Jan 31 - Feb 3
The Sensational Sonny Stitt
Sonny Stitt was a direct disciple of Charlie "Bird" Parker, but his technique and mastery of the saxophone and songbook make him one of the most beloved and adored, individual players in jazz since the early 1950's. This week, we'll dig deep into Stitt's bag for pure clarification on the role of the saxophone in bebop.
Feb 6 - Feb 10
Harlem Pianists of the Early Twentieth Century
February and Black History Month marks the birthdays of two notable figures in the development of jazz piano. Eubie Blake was a composer and ragtime pianist who opened doors for stride pianist James P Johnson. Contemporaries Luckey Roberts, Willie "The Lion" Smith, Fats Waller, and others followed suit to influence jazz piano giants Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. Black history and the influence of stride piano on be-bop, all this week on the Jazz Break at Noon.
Feb 13 - 17
The Legacy of the AACM
Pianist Muhal Richard Abrams founded the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in 1965. The Chicago, Ill-based, grassroots organization represents the creativity and successes of modern African American music. This week, we'll listen to recordings from Henry Threadgill, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Wadada Leo Smith, Nicole Mitchell, and many others who serve as members of the ongoing movement in jazz and improvised music.
Feb 20 - 24
Bassist Cecil McBee and The Cookers
When asked about all-star ensemble The Cookers and their recent 10-year anniversary, bassist Cecil McBee told Jazz Times, "it wasn't promised, it wasn't discussed, it wasn't realized, us being together up to this point just happened." Fellow renegade bandmates Billy Harper and Billy Hart were present with McBee on early Strata East recording dates. This week, we'll listen to bassist McBee from his formative years with Charles Tolliver and Jackie McLean to new outings with The Cookers, who continue to hone their driving, in-the moment aesthetic.
Feb 27 - Feb 28
Spiritual Intensity with Charles Gayle
Born in Buffalo, NY, on February 28, 1939, saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Charles Gayle was a homeless musician on the streets of New York for over fifteen years before recording a series of albums in 1988 for Silkheart Records and becoming a major, known figure in improvised music. The haunting, clashing, tumultuous, and ultimately spiritual sound of Charles Gayle, on the Jazz Break at Noon.