.clairedalymusic.com/bioframe.html)

To recognize National Poetry Month, Suga’ will open the program with a recitation of “Together / To The Tune of John Coltrane’s Equinox” from the late poet, literary critic and educator Sarah Webster Fabio. Fabio is considered a foundational member of the West Coast Black Arts Movement.

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Web Extras:

Watch Daly lead the Rah Rah Band in this 2008 live performance at the Litchfield Jazz Fest.

Watch Daly’s Quintet do a selection from The Mary Joyce Project in this live performance.

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 11/13/2016 Show: Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary

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Photo: John Coltrane. Courtesy of DOC NYC.
 
The next show will air on Sunday, November 13, 2016 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This broadcast features interviews with DOC NYC Director of Programming Basil Tsiokos and veteran documentarian John Scheinfeld, who is behind the film Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary. The NYC premiere of Chasing Trane will screen on the closing night of DOC NYC, which takes place from November 10-17, 2017.
 

 
Saxophonist, composer and tireless innovator John Coltrane expanded the frontiers of the jazz idiom, introducing elements from musical traditions the world over. From his magnum opus A Love Supreme to his magical cover of “My Favorite Things,” Coltrane always pushed his music to search deeper and farther. That he accomplished everything he did before his death at age 40 is at once heartbreaking and inspiring.
 
In Chasing Trane, veteran documentarian John Scheinfeld (The U.S. vs. John Lennon) explores the life and work of this singular artist. The film makes inspired use of archive materials, animated murals, readings of Coltrane’s own words by Denzel Washington and a wealth of new interviews. The list of participants is catnip for music lovers: jazz elder statesmen Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins and Reggie Workman; rock legends Carlos Santana and John Densmore; and younger artists such as Common and Kamasi Washington. Scheinfeld also speaks with critic Ben Ratliff, philosopher Cornel West and Coltrane fan Bill Clinton. Their testimonies are eloquent, but there are moments when they fall speechless, reminding us that such powerful music touches something that is beyond words.
 
We will also spend a moment with DOC NYC Director of Programming Basil Tsiokos. Find out more about DOC NYC and get the schedule at their website.
 
Film summary adapted from the DOC NYC website.
 
This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.
 
Chasing Trane will be shown at 7 PM on Thursday November 17 at the SVA Theater in Manhattan as part of the 2016 DOC NYC Festival
 
Web Extra
 
Watch the trailer for Chasing Trane.
 

 
Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 10/16/2016 Show: Jane Bunnett

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Photo: Jane Bunnett’s Oddara album.
 
The next show will air on Sunday, October 16, 2016 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This broadcast features an interview with composer/saxophonist/flautist Jane Bunnett.
 

 
Multiple Juno Award winner, Jane Bunnett has turned her bands and recordings into showcases for the finest musical talent from Canada, the U.S and Cuba. She has been up for Grammy Awards, numerous Juno’s, received The Order of Canada, The Queens Diamond Jubilee and most recently The Premiers Award for Excellence. An internationally acclaimed musician, Jane Bunnett is known for her creative integrity, improvisational daring and courageous artistry. Her exploration of Afro-Cuban melodies expresses the universality of music and her ability to embrace and showcase the rhythms and culture of Cuba has been groundbreaking. She has toured the world bringing her own special sound to numerous Jazz festivals, displaying her versatility as a flutist, saxophone player and pianist.
 
Bunnett’s debut recording hit the Jazz world in 1987 with the Stunning Juno-nominated In Dew Time featuring American Jazz legends Dewey Redman, Don Pullen and Canadian icon Claude Ranger.
 
During and in-between her Cuban explorations Bunnett released recordings and toured with a powerful group of Jazz innovators. She recorded New York Duets with legendary pianist Don Pullen and Live at Sweet Basil with Pullen and drummer Billy Hart. She also appears on Water is Wide with Pullen as well as Jeanne Lee, Sheila Jordan and Billy Hart. Double Time is a duet with Paul Bley. On Spirituals and Dedications, Bunnett joins Dewey Redman, vocalist Dean Bowman and master pianist Stanley Cowell.
 
Two documentaries have been made about Bunnett’s work. The National Film Board (NFB)’s Spirits of Havana (2000) was presented at numerous film festivals internationally, television (CBC, PBS) as well as in Europe.
 
Bunnett’s most recent recording and touring group Maqueque is turning heads internationally. The group consists of Bunnett with five dynamic young Cuban women instrumentalists and composers. Their 2nd release Oddara was released this week.
 
