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Portraits in Black, Brown, & Beige, Part II Purchase Now 

Bill's exploration of the music of African-American composers continues this week. We will hear Bill conduct a work by Anthony Davis, plus music composed by Bill's friend Jeffrey Mumford. Our two-week celebration ends with a poem from Langston Hughes as well as music from Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, and Michael Jackson.

Program 1

We jump back into our exploration of African-American music with the lamentations of the blues. We have an interview the father of the blues, W.C. Handy, blue songs of the Deep South and an orchestral piece from Adolphus Hailstork.

Taj Mahal: Blues With A Feeling
Taj Mahal
W.C. Handy: St. Louis Blues
Katharine Handy Lewis, voc.
Interview with W. C. Handy
W.C. Handy: St. Louis Blues
Louis Armstrong And His All-Stars
County Farm Blues (excerpt)
Eddie "Son" House, gtr. & voc.
Drifting Blues (excerpt)
Lightnin' Hopkins
Drifting Blues
Johnny Moore's Three Blazers
Drifting Blues (excerpt)
Albert King, gtr. & voc.
Slide Hampton: Frame for the Blues
Maynard Ferguson, tpt. & voc.
Hailstork: Epitaph For A Man Who Dreamed
Chicago Sinfonietta/Paul Freeman
Cedille 61
Trad.: Deep River
Howard University Ch. Choir
Smithsonian Folkways 4007208
Blegan & Sayer: History of the Blues
Aardvark 222
B.B. King: The Thrill Is Gone
B.B. King Live in Cook County Jail


Program 2

Accomplished African-American singers are the focus here, with music from Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess, bass baritone William Warfield and soprano Leontyne Price. We finish with the song from the title of this show, played by Duke Ellington.

George Gershwin: “Bess, You Is My Woman Now”
Todd Duncan, bar.; Anne Brown, sop.
Music Masters B000000FMO

Aaron Copland: “Simple Gifts”, “The Boatmen’s Dance”, “The Little Horses” & “Ching-A-Ring Chaw” fr. Old American Songs
William Warfield, b. Aaron Copland, p.
Sony 90403

Giacomo Puccini: “Vissi d’arte” fr. Tosca
Rome Opera House Orchestra/Fabritiis; Leontyne Price, s.
RCA 794051

G. Verdi: “Pace, Pace, Mio Dio” fr. La Forza Del Destino
RCA Italiana Opera Orchestra/Schippers; Leontyne Price, s.
RCA 794051

Gershwin: Introduction, “Summertime” & “O Lawd, I’m On My Way” fr. Porgy & Bess
RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra/Skitch Henderson; Leontyne Price, s.; William Warfield, bar.
RCA 794051
6:20. 00:18

Duke Ellington: “Come Sunday” fr. Black, Brown & Beige
Mahalia Jackson, s. w/ Duke Ellington & his Orchestra

Program 3

Bill starts us off with music from Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, known as the “African Mahler.” We continue with the works of Jeffrey Mumford, an old friend of Bill’s, and the pianist André Watts. 

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Petite suite de concert, Op. 77
  III. Un sonnet d’amour
  IV. La tarantelle fretillante

Chicago Sinfonietta/Paul Freeman
Cedille 055

Jeffrey Mumford: Her Eastern Light Amid a Cavernous Dusk Aspen Wind Quintet
New World 650

Hale Smith: Evocation
Natalie Hinderas, p.
CRI 629

Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat
New York Phil/Bernstein; André Watts, p.
Phil 456 985

Alvin Singleton: In Our Own House
Karen Walwyn, p.; Jason Marsalis, perc.
Albany 384

Roland Hayes: Lit’l Boy
Robert Sims, bar.

Program 4

Our celebration continues with skillful performers of classical music, including trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, saxophonist James Carter, and violinist Regina Carter. Bill makes an appearance as conductor of the piece Maps by Anthony Davis.

