Live Tuesday & Thursday Evenings 7pm
Join me, Henry Yates, as I play my favourite jazz tracks from its roots through to the the present day.
Listen back to the last show's playlist...
A-Z of Jazz...
Listen as I take a trip through the alphabet of jazz. Each show I'll chose an influential artist for each letter, playing some of their key recordings and talking about their life and influence on the jazz world.
An alto saxophone player from florida. He came to the height of fame during the 50's and 60's 'Hard Bop' Era. He was the first from a musical family, his brother Nat went on to become a jazz trumpet player who he played with extensively. Key recordings include 'Something Else' a blue note session he led with players from the Miles Davis sextet and 'Live at The Club' a key soul-jazz record featuring Joe Zawinul on electric keyboards and the definitive version of 'Mercy, Mercy, Mercy' which was popularised by Adderley.
Pianist and one of the pioneers of the 'cool jazz' movement. Brubeck was initially taught piano by his mother, never planning to become a professional musician, but his talent was too great to ignore. After a stint in the army, he formed his first trio in 1951. The group grew in popularity, releasing up to four albums a year in the 60's. Key recordings include their album 'Time Out' written after a tour of Eurasia, inspired by traditional eastern folk music, experimenting with different time signatures. For something fun and a bit lighter, 'Dave Digs Disney' is a nice record!
Easy to forget players who weren't necessarily leading all the sessions, but arguably a solid rhythm section is as equally important. Our choice for C is one of the great jazz bass players: Paul Chambers. Although his time was only short, he recorded over in 200 sessions appearing many pioneering albums including Kind of Blue and Giant Steps. Chambers had an impeccable tense of time, great intonation and one of the first bass players to take virtuosic solos. He was part of two great 'rhythm sections' during his 33 years. The first with Red Garland and Philly Joe Jones, the later with Wynton Kelly and Jimmy Cobb. His contribution to jazz in the 50s and 60s was immense, you won't struggle to find a session which he contributed to!
One of the first west coast jazz saxophonists, his light melodic tone really suiting this more relaxed style of jazz. A talented composer as well as player, he is perhaps best known for his work with the Dave Brubeck quartet, even composing their hit 'Take Five'. Key listenings are of course the famous 'Time Out' album, alongside Dave Brubeck, I also like his session with Gerry Mulligan which is well worth checking out.
Possibly the most influential pianist of the jazz era, Bill Evans was responsible for one of the largest changes in jazz piano harmony. Evolving the be-bop style developed by Bud Powell by adding in richer harmonies and fuller chords. He developed a unique style of independent block chord patterns underneath singing melody lines which has influenced many of those that followed him. Mostly known for his trio work, one of his best albums is from a live session at the village Vanguard or my favourite album is Waltz for Debby is also a great listen.
Curtis Fuller was one of the key trombone players of the post bop era. He was most well known for featuring in Art Blakey's jazz messengers and Benny Golson's Jazztet but he appeared on sessions with many more. Still performing today, he is a member of the school of Jazz studies at New York State School of the Arts'. Key recordings include 12 inch, one of the sessions he did record as leader.
Another sax player key in progressing the sound of jazz in the 50s. His lyrical tone gained him the nickname 'The Sound' which made him ideal for developing the 'cool jazz movement. He also bought latin jazz to America along with Antônio Carlos Jobim and João Gilberto in a set of three albums, Jazz Samba, Jazz Samba Encore and Getz/Gilberto, which featured the famous Girl From Ipanema and Desafinado. All of these are worth a listen, along with his aptly titled: 'West Coast Jazz'.
A key alto-sax player of the big band era. He was made famous during his 20 year stint with the Duke from 1928. His tone was pure and clean, which suited both Ellington's blues and ballads. After his work with the Duke, he had a successful career as a leader from the 50s. Some of my favourite recordings include one with his own big band: Duke's in Bed and a meeting with Gerry Mulligan.
Nikki Iles is the first british entry in the A - z. A pianist and educator, she is a talented composer and arranger, working with the best of todays artists. She is also very passionate about jazz education, holding multiple professorships and lecturing positions at a range of institutions. Contemporary jazz is different to other stuff I've played before so Iles is definitely worth checking out!