Jazz Beat



A Jazz and Blues podcast from New England Public Radio's (WFCR) Tom Reney. Tom has been the host of the daily Jazz a la Mode radio program for over 30 years. He lectures widely on jazz, and his writing on music has appeared in the Boston Globe, Downbeat, Jazz Times and the jazz blog at NEPR.net.


  • Jazz Beat 56 - Ricky Riccardi and Tom Reney, Part Three

    23/02/2021 Duración: 59min

    In Part 3 of Tom Reney's interview with Ricky Riccardi, author of Heart Full of Rhythm: The Big Band Years of Louis Armstrong, they discuss Armstrong's tour of England in 1932, and his European sojourn in 1934-35; his top billing in the movie, Pennies From Heaven; his groundbreaking achievement as the first African American host of a network radio series; and the controversy over his 1938 recording, "When the Saints Go Marching In."

  • Jazz Beat 55 - Peter Guralnick Interview, Part Two

    27/01/2021 Duración: 36min

    In part two of Tom Reney's interview with Peter Guralnick, they discuss three of the subjects of Guralnick's book, Looking to Get Lost: Adventures in Music and Writing: Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, and country music legend, Dick Curless, whose career began in the late 1940s in Ware, Massachusetts.

  • Jazz Beat 54 - Peter Guralnick

    27/01/2021 Duración: 50min

    In 2015, Tom Reney spoke with Peter Guralnick about his biography, Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock & Roll . And now in a two-part Jazz Beat, he’s interviewed Peter about six of the American music legends who are profiled in Guralnick’s new book, Looking to Get Lost: Adventures In Music & Writing: Robert Johnson, Skip James, Johnny Cash, Howlin’ Wolf, Dick Curless and Ray Charles.

  • Jazz Beat 53 - Ricky Riccardi and Tom Reney, Part Two

    23/11/2020 Duración: 56min

    In Part Two of Tom Reney's conversation with Ricky Riccardi about his new book, Heart Full of Rhythm: The Big Band Years of Louis Armstrong, Riccardi discusses Armstrong's skirmishes with Prohibition-era gangsters and managers; the trumpeter's triumphant return to his birthplace of New Orleans in 1931; and the massive archive of self-documentation in letters, scrapbooks, and tape recordings that Armstrong left for posterity.

  • Jazz Beat 52 - Ricky Riccardi and Tom Reney Discuss Louis Armstrong, Part One

    02/11/2020 Duración: 56min

    For Jazz Beat, Tom Reney spoke with Louis Armstrong biographer Ricky Riccardi about his new book, Heart Full of Rhythm, The Big Band Years of Louis Armstrong. In the first of a two-part interview, he and Riccardi discuss Armstrong’s breakthrough in the early 1930s as a popular artist; his first recordings of Broadway show tunes and the key role that Armstrong played in establishing popular song as a core element of the jazz repertoire; and the mixed response that Armstrong received during this period from critics in the U.S. and Europe. Armstrong recordings heard in the podcast include “Struttin’ With Some Barbecue,” “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” and “Stardust.”

  • Jazz Beat 51 - Interview with Joe Farnsworth

    02/10/2020 Duración: 56min

    Jazz Beat host Tom Reney spoke with the drummer Joe Farnsworth on September 30. Billy Hart, a master drummer in his own right, describes Farnsworth as "one of the rhythm philosophers" in the liner note he's written for Joe's new album, Time to Swing. Farnsworth was raised in a musical family in South Hadley, Massachusetts, where he was born in 1968. For the past 30 years, he's been one of the most in-demand drummers on the New York scene, but he's made only a handful of albums as a leader. Time to Swing features Wynton Marsalis in a rare sideman appearance, as well as Kenny Barron and Peter Washington, and the critical acclaim it's receiving underscores Farnsworth's prominence in jazz today. Musical interludes in the interview include "Hesitation," "Down By the Riverside," and "The Good Shepherd," from Time to Swing; as well as "Corner Pocket" by Count Basie; "The Trance" by Booker Ervin; "Seven Steps to Heaven" by Harold Mabern; "Field Day" by Junior Cook; "Bringing Up Father" by

  • Jazz Beat 50 – An Interview with Sonny Rollins

    03/09/2020 Duración: 40min

    Tom Reney spoke with Sonny Rollins in August for a special project honoring Yusef Lateef’s centennial. Sonny and Yusef were friends for many years, but Rollins also considered him a mentor and spiritual inspiration. Tom also asked Rollins about his groundbreaking work of 1958, The Freedom Suite and about interviews that Rollins has recently given The New York Times and The New Yorker about the Golden Rule. Musical excerpts include Rollins’ St Thomas, B.Quick, The Freedom Suite, and Come, Gone; Yusef Lateef is heard playing oboe on the classic blues, In The Evenin’ (When The Sun Goes Down.)

