Jazz with Bob Perkins

Monday through Thursday, 6 to 9 pm

Lovingly known as “BP with the GM” (Bob Perkins with the Good Music), BP brings you that good music just in time for dinner during your work week. His selections are like a familiar hug from Jazz Land featuring your favorite standards and vocalists such as Sarah, Ella, and Nat, some Big Band legends including the Duke and the Count, and the giants of the instrumentals like Lee Morgan, Hank Crawford, Miles, and Coltrane. Take a listen to "Ol' BP" as he calls himself...you'll be back again and again.

Take a look at this photo album of Mr. Perkins through the years.

Scroll down to see recent playlists.

Don’t let that big smile fool you into thinking that Satchmo was only an entertainer. He was the most important pioneer in jazz. He basically re-invented trumpet playing. He was hugely popular in five decades and over many periods in jazz. With playing, singing, and even acting, Louis was the international ambassador for the American art form of jazz.

Even in a musical genre built on distinctive personality—jazz—the sound of Trane soars above. His tenor saxophone was unlike anything anyone had ever heard, then or since, and you voted him your No. 5 Most Essential Jazz Artist.

There are not enough letter O's in smooth when you’re talking about the Duke. Ellington was elegance personified. This band leader was refined in everything—from how he dressed, to his compositions, to his playing, to his connection with audiences. But no matter how smooth his manner or refined his looks, it all came down to one thing—“It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing).” And boy, did Ellington swing.

Melissa Gilstrap

Tenor saxophonist Larry McKenna is a Philadelphia legend, but the reach of his playing extends well past his hometown. Perhaps that’s why you’ve voted him our No.7 Essential Artist.

Called "the best friend a song ever had," Nathaniel Adams Cole was such a huge success in popular music that Capitol Records became known as “The House that Nat Built.” He was a leading jazz pianist, but it was his light and liquid singing of “Mona Lisa,” “Nature Boy,” and many other hits that won millions of fans in three decades. He's your No. 8 Essential Jazz Artist on WRTI 90.1

If it’s refined and sophisticated, but it’s jumping and swinging and striding all at the same time, you’re talking Count Basie, and you voted William James Basie the No. 9 Most Essential Jazz Artist.

Apparently last year’s Essential Jazz Artist Countdown was missing something warm, spicy, and soulful. You have spoken and let us know that one of the toasts of New Orleans should be celebrated…you elected Wynton Marsalis your No. 10!


Music, spectacular costumes, and strutting down Broad Street? It must be New Year's Day in Philadelphia with the Mummers Parade!

In 1946, Nat King Cole became the first recording artist to wrap his lush vocals around what would become a standard of the holiday season, "The Christmas Song." But that song was written by a different crooner: Mel Tormé.

NPR's Noel King spoke with Mel Tormé's youngest son, James — an accomplished jazz singer himself — to get the story behind the creation of this Christmas classic.

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