Jazz Programmes on BBC4 Fri 23rd and Sat 24th May

9pm: Nat King Cole: Afraid of the Dark. A new biography. People who have read the Daniel Epstein biography from 2000 won’t learn much, but there are poignant recollections, such as the horrible prejudice Cole and his family suffered when they moved into a smart house in HAncock Park, LA.

10 30 pm Jazz Divas Gold ( a repeat)

11 30pm Documentary: The Joy and Pain of the Jazz Divas (Repeat).

00 30 am Jazz Horns Gold (repeat)


7pm Jazz Legends in their own words

This selection delves into the BBC’s considerable archives of jazz performances. There are some fascinating and rare clips from the likes of Duke Ellington, and Wes Montgomery (whose thumb-picking technique appears all the more idiosyncratic when viewed up close); there’s the almost inhuman speed of Oscar Peterson and an excerpt from pianist Marian McPartland, her rich playing at the lower-end and delicate arpeggios command attention.

8 pm Jazz 625

A documentary (narrated by Rebecca Front) on the history of jazz (and the history of jazz at the BBC: there almost wasn’t one as Lord Reith famously despised the music). There are clips of interviews and performances, and biographies of Louis Armstrong, Ellington, Count Basie (who, when asked the difference between his and Ellington’s group, replies “…the class, they had it!”), Ella Fitzgerald and more, peppered with knowledgable contributions from the likes of Alyn Shipton, Jools Holland, and Claire Martin.

Categories: miscellaneous

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