Jazz Library

Jazz Library

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006x41z
Programme offering advice and guidance to those interested in building a library of jazz recordings or adding to an existing one


Great British Jazz Recordings
Apr 28, 2012 • 31 min
In the final edition of the present series of Jazz Library, Alyn Shipton presents archive interviews with Kenny Baker, Vic Lewis, Coleridge Goode and Annie Ross in which they select some highlights of British jazz records from the 1930s to the 1960s, from…
Milt Jackson
Apr 21, 2012 • 25 min
Alyn Shipton selects the most enduring records from vibraphonist Milt Jackson’s extensive catalogue, with the help of an archive interview with Jackson himself.
Alan Skidmore
Mar 28, 2012 • 29 min
Alan Skidmore is a legendary figure in British jazz and one of its truly individual saxophone voices. To celebrate his imminent 70th birthday, he joins Alyn Shipton to select some of his finest recordings, ranging from work with John Mayall and Eric…
Paul Motian
Mar 15, 2012 • 32 min
From his early recordings with the Bill Evans trio in the 1950s, Paul Motian remained in the very highest echelons of jazz until his death in November 2011. His former colleague, the saxophonist Martin Speake, who worked with Motian on record and in…
Boyd Raeburn
Feb 27, 2012 • 38 min
Bruce Boyd Raeburn joins Alyn Shipton to select some unusual examples of the original works of his jazz bandleader father, Boyd Raeburn.
Red Mitchell
Feb 18, 2012 • 32 min
Simon Woolf joins Alyn Shipton to explore the recorded legacy of American bassist Red Mitchell - from his early years on the West Coast and time in Sweden to his later work in duos.
Bob Brookmeyer
Feb 4, 2012 • 28 min
In 2011, trombonist, bandleader and arranger Bob Brookmeyer celebrated his 80th birthday. To mark the event, Alyn Shipton met Brookmeyer to pick the highlights of his recorded work, ranging from his pioneering small group playing with Gerry Mulligan and…
John Etheridge
Jan 28, 2012 • 32 min
John Etheridge is one of Britain’s most versatile jazz musicians. He joins Alyn Shipton to pick his recordings, including Soft Machine and his acclaimed duo with John Williams.
The Best New Releases of 2011
Dec 24, 2011 • 33 min
Alyn Shipton is joined by a group of the country’s leading jazz critics, broadcasters and writers to select the best new releases of 2011.
David Sanborn
Dec 10, 2011 • 33 min
Saxophonist David Sanborn joins Alyn Shipton in front of an audience at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, during the 2011 London Jazz Festival to select his finest recordings. A star of fusion, but with a far wider stylistic range, Sanborn looks back at his 1975…
Regina Carter
Nov 26, 2011 • 40 min
Violinist Regina Carter is a major jazz talent from Detroit. She joins Alyn Shipton in front of an audience at the Purcell Room to pick her finest records as part of the London Jazz Festival. The music covers her own bands plus collaborations with Kenny…
Trevor Watts
Nov 22, 2011 • 33 min
Prior to his appearance with Veryan Weston at the 2011 London Jazz Festival (in association with Radio 3), saxophonist, percussionist and bandleader Trevor Watts joins Alyn Shipton to pick the highlights of his recorded career. From the vigorous sounds of…
Michel Portal
Oct 29, 2011 • 26 min
French saxophonist Michel Portal is also one of the world’s great classical clarinettists, and a restless musical experimenter. In this week’s programme, prior to a concert at the London Jazz Festival, Portal joins Alyn Shipton to pick some of the best…
Louis Jordan
Oct 22, 2011 • 42 min
The saxophonist and singer Louis Jordan bridged the gap between jazz and rhythm and blues, pioneering many techniques that would be the foundation of r and b, and of rock, but always played as straight ahead jazz. Jordan produced dozens of classic…
Barney Wilen
Sep 24, 2011 • 37 min
The French saxophonist Barney Wilen is best known for his 1950s recordings with Miles Davis, on the score for Louis Malle’s film “Lift to the Scaffold”. But his work is much wider than this. After growing up in America, he fitted naturally into groups led…
Gerry Mulligan
Sep 17, 2011 • 35 min
Gerry Mulligan was one of the finest baritone saxophonists in jazz history, bringing an effortless grace to the large instrument, enhanced by his skill as a composer and arranger. Brian Priestley joins Alyn Shipton to select Mulligan’s key recordings,…
Django Bates
Sep 14, 2011 • 38 min
Pianist, composer and bandleader Django Bates has been one of the most innovative figures on the European jazz scene since the 1980s. In front of an audience at this year’s Cheltenham Jazz Festival, he joins Alyn Shipton to look back over his recorded…
Ray Brown
Sep 10, 2011 • 30 min
Famous for his associations with Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson and Ella Fitzgerald (who was also his wife) bassist Ray Brown (who died in 2002) talked to Alyn Shipton about his key recordings in a 1996 interview for Radio 3. In addition to many records…
Lalo Schifrin
Sep 3, 2011 • 21 min
Best known for his film themes such as “Mission Impossible”, Argentine pianist and composer Lalo Schifrin is also one of the world’s great jazz musicians. In an archive interview with Alyn Shipton he traces his recording career, starting with Dizzy…
Artie Shaw
Aug 27, 2011 • 33 min
Artie Shaw was one of the most technically brilliant clarinettists in jazz. He was also an improviser, composer and bandleader of the first order, until he ended his career at the age of 44, believing that he had said all he had to say as a musician. Alan…
Oliver Nelson
Aug 20, 2011 • 33 min
Oliver Nelson wrote and directed the iconic album Blues and The Abstract Truth - a defining 1960s jazz record. In this programme Guy Barker joins Alyn Shipton to explore the wealth of material that Nelson created as both arranger and saxophonist in a…
Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen
