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An Hour With George Avakian

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George Avakian invented the jazz record album, among many other accomplishments. Sara Fishko visited him recently, and they spent the afternoon talking about Avakian's adventures in the early days of jazz, which coincided with the early days of recording. Avakian produced records with Benny Goodman, Dave Brubeck, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong, among countless others. In this conversation, with music added, the pioneering producer tells stories about his first jazz loves, what he later produced, and how.

Featured Recordings

Song of the Islands, from Louis Armstrong, St. Louis Blues Vol. 6
Columbia CK 46996

2. Freddie Freeloader, from Miles Davis Kind of Blue
Columbia Legacy CK 64935

3. Ellington at Newport
Columbia Legacy CK 64932

4. Blue Skies and Dear Old Southland, from Benny Goodman and his Orchestra, 1935/ Le Jazz 8101

5. Moten Swing from Benny Goodman on the Air
Columbia Legacy 48836

6. West End Blues, Louis Armstrong This is Jazz Vol. 1
Columbia Legacy 64613

7. Jelly Roll Blues, Jelly Roll Morton
Milestone 47018

8. I've Found a New Baby, The Legendary Sidney Bechet
Bluebird 650-2-RB

9. Body and Soul, Coleman Hawkins
Naxos Jazz Legends 8-120532

10. Mean Old Bedbug Blues, Bessie Smith
Columbia CK 44441

11. There'll Be Some Changes Made and Friar's Point Shuffle, from Eddie Condon all-stars/Decca GRO 637

12. Ory's Creole Trombone and S.O.L. Blues, from Louis Armstrong
Columbia Legacy C4K 63527

13. Arthur Godfrey's TV Calendar Show
Columbia LP GL 521

14. All of You, Miles Davis Round About Midnight
Columbia CK 40610

15. Round Midnight, Miles Davis/Thelonious Monk from Miscellaneous Davis/ Jazz Unlimited JUCD 2050

16. Break: Freddie Freeloader from Miles Davis Kind of Blue, see #2

17. Miles Ahead, Miles Davis Miles Ahead (album)
Columbia Legacy CK 65121

18. God Bless the Child and Without a Song, from Sonny Rollins the Bridge
RCA LP 741074

19. Loveless Love from Louis Armstrong Plays WC Handy
Columbia Legacy CK 64925
(also rehearsal segments and interview segments from above CD)

20. Mack the Knife, Original LP cast album of 1950's English Language production

21. Mack the Knife, Louis Armstrong An American Icon
Hip-O 40138

22. Mack the Knife, Louis Armstrong and Lotte Lenya
Sony Classical MHK 60647

23. Ellington at Newport, Part 1 Festival Junction, see #3