MTPR

What I Like About Jazz

Wednesday 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM

What I Like About Jazz is a one-hour jazz program with an emphasis on small groups, ranging from the 1950's to today. 

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Jazz pianist Benny Green
John Dugan (CC-BY-2)

Benny Green has been playing jazz piano for decades, and has recorded with everyone from Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers to the Ray Brown trio, as well as being part of George Wein's Jazz Futures band in the early 90s.

Trumpeter Jim Rotondi has been a major figure in the world of jazz for over 20 years, both in New York and on the international scene.
Courtesy jimrotondi.com

Join us this week on "What I Like About Jazz" for a return visit with Butte native Jim Rotondi. Jim is a world class musician and educator, with nearly a hundred albums to his credit, appearances in clubs all over the world, and past associations include Ray Charles, Charles Earland, Harold Mabern, and Cecil Payne, among many others.

Lee Konitz has been playing and recording since the late 1940s, and at age 87, is still going strong. Lee got his start in recordings of Lennie Tristano and Miles Davis in the late 1940s, and has played with many of the all-time greats, from Charlie Parker to Bill Evans, and modern players including the group Minsara, pianist Brad Mehldau and many more.

Konitz was just voted into the Downbeat Hall of Fame, and is a 2009 NEA Jazz Master. Tune in to "What I Like About Jazz" on MTPR for a tribute to the music of Lee Konitz. Wednesday July 22 at 8:00 p.m. on your radio or live online.

Jazz from Montana

Apr 2, 2014

Tune in tonight for a special (pre) Public Radio Week look at some of Montana's great jazz artists. From Bozeman to Helena, Billings to Missoula, and even some folks from the Highline: Chester, Miles City and more, Montana has spawned some amazing artists over the last 40 years. We'll hear from Phillip Aaberg, Jack Walrath, Wilbur Rehmann, the Big Sky Mudflaps, Cheap Cologne, MJ Williams, Jenny Fleming, Eden Atwood, David Morgenroth, and Josh Farmer. There's so much great music right here in Montana, one show could hardly contain it.

Drummer Al Harewood anchored a slew of classic albums in the 50's and 60's, including a number of Blue Note records. Albums by the likes of Dexter Gordon, Stanley Turrentine, Horace Parlan, Lou Donaldson, Grant Green, Cutis Fuller, J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding, Ike Quebec, Dizzy Reece and Bobby Hutcherson featured the drumming of this under-appreciated titan and future music educator. Tune in this Wednesday night for a sample of  classic cuts with many of these great players. What I like About Jazz, Wednesday, March 19, at 8:30 Mountain.

As one of the premiere jazz record labels, beginning in 1939, Blue Note Records set the tone for jazz to come, especially capitalizing on the rise of Be-Bop with artists like Fats Navarro, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, Lou Donaldson and Art Blakey. After decades of success, the label underwent radical changes beginning with its' sale to Liberty Records. The 1970's did no favours, and the label eventually folded. However, it's popularity in Japan and other parts of the world, and a resurgence in traditional jazz, allowed a re-birth of the label.

Tune in for a special program dedicated to the memory of the late Donald Byrd. Byrd's classic trumpet graced albums by many of the modern greats of the 1950's '60's, from Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, Horace Silver, George Wallington, Jackie McLean, two-trum pet albums with both Art Farmer and Lee Morgan, as well as being one of the few trumpet players that John Coltrane chose to record with in his own sessions as a leader.

Looking back on 2013, some great jazz music came out, but we also lost some amazing performers. Tune in tonight to hear a collage of music from some of those we lost, including Donald Byrd, Frank Wess, Mulgrew Miller, Marian McPartland, Jim Hall and Yusef Lateef. In the coming weeks, we'll take a closer look at several of these artists we've missed along the way, with full specials dedicated to Donald Byrd, Frank Wess and Yusef Lateef.

We'll hear tonight from some of the great artists with roots in Europe, with countries including Poland, The Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Azerbaijan and more. Amina Figarova, Tord Gustavsen, Bobo Stenson, Tomasz Stanko and the mutlicultural trio Minsrah will all be represented.  The beautiful music and blend of European classical music and jazz wields an influence on both artists and on labels such as ECM, and even Sony. What I Like About Jazz focuses on the European connection tonight at 8:30, the first show of 2014.

A Tribute to Jim Hall

Dec 10, 2013
concordmusicgroup.com

I was deeply saddened to hear today of the passing of one of the great guitar players of modern jazz, Jim Hall, who passed away in his sleep last night at 83. What I Like About Jazz will pay special Tribute to Jim on Wednesday night, featuring cuts asa  leader and sideman with people like longtime friend Art Farmer, and modern legends like John Lewis, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Giuffre, Ron Carter, Tom Harrell and more.

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