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jazz

One For All is the longest running cooperative group in jazz, now starting into their third decade. Founding Horn players Steve Davis, Eric Alexander, Jim Rotondi, and the Rhythm section of David Hazeltine, John Weber and Joe Farnsworth recently released their 16th album, "The Third Decade," and will be a featured act at Newport Jazz Festival on August 4.

Tune in for a close look at the collaborative careers of this group, from solo efforts going back 25 years, to their first album in 1997, to their latest. Wednesday, July 26, from 8-10 p.m., on your radio or online on "What I Like About Jazz."

Tune In For Montana Jazz And Classic Blues On MTPR

Jul 18, 2017

Montana Jazz Artists are the focus on "What I Like About Jazz" this week. Montana has a long history of great jazz players. There is a wide range of artists from players like Jack Walrath, Jim Rotondi, David Morgenroth, and Chuck Florence, to singers Dee Daniels, Eden Atwood, MJ Williams, and Jeni Fleming.

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.

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Jazz piano great Horace Parlan passed away March 1, at the age of 86. His unique piano style was heard in classic recordings by Charles Mingus, Stanley Turrentine, Thad Jones, and many more Jazz artists from the late 1950's through the '80s. Join us on "What I Like About Jazz" on  March 15 for a tribute to Horace Parlan.

Emily Remler at Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Half Moon Bay, California.
Brianmcmillen (CC BY-SA 3.0)

We all know of many great women in jazz, but usually what comes to mind are the singers- Ella, Billie, Sarah, Dinah, we could list dozens of great ones. Most people can name at least a couple of piano players, too; Marian McPartland and Mary Lou Williams quickly come to mind.

But what about all the other instruments associated with jazz?

Terell Stafford In Aarhus Denmark (2012)
Hreinn Gudlaugsson (CC-BY-4)

Tune in January 11 for a very special "What I Like About Jazz" as we're joined by trumpet player and educator Terell Stafford.

In his 25 years as a recording artist, and more than 30 years as an educator, Stafford has toured the world, performed in both small groups and appeared in the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni Big Band, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and been a longstanding member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

As a recording artist, Stafford has more than 130 albums to his credit, including multiple Grammy nominations and wins.

Join host John Arvish on "What I Like About Jazz" for a conversation with Terell Stafford, Wednesday, January 11, from 8:00 - 10:00 p.m.

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

Host John Arvish continues to explore the six-decades-long career of engineer Rudy Van Gelder Wednesday on "What I Like About Jazz," starting at 8:00 p.m.

After moving into his own studio at Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Van Gelder continued his long relationship with Blue Note Records, as the primary engineer on most of their hundreds of sessions between 1953 and 1967.

He also developed a relationship with the newly-formed Impulse Records. Among his many sessions there, Van Gelder recorded nearly all of John Coltrane's records up until his death. He also did pivotal sessions with J.J. Johnson, Yusef Lateef, McCoy Tyner and numerous others.

Vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, performing at the Berkeley (CA) Jazz Festival in 1982.
Brian McMillen (CC-BY-SA-2)

After Lionel Hampton and Milt Jackson, no one did more for the vibraphone as a voice in jazz than Bobby Hutcherson. Hutcherson pased away August 15 at the age of 75.

From his early recordings with Al Grey and Billy Mitchell, Jackie McLean, and Grant Green, on through the sixties and seventies, Hutcherson made the vibes a solo voice to be reckoned with. He carried the vibes beyond swing and Be-bop into free jazz, Avant Garde, and soul jazz.

Onward and upward: Faun and a Pan Flute
Faun and a Pan Flute

Faun and a Pan Flute is a collectively-led experimental nonet from Atlanta, GA. Their restless soundscapes are both demented and uplifting; restrained yet chaotic; complex, but still accessible.

Though abstract, these avant-warriors provide a create-your-own-ending sort of narrative with their compositions, all based around primal rhythms and controlled chaos.

Tom Brokaw was Allen Secher's guest on the 100th episode of "You Must Remember This." Listen to an encore broadcast on MTPR Monday, June 5, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.
Courtesy

Journalist Tom Brokaw was Allen Secher’s guest on the 100th edition of Montana Public Radio’s monthly musical program, “You Must Remember This."     Brokaw’s best-seller, “The Greatest Generation,” serves as a frame for this hour-long exploration of the hardships and sentiments of a generation, all of it reflected in the big-band, jazz and popular music of the 1930s and 1940s.

"What I like About Jazz" does a retrospective on the career of George Coleman, in honor of his first album as a leader in many years. George came up in the 1950's, and played and recorded with Lee Morgan, Booker Little, and Max Roach, then replaced Hank Mobley in Miles Davis' band in 1963. Coleman has recorded as a leader and sideman, and was the original saxophone in Eastern Rebellion with Cedar Walton and Billy Higgins.

