Sunday, November 30, 2008

October 26, 2008 Southern Routes Jamming in the WCOM Studio
It's hard to imagine that the six members of the Southern Routes band were able to squeeze into the WCOM studio but they did and for two hours we had a swingin', dancin' good time. The members consist of Richard Tazewell, on piano and vocals, Callie Warner on guitar and vocals, Christen Campbell on vocals and cabasa, Rick Keena on electric guitar, David Shore on drums, and Jeff Brown on sax.
I know all of the members from different scenes and different music groups, and Richard's jazz CD, Stairway to the Stars, was one of the first I played on my show starting four years ago. They are all great performers and come together to form an exciting, fun, and upbeat sound. They are all from the Carrboro/Chapel Hill, Triangle area. Their music makes you want to jump up and dance. It pulls on many different music genres - and comes out very original. They can be heard in different combinations - most regularly at the Sienna Hotel in CH. Mostly they played their music live in the studio but we played a few songs from CDs. Richard can be reached for bookings at
  • Christian Life
  • Empty Bottle, Broken Heart, and You're Still on My Mind
  • Dance Me to the End of Love
  • Midnight Rider
  • Do Right Woman
  • Return of the Grevious Angel
  • You Don't Miss Your Water Til Your Well Runs Dry
  • Harvest Moon
  • Preacher Man
  • Killing the Blues
  • Seven Bridges Road

September 28, 2008 NYC Cool Cats c/ NC Roots - Trachy Lacy Collective
I was pleased to help with the release of the new CD, Lanky, by the Trachy Lacy Collective. They live in NYC but were touring the East Coast, including a stop at Carrboro's ArtsCenter. It is a beautiful CD, which I recommend, and combines some classical motifs with jazzy beats. They sent me their CD and we arranged for them to call in during my show to talk about their music and to play music from their CD. Russell Lacy is their drummer and hails from the Wake Forest, NC. He studied jazz at NC Central University and is continuing his studies at Queens College in NY. Seth Trachy is from the mountains of NC and is the group's sax player. David Caldwell Mason plays piano for the group and Edward Perez in on bass. I caught their performance at the ArtsCenter the following Friday and greatly enjoyed it. Be sure to check them out if they perform near you and also their new CD.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

July 27, 2008 The Big Sound of the Big Band
Robert Trowers, trombone player, composer and teacher came back to join me for a Big Band Show. Robert traveled with many big bands and performed around the world including with the Lionel Hampton and Count Basie bands. He came carrying many albums and CDs for the show.

Amazingly enough, Charles Tolliver called Robert in the middle of the show, and so I asked him to call back on the WCOM line and had him join the discussion. He had recently been at and performed at Duke University as part of the Following Monk Jazz Festival.

Playlist -
  • Count Basie's Orchestra; This Time by Basie; I Can't Stop Loving You
  • Ella Fitzgerald & Duke Ellington's Orchestra; Pure Ella; Take the A Train
  • Toshiko Akiyoshi - Lew Tabackin Big Band; European Memoirs CD; Remembering Bud
  • Count Basie's Orchestra; This Time by Basie; One Mint Julep
  • Pete Fountain; The Best of Pete Fountain; Columbus Stockade Blues
  • Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington; Cotton Tail
  • Harry James Orchestra: Best of Harry James; Two O'Clock Jump
  • Count Basie & Sarah Vaughan; You Go to My Head
  • Jimmy Smith; Jazz Legends; Walk on the Wildside
  • Dizzy Gillespie; Dizzy Gillespie Story; A Night in Tunisia
  • Duke Ellington/Count Basie; The Count Meets the Duke; Wildman
  • Woody Herman; Blues on Parade; Woodchopper's Ball
  • Tommy Dorsey; Best of TD; I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
  • Frank Capp Juggernaut; In a Hefti Bag; Midnite Blue
Tom and Marilyn stopped by the WCOM studio to listen in to the show and to meet Robert. WCOM is located in downtown Carrboro, NC.

July 13, 2008 Josh Socolar Plays Beautiful Music and It's My Birthday
Lots of friends stopped by the WCOM studio to both hear Josh Socolar play beautiful jazz music and to wish me a happy birthday - it was quite the party. I love having people stop by the studio and so this was a very special evening. Josh took classical and jazz piano lessons with Toby Tate; and he is particularly inspired by the playing of Thelonius Monk and Oscar Peterson.

