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.  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

Coleman Hawkins
William Gottlieb / Library of Congress

Coleman Hawkins was the subject of a beautifully filmed studio session taped in Brussels in 1962. The film was made following Hawk's appearance at a festival in Dinant, Belgium, the birthplace of saxophone inventor Adolphe Sax. The festival honored Sax, who'd patented the instrument in 1846, but who knows if it would have enjoyed its immense stature had Hawkins not invented a style for it in jazz, the idiom where it's found its most complete expressive identity.

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