A Thin Line Between Classical and Jazz

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The jazz and classical music worlds continue to influence and inform each other in fascinating ways.

The eminent composer Steve Reich cites Kenny Clark John Coltrane and Miles Davis as important influences. Gunther Schuller is an active participant in both the Jazz and Classical scenes; he is well known as a jazz and classical performer, composer, conductor and educator, and his record label, GM recordings, releases both classical and jazz albums. British composer Gavin Bryars also works in both classical and jazz mediums.

This week, we highlight the close relationship between jazz and classical music. Terrance examines the ongoing dialogue between these two mediums, which ultimately are more alike than different.


"North American Ballads": 'Down By the Riverside'

Frederic Rzewski

Marc-Andre Hamelin, piano

Hyperion 67077


Blue Moods

James P. Johnson

James P. Johnson, piano

Smithsonian Folkways 40812


A Hymn for the Lost and the Living

Eric Ewazen

James C. Lebens, trombone

Eric Ewazen, piano

Albany 954



Meredith Monk

Meredith Monk and vocal ensemble

ECM 2026


Quiet Music

Fred Lerdahl

Odense Symphony Orchestra

Paul Mann, conductor

Bridge 9269


Music for Large Ensemble

Steve Reich

Alarm will Sound

Alan Pierson, conductor

Nonesuch 79546


Journey into Jazz

Gunther Schuller

Boston Modern Orchestra Project

Gil Rose, conductor

Gunther Schuller, narrator

BMOP/sound 1004



Duke Pearson

Coleridge Perkinson, choir director

Donald Byrd, trumpet; Hank Mobley, tenor saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano; Butch Warren, bass; Kenny Burrell, guitar; Lex Humphries, drums

Blue Note 99006



Meredith Monk

Meredith Monk and vocal ensemble

ECM 2026


Prelude No.1

Avner Dorman

Eliran Avni, piano

Naxos 579001


Quintet Sonata

Dave Brubeck

Andrew Dawes, violin; Richard Brice, viola; Daniel Rothmuller, cello; Gerard Reuter, oboe; Constance Emmerich, piano

Angel 55061


"Epilogue from Wonderlawn"

Gavin Bryars

Gavin Bryars Ensemble

Point 462511


Circus Galop for two Player Pianos

Marc-Andre Hamelin

MDG 6451406