Since the demise of RTE Lyric’s Jazz Alley, which broadcast every week from the first weekend of the station’s existence until it was axed at the end of 2015, there has been no regular national programme devoted to jazz. The Hot Box aims to fill that gap with former Jazz Alley presenter Donald Helme.
The Hot Box sets the best of Irish recorded jazz in the wider context of the universal language that is jazz worldwide. It tries to emphasise accessability and sheer enjoyment, and is building an audience well beyond the shores of its home country.
In this series of glimpses into the world of jazz guitar, Hot Box 68 finds perhaps the most important guitarist of them all - Charlie Christian. He was born in 1916 and sadly died of tuberculosis when just 25 years old, but he’d already established the amplified guitar as a permanent part of the instrumental repertoire of jazz, and gone part of the way in leading jazz out of the Swing Era and into Bebop and modern jazz.
Other prominent players in the “C” file include Larry Coryell, Steve Cardenas and Philip Catherine.
After the last edition of Hot Box Xtra, remembering the great Chick Corea (1941 - 2021), Donald Helme returns to some “New Stuff“ with a varied programme from jazz-funk to lush vocals, from the valedictory saxophone of Jimmy Heath to brilliant solo piano.
A Hot Box Xtra checks out the music of one of the most important musicians in jazz. Sadly, he passed away in February this year aged 79.
A pianist, composer and bandleader who visited all corners of the music box from Hispanic to Fusion, from Jazz to Classical. Chick Corea collected an amazing 23 Grammy Awards over his career - probably more than any other musician - delivering almost 90 recorded albums during his 60 plus years as a professional. He had played concerts in Ireland on several occasions.
Footnote: Since this programme was recorded, the 2021 Grammys were announced March 14, and Chick Corea received posthumously two more awards, for Best Improvised Jazz Solo (All Blues - included in this tribute show) and the album Trilogy 2 in which it featured.
In this edition we once again visit the alphabetical countdown of prominent jazz guitar players, taking a few more filed under the letter B. And we indulge in a little repetition to celebrate Ireland’s guitarist Hugh Buckley.
Included is one piece by the late Chick Corea who died on February 9 2021.
The 63rd edition of Hot Box reminds us of the importance of Charlie Parker as we celebrate his 100th anniversary, we mark the death of one of the greatest of bass players Gary Peacock, we offer a shout-out for Sonny Rollins whose 90th birthday has just passed, and we revel in a massive re-release of long unavailable albums by the self-taught genius of the piano, Errol Garner. In between all of that some exciting new material, including an album featuring Irish guitarist David O’Rourke.