Georg Friedrich Händel: “Let the Bright Seraphim” fr. Samson
Orchestra of St. Luke’s/John Nelson; Wynton Marsalis, trp.; Kathleen Battle, s.
Sony 46672

Richard Strauss: IV. Im Abendrot fr Vier Letze Lieder
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra/Kurt Masur; Jessye Norman, s.
Phil 475 8507

Olly Wilson: Sinfonia, II (Elegy for Olly Wilson Sr. and Calvin Simmons)
Boston Symphony Orchestra/Seiji Ozawa
New World 80331-2

Roberto Sierra: Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra, II
Sinfonia Varsovia/Giancarlo Guererro; James Carter, sax
Decca 001547202

Anthony Davis: Maps – I. Timothy Island
Kansas City Symphony/William McGlaughlin; Shem Guibbory, v.; Gerry Hemingway, perc.
Gramavision R2 79429

Regina Carter, vln.; Yacouba Sissoko, kora
Koch 2090

Regina Carter, vln, Yacouba Sissoko, kora; Will Holshouser, acc.; Chris Lightcap, db.; Alvester Garnett, percussion
Koch 2090
Reverse Thread

Johannes Brahms: Ballade #3 In B Minor, Op. 10/3
Awadagin Pratt, p.
EMI 55025

John Williams: Air and Simple Gifts
Anthony McGill, cl.; Itzhak Perlman, v.; Yo-Yo Ma, vc.; Gabriela Montero, p.
Sony 770636

Program 5

We finish our celebration of African-American music with a poem from Langston Hughes, as well as music from Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and Michael Jackson.

Langston Hughes: Night and Morn
Smithsonian Folkways 47001_06

Joe “King’ Oliver: West End Blues
Louis Armstrong And His Hot Five
Fremeaux and Assoc. 1354

Cold in Hand Blues
Bessie Smith, voc.; Louis Armstrong, tpt.

To Harlem: Snowy Morning Blues
James P. Johnson, p.
1:16 excerpt

Darius Milhaud: La Création Du Monde, Op. 81 (excerpt)
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra/Branford Marsalis

Duke Ellington: Jungle Nights in Harlem

Duke Ellington: Sophisticated Lady
Karrin Allyson, voc.; Rod Fleeman, gtr., Randy Weinstein harm., Ed Howard, bs.

How Long Blues (excerpt)
Count Basie and His Orchestra w/ Jimmy Rushing
1:57 excerpt

Mary Lou Williams: Hesitation Boogie
Mary Lou Williams, p.

Piney Brown Blues (excerpt)
Big Joe Turner & Jay McShann

Parker: Ornithology
Charlie Parker and Miles Davis
1:19; :34

Denzil Best: Move
Miles Davis nonet

Miles Davis: All Blues
Miles Davis sextet

Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life
Johnny Hartman, John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner

Ray Evans and Jay Livingston: Mona Lisa
Nat “King” Cole

Stevie Wonder: Sir Duke (excerpt)
Steve Wonder
1:39 excerpt

Michael Jackson: Billie Jean (excerpt)

Langston Hughes: The Negro Speaks of Rivers

Duke Ellington: Come Sunday
Duke Ellington, Ray Nance, vln.


The Exploring Music streaming website is supported by Mr. & Mrs. William Gardner Brown and the Richard P. and Susan Kiphart Family.  
You have opened up the world of Classical Music to me, where previously, it seemed too complicated.
Steffen Demeter
This is simply one of the very best radio programmes in the medium!...The study of the people, the times, and the events that inform the music we otherwise enjoy and even, heaven forbid, take for granted, brings the entire world of the music and the composer to life.
Walther Davies
There isn't a program you broadcast on Exploring Music" that isn't of interest. I find them all engaging. It is a combination of variety of subject, intellectual curiosity and your obvious enthusiasm which characterize your satisfying programs.
Michael Sanders
It’s a great way to re-engage myself with consciousness before heading off to work.
I Love this program! I am in 7th grade and I am the complete opposite of the other kids. I am 4th chair in the orchestra and I love to read. But most of all, I LOVE classical music!
Claudia Wertz
Your show has helped open my mind and heart to this world of music, and every show I hear confirms my place in music and gives me new ideas for where I'd like to go with it in the future….I grew up with classical music as a child and always held it in my heart, but I didn't have the confidence to be a good student (or a good violinist.)
Christine Anderson
Listening to you is almost interactive.You invite us in with so many well modulated dramatic and informative comments, enticing, enthusiastic interpretations, and coherent, beautiful presentations. It's a privilege to follow you into the musical space you create.
Sally Rosenbaum
I just love this program. It is soothing and comfortable at the end of the day. I find his comments interesting, but they aren't so dragged out that there is very little music. The balance of both is just right.
Jean Quay
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