MTPR

Tom Engelmann

Host and Producer

Tom Engelmann produces "Unsung Heroes, Influential but Overlooked Masters of Modern Music." The series features biographical sketches and the music of artists who often work behind the scenes or in support of major musicians. 

Tom supports Montana Public Radio's jazz programming and occasionally hosts Freeforms. 

Tom’s “heroes” have included composer and arranger Bobby Scott, keyboardist Nicky Hopkins, songwriter Hoyt Axton, harmonica player and producer Norton Buffalo, songwriter Doc Pomus, Tonight Show band arranger Tommy Newsom, saxophonist and Springsteen pal Clarence Clemons, bassist and producer Felix Pappalardi, songwriter Nick Ashford, the trumpet playing Candoli Brothers, guitarist and teacher Mickey Baker, guitarist Hugh McCracken, producer Phil Ramone, songwriter J.J. Cale, composer and arranger Clare Fischer, composer and producer Cowboy Jack Clement, composer and vocalist Laura Nyro, saxophonist Bobby Keys and trumpeter Lew Soloff.  

"Unsung Heroes" can be heard as part of Montana Public Radio’s Monday Music Special.

Ways to Connect

In a career spanning half a century, Bruce Lundvall worked with a wide variety of artists including Miles Davis, Dianne Reeves, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Norah Jones as the president of Blue Note Records. Phil Chess and his brother founded Chess Records, a storied Chicago label that captured great blues musicians like Muddy Waters in their prime and helped establish rock ’n’ roll as a musical genre. He even helped start the careers of Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones.

If Donna Summer was the "Queen of Disco" it could very well be that the "King of Disco" was English musician, composer and arranger Rod Temperton. Starting with the disco group "Heatwave," Temperton went on to work with artists like Quincy Jones, George Benson and Michael Jackson. And yes, he also wrote for Donna Summer.

Join Tom Engelmann as he hangs the disco ball and boogies down to the songs of Rod Temperton on another edition of “Unsung Heroes, Influential but Overlooked Masters of Modern Music.”

Tune in Monday, Feb. 27 at 8:00 p.m. on your radio or online.

Van Gelder was closely associated with Blue Note Records, an American jazz record label.
FLICKR USER, TIM (CC-BY-2.0)

Take a look at any jazz recording made during the past sixty years and there’s a good chance that it will have been recorded by Rudy Van Gelder. From his studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Van Gelder worked with artists like Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane and Herbie Hancock to produce some of the most memorable music of all time. Join Tom Engelmann as he pays tribute to the engineer who made recorded music come to life on another edition of "Unsung Heroes, Influential but Overlooked Masters of Modern Music."

Tune in to MTPR Monday, January 9 at 8:00 p.m. on your radio or online

From R&B to country, the music business was profoundly influenced by the capable artistry of Chips Moman. Starting out as a guitarist, songwriter and producer for Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin and Solomon Burke, he turned to pop and then country as he helped revive the career of Elvis Presley before working with Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash.

Starting in 1949, Howard Rumsey helped introduce the world to what would eventually be called “West Coast Jazz” at the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, California.  During the ensuing several decades the venue would provide a stage for artists like Lee Morgan, Grant Green, Joe Henderson and Rumsey’s own group, The Lighthouse All-Stars. 

Considered by many to be the world's foremost steel guitarist, he not only played, but perfected the instrument, designing the Emmons Guitar. His musical versatility spanned genres such as country, swing, jazz, folk, and country-rock, and he performed or recorded with a wide variety of vocalists and musicians including Ernest Tubb, John Hartford, Ray Price, Judy Collins, and George Strait.

Lew Soloff
John Abbot

  During a career lasting over forty years, Lew Soloff worked in a variety of musical genres.  A noted member of Blood, Sweat and Tears, he worked with numerous pop and jazz artists like Lou Reed, Paul Simon and Frank Sinatra.  He also worked with some classical orchestras and ensembles.  Join Tom Engelmann, as he celebrates the life of Lew Soloff on another edition of “Unsung Heroes, Influential but Overlooked Masters of Modern Music,” Monday June 8th at 8 PM. 

He had a long association with the Rolling Stones, but he also played with artists like John Lennon, Joe Cocker, Harry Nilsson and that excitable boy Warren Zevon,.  Join Tom Engelmann on April 27th as he celebrates the wild life of saxophonist Bobby Keys on another edition of “Unsung Heroes, Influential but Overlooked Masters of Modern Music.” 

During a short but brilliant career Laura Nyro wrote many of the songs that have been played and recorded by pop artists during the last forty years.  Join Tom Engelmann for another edition of “Unsung Heroes, Influential but Overlooked Masters of Modern Music” as he plays the songs of Laura Nyro  performed by The Fifth Dimension, Three Dog Night, Barbara Streisand, Blood Sweat and Tears and others.  It also features Laura singing with jazz group The Manhattan Transfer and on her last live recording from 1989.

During a short but brilliant career Laura Nyro wrote many of the songs that have been played and recorded by pop artists during the last forty years.  Join Tom Engelmann for another edition of “Unsung Heroes, Influential but Overlooked Masters of Modern Music” as he plays the songs of Laura Nyro  performed by The Fifth Dimension, Three Dog Night, Barbara Streisand, Blood Sweat and Tears and others.  It also features Laura singing with jazz group The Manhattan Transfer and on her last live recording from 1989.

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