Aug 13, 2011 • 25 min
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen was one of the most technically brilliant jazz double bassists from the 1960s to the early 2000s, until his sudden death from a heart attack in April 2005. Most famous for his work with Oscar Peterson, Niels-Henning also…
Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison
Jul 30, 2011 • 24 min
The star trumpeter with Count Basie in the 1930s and 40s, Harry Sweets Edison went on to become one of the most recorded trumpet soloists in jazz. In an interview recorded for Radio 3 in 1992 he joined Alyn Shipton to select his favourite recordings from…
Stephane Grappelli
Jul 23, 2011 • 36 min
Looking back on the long recording career of Stephane Grappelli, Alyn Shipton is joined by Martin Taylor who played with the great French violinist for several years. The music spans over fifty years from the first 1930s discs by the Hot Club of France,…
Jo Jones
Jul 16, 2011 • 35 min
In the Count Basie Orchestra from 1936-48, Jo Jones redefined jazz drumming. Percussionist Richard Pite joins Alyn Shipton to select Jones’s finest recordings, and to demonstrate some of his innovations in the studio. As well as the Basie band, the…
Alex Welsh
Jul 9, 2011 • 30 min
Alex Welsh was a fine traditional and mainstream trumpeter, who led one of Britain’s best jazz groups from the 1950s to the 1980s. Digby Fairweather, who knew him well and inherited Welsh’s cornet, joins Alyn Shipton to select the finest available…
Cedar Walton
Jul 2, 2011 • 26 min
A one-time member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Cedar Walton is one of the most sought-after and versatile pianists in jazz. He joins Alyn Shipton to discuss records made under his own name, as well as work with Blakey, the Jazztet, Ron Carter and Lee…
Tim Garland
Jun 25, 2011 • 28 min
Originally in folk-jazz group Lammas, leader of a regular band at London’s Pizza Express and then recruited to join Chick Corea, Tim Garland is now one of Britain’s best known jazz saxophonists. In this programme he joins Alyn Shipton to pick not only…
Gypsy Jazz Guitarists
Jun 18, 2011 • 41 min
John Etheridge joins Alyn Shipton to suggest the best recordings by three generations of gypsy guitarists whose work is often overshadowed by Django Reinhardt. Artists covered include the Ferre family, Bireli Lagrene, Fapy Lafertin and the Rosenberg…
Harry Beckett
Jun 16, 2011 • 27 min
Barbados-born Harry Beckett was one of the most fiery and inventive trumpeters in British jazz, right up until his death in July this year. Chris Batchelor joins Alyn Shipton to look back at Beckett’s recordings, and to pick his best performances. As well…
Esbjörn Svensson
Jun 11, 2011 • 28 min
Before his death in 2007, Esbjörn Svensson was regarded as the leading pianist in European jazz. His trio (EST) topped the Swedish charts and appeared on MTV. His appeal was broad enough to reach audiences of every age, and his repertoire stretched from…
Jon Hiseman
Jun 4, 2011 • 44 min
Best known as the leader of the fusion bands Tempest and Colosseum, drummer Jon Hiseman’s career in jazz covers almost all styles and genres. He talks to Alyn Shipton about a catalogue of recordings that includes free jazz trios with Mike Taylor, big…
Phineas Newborn Jr
May 28, 2011 • 37 min
Phineas Newborn Jr. was one of the finest pianists in jazz history, but his short career was dogged by physical and mental illness and he is now a somewhat obscure figure. In the wake of several recent reissues of Newborn’s work, Brian Priestley joins…
Johnny Griffin
May 21, 2011 • 23 min
In an archive interview with Alyn Shipton and Geoffrey Smith, the late Johnny Griffin selects his favourite records. The tenor saxophonist was one of the most technically brilliant and audacious soloists in jazz. He died in 2008, but a year or two…
John Taylor at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival
May 14, 2011 • 33 min
John Taylor is one of the finest and most influential pianists in British jazz. He joins Alyn Shipton in front of an audience at the 2011 Cheltenham Jazz Festival to discuss his recorded catalogue, including his early collaborations with Kenny Wheeler and…
Bobby Wellins
Apr 30, 2011 • 38 min
Bobby Wellins joins Alyn Shipton at the Oxford Jazz Festival to select his key recordings. The Glasgow-born saxophonist achieved stardom for his solo on Starless and Bible Black in Stan Tracey’s Under Milk Wood. In conversation with Alyn Shipton at the…
Al Cohn
Apr 23, 2011 • 34 min
Composer and saxophonist John Altman joins Alyn Shipton to pick the best records by saxophonist Al Cohn. As well as his solos albums and his lengthy association with fellow tenorist Zoot Sims, the programme covers Cohn’s work with Joe Newman and Freddie…
Alton Purnell
Apr 16, 2011 • 30 min
Alton Purnell was born on 16 April 1911, and to celebrate his centenary, Mike Pointon joins Alyn Shipton to pick the best records by the New Orleans pianist. The programme covers his work with Bunk Johnson and George Lewis, his own records, and later…
Mike Stern
Apr 9, 2011 • 38 min
Guitarist Mike Stern has been a major figure in jazz fusion throughout his career. In this programme he traces some of his principal associations and picks some of his own best recordings in conversation with Alyn Shipton at the Sage Gateshead, as part of…
Joe Lovano
Apr 2, 2011 • 33 min
Saxophonist Joe Lovano is one of the most versatile soloists in jazz. In conversation with Alyn Shipton in front of an audience at the 2011 Gateshead International Jazz festival he discusses some of his finest records, from duos with Hank Jones to a range…
James Moody
Mar 26, 2011 • 22 min
A fine saxophonist and a pioneer of jazz flute, James Moody died last December. Alyn Shipton remembers his career and picks his finest records with the help of the man himself in an archive conversation recorded at Ronnie Scott’s. He recalls his long…
George Avakian
Mar 19, 2011 • 31 min