Hear all these and more on MTPR, including his new album "The Master Speaks," Wednesday, May 25 from 8:00 - 10:00 p.m. on your radio, or online.

Duke Ellington
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Duke Ellington deserves a separate room in any musical hall of fame. His orchestra included countless musicians already listed in that hall. His songs "Mood Indigo", "Sophisticated Lady", "In a Sentimental Mood" and "Take the A Train" and a host of others still remain on any major list.

Tune in for this special Monday, April 4 at 8:00 p.m.

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. 

The band Snarky Puppy has been described as "a truly different kind of musical animal."  Once Texas’s best-kept musical secret, they’ve become a Grammy-winning jazz, funk world, soul and pop combo, collecting fans like Prince and Pat Metheny along the way. Their most recent recording, a collaboration with Metropol Orkest, a Dutch orchestra, has topped Billboard charts in several categories.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the release of RUBBER SOUL, and because there are so many great covers out there, "What I Like About Jazz" pays tribute to the Beatles this week. From Grant Green to Tony Williams and Count Basie to modernists like David Kikoski and Brad Mehldau, jazz artists as far back as 1964 have covered the Beatles.

We'll pay special tribute to trombone players, including Curtis Fuller, JJ Johnson, Bob Brookmeyer, Frank Rosolino, and Steve Davis. But we'll also hear some great arrangers and some favorite tunes.

Join John Arvish and guest Rob Tapper, Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Montana, this week on What I Like About Jazz. That's Wednesday, November 25, from 8:00 - 10:00 p.m. on MTPR; online or on your radio.

Dizzy Gillespie in concert, Deauville, Normandy, France
Roland Godefro (CC-BY-3)

American jazz artists, and indeed the jazz form have had a strong link with with Paris since the early days of jazz. This week on "What I Like About Jazz," we pay tribute to France's love of American jazz, with recordings made there by the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Donald Byrd, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Dexter Gordon. We'll also hear from classic French artists including Michel LeGrand, Barney Wilen, Bobby Jaspar, and Jacques Loussier. Tune in Wednesday, November 18 from 8:00-10:00 p.m. on your radio or online.

Poetry’s been around a long time. Jazz, on the other hand, is a relatively recent American original. So why would jazz composer Wayne Horvitz write music in honor of a poet? Specifically, about Richard Hugo, perhaps Montana’s most renowned practitioner of the art? Wayne Horvitz explains on this episode of "Home Ground Radio,” listen now.

Nat & Cannonball Adderly are amond the jazz musicians featured on a Veterans Day special "What I Like About Jazz" on MTPR.
Dave Brinkman (CC-BY-SA-3)

This week on "What I Like About Jazz", we pay tribute to jazz musicians who served in the armed forces. Four branches of the service will be represented.

We'll hear from everyone from Jack Sheldon (Air Force) to Nat and Cannonball Adderley (Army) to John Coltrane (Navy) and Oliver Nelson (Marines). Other Veterans include Wynton Kelly, Junior Mance, Clark Terry, Aaron Bell, Jamil Nasser and many, many more.

This week on What I Like About Jazz, we pay tribute to the songs of Cal Massey, a brilliant composer, arranger and little-known trumpet player. We'll hear from Lee Morgan, John Coltrane, Herbie Mann, Freddie Hubbard, Houston Person, McCoy Tyner, Archie Shepp, and more.

Cheesecake Studio

Since his debut at age thirteen with the Cotton Club All-Star Band of Harlem, guitarist and singer "King" Solomon Hicks has been winning over audiences at music festivals, clubs, churches, and rock arenas around the world with his virtuosic mix of blues, jazz, funk, gospel, classical, R & B, Afro-Cuban and classic rock.

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.

Host John Floridis engages in some serious guitar shop-talk with Eric Johnson and Mike Stern, two iconic guitarists whose music has, for decades, pushed the boundaries of jazz, rock and pop music.

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.

Legendary jazz saxophonist Azar Lawrence released "Prayer For My Ancestors" in 2008, 33 years after his 1976 album, "People Moving". But the long gap between recordings doesn't mean Lawrence has been short of work. He's known as the go-to sideman for McCoy Tyner, Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw.

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.

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. 

Renowned Jazz-Classical Pianist/Composer, Billy Childs

May 27, 2015

Billy Childs has been called "the most American composer since Aaron Copland." His musical marriage of jazz, classical and popular music styles is showcased in "Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro," which won Childs the most recent of his numerous Grammy awards.

Jazz vocalist Eden Atwood talks with Michael Marsolek about music, teaching, and her appearance at St. Timothy's Summer Music Festival, Sunday, August 10, at 4 p.m.

St. Timothy’s Summer Music Festival is celebrating its 19th season at St. Timothy’s Memorial Chapel,  a superb acoustical venue located at 7000 feet with beautiful views of the Pintler Mountains and Georgetown Lake.

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