Larry Blumenfeld on jazz and other sounds

O’Farrill 3.0: Adam Steps Out

It came as no surprise to me when Adam O’Farrill placed in the top three at the Thelonious Monk Institute International Trumpet Competition two years ago, at the tender age of 19. I’d seen… More ›


NEA Names 2017 Jazz Masters

There are still events that force me to check my cynicism at the door. The annual NEA Jazz Masters Awards counts among them. I may sometimes disagree with the choices of recipients, but never with… More ›

Dee Dee Bridgewater. Photo by Mark Higashino/ Dr. Lonnie Smith. Photo by Mathieu Bitton/ Dick Hyman. Photo by Bob Haggart Jr./ David Holland. Photo by Ulli Gruber/ Ira Gitler. Photo by Frances McLaughlin-Gill/

Carla Bley at 80

As a pianist, Carla Bley plays exactly the right amount of notes. Needless to say they’re also the right note choices, except when they are gorgeously and intentionally wrong. Her hands seem to… More ›


When Esperanza Met Emily

  A few facts were striking after Esperanza Spalding took the stage of Brooklyn’s BRIC House in early March. Gone was the bassist and singer’s soft cloud of an Afro, tamed now into long… More ›


Now Playing (New and Forthcoming CDs)

Carla Bley/Andy Sheppard/Steve Swallow Andando el Tiempo (ECM, May 6): As pianist, composer and arranger, Bley, who turns 80 in May, has always exuded a stern authority tempered with obvious… More ›

radio hat

Obama In Cuba

It’s hard to believe that President Obama touched down in Havana yesterday—the first sitting president to set foot in Cuba since 1928, when Calvin Coolidge sailed into Havana aboard the… More ›


Can We Keep Up With Anthony Braxton?

Two years ago, when Anthony Braxton was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, he was was showcased in the awards concert as a composer. He didn’t pick up any of the reed… More ›

photo by Carolyn Wachnicki

A Message From Herbie and Wayne

From one angle, jazz is a story of exalted friendships. Think Bird and Diz. Think Herbie and Wayne. Pianist Herbie Hancock and tenor and soprano saxophonist Wayne Shorter share one of the great and… More ›

Herbie Hancock and Wayner Shorter. Photo by the US Embassy in Panama.