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Jazz

Radio Munson 1/7/16

Jan 8, 2016

Benny Goodman is generally regarded as the guy who introduced what became the “Swing Era” in 1935, but Duke Ellington’s Orchestra recorded a pre-cursor three years earlier.  Don spins the original 1932 Ellington recording “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing” on this week’s Radio Munson, along with Sarah Vaughan, Jeff Lindberg’s Chicago Jazz Orchestra, and the Hot Club of Cowtown.

Trombone and conch shell player Steve Turre  has been a member of the Saturday Night Live band since 1984.  He also played in the Jazz Messengers, the band led by legendary drummer Art Blakey.  On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, Turre says it was a decade earlier during his time in the Ray Charles Band where he learned the importance of of being a professional, and the importance of "giving your all" every night. 

Radio Munson 12/24/15

Dec 24, 2015

Don proves that it is possible for a DJ to hold a glass of egg nog in one hand while spinning songs of the season with the other on the Christmas Eve edition of Radio Munson. Swing along with Louis Armstrong, Stacey Kent, Take Six, Leon Redbone and Diana Krall, plus Ellington, Basie, and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band.

Radio Munson 12/17/15

Dec 22, 2015

Have you ever researched which old song was most popular on the day you were born? Well, Don Munson did this week and found out a bit more than he had bargained for. The website Don chose told him what he wanted, but then asked if he wanted to know the song that was number one 9 months prior to that—you know, the song that perhaps his mom and dad, uh, danced to. It’s all revealed on this week’s Radio Munson along with the web address for curious music lovers...

Yan Pritzker

On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, meet a Chicago based vocalist and composer who just released her second album.  In her own words, Keri Johnsrud explains how the jazz bug found her in her rural Iowa hometown, and how that bug eventually led her to the Windy City.

Second Generation Photography

Philadelphia native Sam Taylor is a talented young tenor player now immersed in the New York City jazz community.  On this edition of Jazz Next,  Taylor talks with GLT's Jon Norton via Skype from his home in New York about absorbing the soulful sounds of his hometown, and about his debut album, My Future Just Passed.

Radio Munson 12/10/15

Dec 11, 2015

There’s a “Swingin’ Sinatra Centennial Session” on this week’s Radio Munson. Snap that hat brim to just the right angle and start your finger-snapping for an all-star selection of Frank Sinatra’s recordings, plus a number of America’s best vocalists singing songs made famous by Old Blue Eyes. Curtain goes up at 7 in the Copa Room of the Sands Hotel in Vegas, and your stage-side table is waiting!

Bob Coscuello

Trumpeter, vocalist, and composer Ginetta M is the leader of the jazzy, funky New York City based Ginetta's Vendetta.  She also records under the moniker Ginetta M.  On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, Ginetta tells Jon Norton her latest album as Ginetta M is Little Big Horn. She says the title is a nod to Native American culture, and a reference to her instrument of choice, the "pocket" trumpet.

Radio Munson 12/3/15

Dec 4, 2015

There’s some Boogie Woogie on this week’s Radio Munson as Freddy Slack, Ray McKinley and the Will Bradley band swing through “Beat Me Daddy, Eight To the Bar.” Pianist Oscar Peterson is on Don’s playlist, along with Nat “King” Cole, Nancy Wilson, Steve Tyrell, Pearl Bailey, and Bloomington’s Pokey LaFarge.

After 27 years with the vocal ensemble New York Voices, vocalist Kim Nazarian has finally released an album under her own name.  On this edition of Jazz Next, Nazarian tells WGLT's Jon Norton that recording with family for her debut release was comforting, and about the joyful feeling she gets when singing with New York Voices.

Radio Munson 11/26/15

Nov 26, 2015

When the Hi-Los open Radio Munson Thanksgiving night by swinging "Seems Like Old Times,” they’ll be setting the stage for Don’s annual collection of “leftovers,” songs he has meant to play but just hasn’t gotten around to it till now. Included are pairings of Oscar Peterson with Clark Terry, Johnny Hodges with Duke Ellington, Chet Baker with Gerry Mulligan and even Willie Nelson with Wynton Marsalis. There’s a Chicago connection, too, thanks to Buddy Rich and his band and legendary saxophonist Von Freeman.

Radio Munson 11/19/15

Nov 23, 2015

Dean Martin, the Delta Rhythm Boys, Chris Connor and Curtis Stigers are on Don’s playlist for this week’s Radio Munson, plus historic recordings from November 19ths past from the swing bands of Chick Webb and Stan Kenton, and a rousing version of “After You’ve Gone" by Milwaukee/Chicago clarinetist Chuck Hedges.

Damian Battinelli

2010 GLT Summer Concert headlining band Gas House Gorillas  just released their new album.  GLT's Jon Norton caught up with the Gorillas front man and co-leader Rick Fink, who says though the band is quite happy with previous releases, they're thrilled with their latest, titled "Shut Up."

   

Radio Munson 11/12/15

Nov 18, 2015

Set ‘em up, Joe, because Don is playing some saloon songs on this week’s Radio Munson. Johnny Hartman, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and Dianne Reeves stick around till closing time to unload their troubles to the bartender. There’s also a table reserved for you along Bourbon Street in New Orleans to hear stride pianist Richard Scott plus room on the dance floor to swing to the bands of Artie Shaw and Ozzie Nelson.

Radio Munson 11/5/15

Nov 9, 2015

Ray Charles is on this week’s Radio Munson playlist, along with Billie Holiday, Freddy Cole, Paul McCartney, Benny Goodman, and a red-headed, fair skinned heart-throb vocalist from the 1930's called Pinky Tomlin.

