Pop songs, protest, poetic musings – vocalist Abbey Lincoln (1930-2010) explored a passionate spectrum of styles on her way to being hailed as the premiere jazz singer of her time. Geoffrey Smith picks highlights from a unique career.
Anita O’Day (1919-2006) and June Christy ( 1925-1990) were queens of big band singing in the 1940s and 50s, starring with Gene Krupa and Stan Kenton before going solo. O’Day was hot, Christy was cool, and Geoffrey Smith compares their styles and careers.
Jamaica’s gift to British jazz, altoist Joe Harriott (1928-73) mixed bebop fire with intuitive, free-form improvisation and Indo-Jazz fusion, producing a series of groundbreaking recordings before his early death. Geoffrey Smith salutes a rare talent.
On the day tenor saxophone legend Sonny Rollins turns eighty-nine, Geoffrey Smith celebrates the man hailed as the greatest living jazz musician with a selection of tracks from Rollins’ own archive of road show performances, including such classics as “Don’t Stop the Carnival”.
Deeply if unconventionally religious, Duke Ellington regarded the three Sacred Music Concerts of his last years as “the most important thing I have ever done.” Geoffrey Smith selects highlights from these passionate, exuberant, personal works combining song, dance and the great Ellington band.