Recently I had a series of conversations with Jeff Haas, host of Interlochen Public Radio’s The New Jazz Archive, a syndicated show that examines jazz from a variety of angles. In the first, I contributed to a program on Jazz and the Visual Arts along with Columbia University’s Robert G. O’Meally, an expert on jazz visual culture and the great painter Romare Bearden. My segment deals with the great photographer of the 52nd Street scene, William Gottlieb, who is one of the key players in Blue Notes in Black and White.
A few weeks later Jeff put together a program on Blue Note Records with the help of special guest Michael Cuscuna, a close associate of the label for many years (and a friend to jazz fans everywhere with his extensive reissue production efforts for Blue Note, Mosaic, and other labels). Michael was a generous help to me in my project, which examines a few of co-owner Francis Wolff’s gorgeous images of the young saxophone titan Sonny Rollins (still going strong these days, of course).
Jeff is never out of ideas, it seems. He is continuing a series on jazz in various cities. Great Jazz Cities: St. Louis takes a look at the musical heritage of a place I called home for 16 years. Phil Dunlap looks at the ragtime and riverboat jazz roots while Kevin Belford fills in the vital but nearly lost history of the blues in St. Louis. I take a turn describing the St. Louis jazz scene and Miles Davis’s early years in the St. Louis region.
Jeff provides a remarkable hour of listening each week for fans of the music. Give him a listen.