In honour of Bastille Day, Geoffrey Smith celebrates a legendary jazz ensemble, the Quintet of the Hot Club of France. Spearheaded by the gypsy genius of the guitar, Django Reinhardt, and the stylish violin of Stephane Grappelli, the Hot Club Quintet proved you didn’t have to be American to play great jazz.
A true big band godfather, Woody Herman made history with his First and Second Herds in the 1940s, then repeated the feat in the 1960s with the passionate, exuberantly youthful crew known as The Swinging Herd. Geoffrey Smith plays hits by this stunning 60s Herman ensemble.
Though now a world-renowned media mogul, Quincy Jones began as a jazz prodigy, composing for a galaxy of big names as well as his own star-packed ensembles. Geoffrey Smith celebrates his jazz roots.
A virtuoso of contemporary bass, Charlie Haden starred with Ornette Coleman’s classic quartet, played duos with Keith Jarrett and led his own Liberation Orchestra and Quartet West. Geoffrey Smith traces his many-sided career from its roots in country music.
A godfather of modern jazz percussion, Max Roach (1924-2007) also fought for racial equality and respect for African-American culture. Geoffrey Smith surveys his distinguished career as player, leader and composer, with such stellar colleagues as Clifford Brown and Sonny Rollins.