Michelle Stella

Vocalist and George Mason University Jazz Director Darden Purcell returns to Central IL this Thursday night for a "one-off" 7:00 P.M performance at the Iron Post in Urbana.  Her backing band will include saxophonist Chip McNeill, her 4 year mentor at the University of Illinois, where she received a D.M.A. in Jazz studies.  GLT's Jon Norton caught up with Purcell via Skype last week from her home in the Washington D.C. area.

Radio Munson 10/29/15

Nov 3, 2015

Don checks in from Tucson, Arizona on this week’s Radio Munson with some some Sinatra “Witchcraft” and a dose of Ella’s “Old Black Magic” to help set the scene for Halloween weekend. There’s also Benny Goodman’s 1937 broadcast of “Stardust,” Cassandra Wilson offers “Autumn Nocturne” and, in a nod to the week’s sensational newspaper headlines, Fast Eddie Ericsson” sings “My Canary Has Circles Under His Eyes!”

Michael Farrell

If you ask him, and Jon Norton did, Mort Weiss will tell you he's the best clarinet player in the world.  Norton and the feisty Weiss covered many other topics and ideas as well on this edition of GLT Jazz Next. 

They also played songs from his his CD "Mort Weiss is a Jazz Reality Show," a reference to the drama he's experienced in his 80 years of life.

Radio Munson 10/22/15

Oct 26, 2015

GLT General Manager Bruce Bergethon joins Don in the studio for a special fundraising edition of Radio Munson during the 2015 Fall Fund Drive.

Ramsey Lewis Hit Puts Him In 'The In Crowd'

Oct 19, 2015
Andy Colwell / Penn State

Jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis says, in part, he can thank a coffee shop waitress for pointing him toward the song that helped make him a household name. In his own words, Lewis talks about the transformative effect of 'The In Crowd' that hit number 5 on the Billboard pop charts 50 years ago this month.

album art by Solitaire Miles

You might associate "Western swing" with Texas dancehalls and Oklahoma honky-tonks. But a great new take on the classic American idiom comes from a Chicago jazz singer.

Radio Munson 10/15/15

Oct 16, 2015

Chicago’s Ramsey Lewis Trio did the unthinkable 50 years ago this week when their jazz version of “The In Crowd” made it to #5 on Billboard’s pop music chart, an unheard-of lofty place for a jazz instrumental in the midst of 1965 offerings by the Beatles, the Stones and Bob Dylan.  “The In Crowd” pops up again, a half century later, on this week’s Radio Munson, along with Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles, Johnny Hartman and the Les Brown Band.

Radio Munson 10/8/15

Oct 9, 2015

The Hot Sardines top Don’s playlist for this week’s Radio Munson.  “Bibs” Palazzo tickles the ivories and “Miz Elizabeth handles the vocal as the Sardines heat up a Fats Waller tune.  Gene Krupa’s band is also on the bill, along with a classic from Henry Mancini and vocal swingers from the Boswell Sisters and Joe Williams.

Joanne Mathiasen

Vocalist Michelle Lordi grew up listening to the great jazz combos in the clubs of her hometown of Philadelphia.  B3 great Trudy Pitts was a particular favorite. But she was also enamored with jazz legends Chet Baker and Blossom Dearie.  On this edition of Jazz Next, Lordi talks with GLT's Jon Norton about her new album "Drive," the sometimes tense relationship between vocalists and instrumentalists, and how she approaches her craft.

Radio Munson 10/1/15

Oct 2, 2015

Legendary Tony Bennett must be the youngest 89-year-old to record music in a long time, and his new album of Jerome Kern songs stands as proof.  Bill Charlap’s trio backs Tony’s spot-on interpretations of songs everybody knows and Don plays one of them on this week’s Radio Munson.  The McGuire Sisters are on Don’s playlist, too, along with Lionel Hampton’s vibes, Stuff Smith’s jazz fiddle, and a welcome to October from the Four Freshmen.

On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, we catch up with Portland, Oregon based Dan Wilensky, who talks about his his new album titled "Made in Portland," and about the thriving jazz scene in Portland that reminds him of his time living in New York City. You can purchase "Made in Portland" at: http://www.danwilensky.com/

Vocalist and lyricist Lorraine Feather has been quite busy in the last few years. In addition to recording and performing as a solo artist, she's been performing as part of a duo called "Nouveau Stride" with talented young stride pianist Stephanie Trick. She's also self produced a number of video's to accompany her CD's, including a fully animated video of a Fats Waller adaptation that played in 35 festivals internationally. Recently GLT's Jon Norton caught up with Lorraine Feather via Skype from her home in Washington state.

Vocalist and songwriter Dee Dee McNeil's new release is a straight jazz recording of mostly original songs. On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, McNeil talks with Jon Norton about her new album "Storyteller,">which is available at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/deedeemcneil3. She also talks about her time as a writer with Motown Records, and about her time in the jazz/spoken group Watts Prophets, and how the issues they were writing about in the early 1970's are still relevant today.

When Jon Norton last talked with Mark Winkler, the Los Angeles based vocalist and songwriter had just released two tribute albums. One paying homage to Laura Nyro, the other a salute to 1950's west coast jazz. On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, Norton talks via Skype with Winkler about his latest album that includes his own songs alongside those of those of George Gershwin, Dave Frishberg, and Paul Simon. We start with the title track to the album "Jazz and Other Four Letter Words.”

It's time to catch up with jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut. This Baltimore native has a new album titled "A Million Colors in Your Mind." On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, Chestnut talks about the genesis of the album's title, why he chose to record with older players, and how those players helped evolved his sound. This podcast was produced by Jon Norton.

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