The Jazz Beat

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Perhaps no other music has had more impact on the sound of pops than jazz. On this episode, Michael Feinstein explores how this uniquely American art form inspired composers since the 1920s.

Classical music and jazz converged during the Harlem Renaissance. George Gershwin, for example, was in love with jazz and the blues. For his part, Duke Ellington always tried to elevate jazz to an artistic level equal to classical music. These dual impulses – to absorb jazz into art music and to make jazz an art unto itself – helped shape nearly 100 years of American pops.

Selections this week include a Morton Gould interpretation of George Gershwin, Leroy Anderson conducting his own music and a Duke Ellington piece that was premiered at Carnegie Hall in 1943.



Leroy Anderson: Belle of the Ball
Orchestral Music I
BBC Concert Orchestra and Leonard Slatkin

Bronislaw Kaper: Confetti
Johnny Green On The Hollywood Sound Stage (1958)
Johnny Green cond. the M-G-M Studio Orchestra
12” LP -  MGM E3691

Alfred Newman: Street Scene
How To Marry A Millionaire (Soundtrack)
Alfred Newman and The 20th Century Fox Orchestra
Film Score Monthly  FSMCD Vol. 4 Number 2

Morton Gould: Swing Sinfonietta: 1. Moderato; 2. Minuet In Swingtime; 3. Presto
Private Air check of Radio Broadcast – April 4,1937
Morton Gould and His Orchestra

Duke Ellington: New World A Comin'
Duke Ellington's Greatest Hits
Erich Kunzel, Rochester Pops Orchestra, Duke Ellington
Intersound  CDM 8010

Rube Bloom: Song Of The Bayou
Skyscrapers - Symphonic Jazz
Nathaniel Shilkret and The Victor Concert Orchestra
Naxos 8.120644

Jaroslav Jezek: Bugatti Step
Rhapsody in Blue Room
Ondřej Havelka and his Melody Makers
Czech Parlophone

Leroy Anderson: Jazz Legato
Leroy Anderson Collection
Leroy Anderson Orchestra
MCA Classics MCAD2-9815

David Raksin: Theme from “Too Late Blues”
Too Late Blues (Soundtrack)
David Raksin and The Paramount Recording Orchestra
Kritzerland   KR20025-7

George Gershwin: Rhapsody on Fascinating Rhythm and Someone To Watch Over Me
The Essential George Gershwin
Morton Gould, piano and his Orchestra
Sony (2 CD Set) J2K 89913