South Asian-American jazz from New York

Rudresh Mahanthappa -- an extraordinary American jazzman of South Asian descent -- has a critical fave with Kinsmen, his album featuring his own alto sax coupled with that of Indian Carnatic master musician Kadri Golpanath, supported by Karachi-born but L.A.-bred former surfer/electric guitarist Rez Abassi, violin, bass, traps, mridingam from East and West. They all talk and play in my NPR production on last night's "All Things Considered." … [Read more...]

Freddie plays, Freddie talks

My NPR appreciation of the late, great Freddie Hubbard -- with Freddie talking about himself, and music examples. And for prime mid-period Hubbard hear his out-of-print 1978 album Super Blue, especially the tracks "Take It To The Ozone" and "Theme For Kareem" (the original unfortunately not available from Amazon as an MP3 -- this version is from his final recording, On The Real Side). Subscribe by Email Subscribe by RSS All JBJ posts … [Read more...]

Celebrating Freddie Hubbard, the intrepid fox

Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard died last night around 2 a.m. in Sherman Oaks Hospital (Los Angeles) of complications following a heart attack he had suffered on the night before Thanksgiving (November 26), not November 30 as previously reported. He was 70 years old.Gifted with powerful technique, abundant melodic imagination, rhythmic drive and a deep bluesy feeling, Hubbard emerged in the 1960s as one of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and recorded timeless music throughout that decade with John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, … [Read more...]

late gift ideas

You can't buy 'em music, 'cause you don't know what they're missing - so try other music and beyond formats (books, videos, music toys) as stocking stuffers for the out-leaning --  … [Read more...]

I wake up screaming

"Do You Hear What I Hear?" --  the most odious quasi-pop song ever committed -- was ringing in my semi-conscious loud enough to jolt me out of sleep one night last week (I summoned to mind "Night In Tunisia," trying to recall ever kink in Charlie Parker's famous alto break, to dispell it). "Little Drummer Boy," "Silent Night," Gene Autry's original version of "Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer" and James Taylor singing "Go Tell It On The Mountain" -- does it really have an extended chorus for recorder ensemble? -- assault me at the grocery store … [Read more...]

Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard ailing

L.A.-based jazz consultant Ricky Shultz (who directed one of this year's most innovative label rollouts for Resonance Records) writes: "Freddie Hubbard suffered heart failure last Sunday and is in ICU. One of Freddie's past bandmates spoke with his wife yesterday a.m. He is being worked on to revive certain organs' function. I'm told there were some encouraging signs but his condition remains critical. Share some love with all that great Freddie music and keep him in your thoughts."Trumpeter Hubbard has been a jazzman's … [Read more...]