Skip to main content
Jazz Focus

Jazz Focus

By john clark
A focused look at some specific moments in recorded Jazz history
Listen on
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Breaker Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Old Bottles, Older Wine - Gil Evans in 1958 and 59 for Pacific Records
Old Bottles, Older Wine - the Gil Evans Orchestra on Pacific Records, 1958, 1959 . . Arrangements by the innovative Gil Evans of Jazz standards from earlier eras featuring Cannonball Adderley, Budd Johnson, Curtis Fuller, Chuck Wayne, Johnny Coles, Bill Barber, Elvin Jones, Steve Lacy, Ray Crawford, Art Blakey and of course Evans himself.
February 25, 2021
Depression Stomp - WETF Show Washboard Rhythm Kings
Apropos more now than ever, this is a tribute to a very HOT band from Philadelphia in the summer and fall of 1932.  The Washboard Stompers featured Taft Jordan and Valaida Snow on trumpets, Ben Smith and Carl Wade on saxes, Eddie Miles on piano, Ghost Howell on bass and Steve Washington on banjo and vocals with assists from Bella Benson and Lavada Carter
February 25, 2021
Funny Business - the Joel Shaw Orchestra 1932 . .Hot Dance band!
The Gene Kardos Orchestra was a busy and frequently recorded band in the early 1930's - based at the Gloria Palast in the Bronx, they were one of the few white groups playing really hot dance music during the Depression years.  While they recorded under Kardos' name (and a variety of pseudonyms) for Victor, Melotone and the ARC labels, it was featured under the name of their pianist, Joel Shaw for recordings made for the Crown label.  These records were, if anything, hotter than the Kardos sides - featuring no well known Jazz players, this band was known to swing harder than its competition - Ben Pollack, Casa Loma and the Dorsey Brothers.
February 25, 2021
WETF Show - Benny Goodman in 1945/6
WETF Show - Benny Goodman in 1945/6 . . from December '45 to Jan '46 - one radio show and two transcription sessions featuring the big band (with Stan Getz, Bernie Privin and Mel Powell) and the Trio, Quintet and Sextet (with Powell, Red Norvo, Mike Bryan and others).  Some of Goodman's greatest and least inhibited playing under his own name
February 19, 2021
Swingin' Minstrel - the vocals of Clancy Hayes with a variety of trad jazz stars
Swingin' Minstrel - Clancy Hayes!  The banjo player and singer with Bob Scobey's Frisco Jazz Band (Bill Napier, George Probert, Jack Buck, Pud Brown), Art Hodes, Yank Lawson's Yankee Clippers (Cutty Cuttshall, Pee Wee Russell, Dave McKenna), Salty Dogs (Lew Green, Kim Cusack, John Cooper, Wayne Jones, Mike Walbridge) and his own quartet with Jess Stacy or Ralph Sutton . .great tunes and singing with a mix of West Coast, Chicago and New York Dixieland musicians.
February 19, 2021
Clarinet Marmalade - Edmond Hall on Commodore
Clarinet Marmalade - Edmond Hall on Commodore - featured as a sideman with Wild Bill Davison's Commodores (including George Brunies, Vernon Brown, Gene Schroeder and Eddie Condon), The DeParis Brothers (Sidney and Wilbur Deparis, Clyde Hart), and George Wettling's Rhythm Kings (Billy Butterfield, Wilbur DeParis, Dave Bowman) . . great mainstream/trad!
February 19, 2021
Louis in Transition - Louis Armstrong 1947
Louis Armstrong 1947 . . transition!  Two live concerts (February and April) leading up to his Town Hall Concert in May and the formation of the All-Stars.  The February date has him fronting the Edmund Hall Sextet at Carnegie Hall with Irving "Mouse" Randolph, Henderson Chambers, Ellis Larkins, Johnny Williams and Jimmy Crawford along with Hall . . the April date is the "This Is Jazz" show produced, written and narrated by Rudi Blesh for WOR . . the This Is Jazz All-Stars with Louis are Wild Bill Davison, George Brunies Albert Nicholas, Art Hodes, Danny Barker, Pops Foster and Baby Dodds.
February 10, 2021
WETF show - Clarinet Spice
Clarinet Spice . . .recordings featuring two (or more) clarinets!  The Southern Jazz Five (led by Dave Dallwitz), Bechet-Nicholas Blues Five (Albert Nicholas and Sidney Bechet), Clarence Williams Washboard Band (with Bennie Moten and Ben Whitted), Benny Goodman and Stan Hasselgard, Ray Burke and Harry Shields, Jimmie Noone's Apex Club Orchestra, Johnny Dodds and Junie Cobb, Edmond Hall with Herb Hall and Omer Simeon and others . .
February 10, 2021
Chasing the Blues Away - Orchestras of Claude Hopkins and Chick Webb 1935/6
Chasing The Blues Away - recordings for World and Associated Transcriptions in 1935 of the Claude Hopkins Orchestra (with Ovie Alston, Ed Hall, Hilton Jefferson, Bobby Sands and Sylvester Lewis) and 1936 of the Chick Webb Orchestra (with Bobby Stark, Sandy Williams, Pete Clarke, Edgar Sampson, Teddy McRae, Joe Steele and Ella Fitzgerald)
February 3, 2021
Reunion - Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker 1957 along with some unreleased sides
The Reunion - December, 1957 recording sessions featuring Gerry Mulligan.  One with the reunion of Mulligan and Chet Baker in a quartet setting (with Henry Grimes and Dave Bailey) and two tunes from the unreleased album "Gerry Mulligan with the Vinnie Burke String Quartet" featuring Calo Scott and Dick Wetmore
February 3, 2021
A Side Of Cole . . Nat King Cole with Lester Young, Lionel Hampton and Dexter Gordon
WETF Show - A Side of Cole . . .not Hawkins this time, but Nat "King" Cole recording with other swing groups from 1940-1947.  The Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Lester Young Trio, Dexter Gordon Quintet  and a special addition, Cole's first records - 1936 with his brother Eddie's band.  Featuring Kenneth Roane, Wesley Prince, Oscar Moore, Buddy Rich, Red Callendar, Harry Edison
February 3, 2021
WETF Show - Mardi Gras with Kid Ory's Creole Jazz Band 1944-5
Mardi Gras . .Kid Ory's Creole Jazz Band 1944, 45.  These recordings were in some ways the beginning of the New Orleans Jazz Revival - done for Crescent in Los Angeles they feature mostly New Orleans-born African-American musicians who were active professionally from the first and second decades of the 20th Century.  Mutt Carey, Ory, Omer Simeon, Darnell Howard, Buster Wilson, Bud Scott, Ed Garland, Minor Garland, Alton Redd, and, on two live shots from the Orson Wells radio show, Zutty Singleton and Jimmy Noone.
