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Portraits Day

1 hour, 30 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 07 May 2012

Jez Nelson presents a gallery of portraits in jazz, including a discussion with Alexander Hawkins around the origins of jazz portraits, starting with Duke Ellington. There are two new musical portraits by British reeds players, written and recorded especially for Jazz on 3. Tom Challenger's subject is the pioneering American saxophonist Ornette Coleman, a key innovator in the free jazz movement of the 1960s. He appears with his new group Brass Mask, which takes inspiration from New Orleans marching bands, contemporary jazz and improvisation, and hip hop. BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist Shabaka Hutchings performs with a group put together for the occasion, including veteran avant-garde double bassist John Edwards and guitarist Otto Fischer, to portray Jean-Michel Basquiat. Beginning as a graffiti artist in New York in the late 1970s, Basquiat achieved worldwide renown over the course of his short career.

Also on the programme, Jez explores the iconic photographic portraits of jazz musicians past and present.

Music Played

11 items
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • A Self-portrait

    • Image for Charles Mingus

      Charles Mingus Self-portrait In Three Colours

      Mingus Ah Um, Columbia

  • Jez talks to Alexander Hawkins about Duke Ellington's Musical Portraits

  • Tom Challenger’s Portrait of Ornette Coleman, recorded at the Jazz on 3 studios on 24 April 2012

    • Line-up: Tom Challenger (clarinet and tenor saxophone), George Crowley (tenor saxophone), Theon Cross (tuba), John Blease (percussion)

    • Image for Brass Mask

      Brass Mask Notes On Fun

      Composer: Tom Challenger

  • Jez discusses the legacy of the great jazz photographers with Val Wilmer and Jon Newey

  • Geoff Dyer's Favourite Jazz Portrait

    • Image for Charlie Haden

      Charlie Haden Taney County

      Charlie Haden’s Quartet West, PolyGram

  • Shabaka Hutchings' Portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat, recorded at the Jazz on 3 studios on 17 April 2012

    • Line-up: Shabaka Hutchings (saxophone and clarinet), Otto Fischer (guitar), John Edwards (bass), Mark Sanders (drums)

    • Image for Shabaka Hutchings, Otto Fischer, John Edwards, Mark Sanders

      Shabaka Hutchings, Otto Fischer, John Edwards, Mark Sanders Shabaka Hutchings, Otto Fischer, John Edwards, Mark Sanders - Portrait of Jean-Michel Basq

      Composer: Shabaka Hutchings

  • A Final Portrait


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