JAZZ BEAT PODCAST

Tom Reney looked into the legends of the two bluesmen known as Sonny Boy Williamson for this Jazz Beat podcast refuting some of what Randy Newman asserts in his new song, "Sonny Boy." Hear deep background on these blues greats, as well as Newman's tune, and blues classics by Sonny Boy I and II, and Billy Boy Arnold and Mose Allison.

This edition of Jazz Beat is devoted to Tom Reney’s interview with Geoff Muldaur, the singer/guitarist/banjo player whose associations include the Jim Kweskin Jug Band and Maria Muldaur in the 1960s, and Paul Butterfield’s Better Days in the early ‘70s.  

William P. Gottlieb

In the latest edition of Jazz Beat, Tom Reney takes a look at the time that Duke Ellington’s orchestra met jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt in Paris, and the concerts and recordings that came out of that meeting. This JazzBeat is peppered with wonderful examples of swinging jazz by Django and the Ellingtonians.

This edition of Jazz Beat presents an interview conducted by guest host Peter Sokolowski with Doc Severinsen, famous as Johnny Carson’s bandleader on The Tonight Show and a virtuoso trumpet player who still practices every day. This conversation took place before a live audience in the recital hall at UMASS Amherst, and covers subjects from Doc’s early career touring with big bands, his work as a studio musician in New York, and his television days.

Jazz Beat - Warmest And Tightest

Jul 29, 2017

This episode of Jazz Beat focuses on the one and only album that Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington made together. Tom Reney reviews the run-up to the Great Summit, highlights of the album, and thoughts on the legacies of these two jazz giants. 

Jazz Beat - Jaki Byard

Jun 27, 2017

Tom Reney offers an appreciation of piano legend Jaki Byard in this edition of Jazz Beat. Byard’s 95th birthday anniversary was June 22, and his legacy thrives both on records and through his well-known protégés Jason Moran, Larry Goldings, Marty Ehrlich, and Fred Hersch. Tom’s tribute includes personal recollections, details of Byard’s background in Worcester and Boston, and several musical samples.

Duke Ellington, Mahalia Jackson, and George Wein (in polo jersey), 1970, New Orleans
Michael Smith / The Historic New Orleans Collection

Tom Reney looks back at Duke Ellington’s “New Orleans Suite,” and the crucial role that Duke and festival producer George Wein played in the establishment of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which just completed its 49th annual presentation in the Crescent City. Wein’s insistence that any festival he produced would include Ellington, who “stayed only in the finest hotels,” and feature integrated ensembles was a spur to ending rigid segregation practices in New Orleans.

In the latest edition of Jazz Beat, Tom Reney explores the legacy of the bassist Scott LaFaro, who was a leading innovator in modern jazz and a member of the Bill Evans Trio. LaFaro was tragically killed in an auto accident in 1961 at age 25, and he’s the subject of an outstanding biography by his sister Helene LaFaro-Fernandez. Tom’s appreciation of LaFaro includes numerous samples of his music.

Jazz Beat - Nat Hentoff

Jan 19, 2017

For Jazz Beat 30, Tom Reney pays tribute to Nat Hentoff, who died on January 7 at 91. The Boston-born journalist wrote primarily on First Amendment issues for the Village Voice for 50 years, but was also a renowned jazz critic and historian. In the early 1960s, Hentoff produced an outstanding series of albums for Candid Records by Charles Mingus, Clark Terry, Abbey Lincoln, and blues greats Otis Spann, Memphis Slim, and Lightnin’ Hopkins. Tom’s memorial includes excerpts from some of these, and an overview of Hentoff’s devotion to jazz and principles of free speech.

Bob Dylan
CREATIVE COMMONS

In the latest edition of NEPR's Jazz Beat, Tom Reney highlights the prominence of jazz in Bob Dylan’s memoir, Chronicles, Volume 1, and a critical moment of impact that the music had on the return to form that the Nobel laureate has exhibited since 1997.

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