Program Details

The Jazz Soul of Cole Porter: Celebrating the Compositions of Cole Porter and Jazz Instrumentalists Who Recorded Them

Mark Gridley

Course Description

Cole Porter is among the greatest of America's Broadway show and film composers. His hit songs, such as "Night and Day," "Anything Goes," and "Let's Do It," have become part of the Great American Songbook. Jazz musicians love to improvise over the Porter compositions originally intended for singers. This series will sample the most outstanding jazz renditions of Porter's works and highlight the virtues of the most well-known jazz instrumentalists. Participants will be welcome to sing along with the songs they know as jazz improvisations float over them. The song forms will be dissected before each rendition. A greater depth of appreciation for the creativity of the musicians will be enhanced by understanding how Porter's works are constructed. Excerpts of Porter's shows will be projected from classic videos. Space is limited.


  1. "What Is This Thing Called Love?": Jazz renditions by Bill Evans, Lee Konitz, Art Pepper, Tadd Dameron and expanded introduction to the styles and influence of Bill Evans and Lee Konitz on modern jazz.
  2. "All of You": Jazz renditions by Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and expanded introduction to the styles and influence of Miles Davis and John Coltrane on modern jazz.
  3. "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To": Jazz renditions by Lee Konitz and McCoy Tyner.
  4. "Love For Sale": Jazz rendition by Dexter Gordon and expanded introduction to Gordon's style and influence on modern jazz.

About the Instructor

  • Mark C. Gridley, Ph.D., is a professional jazz saxophonist-flutist-bandleader who taught jazz history and appreciation at Case Western Reserve University, where he developed America's most widely used introductions to jazz: "Jazz Styles: History and Analysis and its abridged edition, Concise Guide to Jazz," (Prentice-Hall). His books have been translated into six foreign languages. His articles appear in numerous academic musicology journals as well as Groves Dictionaries of Music and Encyclopaedia Britannica. Gridley has been honored by the Educational Press Association of America’s Distinguished Achievement Award, and he is listed in "Marquis Who’s Who in America."