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Jazz with Marian McPartland
Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland
Program Website: http://www.npr.org/programs/pianojazz/
For more than twenty years, legendary pianist Marian McPartland
has welcomed a stellar line-up of jazz artists for conversation and improvisation.
Fans say the show’s intimate style is “like listening in on
a conversation in someone’s living room." A Peabody Award-winning
program, Piano Jazz presents a forum for jazz legends and influential
performers as well as up-and-coming talents, who offer dynamic duets and
discuss their lives and music. McPartland has been honored with an NEA
American Jazz Master and received the ASCAP Lifetime Achievement Award
and the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Award for her contributions to
Marian McPartland with Elvis Costello (pt. 2)
Join us as we continue with part two of ourprogram featuring Elvis Costello as host and Marian McPartland as guest. McPartland was the host of Piano Jazz from the beginning, and on this special edition she shares her favorite moments from more than 700 episodes. Guest host Costello provides vocal harmony to McPartland on “Threnody” and performs his song “You Hung the Moon.”\
The Hickory House Trio
In the 1950s, New York’s 52nd street was a jazz mecca. The Hickory House was known for its sizzling steaks and a swinging jazz trio led by a young female pianist with a British accent and a God-given touch. Marian McPartland,bassist Bill Crow, and here drummer, the late Joe Morello, held court at the Hickory House for almost ten years. The trio reunited in 1990 for this special Piano Jazz, including performances of “Skylark” and “I’m Beginning to See the Light.”
Widely admired as a gifted and innovative player, jazz guitarist Jim Hall continues his career spanning more than five decades. Recently, Hall has entered a new creative space, writing and arranging choral and orchestral compositions, all the while continuing to record and perform in a variety of settings. The NEA Jazz Master teams up with McPartland and bassist Gary Mazzaroppi for “Blue Monk” and solos on “All the Things You Are.”
Pianist Herbie Hancock is an innovator whose ideas continue to push boundaries and transcend musical genres. His work has earned him 14 Grammy Awards, including Best Pop Vocal Collaboration for the 2011 album Imagine. Hancock solos on his own piece “Dolphin Dance” and joins McPartland for a duet take on “That Old Black Magic.”
Remembering Cedar Walton
Pianist Cedar Walton rode high on the cresting wave of ’60s Hard Bop. He performed with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and in Lee Morgan’s band and was house pianist at Prestige Records. Walton passed away in August 2013. On this 1980 session, he performs his tune “N.P.S.” and duets with McPartland on “Lover Man.”
Saxophonist Grace kelly made an impression in the Boston area with her playing before she was even a teenager. She studied with Lee Konitz from age 13 and has played with a host of jazz legends, including Russell Malone and Phil Woods. kelly shows off her sax skills on “Round Midnight” before demonstrating her vocal talents on “East of the Sun (and West of the Moon).”
Cleo Laine & John Dankworth
Saxophonist John “Johnny” Dankworth was one of the most celebrated jazz musicians and bandleaders of his native Great Britain. He performed with Charlie Parker during the Bop era, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2006. Piano Jazz remembers Dankworth, who passed away in 2010, on this special set recorded at the Eastman School of Music in Rocheste, NY. Dankworth joins vocalist and wife cleo Laine along with host McPartland for "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" and "Fine and Mellow."
Alice coltrane, the wife of jazz giant John Coltrane, performed with her husband's band in his final years. She is also one of the few jazz harpists and a composer. On this 1982 Piano Jazz, Alice performs her original tunes "Transfiguration" and "One for the Father" and joins McPartland for "Giant Steps."
Mary Lou Williams
In honor of Women’s History Month Piano Jazz presents a session with pioneering pianist Mary Lou Williams, who would have been 103 this year. On this session from the very first season Williams proves a tough nut for McPartland to crack, but warms up enough to play a duet and even sings on “Rosa Mae.” Other songs include “Caravan,” and Williams’ “Scratchin’ in the Gravel.”
Virtuoso pianist and master composer Joanne Brackeen has been called “the Picasso of jazz piano." In her hands the history of jazz is created and recreated as she floats seamlessly between traditional jazz and free play. Like McPartland, Brackeen has been a trailblazer for women in jazz. On this 2006 episode, the two friends get together on McPartland's "Ambiance" and John Coltrane's "Giant Steps."
Nadine Jansen is a masterful horn player, skilled singer and pianist. She formed her musical identity in Vaudeville and played with the likes of Skitch Henderson and The Clooney Sisters. Jansen shares stories from the bandstand and perfoms on both piano and flugelhorn, playing “Nadine’s Blues.”
Our celebration of Women’s History Month concludes with one of the preeminent jazz singers of our time, Dianne Reeves. She continues the legacies of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughan, and has won three consecutive Grammys for Best Jazz Vocal Performance. On this Piano Jazz, host McPartland accompanies Reeves on “Softly As in a Morning Sunrise” and “Million Dollar Secret.”