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NEA Jazz Master Orrin Keepnews

From: National Endowment for the Arts
Series: Jazz Masters Moments
Length: 08:29

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Five Moments with producer and 2011 NEA Jazz Master Orrin Keepnews.

Newjazzlogo_medium_small In these Moments, the incomparable Orrin Keepnews tells us what it was like to record some of the biggest names in jazz history. Thelonious Monk. Sonny Rollins. Miles Davis. Cannoball Adderly. Just to name a few.

Orrin Keepnews:  I have, and I have had, for just about all of my more or less accidental working career, an ability to create a good, functional, working relationship with more than a few incredibly talented people.  If somebody would like to tell me how come that happened, I’d be kind of curious to know…  

Piece Description

In these Moments, the incomparable Orrin Keepnews tells us what it was like to record some of the biggest names in jazz history. Thelonious Monk. Sonny Rollins. Miles Davis. Cannoball Adderly. Just to name a few.

Orrin Keepnews:  I have, and I have had, for just about all of my more or less accidental working career, an ability to create a good, functional, working relationship with more than a few incredibly talented people.  If somebody would like to tell me how come that happened, I’d be kind of curious to know…  

Transcript

ORRIN KEEPNEWS_ MONK_#218

(:90)

NOW, A JAZZ MOMENT…

MUSIC: It Don’t Mean a Thing (Monk Plays Duke Ellington)

IN 1955, NEA JAZZ MASTER ORRIN KEEPNEWS MADE A LANDMARK RECORDING OF THELONIOUS MONK PLAYING THE MUSIC OF DUKE ELLINGTON. IT WAS MONK’S FIRST RECORDING WITH KEEPNEWS FOR THE RIVERSIDE LABEL, WHICH WOULD BECOME A SPRINGBOARD FOR WHAT MANY CONSIDER TO BE MONK’S MOST FRUITFUL PERIOD. THERE WAS A PERCEPTION THAT MONK’S MUSIC WAS TOO DIFFICULT FOR THE MAINSTREAM PUBLIC, SO ORRIN KEEPNEWS WANTED TO PRESENT HIM IN A NEW LIGHT…

Orrin Keepnews: One of the big strengths was that I didn’t really know what I was doing, so that I wasn’t frightened by the fact that I was recommending to him a course of action that was unlike anything he’d ever done before. Basically I said, what I’d like us to do is I want to do two albums, trio. Let’s get rid of those damn bebop horns, at least for...
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Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
It Don’t Mean a Thing ..., Tenderly, Ruby My Dear, Double Feature, More Than You Know, Thelonious Monk (Ellington), Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Heath Various. Various :00

Additional Credits

Produced by the National Endowment for the Arts. Hosted by Christian McBride.

Related Website

http://www.nea.gov/honors/jazz/features.html