Oliver Nelson: Humble, Screamin,’ and Always Swingin.’
Recording for a number of record labels as a saxophonist and leading big bands as an arranger throughout the 1960’s, Oliver Nelson and his music provides an exploration of masterpieces in be-bop, big band orchestrations, soul jazz, modern composition, and a purely refined saxophone sound. From the monumental 1960 LP Blues and the Abstract Truth to other projects featuring pianist Patti Bown and trumpeter Clark Terry, we’ll listen in on many of Nelson’s cultural and commercially successful projects this week.
Pianist Kenny Barron: A National Treasure
Kenny Barron’s debut as a leader came in 1973 with the imaginative Sunset to Dawn, complete with percussion and the pianist moving from acoustic to electric keys. But before leading his own group, Barron worked extensively with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie on several recording dates in the 1960’s. Today, he continues to record, with over 40 albums as a leader..and counting! We’ll close the week of Barron’s birthday with his latest recording Without Deception, featuring Dave Holland and Jonathan Blake, as we navigate through the rewarding and still-evolving career of a living legend.
A Musical Cel-Liberation of Juneteenth 2020
This Friday, June 19, 2020, is the day America celebrates and commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States. African-American history and heritage is at the core of jazz and improvised music, with an understanding and appreciation that relies on the message heard from the most important jazz recordings in history addressing discrimination, oppression, racism, and protest. Recordings from Charles Mingus, Max Roach, and John Coltrane often portrayed radical notions of rebellion and helped redefine youth culture into the 1960’s. Nina Simone, Abbey Lincoln, and Oscar Brown, Jr. spoke out on oppression through prose and song. Freedom, liberation, and celebration with these artists and more, all this week on the Jazz Break at Noon.
Protest Pieces from the Current Jazz Scene
Songs and instrumentals of hope and protest continue this week with a wide and diverse review of today’s leading jazz artists. Conscience, politics, and social criticism is inherent in the works of current composers and instrumentalists, with new musical solutions and resilience offered to face and manage injustice and turbulence. Saxophonist Kamasi Washington’s Heaven and Earth breathes new life into the vitality and power of jazz. Vocalist Nellie McKay’s Sister Orchid revisits her choices of songs of social justice and activism. Irreversible Entanglements’ 2020 release Who Sent You? reinvents the sound of protest in improvised music. Recordings that energize and inspire from today’s leading modern jazz artists, this week on the Jazz Break at Noon.
June 29 - July 3:
Humanity in Music with Andrew Hill
In 1975, pianist and composer Andrew Hill recorded his piece titled “Blue Black,” referencing the multitude of hues and shades of original African people. Hill believed these different grades of color are meaningless until put into music as a color. Heavy compositions, unique concepts, and lines of particular genius from 1960’s innovator, Blue Note recording artist, and American icon Andrew Hill. Listen this week on the Jazz Break at Noon.