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Miss the NEA concert? No problem. You can catch the entire January 11 concert, featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the NEA's 2011 Jazz Masters, by going here.
Ernie Henry. Symphonious Sid Gribetz, the hep scholar with the collar, will seize the WKCR mike this afternoon to present the career of alto saxophonist Ernie Henry. The show airs from 2 to 7 PM (EST). You can tune in from anywhere in the world on your computer by going here.
Herbie Hancock. Jazz musician, writer and educator Bill Kirchner will host Jazz From the Archives tonight, spotlighting pianist Herbie Hancock's 1961 recordings for Warwick and Blue Note. The show airs on New York's WBGO from 11 to midnight (EST). You can tune in from anywhere in the world on your computer by going here.
CD discoveries of the week. Soprano saxophonist and electronic music pioneer Jane Ira Bloom recorded her first album in 1978 while wrapping up her studies at Yale. Known for her pure yearning sound on reeds, Bloom has just released Wingwalker (Outline), a collection of neo-fusion pieces that soar, swoop and make you see futurist landscapes. What has always set Bloom apart for me is her pinpoint concentration and blazing intensity, which is refreshing in an age saturated in funk hooks, riffs and jazz-house themes. Wingwalker simmers and wanders, triggering moods that are similar to what you feel when the weather changes. Life on Cloud 8, Freud's Convertible and the title track are particularly exceptional. The sole standard is I Could Have Danced All Night, which is quite exciting. Wingwalker can be found at iTunes or here.
Things Are Getting Better (Primrose Lane Music) is Luther Hughes and the Cannonball-Coltrane Project's fourth CD. Listening to it is like taking your third sip of a fabulous cup of coffee. After a few plays, you begin to think about how rich the interpretations—robust but not over the top. The album alternates between heaving heavyweights like McCoy, Things Are Getting Better and Take the Coltrane, and softer, more delicate numbers like The Primrose Star and hard-bop bossa novas Jive Samba, Sunset at Hermosa, Green Bananas and Samba Para Um Dia Chuvoso. Led by bassist Hughes, the quintet's musicianship and restraint is admirable. They channel the spirit of Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane without ever making the mistake of mimicking the reed giants—thanks largely to Glenn Cashman on tenor and Bruce Babad on alto. You'll find this one at iTunes and here.
Oddball album cover of the week. First oddity—that's not Annie Laurie on the cover. Laurie was a black r&b singer whose complexion apparently was not in keeping with this record label's marketing strategy. Especially odd since the title song was Laurie's biggest hit in 1957 (No. 3 on Billboard's R&B chart). Second oddity—it's not quite clear why love hurts based on this image. Given the contortion of the female model's hands, perhaps they left the "g" off the word love.