DiscoverThe Late Set
The Late Set
Claim Ownership

The Late Set

Author: WRTI

Subscribed: 8Played: 85


Jazz is a conversation — and that’s what The Late Set is all about. Join broadcaster Greg Bryant and critic Nate Chinen each month for perceptive variations on a theme, and their related interview with a special guest. Just like a hang at the end of the gig, in the back of the club, it’s direct, unfiltered and illuminating, revealing the music and its culture in a deeper light.
13 Episodes
What should the omnivorous young jazz mainstream sound like today? One beguiling answer can be found in the music of Julius Rodriguez, a brilliant multi-instrumentalist who just released Evergreen, his second album for Verve, which synthesizes elements of jazz, R&B, gospel, funk, even electro-pop. “I see it all as different extensions of me,” Rodriguez tells us in a lively conversation that touches on his divergent aims for a studio album and a live show; the essential qualities he shares with his creative cohort; and the way that his New York upbringing now converges with his Los Angeles lifestyle, musically. We’ll also hear excerpts of an exclusive performance captured by WRTI at Notsolatin in South Philadelphia, on Rodriguez’s first tour. More to Explore:  WRTI: Live at from Notsolatin (YouTube Premiere on Thursday, June 27 at 11 am EDT) NY Times: A Prodigy of Jazz Clubs Explores Other Stages NPR: Julius Rodriguez, a young pianist fusing (all) the music from inside-out Support WRTI: for privacy information.
Ron Miles reached beyond style and into human feeling. A cornetist who nestled all kinds of complexities into his warm and welcoming music, he left us too soon — but also left a lot to remember him by. Old Main Chapel, a gorgeous trio album recorded a decade ago, is now a part of that legacy. So too are our guests this episode, guitarist Bill Frisell and drummer Rudy Royston, who both knew Miles for more than 30 years. During a recent tour stop in Philly, they remembered their friend for his generosity, his soulfulness, and his fierce commitment to beauty. Like his music, their reminiscence glows with wonder, still inhabiting the present tense. Jazzwise: A requiem for Ron: Ron Miles: Old Main Chapel NPR: Ron Miles, cornetist who imbued modern jazz with heart and soul, dies at 58 PBS: Ron Miles, beloved fixture of Denver jazz scene, dead at 58 Support WRTI: for privacy information.
Lee Morgan was many things: a brilliant trumpeter, a hard-bop messenger, a cultural hero, a cautionary tale. He was also a proud product of Philly, and in recent days and weeks we’ve seen the city truly herald him as its own. On April 30, International Jazz Day, a historical marker in Morgan’s honor was unveiled at the corner of 52nd and Chancellor Streets — former site of the Aqua Lounge, where he played his final hometown gig. We were there for the ceremony so we could bring you this report, including remarks from saxophonist Billy Harper, who played in Lee’s last band, and his nephew Raymond Darryl Cox, who came bearing the master’s flugelhorn. More from WRTI: A landmark for Lee Morgan, and the grassroots effort behind it How a jazz legend's resting place was lost and found, 50 years after his tragic death A Film About Jazz Trumpeter Lee Morgan Sparks Memories for Odean Pope Support WRTI: for privacy information.
Breathe Open: Shabaka

Breathe Open: Shabaka


When Shabaka hung up his tenor saxophone in favor of bamboo flutes, the world reacted with a mix of admiration and puzzlement. Over the last decade, as Shabaka Hutchings, he had steadily built a reputation for rampaging fervor on tenor, fueling the fires of a new-breed London jazz scene. His remarkable new album, Perceive Its Beauty, Acknowledge Its Grace, drifts in another direction — more contemplative and interior, suffused with flickering calm. During this year’s Winter Jazz Fest, we caught up with Shabaka at Public Records in Brooklyn, and had a far-reaching conversation about this new direction, his motivations, and the challenge of making such a decisive pivot. Naturally we also talked about André 3000, another high-profile flute obsessive, and an eager new collaborator. You’ll also hear Greg and Nate reflect on this soothing new turn in the music often branded “spiritual jazz,” and what it says about our present moment. Breathe In: New Music Friday for April 12, from NPR Music Album review in Pitchfork, by Hank Shteamer NY Times profile, by Hugh Morris Support WRTI: for privacy information.
Melissa Aldana has been a prominent force in motion since she took first prize in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition just over a decade ago. What she has accomplished since then is a matter of public record, but also the result of much private searching — as an improviser, a composer, a bandleader and a human being. Her captivating new album, Echoes of the Inner Prophet, reflects a noticeable maturity on all fronts, which she describes as an ongoing process. In this revealing conversation, Melissa touches on her path toward a personal sound, which involved “a very deep crisis of identity.” She also shares insights about the gift of a working band, the complex play of musical influence, and the power of sound to change perception.  More to Explore: Listen here to Echoes of the Inner Prophet NY Times: Melissa Aldana Makes a Focused Statement in Back Home NPR: Melissa Aldana Wins Thelonious Monk Competition For Saxophonists Support WRTI: for privacy information.
Deep River: Gary Bartz

