Music

Newport Jazz Festival
5:02 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Mary Halvorson Quintet, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2013

The Mary Halvorson Quintet performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 11:31 am

A guitarist who sounds like no other, Mary Halvorson can both astound and confound, with craggy phrasing, strange pitch-bends and pedal effects galore. With two quintet albums out and a septet record due soon, she's at Newport this year as a composer and bandleader too. Her quintet resembles certain classic Jazz Messengers lineups or Charlie Parker's working band, but her pieces take a few more left-hand turns. That keeps the proceedings good and weird.

Personnel

  • Mary Halvorson, guitar
  • Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet
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Newport Jazz Festival
5:02 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Bill Charlap Trio With Anat Cohen And Bob Wilber, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2013

The Bill Charlap Trio with Anat Cohen and Bob Wilber performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 11:30 am

Pianist Bill Charlap's trio is about as quintessentially "New York elegant" as it gets. At Newport, it's been drafted to accompany the reedman Bob Wilber, an esteemed elder who specializes in classic jazz styles. (You might specialize too if you were mentored by Sidney Bechet.) The presence of Newport favorite Anat Cohen makes this something of a clarinet summit: a refreshing little hint of traditional jazz at a festival that's become a lot about the modern lately.

Personnel

  • Bill Charlap, piano
  • Peter Washington, bass
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Newport Jazz Festival
5:02 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Terence Blanchard Quintet, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2013

The Terence Blanchard Quintet performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 9:45 am

As a whole, Terence Blanchard's high-functioning quintet reliably serves up sleek modernism in the form of post-bop jazz. Individually, its members are also becoming great composers: Blanchard's new album, Magnetic, features tunes from everyone in the band. The new repertoire sees Blanchard cop some electric feels for his trumpet. And a guest turn from guitarist Lionel Loueke, who also appears on the album, makes this band a rare six-person quintet.

Personnel

  • Terence Blanchard, trumpet
  • Brice Winston, tenor saxophone
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Newport Jazz Festival
5:01 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Ray Anderson Pocket Brass Band, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2013

The Ray Anderson Pocket Brass Band performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 11:33 am

Take a New-Orleans-style brass band, then cram it into a Volkswagen Golf: That's the general principle of how trombonist Ray Anderson's band makes a joyful noise with only four members. Matt Perrine is the sousaphonist of choice for many a New Orleans group; his bass line supports the trombone-trumpet free-for-all. The Pocket Brass Band presents music from his Sweet Chicago Suite, inspired by his hometown.

Personnel

  • Ray Anderson, trombone
  • Lew Soloff, trumpet
  • Matt Perrine, sousaphone
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Newport Jazz Festival
5:01 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Amir ElSaffar And Two Rivers, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2013

Amir ElSaffar and Two Rivers performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 9:37 am

Amir ElSaffar grew up around Chicago as something of a trumpet prodigy, in both jazz and classical. He was winning competitions and beginning to make a go of it in New York. Then he started investigating his Iraqi heritage in music, and studying the hammered dulcimer and the modes of various Middle Eastern musics. This band splits the difference, using microtonal techniques to investigate the blues. They'll have new tunes too, commissioned for Newport and supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Personnel

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Newport Jazz Festival
5:00 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Rez Abbasi Trio, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2013

The Rez Abbasi Trio performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 9:43 am

Guitarist Rez Abbasi's new electronics-enhanced trio is driven by what its leader calls "textural surprise." As heard on the 2012 album Continuous Beat, the Pakistani-born guitarist's newest repertoire was inspired by the late drummer Paul Motian. On wax, that's a point of departure to explore material as diverse as tunes by Motian's contemporaries, Indian ragas and "The Star-Spangled Banner." Abbasi returns to Newport with a set of original compositions — and one Keith Jarrett tune.

Personnel

  • Rez Abbasi, guitar
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Newport Jazz Festival
3:25 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Robert Glasper Experiment, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2013

The Robert Glasper Experiment performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 9:44 am

One gets the sense that pianist Robert Glasper feels completely at ease with his Experiment band, running his right hand in circles, cracking jokes and switching directions on the fly. Along the way, he's cracked the mold of how jazz might approach the hip-hop and R&B of today. The breakout success of last year's album Black Radio, with its real-time boom-bap and myriad vocal cameos, has already led to a sequel, due out near Halloween. Here's a freewheeling set of vamps and vocoder from Glasper and company.

Personnel

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A Blog Supreme
2:14 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Newport Jazz Festival 2013: Day One In Photos

Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 4:12 pm

It's almost like a joke now: Which Newport festival weekend is going to get more rain? Folk or Jazz? Because the Narragansett Bay doesn't play around.

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Newport Jazz Festival
1:24 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Ali Amr Experiment, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2013

The Ali Amr Experiment performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 11:33 am

Berklee College of Music graduate Ali Amr grew up in the Palestinian territories, where music was literally what kept him off the streets. He's translated that into a prepossessing command of the 72-string instrument called the qanun, and at Berklee, he's found a way to blend it into in a fluid, jazz-based improvising context. Like Robert Glasper, Amr calls his hybridized band the Experiment; that word has a different connotation in his hands.

Personnel

  • Ali Amr, qanun and vocals
  • Elisa Lomazzo, vocals
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Music Interviews
3:46 am
Sun August 4, 2013

'The Weatherman': A Rambler's Folky Manifesto

Gregory Alan Isakov's latest album is called The Weatherman.
Erin Preston Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 5:16 pm

To be a folk musician these days, there's no requirement that you be some sort of rambling wanderer. But it can't hurt, right?

Gregory Alan Isakov was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He didn't stay there long: He moved to Philadelphia, then around the East Coast, switching schools every couple years. As an adult, he's found a more stable home: a remote part of Colorado. And in his music, he writes from the perspective quite happy to be away from any big cities.

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