Part 1 of this program begins with Studs Terkel reading an excerpt from the book "Giants of Jazz" , which describes Dizzy Gillespie's early life. Gillespie discusses the following: the state of jazz; his fellow musicians; jazz contributors; jazz fundamentals; and his tours abroad. Gillespie's "Groovin' High" is played towards the end of this part of the program.
Bill Russo talks about the commedia dell'arte production being staged at the Center for New Music at Columbia College Chicago. The production includes two pieces, "Pedrolino's Revenge" and "Isabella's Fortune".
Studs interviews Phyl Garland about her book "Sound of Soul." They discuss the history of music and how black music influenced white music. Studs reads a quote from her book where she quoted Lerone Bennett. Garland also reads from her book a few times. They discuss how music changed over time for blacks from spirituals to slave songs to the blues because it was a reflection of their lives. Garland explains how blacks used music to help them through their trials and frustrations.
Studs interviews Harriet Choice, Jazz critic for the Chicago Tribune. They reflect on the music, talent and career of Duke Ellington. Choice describes several Ellington songs and the history behind them. She shares how Duke created music and wrote specifically for individual people. Studs reads what Ellington wrote about his song “Harlem Airshaft.” Choice and Terkel reflect on Ellington’s music and those who made music with him. Choice shares how a Duke Ellington performance at the Newport Jazz Festival rejuvenated Ellington’s career.
Interviewing composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton.
Part 2 of the program continues with Dizzy Gillespie discovering the following: his jazz style; his interactions with other musicians; and his latin musical influences. The following Gillespie musical excerpts are played: "Tin Tin Deo"; "La Lorraine"; and an musical piece (with an undisclosed title) is played to end the program.
Studs Terkel and William (Bill) Leonard share memories of the Blue Note Jazz Club as a tribute to Frank Holzfeind. Music is played throughout the episode: "After You've Gone" by the Benny Goodman Sextet, "The Flat Feet Floogie" by Slim and Slam, "How High the Moon" by Sarah Vaughan, "Destination K.C." by Count Basie, "West End Blues" by Louis Armstrong, "Lil' Augie Is A Natural One Man" by Chet Roble, and "Rock Skippin' at the Blue Note", Duke Ellington. Songs have been removed for copyright reasons.
Presenting a concert at the Fairmont Hotel with jazz pianist, composer and radio host Ramsey Lewis.
Cole Porter biographer Robert Kimball talks with Studs about his book "Cole" and his subject's life and work as they listen to classic performances of some of his most beloved songs. They marvel at how Porter perfectly captured the zeitgeist of the times in his lyrics, his lyrical influences, his unique method of outside-in composing lyrics and music simultaneously, Bobby Short's masterful interpretations, controversies over some of his works, and how well his material holds up.
Aaron Copland discusses his music, his colleagues, contemporaries, musicians, and composers.
Dudley Moore discusses his influences and process, and performs original works such as "Little Miss Britten".
Terkel comments and presents a musical performance by Wynton Marsalis