Jazz at 100

Jazz at 100 poster copy

Program List

Hour 1: Jazz Comes to Records – First Jazz Recordings and Precedents

Hour 2: New Orleans Diaspora – Kid Ory & King Oliver

Hour 3: New Orleans Diaspora – Jelly Roll Morton & Sidney Bechet

Hour 4: Chicago Jazz Roots

Hour 5: Up in Harlem – The Bands

Hour 6: Up in Harlem – Stride

Hour 7: New Orleans Diaspora – Louis Armstrong’s Hot Fives and Sevens

Hour 8: Bix and the Boys

Hour 9: Up in Harlem – Duke Ellington

Hour 10: Birth of the Big Bands

Hour 11: Kansas City and the Territory Bands

Hour 12: The Ascent of the Tenor – Coleman Hawkins

Hour 13: Count Basie – Dueling Tenors and the Great American Rhythm Section

Hour 14: Beyond Category – Duke Ellington in the 1930s

Hour 15: Chick Webb & Benny Goodman

Hour 16: Billie Holiday & Ella Fitzgerald

Hour 17: The Entertainers – Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway and Lionel Hampton

Hour 18: The Entertainers – Fats Waller

Hour 19: Small Groups of the 1930s – Chu Berry, Roy Eldridge, Johnny Hodges, Lester Young

Hour 20: Small Groups – Benny Goodman, Django Reinhardt, John Kirby

Hour 21: The Swing Era

Hour 22: Bebop Big Bands

Hour 23: The Birth of Bebop

Hour 24: R&B – Bebop’s Twin

Hour 25: Yardbird – The Savoy and Dial Recordings of Charlie Parker

Hour 26: That Dizzy Cat – Dizzy Gillespie

Hour 27: Un Poco Loco – The Intensity of Bud Powell

Hour 28: The Genius of Modern Music – Thelonious Monk on Blue Note

Hour 29: Tadd Dameron – Fats Navarro – Sonny Stitt – JJ Johnson

Hour 30: Jazz on Central Avenue – Bebop in Los Angeles

In early 1917, the Original Dixieland Jazz Band made the first jazz recording. Over the next 100 years we have heard transcendent leaps of creativity and staggering virtuosity; we have experienced the music of crushing pain, breathless romance, anger, exhilaration and humor. “Jazz at 100” is that story – one hundred years of jazz recordings – in 100 one-hour programs that will present representative music from a century of recorded jazz history. The series will explore the broad sweep of that narrative; its representative and its idiosyncratic players; its durable movements and dead ends; its popular recordings and rarities.

Hour 1: Jazz Comes to Records – First Jazz Recordings and Precedents

On February 26, 1917, five musicians from New Orleans recorded for Victor Records in New York as the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, bringing a new syncopated music to the broader world – jazz. The new music form had developed and evolved in New Orleans and Chicago, primarily, from a rich mix of sources. In this hour, we’ll be exploring these first recordings and their antecedents – African rhythms, sanctified singing, vaudeville, minstrelsy, blues and ragtime.

Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 1: Jazz Comes to Records – First Jazz Recordings and Precedents

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Hour 2:  New Orleans Diaspora – Kid Ory & King Oliver

As New Orleans lost its commercial position as a major port and blacks fled the oppression of the American south, the cream of NOLA musicians hit the road. Many would play a significant role in the development of jazz.  In this hour we will explore the music of two of these pioneers – trombonist Kid Ory and cornetist King Oliver.

Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 2: New Orleans Diaspora – Kid Ory & King Oliver

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Hour 3: New Orleans Diaspora – Jelly Roll Morton & Sidney Bechet

In this hour, we’ll explore the music of two more giants of the New Orleans diaspora, pianist and composer Jelly Roll Morton, who left Louisiana in 1908 and clarinetist and soprano saxophone player Sidney Bechet, who hit the road in 1916. In the complex racial landscape of New Orleans, both Jelly Roll Morton, born Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe, and Sidney Bechet, like Kid Ory, were creoles. Creoles were lighter skinned mixed-race people, who brought conservatory musical training to the mélange that became jazz.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 3: New Orleans Diaspora – Jelly Roll Morton & Sidney Bechet

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Hour 4: Chicago Jazz Roots

In addition to King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong, The Chicago scene bristled with black and white bands, initially dominated by more New Orleans musicians, but in time a home grown group of Chicago players emerged. In this hour, we’ll return to the Chicago of King Oliver. As the 1920s progressed the Chicago music scene attracted such early jazz luminaries as Louisiana born clarinetists Jimmie Noone, Johnny Dodds and Leon Roppolo, Earl Hines from Pittsburgh, pianist Lovie Austin from Chattanooga, and Georgia-born trumpeter Jabbo Smith. We will also explore the scant recorded legacy of Freddie Keppard, who reigned in New Orleans as Cornet King after Buddy Bolden, until unseated by Joe “King” Oliver.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 4: Chicago Jazz Roots

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Hour 5:  Up in Harlem – The Bands

Now we move from Chicago to the other emerging center of the music in the 1920s, New York. While New York hosted small combos similar to Chicago, it also grew a number of significant larger groups and orchestras. We’ll hear from orchestras led by Fletcher Henderson, Paul Whiteman, Don Redman and Red Allen. Within these bands, we’ll find some of the greatest soloists of the period – Bix Beiderbecke, Coleman Hawkins, Miff Mole, and Louis Armstrong, who spent a little more than a year in Harlem in 1924 and 1925.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 5: Up in Harlem – The Bands

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Hour 6: Up in Harlem – Stride

In the last hour, we listened to several of the bands associated with New York, with an emphasis on the new large ensemble form, the jazz orchestra. In this hour we’ll stick with New York, but focus in on the piano music of Harlem – “Stride.” We are joined in this hour by Art Wheeler, pianist, producer, composer and educator.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 6: Up in Harlem – Stride

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Hour 7: New Orleans Diaspora – Louis Armstrong’s Hot Fives and Sevens

In the past two hours, we’ve heard the music of the newly conceived jazz orchestras of New York and the Harlem-style or “Stride” pianists. We touched on Louis Armstrong’s contributions to the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra and the invention of the big band soloist. In this hour, we return with Louis Armstrong to Chicago and listen to his seminal small group recordings. We are joined in this hour by John D’earth – trumpet player, composer educator and member of the jazz performance faculty at the McIntyre Department of Music at UVa.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 7: New Orleans Diaspora – Louis Armstrong’s Hot Fives and Sevens

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Hour 8: Bix and the Boys

In the last hour we heard the most important jazz recordings of the 1920s – the Hot Fives and Hot Sevens led by cornetist Louis Armstrong. Perhaps the other most influential cornet player of the era was a young white player from Davenport Iowa, Bix Beiderbecke. In this hour we will listen to his music often in the company of C-melody saxophonist Frankie Trumbauer. We’ll also listen to several bands featuring cornetist Red Nichols and ground-breaking trombonist Miff Mole. We are joined in this hour by Brendan Wolfe, the author of “Finding Bix – The Life and Afterlife of a Jazz Legend”. He is the managing editor of the Encyclopedia of Virginia, a project of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 8: Bix and the Boys

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Hour 9: Up in Harlem – Duke Ellington

In previous programs in this series, we have listened to Stride pianists and jazz orchestras from New York. In this hour, we’ll return to Harlem to listen to maybe the most important band leader in jazz history and one of the most significant composers of the music – Duke Ellington. We are joined in this hour by John D’earth – trumpet player, composer, educator and member of the music performance faculty of the McIntyre Department of Music at the University of Virginia.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 9: Up in Harlem – Duke Ellington

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Hour 10: Birth of the Big Bands

