The fusion of rock ’n’ roll with jazz has existed since the birth of rock – I would even argue folks like Cab Calloway, Louis Prima, and especially Louis Jordan, helped invent it. As jazz moves through a new century, and early rock stars and fans move into their 70s, there’s still plenty of choice territory for the two styles to intertwine.
On today’s episode of The New Cool, you’ll hear from the premier purveyor of piano “rock jazz,” Eric Lewis. A long-time member of Wynton Marsalis’ band, he’s recently adopted the moniker “ELEW” and has released two volumes of his clever improvisational rock covers in recent years.
One of his early fans of his new style was fashion icon Donna Karan, who commissioned pieces for her runway shows, and then President Barack Obama invited ELEW for a well-received performance at the White House. Dig his amazing cover of The Rolling Stones hit “Paint It, Black” on the show today.
Also featured, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe plays The White Stripes, Jamie Cullum sings Jimi Hendrix, and pianist Rachel Z – a pioneer in turning alternative rock into jazz improvisation – leads her Trio of Oz through “I Will Possess Your Heart” by the Northwest’s own, Death Cab For Cutie.
Tune in for The New Cool from 3 to 5 Saturday afternoon and rock out with knkx!