Tuesday, April 08, 2008

April 6, 2008 Jazz Fest Coming to NCCU!
I was thrilled to have three jazz giants in the WCOM studio all at the same time to join me for my show. Larry Ridley is here in the Durham area from New York City. He is a jazz bass player who has played with all the giants of the past and present. Those he has played with reads like a Who's Who of Jazz - including Thelonius Monk. Dr. Ridley is here as a primary organizer of the upcoming NAJRI HBCU Jazz Conference, which will be held at NC Central University, April 16th - 19th. This is the 18th year of the NCCU Jazz Festival. Dr. Ridley is an educator, as can be easily seen in this presentation about the playing style and contribution of Sonny Rollins. As Dr. Ridley expresses - to be a jazz player is to be an instantaneous composer.

At the upcoming Jazz Festival/Conference, there will be featured performances by saxophonist/flutist David 'Fathead' Newman and the Cedar Walton (shown in the photo to the right) Trio with bassist David Williams and drummer George Fludas.

Joining us in the WCOM studio, was Ira Wiggins, the Director of NCCU Jazz Studies, and a highly respected saxophone/flutist, with 15 albums to his credit as a sideman and soloist. He has performed with Jimmy Heath, Grady Tate, Frank Foster, James Moody, Fred Wesley and others. Dr. Wiggins hails from Kinston, NC, along with Jimmy Heath and Grady Tate who also have NC roots.

To top things off, composer TJ Anderson came by to meet Larry Ridley, and share an evening with Ira. TJ and Larry had traveled in similar jazz worlds for many years and yet had never met. So I was pleased that they had that chance as a part of my show. For more info about Dr. Anderson, check out his comments about the work of DJ Spooky at a recent presentation by DJ Spooky at UNC-CH as organized by Paul Jones of ibiblio. And to learn about one of the original compositions of Dr. Anderson, listen to the YouTube recording of Donal Fox on piano and with orchestra, playing the Second Movement of Fragments. A Concerto by TJ is posted on ibiblio.

Larry, TJ, and Ira had a great time talking about jazz, its roots, education, and the demise of the jazz clubs. Larry and Ira are the co-directors of NAJRI.

In between conversation, I shared some of the music of Dr. Larry Ridley. Dr. Ridley's CD, Sum of the Parts, includes Grady Tate on drums. Grady is from Durham and attended NC Central University.

Playlist -
  • Larry Ridley and the Jazz Legacy Ensemble; Other Voices CD; Evidence
  • Larry Ridley; Sum of the Parts CD; It Was a Very Good Year
  • Larry Ridley; Sum of the Parts CD; Changa Chikuyo
  • African American Jazz Caucus Presents AAJC/HBCU Student All-Star Big Band; Boogie Stomp Shuffle
  • Larry Ridley; Other Voices CD; Wes Coast Blues
I want to thank Larry Thomas for helping to arrange for Larry Ridley to be on my show. It was a night to remember for sure. Larry hosts WCOM's Sunday Night Jazz show that follows mine from 9:00 - midnight, the bewitching hour.

My son, Will, continues to blog in the NY Times about issues of teaching on the westside of Chicago in an alternative school. Today's posting is about the challenges of passing or failing students who are trying and yet are performing below grade level.

Please join me every Sunday night from 7:00 - 9:00, as I feature the sounds of NC jazz musicians of the past and present. You can hear my show, and all shows on WCOM, thanks to Paul Jones and ibiblio, which makes our web-streaming possible. If you live in the Carrboro/Chapel Hill you can hear us at 103 FM. You can call the station at 919 929-9601.


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At 8:03 PM, Blogger Joann said...

What a thrill for Isabel and I to come visit your show. She was enthralled to see the live music and that this was how radio is produced. Thanks for welcoming us to come to the studio! And the musicians were fantastic! What a blend of mellow and exciting.....
And thanks for being a great friend

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