JazzStories

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Dr. Billy Taylor, who left us at the age of 87 in December 2010, opened the doors of Jazz for generations. As a pianist he played with the best in the business from 1942 (Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker et al) through 2010. But his contributions to jazz went far beyond the bandstand. Behind a radio microphone (for four decades), in front of a television camera, in the university setting and in the streets on Jazzmobile's flatbed trucks, Taylor was an evangelist and swinging practitioner of "America's classical music" In a 2007 Jazz at Lincoln Center conversation with Lewis Porter, he remembers the very surprising way he wound up in Ben Webster's band.
Drummer Roy Haynes has played and recorded with every important jazz musician of the last 70 years -- Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughan, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk—and he continues to tour the world. He spoke about his first high-profile job, working with tenor saxophonist Lester Young.
The late bassist Percy Heath was a member of The Modern Jazz Quartet for over forty years, one of the great innovating groups of its time. But his success did not happen overnight. Heath talks about his initial unease around drummer Kenny Clarke, getting lessons from Charles Mingus and the close friendships that were essential to The MJQ sound.
The saxophonist Sam Rivers passed away on Dec. 26, 2011. Rivers sounded his horn across six decades of jazz with Miles Davis, Cecil Taylor, and Dizzy Gillespie. He played with the best and cut his own path with the RivBea Orchestra. Producer David Goren brings us an intimate portrait of Sam Rivers in his own voice and those of his fellow band members.
Reid Anderson is the bassist for The Bad Plus, a trio which also includes fellow Minnesotans, pianist Ethan Iverson and drummer Dave King. Anderson talks about being part of a "leaderless" trio, and avant garde tinged covers of rock and pop songs.
Sam Rivers has sounded his horn across six decades of jazz with Miles Davis, Cecil Taylor, and Dizzy Gillespie. He's played with the best and cut his own path with the RivBea Orchestra. Producer David Goren brings us an intimate portrait of Sam Rivers in his own voice and those of his fellow band members.
In our second podcast with Todd Barkan (producer and jazz presenter for more than three decades at San Francisco's Keystone Korner and Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola), senior JALC Radio producer Steve Rathe talks with Todd about the life blood of these clubs: the musicians, from Miles Davis to Betty Carter to Art Blakey. View SlideshowView Images from Keystone Korner: Portrait of a Jazz Club Photos courtesy of Kathy Sloane
NEA Jazz Master alto saxophonist Lee Konitz is widely admired for his original sound and improvisation. He continues to travel the world seeking out new musical partnerships. JALC Radio producer David Goren interviewed Konitz about free improvisation, his association with the jazz pianist and teacher, Lennie Tristano, and the challenges of not imitating the iconic alto player, Charlie Parker.
"Moody's Mood for Love" is one of the most memorable and recognizable solos in jazz history. But for James Moody, the song contains a bigger history about overcoming adversity, exploring the world and finding one's own inner worth. Producer Andrew Parsons brings us a conversation with the late James Moody about the story behind his famous solo.
In the 40s, jazzmen came of age on the stages of dance halls. Pianist Barry Harris and drummer Billy Higgins capture the view from those stages. Recorded in 1992, they remember "watching tassels sway" and the bebop hoofer who "would actually roll up to the microphone wearing a pair of skates - and tell the band '...anything by Charlie Parker!'" Producer Alexa Lim brings us this backstage conversation.
Before Motown, Detroit had "Black Bottom" -- a neighborhood that grew out of segregation and thrived in music, culture and the arts, but was cut short by urban development. Violinist Regina Carter grew up in that musically rich city and discusses several areas and aspects of Detroit that are gone but not forgotten.
"Take care of the music and the music will take care of you." That's the signature line of Todd Barkan, producer and jazz presenter for more than three decades at Milestone Records, San Francisco's Keystone Korner and Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola. Senior producer Steve Rathe talked with Barkan about finding jazz with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, running a club, working with Jerry Garcia, Miles Davis and much more.