In the last hour, we listened to the pioneering jazz orchestra of Duke Ellington. Large jazz ensembles, such as Ellington’s, soon to be known as “Big Bands”, evolved through the 1920s with significant innovations led by bandleaders Fletcher Henderson, Benny Carter, Jimmy Lunceford and Don Redman, and arrangers Carter, Redman, Edgar Sampson and Sy Oliver. By the mid-1930s Big Bands dominated popular music.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 10: Birth of the Big Bands

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Hour 11: Kansas City and the Territory Bands

Outside of the Chicago – New York nexus, jazz thrived during the late 1920’s and 1930’s in Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, with its center in Kansas City. Under the careful control of Boss Pendergast, Kansas City was a wide open town with a thriving night club music scene, nurturing musicians like Joe Turner, Count Basie, Ben Webster, Lester Young and Charlie Parker. Working the urban centers and roadhouses in the region were a slew of “territory bands” only a handful of whom are preserved in the recorded legacy. In this hour, we’ll explore the early jazz of Kansas City and the Territory Bands. Our guest in this hour is Jeff Decker – saxophonist, composer, educator and member of the jazz performance faculty of the University of Virginia McIntyre Department of Music


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 11: Kansas City and the Territory Bands

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Hour 12: The Ascent of the Tenor – Coleman Hawkins

We have to remember that the clarinet dominated the reeds throughout the 1920s. Sidney Bechet made a stand with the soprano sax and Frankie Trumbauer celebrated the lightness of the C-melody sax. And then there was Coleman Hawkins. Our guest in this hour is Jeff Decker – saxophonist, composer, educator and member of the jazz performance faculty of the University of Virginia McIntyre Department of Music


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 12: The Ascent of the Tenor – Coleman Hawkins

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Hour 13: Count Basie – Dueling Tenors and the Great American Rhythm Section

In the eleventh hour of Jazz at 100, we followed Count Basie through the Benny Moten Band in Kansas City and heard his first recordings as a leader. In 1937, after Benny Moten’s death, he took the nation by storm with his driving band lead by the “All American Rhythm Section” and the dual tenor saxophones of Herschel Evans and Lester Young. We are joined in this hour by Robert Jospe – percussionist, composer, recording artist and member of the performance faculty at the McIntire Department of Music at the University of Virginia.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 13: Count Basie – Dueling Tenors and the Great American Rhythm Section

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Hour 14: Beyond Category – Duke Ellington in the 1930s

In the last hour, we heard Count Basie emerge as an exciting new voice from Kansas City. In this hour, we return to New York to follow Duke Ellington’s innovative path through the 1930s as he experiments with longer musical forms while building one of his greatest bands featuring tenor player Ben Webster and bassist Jimmy Blanton. We are joined in this hour by Peter Spaar – bassist, composer, educator and member of the performance faculty of the McIntyre Department of Music at the University of Virginia.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 14: Beyond Category – Duke Ellington in the 1930s

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Hour 15: Chick Webb & Benny Goodman

In the mid-1930s, jazz orchestras led by drummer Chick Webb and clarinetist Benny Goodman rose to prominence with the arrangements of Edgar Sampson and Fletcher Henderson. After launching the careers of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan, Webb succumbed to spinal tuberculosis in 1939, at age 34. Goodman launched the careers of Gene Krupa, Teddy Wilson, Lionel Hampton, Harry James and Charlie Christian over a storied run that earned him the controversial sobriquet “King of Swing”.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 15: Chick Webb & Benny Goodman

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Hour 16: Billie Holiday & Ella Fitzgerald

Billie Holiday began recording at 18 years old in 1933 in a session with Bennie Goodman and was musically active until her death at 44 in 1959. Ella Fitzgerald also began recording at 18 (in 1935 as the singer with Chick Webb), but in her case, her career surged again in the mid-1950’s with the songbook series on Verve. They are perhaps the two most important female singers to come out of the Swing Era.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 16: Billie Holiday & Ella Fitzgerald

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Hour 17: The Entertainers – Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway and Lionel Hampton

