Hammond B3 organ master Dr. Lonnie Smith recently led his trio through a soulful set before a sold-out house at the Kennedy Center Jazz Club in Washington, D.C. The good doctor turns 70 this year, and he's still a leader and innovator on his instrument. He's also gaining a whole new audience, as young musicians and producers sample his deep, relentless grooves.
Rosi Golan makes her first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live in Charleston, W.V. Born in Israel, Golan learned to speak French, English and Hebrew during her travels. But she didn't pick up a guitar until she was 19, after hearing a radio commercial advertising a sale at a local Guitar Center. Golan hasn't looked back, writing and singing songs for more than 10 years and cultivating her ear for dark, haunting melodies.
Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 1:55 pm
"We just played an absurd concert to nobody," Mount Eerie's Phil Elverum says, as he faces a sea of empty red seats at the Folger Shakespeare Library's gorgeous Elizabethan-style theatre in Washington, D.C., just across the way from the Supreme Court. Serendipitously, a group of schoolchildren had toured the oak halls of the library just minutes before, and would take cover in each other's coats from the gray rain outside.
In 2013, the Jazz Showcase in Chicago, founded and still run by Joe Segal, celebrates 65 years of presenting jazz. The venue has hosted NPR recordings several times, including Toast of the Nation 1989. That's when trumpeter Clark Terry brought a quintet into the club, featuring his long-time friend Red Holloway on saxophone. Now 92, Terry — who played in the bands of both Count Basie and Duke Ellington — is universally recognized as a living legend. He and his band were in great spirits as 1989 turned to 1990.
It started as a bongo beat — a nod to James Brown, just after his death in late 2006. Then came a few signature riffs. And an ecstatic response from the crowd. Before long, the Godfather of Soul was permanently embedded in the Evolution Ensemble's repertoire. For leader Dee Alexander, a powerful and versatile vocalist, it was all part of the same continuum — as was the music of Jimi Hendrix, whose music carried the same revolutionary weight.
Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 5:03 pm
The composer/arranger Gordon Goodwin, leader of the Big Phat Band, says he had the opportunity to play the Monterey Jazz Festival some "three or two or four decades ago." In 2012, Goodwin, who plays keyboards and reeds, returned with his large jazz orchestra.