May Jazz Birthdays

Marc Cohn By

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Miles, Gil, Papa Joe, Sidney & Paul! May birthdays on Gifts & Messages! We also celebrate pianists Stanley Cowell, John Lewis, Sun Ra & Dave McKenna; vocalists Shirley Horn & Betty Carter; saxophonists Arthur Blythe & Sonny Fortune; guitarist Jimmy Ponder, bassist Ron Carter, B-3 master Richard Holmes & flautist James Newton. Do enjoy the show!

Story of the week: "I say two things to students: 'Why are you here?' They don't have an answer. Then, 'Play a C scale two octaves up & down.' They play it. I ask, 'What does that sound like?' They have no idea. So, we've established, in less than a minute, you have no idea why you're here & have no idea what you sound like. The lesson's pretty much over. 'When you figure out one of those, come back and we can start.'" —Branford Marsalis (from a recent Downbeat interview).


  • Richard "Groove" Holmes "Down Home Funk" from Comin' On Home (Blue Note) 00:00
  • Stanley Cowell "Hear Me One" from Hear Me One (Steeplechase) 05:05
  • Sidney Bechet "Sweet Lorraine" from The Complete H.R.S. Sessions (Mosaic) 11:01
  • Sidney Bechet "Lazy River" from The Complete H.R.S. Sessions (Mosaic) 16:02
  • Betty Carter "Make It Last" from The Music Never Stops (Blue Engine) 20:04
  • Jimmy Ponder "A Tribute To A Rose" from Steel City Soul (32 Jazz) 26:30
  • Sun Ra "Prelude To A Kiss" from Sun Ra At Inter-Media Arts, 1991 (Modern Harmonic) 28:49
  • Arthur Blythe "In A Sentimental Mood" from In The Tradition (Columbia) 35:21
  • James Newton "Passion Flower" from The African Flower (Blue Note) 44:12
  • Sonny Fortune "It Ain't What It Was" from Last Night At Sweet Rhythm (Sound Reason) 49:50
  • Miles Davis/John Coltrane "So What" from The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6 (Columbia) 57:40
  • Miles Davis/John Coltrane "Fran Dance" from The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6 (Columbia) 1:12:39
  • Shirley Horn "I Fall In Love Too Easily" from I Remember Miles (Verve) 1:21:06
  • Miles Davis "Bess, You Is My Woman Now" from Porgy And Bess (Columbia) 1:26:32
  • Ron Carter "The Golden Striker" from Ron Carter's Great Big Band (Sunnyside) 1:31:46
  • Paul Desmond/Modern Jazz Quartet "East Of The Sun" from Paul Desmond & The Modern Jazz Quartet (Red Baron) 1:36:23
  • Joseph "King" Oliver "Chattanooga Stomp" from Complete 1923 Jazz Band Recordings (Off The Record) 1:44:44
  • King Oliver "New Orleans Stomp" from Complete 1923 Jazz Band Recordings (Off The Record) 1:48:39
  • Dave McKenna "A Shine On Your Shoes" from Dancing In The Dark (Concord) 1:51:40

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