Writer John Szwed is the author of the new biography, So What: The Life of Miles Davis about the influential jazz trumpeter. Szwed is the John M. Musser Professor of Anthropology, African American Studies, Music and American Studies at Yale University. He is also the author of the biography Space is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra, about another innovative musician.
The latest CD from New Orleans trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard is A Tale of God's Will, whose subtitle is "A Requiem for Katrina."
Parts of the recording were heard in Spike Lee's HBO documentary When the Levees Broke. Blanchard, who's scored many films, including Eve's Bayou and Malcolm X, got his start with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers.
He is artistic director for the Thelonious Monk Institute at the University of Southern California.
Wynton Marsalis has been playing the trumpet since he was 6, and won his first Grammy at 20 and has 9 total. He's also the first jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize. His latest album is The Magic Hour. (This Interview first aired Dec. 7, 1994.)
The grandson of singer and songwriter Jimmy McHugh, McHugh and his family manage the estate of the legendary artist. Songwriter Jimmy McHugh was famous in the forties and fifties for songs like “The Sunny Side of the Street.” Today, McHugh talks about the resurgence of interest in his grandfather’s jazz standards. Several remakes of McHugh’s songs presently hold top spots in the jazz charts.
Jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie. Bowie was considered one of the most original trumpeters in jazz, and a master of horn effects. He died in November of 1999. Bowie started out playing with Saint Louis R&B bands. In 1969, he helped found the Art Ensemble of Chicago as an outlet for more eclectic and avant-garde jazz. Bowie also headed his own band, Lester Bowie's Jazz Fantasy. (originally broadcast 11/3/89)