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.
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.
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.