Jazz Old & New

We share some favorites of mine tonight, including "Compared to What" with Les McCann & Eddie Harris, "So What" from the classic Miles Davis album "Kind Of Blue," Horace Sliver’s "Song For My Father" with the tenor Sax of Joe Henderson and Christian McBride’s duet with Dee Dee Bridgewater on "It’s Your Thing." Thanks.

Fats Waller, Christian McBride, Bill Holman

Fats Waller is my favorite funny guy in jazz, he’s also one of the best pianists ever and we celebrate his birthday tonight along with that of the young bass virtuoso Christian McBride, who will bring his band Inside Straight to the Discover Jazz Festival on June 8th. We also celebrate the birthday of Big Band leader Bill Holman.

Big Joe Turner, Kai Winding

It’s the birthday of a key figure in blues & jazz, vocalist Big Joe Turner, who is considered by many to be a key figure in the roots of Rock & Roll. It’s also the birthday of trombonist Kai Winding, who worked for many years in the 1950’s with another trombone player, J. J. Johnson.

Edmond Hall, Ellis Larkins, Grace Kelly

Tonight’s birthdays include clarinet player Edmond Hall, who recorded some deep blues in 1941 featuring the acoustic guitar of an electric guitar pioneer, Charlie Christian; pianist Ellis Larkins, known for his solos, duets and his excellent backing of various vocalists including Ella Fitzgerald and alto sax prodigy Grace Kelly.

Sidney Bechet

Sidney Bechet, the first jazz soloist (recorded ahead of Louis Armstrong by a few months), was born in New Orleans on May 14, 1897 and died May 14, 1959 in Paris. In between he recorded some of the finest early jazz with his soprano sax or clarinet soaring above ensembles. Check out Phillip Larkin’s poem "For Sidney Bechet"

Fred Astaire, Jimmy Ponder

Tonight we celebrate the birthdays of tap-dancer & vocalist Fred Astaire and guitarist, bandleader Jimmy Ponder. We also hear new releases by Hailey Niswanger, a young alto sax player, vocalist Marianne Solivan and vocalist Virginia Schenck.