Steinar Raknes does Dylan

For Bob Dylan’s birthday today, here’s Norwegian bassist Steinar Raknes from a solo concert at the Molde International Jazz Festival, July 23, 2010. I wasn’t expecting this “cover,” so missed a few seconds of the intro.

and here are more interpretations of Dylan songs: Continue reading

Before & After: Dee Dee Bridgewater

IMG_0015Too bad we didn’t video record this listening session. To see Dee Dee Bridgewater’s animated facial expressions and watch her respond, both physically and emotionally, would add an extra layer or two of meaning to the text. I caught up with the peripatetic vocalist (and her little Maltese, Iyo) at her hotel during a tour with the Monterey Festival All-Stars, a few hours before their performance at the Kennedy Center. The actress and three-time Grammy winner continues to host NPR’s Jazz Set while pursuing her intercontinental musical adventures. Her latest recording is the compilation, Midnight Sun, on her own DDB Records.


1. Betty Carter

“Thou Swell” (from Social Call, Columbia). Carter, vocal; Ray Bryant, piano; Wendell Marshall, bass; Jo Jones, drums. Recorded in 1955.

Betty, man. She was so friggin’ underrated. She was a genius. I mean, just the way she heard music and how she could take a simple song like “Thou Swell” and turn it into a masterpiece of the moment. The trio was so tight and she just floats on top of it like a horn. People say they’re inspired by Ella, Sarah and Billie, but she’s my main inspiration. Continue reading

Interview with Tim Berne

paraphraseI recently found an interview I did 15 years ago with saxophonist, composer Tim Berne. At the time, he was on tour with his trio Paraphrase (including Drew Gress and Tom Rainey) and in DC to perform at Chief Ike’s Mambo Room in Adams Morgan. Chief Ike’s was just a couple of blocks from WPFW-FM, so Tim dropped by the studio for a bit of live on-air chat before sound check.




Tell us about the group Paraphrase. What do you see as the musical direction of this trio?

We had played together in different situations, always playing written music and improvising. We decided to depart from that strategy and just improvise. So we really don’t know what we’re going to do [laughs]. Continue reading