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You’ve been invited to an informal jam session and you want to make sure you are familiar with the tunes likely to be played or ‘called out’. Which ones do you need to know? I asked this question on a facebook site (The Jazz World) populated by jazz musicians and students. The #1 thing they said you need to know are what is called ‘rhythm changes’.…
 
Various websites and magazines put out their ‘best of’ lists for 2021. I chose the first six that came up on Google, and also looked at the summary of the albums most played by jazz radio stations (mostly American) for the year. I listened to a bit of everything, then chose a few that interested me. And I’m presenting tracks from those albums in th…
 
When I searched for ‘the best jazz albums of 2021’ in mid December, I found six sites that listed or ranked their favourites. Some of them were compilations of different critics or fans responses; others I don’t know how they compiled them. But what I noticed is that all the lists were dramatically different from each other—very few repetitions. I …
 
A great variety of interesting and excellent music that I’ve downloaded sometime between 2017 and now. Some of it is what we all know as ‘jazz’, including Karryn Allison, Bill Evans Trio, Kenny Washington, Kelly Eisenhour, Billy Childs, Cunliffe Patitucci & Colaiuta. There are also two great Victoria jazz artists, singer Angela Verbrugge and trumpe…
 
This week I play Christmas and winter holiday music by some of the greatest jazz players and singers of all time. You’ll hear Oscar Peterson, Sarah Vaughan, Arti Shaw, Toronto’s Robi Botos, Diana Krall, Dave Brubeck, Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Phil Woods, Tony Bennett, and Earl Hines. One very unusual highlight is the legendary pianist Bill Ev…
 
A jazz fan, Peter Waddell, who says he is not a musician. He once again selects some amazing records and talks about why these particular tracks give him joy. Lots of modern recordings and two historical gems. Since he has commended me for playing on these podcasts “global giants and local joys”, I present him with a ‘local joy’—an obscure but now …
 
A reviewer wrote about my podcast: “Larry shares the findings of his ongoing journey with enthusiasm: …..innovators and perfectors from a century of creative expression; global giants and local joys’ the old and the new’ influences on and influences by; the easy and the challenging” Wow! I love that description. This Discovering Jazz fan lives in U…
 
After Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue took the jazz world by storm, jazz musicians and fans expressed much excitement about what has been termed ‘modal jazz’. This is a sub-genre that uses long passages of unchanging harmony based on different scales rather than a series of chords. In this podcast I talk about the history of modal jazz, including some of…
 
This episode was inspired by finding three jazz magazines in a Little Library outside of jazz singer Susannah Adam’s home in Victoria, B.C. There were a bunch of articles on jazz vocalists, including one where Luciana Souza chose some recordings with ‘wordless vocals’. Some amazing stuff by the likes of Milton Nascimento, Toninho Horta, and Luciana…
 
Five songs and the stories behind them. I talk about and play different versions of Round Midnight (aka Round About Midnight), In a Mellow Tone (aka In a Mellotone), Night Train, My One and Only Love, and You Don’t Know What Love Is. And all five of these have interesting stories behind them.larrytheradioguy tarafından oluşturuldu
 
Hey! This week’s episode of selected downloads are even better than last week’s. At least it felt that way as I was listening to this latest episode. I start it off with a gorgeous version of Autumn Leaves with Laila Biali and a host of some of Toronto’s best players. And I finish it off with another pianist–Russian born Eldar Djangirov…who is desc…
 
I’ ve already presented episodes playing some favourite lp’s, cd’s, and even some 78’s. Now its time for some downloads. Some are old recordings, some fairly new. I play Marlena Shaw, Chet Baker, Duke Ellington with Mingus and Roach, Roberto Fonseca and Faroumata Diawara, Melissa Aldana, Sting with Jo Lawry, The Brooks, Rowan Farintosh Quartet, Ori…
 
I’m picking out a few tunes from a few favourite cd’s. Lots of music, not too much talk for this episode. You’ll hear a few familiar favourites such as Tony Bennett and Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Dave McKenna and Buddy DeFranco, Stanley Clarke and Friends (with Billy Cobham and Najee), Bob Dorough. I also play a few artists with whom most of you prob…
 