January 28, 2021
Teddy's Boogie - Teddy Powell and His Orchestra
Teddy's Boogie - Teddy Powell and His Orchestra . . little known big band from 1939 at the beginning of its career featuring live recordings, transcriptions and its first Decca records with Jerry Neary on trumpet, Pete Skinner on trombone, Gus Bivona on clarinet, Don Lodice on tenor sax and Milt Raskin on piano - some great swing playing!
January 28, 2021
A Smile Will Go A Long Long Way - Sterling Bose, 1935
The underrated cornet/trumpet player Sterling Bose was active as a Bix and King Oliver influenced stylist in the 1920's but played with a raft of big bands in the 1930's . . these 1935 recordings focus on three groups (and one bonus) . . .The Vic Berton Orchestra has Bose with the leader on drums, Spencer Clark on bass sax, Matty Matlock, Pee Wee Russell and Chick Bullock while the Little Ramblers are led by Adrian Rollini (on piano!), Sid Stoneburn, Freddy Fallensby and other members of the Joe Haymes Orchestra.  The Haymes musicians (Stoneburn, Bose, and tenor saxophonist Johnny Van Eps) are also with Tommy Dorsey's Clambake Seven, featuring the leader and Edythe Wright.  The bonus is the actual Joe Haymes Orchestra on one tune  - others will be on a future podcast!
January 28, 2021
New Moten Stomp - Benny Moten's Kansas City Orchestra from October, 1930
New Moten Stomp - Benny Moten's Kansas City Orchestra from October, 1930 . . one year into the Depression and the Moten band was still popular enough for a marathon recording session for Victor in KC . .featuring Count Basie, Hot Lips Page, Jimmy Rushing, Ed Lewis, Thamon Hayes, Harlan Leonard, Woodie Walder and Willie McWashington
January 19, 2021
Who Can Your Regular Be - The Arcadian Serenaders . . Great hot dance band from St. Louis in 1924/5
Who Can Your Regular Be - The Arcadian Serenaders . . Great hot dance band from St. Louis in 1924/5 featuring either Wingy Manone or Sterling Bose with Cliff Holman, Avery Loposer, Johnny Riddick and Felix Guarino . .many of them were either from New Orleans or worked there, so the sound is very much the New Orleans dance band sound of the 1920's
January 19, 2021
WETF Show The Willies - 1940's and 50's small group sessions by the remarkable alto saxist Willie Smith
WETF Show The Willies - 1940's and 50's small group sessions by the remarkable alto saxist Willie Smith - known for his years playing lead for Lunceford and Harry James, Smith was a stylist on alto and a good arranger as well.  He is presented here with his own groups as well as ones led by Nat King Cole, Billie Holliday, Al Casey, Corky Corcoran, Gene Krupa and Shorty Sherock and featuring those notables as well as Charlie Shavers, Billy May, Les Paul, Murray McEachern, Harry Edison, Teddy Wilson, Allan Reuss and Israel Crosby
January 19, 2021
Back Beat Boogie - Harry James "New" Jazz Band of 1956
Back Beat Boogie - Harry James and His "New" Jazz Band in 1956.  When James scaled back his big band, he used his key sidemen (Nick Buono, Juan Tizol, Willie Smith, Herbie Steward, Larry Kinnamon, Foy Blanton, and Buddy Rich) to launch this interesting group.  Never commercially recorded, these sides come from transcriptions for the USMC and feature vocals by Buddy Rich and Peggy King.  Also, two bonus cuts of small groups from the James band of the mid-late 1940's featuring Willie Smith.
January 13, 2021
WETF Show - Just You, Just Eddie Heywood
Just You, Just Eddie Heywood . . the fine pianist leading his 1940's sextet on recordings made for Commodore, VDisc and Decca and featuring Doc Cheatham, Dick Vance, Henry Parr Jones, Vic Dickenson, Henry Coker, Lem Davis, Marshall Royal, Al Lucas, Jack Parker and others, with a guest appearance by Bing Crosby
January 13, 2021
Tap Room Swing - New Orleans Clarinetist Albert Nicholas in the 1930s
Tap Room Swing - Albert Nicholas in the 1930's.  Small group sessions featuring the great New Orleans clarinetist with Clarence Williams (with Eva Taylor and Willie The Lion Smith), Alex Hill (with Gene Sedric, Claude Jones, Joe Thomas and Benny Carter), Freddie Jenkins and HIs Harlem Seven/Bernard Addison and His Rhythm (with Joe Turner, Kirby Walker and Adrian Rollini), The Little Ramblers (with Ward Pinkett, Bill Dillard, Adrian Rollini, Jack Russin and Danny Barker) and the Louis Armstrong Orchestra (live, with Red Allen, J.C. Higginbotham, Pops Foster and Charlie Holmes)
January 5, 2021
Unnaccustomed as They Were - great jazz musicians playing different instruments
Unaccustomed As They Were - Famous musicians playing alternate instruments . . recordings of Benny Goodman on bass clarinet, alto and baritone saxes, Jimmy Dorsey on baritone sax and cornet (with Joe Venuti), Tommy Dorsey on trumpet, Ed Hall on baritone sax (with Claude Hopkins), Jack Teagarden on cornet (with Irving Mills), Barney Bigard on tenor sax (with Ellington), Milt Hinton on tuba (with Tiny Parham), Buster Bailey on alto (with Clarence Williams), Pee Wee Russell on tenor sax (with Red Nichols), Coleman Hawkins on clarinet (with Fletcher Henderson) and Bud Freeman on clarinet (with Bunny Berigan).
January 5, 2021
Tony Scott and the All-Stars - a salute to 52nd Street
52nd Street All Stars - the great clarinetist Tony Scott put together an album for Coral in 1958 celebrating the 52nd Street scene from the 1930's and 40's  - featuring Bebop players like Red Rodney, George Wallington and Roy Haynes, transitional players like Al Cohn, Mundell Lowe and Tommy Flannagan and Swing stars like Coleman Hawkins, Pee Wee Russell, J.C. Higginbotham, Emmett Berry and Al Casey
January 5, 2021
Franz Jackson's Original Jass All-Stars
An influential group in Chicago from 1957-1965, the Original Jass All Stars was founded by Swing era clarinet- and saxophonist Franz Jackson who united several African-American jazz players of the 1920's to play traditional, New Orleans-styled music.  Bob Shoffner, John Thomas, Al Wynn, Rozelle Claxton, Ralph Tervalon, Lawrence Dixon, Bill Oldham and Richard Curry are heard playing selections from their five LPs from the period.
