In 1958, a young photographer named Art Kane was assigned by Esquire Magazine to produce a photo to open an article about jazz. He attempted to get every major jazz musician in New York to the same spot on 126th Street in Harlem at 10 a.m. Looking back, Kane said he was young and naive to have believed that his ambitious plan could have been practical, but he followed through and produced one of the most iconic photos of the 20th Century. Amazingly, 57 musicians showed up. While some of those present never gained extremely wide recognition for their work, the photo did include some of the biggest names in jazz.
A shortlist of legends present in the photo includes Sonny Rollins, Count Basie, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Horace Silver, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Art Blakey, Marian McPartland, Gene Krupa, Mary Lou Williams, Roy Eldridge, Jimmy Rushing, Benny Golson, Gerry Mulligan, Johnny Griffin, Hank Jones, Sonny Greer, Jo Jones, Milt Hinton, Oscar Pettiford, Dicky Wells and Pee Wee Russell. AccuJazz listeners will hear music from throughout the careers of these wonderful musicians, from Count Basie's early recordings to Benny Golson's 2009 CD, "New Time, New 'Tet."
"A Great Day in Harlem" is part of a weekly roll-out of new AccuJazz channels and brings the total AccuJazz channel tally to 38. Other popular AccuJazz channels include "Straight Ahead," "Jazz Fusion," and "Decade: '50s." As with all AccuJazz channels, listeners can customize their experience by pausing, skipping songs, and "deselecting" artists they would rather not hear.