On the clarinetist's latest album, the blues might be modernized or tweaked, but it's never far away. Fresh Air's jazz critic says The Edenfred Files is modest in a good way, like a musical chapbook or novella. The scale suits Harper's pointedly focused music.
A regular performer at the Village Vanguard, Anat Cohen paid tribute to her early clarinet hero Benny Goodman in 2009, in honor of his 100th birthday. On Clarinetwork, her quartet plays tunes associated with Goodman, or at least songs he recorded while backing Billie Holiday.
In April of this year, just a month before the death of New Orleans jazz clarinetist Alvin Batiste, the Marsalis Music label celebrated him with one of its "Honors" discs. The recording — Batiste's first in more than a decade — paired the pioneering modern jazzman with younger musicians, including two of his students. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead has a review.
Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews clarinetist John Carter's new album, "Shadows on a Wall." The album concludes Carter's 5 album musical saga of the African-American experience. Kevin says the series doesn't recreate history, but it DOES reimagine it.
Jazz Critic Kevin Whitehead reviews "Bayou Magic," a new album by clarinetist Alvin Batiste. Since the 50s, Batiste has been a key figure in the modern jazz movement in New Orleans. Under the auspices of the State Department, he has toured the world extensively, and is also a teacher at Southern University in Baton Rouge, where his students have included Branford Marsalis and Donald Harrison.
Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the new album "Whatever Next!," from Wally Fawkes and his Soho Shakers. Fawkes is an English clarinetist who has been a part of the British traditional jazz scene since its beginnings in the 1940s.