In the Groove

Oh Me, Oh My, Oh Gosh — Slim & Slam!

Slim And SlamThis week the high spirited music and exuberant antics of Slim Gaillard and Slam Stewart together–and not together–are featured in movie and video clips.  We listen to a couple of selections on the show as well.


Charles McPherson’s 75th

charlesmcphersonAlto saxophonist Charles McPherson celebrated his 75th birthday last Thursday.  Scott Yanow praises him as “a Charlie Parker disciple who brings his own lyricism to the bebop language, Charles McPherson has been a reliable figure in modern mainstream jazz for more than 35 years. He played in the Detroit jazz scene of the mid-’50s, moved to New York in 1959, and within a year was working with Charles Mingus.”

This month his group performed at the Jazz Standard in NYC; up coming concerts are at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago and Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Lincoln Center.  I feature a number of McPherson’s recordings on ITG this week.  (photo by Laurent Kramer)

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Interview Part 3:
Interview Part 4:

Junior Cook: Good Cookin’

junior-cookYesterday was the 80th anniversary of the birth of the hard bop tenor Junior Cook who played with the Horace Silver Quintet during the period that Blue Mitchell was the group’s trumpeter.  This week on ITG we listen to a number of selections from Cook’s recordings as a leader, including from Good Cookin’.

Tom Reney‘s blog post quotes the late Horace Silver: “One thing I liked about the Blue Mitchell-Junior Cook band was that they could play bebop and they could play funky. Some musicians in those days excelled at bebop but couldn’t play funky. Other musicians excelled at playing funky but couldn’t play bebop. [They] played well in both idioms.” (Junior Cook photo by Francis Wolff, 1965)