Friday, December 29, 2006

December 17, 2006 From The Blindboys of Alabama to John Coltrane

I wish all a good holiday and have enjoyed sharing some unusual music for this show. I pray for some peace in 2007. My radio show, Melva's Musings on Jazz, can be heard locally in the Carrboro/Chapel Hill area on 103.5 fm on Sundays from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. (EST). I feature North Carolina's jazz music and musicians with roots here. You can hear my show anywhere in the world by going to and clicking on the web-broadcast button in the upper righthand corner. You can contact me during the show to make a request by calling 1.919.929.9601. Please join me Sunday evenings.

  • Nina Simone (b. Tryon, NC); Anthology CD; I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free
  • Blind Boys of Alabama; Go Tell It On the Mountain CD; I Pray on Christmas & Go Tell It on the Mountain
  • Kathy Mathea; Good News CD; Good News
  • Goldberg- Sawyer (Durham-based jazz group); Jazzadelia CD; Black Orpheus
  • Susan Reeves (Raleigh-based jazz singer); Alive CD; All of Me
  • Al Neese (Greensboro-based bebop trumpet player); Omen Seeker CD; Wood Heat
  • Frankie Alexander (Durham-based jazz singer) & Scott Warner (former Chapel Hill-based piano player, composer, and teacher); Demo CD; Feeling Like Someone in Love
  • Ray Charles; The Spirit of Christmas CD; What Child is This & Little Drummer Boy
  • Aaron Neville; Christmas Collection CD; Such a Night
  • James Taylor (b. Chapel Hill singer); James Taylor at Christmas CD; In the Bleak Midwinter
  • Ella Fitzgerald; Ella's Christmas CD; O Holy Night
  • John Coltrane (b. Hamlet, NC); Lush Life CD; Lush Life
  • Nat King Cole; A Jazzed-up Holiday CD; Christmas Song
  • Crystal Gayle; Christmas CD; I'll Be Home for Christmas
  • The Irish Tenors; Home for Christmas CD; Good King Wenceslas
  • Kevin Van Sant (Durham-based guitar player); Yule-Time CD; Sleighride
  • The Roches; The Spirit of Christmas CD; For Unto Us a Child is Born

Monday, December 11, 2006

December 10, 2006 A Different Take on Winter and Holiday Songs

I loathe the traditional holiday songs but enjoy the winter and holiday songs not often heard on the radio. The weather is getting cold in NC - with temperatures at night dipping down into the 20s and 30s but still delightful during the day and climbing into the 60s and sunny. I shared with people that this weekend is the convergence (only the appearance, of course) of the planets Mars, Mercury and Venice and will not be seen again for fifty years. I got up at 6:15 a.m. to view the line-up of the planets and was out the door by 6:30 only to find a bank of clouds in the E/SE horizon area where the planets were awaiting. I'm afraid I won't be able to wait 50 years but instead got to see a lovely sunrise. I thank my friends Susan & Richard for joining me in this yet again failed attempt on my part to see a dramatic sky event. I have no luck in such matters - but try galliantly.

My show, Melva's Musings on Jazz, features the unique sounds of NC jazz musicians current and of the past. Ideally, I like to have the musicians with me on Sunday night from 7:00-9:00 EST to share their music as played live in the studio. If you live in the Carrboro/Chapel Hill (North Carolina) area you can hear my show on WCOM at 103.5 fm. Or you can catch my show in realtime from anywhere in the world by going to the web and typing in and click on the button in the upper righthand corner and you can hear the show. I have several musicians scheduled to be with me in January and Feb. of 2007. Please join me for a fun time.

