Bob Hecht’s “Joys of Jazz” — Vol. 5

April 6th, 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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“Miles Davis, Spaceman”

Trumpeter Miles Davis was famous for how he used his unique concept of space to create indelible, dramatic solos. In this episode Bob Hecht explores how Miles evolved from a young prototypical bebopper, playing a style in which ‘more’ was often considered hipper than less, to become a musical minimalist, playing in ways in which ‘less’ is often much more.

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“The Train in Jazz and Blues”

Since the first half of the 19th century, the sounds, symbols and metaphors of the train have cut across the American musical landscape. The significance of the train has been reflected in virtually every musical form: work songs, spirituals, folk, blues, jazz and pop. From the work-gang rhythms of pounding railroad track spikes to the sounds of train whistles and the clickety-clacks of the tracks, the onomatopoeia of the railroad has been a strong presence in American music. Author Albert Murray called the rhythms of trains, “the definitive percussive emphasis in jazz.”

In this podcast, Bob Hecht gives the listener an ear into some of the amazing sounds and symbolisms of the train woven throughout our country’s music.

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“Frank and Billie and Lester’s Mutual Admiration Society”

In this episode, Bob Hecht explores some of the things that Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday and Lester Young had in common with one another musically. In addition to each having made landmark contributions to jazz and popular music, three three giants were huge fans of each other’s artistry.

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In Volume 4 of “The Joys of Jazz,” Bob told two stories:

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Paul Desmond, Original

There weren’t many alto players back in the late forties and early fifties who didn’t attempt to sound like Charlie Parker—his influence, on all jazz instruments in fact, was so pervasive that few could escape his gravitational pull.One notable exception was alto man Paul Desmond, who eschewed Bird’s hard-biting virtuosic style for a lighter, more relaxed approach, marked by a highly lyrical melodicism. In this episode Bob Hecht explores a jazzman who went his own way and left a legacy of some of the most beautiful solos in jazz history.

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Farmer’s Art

Art Farmer was one of the jazz world’s all-time great trumpet and flugelhorn players, and one of its most lyrical. In this episode Bob Hecht talks with the noted flugelhorn player Dmitri Matheny about Farmer, who for many years was his mentor and main inspiration.

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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

Maxine Gordon, author of Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon, talks about her book, and the complex life of her late husband.

Also in this issue…A new collection of jazz poetry; "On the Turntable," a new playlist of 22 recommended recordings by seven jazz artists; three new podcasts by Bob Hecht; a new “Great Encounters”; several short stories; the photography of Veryl Oakland and Charles Ingham; a new Jazz History Quiz; and lots more…

On the Turntable

This month, a playlist of 22 recently released jazz recordings, including those by Chris Potter, Sons of Kemet, Stephan Crump, Brittany Anjou, Julian Lage, Joey DeFrancesco and Antonio Sanchez

Poetry

Seventeen poets contribute 21 poems in this month’s edition…

The Joys of Jazz

In new podcasts, Bob Hecht tells three stories; one about Miles Davis’ use of space in his music, one on the mutual admiration society of Sinatra, Lady Day, and Lester Young, and the other about the train in jazz and blues music.

“What are some of your all-time favorite record album covers?”

Gary Giddins, Jimmy Heath, Fred Hersch, Joe Hagan, Maxine Gordon, Neil Tesser, Tim Page, Veronica Swift and Marcus Strickland are among the 25 writers, musicians, poets, educators, and photographers who write about their favorite album cover art

Art

“Thinking about Ida B. Wells” — a photo narrative by Charles Ingham

Jazz History Quiz #126

In 1964, along with the orchestra of arranger Lalo Schifrin (pictured), this flutist/alto sax player recorded one of the first “Jazz Masses,” and soon after studied transcendental meditation in India. He would eventually become well known as a composer of music for meditation. Who is he?

Great Encounters

Dexter Gordon tells the story of joining Louis Armstrong’s band in 1944, and how they enjoyed their intermission time.

Art

In this edition of Veryl Oakland’s “Jazz in Available Light,” photographs of Red Garland, Dizzy Gillespie and Rahsaan Roland Kirk are featured.

Short Fiction

"Strings of Solace," a short story by Kimberly Parish Davis

Interviews

Romare Bearden biographer Mary Schmidt Campbell discusses the life of the important 20th century American artist

Cover Stories with Paul Morris

In this edition, Paul writes about jazz album covers that offer glimpses into intriguing corners of the culture of the 1950’s

Short Fiction

"And so we went to Paris," a short story by Sophie Jonas-Hill

Coming Soon

National Book Award winning author for non-fiction Jeffrey Stewart is interviewed about his book The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke

In the previous issue

The question “What are some of your all-time favorite record album covers?” was posed via email to a small number of prominent and diverse people, and the responses of Gary Giddins, Jimmy Heath, Fred Hersch, Joe Hagan, Maxine Gordon, Tim Page, Veronica Swift and Marcus Strickland are among the 25 writers, musicians, poets, educators, and photographers who participated...Also, the publication of the winning story in our 50th Short Fiction contest; an interview with Romare Bearden biographer Mary Schmidt Campbell; a collection of jazz poetry; two new podcasts by Bob Hecht; the March edition of "On the Turntable," and lots more...Click here to be taken to the issue.

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