Kevin Whitehead http://tspr.org en Two New Jazz Albums Recall The Wide Open Spaces of The West http://tspr.org/post/two-new-jazz-albums-recall-wide-open-spaces-west Portland, Ore. tenor saxophonist Rich Halley's quartet album <em>Crossing the Passes</em> on his Pine Eagle label commemorates a week-long trek over the <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/talkingplants/2008/08/chasing_a_story_in_the_wallowa.html" target="_blank">Wallowa mountain</a> range in Northeast Oregon, where Halley's been climbing since he was a boy. We could talk about his dual obsessions with music and nature as cultivating a love of wide-open improvisational spaces; he's got one band that only plays outdoors. But all that climbing also has practical benefits: It builds lung-power. Tue, 09 Jul 2013 18:11:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 36974 at http://tspr.org Two New Jazz Albums Recall The Wide Open Spaces of The West 'My Ellington': A Pianist Gives Duke Her Personal Touch http://tspr.org/post/my-ellington-pianist-gives-duke-her-personal-touch At the keys, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15396582/duke-ellington">Duke Ellington</a> abstracted from stride piano, which modernized ragtime. Ellington's own spare percussive style then refracted through <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15130415/thelonious-monk">Thelonious Monk</a> and <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15696501/cecil-taylor">Cecil Taylor</a>, as well as a generation of freewheeling pianists active in Europe, like Aki Takase. Wed, 26 Jun 2013 17:12:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 36285 at http://tspr.org 'My Ellington': A Pianist Gives Duke Her Personal Touch Cécile McLorin Salvant: Making Old Songs New Again http://tspr.org/post/c-cile-mclorin-salvant-making-old-songs-new-again Singer Cécile McLorin Salvant was born in Miami to French and Haitian parents, and started singing jazz while living in Paris. Back in the U.S., she won the Thelonious Monk vocal competition in 2010. The 23-year-old's first album, <em>WomanChild,</em> is now out — and few jazz debuts by singers or instrumentalists make this big a splash.<p>Salvant's unusual material sets her apart as much as her chops do. The most recent non-original tune on her nervily accomplished debut is by <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15342292/fats-waller">Fats Waller</a>. Tue, 18 Jun 2013 17:43:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 35839 at http://tspr.org Cécile McLorin Salvant: Making Old Songs New Again Bing Crosby: From The Vaults, Surprising Breadth http://tspr.org/post/bing-crosby-vaults-surprising-breadth <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15182601/bing-crosby">Bing Crosby</a> was the biggest thing in pop singing in the 1930s, a star on radio and in the movies. He remained a top star in the '40s, when <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15396980/frank-sinatra">Frank Sinatra</a> began giving him competition.<p>Crosby often sounded funnier, and more at ease, on radio than on records. It's not hard to hear why, with some of the settings record producers put him in — like a '70s funk version of "Georgia on My Mind," heard on the Crosby CD <em>A Southern Memoir</em>. Mon, 13 May 2013 16:20:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 33677 at http://tspr.org Bing Crosby: From The Vaults, Surprising Breadth