Playlist for Melva's Musings on Jazz, December 10, 2006
  • Nina Simone (b. Tryon, NC); Anthology CD; I Wish I Knew How it Felt to be Free
  • Mary Lou Williams (lived and died in Durham, NC); My Mama Pinned a Rose on Me CD; Turtle Speed Blues. I have a special commitment to playing the music of Mary Lou Williams. She is one of the all time great jazz piano players and yet you seldom hear her music with her playing the piano on jazz radio shows. That is a terrible pity and a diminishment of the genius she was and of the giant talent that she shared for decades.
  • Frankie Alexander (b. Concord, NC & lives Durham, NC) jazz vocalist & Scott Warner on piano (lived Chapel Hill, NC; a jazz professor at UNC-CH, performed throughout the area and is also a composer); Demo CD; Alone Together. Frankie has a new CD that will be released on Feb. 11th and she will be on my radio show on Feb. 4th to share her music.
  • Kathy Mattea; Good News CD; Good News
  • Eva Cassidy; The Other Side CD; Over the Rainbow
  • Ray Charles & Diana Krall; Genius Loves Company CD; You Don't Know Me
  • Aaron Neville; The Christmas Collection CD; Let It Snow & Such a Night
  • James Taylor (b. Durham, NC & grew up in Chapel Hill) & Natalie Cole; James Taylor at Christmas CD; Baby It's Cold Outside
  • Jamuna (lives Chatham County, NC); The Innocence to Cry CD; Moscow Night
  • Ray Charles; The Spirit of Christmas CD; Little Drummer Boy (as phone requested by Molly)
  • Spyro Gyro; Modern Jazz - Celebration of the Songs of theBeatles CD; In My Life
  • Yusef Salim (lives Durham, NC; singer, piano player, composer, teacher); Yusef Sings Yusef CD; A Hymn for Us All
  • Mahlon Hoard (sax player - lived many years in Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Pittsboro and now in NYC - good luck Mahlon), Tyson Rogers & Rick Lassiter; The Land Outside CD; Falling Arch
  • Billie Holiday; Songs of Lost Love CD; Body & Soul
  • Kevin Van Sant (Durham guitar player and composer) & Ben Palmer (Durham bass player); Sessions CD; All the Things You Are
  • Toshiko Akiyoshi; European Memoirs CD; Feast in Milano
  • Rhiannon Giddens (NC folk/old time music singer with Chocolate Drop); Beautiful Star (play by Preston Lane, a Greensboro-based playwrite with Triad Stage) CD; O Holy Night
  • Scott Warner (lived Chapel Hill for years, jazz piano player and composer); Mindfield CD; After the Deluge
  • Thelonius Monk (b. Rocky Mount, NC) & John Coltrane (b. Hamlet, NC); At Carnegie Hall CD; Crepuscule with Nellie. This is a song written for Thelonius Monk's wife, Nellie; and is a memory of Nellie at twilight.
  • Brian Horton (lives Durham, NC and teaches saxophone at NC Central University); The Best of Brian Horton CD; Freddy D
  • Billie Taylor (b. Greenville, NC); Taylor Made at the Kennedy Center CD; I Wish I Knew How it Felt to be Free. I begin and end my show with this Taylor song - it remains a favorite of mine.

December 3, 2006 Special Night of Nina Simone and Ray Charles

Melva's Musings on Jazz features the best of NC's jazz musicians of the present and the past, and much, much more. The radio show is broadcast from Carrboro, NC on WCOM, a community radio station (LP), and can be heard in the Carrboro/Chapel Hill area at 103.5 fm every Sunday night from 7:00-9:00 EST. Listen to the show live by web-broadcast by going to and clicking on the button in the upper right hand corner. You can phone-in a request by calling during the show at 919 929-9601.

Playlist for Melva's Musings on Jazz
  • Nina Simone (b. Tryon, NC); Anthology CD; I Wish I Knew How it Felt to be Free & I Love You Porgy
  • Ray Charles; Complete Set of Ray Charles (CD #3); Making Whoppy & Brightest Smile in Town & Can't Stop Loving You & Ole Man River & Your Cheating Heart
  • Sarah Vaughn with Dizzy Gillespie (h.s. Laurinburg, NC); Embraceable You CD; Sassy's Blues
  • Lambert, Hendricks & Ross; Everyboy's Boppin' CD; Summertime & Moanin'
  • Billie Holiday; Greatest Hits CD; God Bless the Child & Crazy He Calls Me
  • Susana Baca; El Alma del Peru Negro CD; Maria Lando
  • Robert Griffin (Carrboro, NC on p); Check Leonard (NC drummer); Don Gladstone (Raleigh, NC-based bass player) Carter Minor (NC singer); Blue Spot in C Minor CD; Every Time We Say Goodbye
  • Eva Cassidy & Chuck Brown; The Other Side CD; Over the Rainbow & You Don't Know Me & Fever
  • Chet Baker; The Very Best of Chet Baker CD; My Funny Valentine
  • Ella Fitzgerald; Pure Ella CD; All the Things You Are
  • Nina Simone; Jazz Masters 17 CD; Don't Let me be Misunderstood & I Put a Spell on You & Mississippi God Damn
  • Frank Sinatra; Where Are You? CD; Don't Worry About Me