Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Portraits Day

Jez Nelson presents two specially-recorded musical portraits: Tom Challenger's Brass Mask depict Ornette Coleman, and Shabaka Hutchings potrays artist Basquiat.

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.

1 hour, 30 minutes

Music Played

  • A Self-portrait

    • Charles Mingus

      Self-portrait In Three Colours

      • Mingus Ah Um.
      • Columbia.
  • Jez talks to Alexander Hawkins about Duke Ellington's Musical Portraits

    • Duke Ellington & His Orchestra

      Up And Down, Up And Down

      • Such Sweet Thunder.
      • Essential Jazz Classics.
    • Duke Ellington & His Orchestra

      Madness In Great Ones

      • Such Sweet Thunder.
      • Essential Jazz Classics.
    • Ornette Coleman

      Lonely Woman

      • The Shape of Jazz to Come.
      • Atlantic.
  • Tom Challenger’s Portrait of Ornette Coleman, recorded at the Jazz on 3 studios on 24 April 2012

    • Untitled

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

    • Brass Mask

      Notes On Fun

      Composer: Tom Challenger

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

    • Untitled

  • Geoff Dyer's Favourite Jazz Portrait

    • 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

    • Untitled

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

    • 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

    • Jaco Pastorius

      Portrait of Tracy

      • Jaco Pastorius.
      • Epic.