When I was a kid, I assumed that in the future things would get better and better until we were all driving flying cars and playing badminton with space aliens on top of 500-story buildings. Frankly, I kind of counted on this happening. But now I don't assume that we'll just keep going up anymore.

Arturo O'Farrill is at the center of a dynasty between his father, composer Chico O'Farrill (1921-2001), and his son Adam, on trumpet here today. Zack, a younger son, plays drums, while Arturo's wife, Alison Deane, is a classical pianist and professor at City College in New York.

Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White On JazzSet

May 26, 2011

The 52nd Monterey Jazz Festival in the fall of 2009 helped kick off the return of Return to Forever, the stellar fusion band from the 1970s — now a trio with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White on piano, bass and drums, respectively.

This year, Chicago is celebrating the Studs Terkel centenary — the life and work of the actor, radio host, author, historian and, in the words of the Chicago Historical Society, "ennobler of his fellow man." There will be a re-dedication of the Studs Terkel Bridge, a 100th birthday party at the Newberry Library, a museum exhibit, readings and a film and video festival.

Renee Rosnes Quartet On JazzSet

Apr 14, 2011

In her 20s, Vancouver's Renee Rosnes received a Canada Council of the Arts grant to study jazz in the U.S. High-profile artists such as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Joe Henderson (to name a few) gave her high-powered support. Blue Note Records signed and kept her on the label for more than a decade.

'Two Skirts And A Shirt' On JazzSet

Mar 24, 2011

After a sweetly harmonized "Tryin' Times" from 1970 by Donny Hathaway and a rocking version of "Compared to What" by Gene McDaniels ("The president, he got his war / Folks don't know just what it's for"), Rene Marie pauses to ask two questions: "Do you remember when it was not unusual for jazz composers to write about social issues? What happened?" There's a pause, and then Carla Cook says off-mic, "The '80s." The audience hears her and laughs.

FFEAR Premieres 'Mirage' On JazzSet

Feb 24, 2011

Norwegian saxophonist Ole Mathisen and trombonist Chris Washburne, who met as students in Boston 25 years ago, work at the front line of the quartet FFEAR. Ole's brother Per Mathisen plays bass alongside drummer Tony Moreno in this Oct. 23, 2010, performance at Miller Theatre at New York's Columbia University, where all but Per teach.

The centerpiece is Ole Mathisen's five-part suite Mirage, for which he layers rhythmic grids and uses microtonal harmony to create an orchestration that sounds greater than a quartet. Be not afraid!

On a Sunday afternoon during their honeymoon in November 1961, Mario Pavone and his bride Mary drove from Connecticut to New York, to a club date that would be documented on a pivotal album. John Coltrane: Live at the Village Vanguard featured the saxophonist's expanding group with Eric Dolphy on bass clarinet, with music so powerful that Pavone — an aspiring bassist — could not let it go. When Coltrane died in July 1967, Pavone made his move. He quit his job and drove again to New York, to the funeral.

Christian McBride And Inside Straight On JazzSet

May 27, 2010

Rhonda Hamilton, guest-hosting for Dee Dee Bridgewater, is onstage at the 30th annual Detroit International Jazz Festival. She introduces Christian McBride as "the premier bass player of his generation." All in the huge Motor City crowd cheer for that.

Kenny Barron On JazzSet

Jan 7, 2010

When the National Endowment for the Arts informed Kenny Barron that he'd been named a Jazz Master — that's the highest honor in jazz that the nation bestows — "I was elated and surprised," Barron says. "And then I kept thinking, 'Damn, am I really this old?' "

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