1959: The Year that Changed Jazz (2009)
1959 was the seismic year jazz broke away from complex bebop music to new forms, allowing soloists unprecedented freedom to explore and express. It was also a pivotal year for America - the nation was enjoying freedom and wealth; social, racial and upheavals were just around the corner; and jazz was ahead of the curve. Four major jazz albums were made, each a high watermark for the artists and a reflection of the times - Miles Davis's Kind of Blue, Dave Brubeck's Time Out, Charles Mingus's Mingus Ah Um and Ornette Coleman's The Shape of Jazz to Come. Each opened up dramatic new possibilities for jazz which continue to be felt. Rarely seen archive performances help bring the era to life and explore what made these albums vital both in 1959 and the years since. The programme contains interviews with Lou Reed, Dave Brubeck, Ornette Coleman, Charlie Haden, Herbie Hancock, Joe Morello and Jimmy Cobb, along with a host of jazz movers and shakers from the 50s and beyond.