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Jazz

Radio Munson 12/29/16

Jan 3, 2017

Sarah Vaughan is front and center for this week’s Radio Munson, along with Kay Starr, Mark Murphy, Jack Teagarden, and the big bands of Glenn Miller, Frankie Carle and Buck Clayton.

Radio Munson 12/22/16

Dec 23, 2016

Don dusts off some Holiday and Winter swingers for this week’s Radio Munson from the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Jo Stafford, Duke Ellington, Peggy Lee, Steve Tyrell and Diana Krall. 

Radio Munson 12/15/16

Dec 15, 2016

Jimmy Rushing, Jane Monheit and Nat “King” Cole contribute to this week’s Radio Munson, along with jazz violinist Johnny Frigo, guitarist Joe Pass and stride pianist Jeff Barnhart, plus a tribute to bandleader Glenn Miller.

Radio Munson 12/8/16

Dec 8, 2016

Sammy Davis, Junior belts out a tune with the Basie Band on this week’s Radio Munson, along with classics from the bands of Stan Kenton and Sammy Nestico, swinging vocals from Ray Charles and Sarah Vaughan, a 1936 jewel from the Mills Brothers, and a track from the only album made featuring the Ellington and Basie bands together.

jgullo / Flickr

It wasn't just Sly & the Family Stone, James Brown, and Earth, Wind & Fire that caught the ear of a young Karl Denson in the 1970's.

"The jazz was really funky too," said Denson.  "Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis and all that stuff was going on. It was a pretty fertile time."

Radio Munson 12/1/16

Dec 1, 2016

Count Basie and Stacey Kent head this week’s Radio Munson playlist, along with the pairings of Slim and Slam, Supersax and LA Voices, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, plus a bonus roof-raiser from Spike Jones and his City Slickers.

Radio Munson 11/24/16

Nov 24, 2016

Don Munson is pretty sure you’ll be ready to dive into the leftovers by 7 o’clock Thanksgiving night, so he’s serving up some musical leftovers on Radio Munson—songs by great artists that he has been meaning to play but hasn’t gotten to.  Count Basie offers a swinger called “Dinner With My Friends,” Nat “King" Cole and Johnny Mercer harmonize on “Save the Bones for Henry Jones,” and Diana Krall offers “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep." 

Radio Munson 11/17/16

Nov 18, 2016

Radio Munson returns to Tucson this week and Don remains in awe of the Super Moon we’ve witnessed in recent days.  That calls for swinging take on “How High the Moon,” “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” and ”On Moonlight Bay” from the bands of Gene Krupa, Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller.  Fats Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’” is also on the playlist along with sides from Erroll Garner, Dianne Reeves, and a duet by Ella and Satchmo.

Radio Munson 11/10/16

Nov 11, 2016

Don is back in The Friendly Confines for this Week's Radio Munson, swinging out from the GLT studios with the Duke Ellington and Les Brown bands, Blossom Dearie, Ernie Andrews and the Manhattan Transfer, plus Lionel Hampton's famous recording of "Ring Them Bells!"

Radio Munson 11/3/16

Nov 3, 2016

A pair of originals from the flapper years of the 1920s headline this week’s Radio Munson as Don spins a hit by the girl who became “Betty Boop” and the guy who sang “Everything Is Hotsy Totsy Now.”  Don also has sides by Curtis Stigers, Chris Connor, and Cassandra Wilson, plus an anniversary salute to Glenn Miller’s famous instrumental “A String of Pearls."

Radio Munson 10/27/16

Oct 27, 2016

Bobby Darin, Ann Hampton Callaway and Buddy Greco belt out swingers on this week’s Radio Munson, along with the bands of Larry Clinton, Benny Goodman and Harry Connick, Junior, plus a 1954 West Coast Jazz classic from Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker.

Radio Munson 10/20/16

Oct 21, 2016

Now that the final debate of the political season is history, Don turns to some Happy Talk on this week’s radio Munson.  The SONG “Happy Talk,” that is, as Karrin Allyson does honors. Don also has singers Dianne Reeves and Dick Haymes on tap, along with the bands of Les Brown and Terry Gibbs plus a hat-tip to the season with “Autumn Leaves” and “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes."

Radio Munson 10/13/16

Oct 14, 2016

Big Band vocalists drifted from band to band during the 1930's and 40's and the Ted Weems Orchestra boasted of some good ones, most notably Perry Como.  But Weems was stuck with some clunkers at times, too, and one of those was Elmo Tanner.  At one point Weems was so disappointed with Elmo’s singing that he asked Tanner to just WHISTLE the lyrics to a song titled “Heartaches.”  The record became one of the era’s biggest hits, and Don gives it a spin on this week’s Radio Munson.

Radio Munson 10/6/16

Oct 7, 2016

Don checks in from Tucson, Arizona for this week’s Radio Munson with Tony Bennett’s promise that “There’ll Be Some Changes Made.”  There are sides from Jonah Jones, Janice Siegel, Glenn Miller and Dinah Shore on Don’s playlist, plus Stacey Kent states the obvious when she sings “’Tis Autumn."

Radio Munson 9/29/16

Oct 3, 2016

Catherine Russell kicks off this week’s Radio Munson with “We the People (Gotta have Rhythm and Song)” and Don follows up with plenty of all of that!  There’s Ella Fitzgerald, Pearl Django, the Mills Brothers, Hoagy Carmichael and plenty more.

Radio Munson 9/22/16

Sep 23, 2016

Trumpeter Jonah Jones left his home in Louisville to play jazz on the riverboats that plied the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers in the 1920's before touring with Cab Calloway’s band in the 30's and then he re-emerged in the 1950's and 60's as the leader of a small combo that sold a bunch of albums for Capitol Records.  Jonah Jones comes alive again on this week’s Radio Munson along with the classic “Let Me Off Uptown” with vocalist Anita O’Day and trumpeter Roy Eldridge.