Playlist of Songs Played in the Studio -
  • Thelonius Monk's, Blue Monk
  • African Market Place
  • Charlie Parker's, Yardbird Suite,
  • Jimmy McHugh's, Exactly Like You
  • Duke Ellington's, Prelude to a Kiss
  • Billy Strayhorn's, Take the A Train
  • Oscar Peterson's, Hymn to Freedom
  • Horace Silver's, Sister Sadie
  • George Bassman's, I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
  • Thelonius Monk's, Well You Needn't
  • Thelonius Monk's, Round Midnight
  • Sonny Rollins', Don't Stop the Carnaval
  • Dizzy Gillespie's, Night in Tunisia
  • Gillespie's, Jumpin' at the Woodshed
  • Billy Taylor's, I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to be Free
I thank Josh for all the wonderful music he shared and I look forward to his return. And I thank my friends for stopping by the studio to join the party and especially Joann for making such a pretty, jazzy birthday cake.

June 29, 2008 Robert Trowers, Mr. Trombone Man
Robert Trowers, jazz trombone player, composer and teacher at NC Central's Jazz Studies Program, brought boxes of trombone-featured albums and CDs, and we had a great time. Robert played with many big bands, including Lionel Hampton and Count Basie, and performed around the world with them. He always has lots of good stories to share. You can often hear me playing his music on my show.

Playlist -
  • Nina Simone; Anthology CD; I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free
  • JJ Johnson, Kai Winding, Bennie Green, Willis Dennis; Four Trombones; More
  • Slide Hampton; World of Trombones; Chorale & Lester Leaps In
  • Jimmy Cleveland; The Trombone Album; Lo-Fi
  • Dinah Washington; The Jazz Sides: This Can't Be Love
  • Frank Rosolino; The Trombone Album; Take Me Out to the Ballgame
  • Urbie Green; Persuasive Trombone; Skylark
  • Duke Ellington & Tyree Glenn; The World of Duke Ellington; Sultry Seran
  • Robert Trowers: Synopsis CD; Good Bait
  • JJ Johnson & Kai Winding; The Great Kai & JJ; Blue Monk
  • Tadd Dameron & Jimmy Cleveland; The Magic Touch of Tadd Dameron; Just Plain Talk
  • Julian Priester; Keep Swingin'; Julian's Tune
  • Bill Watrous: Manhattan Wildlife Refuge; Spain
  • Robert Trowers; Point of View CD; End of a Love Affair

June 22 - All Italian, All the Time!
Roco of WCOM's Music Hall joined me in the studio to feature the jazz musicians with Italian roots. And we had a good time. We had several guests - repeat appearance of the Knaack family - Julie, Will, Gabe, and Zoe, and Julie's parents in from WI, Mary and Steve. We had a wonderful poetry reading by Zoe, who wrote the poem herself; and an unusual poem by Gabe. The show turned into a dancing studio. It may be a small studio but there is always room for dancing.

Playlist -
  • Nina Simone; Anthology CD; I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to be Free
  • Art Pepper; Meets the Rhythm Section CD; You'd be so Nice to Come Home To
  • Frank Sinatra; Songs for Swinging Lovers CD; I've Got You Under My Skin
  • Vince Guaraldi Trio; Jazz Impressions CD; Cast Your Fate to the Wind
  • Rosemary Clooney; Songs From the Girl Singer CD; Come Rain or Come Shine
  • Henry Mancini; Moon River CD; Big Band Montage
  • Tony Bennett; All Time Greatest Hits CD; I Left My Heart in San Francisco
  • Don Costa; Never on Sunday
  • Frankie Valley; Grease CD; Grease
  • Al Cailo; Instrumental Gems of the 60's CD; Magnificent Seven
  • Dean Martin: Dean Martin on Reprise CD: Last Round Up
  • Perry Como; All Time Greatest Hits CD; Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes
  • Chick Corea; My Spanish Heart CD; Day Danse
  • Al Martino; Volare CD; Spanish Eyes
  • Keely Smith; Ladies of Song CD; Sweet & Lovely
  • Ray Anthony Band; Instrumentally Yours #6; Peter Gunn
  • Jimmy Durante; As Time Goes By CD; As Time Goes By
  • Carmen McRae; Nice Work If You Can Get It
  • Frankie Lane; Jezebel
  • Tony Orlando; Tie a Yellow Ribbon
  • Dave Brubeck & Joe Morello; Take Five
Here is Zoe's poem, which she wrote and read on the air. She is a great poet and I look forward to hearing more of her work - both poetry and lyrics.

The Fish Dish, by Zoe, Age 7
There's a hole in the fish bowl,
And the tank isn't full.
So, I want a dish,
For my fish.
My fish isn't comfortable,
And he doesnt look lovable.
So, that's why I'm getting a dish for my fish.
And he looks quite happy in there.
The End

And here's Gabe's poem, inspired by his sister.
My Sister, by Gabe, Age 9
My sister is like a brat.
Sometimes she acts like a rat.

