There’s a song from five years ago called “Breathless” by the outstanding jazz trumpeter and composer, Terence Blanchard. It refers to the last words of Eric Garner: “I can’t breathe.” Garner was killed in 2014 by a New York City policeman who held him in a chokehold until he suffocated -- and more recently, Garner’s last words were also, as many of us know by now, among the last words of George Floyd, whose murder while in police custody in Minneapolis in late May has led to historic, still-in-progress protests all over the globe.
On the next All This Jazz, starting at 9pm on Saturday the 6th here on KWGS / Public Radio Tulsa, we’ll hear that Blanchard theme. We’ll also hear “Trayvon’s Blues” from trombonist Steve Turre (inspired by the killing of Trayvon Martin) as well as sax-whiz Kenny Garrett’s take on John Coltrane’s “Alabama” (which was written in the immediate wake of the infamous 1963 church-bombing in Birmingham).
Every Saturday night, both online and over the air, ATJ delivers three hours of recent and classic jazz -- across a wide range of styles -- from 9 o'clock till midnight. From Dave Brubeck to Dave Douglas, Gerry Mulligan to Geri Allen, Mary Lou Williams to Mary Halvorson, and Steve Nelson to Steve Lacy, All This Jazz is delighted by modern (and post-modern) jazz in its many forms, and we love sharing the same with our listeners.
And our next program’s third-hour theme -- running from 11pm to midnight, and referenced above vis a vis Blanchard, Turre, and Garrett -- will be Black Lives Matter. Thus we’ll listen to music of protest and empowerment, of lament and remembrance, of civil rights and social justice. We’ll also hear from, elsewhere in the show, such varied jazz greats at Kenny Wheeler, Sidney Bechet, Carol Sloane, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Lucky Thompson. Please join us.