Peoria Presbyterian Church Gets Jazzy

Sep 23, 2016
Judith Valente

Vesper services to mark the passing of day and the onset of evening are a tradition that derives from monastic life, and dates as far back as the 6th century.  Much Vesper music is based on the melodic lines of Medieval Gregorian chant.

Radio Munson 9/15/16

Sep 22, 2016

There might be rain in the weekend forecast but Don is urging all Radio Munson listeners to “Keep Your Sunny Side Up.”  The Hi-Los do honors on the sunny 1929 song.  Plus, Don has the swing bands of Les Elgar, Gordon Goodwin and Les Brown, vocalists Dianne Reeves, the Andrews Sisters and Leon Redbone.

Radio Munson 9/8/16

Sep 20, 2016

Frank Sinatra at his prime from Las Vegas highlights Radio Munson this week.  Frank belts out a pair of songs from the Vegas Sands Hotel, backed by the Count Basie Band.  Don also serves up a Jimmie Lunceford band classic, swinging vocals by Manhattan Transfer, Carmen McRae, and the Hot Sardines, plus a breathtaking solo from guitar virtuoso Joe Pass.

Jeff Dunn / Flickr via Creative Commons

A Grammy award-winning jazz superstar is making an appearance this weekend in central Illinois to give  the second-ever performance of a new work that combines jazz with classical music. The Ramsey Lewis Trio is appearing with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, Saturday at 8 PM in the Peoria Civic Center Theater to perform Lewis' Concerto for Jazz Trio and Orchestra.

Radio Munson 8/25/16

Aug 31, 2016

Don salutes the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and its young singer, Frank Sinatra, on this week’s Radio Munson, along with Harry Connick, Jr., Peggy Lee, June Christy, plus some memories of Toots Thielemans.

Marc Murphy

Chicago native Greg Murphy has been a fixture on the New York City jazz scene since the 1980's, performing and recording with numerous jazz luminaries.  Ahead of his show at The Promontory in Chicago August 25,
the one time Illinois State University computer science student talked with GLT's Jon Norton about his new album "Summer Breeze."  Murphy said among  the songs he recorded for the album were originals he wrote nearly 30 years ago.

A. BANKS/MRTJAZZ.COM

Mardra and Reggie Thomas are a husband-wife jazz team from DeKalb, Illinois.  Mardra is a vocalist with a theatrical background.  Reggie is a pianist and coordinator of the jazz program at Northern Illinois University.  They'll play the Front Street Music Fest in downtown Bloomington August 20, where they'll feature music from their new album "Matters of the Heart."  Reggie Thomas said he appreciates when fans refer to their recordings as "albums."

Radio Munson 8/18/16

Aug 18, 2016

One of Duke Ellington’s most haunting compositions was “Creole Love Call,” and Duke’s band plays it on this week’s Radio Munson; plus a newly-discovered recording by jazz guitar innovator Wes Montgomery, vocals from Billy Eckstine, Johnny Hartman, and Eydie Gorme, and a rousing 1938 concert swinger by Benny Goodman.

Radio Munson 8/11/16

Aug 16, 2016

How hot is it?  Don totes out the ultimate cooler on this week's Radio Munson, “T’aint No Sin (To Take Off Your Skin and Dance Around In Your Bones)”  Drummer Gregg Field’s band plays “The Heat’s On,”  Mizz Elizabeth and The Hot Sardines offer “Honeysuckle Rose,” and 1950s pop star Frankie Laine show his jazz chops with Buck Clayton’s band singing “Until the Real Thing Comes Along."

Radio Munson 8/4/16

Aug 9, 2016

Radio Munson returns to GLT from summer vacation with Andy Farber's "Seems Like Old Times" kicking off a swinging Thursday evening.  Don has lined up sides from Will Bradley's band, vocalists Lena Horne, Nat Cole and Diana Krall plus, as we head into the dog days of summer, an upbeat Artie Shaw version of "Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog gone."

Radio Munson 7/14/16

Jul 18, 2016

Benny Carter, Andy Kirk’s Clouds of Joy, Dinah Shore, Cab Calloway and Liza Minelli help Don turn back the clock on this week’s Radio Munson, plus, for good measure, a rousing version of “How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm After They’ve Seen Paree."

Tom Marko

A popular local jazz musician and educator has just completed his first album -- and it's getting a release on a major label.  Drummer Tom Marko is ISU's jazz director and a busy area musician, working with a variety of jazz groups.  Now he's stepping into the spotlight with his first release as a leader: "Inner Light." 

Radio Munson 7/7/16

Jul 11, 2016

Perhaps the greatest jazz solo ever recorded happened in Newport, Rhode Island, during the early morning hours 60 years ago this Thursday.  The spontaneous occasion closed the last set at the third annual Newport Jazz Festival with the Duke Ellington Orchestra on stage and tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves at the mic.  What happened next was jazz magic, and Don puts you there in the front row, 60 years ago, on this week’s Radio Munson.  

Dave Frenzia

Jazz has taken Normal native Adam Larson to nearly all points on the globe.  The U-High grad has also been on the receiving end of critical praise from high places.  Longtime Chicago Tribune jazz critic Howard Reich says Larson is “a player for whom the word ‘prodigious’ was coined.”  Despite the acclaim, Larson said he still struggles with high, self-imposed expectations.

"Sometimes during school I spent an inordinate amount of time looking at the wrong stuff.  For example, looking at other people's success as anything else but admiration and joy."

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