  • Jazz Beat 49 - An Interview with Paul Arslanian

    26/05/2020 Duración: 56min

    Tom Reney spoke with Paul Arslanian on May 6 about his career in jazz. Paul is a veteran pianist who's been a highly visible figure in jazz in Western Massachusetts since 1984. In 2010, he was a co-founder of the Northampton Jazz Workshop, and since then, he's produced a series of weekly performances that feature a guest artist who plays with the Northampton-based Green Street Trio. Arslanian is the Trio's pianist, which also includes bassist George Kaye and drummer Jon Fisher.

  • JazzBeat 48 - Lee Konitz

    17/04/2020 Duración: 38min

    Jazz a la Mode host Tom Reney interviewed Lee Konitz in 2004 before concerts he was playing in Northampton and Cambridge. Konitz died from Covid-19 related pneumonia on April 15 at age 92. He was still touring and recording until social distancing began in March. A major figure in his own right, the Chicago-born saxophonist was associated over the course of his 75-year-long career with the jazz greats Miles Davis, Lennie Tristano, Stan Kenton, Bill Evans, and Brad Mehldau.

  • Jazz Beat 47 - Champian Fulton

    15/01/2020 Duración: 47min

    Champian Fulton was hailed by Francis Davis in the Village Voice in 2007, the year of her debut recording, as "the best new singer I've heard this year-- make that several years."

  • Jazz Beat 46 - Bennie Wallace

    21/10/2019 Duración: 49min

    Tom Reney spoke with Bennie Wallace for Jazz Beat a few days before concerts that the veteran tenor saxophonist was scheduled to play in Connecticut in October 2019.

  • Jazz Beat 45 - Tom Reney on Open Source

    26/08/2019 Duración: 50min

    Jazz Beat host Tom Reney appeared on Open Source with Christopher Lydon on WBUR. They discuss jazz and r&b and classical music and Tom Reney reveals eight essential recordings and one book that he would take to a desert island.

  • Jazz Beat 44 - T-Bone Walker

    18/12/2018 Duración: 24min

    Jazz Beat 44 is devoted to Tom Reney's appreciation of the blues singer and guitarist T-Bone Walker.

  • Jazz Beat 42 - Charles Neville

    25/05/2018 Duración: 29min

    Tom Reney pays memorial tribute to Charles Neville on this edition of Jazz Beat.

  • Jazz Beat 41 - Anat Cohen

    16/03/2018 Duración: 59min

    This edition of Jazz Beat features an interview that Tom Reney conducted with Anat Cohen in 2008 when she was the Billy Taylor Artist in Residence at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

  • Jazz Beat - Ruby Braff

    02/02/2018 Duración: 21min

    In his latest edition of JazzBeat, NEPR’s Tom Reney turns the spotlight on Boston-born trumpeter Ruby Braff. Braff’s biography and his influences illuminate the period of jazz history that he inhabited. But the tone and style that you’ll hear in the episode’s music samples point to the timelessness of the music coming from his trumpet.

  • Jazz Beat - Max Roach

    11/01/2018 Duración: 21min

    In the latest episode of Jazz Beat, Tom Reney celebrates the legacy of the jazz great Max Roach, and recalls the personal influence the drummer had on his life. Our podcast includes excerpts from Max's recordings with Clifford Brown, Sonny Rollins, Abbey Lincoln, and Stanley Turrentine, and selections from a solo concert by Max that Tom produced in 1979.

  • Jazz Beat - Fats Domino

    14/11/2017 Duración: 26min

    Tom Reney's memorial tribute to Fats Domino credits the great pianist as a founder of rock 'n' roll and an exemplar of New Orleans rhythm and blues, and addresses a schism between jazz and r&b.

  • Jazz Beat – Randy Newman And Sonny Boy Williamson

    11/10/2017 Duración: 28min

    Tom Reney looked into the legends of the two bluesmen known as Sonny Boy Williamson for this Jazz Beat podcast refuting some of what Randy Newman asserts in his new song, "Sonny Boy." Hear deep background on these blues greats, as well as Newman's tune, and blues classics by Sonny Boy I and II, and Billy Boy Arnold and Mose Allison.