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Old Sep 18, 2010, 03:14 PM
Gavin Walker Gavin Walker is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
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Jazz Feature for Sept 20:"What Is Jazz": narrated by Maestro Leonard Bernstein.

Tonight's Feature is Part 2 of a two part feature that we air annually as a "back to school/back to the grind etc" fall Feature. These albums are important because even though they were recorded many years ago they can give you some idea of the history and inner workings of Jazz music. Yes, they have their limitations but they are still relevant documents. Last week The Jazz Show featured Part 1 which was Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's capsule: "An Introduction to Jazz" narrated by Mr. Adderley and this week it's "What Is Jazz" narrated by the great Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein plays and even sings (and I use that term loosely) as he plays piano and shows you with examples what is and what isn't Jazz. He does it in an entertaining and informative manner that doesn't sound stuffy or academic. Bernstein, of course was an American and grew up listening to and respecting Jazz music as an important art form, unlike some of his contemporaries in the "classical music" field. There are a great many things to like about this disc including a few of the now dated references to fashion and other things that will strike one as funny. The first part of the presentation takes you through some history and explains why Jazz music sounds the way it does. Great musical samples are provided by some very prominent players like clarinettist Buster Bailey, Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, trumpeter Buck Clayton, saxophonists Teo Macero, Phil Woods, Coleman Hawkins and others. Part two is an analysis of the song form that provides some of the basis for Jazz improvisation with examples by everyone mentioned and climaxed by a very modern interpretation of the tune ("Sweet Sue") by Miles Davis' first great quintet with John Coltrane. Enlightening, educational and entertaining sums up "What Is Jazz" and is a credit to Leonard Bernstein.

The Bernstein Feature will be heard just shortly after 11pm. I will have some of the usual surprises including a performance by one of my hotter Quartets recorded at the Joint on a Thursday back in the day with Michael Guild on guitar, the great Lincoln Goines on bass, John Nolan on drums and myself Gavin Walker on alto....we take Bird's "Billie's Bounce" for a long ride. Also as guests on the show, singer Colleen Savage and artist Mariken Van Nimwegan will be chatting with me as they are co-curators (along with Kate Hammett-Vaughan who unfortunately is teaching this night and can't be on the show) of the Great Classical Joint Reunion which will be happening at Ironworks on October 8. I will be involved with that giving a short talk and later performing as well. It will be an amazing night and it will be a big part of this evening's show. Join me at 9pm.....see you then.......
Gavin Walker's The Jazz Show is heard Mondays 9PM to midnight on CITR 101.9 FM and online.
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