BEST JAZZ RADIO PROGRAM (1998)
A jazz ambassador who broadcast his first jazz program in 1940, Leigh Kamman can be found on any given night checking out a local cat or national act at venues all around the town. If you're lucky enough to chat him up, he'll regale you with detailed tales about the many jazz legends and up-and-comers he's interviewed over the years--folks like Chet Baker, Billie Holiday, and Roy Hargrove. In person, as on the air, he's a gentleman's gentleman who respects both the artist and the listener. The Jazz Image, which Kamman created for Minnesota Public Radio in 1973, is just an extension of his personality. Sharing tales from his early days broadcasting in Harlem, Duluth, San Francisco, and an army hospital during World War II, he sometimes themes his evenings, often mining the rich traditions of big band and bop. On other nights, he interviews guests who are swinging through town or promoting a new project. Never condescending, always educational, The Jazz Image is an indispensable resource for both the jazz novice and the know-it-all fan.