To celebrate the 92nd birthday of George Avakian, the veteran record producer joins Alyn Shipton to pick his personal favourites from a long career in supervising record sessions, starting in 1939. From the Chicago jazz of Eddie Condon and Jimmy…
Allan Ganley
Mar 12, 2011 • 28 min
On the weekend of what would have been his 80th birthday, the drummer Allan Ganley is heard selecting his favourite recordings in an interview recorded before his death in 2008. He tells Alyn Shipton about his work with John Dankworth, Ronnie Scott and…
Roy Eldridge
Mar 5, 2011 • 36 min
Roy Eldridge, with his fiery tone, brilliant upper register and inventive phrasing, was the most musically combative trumpeter of the swing era. The heir to Louis Armstrong and the main influence on Dizzy Gillespie, his own canon of work stands alongside…
Dinah Washington
Feb 26, 2011 • 34 min
Dinah Washington was only 39 when she died of an accidental overdose of barbiturates in 1963. Yet in her short life she was one of the most successful of all jazz singers, also crossing into blues and pop territory. Gwyneth Herbert joins Alyn Shipton to…
Hank Mobley
Feb 19, 2011 • 28 min
Hank Mobley was one of the finest tenor saxophonists in jazz during the 1950s and 1960s. In this programme, fellow saxophonist, author and broadcaster Dave Gelly joins Alyn Shipton to select Mobley’s best work. As well as the sessions Mobley led himself,…
Scott LaFaro
Feb 5, 2011 • 33 min
Killed in a car accident aged just 25, Scott LaFaro was widely regarded as the most technically gifted bassist of the 20th Century. His records with Bill Evans are among the finest jazz trio discs ever made. Bassist Dave Green joins Alyn Shipton to pick…
Sonny Stitt
Jan 29, 2011 • 27 min
Sonny Stitt was one of the finest bebop saxophonists, transferring the style of Charlie Parker to the tenor instrument, as well as developing his own approach to the alto. Fellow saxophonist Alan Barnes joins Alyn Shipton to choose the best examples of…
Chet Baker
Jan 22, 2011 • 34 min
Ian Smith joins Alyn Shipton to select the best recordings by trumpeter and vocalist Chet Baker, including his early work with Gerry Mulligan, his West Coast quartets and the early collaborations with Art Pepper. There is also a focus on his latterday…
Louis Moholo Moholo
Dec 4, 2010 • 27 min
Louis Moholo Moholo arrived in London from South Africa in the 1960s with Chris McGregor’s Blue Notes. During his visit to the UK for the 2010 London Jazz Festival, he joins Alyn Shipton to discuss the high points in a long and extensive recording career,…
Geri Allen
Nov 27, 2010 • 36 min
A product of the M-Base revolution and then a major artist on the Blue Note label, Geri Allen is one of the most accomplished female pianists in jazz. In this programme, recorded in front of an audience at London’s Purcell Room, she joins Alyn Shipton to…
Gary Burton
Nov 20, 2010 • 40 min
Vibraphonist Gary Burton was a teenage prodigy and his four mallet style revolutionised his instrument’s playing technique. Prior to his 2010 London Jazz Festival concert, he joined Alyn Shipton in front of an audience on the South Bank to pick his…
Norma Winstone
Nov 13, 2010 • 29 min
Singer Norma Winstone joins Alyn Shipton to select her best recordings, looking back to her early days with Michael Garrick, her long associations with John Taylor and Kenny Wheeler, and at songs for which she has written lyrics herself, including her…
Teddy Wilson
Nov 6, 2010 • 34 min
From his meteoric rise to fame with Benny Goodman to his small group records with Billie Holiday, pianist Teddy Wilson was one of the stars of the swing era. Pianist Martin Litton joins Alyn Shipton to select the best examples of Wilson’s work, including…
Clifford Brown
Oct 30, 2010 • 32 min
Clifford Brown died in a car crash at 25, robbing the jazz world of one of its most talented and original trumpeters. To mark the 80th anniversary of Brown’s birth, author Tom Perchard joins Alyn Shipton to pick the highlights of his recordings. The…
Martial Solal
Oct 2, 2010 • 27 min
Martial Solal is one of France’s most highly acclaimed jazz musicians. Prior to his solo appearance at this year’s London Jazz Festival (in association with Radio 3) he talks to Alyn Shipton about his long recording career and also the Martial Solal…
Mark Murphy
Sep 25, 2010 • 35 min
American singer Mark Murphy is one of the most versatile vocalists in jazz. A master of scat and vocalese, he is also a renowned interpreter of ballads and standards. British singer Ian Shaw joins Alyn Shipton to consider Murphy’s finest records, from his…
Thad Jones
Sep 18, 2010 • 31 min
Trumpeter, composer, arranger and bandleader Thad Jones was a hugely influential musician. In this programme Guy Barker and Alyn Shipton discuss his finest work, including many discs under his own name, records with Count Basie and Charles Mingus, and…
Fred Anderson
Sep 9, 2010 • 19 min
Fred Anderson, who died in June, was a founder member of the AACM in Chicago and ran the city’s famous club, the Velvet Lounge. Alyn Shipton visited him at the site of his historic club before it was demolished in 2006, and talked to Anderson about his…
Jimmy Woode
Sep 4, 2010 • 31 min
Jimmy Woode was one of a dynasty of jazz musicians from Boston, where he began his career with the likes of Charlie Parker and Sidney Bechet. He joined Alyn Shipton during one of his last visits to the UK before his death, to select his finest records,…
Wynton Kelly
Aug 28, 2010 • 31 min
Wynton Kelly was one of the most individual pianists in jazz, famous for his work with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Wes Montgomery. He also led his own trio - often with fellow Miles Davis sidemen Paul Chambers (bass) and Jimmy Cobb (drums) who played…
Max Roach
Aug 21, 2010 • 38 min
Richard Pite joins Alyn Shipton to pick the best discs by the founder of modern jazz drumming, Max Roach. They include pieces by many of Roach’s own groups.