As an educator, spokesperson and social activist, she remains unafraid to explore uncharted territory in her quest for excellence.
 
Bio adapted from the Jane Bunnett website.
 
This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.
 
Jane Bunnett and Maqueque will be at Birdland for the 8:30 and 11 PM sets on October 25th.
 
Jane Bunnett’s just released Oddara CD with the Afro Cuban Maqueque group is available for a pledge of $35 to WBAI during this fall fund drive. There are also a few autographed copies of Quincy Troupe’s Miles and Me book or Will Calhoun’s Celebrating Elvin Jones CDs available and either would make a unique holiday gift. There are also copies of the MAC Power Trio’s Perfection CD with former Suga’ guests David Murray, Geri Allen, and Terri Lyne Carrington. You can also donate as little as $5. Even a little bit helps a lot and will be greatly appreciated!
 
Web Extras
 
Watch Jane Bunnett and Maqueque perform “New Angel” in this 2014 live show.
 

 
Watch Bunnett and the Spirits of Havana perform “The River/ El Rio” in this live show.
 

 
Watch Bunnett and Maqueque perform Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” in this 2014 live show.
 

 
Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 4/3/2016 Show: Archie Shepp

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Photo: Archie Shepp (sax) and Amina Claudine Meyers (piano) | Joyce Jones. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND.
 
The next show will air on Sunday, April 3, 2016 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This broadcast will feature a rare interview with a 2016 NEA Jazz Master recipient, alto saxophone player, composer, pianist, singer, politically committed poet, playwright and legend Archie Shepp.
 

 
Shepp grew up in Philadelphia PA, studied piano and saxophone and attended high school in Germantown. He became involved with theatre while in college and met writers and poets including Leroi Jones and wrote “The Communist,” an allegorical play about the situation of Black Americans. In the beginning of the sixties he met Cecil Taylor and did two recordings with him which influenced his musical approach.
 
In 1962 he recorded his first album with Bill Dixon as co-leader. During the following year he created the New York Contemporary Five with John Tchichai; made four records for the Fontana, Storyville and Savoy labels; and traveled to Europe with this group. Starting in August 1964, he worked with Impulse and made 17 records which include Four For Trane, Fire Music, and Mama Too Tight: some of the classics of Free Music. His collaboration with John Coltrane materialized further with Ascension in 1965, a real turning point in Avant-Garde music. His militancy was evidenced by his participation in the creation of the Jazz Composers Guild with Paul and Carla Bley, Sun Ra, Roswell Rudd and Cecil Taylor.
 
In July 1969 he went for the first time to Africa for the Pan African Festival in Algiers where many Black American militants were living. On this occasion he recorded Live at the Pan African Festival, the first of six albums in the Actual series. In 1969 he began teaching Ethnomusicology at the University of Amherst, Massachusetts while continuing to travel around the world to express his identity as an African American musician.
 
The dictionary of Jazz (Robert Laffont, Bouquins) defines him in the following way: “A first rate artist and intellectual, Archie Shepp has been at the head of the Avant-Garde Free Jazz movement and has been able to join the mainstream of Jazz, while remaining true to his esthetic. He has developed a true poli-instrumentality: an alto player, he also plays soprano since 1969, piano since 1975, and more recently occasionally sings blues and standards.”
 
With his freedom loving sensitivity, Archie Shepp has made an inestimable contribution to the gathering, publicizing, and inventing of jazz.
 
Bio adapted from Archie Shepp’s website.
 
Shepp will be honored as a NEA Jazz Master on Monday April 4, 2016. The tribute concert will feature performances by NEA Jazz Masters Chick Corea, Randy Weston, and Jimmy Heath, as well as Ambrose Akinmusire, Lakecia Benjamin, Billy Harper, Stefon Harris, Justin Kauflin, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Pedrito Martinez, Jason Moran, David Murray, Linda Oh, Karriem Riggins, Roswell Rudd, and Catherine Russell. It will be livestreamed starting at 8 PM EST.
 
This program is co-hosted by Joyce Jones and Hank Williams. It is engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones.
 
Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.
 
Web Extras
 
Watch Shepp in a live 2001 performance of “You Gotta Call Him” with Amina Claudine Myers.
 

 
Watch Shepp in this 2011 live performance in France.
 

 
Watch Shepp sing “Mama Rose” live at the 2010 Sant’Anna Arresi Jazz Festival.
 

 
Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 10/4/2015 Show: Kamasi Washington

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The next show will air on Sunday, October 4, 2015 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This broadcast feature an interview with saxophonist Kamasi Washingon, highlighting his debut 3-CD release as a leader, the appropriately titled The Epic.

