Jazz a la Mode Introduction from Tom Reney
Jazz à la Mode keeps you up-to-date with what’s happening in jazz, which remains a dynamic art form played by an impressive number of established and emerging artists. While the commercial prospects for jazz may be uncertain, the music is as healthy and robust as ever on the bandstand and in the profusion of recordings that give evidence of the music’s ongoing vitality and growth.
Jazz à la Mode offers a steady stream of new releases over the course of the week. On Tuesdays, a Golden Anniversary feature on a great recording made 50 years ago is presented. The program routinely offers birthday celebrations and memorial tributes, as well as features on jazz artists who are performing in the WFCR listening area.
In an increasingly broad sense, jazz constitutes a tradition that stretches back over a century. Figures like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington established the music as a popular American art form in the ‘20s and ‘30s, and recordings helped spread the influence of the music from its early centers in New Orleans, Chicago, and New York. Over the next few decades, Count Basie and Lester Young, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and John Coltrane introduced innovations that expanded the music’s style and scope.
Today, one is as likely to hear jazz played expertly by musicians who hail from South Africa, Israel, Japan, Latin America and Europe as those born in the U.S. And while contemporary players expand upon the jazz tradition by incorporating elements from other styles of music, the basic qualities of swing, blues tonality and individual expressiveness remain at the heart of the music. In Jazz a la Mode, we highlight the connective threads of the tradition as we present you with the latest and the greatest in recorded jazz.