December 31, 2020
Swing It - Louis Prima and Pee Wee Russell
A great little band from the Famous Door in 1936-7 . . trumpet and vocalist Louis Prima was fresh from New Orleans and not yet his later Las Vegas persona . . here he plays superb trumpet and sings in the style of Louis Armstrong, abetted by clarinetist Pee Wee Russell, who called this the happiest musical time of his life . . .lots of fun but great jazz as well (and an audio clip from the film they appeared in as well)
December 31, 2020
WETF show - A Side of Coleman . . Coleman Hawkins the sideman 1929-31
.Coleman Hawkins with the Mound City Blue Blowers, Chocolate Dandies and McKinney's Cotton Pickers 1929-1931, featuring Benny Carter, Pee Wee Russell, Red McKenzie, Glenn Miller, Jimmy Dorsey, Fats Waller, Jimmy Harrison, Don Redman, Claude Jones, Sidney DeParis, Bobby Stark, Rex Stewart, Muggsy Spanier and Jack Russin
December 24, 2020
Stan Getz Along
Stan Getz on 1945, 46 and 49 sessions for Savoy with Kai Winding's Kats, the Stan Getz Quartet and Orchestra featuring Shorty Rogers, Hank Jones, Max Roach, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Jimmy Raney and Earl Swope . . two Getz records with Benny Goodman (for Columbia, featuring Mel Powell and Billy Butterfield) are added for good measure
December 24, 2020
Midge Williams . . .Jazz Singer of the 1930's
Midge Williams is not a well known name today and she did not record a great deal, but the sides with her "Jazz Jesters" feature three different bands active in the 1930's - the Raymond Scott Quintet (with Carl Wade, Pete Pumiglio and Dave Harris), Billy Hicks' Sizzlin' Six (with Fernando Arbello and Edmond Hall) and the John Kirby Sextet (with Frankie Newton, Charlie Shavers, Buster Bailey, Pete Brown, Russell Procope and Billy Kyle).  Some one off records with Teddy Wilson (with Vido Musso and Jonah Jones), Lil Armstrong (Jonah Jones and Don Stovall) and Miff Mole complete the collection.
December 24, 2020
Hot Clarinets of New Orleans
Clarinet-centric recordings this time . . .George Lewis, Louis Cottrell, Steve Angrum, Harry Shields and Ray Burke with a variety of rhythm sections including Alton Purnell, Slow Drag Pavageau, Emmanuel Sayles, Butch Thompson, Cie Frazier, George Guesnon, Art Hodes, Pops Foster, Jeanette Kimball, Danny and Blue Lu Barker, Johnny St. Cyr, Chink Martin and Sherwood Mangiapanne.
December 18, 2020
Hot Trumpets of New Orleans
Trumpet-centric recordings with no other horns!  Featuring features by Louis Armstrong, Red Allen, Isaiah Morgan, Punch Miller, Kid Howard and Johnny Wiggs with rhythm sections . . .recorded between 1937 and 1960.
December 18, 2020
WETF Show - The Dawn of Swing . . 1933-35 small bands
The Dawn of Swing . . not on the Dawn label, but four sessions made between 1933 and 1935 featuring a cavalcade of swing musicians . . racially integrated bands led by Benny Carter (featuring Max Kaminsky, Floyd O'Brien, Chu Berry, Teddy Wilson and Sid Catlett), Taft Jordan (with Johnny Mince, Ward Silloway, Elmer Williams and Wilson), Bud Freeman (Bunny Berigan, Claude Thornhill and Cozy Cole) and Bunny Berigan (with Edgar Sampson, Eddie Miller and Cliff Jackson)
December 18, 2020
Punch Miller in 1920's Chicago
Punch Miller in the 1920's . . legendary New Orleans trumpeter and some of his first recordings with Al WY"nn, Frankie Franko, Jimmy Bertrand, Frankie "Half Pint" Jaxon and Tiny Parham with contributions from Sid Catlett, Quinn Wilson, Darnell Howard, Lester Boone and quite a few little known but excellent Chicago musicians.
December 8, 2020
WETF - Charlie Parker the sideman
Charlie Parker the sideman in the 1940's and 50's . . recordings with Red Norvo's Selected Sextet, The Sir Charles Thompson All Stars, Clyde Hart All Stars, Miles Davis Quintet and Sextet featuring Dizzy Gillespie, Flip Phillips, Teddy Wilson, Buck Clayton, Dexter Gordon, Trummy Young, Sonny Rollins and others.
December 8, 2020
Eubie! 1969 and 1971 recordings by Eubie Blake
Eubie!  Recordings from 1969 and 1971 of Eubie Blake playing some of his own tunes from the 1920's and 30's along with Noble Sissle and Ivan Harold Browning . . medleys from "Shuffle Along" (1921) and African-American shows from the turn of the century as well as ragtime and very early stride piano showpieces.
December 1, 2020
WETF Broadcast - Jazz is Where You Find It II - Australia and Swaggie records!
WETF Broadcast - Jazz is Where You Find It II - Australia.  Some great Swaggie record sessions featuring Bob and Len Barnard, Roger Bell, Tom Pickering and Ian Pearce .. a terrific blend of Traditional, New Orleans, Swing and even some later styles of Jazz.
December 1, 2020
Hot Trumpets - trumpet and rhythm from the 20's through the 40's
Hot Trumpets - focus on the trumpets this time.  Red Nichols, Syd Valentine, Jack Purvis, Bill Coleman, Duncan Whyte, Arthur Briggs, Hot Lips Page, Frankie Newton and Max Kaminsky all featured with just a rhythm section, unencumbered by other horns!  Records from the middle 1920's through the early 1940's reflecting numerous jazz styles and developments!
December 1, 2020
Lighter Than A Feather - Red Norvo at the Hickory House, 1936
Lighter Than A Feather - Red Norvo's Hickory House Band 1936 Small group featuring arrangements by Norvo and Eddie Sauter before Norvo's big band with Mildred Bailey came together (although she guests on one live side, as do Red McKenzie and Mae Questal).  With Stew Pletcher, Herbie Haymer, Don McCook, Ram Ramirez, Howard Smith, Dave Barbour, Pete Peterson and Moe Purtill.
November 25, 2020
WETF Show - The Blues Revival in the 1930's
The Blues Revival in the 1930's - Vocalion and Decca sides by Ida Cox, Trixie Smith and Grant and Wilson 1938-1940 featuring Red Allen, Charlie Shavers, Hot Lips Page, J.C. Higginbotham, Sidney Bechet, Edmond Hall, James P. Johnson, Fletcher Henderson, Sammy Price, Charlie Christian, Teddy Bunn and Lionel Hampton
November 25, 2020
Keep A Song In Your Soul - the first recordings of Benny Carter
Benny Carter was renowned for his playing and arranging and those acknowledgements go back to his first professional associations.  Here are recordings he did between 1928 and 1931 with Charlie Johnson's Paradise Orchestra, Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra, The Chocolate Dandies and McKinney's Cotton Pickers (featuring Don Redman, Coleman Hawkins, Sidney DeParis, Rex Stewart, Bobby Stark, Joe Smith, Jimmy Harrison, Claude Jones, Ed Cuffee, Prince Robinson, Fats Waller, Todd Rhodes, and J.C. Higginbotham)
November 24, 2020
Keith Ingham New York 9
Keith Ingham New York 9 . . .recordings made in 1992 and 2001 for the Jump label featuring some of the best in the business - Randy Reinhardt, Dan Barrett, Phil Bodner, Ken Peplowski, Scott Robinson, James Chirillo, Greg Cohen, Murray Wall, Vince Giordano, Keith Ingham and Arnie Kinsella playing Ingham's arrangements and rearrangements of swing classics and unknowns alike....
