May 1 - May 12
100 Years of Dexter Gordon
Born in Los Angeles, CA, on February 27, 1923, tenor saxophonist, bandleader, and composer Dexter Gordon was an integral part of both Lionel Hampton and Billy Eckstine's big bands while transforming the sound of jazz to bebop with peers Illinois Jacquet, Wardell Gray, Dizzy Gillespie, and other heavyweights of the period. Gordon's earliest recordings begin in 1941 with Fletcher Henderson and Louis Armstrong, and we'll hear those origins, along with decades of selections from Blue Note, Prestige, Steeplechase, and Columbia Records. The storied life and prolific musical output of Dexter Gordon, May 1-12, on KRTU and the Jazz Break at Noon.
May 15 - May 19
A World of Violins in Jazz
The sound of the violin has pulled at the heart strings of jazz listeners while tangling through loud horns and hard-driving rhythm sections to become an unmistakable part of the sonic template of jazz both past and present. Early recordings of American master Stuff Smith, French virtuoso Stephane Grappelli, and Danish viking Svend Asmussen paved the way for modern performers Jean Luc Ponty, Regina Carter, and Leroy Jenkins, to name a few of the string wizards we'll hear this week from a myriad of styles and approaches to the violin in jazz and improvisation.
May 22 - May 26
Shabaka Hutchings & the Artists on Impulse
Trailblazing multi-instrumentalist Shabaka Hutchings currently fronts several ensembles under the colorful umbrella of artists on Impulse Records. Hutchings expands from the African diaspora with compositions layered in yearning saxophone melodies, driving percussion, and progressive electronics. Born May 24, 1984, in London, UK, Hutchings leads groups of cutting edge personnel on releases from The Comet Is Coming, Sons of Kemet, the Ancestors. and performs solo on 2022's Afrikan Culture. This week on the Jazz Break at Noon, music from Hutchings and the latest from labelmate Brandee Younger.
May 29 - May 31
Heath and Hayes In Demand
May 31 marks the birthday of two American hard bop drummers who came up in the music together as peers in demand. Albert "Tootie" Heath and 2023 NEA Jazz Master Louis Hayes were born two years apart in the mid 1930's, and both drummers cast a wide net of rhythmic support on many recordings among giants in jazz. This week, early and new recordings from both drummers, including tracks from Hayes' 2023 release Exactly Right.