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Sound Ideas

from PRX

Scheduled on

WEDNESDAY 11:00 am 11:59 am

with Clay Ryder








Sound Ideas explores the artistry of jazz, blues, and the spoken word. Hosted by Clay Ryder, each episode explores a different theme or genre of the jazz idiom through recorded performances pulled from more than eighty years of recorded art. The music is the focus. It is complemented by a few minutes of intelligent commentary to set the context and make the music understandable and personal for both the jazz aficionado and those who listen on the jazz periphery.







Made possible through PRX (the Public Radio Exchange)

What is Sound Ideas?
More than just a jazz show, each episode presents some great story telling by jazz and blues musicians and spoken word artists. By exploring the many different genres within the Jazz idiom, the show appeals both to the jazz aficionado and those who listen on the jazz periphery. In both cases, listeners enjoy exposure to a broad cross-section of this creative art without the limitations of stylistic labels. Spoken word features reflect jazz sensitivities or the life of the jazz musician and offer a unique twist on the many colors and hues painted with a brush called jazz.

One aspect of Jazz that distinguishes the art form is its ability to engage the listener on different levels (intellectual, emotional, spiritual, etc.) simultaneously. Jazz is a musical oxymoron. Jazz is a classical music, a high art form that demands much from its performers and at times from its audience; yet jazz is as down home as fried chicken, baked beans, cornbread, and your favorite glass or beer or soda.

Jazz comes from toil in the fields reassured by the gospel on Sunday morning. Jazz oozes out from under the door frame at the late night rent party. Jazz emanates from a student practicing with his or her Jamey Aebersold play-along records. Jazz is created at the university in an advanced composition class. Jazz is created by tales spun by the stand-up comic. Jazz is about learning; it’s about life experience.

Listening to jazz on the melodic level reveals one experience, listening on the harmonic, another. Listening to the stories that are embedded in the melodic and harmonic levels takes the listener to another plane of communication.

Jazz is a language, and as with all languages, if one doesn’t know the vocabulary and the grammar, there isn’t much to gain from the interaction. With practice, however, picking up a language enables communication; and with time, the subtle nuances, the play on words (or notes), and inclusion in the greater discussion can lead to a rich and very satisfying experience. Sound Ideas seeks to engage the listener and broaden his or her musical horizons.


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