Bob Hecht’s “Joys of Jazz” — Vol. 6

May 9th, 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 new volume of his podcasts, Bob presents three very different stories:

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“Harlem Stride”

“Harlem Stride” celebrates the music that sprang from the Harlem Renaissance with such pivotal players and composers as James P. Johnson, Willie ‘the Lion’ Smith, and Fats Waller. Contemporary Stride master Mike Lipskin joins Bob and shares his insights into Stride as well as his early personal experiences as a protege of Willie ‘the Lion’ Smith.

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“Billy Strayhorn’s Blood Count”


“Billy Strayhorn’s Blood Count” tells the story of the heart-wrenching, requiem-like ballad Strayhorn composed while dying, joining other great composers such as Mozart who wrote essentially ‘deathbed’ pieces.

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“Lester-ese”

In this episode Bob checks out Lester Young’s creative verbal wit and wordplay. ‘Pres’ was famous for coining many unique verbal expressions and nicknames that became part of the jazz lexicon.

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In Volume 5 of “The Joys of Jazz,” Bob told 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 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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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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2 comments on “Bob Hecht’s “Joys of Jazz” — Vol. 6”

  1. Fabulous piece, Bob. Looking forward to part 2. Have known Mike for nearly 40 years, since my college days. Having read his liner notes on multiple albums, I was surprised and please to learn that he was playing up the road from Stanford, in SF. Heard him as often as I could before heading off to medical school. I have recently done several Jazz Rhythm programs with Dave Radlauer, devoted to James P. and Fats. They are available online. http://jazzhotbigstep.com/58101.html.
    Would also be happy to have you on my FB pages, which I can modestly say are the best resources for Stride Piano on the Net . Always interested in doing programs on these topics. the Centennial of the phonograph recording is coming up in 2021, which is the expected completion date for the second edition of James P’s Biography, A Case of Mistaken Identity, by Dr. Scott Brown. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1451492985134955/.

    Best, Mark

    1. Thanks for your nice feedback Mark, glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for tipping me to Jazz Rhythm.

      The best ways for people to listen to my podcasts are either to stream from my site: https://www.thejoysofjazz.com/podcasts/

      Or to play on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5cuPc84QLfgm1VjDgB0KRF?si=ttJv1nxmRtuZjJUuM8yNEg

      or to play on Apple Podcasts (iTunes): search for The Joys of Jazz Podcast in the podcast section of the iTunes store.

      Thanks again,

      Bob

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Also in this issue…A new collection of jazz poetry; "On the Turntable," a new playlist of 19 recommended recordings by five 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…

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The Joys of Jazz

In this new volume of his podcasts, Bob Hecht presents three very different stories; on Harlem Stride piano, Billy Strayhorn's end-of-life composition "Blood Count," and "Lester-ese," Lester Young’s creative verbal wit and wordplay.

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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…

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