Kamasi Washington is an American jazz musician based in Los Angeles, CA. Born into a musical family, Washington began playing saxophone at the age of 13, later attending the prestigious Hamilton High School of Music followed by UCLA. He has toured and recorded with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Rapahel Saadiq, Kendrick Lamar, Gerald Wilson, Lauryn Hill, Mos Def, Harvey Mason and Chaka Khan, to name a few. Along with his own 10-piece band, “The Next Step,” Washington released his groundbreaking solo album, The Epic, on May 5th, 2015. The 172-minute, triple disc masterpiece, which includes a full string orchestra and full choir, debuted at #1 on several iTunes Jazz charts, including the US, Canada, Australia, Russia and UK. In addition to composing his own music, Washington is part of a west coast musical collective called the “West Coast Get Down.”

Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Washington will be at Brooklyn’s BRIC Arts JazzFest on October 15 and Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan on the 16th.

Web Extras

Watch Washington perform “Re Run Home” (from The Epic live in the studio of KCRW Radio.

Sunday 1/25/2015 Show: Ravi Coltrane

Ravi_Coltrane

Photo: Ravi Coltrane.| Flickr User Josep Tomás. Creative Commons licensed by photographer. Some Rights Reserved.

The next show will air on Sunday, January 25, 2014 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This broadcast features an interview with critically acclaimed Grammy™ nominated saxophonist Ravi Coltrane. Join us as we discuss Coltrane’s career and his upcoming dates at the Jazz Standard from February 3-8. You can hear a short preview below.

In the course of a twenty plus year career, Coltrane has worked as a sideman to many, recorded noteworthy albums for himself and others and founded a prominent independent record label, RKM.

Born in Long Island, the second son of John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane, Ravi was named after Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar. He was raised in Los Angeles where his family moved after his father’s death in 1967. His mother, Alice Coltrane, was a significant influence on Ravi and it was he who encouraged Alice to return to performance and the recording studio after a long absence. Subsequently, Ravi produced and played on Alice Coltrane’s powerful, Translinear Light, which was released in 2004.

Ravi has released six albums as a leader. His latest, Spirit Fiction, was released in June of 2012 for the Blue Note label. Additional credits include performances as well as recordings with Elvin Jones, Terence Blanchard, Kenny Baron, Steve Coleman, McCoy Tyner, Jack DeJohnette, Matt Garrison, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Geri Allen, Joanne Brackeem, The Blue Note 7, among others. He is a co-leader of the Saxophone Summit with Joe Lovano and Dave Liebman.

Coltrane lives in Brooklyn, NY and maintains a fast paced touring, recording, composing and performance schedule. He leads the effort to restore the John Coltrane Home in Dix Hills, Long Island and presides over important reissues of his parent’s recordings.

Show engineered, produced, hosted, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Ravi will be leading a quintet at NYC’s Jazz Standard from February 3rd-8th including drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts. There will be a ticket giveaway during the this segment, so don’t miss this opportunity to see this artist LIVE in action. Tune in to the show for a chance to win.

Web Extras:

Watch Ravi play John Coltrane’s “Expression” live with the Saxophone Summit.



Watch Ravi play with McCoy Tyner in this 2012 live version of Tyner’s classic “Fly With the Wind”.

Sunday 12/28/14 Show: David Murray

David Murray plays Nat King Cole "en Español", 16/08/2009, Jazz Middelheim 13-16/08/2009, Antwerp, BE

Photo: David Murray plays Nat King Cole “En Español”, Antwerp, Belgium, 2009. | Bruno Bollaert/Flickr. Creative Commons licensed. Some Rights Reserved by photographer.

The next show will air on Sunday, December 28, 2014 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This broadcast features an interview with tenor saxophonist and bass clarinetist David Murray. You can hear a short preview below.

Few musicians in jazz history have proven more vigorously productive and resourceful than David Murray. During the past 40 years, from the moment he first visited New York as a 20-year-old student, playing in a walkup loft, in 1975, Murray has careened forward in a cool, collected, rocket-fueled streak. He has released over 150 albums under his own name and appears on around a hundred other recordings as a guest artist. Yet more impressive than the numbers is the constancy of two abiding achievements: as a tenor saxophonist, he has perfected an instantly recognizable approach to improvisation that even in its freest flights acknowledges the gravity of a tradition he honors more than most; and he has altered the context for his improvisations as an infinite mosaic of musical challenges and explorations. David Murray goes down as a worthy successor for some of the biggest names in jazz, and he is now contributing to the rise of young talents such as Lafayette Gilchrist, Nasheet Waits, and Orrin Evans.