Bix Beiderbecke
Aug 14, 2010 • 39 min
Despite a recording career that lasted only from 1924 to 1931, Bix Beiderbecke changed the way jazz soloists played. An influence on a par with Louis Armstrong or Sidney Bechet, his discs had an immediate and long-lasting effect. Ian Smith joins Alyn…
Stan Tracey
Aug 7, 2010 • 29 min
Ahead of the launch of his Later Works at this year’s Gateshead International Jazz Festival at the Sage, Stan Tracey joined Alyn Shipton to look back at his recording career. As well as work with visiting Americans such as Zoot Sims, Ben Webster and Sonny…
Tony Coe
Jul 31, 2010 • 30 min
Clarinettist, soprano, alto and tenor saxophonist Tony Coe is one of Britain’s most brilliant jazz musicians, the first non-American to be awarded the “jazz Oscar” by Denmark’s “Jazzpar” prize committee. In this programme he joins Alyn Shipton to select…
Christine Tobin on Shirley Horn
Jul 24, 2010 • 31 min
As a vocalist, Shirley Horn was expert at lending subtle treatment to old jazz standards. She was also a fine pianist, and in this week’s Jazz Library singer Christine Tobin discusses the American’s intimate trio sound as well as Horn’s work with some of…
Benny Powell
Jul 10, 2010 • 29 min
Benny Powell grew up in New Orleans to the sound of marching bands and jazz in the air. He joined Lionel Hampton in the 1940s and went on to be a key member of the 1950s Count Basie Orchestra, staying for several years. He joins Alyn Shipton to pick…
Arvell Shaw
Jul 3, 2010 • 26 min
Bassist Arvell Shaw was the longest-serving member of Louis Armstrong’s All Stars. As well as picking his finest discs with Armstrong (including the big band recordings) in an interview recorded in 2001, he guides Alyn Shipton through his best work with…
Barney Kessel
Jun 26, 2010 • 32 min
Barney Kessel is one of the most prolific recording artists in jazz, yet one of the least well-known names. Fellow guitarist John Etheridge delves into Kessel’s extensive catalogue to explore his legacy and help Alyn Shipton suggest the essential Kessel…
Peggy Lee
Jun 19, 2010 • 36 min
In later life, reclusive and swathed in a jewelled scarf, Peggy Lee had come a long way from her origins as a jazz singer. In this programme, Gwyneth Herbert, herself a fine interpreter of Lee’s songs, explores the singer’s earlier work, with Benny…
Art Pepper
Jun 12, 2010 • 31 min
Despite a lifelong battle with narcotics, harrowingly related in his book “Straight Life”, Art Pepper was one of the finest alto saxophonists in jazz. In this programme, British saxophonist Alan Barnes joins Alyn Shipton to choose Pepper’s finest…
Early Ellington Recordings
Jun 5, 2010 • 38 min
Duke Ellington’s biographer Harvey Cohen joins Alyn Shipton to select highlights from the 1920s and 30s recordings. From the Cotton Club to national icon, author Harvey Cohen traces Ellington’s finest output from the decade starting in 1928. He guides…
Michael Garrick
May 22, 2010 • 32 min
PIanist Michael Garrick died in November 2011. In this archive interview, he joins Alyn Shipton to look back over a fifty year span of some of the finest big band and small group records in British jazz. Whether inspired by Hobbits, Thomas Hardy or J M…
Joe Henderson
May 15, 2010 • 30 min
Joe Henderson was one of the finest tenor saxophonists in jazz. Fellow saxophonist Julian Siegel joins Alyn Shipton to assess Henderson’s catalogue of discs from his early Blue Note days to his final triumphs playing the music of Strayhorn and Jobim. The…
Steve Swallow
May 8, 2010 • 38 min
Bassist Steve Swallow joins Alyn Shipton in front of an audience at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. A specialist on the electric bass, Swallow looks back at his early days on the acoustic instrument and talks about the wide variety of his work over a…
Ramsey Lewis
May 1, 2010 • 30 min
This month, Chicago-born pianist Ramsey Lewis celebrates his 75th Birthday and the recent release of Songs From The Heart, his latest trio recording. This acoustic format has been a central component of Lewis’ sixty-year career, bringing chart success in…
John Scofield
Apr 24, 2010 • 25 min
Prior to his appearance at the 2010 Cheltenham Jazz Festival, guitarist John Scofield joins Alyn Shipton to choose key albums from his extensive recorded catalogue. As well as his most recent disc, Piety Street, he chooses discs with Medeski Martin &…
Ron Carter
Apr 10, 2010 • 24 min
Bassist Ron Carter is one of the most influential and revered instrumentalists in jazz, famous for his work with Miles Davis’s 1960s quintet. He joins Alyn Shipton to select the highlights of his recording career, ranging from his work with Miles to…
Al Grey
Apr 3, 2010 • 26 min
Trombonist Al Grey (1925 - 2000) was one of the most distinctive soloists in big band jazz, working with many of the most famous swing orchestras. In an archive interview, recorded just before his death 11 years ago, Al selects his key recordings with,…
Ornette Coleman
Mar 20, 2010 • 33 min
Celebrating Ornette Coleman’s 80th birthday in March 2010, Alyn Shipton was joined by Scottish saxophonist Paul Towndrow to select the key recordings by Coleman, the saxophonist who developed free jazz in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Ed Thigpen
Mar 13, 2010 • 26 min
Jazz Library pays tribute to the drummer Ed Thigpen who died in January. He was such a consummate percussionist that he was known as “Mr Taste”. A lynch-pin of the bands of Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and Oscar Peterson, Thigpen joined Alyn Shipton…
