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45 Segments




Jazz Saxophonist Phil Woods

The accomplished musician shares his approach to improvisation and teaching. He considers the changing approach and education of younger musicians is affecting the future of jazz.


Jazz Saxophonist Al Cohn

The tenor player has been working in jazz for nearly 40 years. He also works as an arranger for television. He talks about his development as a musician and his work performing in clubs.


Tenor Saxophonist Chico Freeman

Freeman's time studying with Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) was crucial to his musical development. A student of both the avant-garde and traditional bop traditions, his compositions draw inspiration from different facets of the African American experience.


Jazz Saxophonist and Composer Frank Foster

The accomplished musician made his mark as a member of Count Basie's band. Foster later earned his Ph.D. in music and worked as an educator. He now leads his own big band, an endeavor he admits is difficult to sustain financially.


Alto Saxophonist Lee Konitz

The jazz musician studied with pianist Lennie Tristano before seeking out work in big bands. Konitz joins Fresh Air's Terry Gross to talk about the personal and financial hardships that accompanied the dogged pursuit of his career.


Embracing the Life of an Artist

Larry Rivers began his career as a jazz saxophonist before becoming a painter at twenty-three. He says he was drawn to the solitary nature of making art and how art could draw from a broader range of experiences than jazz.


Tenor Saxophonist Benny Golson

The jazz musician and arranger grew up in Philadelphia and developed his chops early on during jam sessions with John Coltrane and Percy Keith, among others who would grow up to become jazz legends. After getting his big break in Art Blakey's band, Golson spent years writing and arranging music for several television shows.


Saxophonist Frank Morgan

The jazz musician served time for crimes related to his heroin addiction. He left prison with his chops intact--he was often able to practice sax and perform for his fellow inmates.


Erasing Charlie Parker's Contradictions

Clint Eastwood's biopic Bird delves deep into the personal life and legend of Charlie Parker. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says the story fails to connect these often tumultuous moments with the genius of Parker's music.


Soprano Saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom

The critically-acclaimed jazz artist is known for her use of electronics in her performances. She joins Fresh Air to discuss musical development and her experience as a woman in a male-dominated scene.


Jazz Musician Loren Schoenberg

The thirty-year-old saxophonist leads a new big band that performs pieces from the classic swing era. He formed a professional and personal relationship with Benny Goodman, and now stewards the archive of the jazz legends' recordings.


Tenor Saxophonist Kurt Hoffman

Hoffman is one of the primary composers for the unusual ensemble The Ordinaires, which features rock instrumentation along with reeds and strings. The band formed in 1982 in New York City.


A Big Sound from the Microscopic Septet

Joel Forrester and Phillip Johnston founded the NYC-based jazz combo. The group had trouble finding an audience early on, in part because of their unique blending of styles. Forrester and Johnston join Fresh Air to talk about their influences, and the logistics of keeping such a large group together.

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