Jazz News

Daniela Schaechter On Piano Jazz

Aug 4, 2017

In 2005, Sicilian pianist Daniela Schaechter won the prestigious Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz competition. Ever devoted to the next generation of female jazz musicians, Marian McPartland wasted no time in having Schaechter on this 2006 show.

There's an emblematic photograph of Herbie Hancock on the back cover of his album Sunlight, which he began recording 40 years ago this month. He's depicted against a red backdrop with a Sennheiser vocoder headset on his cranium, which is bowed in deep focus.

Patti Bown On Piano Jazz

Jul 28, 2017

As the swinging pianist in the Quincy Jones Orchestra, Patti Bown (1931–2008) kept the music moving. In honor of her birthday on July 26, Piano Jazz remembers Bown with this encore from the early years of the program. Bown joins host Marian McPartland to talk about the role of women in jazz.

Almost exactly 30 years ago, guitarist John Scofield recorded an album he evocatively titled Loud Jazz. Not quite a decade later, he made one called Quiet. Both albums were statements of intent, widely embraced and justly acclaimed. And despite the obvious differences between the two, both were genuine expressions of Scofield's musical personality, which has always been more flexible than those extreme dynamic markings would seem to suggest.

Baltimore's Lafayette Gilchrist is a jazz pianist, but when his band the New Volcanoes backs him up, listeners also get something different: a go-go beat.

Willie Nelson And Jackie King On Piano Jazz

Jul 21, 2017

Country music legend Willie Nelson and jazz guitarist Jackie King (1945 - 2016) performed and recorded together for decades. They were host Marian McPartland's guests for this unforgettable 2002 Piano Jazz session.

Gerald Wiggins On Piano Jazz

Jul 14, 2017

Piano Jazz remembers jazz piano master Gerald Wiggins (1922 – 2008). Born in Harlem, Wiggins began learning classical piano at a young age, but he discovered jazz through the music of pianists Teddy Wilson and Art Tatum.

"I've got a pocketful of blues here still, you know?" says Charles Lloyd, the saxophonist-flutist-composer-bandleader who, at 79, has become one of jazz's enlightened elders.

From the sounds of things on the phone, Lizz Wright is going about the business of her daily life while she gives thoughtful responses to her interviewer's questions. There's the ding of a bell as a shop door closes behind her, a whispered "Hi" and, later, the electronic chiming that reminds you to fasten a car's seatbelt.

Denise Eileen Garrett was only 3 years old when her family moved to Flint, Mich., from Memphis, Tenn. This was long before she became Dee Dee Bridgewater, jazz-vocal superhero — to say nothing of a mother, a Tony- and Grammy-winner or an NEA Jazz Master. But Memphis left an impression on the little girl, subtle but persistent, somewhere in her psyche.

Vocalist Sandy Stewart first emerged as a star of the cabaret scene during the 1960s, and her marriage to Broadway composer Moose Charlap kept her plugged into a vibrant music community. In 2005, Stewart and her son, pianist Bill Charlap, collaborated on their first album together, Love Is Here to Stay.

Duke Jordan On Piano Jazz

Jun 30, 2017

This episode of Piano Jazz remembers one of the great innovators of the bebop style: pianist Duke Jordan (1922 — 2006).

The relationship between jazz and boxing goes back to the pre-civil rights era, when entertainment and sports were some of only professions in which African Americans could excel. Miles Davis paid tribute to the first African-American world heavyweight champion on his 1971 album, Jack Johnson. Now Steve Coleman has released his own musical tribute to boxing: an album called Morphogenesis.

Eddie Gomez On Piano Jazz

Jun 23, 2017

A two-time Grammy winner, bassist Eddie Gomez has been on the cutting edge of music for more than four decades. He has held down rhythm sections and set the groove for some of the heavyweights of jazz — from Bill Evans to Miles Davis to Chick Corea.

In 1959, the peak of his playing years, Thelonious Monk did something he'd never done before: record music for a film. Released in the U.S. as Dangerous Liaisons, the French film Les Liaisons Dangereuses featured nearly 30 minutes of Monk's music, none of which ever made it to a record. But the master tapes resurfaced last year, and were first released as a vinyl exclusive on Record Store Day this April.

Trumpet virtuoso Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah is stretching modern jazz music to include the flavors of hip-hop, trap and West African percussion. His latest release, Ruler Rebel, is his first in series of three albums marking the 100th anniversary of the first commercially recorded jazz music. As Adjuah tells it, that recording, made by the Original Dixieland Jass Band in New Orleans in 1917, was originally conceived as satire with a racially-charged subtext.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Masters award, which comes with a $25,000 prize, is widely described as United States' highest honor for jazz. Today, the NEA announced its four newest recipients of the prize: pianist Joanne Brackeen, guitarist Pat Metheny, singer Dianne Reeves and producer Todd Barkan.

Nat Hentoff On Piano Jazz

Jun 9, 2017

A prolific author and jazz critic for more than half a century, the late Nat Hentoff (1925 — Jan. 7, 2017) wrote for publications including the Village Voice, Down Beat, The New Yorker and The Washington Post.

For a long stretch of his early performing career, vibraphonist Gary Burton was always the youngest man on the bandstand. A child prodigy from Indiana, and then an onrushing force on the scene, he apprenticed with the great Nashville guitarist Hank Garland before going on tour with pianist George Shearing, followed by tenor saxophonist Stan Getz.

Joyce DiCamillo On Piano Jazz

Jun 2, 2017

For more than 30 years, pianist and composer Joyce DiCamillo has led her own trio, which critics hail as "a compact unit that breathes almost as one." A dedicated educator, DiCamillo appears in high schools and universities around the country and is a model for women in jazz.

Sonny Rollins wasn't really thinking about the formation of an archive as he went about his life and career over the last 60 years — as a tenor saxophonist of unsurpassed stature, an artist of active spiritual and social engagement, and an embodiment of jazz's improvisational ideal.

Known for his work with Weather Report, Joni Mitchell and Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius was one of the most inventive bass players in music history. He is the only electric bassist in DownBeat magazine's Jazz Hall of Fame.

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