A love supreme

Carol Klein’s love for jazz began in high school band (where else?), playing swing favorites Moonlight Serenade and Little Brown Jug. A few years later while living in Denmark, Carol saw Thad Jones and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen perform live, not realizing she was in the presence of greatness. And by pure coincidence the following year, she saw the Akiyoshi-Tabackin Big Band and Maynard Ferguson, both at Disneyland.

Her obsession took hold in 1991 with Ravinia’s inaugural Jazz in June series. That year, the summer music venue offered 10 consecutive days of jazz featuring headliners Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Pass, Billy Taylor, Lionel Hampton, Phil Woods and Art Farmer, and hosted by artistic director and baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan.

Shortly after, with luck and a little hutzpah, Ms. Klein became creator and host of Jazz Impressions, a weekly radio show on WPNE, the NPR station in Green Bay. Not surprisingly, road trips down to Second Hand Tunes and Farwell Records (now Bullseye Records on Irving) along with frequent visits to The Jazz Estate became a habit.

Since moving to Milwaukee, Ms. Klein has deejayed on WMSE-FM, written jazz reviews for The Shepherd Express and produced liner notes for area musicians. A voracious listener, Ms. Klein seeks out jazz wherever she travels, such as the chance to see Brad Mehldau at The London Jazz Festival. Along with her husband, drummer Dave Bayles, she frequents local venues including The Jazz Estate, Mason Street Grill, Blu and Transfer Pizza to hear the music performed live.