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Jazz Bastard

Welcome to our monthly look at what's happening on the Jazz Bastard podcast! Since December 2012, Mike Caldwell and Pat Burnette have gotten together every fortnight to discuss jazz albums in an irreverent, irascible, and engaged manner. Some shows focus on a theme or an individual artist, while others just discuss what's been on the boys' playlists recently. We cover recordings from the whole history of the music as well as new releases. Instrumental, vocal, the occasional cross-over or fusion record—they're all fair game, and if that's not enough, most episodes end with a brief discussion of pop music that's tickled our ears in the last few weeks. The goal is talking about jazz like enthusiasts and fans rather than scholars or apologists. Our crucial question—did a given recording touch us?

JAZZ BASTARD

April 2018: Cécile McLorin Salvant, Binker and Moses, Yazz Ahmed.

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Episode 137 looks at recordings by Sophie Milman, Rene Marie, Monica Zetterlund, and Cécile McLorin Salvant. We discuss the jazz content in each release, the vocal approach of each singer, and the elusive concept of sultriness. Female jazz singers are often packaged and sold as sex objects. Some are more comfortable expressing their sensual sides than others. Where do you draw the line between self-expression and exploitation? What to make of singers like Salvant, who question the paradigm of the ...

JAZZ BASTARD

March 2018: Louis Armstrong, Bunny Berrigan, and Henry “Red” Allen.

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Episode 135 takes a thorough and loving look at Louis Armstrong's 1930's recordings for the Decca company. After a couple years nursing a blown lip and searching for new musical contexts, Louis hooked up with manager Joe Glaser and soon had a contract with Decca records, which featured him on a kaleidoscope of recordings, from remakes of some Hot Fives triumphs to collaborations with the Mills Brothers to novelty numbers about Hawaii. The resulting four hours of music is surprisingly ...

JAZZ BASTARD

February 2018: The Necks, Vienna Art Orchestra, Elliot Mason

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After a January of unusual episodes, the boys are back in the groove for February. Episode 133 features a wide spread of entries, from Juli Wood's tribute to Finnish folk music Synkka Metsa to the Vienna Art Orchestra's energetic homage Duke Ellington's Sound of Love. Alex Sipiagin's Returning also gets a thorough look-in, along with a discussion of the Necks' Silverwater album and Geoff Dyer's rather fulsome celebration of the band in the New York Times Magazine. Can ...

JAZZ BASTARD

January 2018: Charles McPherson, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker

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January opens with an interview with alto saxophonist, composer, and philosopher Charles McPherson and closes with Pat hosting a one-man show on Duke Ellington's suites. Episode 132 features a hundred-minute talk with alto saxophonist Charles McPherson, who discusses a formative encounter with Charlie Parker, his time playing in Charles Mingus' band, the lessons he learned from pianist Barry Harris, and his own solo career. Charles has led a fascinating life as a jazz musician and offers a unique ...

JAZZ BASTARD

December 2017: Ronald Shannon Jackson, Gregory Porter, Kamasi Washington

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The holiday season may be behind us, but the Jazz Bastard Podcast keeps rolling on. Here's a look at December's episodes. On podcast 130, we celebrate our fifth anniversary by discussing four recordings by quintets. Rare recordings by Kenny Cox and the Contemporary Jazz Quintet evoke Miles Davis' second great quintet for us and get analyzed at length. “Out" players have a good showing, as albums by Oliver Lake and Jimmy Lyons are featured. Mike waxes rhapsodic about ...

JAZZ BASTARD

November 2017: Geri Allen, Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Big Band, Thelonious Monk

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Welcome to our monthly look at what's happening on the Jazz Bastard podcast! November is packed, so let's get to it: Episode 127 (live November 1, 2017) looks at the early career of pianist Geri Allen, who died June 27 of this year. Neither of us had listened extensively to her recordings before, so Ethan Iverson's discussion of her early music from his “Do the Math" blog provided helpful guidance. We discuss Geri as an in-and-out player and ...

JAZZ BASTARD

October 2017: Grover Washington Jr, Bud Powell and Ferit Odman

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Welcome to our monthly look at what's happening on the Jazz Bastard podcast! Since December 2012, Mike Caldwell and I have gotten together every fortnight to discuss jazz albums in an irreverent, irascible, and engaged manner. Some shows focus on a theme or an individual artist, while others just discuss what's been on the boys' playlists recently. We cover recordings from the whole history of the music as well as new releases. Instrumental, vocal, the occasional cross-over or fusion record--they're ...