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Carmen McRae

Considered by jazz aficionados to be among the top ten female vocalists of all time, Carmen McRae's distinctive behind-the-beat phrasing, impeccable vocal control, and witty, sometimes acerbic way of conveying a lyric are what set her apart as a singularly great singer. She considered jazz great Billie Holiday to be a musical mentor. But this Queen of Cool had her own sound and style; including an amazing ability to scat. The versatile McRae could swing hard when it was called for; next she could draw out a ballad, savoring each note and syllable without losing audience attention, she was in a class by herself. McRae was fortunate enough to have been raised by a family prosperous enough to afford a piano and lessons

ARTICLE: RADIO

Born on the Cusp of Drama - Celebrating Esperanza Spalding, Bobby Troup and Laura Nyro

Read "Born on the Cusp of Drama - Celebrating Esperanza Spalding, Bobby Troup and Laura Nyro" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

In astrology, October 18 zodiac people are on the Libra-Scorpio cusp, referred to as the Cusp of Drama. Esperanza Spalding, Bobby Troup and Laura Nyro share that birthday, which would certainly make for a dramatic dinner party. Besides shoutouts to this dynamic trio, vocalist Lee Wiley and pianist Thelonious Monk are celebrated as well. The broadcast ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Susie Meissner: I Wish I Knew

Read "I Wish I Knew" reviewed by Jack Bowers

I wish I knew why the talented Philadelphia-based singer Susie Meissner chose to open her salute to the Great American Songbook with the only tune on the album that doesn't really qualify: Curtis Lewis' “The Great City." It's not a bad song but Cole Porter or Johnny Mandel it ain't. On the bright side, Meissner recovers ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Listeners’ Favorites

Read "Listeners’ Favorites" reviewed by Marc Cohn

This week (drum roll....), it's listeners' favorites from shows 431 to 440. From classic jazz to today's music, our listeners have discerning and eclectic taste—never forgetting the blues and funk. Enjoy the show! Playlist Don Braden, Karl Latham “Grover Miles" from Big Funk Live (Creative Perspective) 00:00 Grant Green “Let The Music Take ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Be-Bop Django and a Whole Lot More

Read "Be-Bop Django and a Whole Lot More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

A show for you? Of course. We start with twenty-first century music from pianist Andy Adamson, trumpeter Farnell Newton, saxophonist Troy Roberts, and guitarist Jocelyn Gould. Not enough guitar? Well, Joe Pass plays Django Reinhardt, and then Django plays bebop from his last recording session before his death--quite a revelation if the only Django you've heard ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Fred, Bird, Carmen, Nat, Abbey, New Bu & More

Read "Fred, Bird, Carmen, Nat, Abbey, New Bu & More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Oh, do we have a show for you. I was reading Will Friedwald's great book, The Great Jazz & Pop Vocal Albums, and discovered a Fred Astaire recording on Verve. We checked it out and spent a couple of very pleasant hours with Fred talking and singing in company of esteemed jazz artists. Our first segment ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Close Your Eyes: Celebrating Bernice Petkere

Read "Close Your Eyes: Celebrating Bernice Petkere" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

Included are new releases from the Maria Schneider Orchestra, pianist Nicole Zuraitis, vocal artist Jay Clayton and DuoTrio led by trumpeter Daniel Nissenbaum, with birthday shoutouts to Bernice Petkere (Close Your Eyes, Lullaby of the Leaves), George Shearing, Bill Evans, Cyrille Aimee, Pat Metheny, Lorraine Desmarais, Mary Stallings, Fostina Dixon and more. Thanks for listening and ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

A Pride of Jazz Leos - Louis Armstrong, Abbey Lincoln, Dorothy Ashby & More

Read "A Pride of Jazz Leos - Louis Armstrong, Abbey Lincoln, Dorothy Ashby & More" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

Lots of Jazz Leos to celebrate on today's broadcast. Included are new releases from Beth Duncan, Regina Carter, Ken Steele plus a special pandemic single from Lauren Lee, with birthday shoutouts to Abbey Lincoln, Louis Armstrong, KJ Denhert, Hendrik Meurkens, Kat Gang, Dorothy Ashby, Kat Edmonson, Roberta Piket, Terri Lyne Carrington and more. Thanks for listening ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Carmen McRae: London, 1961

Carmen McRae: London, 1961

In May 1961, singer Carmen McRae was booked into London's popular Flamingo jazz club for a two-week run. The Flamingo, at 33 Wardour Street in Soho, was a dodgy basement nightspot that on the weekends remained open until 6 a.m. On the bright side, the club was known for its sterling sound system. Just over a ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

The Way You Look Tonight - Celebrating Dorothy Fields

Read "The Way You Look Tonight - Celebrating Dorothy Fields" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

The first hour celebrates the birthday of legendary lyricist Dorothy Fields in addition to new releases from Susan Tobocman, Emilie-Claire Barlow and Bocana, Callum Au and Claire Martin plus an instrumental by Mimi Fox of “Better Times Will Come," part of Janis Ian's Better Times Project. Birthday shout-outs to guitarist Mary Osborne, baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian, ...


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