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Geoffrey Smith’s Jazz

Joe Harriott

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.

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Sonny Rollins Road Shows

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”.

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Duke Ellington Sacred Concerts

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.

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Bill Coleman

Though trumpeter Bill Coleman (1904-1981) played with Fats Waller and Coleman Hawkins, he made his main career in France, with the likes of Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt. Geoffrey Smith salutes a shining expat star.

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Wayne Shorter

On the weekend of Wayne Shorter’s birthday, Geoffrey Smith salutes the great saxophonist-composer with music written for his own groups, and those of Miles Davis and Art Blakey.

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Wayne Shorter

On the weekend of Wayne Shorter’s birthday, Geoffrey Smith salutes the great saxophonist-composer with music written for his own groups, and those of Miles Davis and Art Blakey.

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Don Pullen

Pianist Don Pullen (1944-95) moved effortlessly from avant-garde to bebop to blues. Geoffrey Smith surveys a keyboard original who starred with Charles Mingus and in his own hard-hitting groups, while creating such rhapsodic solo pieces as Ode to Life.

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Woody Shaw

During his tragically short career, trumpeter Woody Shaw (1944-89) won praise across the jazz spectrum, from Eric Dolphy and Miles Davis to Wynton Marsalis, for his brilliant technique and story-telling power. Geoffrey Smith celebrates a master who died all too young.

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1950s Miles Davis Quintet

In the mid-1950s, trumpet icon Miles Davis (1926-91) led a legendary quintet featuring rising tenor superstar John Coltrane and a famously fiery rhythm section. Geoffrey Smith picks highlights from their classic repertoire.

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