November 17, 2020
Jelly Roll Morton the sideman
Jelly Roll Morton the sideman . . Recordings made by the legendary New Orleans pianist, composer and arranger with OTHER groups- although the Jelly Roll influence is everywhere.  Recordings with Johnny Dunn's Original Jazz Hounds, Wingy Manone and His Orchestra, The New Orleans Rhythm Kings, Edmonia Henderson and WIlton Crawley and His Orchestra (1923-1934)
November 17, 2020
JJ Johnson - first Bebop trombone sessions
J.J. Johnson  first sessions as leader for Savoy and Prestige 1946-1949. Great early Bebop with Sonny Rollins, Kenny Dorham, Bud Powell, Leo Parker, Cecil Payne, John Lewis and others!
November 17, 2020
Pic-A-Rib with Ben Pollack
Pic-A-Rib with Ben Pollack . . .small band dixieland sides from the legendary drummer stretching from 1939 to 1952.  Featured in the various editions of the band are Muggsy Spanier, Charles LaVere, Ben Kanter, King Guion, Matty Matlock, Dick Cathcart, Ted Vessely, Moe Schneider, Ray Sherman and Jack and Charlie Teagarden.
November 15, 2020
You'se A Viper - Stuff Smith and His Onyx Club Boys
You'se A Viper - Stuff Smith and His Onyx Club Boys.  Great Vocalion, Commodore and live sides featuring this busy 52nd street band and some of the hottest music of the era.  Jazz violin never sounded so good backed up by Jonah Jones, Cozy Cole, Clyde Hart, Ben Webster and Buster Bailey
November 15, 2020
When Lights Are Low - Benny Carter in Europe
Benny Carter in Europe . . All these recordings were made in the first half of 1936 in Paris or London. Carter went over to play and arrange for the Willie Lewis Band and then to work for the BBC Radio Orchestra.  These are fantastic records of his own arranging and playing (alto, tenor, clarinet, piano and trumpet) with a variety of musicians including Joe Hayman, Bobby Martin, Tommy McQuarter, Andy McDevitt, Buddy Featherstonaugh, Bernard Addison and Gene Rogers
November 6, 2020
Jimmy Harrison - Somebody Loves Me
Jimmy Harrison - great trombonist of the 1920's who was an influence on Jack Teagarden  .Harrison is heard here with Charlie Johnson, Fletcher Henderson, Chick Webb, Willie "The Lion" Smith, Benny Carter and Clarence Williams
November 6, 2020
WETF - Clyde Hart . .pianist with Eddie Condon, Tiny Grimes, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Ben Webster and Charlie Shavers
Clyde Hart . . unheralded pianist who recorded with everyone from Red Allen and Eddie Condon to Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.  A transitional figure from swing to bop, Hart died of TB at the very moment he was being embraced by the modernists.  This is a selection of recordings made during 1944 and 45 (he died in March, 1945) featuring Hart with Eddie Condon, Dizzy Gillespie, Tiny Grimes, Trummy Young, Charlie Parker, Don Byas, Hot Lips Page, Ben Webster, Lester Young and Charlie Shavers
November 6, 2020
WETF Show - Breathless Blues . .The King Jazz Story with Sidney Bechet and Mezz Mezzrow
The King Jazz Story - recordings by the reed tandem of Sidney Bechet and Mezz Mezzrow in the middle 1940's . . also featuring Hot Lips Page, James P. Johnson, Sammy Price, Kaiser Marshall, Baby Dodds, Wellman Braud, Sid Catlett, Pops Foster and Vernon Brown
October 29, 2020
Wood Chip Blues - Smoky Wood . . Western Swing pianist
Smoky Wood . . practically unknown Western Swing pianist influenced instrumentally, vocally and comically by Fats Waller.  These sides for Bluebird in the mid 1930's feature his band, the Modern Mountaineers and Bill Boyd's Cowboy Ramblers, with basically similar personnel.  Great reed playing by Hal Herbert, trumpet by George Clark, violin by Cecil Brower and JR Chatwell and steel guitar by JC Way.  Lots of Jazz here!
October 29, 2020
Bughouse - 1933-5 Jazz Sides by Red Norvo
Great small group recording sessions led by xylophonist and marimbaist Red Norvo featuring Bunny Berigan, Stew Pletcher, Jimmy Dorsey, Don McCook, Johnny Mince, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman (on bass clarinet!), Jack Jenney, Charlie Barnet, Chu Berry, Herbie Haymer, Teddy Wilson, Ram Ramirez, Dick McDonough, Artie Bernstein, Moe Purtill and Gene Krupa . . Red knew his musicians . . . .
October 28, 2020
Jazz is Where You Find It - West Indies Blues
Bands from Cuba and musicians from Trinidad and Tobago playing jazz-influenced music with Caribbean rhythms from the 1920's and 30's - Charlie Shavers, Billy Kyle, Porter Granger and Rupert Cole appear with traditional musicians like Don Barretto (recording in Paris and sounding a lot like Django), Don Azpiasu, Sam Manning and Jack Sneed
October 25, 2020
Lookie, Lookie, Lookie, Here Comes Teddy Hill
Teddy Hill and His Orchestra . . interesting but short-lived big band that recorded from 1936-7 or so and featured Roy Eldridge, Chu Berry, Dickie Wells, Cecil Scott, Frankie Newton, Shad Collins, Russell Procope, Howard Johnson, Sam Allen, Bill Beason and, for his first recorded solos, Dizzy Gillespie!
October 25, 2020
Sidney Bechet in the 30's
Sidney Bechet in the 1930's . . .with Noble Sissle's Swingsters, Tommy Ladnier's Orchestra, Sidney Bechet Orchestra . .featuring Ernie Caceres, Mezz Mezzrow, Cliff Jackson, Billy Banks, Clarence Brereton, Leonard Ware
October 16, 2020
Benny Goodman the Sideman - 1930's/40's
Benny Goodman the sideman!  While he was leading the most popular big band in the country, BG still made occasional appearances in the recording studio with other bands - Teddy Wilson, Mel Powell and Gene Krupa's sessions are presented here with BG along with the leaders, Harry James, Jonah Jones, Roy Eldridge, Chu Berry, Ben Webster, Jess Stacy and Israel Crosby among others.
October 16, 2020
Johnny Hodges - 1961
Great concert recordings by Johnny Hodges with the Duke Ellington All Stars at the Sportpalast in March, 1961 . . The Duke was busy composing the music for Paris Blues so Hodges took this group on a short European tour.  Ray Nance, Lawrence Brown, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Al Williams, Aaron Bell and Sam Woodyard play Ellington standards and features for each member.
