This is Jazz, my weekly show, answers the question, “What is Jazz?” now on 2 stations: Radio Morcote Int’l, Switzerland + Azzurra FM, Italy.

This is Jazz show n. 182 for Sunday, January 28, 2024:

Kenny Clarke

Show 182 is a quick tour through some of the major periods of mid-20th century jazz style. We start in the 1940s with Kenny Clarke on drums, with influential bebop artists like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon and Tadd Dameron, followed by a trip back to the 1920s with Louis Armstrong. Then, three versions of Down By the Riverside, the third from Mahalia Jackson, all dedicated to the Jacksons in Riverside. We end up in the 1950s with Nat ‘King’ Cole, Oscar Peterson and Miles Davis.

1. Dizzy Atmosphere, Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie
2. The Street Beat, Sir Charles Thompson & his All-Stars (incl. Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon)
3. Epistrophy, Kenny Clarke & His 52nd St. Boys
4. Lady Bird, Tadd Dameron Sextet f. Kenny Clarke, d.
5. Cornet Chop Suey, Louis Armstrong Hot Seven
6. Beau Koo Jack, Louis Armstrong Hot Seven
7. Tight Like This, Louis Armstrong Hot Seven
8. Sleepy Time Down South, Louis Armstrong
9. Down By the Riverside, Louis Armstrong
10. Down By the Riverside, Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery
11. Down By the Riverside, Mahalia Jackson
12. Gee Baby Ain’t I Good To You, Ella Fitzgerald & Joe Pass
13. Stormy Weather, Oscar Peterson Quartet
14. Just Another Blues, Nat Cole
15. Just A-Sittin’ And A-Rockin’, Oscar Peterson Trio
16. Just A-Sittin’ And A-Rockin’, Duke Ellington Orchestra
17. It’s Only A Paper Moon, Miles Davis Quintet

Me on the radio talking about Botticelli

On Wed. Dec. 6, 2023, I was a guest on The Drive with Steve Jaxon, a top-rated live daily news and talk radio show on Wine Country Radio 95.5 in Sonoma County, to speak about the $100 million Botticelli painting that was found in a private home in Italy, and other topics.

This is Jazz

This is Jazz, my weekly radio show that answers the question, “What is Jazz?” is on two stations, now: Radio Morcote International in Switzerland and Azzurra FM in Novara, Italy.

1- Radio Morcote International, in Morcote, Switzerland, located in the Ticino province, near Italy. The show is on Sundays at 8pm local time (Switzerland, Italy, West Eu.), or 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific. The replay is Wednesdays, 9pm Italy/12 noon Pacific. To listen live on RMI Sundays and Wednesdays visit the RMI site to stream or get their app.

RMI also has 24/7 on-demand listening:   Visit the ‘podcast’ page at the RMI website. Scroll down to the 3rd show, This is Jazz. There is also a pop-down menu with several months of recent weekly shows for on-demand listening. You can binge This is Jazz all day and all night.

2- Azzurra FM in Novara, Italy, runs the same weekly show, but I record some parts in Italian (the intro, middle break and closing) to customize it for that station’s audience. It is live streaming online every Saturday at 9pm Italy/12 noon Pacific, and again on Mondays at 8pm/11am Pacific (but not on demand).

The Italian version of This is Jazz on Azzurra FM in Novara: sample show

this is jazz

Show n. 175-IT (Sat. Dec. 9 & Mon. Dec. 11, 2023) features 8 different performances of the song Caravan, by Juan Tizol who also played trombone in the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Other versions of Caravan by other jazz artists are played for comparison. The show ends with a live performance from the Charles Mingus Orchestra, recorded in Royce Hall at UCLA in 1965. I was in Los Angeles that day, but I was only five years old, so I wasn’t there at the concert.

1. Caravan, Duke Ellington f. Juan Tizol
2. Caravan, Art Tatum
3. Caravan, Thelonious Monk
4. Caravan, Oscar Peterson
5. Jitterbug Waltz, Oscar Peterson
6. Jitterbug Waltz, Eric Dolphy, Bobby Hutcherson
7. Confirmation, Charlie Parker
8. Gimmie That Wine, Lambert Hendricks & Ross
9. Caravan, Dizzy Gillespie
10. Caravan, Charlie Parker
11. Caravan, Jo Jones
12. Caravan, Wes Montgomery
13. Don’t Let It Happen Here, Charles Mingus

The original English version of This is Jazz on Radio Morcote International: sample shows

This is Jazz show n. 157: Heavy Drums for Heavy Times

This Is Jazz

Max Roach, ca. 1940s

Air Dates: Sunday, July 30 & Wednesday August 2, 2023.
These are heavy times that call for heavy drums, from Bernard Purdie, Danny Richmond, Billy Higgins, Joe Chambers, Sonny Greer, Charlie Persip, Max Roach and a few others.

1. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Gil Scott-Heron
2. Fables of Faubus, Charles Mingus
3. Pico and Sepulveda, Felix Figueroa & his Orchestra
4. Soy Califa, Dexter Gordon
5. Black, Joe Henderson, w/ Bobby Hutcherson, vib.
6. Naturally, Freddie Hubbard w/ Hubert Laws
7. Perdido, Duke Ellington Orchestra
8. The Street Beat, Dexter Gordon and Charlie Parker
9. Manteca (1961), Dizzy Gillespie
10. St. Thomas, Sonny Rollins w/ Max Roach
11. Desafinado, Stan Getz, AC Jobim, Joao Gilberto
12. Desafinado, Stan Getz, Charlie Byrd
13. Samba do Avião, Charlie Byrd, Tommy Newsome Orch. arr.

This is Jazz show n. 132: Fred Astaire and others

Fred Astaire

Show 132 is my personal favorite show. It features Fred Astaire the jazz singer on 9 songs. Each song is heard twice, once from Fred Astaire and once again by another jazz artist, either a singer or instrumentalist.

Fred Astaire was a great stylist, which is as evident in his singing as in his dancing. In the 1930s, when Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers had a string of hit movies, these songs were chart-topping hits, and many other jazz singers covered them too. Along with Fred Astaire, we will hear Tony Bennet, Art Tatum, Frank Sinatra, Anita O’Day, Benny Goodman with Gene Krupa and Teddy Wilson, and the king and queen, Ella and Louis. The Fred Astaire recordings from the early ’50s have Oscar Peterson on piano, with Barney Kessel on guitar, Ray Brown, bass and Alvin Stoller, drums.

  1. Steppin’ Out With My Baby, Fred Astaire
  2. Steppin’ Out With My Baby, Tony Bennett
  3. They All Laughed, Fred Astaire
  4. They All Laughed, Tony Bennett
  5. The Way You Look Tonight, Fred Astaire
  6. The Way You Look Tonight, Art Tatum
  7. Nice Work If You Can Get It, Frank Sinatra & Count Basie Orchestra
  8. Nice Work If You Can Get It, Fred Astaire
  9. Cheek to Cheek, Fred Astaire
  10. Cheek to Cheek, Oscar Peterson Trio w/ Ray Brown
  11. They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra
  12. They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Fred Astaire
  13. I Won’t Dance, Anita O’Day & a big LA studio band
  14. I Won’t Dance, Fred Astaire
  15. Puttin’ On The Ritz, Benny Goodman
  16. Puttin’ On The Ritz, Fred Astaire
  17. Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off, Fred Astaire
  18. Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong


Big cathedral bell:

Radio Morcote International liner:

This Is Jazz Propaganda Syndrome promo & show opener: