Because we have virtually instant access to 100 years of recorded jazz, documenting broad sweeps of creativity and innovation, it can be difficult for today’s working musicians to be heard. A successor to the celebrated Jazz at 100 series, Jazz at 100 Today! gives voice to the current jazz scene and celebrates the incredible music of the living treasures who keep pushing boundaries while standing on the shoulders of giants.
To listen to the first series, 100 years of recorded Jazz, visit: Jazz at 100.
01 The Renewal of AACM: Nicole Mitchell, Mike Reed, Tomeka Reid, Matana Roberts
In 1965, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians was founded with the motto, “Great Black Music, Ancient to the Future”. In 2015, AACM celebrated its fiftieth anniversary and with recent strong outings from Nicole Mitchell, Mike Reed, Tomeka Reid and Matana Roberts, has been having a compelling renewal. Recent music from the storied AACM in this hour of Jazz at 100 Today!
Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: 01 The Renewal of AACM: Nicole Mitchell, Mike Reed, Tomeka Reid, Matana Roberts
02 Jazz and Poetry: Benjamin Boone, Laurence Hobgood, Jane Ira Bloom, Matt Wilson, David Murray
Since the Charles Mingus – Langston Hughes collaborations in the 1950s, there has always been a durable under-current of Jazz / Poetry projects. Recently Poet Laureates Robert Pinsky and Philip Levine have recorded with pianist Laurence Hobgood and alto-saxophonist Benjamin Boone. Bassist Steve Swallow and poet Robert Creeley collaborated on several projects as have tenor player David Murray and Amiri Baraka. In 2017, two projects used the poetry of American masters as the inspiration for jazz suites. Drummer Matt Wilson recorded a project with the poetry of Carl Sandburg and soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom celebrated the writings of Emily Dickenson. Jazz and Poetry in this hour of Jazz at 100 Today!
Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: 02 Jazz and Poetry: Benjamin Boone, Laurence Hobgood, Jane Ira Bloom, Matt Wilson, David Murray
03 Tenor Sax Trios: JD Allen, Charles Owens, Mark Turner
Since Sonny Rollins’ landmark recordings in 1957 and 1958 (Way Out West, A Night at the Village Vanguard, Freedom Suite), tenor sax plus bass and drums has been an attractive format for many tenor players. As Michael J. West wrote in Jazz Times “…when jazz artists … began experimenting with chordless ensembles in the 1950s, the sax trio became a daring extension of those experiments, and eventually a staple of small-group jazz. The lack of a piano or any other chordal instrument gives the band’s sound an openness, a devil-may-care freedom (even outside of free jazz) that suggests anything can happen at any moment.” Several current tenor players keep returning to this format as a preferred ensemble form. In this hour of Jazz at 100 Today!, tenor trios of JD Allen, Charles Owens and Mark Turner.
Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: 03 Tenor Sax Trios: JD Allen, Charles Owens, Mark Turner
04 Bird at 100: Rudresh Mahanthappa, Joe Lovano, Vincent Herring, Gary Bartz, Bobby Watson
Charlie Parker was born 100 years ago on August 29, 1920. Although he died at 34 years old in 1955, his legacy is so powerful that jazz would be a very different music if not for his contributions. In the intervening 65 years, Bird’s music has continued to influence and inspire, now, several generations of players and fans. In the past decade, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Joe Lovano and the alto trio of Vincent Herring, Gary Bartz and Bobby Watson have dedicated projects to his music. Moreover, countless players have continued to record and perform his music. The musical legacy of Charlie “Yardbird” Parker in this hour of Jazz at 100 Today!
Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: 04 Bird at 100: Rudresh Mahanthappa, Joe Lovano, Vincent Herring, Gary Bartz, Bobby Watson
05 Presenting Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
To many, Wynton Marsalis’s big band, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, founded in 1987, is the face of jazz. With an international touring schedule, they have kept alive the tradition of big band jazz while recording an admirable series of discs. Yes, they record their share of classic jazz, but more than a museum of antique music, Jazz at Lincoln Center also commissions inspiring new repertoire for large jazz ensembles. And it can be thrilling to hear music of heroes like Ellington performed as it was composed – for large ensembles of total pros.
Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: 05 Presenting Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
06 The Legacy of Leonard Bernstein: Joe Policastro, Bobby Sanabria, Ted Nash, Jason Moran, Jane Ira Bloom
In 2018, Leonard Bernstein would have been 100 years old, generating renewed interest in his work. His compositions, especially those from West Side Story continue to inspire many fine jazz performances with their beautiful melodies, compelling rhythms, and unique harmony. 100th birthday tributes by Bobby Sanabria & the Multiverse Big Band and, on the other end of the spectrum, Joe Policastro and Ted Nash in trio settings plus more jazz responses to the Maestro – in this hour of Jazz at 100 Today!
Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: 06 The Legacy of Leonard Bernstein: Joe Policastro, Bobby Sanabria, Ted Nash, Jason Moran, Jane Ira Bloom
07 Great Young Singers – Cécile McLorin Salvant, Charenee Wade, Jazzmeia Horn, Veronica Swift
In 1987, the first Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition was held. Among the winners were Marcus Roberts and Joey DeFrancesco. On a roughly annual basis, the competition is held, now focussing on a different instrument each year and renamed in 2019 the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz International Competition. The competitions in 2010 and 2015 celebrated vocalists and the juries which included Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kurt Elling, Al Jarreau, Dianne Reeves and Luciana Souza recognized Cécile McLorin Salvant and Charenee Wade in 2010 and Jazzmeia Horn and Veronica Swift in 2015 – all of whom are well on their way to making significant contributions to the music. The Classes of 2010 and 2015 in this hour of Jazz at 100 Today!
Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: 07 Great Young Singers – Cécile McLorin Salvant, Charenee Wade, Jazzmeia Horn, Veronica Swift
08 Pulitzer and Polar Prizes – Henry Threadgill, Wadada Leo Smith, Wayne Shorter
Much of Jazz at 100 Today! so far has focussed on younger musicians who are making their mark on the music. In this hour, we look at the late career honors for Henry Threadgill and Wadada Leo Smith who have been honored by the Pulitzer Prize Committee and Wayne Shorter, the recipient of the 2017 Polar Prize.
Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: 08 Pulitzer and Polar Prizes – Henry Threadgill, Wadada Leo Smith, Wayne Shorter