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Catamount Community Radio - October 18, 2009

This past Thursday, saxofonisit Jeff Coffin was on campus to give a clinic on jazz improvisation. I was happy to be able to go, if only to hear him and his group play. It was a surprise, and those guys could pick! Coffin is a member of Bela's Flecktones, and plays with Dave Matthews, but I think I like him in his solo format best (with his group the Mutet), being a fan of the saxophone, and especially the sound of it alongside a trumpet.

Speaking of saxophones and trumpets, prohibition, which lasted, if I'm not mistaken, from 1920 to 1933, was not good for jazz, because the speakeasies, where the booze flowed, tended to keep a low profile, which meant no jobs for horn tooters.

Speaking of jazz musicians, when we listen to music from the 1920s, we like to hear Louis Armstrong's Hot Fives and Sevens, we like King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Bessie Smith. But back at that time, who was actually the most popular? Paul Whiteman. He played it sweet and pretty, and really couldn't play hot or blue. But he hired guys who could, like Bix Biderbeck. When New Orleans clarinetist Gus Mueller quit the band, he explained to Whiteman: "I jes' can't play that 'pretty music' that you all play. And you fellers can't never play blues worth a damn."


Paul Whiteman

In fact, despite the fact that Whiteman now sounds pretty tame to our 21st century ears, he was widely admired back in the twenties and thirties, even by such giants as Duke Ellington.

These last three paragraphs wouldn't have been possible without my reading the first 80 pages or so of Elijah Wald's How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll, which was nice surprise gift from Jim Dandy.

I played Tom Waits' "Goin' Out West," from his forthcoming live album, the first seven tracks of which are available for free at his web site. Apparently it will be a two-disc joint, the second disc comprised only of his between-song banter.

Happy Birthday, Yusef Lateef (89 yrs. old, on October 9).



Catamount Community Radio airs Sunday mornings from 10-12 (NC time) on WWCUFM.


1. Haruomi Hosono – Windy Land
2. Nat Cole – It's Only a Paper Moon
3. Miles Davis – Jitterbug Waltz
4. Erroll Garner – This Can't Be Love
5. Yusef Lateef – Titora
6. Los Amigos – Gandinga, Sandunga y Mondongo
7. Jelly Roll Morton – Spanish Swat
8. Mauricio Smith – El Green Hornet
9. The Seatbelts – The Egg and You
10. Paul Whiteman – Charleston
11. Ry Cooder – He'll Have to Go
12. Dirty Projectors – Two Doves
13. Ornette Coleman – Lonely Woman
14. Lee Dorsey – Would You?
15. Ronnie Love – Chills and Fever
16. Dinah Washington – Fat Daddy
17. Tom Waits – Goin'' Out West
18. Jeff Coffin – First Comes Last
19. James Brown – The Chicken
20. Nina Simone – Do What You Gotta Do
21. Hot Lips Page – Now You're Talking my Language
22. Sufjan Stevens – Ring Them Bells
23. Cozy Cole – Charleston
24. Count Basie – Jive at Five
25. Frank Zappa – Zoot Alures
26. Mangual & Patato – Massacote
27. Jeff Coffin – The Mad Hatter Rides Again
28. Jeff Harris – Chills and Fever
29. Yusef Lateef – C.N.S.C.
30. Nobukazu Takemura – Fallslake


Jeff Coffin

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