Keith Hall

Rufus Ferguson

Rufus Ferguson was a freshman at Western Michigan University when Keith Hall first heard the young pianist's soulful, gospel-inflected playing. At that time, Ferguson had only just begun to explore jazz. Through hard work, and under the guidance of piano professor Jeremy Siskind, Keith Hall and other members of the WMU jazz faculty, Ferguson developed into a multifaceted performer and composer who takes pride in the nickname "Sideman Ferguson." He can fit into nearly any performance situation and make it sound good. In an in-studio performance and interview with Keith Hall, Rufus Ferguson takes a turn as a soloist, and talks about what made him the player he is today.

Cybelle Codish

Jazz guitarist Randy Napoleon, a soloist and collaborator with Freddy Cole and Michael Bublé, visits with Jazz Currents host Keith Hall for an hour of music and conversation in the Takeda Studio at WMUK. They cover a wide range of topics, including Napoleon's upbringing in Ann Arbor, Michigan; his move to New York City to pursue a career in jazz, his breakthrough gigs, and how his technique contributes to his sound. Napoleon also plays a selection of standards and originals.  


Guitar virtuoso Pat Metheny recorded his debut album as a leader in 1975. At the young age of 21, Metheny redefined the sound of the traditional jazz guitar. 


In 1953, five of the leading players of the day assembled in Toronto for a historic concert. The album, Jazz at Massey Hall, included trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, pianist Bud Powell, bassist Charles Mingus, and drummer Max Roach. Thankfully this was captured on tape, as it was the only time this bebop supergroup ever recorded together as a unit. Keith Hall goes behind the music and musicians on this edition of Jazz Currents.


On May 18 and 19, 1963, saxophonist Stan Getz recorded one of the best selling jazz albums of all time with two Brazilian Bossa Nova innovators: João Gilberto and Antonio Carlo Jobim. The album, Getz/Gilberto, hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard Charts and produced the most famous Bossa Nova sung by Astrud Gilberto called “The Girl from Ipanema.” Keith Hall looks into how they created crossover magic in this collection of songs, on  Jazz Currents


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