Jazz has often been understood through the lens of the conflict between art and commerce. In the 1930s, several artists successfully blurred these distinctions. Louis Armstrong adopted popular song as his vehicle foe a successful career shift into the mainstream. Cab Calloway defined his popular hipster persona while fronting one of the most professional big bands of the era and providing an incubator for numerous future jazz starts including Dizzy Gillespie, Chu Berry and Milt Hinton. Lionel Hampton, a key member of Benny Goodman’s courageous color-blind quartet and the leading vibraphone player of his generation, created a series of high-energy recordings that were foundational in the development of Rhythm and Blues.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 17: The Entertainers – Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway and Lionel Hampton

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Hour 18: The Entertainers – Fats Waller

In this hour, we continue to explore the intersection of art and commerce. In the 1930s, Fats Waller was one of the artists that successfully blurred this distinction. By far the most commercially successful of the stride pianists, he made his reputation (and his living) through comedy. One of the most recorded jazz composers, Waller also has to make anyone’s shortlist of the most entertaining jazz performers.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 18: The Entertainers – Fats Waller

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Hour 19: Small Groups of the 1930s – Chu Berry, Roy Eldridge, Johnny Hodges, Lester Young

While the jazz of the thirties was predominantly remembered as coming from orchestras and big bands, seminal soloists continued to record memorable music in small group settings, setting the stage for disruptive industry transitions to come in the 1940s.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 19: Small Groups of the 1930s – Chu Berry, Roy Eldridge, Johnny Hodges, Lester Young

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Hour 20: Small Groups – Benny Goodman, Django Reinhardt, John Kirby

In the last hour we heard from prominent Swing Era soloists Chu Berry, Roy Eldridge, Johnny Hodges and Lester Young, featured in small group settings. Continuing in the small group vein, in this hour we’ll hear from the Benny Goodman Trio, Quartet and sextet, Django Reinhardt and le Quintette Du Hot Club de France avec Stephane Grappelli and the influential, but less well known sextet led by bassist John Kirby.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 20: Small Groups – Benny Goodman, Django Reinhardt, John Kirby

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Hour 21: The Swing Era

In the late 1930s and early 1940s, the very dance-oriented swinging music of the Big Bands was the most popular music around. Never had jazz been more central to mass culture. Just over the horizon were the draft of 1940 that eventually conscripted 10 million men, making it increasingly difficult to field top notch bands; war shortages of gasoline and shellac limiting both touring and recording; the economic infeasibility of touring with 16-member orchestras; the musicians strike and recording ban of 1942 – 1944 and the resulting decline in the major labels and the rise of independent labels; the decline of dance halls in the aftermath of the war; and the rise of juke boxes and radio as primary entertainment media.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 21: The Swing Era

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Hour 22: Bebop Big Bands

Although Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Woody Herman soldiered on, mostly keeping bands on the road into the 1970s (Ellington) and 1980s (Basie and Herman), the era of the big band effectively ended with the AFM strike and World War Two shortages of gas, rubber and players. A leaner combo-oriented music emerged in night clubs after the war. Several band leaders sought to find common ground with the new music and the big band format, but as dance halls faded, the economics of the large ensemble no longer worked.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 22: Bebop Big Bands

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Hour 23: The Birth of Bebop

Bebop! The fast and harmonically-challenging music born in jam sessions in the early 1940s, burst on the scene in the work of Dizzy Gillespie, Charley Parker, and Thelonious Monk. “By the early 1940s … a new approach to small-combo jazz playing was developing, characterized by a more flexible approach to rhythm, a more aggressive pursuit of instrumental virtuosity, and an increasingly adventurous harmonic language.” – Scott Deveaux


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 23: The Birth of Bebop

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Hour 24: R&B – Bebop’s Twin

Some of the same forces that launched Bebop as a break from Big Band Swing, also fueled the birth of Rhythm and Blues – the rise of independent labels in the wake of the recording ban of 1942 – 1944, the economic infeasibility of touring with 16-member orchestras, the decline of dance halls in the aftermath of the war, and the rise of juke boxes and radio as primary entertainment media. Bebop and R&B also shared the big bands as a common pool of musicians who used that platform to explore the harmonically-rich alternative to swing in bebop and the rhythmically propelled alternative in R&B.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 24: R&B – Bebop’s Twin