October 16, 2020
Sunset of Swing - recordings for Sunset, 1945 . .Willie Smith, Andre Previn, etc
Sunset of Swing - the mid 1940's sessions done for Eddie Laguna's Sunset records in Los Angeles . . lots of Willie Smith, Vido Musso, Charlie Ventura, Howard Magee, Arnold Ross, Dave Barbour, Lem Davis, Emmett Berry, Vic Dickenson, Herbie Haymer, Harry Edison and a 16 year old Andre Previn
October 10, 2020
WETF - Basie's "Other" Tenor Sax . .Herschel Evans
Herschel Evans . .Basie's "other" tenor sax player doing sideman sessions with Harry James, Lionel Hampton and Mildred Bailey.  Hear Chris Griffin, Vernon Brown, Benny Carter, Dave Matthews, Charlie Shavers, Teddy Wilson and Jess Stacy among others!  Studio recordings and a jam session from the Bill Savory collection.
October 10, 2020
Hot Clarinets - New York in the 1920's
1920's recordings featuring some of the clarinetists active on the scene with just rhythm section accompaniment.  Jimmy Lytell, Wilton Crawley, Boyd Senter, George McClennon, Buster Bailey, Bob Fuller and Tony Parenti in recordings from the 1920's featuring just clarinet and rhythm section (including Louis Hooper, Elmer Snowden, Eddie Lang, Frank Signorelli, Eddie Heywood Sr. and Harry Reser)
October 10, 2020
Got No Time - Jane Green and 1920's pop singing
Got No Time - Jane Green . . largely forgotten and unheralded at the time, Jane Green was an accomplished Broadway and Vaudeville singer who made about thirty recordings and a few film appearances during the 1920's.  She incorporated some of the newer blues-styled approaches to singing pop music and was tremendously energetic and fiery in her interpretations of tunes by Donaldson, Gershwin, Isham Jones and others.  Backed by the Virginians (led by Ross Gorman), Nat Shilkret's band and the Victor Recording Orchestra.
October 2, 2020
Chick Webb and Ella Fitzgerald - Live in 1939 and 1940!
Chick Webb and Ella Fitzgerald - Live in 1939 and 1940!  One of the most exciting of the Swing Era bands - Chick Webb's group is captured in real life form on two broadcasts in 1939 and one (after Chick's death1940.  Featuring Taft Jordan, Bobby Stark, Sandy Williams, Garvin Bushell, Eddie Barefield, Teddy McRae, Tommy Fulford, Ram Ramirez, John Truehart, Beverly Peer, Webb and Bill Beason with Ella singing.
October 2, 2020
Jazz from Australia - Lazy Ade Monsbourgh
Jazz from Australia - Lazy Ade Monsbourgh and his recordings during the 1950's - featuring members of the Southern Jazz Group, the Graeme Bell band and Humphrey Lyttleton's band in England . .great and highly original traditional jazz featuring the dean of Australian jazz musicians playing clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax, trumpet, trombone and recorder . . .apologies in advance for some strange electric feedback during a couple of my narrations, but the music is unaffected!
October 2, 2020
WETF Show - Gene Ammons/Sonny Stitt Septet and Octet from 1950/51
Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt with the seven and eight piece bands they led c. 1950 - bop, rhythm and blues and pop songs featuring Junior Mance, Benny Green and Art Blakey among others.
October 2, 2020
Boston Bari - Serge Chaloff's Boston groups 1949, 54, 55
Boston Bari - the Boston recordings of Serge Chaloff in 1949 and 1954/5.  These groups were mostly working units in the Boston area and presented a great mix of Bebop, Swing, Cool and blues in sophisticated arrangements with great solo work - Chaloff, Herb Pomeroy, Boots Mussullli, Charlie Mariano, Ralph Burns, Dick Twardzik and Ray Santisi are featured.
September 22, 2020
Hot Chicago Clarinets
Hot Chicago Clarinets . . .several clarinet players active in Chicago in the 1920's (Johnny Dodds, Jimmy O'Bryant, Junie Cobb, Albert Nicholas, Vance Dixon and Benny Goodman) recording in trio format - no other horns, just rhythm and clarinet!
September 22, 2020
Dizzy Gillespie at the Spotlite, 1946
WETF show - Dizzy Gillespie and His Orchestra live from the Spotlite in NY, May 1946.  Great big band Bebop featuring Dave Burns, James Moody, Ray Abrams, Howard Johnson, Milt Jackson, Kenny Clarke and a rare (maybe unique) appearance by Thelonious Monk as a band pianist
September 22, 2020
Swing team - Frankie Newton and Pete Brown
WETF show - Frankie Newton and Pete Brown - a great tandem of trumpet and alto sax who appeared together on numerous sessions in the 1930's . . Newton's Uptown Serenaders, Midge Williams, Willie "The Lion" Smith, Buster Bailey, Jimmy Noone and Jimmie Gordon.  In addition to Newton, Brown, Noone, Bailey and Smith, hear Sammy Price, Edmund Hall, Cecil Scott, Don Frye, O'Neil Spencer and Teddy Bunn . ..some of my favorite small group sides of the Swing Era.
September 22, 2020
God Is In The Band - Art Tatum in the rhythm section
God Is In The Band - Art Tatum in the rhythm section of several different bands from the 1930's and 40's - Art Tatum and His Band/Swingsters (Joe Thomas on trumpet, Edmond Hall, Oscar Moore, John Collins, Billy Taylor, Marshall Royal, Guy Kelly and Big Joe Turner), Barney Bigard and His Sextet (Joe Thomas on trumpet and another Joe Thomas on tenor sax), Coleman Hawkins and the Esquire All Stars (with Cootie Williams and Big Sid Catlett)
September 8, 2020
WETF Show - New Orleans - 1927
New Orleans - 1927 . . some of the "road trip" sessions made by Victor and Columbia to record local bands, in this case in the spring of 1927 with Louis Dumaine, Wingy Manone, Papa Celestin, Sam Morgan and others - great NO dance music and jazz
September 8, 2020
Duke Ellington Cover Bands!
Ellington was an influence on other musicians as early as the late 1920's - here are bands from 1927-1938 playing his tunes (Creole Love Call, Black and Tan Fantasy, Mood Indigo, It Don't Mean A Thing, Old Man Blues, Solitude, Sophisticated Lady, etc.) and sometimes his arrangements as well . .Cab Calloway, Don Redman, Benny Goodman, the Washboard Rhythm Kings, Mills Blue Rhythm Band, Clyde McCoy, Red Nichols, Jimmie Lunceford (playing two tunes composed but unrecorded by Ellington), Bert Firman, McKinney's Cotton Pickers and several territory bands
September 8, 2020
The Count Basie Octet - 1950/1951
When the big band era went bust, Count Basie held on longer than most - not disbanding until late 1949, at which point he tried out several combos playing a mix of swing, bebop and R&B before finally settling on this Octet with arrangements by Neal Hefti and others.  Featuring among others Clark Terry, either Buddy De Franco or Marshall Royal on clarinet, Wardell Gray on tenor, either Serge Chaloff or Rudy Rutherford on bari sax, Basie, Freddie Green and Buddy Rich!
September 2, 2020
Edmund Hall - Profoundly Blue!
Edmund Hall was one of the most distinctive and accomplished clarinetists in the Trad Jazz style from 1940 until he passed away in 1967.  This podcast focuses on the recordings he made for Blue Note in the 1940's under his own name and with James P. Johnson, Art Hodes and Sidney DeParis.  The Hall sessions feature more swing-oriented groups with Charlie Christian (playing acoustic guitar!), Meade Lux Lewis (on celeste!), Red Norvo and Teddy Wilson while the others utilize the talents of Sidney DeParis, Max Kaminsky, Vic Dickenson, James P. Johnson, Art Hodes, Carl Kress, Jimmy Shirley, Everett Barksdale, John Simmons and Sid Catlett, among others.
August 31, 2020
Turk Murphy in Concord, MA - May, 1968
Live sessions featuring an otherwise unrecorded version of Turk Murphy's band in May, 1968 at the Concord Armory and the Muskataquid Club with Ed Johnson, Turk, Jack Crook, Pete Clute, Bob Carroll, Smokey Stover and Pat Yankee
August 25, 2020
Pete Brown - Jazz sessions in the 1930's
Pete Brown - the legendary alto sax (and occasional trumpet) player in countless bands of the 1930's and 40's had a fantastically humorous and bouncy style evident on sessions with Buster Bailey, Midge Williams and Leonard Feather featuring players like Charlie Shavers, Bill Coleman, Joe Marsala, Benny Carter, Bobby Hackett, Billy Kyle and O'Neil Spencer.
August 25, 2020
WETF - Manhattan Masters - recordings done by Muggsy Spanier and the Nick's house band in 1945!
Recordings by the house band at Nick's in 1945 featuring Muggsy Spanier, Pee Wee Russell, Miff Mole, Ernie Caceres and Lou McGarity among others . .Good straight ahead Dixieland/Traditional Jazz by a band that was doing it every night!.
August 24, 2020
WETF - Mildred Bailey "Mrs. Swing"
One of the best (and most underrated) Jazz singers of the 1930's was Mildred Bailey - a member of the Coeur D'Alene native American tribe, she grew up in Seattle where, with her brother Al Rinker, began performing in the Jazz style of the 1920's.  After being hired by Paul Whiteman, she began singing on recording sessions in New York in the early 30's.  She married Red Norvo in 1933 and was featured with his band, being billed as "Mr. and Mrs. Swing" until the early 40's.  During that time she made many recording sessions with Jazz players who appreciated her style.  The three sessions on this show feature Bunny Berigan, Johnny Hodges, Chris Griffin, Chu Berry, Mary Lou Williams, Teddy Wilson, Floyd Smith and others as well as first rate singing.
August 18, 2020
New Orleans - 1924 & 1925
These are some of the fruits of Ralph Peer's first "Road Trip" for OKeh records . . he brought the recording studio on the road to New Orleans in March, 1924 and then again in January 1925 and recorded some local dance bands and Jazz groups.  Here we will be listening to groups led by Johnny DeDroit, Tony Parenti, Norman Brownlee, Oscar Celestin and Armand Piron as well as the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, The Halfway House Orchestra and the Original Crescent City Jazzers.  These groups featured musicians as well known as Tony Parenti, Leon Roppolo, Paul Mares, Santo Pecora, Sharkey Bonano, Sterling Bose, Kid Shots Madison, Lorenzo Tio, Jr. and Harry Shields as well as a host of other lesser known players.
August 18, 2020
The Earl Hines Orchestra - Decca, 1934/5
Three sessions for the new Decca record label featuring the Earl Hines Orchestra that was playing at the Grand Terrace in Chicago.  Walter Fuller, George Dixon and Trummy Young in the brass section, Omer Simeon, Darnell Howard and Cecil Irwin in the reeds .. . Jimmy Mundy and Quinn Wilson doing arrangements and Wallace Bishop on drums . . great band, great jazz solos!
August 15, 2020
WETF - The Big Four . . .Jazz Quartets
Three groups of chamber jazz . . the Bechet-Spanier Big Four with Sidney Bechet, Muggsy Spanier, Carmen Mastren, Wellman Braud. .. The Delta Four with Roy Eldridge, Joe Marsala, Carmen Mastren, Sid Weiss and Rex Stewart's Feetwarmers with Rex Stewart, Barney Bigard, Django Reinhardt and Billy Taylor.  All 1935-40!
August 15, 2020
The Rhythmic Eight - small group Jazz from England 1927-30
The Rhythmic Eight - a subset of the Bert Firman Orchestra, recording in London from 1927-30.  Some excellent British musicians (Arthur Lally, Johnny Helfer, Bert Read, Norman Payne) joined by some travelling Yanks (Perley Breed, Sylvester Ahola, Frank Guarente, Danny Polo, Joe Brannelly) to record stocks and special arrangements of contemporary pop tunes.
August 5, 2020
WETF Show - Knocky Parker
Knocky Parker - the amazingly versatile pianist whose career went from Texas Blues (he learned from Blind Lemon Jefferson), Western Swing (The Light Crust Doughboys) and traditional Jazz (Doc Evans, Carol Leigh and Yank Lawson/Bob Haggart) . . he does some fantastic versions of Joe Sullivan showpieces
August 5, 2020
Roy Eldridge - airchecks and transcriptions
Roy Eldridge - the first Roy Eldridge Orchestra (an octet including his brother Joe, Teddy Cole and Zutty Singleton) live from the Three Deuces in New York in 1937; another version of a similar group doing 1943 transcriptions (a nonet with Joe, Ike Quebec, Tom Archia and Harold West), and a band (another nonet with Franz Jackson, Clyde Hart and gteat clarinet by Prince Robinson) captured live at the Arcadia Ballroom in Chicago in 1939. Some of the best Swing trumpet ever recorded!
July 29, 2020
John Kirby Sextet
The John Kirby Sextet - transcription recordings for Lang Worth in 1940 and 41 . . great playing by Charlie Shavers, Buster Bailey, Russell Procope, Billy Kyle, John Kirby, O'Neil Spencer and especially Maxine Sullivan - doing a number of charts they did not record commercially.  The "Biggest Little Band In The Land" featured incredibly sophisticated arrangements, immaculate playing and great solos in addition to the stylish vocals of Sullivan.
July 29, 2020
Herman Chittison - stride piano and much more
Herman Chittison . .the great African American pianist who recorded solos and accompaniments in France as well as piano trios (a la Art Tatum) in the US . . also some vocal accompaniments for Ethel Waters and Thelma Carpenter.
July 29, 2020
The LIght Crust Doughboys are on the air!
