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Johnny Hodges, Karrin Allyson, Jazz Eith Strings, Dr. Lonnie Smith and Jazz Singers Series

Monday, July 25

Night Train continues the July Dr. Lonnie Smith feature with music from one of his classic early Blue Note releases. We’ll hear new music from the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, and pianists Bill O’Connell and Cyrus Chestnut. And we mark birthdays of drummer Brian Blade (with the Chick Corea Trio), Annie Ross (with a class she did as part of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross), and great Ellington Orchestra saxophonist Johnny Hodges (including a special in hour two exploring his life and music with the help of Hodges biographer Con Chapman).

Tuesday, July 26

Tonight, we continue a 13-part series, Jazz Singers. Produced by the Smithsonian and hosted by acclaimed singer Al Jarreau, the programs trace the history of jazz singing from the early days to the present, exploring the roots, evolution, key styles, and major artists in the music.

In hour one, we’ll hear “With A Little Help from My Friends.” Jazz singing is usually a very singular art, with individual artists honing deeply personal styles. But there is a long-standing vocal group tradition in jazz as well. This hour explores the music and influence of groups like The Boswell Sisters, The Mills Brothers, Lambert Hendricks & Ross, The Hi-Lo’s, The Manhattan Transfer, Take 6, and Voicestra. Interviewees include Jon Hendricks, Bobby McFerrin, Annie Ross, Andy Bey and more.

Then in hour two, we’ll hear “Ballads.” From Billie Holiday’s soulful laments to Johnny Hartman’s romantic ballads, jazz singers have used their interpretive powers to express the delight and anguish of love. What makes some singers such great interpreters of love songs? How can such singers as Frank Sinatra and Carmen McRae touch our emotional cores? This show highlights master balladeers and their techniques, including such greats as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughan, Johnny Hartman, Nat King Cole, Billy Eckstine, Bill Henderson, Joe Williams, and Shirley Horn.

Wednesday, July 27

Night Train marks the birthdays tonight of seven-string guitarist Ron Jackson, pianist Edward Simon, and singer Karrin Allyson (including in a Summer Songs special in hour two that Allyson cohosted). There’s new music tonight from singer Tierney Sutton, drummer Skip Walker (with a tribute to Blue Note stalwart Tina Brooks), and pianists Joe Alterman and Ben Sidran. And our selection this time from July featured artist Dr. Lonnie Smith from early in his career as part of the George Benson Quartet.

Thursday, July 28

It’s ‘jazz with strings’ tonight on the Night Train. We’ll hear pioneering works from Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday, veteran players like Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Paul Desmond and Shirley Horn. Contemporary artists include Russell Malone, Tom Harrell, Eric Alexander, and Kat Edmonson.

Chris Heim produces and hosts Global Village, a nationally and internationally distributed world music show; the nightly jazz show Night Train, and Crossroads, KMUW’s twice-weekly blues and R&B show. Chris is also a critic and freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Utne, Global Rhythm, Dirty Linen, and Option, among others.