Part two features some more of the musicians rated in the 69th Annual Jazz Poll from Downbeat Magazine. This week I start out with Kris Davis (with Nels Cline), and follow it with the vocal-less Nels Cline Singers. You’ll also hear Freddy Cole, Laila Biali, Sinne Eeg, Aaron Diehl, and Charles Lloyd and The Marvels. There are a few interesting combi…
 
The results of Downbeat’s 69th Annual Critics Poll inspired me to discover and listen to a few artists. And to re-listen to a few others. You’ll hear some of what I discovered on this episode. I start with some new members placed into the ‘hall of fame. This year it was Kenny Barron. And the jazz ‘veterans’ committee made another choice: somebody I…
 
Carla Bley, at the age of 85, was just voted onto Downbeat Magazine’s Hall of Fame. There is an article in the August 2021 issue where she talks about having found her ‘voice’—a voice that has endured through all the twists and turns. In this episode we explore that voice, playing recordings from 1957 to 2020. She is a prolific composer and arrange…
 
This week I go to my cd collection and pick out a few with which I was familiar at one time, and give them another spin. The recordings span the years 1955 all the way to 2021. Included are three Canadian cd’s. One is by Dave McMurdo out of Toronto. The second is vibraphonist Peter Appleyard with some of the most famous jazz players ever. And last …
 
To start off the 2021-2022 season of Discovering Jazz, I thought I’d play some familiar (and a few not so familiar) tunes from my lp collection. I play a few ‘regulars’ whose music has appeared on this program over the years: Don Shirley, Vince Guaraldi, Sounds Orchestral (Johnny Pearson), Fraser MacPherson, Peggy Lee, Tony Bennett & Bill Evans, an…
 
This is an episode that is near and dear to my heart. Absolute Pitch (sometimes inaccurately called ‘perfect’ pitch) is something I had, then lost. And its something that people who don’t have it can never understand. When you have it, it seems as ‘normal’ as being able to identify the colour of your socks….and it’s a mystery why others aren’t able…
 
You go to a jazz jam session with students or amateurs. One of the most common musical guides that almost every player uses is The Real Book, 6th Edition, Volume 1. The original Real Book was put together in the mid 1970’s by some Berklee College of Music music students in Boston, partly as a way to make some money and probably also so they could h…
 
This is an episode I posted November, 2019…..before my guest, Angela Verbrugge, won the listener’s poll in Jazz Times magazine for favourite female vocalist. Angela sent me (upon my request) some recordings from jazz singers I probably never heard of. These recordings are the subject of this week’s and next week’s podcast. I make it an exchange by …
 
One of my favourite Discovering Jazz podcasts. I used to play French Horn and tried to play blues on it. Even used it in a rock-blues group, with questionable success. But there is quite the tradition of truly great jazz french hornists, and I’ve discovered a few of them. I play some of them on this program. It’s all great jazz…..I assure you.…
 
According to Wikipedia, Jan Randall, a Canadian composer, pianist, and arranger, has made a career of composing soundtracks for films, theatre, radio, and television. He combines playing by ear with his formal classical and jazz training. And he teaches jazz appreciation courses through UVic and is a faculty member of the Victoria Conservatory of M…
 
Shortly before I moved from Peterborough, Ontario to Victoria, B.C., I spoke with Peterborough jazz guitarist, Mike Graham. I asked him for his thoughts on the future of jazz. He had lots of interesting things to say….and on this episode I play part of that interview. What is the future of jazz? Will everything change when the Miles Davis generatio…
 
While many of those jazz tunes jazz artists like to play are from films or Broadway, many are written by jazz musicians. For this episode, from 2019, I feature seven tunes that have become ‘standards’. Two of them were written for films, and the other five specifically to be played by jazz ensembles. I play tunes written by Horace Silver, Charlie P…
 
