NPR's JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Sundays 9pm - 10pm
Dee Dee Bridgewater

Noted vocalist and stage performer Dee Dee Bridgewater has hosted NPR's JazzSet since October 2001. Each week Bridgewater takes listeners on a one-hour trip to concert halls, clubs, and festivals around the country to experience the vitality of today's best jazz performances. JazzSet is produced by WBGO 88.3 FM/Newark, New Jersey.

Born in Memphis and raised in Flint, Michigan, Bridgewater moved to New York early in her career and found fast success. Her performance as Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz on Broadway, Bridgewater won a 1975 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical. While in New York, she sang jazz every Monday night with the popular Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra downtown at the Village Vanguard. Her LP's from that era include Dee Dee Bridgewater, Just Family and Bad for Me, about which a consumer reviewer wrote 30 years later, "This upbeat disco album encapsulates all that was right about the Disco Era."

In the 1980s, Bridgewater settled in Paris. Her performance in Sophisticated Ladies and Lady Day, a one-woman portrayal of Billie Holiday in French, earned her a Sir Laurence Olivier Award nomination.

Bridgewater's self-produced CD, Love and Peace: A Tribute to Horace Silver, which was released in 1995, brought her voice back to the United States. Her next album, Dear Ella, dedicated to Ella Fitzgerald, earned her two Grammy Awards in 1998. Subsequently, Bridgewater produced This Is New with music of Kurt Weill and J'ai Deux Amours/Two Loves Have I.

Blues and griot songs came together on her Grammy-nominated 2007 release, Red Earth - A Malian Journey. This album features Bridgewater with her trio; guest vocalists; and a balaphon, kora, flute, percussion and vocal ensemble from West Africa.

Her 2010 release, Eleanora Fagan 1915-1959: To Billie with Love from Dee Dee Bridgewater is more personal. "This album is my way of paying my respect to a vocalist who made it possible for singers like me to carve out a career for ourselves," says Bridgewater. With music from the Billie Holiday songbook, Bridgewater's style ranges from an upbeat, rhythm-strong "Lady Sings the Blues" to the stark ballad of an American lynching, "Strange Fruit."

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3:55pm

Thu February 2, 2012
JazzSet

Steve Wilson With Strings On JazzSet

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 9:04 am

Steve Wilson (center) brought a quartet and a string section to the Kennedy Center to pay tribute to the Charlie Parker With Strings LP.
Sue Lyn Schramm

To inaugurate the 2011-12 jazz season at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., director of jazz Kevin Struthers wanted something special and different.

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4:20pm

Thu January 19, 2012
JazzSet

Mark Turner Quartet On JazzSet

Mark Turner (left) told JazzSet, "I consider myself an economical player, not at the top of my voice on every song no matter what, and Paul [Motian] is like that."
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Mark Turner was born in Ohio in 1965, and grew up in Southern California. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, then moved to New York and worked in the huge jazz department of the downtown Tower Records. Great jazz was always playing at Tower, even late at night — it was a hangout — with the current album displayed next to the cash register.

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4:03pm

Fri January 13, 2012
JazzSet

A Tribute To Abbey Lincoln On JazzSet

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 3:51 pm

Backstage at the Kennedy Center tribute concert to Abbey Lincoln, left to right: Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terri Lyne Carrington, Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves.
Becca Pulliam WBGO

Anna Marie Wooldridge, Abbey Lincoln, Aminata Moseka: singer, actress, composer, militant. They are all one woman.

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4:25pm

Thu December 8, 2011
JazzSet

Cyrus Chestnut, Benny Green And More On JazzSet

Cyrus Chestnut.
Courtesy of the artist

We return to Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center for a New Year's Eve set with Cyrus Chestnut and Benny Green on two pianos, joined by Nicholas Payton on trumpet and Jimmy Heath on tenor, with the excellent rhythm section of Dezron Douglas on bass and Willie Jones III on drums.

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3:59pm

Thu December 1, 2011
JazzSet

Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra Of New York On JazzSet

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:21 am

Jon Faddis.
Paul Hawthorne Getty Images

Young Jon Faddis, born in 1953, learned every note Dizzy Gillespie ever recorded. Then Faddis found Gillespie and reacquainted the older trumpeter with some of his own best work. Their relationship became a close mentorship in jazz, maybe the closest. Now, Faddis advances the Gillespie style — fast, syncopated, chromatic, teasing, conversing, climbing step by step (sometimes tacking crosswise), racing up and down the hills, having serious fun.

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2:29pm

Thu November 17, 2011
JazzSet

Mingus Big Band And Miguel Zenon On JazzSet

A member of the Mingus Big Band takes shelter from the rain.
Erik Jacobs for NPR

What do the Mingus Big Band and Miguel Zenón's large ensemble have in common? A few things. Both contain 14 players. Both played at the Newport Jazz Festival on Sunday, August 7, 2011. Hans Glawsichnig was the bassist, underpinning both. And both sets are passionate and colorful. Maybe it's the rainy backdrop, but the wind players seem especially chromatic in voicings and solos.

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8:00am

Thu November 10, 2011
JazzSet

Charles Lloyd's Sangam On JazzSet

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 7:04 am

Sangam performs at the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival. From left to right: Eric Harland, Zakir Hussain and Charles Lloyd.
Erik Jacobs for NPR

For his uncompromising and serious music, the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival was eager to present Charles Lloyd. He could bring any group he wanted, they told him. Lloyd said yes, and that he would bring Sangam, an East-West trio with one CD and few performances on the schedule. It was a coup!

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3:01pm

Thu November 3, 2011
JazzSet

Roy Hargrove On JazzSet

Roy Hargrove performs at the Village Vanguard.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Roy Hargrove's sets are all music, no banter.

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12:00pm

Thu July 14, 2011
JazzSet

Arturo O'Farrill And The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra On JazzSet

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.

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9:59am

Thu May 26, 2011
JazzSet

Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White On JazzSet

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 10:10 am

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.

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7:56am

Fri May 13, 2011
JazzSet

Moshier-Lebrun Collective Presents 'Touch And Go' On JazzSet

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 3:29 pm

The Moshier-Lebrun Collective performs at Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase.
Courtesy of the Moshier-Lebrun Collective
  • Download 'Touch And Go: The Studs Terkel Project' By The Moshier-Lebrun Collective

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.

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2:09pm

Thu April 14, 2011
JazzSet

Renee Rosnes Quartet On JazzSet

Renee Rosnes performs at the Village Vanguard.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

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.

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3:26pm

Thu March 24, 2011
JazzSet

'Two Skirts And A Shirt' On JazzSet

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 8:39 am

Left to right: Rene Marie, Allan Harris and Carla Cook.
Courtesy of Pat Harris

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.

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3:31pm

Thu February 24, 2011
JazzSet

FFEAR Premieres 'Mirage' On JazzSet

Originally published on Thu November 24, 2011 1:52 pm

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!

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2:27pm

Thu November 11, 2010
JazzSet

Mario Pavone And Orange Double Tenor On JazzSet

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 2:17 pm

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.

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