The Light Crust Doughboys are on the air . . .a tribute to a superb Western Swing band featuring excellent soloists - Kenneth Pitts, Marvin Montgomery, Leon Huff, Kermit Whalin, Zeke Campbell and especially Knocky Parker on piano!
July 23, 2020
WETF show on TNT -Jack and Charlie Teagarden and Frank Trumbauer recording with members of the Whiteman band in the iddle 1930's.  Cameos by Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Johnny Mince and Casper Reardon (on harp!)
July 23, 2020
The Rhythmakers - 1932 sessions
This was quite an anomaly - a free blowing jazz session in the heart of the depression with an integrated band!  Red Allen, Pee Wee Russell, Fats Waller, Joe Sullivan, Eddie Condon, Gene Krupa, Zutty Singleton, Pops Foster, Tommy Dorsey, Happy Caldwell and the indescribable vocalist Billy Banks!
July 17, 2020
Joe Thomas - Swing Trumpet
There were several jazz players named Joe Thomas - this one was perhaps the best!   A trumpeter who worked with Fletcher Henderson and a number of other big bands, he really came to prominence during the 1940's in assorted small group swing recordings.  This podcast features some of the great sessions he made for the Keynote label with players such as Jack Teagarden, Earl Hines, Trummy Young, Red Norvo, Hilton Jefferson, Coleman Hawkins and Vic Dickenson as well as some lesser known but superb players such as Ted Nash and Hank D'Amico.
July 17, 2020
Dicky Wells - France, July 1937
This episode of the Jazz Focus focuses on the 1937 sessions done by trombonist Dicky Wells when he was with Teddy Hill's band on a tour of Europe . . recorded for Swing in July, 1937 these feature Wells with Bill Coleman, Shad Collins, Bill Dillard, Howard Johnson, Django Reinhardt, Roger Chaput, Sam Allen, Dick Fullbright and Bill Beason . . all instrumental!
July 11, 2020
Ray Noble and His New Mayfair Orchestra featuring Al Bowlly
A great English band from 1931-34 also featuring jazz players like Nat Gonella, Lew Davis, Freddy Gardner, Laurie Payne, Max Goldberg.  Noble's arrangements were very much ahead of their time and influenced later big band writers like Glenn Miller and Claude Thornhill.  In addition to that, Bowlly was one of the most underrated singers of the period - very much in Bing Crosby's class.
July 7, 2020
WETF - Hoagy Carmichael - the first recordings
Hoagy's first records with territory bands and also member of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra.  Songs like "March of The Hoodlums" should really be revived!  Hoagy sings, arranges, composes and plays piano (and cornet) on these records.
June 30, 2020
WETF - Fats Navarro
The great, if somewhat forgotten Bebop trumpet player who was really the only rival to Dizzy Gillespie in terms of range, power and sound.  This program features his recordings for the Savoy label - under his own name and with Dexter Gordon, Eddie "LockJaw" Davis and Tadd Dameron.  In addition to these musicians, listen also to Ernie Henry, Leo Parker, Charlie Rouse and Art Blakey.
June 30, 2020
WETF - Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra, 1934
These are the twelve sides recorded by, I would argue, the greatest edition of the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra.  In effect a swan song, these were recorded in the fall of 1934 for the brand new Decca label just before the band broke up in November, with Henderson moving on to begin his association with Benny Goodman before reforming his band in 1936.  This group features solos from just about everyone except lead trumpet Russell Smith .  .Irving Randolph and Red Allen on trumpets, Keg Johnson and Claude Jones on trombone, Hilton Jefferson, Russell Procope and for one number Benny Carter on alto sax, Ben Webster on tenor sax, Buster Bailey on clarinet, Fletcher and Horace Henderson on piano, Lawrence Lucie on guitar, Elmer James on bass and Walter Johnson on drums, with arrangements by the Hendersons, Carter, Russ Morgan and Will Hudson.  The first recordings of the Swing Era were these!
June 30, 2020
Clarence Williams and King Oliver
This program is devoted to the recordings made under Clarence Williams' name that featured his fellow New Orleans native, King Oliver.  Made between May and December of 1928, most of these recordings feature the 1920's version of a big band with solos by Oliver, Buster Bailey, Arville Harris, Ed Cuffee and Benny Waters with a cameo by Eddie Lang.
June 21, 2020
WETF - Chicago
The first of the jazz albums presented  George Avakian when he was still a college student!  This one was devoted to the white musicians active on the Chicago Jazz scene in the 1920's who were still playing in 1940.  These were players who were teenagers in the 1920's and who haunted places like the Lincoln Gardens to hear the music played by great New Orleans players.  Sessions led by Eddie Condon, Jimmy McPartland and George Wettling and featuring Max Kaminsky, Pee Wee Russell, Bud Freeman, Boyce Brown, Dave Tough and Joe Marsala demonstrate how the style grew.
June 12, 2020
WETF - New Orleans
Another idea of George Avakian's, this 1940 album celebrates some of the New Orleans jazz pioneers still active at the time in new recordings,  Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Jimmie Noone, Johnny Dodds, Red Allen and Zutty Singleton lead the sessions featuring Wellman Braud, Ed Hall, Natty Dominique, Baby Dodds, Lonnie Johnson and Lil Hardin Armstrong among others.
June 12, 2020
WETF - Kansas City Jazz
From the mind of George Avakian, this series of record dates was made in 1940 (with one exception) and released as an album celebrating the music of Kansas City of the late 1920's and 30's.  Count Basie and Andy Kirk are the featured bands, with small group sessions by Mary Lou Williams, Hot Lips Page, Eddie Durham, Pete Johnson and Joe Turner as well.
June 12, 2020
WETF - Reuben "River" Reeves
Reuben "River" Reeves . . groomed to be a competitor to Louis Armstrong, Reeves never achieved the notoriety or public exposure he might have. Nevertheless, his recordings in the 1920's with his River Boys (including Omer Simeon, William Barbee and others) were excellent jazz features, while his solos with the Cab Calloway and Fess Williams bands show him to have been an underrated trumpet player of the time.
June 5, 2020
WETF - Jimmy Rushing in the 1950's
Jimmy Rushing in the 1950's. . .these recordings were taken from several albums Mr Five by Five recorded for Columbia in the late 1950's - many have a big band led by Buck Clayton with arrangements by Clayton, Nat Pierce and Jimmy Mundy. Great solos by Coleman Hawkins, Buddy Tate, Clayton, Vic Dickenson, Benny Morton, Dickie Wells, Hilton Jefferson, Claude Hopkins , Ben Webster, Helen Humes, Buster Bailey and Urbie Green.
June 5, 2020
WETF - Milton Brown and His Brownies
. Milton Brown and His Brownies! Western Swing in the 1930's - great jazz by a string group and a superb vocalist!  This group was more jazz than country and featured one of the first electric guitarists to be be recorded - Bob Dunn, as well as an excellent barrelhouse piano player named Fred "Papa" Calhoun.
