Philadelphia bassist Jymie Merritt's place on the historical register of jazz was cemented by his work with major players like Art Blakey, Max Roach and Lee Morgan. But there's a lot more music for which he hasn't received due credit: notably, his own. Starting in the 1960s, he began developing a personal system of polyrhythms and harmonies called Forerunner, and a working ensemble called The Forerunners to match. The music is rich in mathematical complexity, but it left a mark on many Philadelphians, including saxophonist Odean Pope and his son, Mike Merritt (now the bassist in Conan O'Brien's late-night band). Now, Mike has taken up the mantle and reassembled the band to finally record his father's music.
Jazz Night In America goes to Philly to meet Jymie Merritt and see The Forerunners live in concert, as presented by WXPN, WRTI and the Philadelphia Jazz Project at World Cafe Live.
Here's a list of NPR stations that will be airing the program:
WDNA 88.9 FM (Miami, FL) Thursday 11pm
WUSF 89.7 FM (Tampa,FL) Saturday 8pm
WLTR 91.3 FM (Columbia, SC) Saturday 9pm
WWNO 89.9 FM (New Orleans) Friday 10pm
KBEM 88.5 FM (Minneapolis) Saturday 10pm
KANW 89.1 FM (Albuquerque,NM) Sunday 10pm
KUAZ 89.1 FM (Tuscon,AZ) Wednesday 7pm
KCSM 91.1 FM (San Mateo,CA) Tuesday 9pm