Jazz à la Mode

NEPR: Weekdays, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Welcome to Jazz à la Mode, which airs weeknights between 8-11 p.m. on 88.5FM. Hosted by Tom Reney since 1984, Jazz à la Mode draws on the rich and varied traditions of jazz from the 1920’s to the present. Whether it’s a classic recording by Louis Armstrong or Billie Holiday, a great standard by Harold Arlen or Duke Ellington, modern jazz landmarks by Miles Davis or John Coltrane, or the latest by Gregory Porter or Wynton Marsalis, Jazz à la Mode has plenty to satisfy your tastes.

Find Jazz à la Mode archived blog posts.

Listen to Jazz à la Mode on demand

Roy Hargrove
Marek Lazarski / Jazz Times

Roy Hargrove, the brilliant, Texas-born trumpeter, died on Friday, November 2, at age 49 from cardiac arrest following his hospitalization in New Jersey for kidney disease. Roy was one of the most dynamic and engaging jazzmen of his generation, and the torrent of tributes and messages of grief expressed on social media since his death confirm that he was much beloved. The dozens of appearances he made as a sideman with both famous and lesser-known figures underscores how highly respected he was from the moment he hit the scene in 1988.

Lenny Bruce
The Telegraph

Too much! Amazing and sweet! Lenny Bruce on jazz and modern art, with Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, Teddy Kotick, and Philly Joe Jones playing Charlie Parker's "Au Privave," and Lenny and Philly Joe jiving on Bela Lugosi.

Randy Weston
Chuck Stewart / Mosaic Records

Randy Weston, who died on September 1 at 92, was one of my early favorites among jazz pianists. Like his “biggest influence,” Thelonious Monk, as well as Herbie Nichols, Cecil Taylor, and Abdullah Ibrahim, Randy had a powerful touch that reflected the influence of Duke Ellington. (Ellington was sufficiently impressed with Weston's playing to produce Randy's album Berkshire Blues, in 1965.) In Weston's case, early influences also included pianists Count Basie, Art Tatum and Nat "King" Cole, and the arpeggiated improvising style of Coleman Hawkins.

Aretha Franklin at President Barack Obama's Inauguration, January 20, 2009
Jason Reed / Reuters

As with many of you, my Aretha Franklin vigil began with the news of August 13 that she'd entered hospice, and for the next two days I posted some reflections on Lady Soul on Facebook. Then on what proved to be the eve of her death, I listened to her throughout a three-hour drive to Cape Cod and could hardly contain myself. Hers is simply the most powerful-- and versatile-- voice of my lifetime.

Alas, Aretha Franklin died on Thursday, August 16, three days after I posted the tribute below to the Queen of Soul.  We listened to Ree for our three-hour drive to Cape Cod on Wednesday night and I could hardly contain myself. Hers is simply the most powerful and versatile voice of my lifetime. The line that's resonated most this week is "If you walk in that door, I can get up off my knees," from "Since You've Been Gone (Sweet Sweet Baby)." It reminds me of a to-the-point reflection sent by a 70-year-old female friend, "Boy, did she ever get me through some tough times." 

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