Bob Hecht’s “Joys of Jazz” – Vol. 2

January 7th, 2019

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Award winning radio producer and host Bob Hecht shares his love of jazz through his podcasts on his site “The Joys of Jazz.”

In this edition, he tells three stories:

 

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“Strange Fruit”

When Billie Holiday first heard the anti-lynching protest song, “Strange Fruit,” she was leery of singing it at all. “I was. scared people would hate it,” Billie said. This is the story of how this song came about and its significance for the civil rights movement.

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“Hughes Blues”

Langston Hughes’ love of jazz suffused his work as a poet. Hughes was considered a pioneer in jazz poetry, and collaborated with numerous jazz musicians in poetry readings. This podcast features a number of his jazz-influenced poems, along with a number of music selections from Hughes’ personal record collection.

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“Solo Flight”

Charlie Christian was the first superstar of the electric guitar, ultimately paving the way for future greats like Jimi Hendrix. As his childhood friend Ralph Ellison said, “With Christian, the guitar found its jazz voice!” This is the story of his remarkable rise and fall, and the significance of his contributions.

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Bob Hecht’s love of jazz music has, as he writes on his website, The Joys of Jazz, “sustained” him for over seven decades.   As a former prominent jazz radio host, writer, producer, and film editor, he is uniquely qualified to tell the abundant history of jazz — and his personal experiences with it — in rich, polished and entertaining podcasts that are wonderfully rewarding.

His work will periodically appear on the pages of Jerry Jazz Musician, for which we are grateful.  For complete listings of available programs, and to subscribe to his podcast series, we encourage you to visit his website.

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In This Issue

This issue features a roundtable discussion about how the world of religion may have impacted the creative lives of Billie Holiday, Langston Hughes and Ralph Ellison. Also, previous winners of the Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest reflect on their winning story; three new podcasts from Bob Hecht; new collection of poetry; recommendations of recently released jazz recordings, and lots more.

Short Fiction

"The Wailing Wall" -- a short story by Justin Short

Interviews

Three prominent religious scholars -- Wallace Best, Tracy Fessenden and M. Cooper Harriss -- join us in a conversation about how the world of religion during the life and times of Langston Hughes (pictured), Billie Holiday and Ralph Ellison helps us better comprehend the meaning of their work.

Poetry

Nine poets contribute ten poems celebrating jazz in poems as unique as the music itself

Short Fiction

In celebration of our upcoming 50th Short Fiction Contest, previous contest winners (dating to 2002) reflect on their own winning story, and how their lives have since unfolded.

The Joys of Jazz

In this edition, award winning radio producer Bob Hecht tells three stories; 1) on Charlie Christian, the first superstar of jazz guitar; 2) the poet Langston Hughes’ love of jazz music, and 3) a profile of the song “Strange Fruit”

On the Turntable

25 recently released jazz tunes that are worth listening to…including Bobo Stenson; Medeski, Martin and Wood; Muriel Grossman and Rudy Royston

Features

Chick Corea, Rickie Lee Jones, Gary Giddins, Michael Cuscuna, Randy Brecker and Tom Piazza are among those responding to our question, "What are 3 or 4 of your favorite jazz recordings of the 1940's?"

Poetry

"Billie Holiday" -- a poem (with collage) by Steve Dalachinsky

Coming Soon

Thomas Brothers, Duke University professor of music and author of two essential biographies of Louis Armstrong, is interviewed about his new book, HELP! The Beatles, Duke Ellington, and the Magic of Collaboration; also, Spelman College President Mary Schmidt Campbell, author of An American Odyssey: The Life and Work of Romare Bearden, in a conversation about the brilliant 20th Century artist

In the previous issue

This issue features an interview with Bing Crosby biographer Gary Giddins; a collection of poetry devoted to the World War II era; and a new edition of “Reminiscing in Tempo,” in which the question “What are 3 or 4 of your favorite jazz recordings of the 1940’s” is posed to Rickie Lee Jones, Chick Corea, Tom Piazza and others.

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