This is a program originally aired on Trent Radio and placed on my podcast site in November, 2017. Inspired by a jazz instruction blog & podcast , LearnJazzStandards.com, hosted by guitarist Brent Vaarstra, and his post called “92 Modern Jazz Albums You Need to Listen To”. ‘Modern’ was defined as being anything after the year 2000. I went through t…
 
I’ve truly learned a lot since I started putting together these podcasts four years ago. That’s why the program is “Discovering Jazz”. I keep discovering new things about jazz and about jazz compositions. That being said, a lot of my earlier programs are still pretty good. While Episodes 1 and 2 seem to have a lot of listeners, for some reason Epis…
 
Some great music here! I’ve listened to a track or two from each of the albums nominated in the jazz and world music categories for this year’s Junos. I’m playing something from the winner in four categories, plus a handful of jazz nominees. This is the last podcast of the season as I take a short summer break. But don’t despair! You’ll get some su…
 
Last week I spoke about how Miles Davis could be considered to be the most predominant jazz ‘bellwether’. This was related to his role in contributing to particular tunes becoming ‘standards’, even influencing how other musicians played them. This week I advance that ‘thesis’ even further. I show how changes he made to a Dave Brubeck composition th…
 
This was inspired by a book by my favourite science fiction writer: Connie Willis, called “Bellwether”. In a flock of sheep, there is one sheep that, for some unexplained reason, influences all the others in terms of when and where they move. That sheep is referred to as a bellwether. The bellwether isn’t necessarily the first to take action….and i…
 
This episode was inspired by somebody, when I played and sang “How Deep Is The Ocean?” asking me if I was playing ‘jazz chords’. So this episode tries to discover, using the same Socratic method as in the lyrics to that tune, what exactly is a ‘jazz chord’. I play some great music, as usual. You’ll hear recordings ranging from Les Paul and Mary For…
 
This week I dig into my record collection again and pull out a few favourites. You’ll hear tracks from: -Toronto’s Archie Alleyne with the Frank Wright Quartet, -Lalo Schifrin, -Zoot Sims w. Jimmy Rowles, -Shelly Manne, -Lenny Breau, -Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd, -Milt Bernhart Brass Ensemble, Julie London, Eddie Jefferson, Serge Chaloff, and Skywalk …
 
This week I went through my jazz lp’s and selected a few familiar favourites. Well, at least familiar to me. I play some Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Bobby Hutcherson w. Eugene McDaniels, Shorty Rogers, Mose Allison, Buddy Emmons w. Lenny Breau, Big Miller, Nina Simone, David Amram, Charles Lloyd, and Tete Montoliu.…
 
This week I play blues, gospel, jazz, and world music employing instruments you don’t usually hear that often in that context. You’ll hear two bagpipes, and six tubas (but all on the same tune). I also play some recordings featuring a kora, accordion, tar, chromatic harmonica, bassoon, a sarrusophone, and ukulele. Then I end off with a Charles Ming…
 
This is the first of a couple programs where I play jazz recordings that feature instruments not commonly associated with jazz. This time round you’ll hear some harp, steel guitar, five string banjo, pipa, Euphonium, Steel Pan, and French Horn. And did you know that there was an album released in 2017 of Thelonious Monk tunes played on a pipa….solo…
 
Five more great songs with interesting stories behind them. And I play different versions of each one, ranging from Nat King Cole to Sam Gendal. And in-between, you’ll hear Wayne Shorter, Xavier Thollard, Teresa Doyle & Doug Riley, Antonio Adolfo, Sonny Rollins, Randy Weston, Jack Teagarden, Victoria’s own Maureen Washington, Duke Ellington, and Ge…
 
Once again I’m talking about some timeless great melodies and lyrics and some of the ways they get reinterpreted by jazz artists. I start with some great (and one not-so-great) recordings of Skylark, written by Hoagy Carmichae and Johnny Mercer, for a musical that never happened. And the melody was based on a Bix Beiderbecke improvisation. Someday …
 
As I go down the JazzWeek chart, I find I’m enjoying what I’m listening to more and more. But I’ve always tended to love the ‘hits’ at the bottom end of the charts more than the top end. Even as a kid listening to the pop Top 93 on a local radio station. This week I start out with a track from the new Charles Lloyd album which, surprisingly hasn’t …
 