June 5, 2020
Pee Wee Russell
  Pee Wee Russell 1938 - two sessions . .the Pee Wee Russell Rhythm Makers with James P. Johnson, Freddie, Greene, Walter Page, Zutty Singleton and Dickie Wells and the Rhythm Cats transcriptions with Bobby Hackett, Brad Gowans and Ernie Caceres  .. .
June 1, 2020
Big Joe Turner - Jazz and Blues from Kansas City
This focus is on two albums recorded by Big Joe Turner in the late 50's for Atlantic.  Coming off his success as a senior rock and roll singer ("Shake Rattle and Roll was 1954), Turner returned to his KC roots to sing blues and standards with two all star groups including Coleman Hawkins, Lawrence Brown, Pete Brown, Pete Johnson, Freddie Green, Walter Page, Ernie Royal and Vic Dickenson.
May 28, 2020
Kid Ory and Henry "Red" Allen - live and in studio 1959
Kid Ory's Creole Jazz Band was one of the most consistently popular group in the New Orleans/Dixieland Jazz Revival from the middle 1940's through the mid 1960's.  For this version of the band, Ory hired the great trumpeter Red Allen for a European tour in the fall of 1959.  Prior to this, they recorded an album for Verve also featuring Bob McCracken on clarinet, Cedric Haywood on piano and Alton Redd on drums and vocals.  Tracks from the album and a live date in Berlin are the focus of this podcast.
May 21, 2020
Bob Wills - King of Western Swing!
Today we listen to some of the jazzier sides recorded by Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, mostly in the 1930's.  "Western Swing" as a term didn't come into use until the middle 1940's - these players considered themselves jazz musicians and their playing on standards like "Lady Be Good," "White Heat," "Wang Wang Blues," "Who Walks In When I Walk Out" and others demonstrate this very well.  The most impressive soloists are Jesse Ashlock on violin and Leon McAuliffe on steel and electric guitar, but acoustic guitarist Eldon Shamblin, pianist Al Stricklin, trumpeters Everett Stover and Tubby Lewis, sax/clarinet players Ray DeGeer, Charles Laughton and Wayne Johnson should not be overlooked either!
May 11, 2020
Omer Simeon - unheralded New Orleans and Chicago clarinet
The great clarinet player Omer Simeon was known for his recordings with Jelly Roll Morton in the 1920's, Earl Hines in the 1930's, Jimmy Lunceford and Kid Ory in the 1940's and Wilbur DeParis in the 1950's . . .here are a series of small group dates from 1929 on which he is featured with Reuben "River" Reeves, Jabbo Smith, Richard M. Jones and the Dixie Rhythm Kings, featuring members of the Earl Hines band.  The two small group recordings Simeon did under his own name (one including Hines himself) are included here as well.
April 22, 2020
Hilton Jefferson - great lead and solo alto sax
Hilton Jefferson was known to musicians more than the public - as lead alto for Fletcher Henderson, Claude Hopkins, Cab Calloway and many others, he was often featured on ballads to show off his gorgeous sound, but here we are featuring him on more rhythmic tunes from some all star swing combos of the middle 1940's with a few ballads thrown in besides.  Jonah Jones, Joe Thomas, Tyree Glenn, Ike Quebec, Jerry Jerome, Bernie Leighton, Eddie Barefield, Coleman Hawkins, Milt Hinton, Cozy Cole and Panama Francis are just a few of the notables featured here, but the focus is really on Jefferson, whose playing is a model of consistency, musicality and some innovation as well.
April 9, 2020
Tommy Dorsey's Clambake Seven - radio transcriptions
The TD Clambake Seven recording for radio transcriptions in 1936 . . Max Kaminsky, TD, Joe Dixon, Edythe Wright and Dave Tough playing some standards ("Jada", "Somebody Stole My Gal" "How Come You Do Me Like You Do?" "My Honey's Lovin' Arms") as well as contemporary tunes ("Cabin In the Sky" "I'll Bet You Tell That To All The Girls") . .some great jazz.
April 9, 2020
Maggie Jones - Classic Blues singer
The records Louis Armstrong made with Maggie Jones in 1924 were ones he singled out as favorites of his later in his life.  Here she is featured on four numbers with him (including the very special "Does Anyone Here Want to Try My Cabbage?") one with Charlie Green, and several with Fletcher Henderson units, members of the Original Indiana Five, and an Elmer Snowden group.
April 9, 2020
Anachronic Jazz Band . . Traditional Jazz from France
The 1976-78 recordings by the Anachronic Jazz Band were both traditional and innovative.  By taking tunes by Bebop and later composers (Clifford Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane) and filtering them through a 1920's sensibility they showed the continuity of the Jazz tradition with great arrangements of and solos on tunes like "Round Midnight," "Yardbird Suite," "Giant Steps" and "Joy Spring."
April 9, 2020
Mary Lou Williams first recordings - 1927-1929
Mary Lou Williams was one of the finest pianists of the 1920's and 30's  . . . she was also a very under-appreciated arranger and composer.  Her work here on the early Andy Kirk and His Clouds Of Joy recordings as well as a couple of earlier sides with her then-husband, reedman John Williams show a fine combination of playing, composing and arranging.  Kirk's band was also one of the hottest and most interesting groups in Kansas City at that point.
April 9, 2020
Dizzy Gillespie in 1945-46 . .as leader without Charlie Parker
This is a look at the sessions Dizzy Gillespie led in 1945 -46 without Charlie Parker.  The Diz and Bird sides have received a lot of attention, but the recording dates that Parker wasn't hired (or just didn't show up) for are fascinating as well.  Gillespie leads and is heavily featured on tunes with Don Byas, Lucky Thompson, Dexter Gordon, Trummy Young, Clyde Hart, Al Haig and someone who may or may not be Thelonious Monk.
April 9, 2020
Bessie Smith and James P. Johnson
An examination of the duet recordings made by Classic Blues singer Bessie Smith and stride pianist James P. Johnson in October 1929.
April 2, 2020
Fletcher Henderson All Stars - The Big Reunion Podcast
A reunion of the stars of the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra in 1956 - Rex Stewart, Dick Vance, Taft Jordan, Joe Thomas, Emmett Berry, Dickie Wells, Benny Morton, JC Higginbotham, Buster Bailey, Hilton Jefferson, Garvin Bushell, Ben Websters, Coleman Hawkins, Rudy Rutherford, Red Richards, Al Casey, Bill Pemberton, Jimmy Crawford . . Henderson arrangements and a few new things.
April 2, 2020
Roy Newman and His Boys Podcast
The roots of Western Swing  - Roy Newman and His Boys - string band with piano and clarinet playing Jazz 
April 2, 2020
Gold Coast Jazz Band Podcast
A look at the Gold Coast Jazz Band of Chicago, circa 1960 featuring Ted Butterman, Kim Cusack, John Cooper, Art Gronwall, Peter Niegaard, Bob Sundstrom, Mike Walbridge, Ransom Knowling, Wayne Jones and Booker T Washington
April 2, 2020