Marian McPartland
Feb 20, 2010 • 27 min
The British-born pianist Marian McPartland has become an American national treasure, not least through her long-running radio show Piano Jazz. In this edition of Jazz Library she joins Alyn Shipton to celebrate her 92nd birthday next month, and to select…
Keith Tippett
Feb 13, 2010 • 38 min
Pianist Keith Tippett is a musician of extraordinary breadth and vision. His projects range from the vast 50-piece orchestra Centipede - so large it had its own private plane for touring - to introspective improvised solo concerts. He joins Alyn Shipton…
A Tribute to John Dankworth
Feb 6, 2010 • 31 min
On 6 February 2010, Sir John Dankworth died aged 82. In this special edition of Jazz Library, Alyn Shipton introduces an archive interview in which John Dankworth selected some of his finest recordings. These range from his work with the Johnny Dankworth…
Erroll Garner
Jan 30, 2010 • 37 min
Erroll Garner was one of the most distinctive and original pianists in jazz. To select his finest recordings, Alyn Shipton is joined by the young British pianist Neil Cowley. The programme includes examples of Garner’s earliest stride style, covers the…
Bing Crosby
Dec 26, 2009 • 34 min
Focusing on the jazz side of Bing Crosby, Gwyneth Herbert joins Alyn Shipton to pick Bing’s jazziest recordings, ranging from his Paul Whiteman days to the swing bands of Buddy Bregman and Billy May, and including Bing’s immortal discs with Louis…
Stefano Bollani
Dec 19, 2009 • 37 min
One of the highlights of 2009’s London Jazz Festival was pianist Stefano Bollani’s residency at Kings Place, where the Italian gave solo performances as well as concerts in duo, trio and quintet settings. Recorded in front of an audience at the festival,…
Lawrence Lucie
Dec 12, 2009 • 24 min
Swing guitarist Lawrence Lucie died in 2009, aged 101. Not long before his death, Lucie met Alyn Shipton in New York to look back over his remarkable career, which not only included stints with Fletcher Henderson, Lucky Millinder and Benny Carter, but a…
Graham Collier
Dec 5, 2009 • 33 min
Few people did more to promote the cause of jazz in Britain than Graham Collier, who died on September 9th. He led a succession of pioneering ensembles over the last 45 years, and was a key figure in Jazz Education. Collier was still actively writing and…
Lionel Hampton
Nov 28, 2009 • 38 min
Critic and pianist Brian Priestley joins Alyn Shipton to select recording highlights from the career of drummer, vibraphonist and pianist Lionel Hampton, one of the greatest musicians of the swing era. Including his work with Benny Goodman, his many…
John Surman
Nov 21, 2009 • 41 min
Recorded in front of an audience at the 2009 London Jazz Festival, British saxophonist John Surman joins Alyn Shipton to look back over his recording career. As one of the country’s finest saxophonists, Surman’s copious output since the 1960s includes…
Cleo Laine
Nov 14, 2009 • 28 min
Looking forward to her appearance at the 2009 London Jazz Festival, Cleo Laine joins Alyn Shipton to select some of the finest recorded performances from her distinguished career. DISC 1 Title: Just a Sittin’ and A Rockin’ Artist: Cleo Laine Composer:…
Stan Getz
Nov 7, 2009 • 35 min
To choose the finest recordings by Stan Getz, Alyn Shipton is joined by the great saxophonist’s biographer Dave Gelly. Together, they pick the critical high points of Getz’s work, from the 1940s Woody Herman Orchestra, through to his many small groups,…
Stuff Smith
Oct 31, 2009 • 34 min
To mark jazz violinist Stuff Smith’s centenary year in 2009, Alyn Shipton meets fiddle player Chris Garrick to celebrate one of the most unusual instrumentalists in jazz. They chart a course through the available recordings, from the 52nd Street days of…
Rashied Ali
Oct 24, 2009 • 27 min
Until his untimely death in 2009, Rashied Ali was widely regarded as the doyen of free jazz drummers. He made his name in John Coltrane’s quartet and went on to a wide range of musical activity in the forty-two years since Coltrane’s death. More of a…
Bill Frisell
Oct 17, 2009 • 30 min
Looking forward to guitarist Bill Frisell’s appearance at the 2009 London Jazz Festival, Alyn Shipton is joined by Phil Robson to select Frisell’s finest recordings. Spanning from 1984 to the present, his discs encompass a huge range of styles and…
Chris Barber
Oct 10, 2009 • 31 min
Chris Barber is one of Britain’s best-loved bandleaders. He joins Alyn Shipton to select highlights of his recordings from 1953 to the present, not only featuring his own bands, but also his collaborations with Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Louis Jordan, John…
Carmen McRae
Oct 3, 2009 • 30 min
Singer Carmen McRae was a protegee of Billie Holiday but soon grew beyond that early influence to develop her own distinctive musical personality. Singer Christine Tobin joins Alyn Shipton to pick the highlights from the more than 60 albums that McRae…
George Russell
Sep 26, 2009 • 24 min
The jazz composer and theorist George Russell was a major innovator in jazz for over 50 years. In an archive interview with Alyn Shipton, Russell looks back at the highlights of a recorded repertoire that began with Dizzy Gillespie’s big band and went on…
Carla Bley
Sep 19, 2009 • 30 min
Pianist and composer Carla Bley joins Alyn Shipton to choose her essential records, from the jazz opera Escalator Over the Hill via her various big bands, to her current small groups.
