Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show

A blog with interviews, reviews, features and podcasts on jazz of the past, present and future. Two time winner of the JazzTimes Readers' Poll...
Today is the 75th birthday anniversary of Joni Mitchell, one of my musical idols. I’ve done several podcasts of jazz versions of Joni’s music in the past, most notably on her 70th birthday (see Podcasts  389, 390, 391). Well, here’s one more. What is it about her music that lends itself to jaz...
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The passing of Roy Hargrove this past weekend at the age of 49 comes as an unwelcome shock. Hargrove, who died of cardiac arrest brought on by kidney disease, had carved out a spot for himself in the jazz world with music that was particularly important to me. His loss to the music world is virt...
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It’s that time of year – the leaves are falling, the wind is picking up, and sweaters are coming out of the closet. Hallowe’en is upon us, and trick or treat will come on Wednesday of this week. Nancy and I have been cutting down on candy for ourselves, which means more for the costumed creature...
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Although he was born in Texas, Rudy Royston was raised and educated in Denver, Colorado, and it was there that he was mentored by trumpeter Ron Miles, and made a name for himself in the area’s fertile jazz, gospel and alternative rock scenes. After supporting himself as a public school music tea...
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I don’t mind letting you know that Ben Allison is one of my favorite people in the jazz universe these days. He is a top notch composer, a first-call bassist, and an experienced producer with his own label, Sonic Camera. He maintains a busy schedule as an educator at the New School of Jazz and C...
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Aaron Parks seems to be destined to be one of those pianists who chooses projects (or has projects choose him) that become great sessions or performances. Whether we listen to him with the bands led by Terence Blanchard or Kurt Rosenwinkel; as a member of James Farm with Joshua Redman, Matt Penm...
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By her own admission, Luciana Souza records very slowly, with multiple years passing between her albums. We last spoke in 2012, when she had released two new CDs, The Book of Chet and a continuation of her collaborative series, Duos III. She is one of our finest singers, particularly in interpre...
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It was almost ten years ago that I got the chance to spend some time talking with Randy Weston prior to an appearance at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. It was a delightful conversation, as Weston spoke candidly about his travels across Africa and the many great musicians with whom h...
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Few groups still working on the jazz scene can boast of the longevity of the Yellowjackets. Their first recording sessions were backing guitarist Robben Ford in 1977. Their first CD as a group was released in 1981, and 17 Grammy nominations (2 wins), 26 albums and almost 40 years later, they are...
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The thought of Steve Turre inevitably conjures the image of a master of at least two instruments – the trombone, and sea shells (most notably the conch). It’s the former that takes center stage on his latest release, The Very Thought of You (Smoke Sessions Records). A collection primarily of bal...
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