Famed saxophonist Bill Evans is indisputably one of the greats. Next month he will be bringing his Soulgrass project to the Blue Note for a week-long run featuring John Medeski, Eric Kranso, John Popper, and Jake Cinninger. They will be performing 2/26 through 3/3 with sets at 8pm and 10:30pm.
Wax Poetics is running an awesome giveaway right now in conjunction with Resonance Records to give a lucky winner a limited-edition 3-LP Bill Evans box set (180 gram vinyl pressed on 12-inch LPs at 45 RPM by RTI; deluxe hand-numbered box by Ross-Ellis, mastered by Bernie Grundman).
Today we remember one of the greatest jazz drummers to ever grace us with his music. Legendary drummer Paul Motian died early this morning at the age of 80. His easily distinguishable minimalist approach to holding down a beat brought our the best in musicians like Bill Evans and Scott LaFaro in the historic trio, Thelonious Monk, Paul Bley, Bill Frissell, Charlie Haden, Ron Carter, and Keith Jarrett, among many others. His candid personality and endless timeline of contributions has left jazz fans and musicians alike remembering their favorite recording or meeting.
Artists can’t be afraid to really touch on other subjects and comment on the orders and disorders of the day. I think that’s important. Let people know what you feel and keep it real. It doesn’t mean we’re only making flowers here. You have to talk about the dirt as well.
We are continuing our “Evolution Of An Instrument” series this week by taking a look at the evolving nature of jazz piano. The piano, which can be played as both a melodic, rhythmic and improvisational instrument, has been an integral part of jazz since the genre’s inception. In the early years of jazz, as the music migrated from New Orleans to Chicago to New York, each city’s players brought their merging of sounds and influences to the piano; ragtime from New Orleans, stride from Chicago, and swing from New York. Through swing grew the inventive sounds of bebop and hard bop and the creation of what we now call modern jazz. Pianists, who were also often bandleaders and composers, were at the heart of this transformation and led the way in creating new sounds, chordal ideas and improvisational melodic ideas.