The late bassist Percy Heath was a member of The Modern Jazz Quartet for over forty years, one of the great innovating groups of its time. But his success did not happen overnight. Heath talks about his initial unease around drummer Kenny Clarke, getting lessons from Charles Mingus and the close friendships that were essential to The MJQ sound.
The Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes combines formidable technique with power, spinning out fast melody lines simultaneously with each hand. In this interview recorded in October 2010, Valdes talks about growing up in Cuba the son of famed bandleader, Bebo Valdes and about the historic visit of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra to Havana.
"I don't ever want you to open for me again" said Sarah Vaughan. The diva was paying her a compliment, but the modest Dianne Reeves didn't know that. Now Reeves has won her own audiences (and four Grammy® awards) with pop, calypso, world music and jazz. Backstage at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Reeves shares her stories and reflects on the style and influence of the "Divine" Sarah Vaughan."
Widely admired for his original sound, the 83 year old alto saxophonist Lee Konitz is a master of improvisation who continues to travel the world seeking out new musical partnerships. JALC Radio producer David Goren recently interviewed Konitz about free improvisation, his association with the jazz pianist and teacher, Lennie Tristano, and the challenges of not imitating the iconic alto player, Charlie Parker.
In a freewheeling conversation, Brazilian musicians Duduka Da Fonseca, Helio Alves, and Maucha Adnet discuss Samba Jazz, the Bossa Nova, the real Girl From Ipanema, and whose name to drop for a free beer at the bar she would pass by every day.
Randy Weston has seen a lot people and places in his life. Born in Brooklyn in 1926 and served in the US Army during World War II. But it was jazz that exposed him to the most diverse travels. Jazz at Lincoln Center's Ken Druker unearths a live interview with Randy Weston about the people and places that he's seen in his life — from Langston Hughes and Candido — to Brooklyn and the woods of the Berkshires and back again.
To celebrate his 50th birthday, we let the up-and-coming generation of jazz players from the Essentially Ellington Festival and Competition interview Wynton Marsalis. He shares his personal stories on growing up in the Marsalis family and the music, history and community of jazz.
"Moody's Mood for Love" is one of the most memorable and recognizable solos in jazz history. But for the late James Moody, the song contains a bigger history about overcoming adversity, exploring the world and finding one's own inner worth. To celebrate what would have been his 87th birthday, we bring the story behind Moody's famous solo.
The versatile pianist Mulgrew Miller was never confined by the boundaries of the piano -- or of one particular sound. In this 2001 interview with Murray Street's Ave Carrillo, he remembers his move from the Methodist church to the Ellington Orchestra to the resurgent 1980s New York jazz scene. He remained a mainstay of that scene until he passed away on May 29, 2013.
In 1958, when twenty year-old Freddie Hubbard moved to New York City, the city was full of legends in the making - Lee Morgan, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane and many others. Hubbard, who died in 2008, jammed with all of them and hones his sound to become one of the defining voices of 1960s hard bop. In our 1992 interview by Bill Brower and Steve Rowland, Hubbard looked back to the Brooklyn music scene in the early 60s.
With a style steeped in jazz, classical, funk and hip hop -- Christiane McBride has played on more than three hundred recordings. The Philadelphia born bassist is one of the most sought after players in jazz. Our producer David Goren talked with McBride about the Philly tradition, his own work in jazz and the shrinking distances in the world of music.
Bobby McFerrin has spent some four decades breaking ground in vocal music – and always feels fresh. His work VOCAbuLarieS is featured in our live performance Jazz at Lincoln Center Radio series. At rehearsals, and later backstage, he told producer Alexa Lim and Howard Mandel about his introduction to improvisation - courtesy of Miles Davis and friends.
In 1967 Saxophonist Joe Henderson and trumpeter Kenny Dorham assembled a big band that never toured or recorded an album, but attracted top musicians like Chick Corea, Randy Brecker, and Joe Temperley to its weekly rehearsals. Henderson tells us about composing for one of the great bands that was never heard.
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Podcast Details

Started
Nov 17th, 2010
Latest Episode
Jun 10th, 2013
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
65
Avg. Episode Length
12 minutes
Explicit
No

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