Jazz is one of the most recurrent motifs in the multi-layered quilt that Elvis Costello's discography is; and one of those which make that eclectic patchwork both cohesive and uniquely appealing.
The son of a jazz trumpeter/singer with a passion for 40s American jazz and a record seller with ears wide open, it's perhaps not surprising that Elvis recorded a rendition of "My Funny Valentine" as early as the late '70s, while he was in the middle of his punk rock phase.
This week we celebrate the British singer songwriter's birthday with an exploration of his jazz roots, branches and leaves.
At the top of the hour a remembrance of another genre-defying artist with a deep appreciation for jazz, the late Charlie Watts.
Ben Allison "Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash & Pyeng Threadgill)" 0:00
Charlie Watts "(Satis) Faction" Charlie Watts Meets the Danish Radio Big Band (Impulse!) 0:16
Host talks 6:11
Elvis Costello, Metropole Orkest "Hora Decubitus" My Flame Burns Blue (Deutsche Grammophon (DG) 8:15
Diana Krall "Abandoned Masquerade" The Girl in the Other Room (Verve) 13:44
Host talks 18:53
Charles Lloyd "God Give Me Strength" Voice in the Night (ECM) 20:20
Elvis Costello, Burt Bacharach, Bill Frisell "Such Unlikely Lovers" The Sweetest Punch -The New Songs of Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach (Decca) 24:58
Host talks 30:38
Elvis Costello, Bill Frisell "Baby Plays Around" Deep Dead Blue (Nonesuch) 32:26
The Charles Mingus Orchestra "Invisible Lady" Tonight at Noon... Three or Four Shades of Love (Dreyfus) 40:22
Host talks 47:27
Elvis Costello "Weird Nightmare" Hal Willner Presents Weird Nightmare -Meditations on Mingus (Columbia) 49:01
Elvis Costello "Lost in the Stars" Lost in the Stars: The Music of Kurt Weill (A&M) 52:05
Barb Jungr "New Amsterdam" Chanson: The Space in Between (Linn) 55:54
Host talks 59:17
Tony Bennett "Are You Havin' Any Fun?" Duets -An American Classic (RPM) 1:00:47
Chet Baker with Elvis Costello "You Don't Know What Love Is" Live at Ronnie Scott's (Rhino) 1:03:59
Chet Baker "Almost Blue" Chet on Poetry (Novus) 1:09:15
Host talks 1:12:36
Elvis Costello & The Attractions "Shipbuilding" Punch the Clock (F-Beat) 1:13:14
Photo credit: Paul Moore
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