Hampton Hawes
Sep 5, 2009 • 29 min
In the 1950s, Hampton Hawes was the most exciting and technically gifted pianist in Los Angeles. Pianist and author Tim Richards guides Alyn Shipton through the highlights of Hawes’ trio recordings made with the likes of saxophonist Art Pepper, works…
Billy Taylor
Aug 22, 2009 • 25 min
Although he is not as well known in the UK as in America, where he is the best-known broadcaster on jazz, pianist Dr Billy Taylor is a hugely influential musical figure. He joins Alyn Shipton to select highlights of a recording career that includes work…
George Shearing
Aug 15, 2009 • 29 min
Pianist Sir George Shearing died on 14th February 2011. In an archive interview, he joins Alyn Shipton to look back over the highlights of his recording career, from early triumphs in London to the debut of his famous quintet in America, as well as his…
Jake Hanna
Aug 8, 2009 • 24 min
Best known as the powerhouse behind the 1960s Woody Herman band, Jake Hanna was one of the most versatile and experienced drummers in jazz before his death in February 2010. Alyn Shipton presents an archive interview with Hanna in which the drummer…
Joe Pass
Aug 1, 2009 • 31 min
Guitarist Joe Pass recovered from narcotic addiction to launch a stellar international career as arguably one of the finest exponents of his instrument in jazz history. Alyn Shipton is joined by guitarist John Etheridge to select highlights from Pass’…
Shelly Manne
Jul 25, 2009 • 31 min
Alyn Shipton is joined by drum expert Richard Pite to select highlights from Shelly Manne’s prolific recording career, showing his total mastery of percussion in any idiom. Manne spanned more different styles of jazz than almost any musician, ranging from…
Roland Hanna
Jul 18, 2009 • 20 min
Roland Hanna was one of the most dazzlingly talented of pianists until his untimely death from a viral infection in 2002. Just weeks before he fell ill, he met Alyn Shipton for what turned out to be his final interview, looking back on his long and…
Teddy Edwards
Jul 11, 2009 • 21 min
The late, great tenor saxophonist Teddy Edwards talks to Alyn Shipton. Shortly before his death in 2003, Teddy Edwards met Alyn to discuss the highlights of a long and illustrious recording career. One of the most original voices in West Coast jazz, he…
Nat King Cole
Jul 4, 2009 • 38 min
Gwyneth Herbert joins Alyn Shipton to select the high points of Nat King Cole’s work as a hugely influential pianist, charismatic vocalist, and one of the most combative of all jam session players. Music includes Straighten Up and Fly Right, Nature Boy…
Bud Shank
Jun 20, 2009 • 25 min
Bud Shank was one of the major figures in West Coast Jazz before his death in April 2009. To commemorate Bud and his music, Alyn Shipton selects Shank’s key recordings, with the help of a 1992 archive interview with the man himself, covering his work with…
Booker Little
Jun 13, 2009 • 28 min
Alyn Shipton is joined by Tom Perchard to select the highlights from trumpeter Booker Little’s recorded catalogue. Before his death in 1961 aged 23, Little was seen as one of the brightest hopes of jazz in the 1950s, forging a new compositional and…
Joni Mitchell
Jun 6, 2009 • 29 min
Singer Christine Tobin guides Alyn Shipton through the jazz-oriented repertoire of Joni Mitchell, including her work with Wayne Shorter, Jaco Pastorius and Herbie Hancock. Mitchell often employed jazz musicians on her recordings, but she was also…
Dave Liebman
May 30, 2009 • 33 min
Dave Liebman came to fame as the saxophonist in Miles Davis’s 1970s band, but he has had a formidable career since the 1980s as a bandleader in his own right, often specialising on the soprano instrument, but also returning to the his first love, the…
Bob Wilber
May 16, 2009 • 35 min
Eighty-one-year old Bob Wilber is one of the leading clarinettists and saxophonists in traditional jazz, and he joins Alyn Shipton to look back at the highlights of a career that began when Bob was a teenage pupil of the great Sidney Bechet. The programme…
Hugh Masekela
Apr 25, 2009 • 26 min
South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela joined Alyn Shipton to discuss his finest recordings. For Hugh Masekela, jazz and political activism go hand in hand. As he guides Alyn Shipton through his recording career, we hear of his first band, the Jazz…
Heath Brothers
Apr 11, 2009 • 29 min
Few families have produced three such exceptional musical brothers as Percy, Jimmy and Tootie Heath, a bassist, saxophonist and drummer who have worked at the highest level. On one of their last visits to London before Percy’s death in 2005, Alyn Shipton…
Joshua Redman
Apr 4, 2009 • 34 min
In a programme recorded at the Gateshead Jazz Festival 2009, Alyn Shipton is joined by saxophonist Joshua Redman to look back at his best recordings. These include his early quintets and quartets, his trios with organist Sam Yahel, right up to more recent…
Sheila Jordan
Mar 28, 2009 • 36 min
American singer Sheila Jordan joins Alyn Shipton in front of an audience at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2009 to select the highlights from her half-century as arguably one of the most adventurous and individual singers in jazz. The programme…
Louie Bellson
Mar 21, 2009 • 31 min
In a special tribute to drummer Louie Bellson, who died in February 2009, Alyn Shipton presents an archive interview with the man himself, in which he selects key records from his career. Including discs with Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Louis…