I really do love my sister.
If she went away I'd really miss her.

If it's dancing she's a pro.
But if it's soccer she says no.

Althought sometimes she's like a bear,
I'd rather have her here than there.


June 8 Tapping Out the Jazz Beat
What a wonderful treat to have local youth tap dancers back on my show again this year. Alex Vigotov, Elizabeth Burke and Lilly Steponaitis are some of the star tappers with Gene Medler, teacher extra- ordinaire. We lowered the mics to the floor and the tappers went to town dancing away. This has become an annual treat to help promote the annual recital held to honor the talents of the NC Youth Tap Ensemble. I thank Gene, Alex, Elizabeth and Lilly for joining me in the studio.

Playlist -
  • Nina Simone; Anthology CD; I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to be Free
  • Oscar Peterson; A Jazz Portrait of Frank Sinatra CD; You Make Me Feel So Young
  • Squirrel Nut Zippers; Sold Out CD: Twilight
  • Nina Simone; Anthology CD; I Want a Little Sugar
  • Coleman Hawkins; Best of CH CD; Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
  • Gene Harris; On Green Dolphin Street
  • Getz/Gilberto; Bim Bon
  • Lou Donaldson; Alligator/Boogaloo CD; Boogaloo
  • Joao Gilberto; Amoroso; S'Wonderful
  • Robert Griffin; NC: State of Music; Rhythm-a-ning
  • Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong; Ella & Louie Again CD; Let's Call the Whole Thing Off
  • Gene Harris; GH & the 3 Sounds, Live at the IT; Funky Pullett
  • Frankie Alexander; Mad About the Words CD; Teach Me Tonight
  • Stanley Baird; Traffic Jam CD; Footprints
  • Charlie Haden/Hank Jones; Steal Away CD; Nobody Knows the trouble I've Seen
Please join me each Sunday night from 7-9:00 on WCOM to hear the special sounds of NC inspired jazz.

Friday, November 28, 2008

June 2008 Tribute to Brother Yusuf Salim
Brother Yusuf Salim was born in Baltimore, MD, and came to the Triangle Area in the mid-70s. He was soon followed by his good friend, Bus Brown, a consummate jazz singer, song writer, and teacher to all. Brother Yusef played all the clubs in the area for over 30 years. He always had a kind word and smile for all. I called him, the "Godfather of NC Jazz."

Freeman Ledbetter, Durham-based bass player, organized a tribute to and for Brother Yusuf. Jazz musicians from around the Triangle area showed up at the nursing home where Brother Yusuf stayed the last few weeks of his life. Although his hands were cripled over, and his body, too, after listening to others play for a while, Brother Yusuf asked to play. And then the magic began as he played with just a few fingers on each hand the most beautiful music. It was a wonderful memorable moment.
I am forever thankful to both Brother Yusuf Salim and Bus Brown for their music, their talents, their friendship, their teaching and encouragement to all. You will be missed always.

June 1, 2008 Slavic & Latin Jazz
I was glad to have Mietek Glinkowski and friends back on my show. Mietek played his vitar, which is like, yet different, from an electric violin. Mietek hails from Poland and now lives in Raleigh, NC. He was joined by his good friend, Alex Gorodezky, who is from the Ukraine and lives in Raleigh. Nic Slaton played the upright bass. Nic went to NC Central University and studied jazz.


  • Nina Simone; Anthology CD; I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to be Free
  • Charlie Haden, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Ignacio Berron; & David Sanchez; Nocturne CD; Tres Palabras
  • Ibrahim Ferrer; Herido De Sombras
  • Joao Gilberto; Amoroso/Brazil CD; S'Wonderful
  • Dizzy Gillespie; Ool Y Koo; Cubana Be
  • Getz, Gilberto, Astrud; #2 CD; Only Trust Your Heart
  • David Grisman Quartet; Dawg's Groove CD; La Grande Guiznote
  • Dizzie Gillespie; Afro-Cuban Jazz Moods CD; Oro, Incanso y Mira
  • Greg Brink & Tony Galiani; You and the Night and the Music
  • Robert Griffin; NC: A State of Music CD; Rhythm-a-Ning
  • Stephen Anderson; Forgt Not CD; Mobiles
  • Elmer Gibson; The Reach of Memory CD
  • Frankie Alexander; Mad About the Words CD; Mad About the Boy
  • Robert Trowers; Point of View CD; Have You Met Miss Jones
  • Billy Taylor; Music Keeps Us Young CD; I Wish I Knew How it Felt to be Free
  • Charlie Haden; Nocturne CD; Noche de Ronda
My jazz radio show features the sounds of NC jazz musicians both of the past and the present. I always enjoy when the musicians bring their instruments with them and play live during my show. WCOM can be heard in the Carrboro, NC area at 103.5 fm. The door is always open and I enjoy people stopping by to hear the music and to say 'hi'. You can listen in from any where in the world by going to our web-link on the WCOM website at

