Photo: Adopted Kansas City hero Mary Lou Williams swingin’ at the piano in 1946.
This hour our ongoing tour of America’s great jazz cities takes us to Kansas City. We’ll talk with local boy and jazz historian Chuck Haddix about the storied and sordid roots of the famed Kansas City sound, and get to know the corrupt Kansas City political boss who defied Prohibition and helped spark the city’s early jazz scene. And we’ll take a look at adopted hometown hero (Count) Bill Basie’s long and winding road from Kansas City to the pinnacle of swing, and explore the life and music of one of jazz’s most underappreciated legends: the great Mary Lou Williams.(59:00)
Long before New York became America’s jazz capital, Chicago jazz reigned supreme. This hour, it’s the story of Chicago jazz—from Al Capone’s days at the storied Green Mill Cocktail Lounge to the bizzare, outer-spaced-themed world of Sun Ra. Read more »
This hour we go in search of those rare moments when the paths of jazz and country crossed for some of the most fascinating fusions in American music. Read more »