Peter Ind
Mar 14, 2009 • 29 min
British bassist Peter Ind joins Alyn Shipton to select the highlights from his long recording career, mainly on his own Wave label which he founded in the 1950s. As well as collaborations with such great American players as Duke Jordan, Warne Marsh and…
Brad Mehldau
Mar 7, 2009 • 29 min
Singer Gwyneth Herbert has proved herself an insightful commentator on the recordings of fellow vocalists on Jazz Library, but in this week’s programme she shares her enthusiasm for the pianist Brad Mehldau, who is one of the most challenging and…
Dexter Gordon
Feb 28, 2009 • 33 min
The tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon was one of the first tenor saxophonists in jazz to adopt the bebop style in the 1940s, going on to become one of the most influential and distinctive soloists of the 60s and 70s. Soweto Kinch joins Alyn Shipton to…
Gene Krupa
Feb 21, 2009 • 33 min
Alyn Shipton is joined by vintage-drum expert Richard Pite to select the highlights from Krupa’s many recordings. As well as his work with Benny Goodman, the programme spans Krupa’s playing from the 1920s to the late 1950s, including his epic battles with…
Ian Carr
Feb 7, 2009 • 22 min
Trumpeter, author and broadcaster Ian Carr is considered by some to be one of the most influential figures in British jazz. Alyn Shipton features an archive interview, in which Carr selects some of his finest recordings. These include music by the…
Benny Golson
Jan 31, 2009 • 30 min
Alyn Shipton interviews veteran saxophonist Benny Golson, who turns 80 in 2009, and who is to be honoured at the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC for his lifetime achievements in jazz. The programme features Golson looking back at his career with musicians…
Lee Konitz
Nov 15, 2008 • 28 min
Alyn Shipton talks to the prolific American composer and alto saxophonist about the landmarks in his career, beginning with his early days with Claude Thornhill and Stan Kenton and progressing to his work on Miles Davis’s Birth of the Cool and with Lennie…
Bud Powell
Nov 1, 2008 • 40 min
Alyn Shipton explores the best examples of recordings by pianist Bud Powell, who died in 1966 aged 41 and altered the course of jazz piano through his bebop innovations of the 1940s. He left an impressive legacy of recorded work, although this also charts…
Nina Simone
Oct 25, 2008 • 37 min
Alyn Shipton and Gwyneth Herbert select highlights from the recorded catalogue of the jazz singer and pianist known as the High Priestess of Soul. The programme includes part of an archive interview by Alyn with Nina herself, recorded on her last visit to…
Sun Ra
Oct 18, 2008 • 35 min
Author and critic Brian Morton joins Alyn Shipton to select the essential examples of bandleader Sun Ra’s work. Born Herman Blount, he was as famous for his exotic headgear and claims that his inspiration and music came from outer space, as his band The…
Benny Goodman
Oct 11, 2008 • 37 min
The King of Swing, and one of the finest of all jazz clarinetists, Benny Goodman recorded prolifically, and was as dazzlingly talented in a big band setting as in a small group. He encouraged multi-racial bands, with his trio, quartet and sextet, and…
Tomasz Stanko
Oct 4, 2008 • 25 min
Alyn Shipton is joined by Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko to help select the finest examples of his recorded work that should be in any jazz collection. One of the most celebrated jazz musicians in Europe, Stanko looks back on his collaborations with…
Billy Strayhorn
Sep 5, 2008 • 35 min
The man who was Duke Ellington’s amanuensis, co-pianist and arranger is not so well-known in his own right. In tonight’s programme Ellingtonian specialist Brian Priestley joins Alyn Shipton to look at Strayhorn’s small catalogue of records under his own…
Dave Brubeck
May 16, 2008 • 24 min
Dave Brubeck To celebrate pianist Dave Brubeck’s 87th birthday, Alyn Shipton introduces part of a conversation with Brubeck recorded during his quartet’s 40th anniversary tour of the UK, in which he selects some of his favourite recordings from a…
Clark Terry
May 16, 2008 • 36 min
Alyn Shipton is joined by one of the most famous Ellingtonians of all, trumpeter Clark Terry, to look back over his recordings. In addition to his work with Ellington, Terry was also a member of Count Basie’s famous orchestra and he also discusses his…
Wes Montgomery
Apr 25, 2008 • 33 min
John Etheridge helps Alyn Shipton select highlights from the catalogue of fellow jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery, explaining how he achieved his unique sound. Montgomery is considered to have been one of the most innovative players on his instrument and…
Abdullah Ibrahim
Feb 22, 2008 • 33 min
Alyn Shipton talks to gifted South African jazz pianist Abdullah Ibrahim about the highlights in his recorded catalogue. Ibrahim discusses discs from the apartheid era, when he was both an exile and, on a brief return home, the creator of the freedom…
Oscar Peterson
Feb 8, 2008 • 38 min
Alyn Shipton presents a special tribute edition of Jazz Library devoted to Oscar Peterson, who died in December 2007 and is regarded as one of the greatest jazz pianists. The programme not only suggests the essential Peterson CDs, but also calls on the…
Django Reinhardt
Dec 28, 2007 • 38 min
