Music of Week

M,W,F 5:50 PM T, Thur 8:21 AM

Kamasi Washington has been called the jazz voice of Black Lives Matter. He was raised in notoriously violent South Central Los Angeles during the gang wars of the 1980s and 90s, but mentorship from his musical parents and LA's black artist community steered him away from gang life and towards the music of Coltrane, Stravinsky, and Snoop Dogg, with whom he toured out of college.  Washington’s musical relationships and style blend funk hip-hop jazz and classical. He is a rare communicator who's poise and charisma account for his broad appeal.

In the late 1960s Dewey Redman played saxaphone in a band called Old And New Dreaming with Ornette Coleman, charlie Hayden, and Don Cherry. His son Joshua Redman has just released an album which pays homage to his father's work with that band. Joshua Redman is one of the most creative talents in jazz today, his group plays with a deep musical sensitivity and connection to each other. The songs are beautiful, sometimes playful, and display a great range of expression.

In late April, to celebrate his 85th Birthday Willie Nelson released an album of eleven original songs. There aren’t many artists you can say that about. The album is called Last Man Standing and is full of Willie’s signature humor and wisdom. The songs navigate themes of aging, loss, and mortality, but the album isn’t dark. It suggests sunniness in the face of loneliness and grief. Willie Nelson’s 73rd album is called Last Man Standing, the track we’re hearing is Me And You.

Peter and the Wolf was written by Serge Prokofiev in 1936, with the purpose of introducing children to the instruments of a Symphony Orchestra. it has just been rewritten for jazz band and recorded by the New England Jazz Ensemble. Not only are the classical instruments replaced by big band soloists, the narration has also been translated to the vernacular of jazz. The original melodies sound natural as jazz riffs, revealing the influence 20th century classical music had on jazz. For the past 75 years Peter and the Wolf has introduced children all over the world to classical music.

What is World music? Its when the sounds of the disparate traditions of Turkey, Bulgaria, Israel, Iran, Greece, Spain, and England come together to deliver a high energy blend of , authentic, spontaneous, sounds. They are called the Turbans, and began when Oshan Mahoney and Darius Thompson met in Kahtmandu Seven years ago. The Turbans cut their teeth on the road before holing up in an old English farmhouse to record their self-titled debut album.