Sunday, August 31, 2008

May 18, 2008 In a Coltrane Kind of Mood
I was in a John Coltrane mood. Coltrane is a native of Hamlet, NC. He is certainly one of North Carolina's, the nation's and the world's finest jazz player. It was a great evening focusing on his music tonight. You can hear my show on WCOM every Sunday evening from 7:00 - 9:00 at 103.5 FM in the Carrboro/CH area or any where in the world by going to the web.

Here's a YouTube posting of a young Coltrane playing with a young Miles Davis - enjoy.

Playlist -
  • Nina Simone (b. Tryon, NC); Anthology CD; I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free
  • John Coltrane (b. Hamlet, NC); My Favorite Things CD: But Not For Me
  • John Coltrane Quartet; Ballads CD; All or Nothing at All
  • John Coltrane; My Favorite Things CD; Everytime We Say Goodbye
  • John Coltrane; Lush Life CD; Lush Life
  • John Coltrane; Ballads; You Don't Know What Love Is
  • John Coltrane: A Love Supreme CD; Acknowlegment
  • Eva Cassidy & Chuck Brown; The Other Side CD: Over the Rainbow
  • Jamuna (lives Chatham County, NC); The Innocence to Cry CD; Moscow Night
  • Ray Charles; You Don't Know Me
  • Frankie Alexander (lives Durham, NC); Mad About the Words CD; I Loves You Porgy
  • Buena Vista Social Club CD; Chan Chan
  • Cesaria Evora; Sao Vicente CD; Sao Vicente Di Longe
  • Joao Gilberto with Grady Tate on drums (Durham, NC); Amoroso/Brasil CD; Besame Mucho
  • Robert Griffin (lives Carrboro, NC); NC: A State of Music; Killing Me Softly
  • Elmer Gibson (lives Raleigh, NC); The Reach of Memory CD; Changes
  • Greg Brink & Tony Galiani (lives Carrboro, NC); You & the Night & the Music

May 11, 2008 Young, Cool, Jazzy Cats
Clif Wallace and jazz friends, Ron Baxter and Jack Hill, played live on my show in the studios of WCOM. Clif is a talented jazz drummer, and a recent graduate of the Jazz Program at NC Central University. After being away from the area for a while, he can now be heard in local clubs. Joining him were Ron and Jack. Ron Baxter is also a recent graduate of NCCU and now teaches jazz at Shaw University in Raleigh. Ron plays sax. Jack Hill is a current jazz student at UNC-CH. Ron and Jack were guests on my show previously, and it was great to have them back. Clif and Ron are players and composers and have great promise.

Playlist -
  • Straight No Chaser
  • Fe Fi Fo Fum
  • Very Early
  • Heaven
  • Mr. PC
  • Rhythm-A-Ning
  • Stella By Starlight
  • Invitation
  • Pinochio

April 20, 2008 Stephen Anderson & Trio
I was pleased to have the Stephen Anderson and Trio join me in the studio to play their music live and to share music from Steve Anderson's new CD, Forget Not. He is on the faculty in the UNC-CH Music Department. Steve grew up in a musically talented family, and during the show his parents and brother called in from Utah. Steve was raised on classical music and hymns and then moved into jazz, where he incorporates components of his earlier training and love of music. Joining Steve in the studio was Dan Davis on drums and Peter Innocenti on bass. Steve lives in Chapel Hill, Peter in Durham, and Dan in Cary. They have dates at clubs in the area. I was thrilled to have Steve with me on the show and am a great fan of his CD, which is available in local stores.

Playlist -
  • Bye Bye Blackbird
  • Rhythm-A-Thing
  • T'so Political
  • But Not For Me
  • I Love You for Sentimental Reasons
  • In Walked Bud
Melva's Musings on Jazz is broadcast every Sunday evening from 7:00-9:00 from the studios of WCOM in downtown Carrboro, NC. Please join me in the immediate area on the dial at 103.5 fm or from anywhere in the world on the internet by going to WCOM's website at and clicking on the web-streaming button. You can call me during the show at 919 929-9601.