Deep River: Gary Bartz


Here at The Late Set, we always turn toward the wisdom of elders. So we couldn’t be more excited about our guest this episode: alto saxophonist, composer-bandleader and educator Gary Bartz. We sat down with him in Brooklyn during the recent Winter Jazzfest, and had a fantastic conversation that spans his apprenticeship years (with everyone from Max to Mingus to Miles), his journeyman period (notably at the helm of Ntu Troop), and his master eminence (which predates his welcome induction as a 2024 NEA Jazz Master). The man who gave us “Music is My Sanctuary” is still out along the front line, with insights to share. More to explore:  NEA: Gary Bartz biography NPR: From bebop to hip-hop: Gary Bartz's sax sound shapes many eras KQED: For Jazz Saxophonist Gary Bartz, ‘Music Is My Religion’ Support WRTI: for privacy information.
George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue had its premiere precisely 100 years ago, and has enjoyed a productive and impactful life ever since. But as Greg puts it in this bonus episode: “Whose Rhapsody is it?” A symphonic work openly indebted to Black American musical traditions has often been more celebrated than its source material — one reason to look to an interpreter like pianist Marcus Roberts, our guest this episode. He’s been performing Gershwin’s piece for decades, and before a recent series of blockbuster concerts with The Philadelphia Orchestra, he sat down with Nate in our studio to share his gemlike insights.  More to explore:  NYT: The Worst Masterpiece: Rhapsody in Blue at 100 NYT: No, ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ Is Not ‘the Worst’ NPR: Marcus Roberts: 'Playing The History Of Jazz' Support WRTI: for privacy information.
Max Roach — the indomitable drummer, activist, bandleader and composer — was born 100 years ago this month, on Jan. 10, 1924. His centenary is the perfect opportunity to reconsider how his genius changed the game, and not just in rhythmic terms. So in this episode, we talk about Max as an innovator and a liberator, a connector and a catalyst. We also consider his sterling example as an elder, with deep insights from Nasheet Waits — one of Max’s leading inheritors on drums, someone he mentored from an early age. Nasheet has incredible stories to tell, and he shares them here. More to explore:  Max Roach at 100: Five stellar tracks that attest to his genius Drummer Max Roach Turns 100 Max Roach Played For Keeps Support WRTI: for privacy information.
Our Year in the Rearview

Our Year in the Rearview


What caught our ear in 2023? Who set the agenda, or just leveled up their game? For our final episode of this year, we’re looking back, taking stock, and talking about the albums we can’t let go. One of them was Rivers in Our Veins, by drummer and composer Allison Miller, who joins us here for some illuminating conversation. This is a supersize edition of The Late Set, but we think you’ll appreciate how much we packed in.  More to explore:  The 10 Best Jazz Albums of 2023 Roulette TV: Allison Miller presents Rivers in Our Veins The Year in Jazz: A Critics’ Roundtable Support WRTI: for privacy information.
Hark! The holidays are upon us, and so are the holiday tunes. Who better to join us than a pair of sublime vocalists with soulful new Christmas albums, Samara Joy and Gregory Porter? Together they reflect on the season’s warm and wonderful traditions, as well as a sense of mission behind their glad tidings and good cheer. Meanwhile, Greg and Nate are still arguing over the basic merits of holiday jazz, while taking stock of this year’s new releases. More to explore:  Samara Joy's polyphonic stardom Gregory Porter: Personal Stories For Universal Songs Ready or not, here come the yuletide grooves   More from WRTI: Website: Facebook: Instagram: WRTI: for privacy information.
What does it mean to pick a winner in jazz? We’re considering that question in the wake of the Herbie Hancock Jazz Piano Competition, which Nate covered in New York City. The subject leads us to a discussion of the competitive tradition in this music, which extends from Kansas City jam sessions to Jazz at the Philharmonic Tours to the present day. Nobody has a more nuanced handle on the topic than Joshua Redman, who hit the ground running when he won the Thelonious Monk Jazz Saxophone Competition 30 years ago. References for this episode: Jahari Stampley wins the Herbie Hancock Jazz Piano Competition Joshua Redman's new group walks the "Streets of Philadelphia" What Did The Monk Competition Ever Do For You? Support WRTI: for privacy information.
Philadelphia has always punched above its weight as a jazz town, producing legendary players and sometimes even changing the game. We each have our own history with the City of Brotherly Love, so on this first episode of The Late Set, we’ll compare notes — and check in with an absolute authority on the subject, pianist Orrin Evans. He has thoughts (a lot of thoughts) about what it means to be a Philly cat, how to describe “the Philly sound,” and how we should feel about the scene. More to explore: Moment’s Notice: our Philadelphia-area jazz listings As Lovett Hines Turns 80, Philly jazz luminaries share the love Jazz Philadelphia's Hometown Heroes: Spotlight on Pianist Orrin Evans Support WRTI: for privacy information.
The Late Set: Trailer

The Late Set: Trailer


Support WRTI: for privacy information.