Clarinetist Kenny Davern takes a lot of inspiration from the small jazz bands of the 1920s and 1930s, although he has worked in contemporary and avant-garde jazz. Davern started playing professionally in the 1950s and has worked with many jazz legends. In the 1970s he played soprano saxophone with Bob Wilbur in the group Soprano Summit. He now plays clarinet exclusively. Davern is in town to perform, and joins the show to discuss his distaste for "Dixie Land" music, his musical influences, and career in jazz.
Band leader Woody Herman. This interview was originally recorded in May, 1986. Herman, who died on Thursday, was the leader of numerous big bands, all variously called The Thundering Herd. His bands were noted for their dazzling improvisation combined with their incisive ensemble playing.
Jazz clarinetist and alto and soprano saxophonist Bob Wilber. Wilber is also a composer and arranger; He arranged the music for the film "The Cotton Club." And he's just completed his autobiography. It's scheduled for release later this spring and is titled "Music Was Not Enough." This Saturday, Wilber will lead a tribute at Carnegie Hall to the late Benny Goodman, the king of the jazz clarinet. It's the 50th anniversary of Goodman's famed concert there.
Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the new album "Whatever Next!," from Wally Fawkes and his Soho Shakers. Fawkes is an English clarinetist who has been a part of the British traditional jazz scene since its beginnings in the 1940s.
Jazz Critic Kevin Whitehead reviews "Bayou Magic," a new album by clarinetist Alvin Batiste. Since the 50s, Batiste has been a key figure in the modern jazz movement in New Orleans. Under the auspices of the State Department, he has toured the world extensively, and is also a teacher at Southern University in Baton Rouge, where his students have included Branford Marsalis and Donald Harrison.
Jazz composer/clarinetist John Carter. He has just completed a five part music series chronicling the black migration experience from Africa to America: "Roots and Folklore: Episodes in the Development of American Folk Music. The final program in the series, "Shadows on A Wall," premiered recently as part of the New Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The festival celebrates performers working on the edge of classical, rock, and jazz styles. Carter's performances are also out on disc.
Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews clarinetist John Carter's new album, "Shadows on a Wall." The album concludes Carter's 5 album musical saga of the African-American experience. Kevin says the series doesn't recreate history, but it DOES reimagine it.