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Mary Stallings

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"I had a huge voice when I was just eight years old," says Mary Stallings about her beginnings as a singer. It was a voice too big to ignore - spanning almost four octaves. Few could. By the time she was 11, she had made her first solo recording and while still in high school she joined Louis Jordan's Tympani Five. She came of age in the big band era, and was invited to tour as vocalist with most of the major names of the time. "It was the best musical education I could have had," explains Mary, "I was fired from lessons for playing everything from memory." Instead, her education came a bit more unconventionally, including stints with the Grover Mitchell - Earl "Father" Hines band, three years touring the U.S

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Article: Radio

Women in Jazz: In Tribute to Billie

Read "Women in Jazz: In Tribute to Billie" reviewed by Russell Perry


In 2015, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of Billie Holiday's birth. In 2020, the documentary Billie was released and now the flawed biopic The United States vs. Billie Holiday has come out. In the last several years, there have been significant tribute records by Dee Dee Bridgewater, Cassandra Wilson and José James. In addition, songs from ...

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Article: Radio

Saluting Harold Arlen

Read "Saluting Harold Arlen" reviewed by Russell Perry


Born Hyman Arluck on February 15, 1905, Harold Arlen was one of the most important composers of the Great American songbook. Arlen's first collaboration with lyricist Ted Koehler, “Get Happy," became his first hit in 1930 and ever since his tunes have been covered by jazz artists. In 2000, his collaboration with Yip Harburg, “Over the ...

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Article: Radio

Orrin Evans, Ira Sullivan, Joe Turner and More

Read "Orrin Evans, Ira Sullivan, Joe Turner and More" reviewed by Joe Dimino


This week we start with the latest album by Philadelphia-based pianist Orrin Evans and his Captain Black Big Band. Then we profile a new Kansas City group, The Freedom Affair, as they hit the airwaves with strength and style. We also look at new music from Mary Stallings and Fumi Tomita, say good-bye to the mighty ...

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Article: Radio

Nice 'n' Easy Does It - A Celebration on the Centennial of Lew Spence

Read "Nice 'n' Easy Does It - A Celebration on the Centennial of Lew Spence" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


In the first hour, a celebration of the centennial of Lew Spence, best known for his hit “Nice 'n' Easy," plus new releases from trumpeters Rebecca Coupe Franks and Carol Morgan with birthday shoutouts to Joan Whitney, Della Reese (pictured), Mavis Staples and Caroline Davis. In the second hour there is a tribute to Johnny Mandel. ...

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Article: Radio

I See You; I Hear You

Read "I See You; I Hear You" reviewed by H William Stine


I think one of the responsibilities of having a microphone every week is knowing when to shut up. I did that (for the most part) this week and let singers and songwriters who for so many years have seen and heard with perception and then written with eloquent honesty about this painful struggle playing out once ...

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Article: Radio

I Gotta Swing - Celebrating Blanche Calloway and Her Joy Boys

Read "I Gotta Swing - Celebrating Blanche Calloway and Her Joy Boys" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


This week's broadcast includes new releases from Danish sax/flute/clarinetist Sarah Elgeti, flutist Elsa Nilsson, vocalists Lizzie Thomas and Chanda Rule, pianists Lynne Arriale and Carla Bley plus the Kenny Barron / Dave Holland Trio with birthday shout outs to Blanche Calloway (sister of Cab Calloway, pictured), Dena DeRose, Sharel Cassity, Marsha Heydt, Kenny Rankin and Melissa ...

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Article: Radio

Hell's Bells - That Special Time of Year

Read "Hell's Bells - That Special Time of Year" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


Includes more holiday songs penned by women as the season is in full swing, with Christmas albums from B3 Kings, Martina DaSilva, Dan Chmielinski, Noel & Maria and new releases from Rez Abbasi and Isabelle Olivier, Carmen Souza, Iro Haarla, plus birthday shout outs to Cassandra Wilson (pictured), Sylvia Syms, Dave Brubeck, Cory Weeds, Kerry Marsh, ...

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Article: Radio

Get It Straight - Thelonious Monk Is Still Cooking at 102

Read "Get It Straight - Thelonious Monk Is Still Cooking at 102" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


Big birthday shout outs to Thelonious Monk and Roy Kral (pictured with Jackie Cain), along with singers Nancy Kelly, Emma Larsson, Amy Cervini, Lee Wiley, Nona Hendryx, drummer Eve Sicular, trumpeter Pam Fleming, pianists Linda Presgrave and Johnny O'Neal among others; with a bounty harvest of new releases from trumpeter Bria Skonberg, pianists Leslie Pintchik and ...

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Article: Radio

George Shearing Centennial, Woodstock turns 50 and the Charlie Parker Festival

Read "George Shearing Centennial, Woodstock turns 50 and the Charlie Parker Festival" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


The celebration of 1969 continued in this broadcast, which included new releases from vocalists Nicholas Bearde, The New York Voices and Quiana Lynell, pianist Alberto Pibiri & the Al Peppers, plus a special Woodstock tribute by Erik Applegate & Time Child, with birthday shout outs to Pat Metheny in the first hour, Mary Stallings (80!) and ...


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