More music from recordings released this year, as I pick and choose from a few records that interest me. One of my favourites is through a new label called Le Coq records, and it features Bill Cunlifee, John Patitucci, and Vinnie Colaiuta. That same label also has one simply called “Presents the Jazz All Stars”, and I play an interesting ‘funky’ ve…
 
For this episode and the next two, I’m exploring current jazz. Using the JazzWeek Charts, I’m picking out a few newer releases that appeal to me, and playing a track from each of them. This week, you’ll hear Santi Diabro, Greg Murphy, Dr. Lonnie Smith (with Iggy Pop),Lorne Lofsky, Brandi Disterheft with George Coleman, Joe Chambers, Emmet Cohen, Ve…
 
This is the last episode of a tune within a tune. And I thank jazz fans from the JazzWord site for many of these ideas for bits of songs that jazz musicians put into their solos. The quotes you’ll hear include Donna Lee, Pavane (Morton Gould), Slow Boat to China, Laura, Them There Eyes, How Long Has This Been Going On, Tea For Two, Work Song, Come …
 
This podcast, as well as playing some great jazz recordings with ‘quotes’ of other tunes coming from various soloists, explores the purpose of these quotes. It’s not just jazz musicians who put quotes into their songs. There is a bird (yes…a real bird…one that flies) who does a variety of quotes, and you’ll hear that bird singing other bird’s songs…
 
I found one well-known tune played in the midst of five different jazz recordings. And I’m sure it’s present in a lot more. Guess what the tune is? In this episode I play all five of them. Then there is Mary Had A Little Lamb, which I found in two different jazz solos. You’ll also hear Nature Boy, Mack The Knife, and in just one two minute tune, a …
 
The first 20 minutes of this week’s podcast is dedicated to the piano styles of Nat King Cole and Oscar Peterson. I explore similarities and differences, plus a ‘story’ that is told about why one stopped singing and the other stopped playing piano. The podcast ends with McCoy Tyner and something called ‘quartal voicings’. In the middle you’ll hear …
 
One way of understanding what any modern (or ancient) jazz pianist is doing is to know the ‘roots’ of what they are playing. Even the wildest jazz is influenced by what came before. So this episode, to get more clarity about different piano styles, I’m exploring some history. From ragtime up to free-jazz. I’ll take you from Scott Joplin to Paul Ble…
 
I was always amazed by those Blindfold Tests in Downbeat Magazine where Leonard Feather would challenge various jazz musicians by playing certain pieces of music—and have them guess who was playing. Musicians would rate the selection and talk about why. What amazed me was how they so often knew who was playing—even if they had never heard the piece…
 
Why the waffling between five or six songs? Well, it has to do with a new song that was created out of a saxophone solo used in I’m In The Mood for Love. Is Moody Mood For Love a new tune or a variation of an old one? And those interpretations of I’m In The Mood For Love led to a whole new jazz vocal style called jazz vocalese. It also takes a deto…
 
This episode focuses on five great songs. I’ll play two or three different versions of each one. You’ll hear some stories about either the song or the performance of it, You’ll hear Tony Bennett (twice—once with Buddy Rich), Renee Rosnes w Dave Young, Bobby Wellins, Sergio Armaroli & Billy Lester, Duke Ellington (twice), Wynona Carr, Erroll Garner,…
 
This past week we lost a musical giant: one of the most eclectic pianists ever. Chick Corea. There have been many well deserved tributes online. This one will focus more on some of his great compositions. Most of them are played by Chick Corea himself, but I also include a great Canadian vocalist and another one of his well-known tunes played on ba…
 
Have you ever noticed that sometimes meals taste even better the next day when they become ‘leftovers’? Here on what is actually Part 6 of my Best of 2020 Series According To Experts, I’m mostly playing selections that have been ‘left over’ because I couldn’t fit them in during the first 5 podcasts. Three of the selections are from albums nominated…
 
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