The son of Baptist parents, Murray discovered the Negro spiritual style in the time of Coltrane and during Albert Ayler’s best period. Before setting off on his musical journey, Murray jumped the gun somewhat for a jazz musician. Born in Oakland, he grew up in Berkeley and studied with Catherine Murray (his mother, an organist), Bobby Bradford, Arthur Blythe, Stanley Crouch, and many others until 1975 when he left Ponoma College in Los Angeles for New York, which he made his base.

In New York, he met many new musicians and musical styles: Anthony Braxton, Don Cherry, Julius Hemphill … Within Ted Daniels’ Energy Band, he worked with Hamiett Bluiett, Lester Bowie and Frank Lowe. In 1976, after a first European tour, Murray set up one of his mythical groups, the World Saxophone Quartet with Oliver Lake, Hamiett Bluiett and Julius Hemphill. From Jerry Garcia to Max Roach, via Randy Weston and Elvin Jones, David Murray continued working with ever more artists and making ever more recordings. From 1978 onwards, he entered into a period of intense creativity, one flexible grouping of musicians following on from another.

By the end of the 1990′s, Murray was referred to in terms of fusion, of world music, and even of Pan-Africanism, ever since he took on a backwards tour through the Caribbean and the ‘little’ Americas, via South Africa and Senegal.

At the same time, he was writing film music (W Dubois (1989), Dernier Stade (1996), and Karmen Gaye in 2000), working with the ‘Urban Bush Women’ dance company (Crossing Into Our Promise Land, 1998) and regularly working with Joseph Papp of the New York Public Theatre (Photograph, 1978 and Spell Number in 1979) and with Bob Thiele, founder of Impulse and Red Baron, who became his producer in 1988 and signed him with Columbia. Thiele produced more than ten of Murray’s albums on Red Baron up until his death in 1997.

Murray also likes rearranging the works of great composers, as in his 1997 project The Obscure Work of Duke Ellington (arranged for a big band and a 25-piece string orchestra) or his 1990 re-transcription of a Paul Gonsalves solo work in Tribute to Paul Gonsalves (with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra).

In addition to this, he has written two operas: The Blackamoor of Peter the Great in 2004 for strings and voices, based on a selection of twenty poems by Pushkin, and The Sysiphus Revue, his 2008 bop opera sung by a gospel choir on an Amiri Baraka libretto.

In 2006, his Black Saint Quartet was reborn with Sacred Ground, featuring vocals by Cassandra Wilson. The album’s compositions pay tribute to one of his most auspicious periods with the mythical Italian label Black Saint, and to the republishing of this entire catalogue in digital format on the major digital download sites.

The Devil Tried to Kill Me (2007) with the Gwo Ka Masters features Blues great Taj Mahal.

David Murray Plays Nat King Cole En Espanol (Motema, 2011) is one of his most improbable and effective projects: an interpretation of two albums that Nat King Cole recorded in Spanish in 1958 and 1962, performing melodies from Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Rio de Janeiro, and Buenos Aires. It demonstrated a tremendous leap in his approach to a world of music that has long fascinated him. The arrangements are imaginative, compelling, and wily, especially in the integration between winds and stings. The band is as tight as a fist and the recording is a high spot in his massive discography.

Murray’s career has been documented on screen in Speaking in Tongues, which follows him for ten years from 1978 to 1988; Jazzman (1997); and Saxophone Man (2007), which follows a year in his life from New York to Pointe-à-Pitre, via Oakland and Paris that reflects the David Murray of today: a citizen of the world.

Murray’s most recent work is a collaboration with Macy Gray. Following their work within the musical project Questlove Afro-Picks (including Tony Allen, Questlove from The Roots, Amp Fiddler), Gray asked David Murray to rearrange a cover song (“Love Lockdown”) from Kanye West for her album Covered. Murray reciprocated by inviting Macy Gray to sing with his big band on Be My Monster Love (Motema Records).

Show engineered, produced, hosted, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

The next opportunity to see David Murray LIVE will happen during the marathon nights of the 2015 Winter Jazz Festival on January 9-10, 2015. We’ll have a preview and will be covering the fest on our blog.

Web Extras:

Watch Murray perform live in Poland with the World Sax Quartet in 1998.



Watch Murray and the Black Saint Quartet perform live in Berlin in 2007.



Watch Murray and his Infinity Quartet perform Duke Ellington’s “Solitude” live with Macy Gray.

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