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.
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.
We celebrate two jazz birthdays tonight, the alto sax player & composer Jackie McLean and the tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman. Both have sons who are accomplished sax players in their own right. And we continue to sample releases from artists appearing at the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival June 1-10.
Tonight we celebrate the birthday of the Betty Carter, a vocalist with a style that pushes boundaries but is very musical. She always led a band with young, up and coming musicians and ran her own record label. We also review some of the artists coming to the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival June 1-10.
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, 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"
Tonight we share music in honor of Mother’s Day, including gospel mother songs from Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Mahalia Jackson. We also celebrate the birthdays of two of the best big bandleaders in jazz, pianists Gil Evans and Carla Bley.
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.
We celebrate the birthday of the young guitarist Anthony Wilson, on record with Diana Krall and Al Jarreau, in addition to his own recordings with his trio and ensemble. We start tonight’s program with Lynne Arriale’s Trio version of Lennon/McCartney’s "Come Together."
Tonight we celebrate Part 2
of the birthdays of pianist, composer, arranger Mary Lou Williams and pianist & supreme improvisor Keith Jarrett. We hear Mary Lou Williams’ piano, compositions and arrangements with Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie and Andy Kirk.