Ever since George Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue," jazz musicians have grappledrarely with total successat writing large-scale compositions. The latest example comes from guitarist Pat Metheny, whose debut CD on Nonesuch is a four-movement, quasi-symphonic composition for his sextet, the Pat Metheny Group. It prompts many questions: Why do jazz musicians they have so much trouble with form? And has their luck started to change in recent years? Joining us with some answers is Terry Teachout, music critic of Commentary and drama critic of the Wall Street Journal. And Dan Hicks, the "ice cool daddy of swing," started singing on the Haight in 1968, and he's just released what he's calling the best album of his 40 year career. Blending country, old-time jazz, western swing and the blues, "Selected Shorts" features guest spots by Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffet and Van Dyke Parks. Hicks joins host John Schaefer as well.
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Terry Teachout's blog about the arts
» Pat Metheny Group website