Django Reinhardt The first European jazz musician to make a significant impact on the world stage, guitarist Django Reinhardt’s effect was felt throughout jazz. John Etheridge, leader of the Django tribute band Sweet Chorus, joins Alyn Shipton to select…
Cab Calloway
Dec 21, 2007 • 32 min
Cab Calloway Christmas Day marks the centenary of one of the most outsize talents in jazz, the Hi-de-Ho man himself, Cab Calloway. To select from such recorded gems by Cab as Minnie the Moocher, St Louis Blues and Nagasaki, Alyn Shipton is joined by the…
Sonny Rollins, Episode 2
Dec 14, 2007 • 26 min
Alyn Shipton concludes his conversation with the great Sonny Rollins, and brings his survey of the saxophonist’s recorded output up-to-date. The programme includes excerpts from Rollins’ latest album Sonny Please, and looks back at his work from the time…
Sonny Rollins, part 1
Nov 23, 2007 • 30 min
Sonny Rollins joins Alyn Shipton to select the key recordings from his voluminous catalogue. Widely regarded as a major living exponent of the tenor saxophone and an innovator since the end of the 1940s, here Rollins focuses on his early years, from…
Jelly Roll Morton
Oct 19, 2007 • 40 min
Jelly Roll Morton Alyn Shipton is joined by Morton specialist Martin Litton to explore the work of Jelly Roll’s band, the Red Hot Peppers, as well as the solo discs. The self-proclaimed ‘inventor of jazz’, Jelly Roll Morton was a colourful figure, with…
Buddy Rich
Sep 21, 2007 • 34 min
Starting his life as a child star tap dancer, Buddy Rich became one of the most gifted drummers in jazz history. To survey the prolific recorded output of “The Man From Planet Jazz”, Alyn Shipton is joined by British drummer Ralph Salmins, covering both…
Andrew Hill
Aug 31, 2007 • 37 min
Widely regarded as one of the great innovaters in Jazz Piano, Andrew Hill passed away in April of 2007. To celebrate his life Alyn Shipton and Trumpeter Bryon Wallen, who worked regularly with Hill, select highlights from the pianist’s recorded catalogue.
Art Farmer
Aug 31, 2007 • 34 min
Trumpeter Art Farmer was one of the most lyrical and inventive players in jazz. Alyn Shipton is joined by Ian Smith (who met and interviewed Farmer) to select his finest recordings, which include his work with Gerry Mulligan, Horace Silver and Hank…
Billie Holiday
Aug 3, 2007 • 41 min
Singer Christine Tobin guides Alyn Shipton through the best work from Billie Holiday’s early and late career. Widely acknowledged as one of the finest singers in jazz history, Billie Holiday’s short life produced a remarkable recorded legacy, in which…
John Coltrane
Jul 20, 2007 • 37 min
In this Jazz Library podcast, Alyn Shipton is joined by saxophonist Soweto Kinch to assess the legacy of the highly influential and innovative saxophonist, John Coltrane and select the most essential Coltrane recordings – from acclaimed albums such as…
Pat Metheny
Jun 29, 2007 • 34 min
Pat Metheny joins Alyn Shipton for this Jazz Library podcast. One of the most technically skilled jazz guitarists ever to record, he helps Alyn to select some of the highlights of his work not only in his own groups, but also with Ornette Coleman, Charlie…
Chick Corea
Jun 22, 2007 • 28 min
Pianist and bandleader Chick Corea himself guides Alyn Shipton through some of his finest recordings. Few musicians in jazz have the extraordinary stylistic range of Chick Corea. His work ranges from acoustic bebop to rock fusion, from free jazz to the…
Cuba Special
Jun 8, 2007 • 26 min
Alyn Shipton is joined by Trumpeter Arturo Sandoval to choose key recordings in Cuban Jazz including music from Dizzy Gillespie, Machito, Cubanismo and Sandoval himself.
Charles Mingus
May 25, 2007 • 37 min
Famously known as the ‘The Angry Man of Jazz,’ Charles Mingus refused to compromise his innovative compositional style throughout a long and illustrious career. Alyn Shipton surveys the recorded output of bassist and composer and selects highlights with…
Fats Waller
May 11, 2007 • 38 min
The jazz pianist Fats Waller was a larger than life personality and his ample form fills this Jazz Library podcast with some of the most joyous recordings in history. Humphrey Lyttelton and Martin Litton join Alyn Shipton for a guide to the best discs by…
Charles Lloyd
May 4, 2007 • 28 min
In this Jazz Library podcast, the American saxophonist Charles Lloyd joins Alyn Shipton to select some of the best recordings from his long career. He introduces his work with musicians as various as Keith Jarrett and Cannonball Adderley, as well as discs…
Miles Davis
Apr 20, 2007 • 42 min
Trumpeter Miles Davis was so influential on the course of jazz that his recordings changed the music’s direction several times. In this podcast, Alyn Shipton starts out to suggest the essential Miles Davis albums, focussing on the period from 1949-61, and…
Charlie Parker
Mar 9, 2007 • 42 min
Charlie Parker was the most influential alto saxophonist in jazz history, and in his short life he left hundreds of recordings. So how do you pick the best ones for your collection? In this Jazz Library podcast, Alyn Shipton explores Parker’s legacy, and…
Louis Armstrong
Feb 23, 2007 • 37 min
In this podcast, Alyn Shipton offers guidance to building a jazz library. He begins with records by the first great soloist in jazz, Louis Armstrong. Satchmo’s early work is assessed by his friend and fellow trumpeter, Humphrey Lyttelton, while his legacy…