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Hour 25: Yardbird – The Savoy and Dial Recordings of Charlie Parker

Emerging from the Jay McShann Orchestra from Kansas City and relentlessly curious about how to play the new music he heard in his head, Charlie Parker found sympathetic players in New York, especially Dizzy Gillespie. In November of 1945, Bird, as he was universally known, began to record with his own quintets and sextets in a legendary series of recordings for Dial in Hollywood and Savoy in Newark. By the end of 1948, when he began to record for Normal Granz and his Clef, Mercury and Verve labels, Bird’s reputation was forever secure

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Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 25: Yardbird – The Savoy and Dial Recordings of Charlie Parker

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Hour 26: That Dizzy Cat – Dizzy Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie grew up professionally playing in the big bands of Teddy Hill, Cab Calloway, Earl Hines and Billy Eckstine and writing for Woody Herman and Jimmy Dorsey. The wartime economy with its shortages and the musician’s strike of the early 1940s led Gillespie to focus on small combos for his own projects, including his seminal collaborations with Charlie Parker in 1945 – 1946. However Dizzy returned whenever he could to the big band format and by mid-1946, he was fronting the first of several financially challenging but musically groundbreaking big bands.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 26: That Dizzy Cat – Dizzy Gillespie

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Hour 27: Un Poco Loco – The Intensity of Bud Powell

Mentored by Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell became the first great piano innovator of bebop. “It would be hard to overstate Powell’s impact. His ingenious technique and originality as an improviser and composer established the foundation for all pianists to follow. Long after bop had faded, Powell remained a source of inspiration for pianists as varied as the harmonically engrossed Bill Evans and the rhythmically unfettered Cecil Taylor. In other words there is jazz piano Before Powell and After Powell.” – Gary Giddens & Scott DeVeaux


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 27: Un Poco Loco – The Intensity of Bud Powell

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Hour 28: The Genius of Modern Music – Thelonious Monk on Blue Note

In 1940, Minton’s Playhouse on West 118th Street hired drummer Kenny Clarke as a bandleader. For the house band, Clarke hired trumpeter Joe Guy, bassist Nick Fenton, and an eccentric pianist named Thelonious Monk. Although Monk recorded with Coleman Hawkins in 1944, he didn’t record with his own group until 1947. Despite these kind of gaps that occur throughout his discography, he is competitive with Duke Ellington for the most recorded composer in jazz. The Blue Note recordings of 1947 – 1952 include many of the most recognized of his compositions.


Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 28: The Genius of Modern Music – Thelonious Monk on Blue Note

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Hour 29: Tadd Dameron – Fats Navarro – Sonny Stitt – JJ Johnson

In the past several hours of Jazz at 100, we have featured the music of Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, and Max Roach. In this hour, we will continue to present bebop innovators – pianist/composer Tadd Dameron and his frequent (but short-lived) collaborator Fats Navarro, the next great bebop trumpeter after Dizzy Gillespie, and two of the greatest and longest-lived bebop soloists, Bird’s rival – alto saxophonist Sonny Stitt who recorded until 1982 and the first significant bebop trombonist JJ Johnson, who was active in music until 1996.

Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 29: Tadd Dameron – Fats Navarro – Sonny Stitt – JJ Johnson

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Hour 30: Jazz on Central Avenue – Bebop in Los Angeles

Most of the pioneering bebop musicians we have featured in the past several programs were centered in New York – Bird, Dizzy, Monk, Bud Powell, Coleman Hawkins, Fats Navarro, JJ Johnson, Max Roach. While New York may have dominated the modern music scene, it wasn’t the only scene. The wartime economy in southern California brought an influx of African-American workers, not dissimilar to Chicago in the 1920s, and with them musicians, nightclubs and dance halls.

Annotated Playlist and Resources available at: Hour 30: Jazz on Central Avenue – Bebop in Los Angeles

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