Jazz

11:39am

Fri December 19, 2014
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

George Shearing's Holiday Set On Piano Jazz

George Shearing.
New York Daily News Archive Getty Images

British jazz pianist George Shearing was a friend and frequent guest on Piano Jazz. On this special edition of the program from 2001, Shearing joins host Marian McPartland to celebrate the holidays in a jazzy way.

The two reminisce about seasons gone by and perform traditional and contemporary holiday tunes, including "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and "Away In A Manger."

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9:57am

Fri December 19, 2014
A Blog Supreme

An Upset Either Way: Steve Lehman And Wadada Leo Smith Triumph

Wadada Leo Smith finished second in the NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll, separated by only 12 points from surprise winner Steve Lehman.
Scott Groller Courtesy of the artist

Could anyone have predicted that Steve Lehman and Wadada Leo Smith would place first and second in this year's NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll, among a field including previous winners Sonny Rollins, Vijay Iyer and Jason Moran, plus 2011 runner-up (and favorite going in) Ambrose Akinmusire? Not me, and I even had Lehman and Smith on my ballot, along with Rollins and Akinmusire.

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12:57am

Thu December 18, 2014
Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts

Highlights From Winter Jazzfest 2014

Donald Harrison performs at Winter Jazzfest 2014.
John Rogers for NPR

In the dead of January in the Northeast, New York City's Winter Jazzfest manages a minor miracle. Over the course of two marathon nights, it brings crowds in the thousands out to jam-packed theaters and clubs to see dozens of varied and sundry bands.

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12:15am

Thu December 18, 2014
Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program

In Memory Of 2014: Jazz Night Looks Back

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 7:00 pm

Gerald Wilson, 2010.
Charley Gallay Getty Images for NAACP

This year saw the passing of numerous jazz legends. In Jazz Night In America's year in review, we pay tribute to bassist Charlie Haden, pianist Horace Silver and composer/bandleader Gerald Wilson, among others. We'll listen back to great live performances recorded over the past 30 years from these musicians — all from the WBGO vault — and highlight remembrances from friends and loved ones.

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12:11pm

Fri December 12, 2014
Song Travels

Anthony Strong On 'Song Travels'

Anthony Strong.
Courtesy of the artist

British jazz vocalist and pianist Anthony Strong built his reputation as a session pianist, supporting stars like B.B. King. His EP release Delovely reached No. 1 on the U.K. jazz charts, and he's continued his rise with his last album of classic jazz songs and originals, Stepping Out.

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11:25am

Fri December 12, 2014
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Mel Torme On Piano Jazz

Mel Torme.
David Redfern Redferns

Described by film critic Rex Reed as "America's greatest male singer," Mel Tormé (1925-99) was one of the most versatile performers of his day.

On this episode of Piano Jazz from 1992, Tormé shares how his classic "The Christmas Song" inspired him to put out his own holiday album. He also sings and plays "Too Late Now" and "Walking My Baby Home," with host Marian McPartland joining in.

Originally recorded Jan. 21, 1992. Originally broadcast May 9, 1992.

Set List

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1:52am

Thu December 11, 2014
Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program

Ellis Marsalis At 80

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 6:59 pm

Ellis Marsalis celebrated his 80th birthday in performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Lawrence Sumulong Jazz at Lincoln Center

Ellis Marsalis has four famous musical sons — Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis — but considering his career, he's a father figure for many more musicians. In high school and college classrooms, he's been the major figure in New Orleans jazz education since the time that formal jazz education didn't exist. And as a pianist, he carved out a space for contemporary jazz in his hometown, and has grown into an elder statesman of the scene.

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2:45pm

Wed December 10, 2014
A Blog Supreme

Eighty Years Of Master Educator Ellis Marsalis

Ellis Marsalis performs at the NBA All-Star Game in 2008 in New Orleans.
Chris Graythen Getty Images

If anyone has earned the nickname Pops, it's Ellis Marsalis.

As jazz's best-known father figure, the senior Marsalis has four noted musical offspring: Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason. But if you consider all the musicians he's taught or mentored, his clan is even more extensive, diverse and influential.

I talked to six musicians who gave us the long view of the Marsalis family tree, and how they were schooled by its patriarch.

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3:10pm

Fri December 5, 2014
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Liz Story On Piano Jazz

Liz Story.
Courtesy of the artist

Pianist and composer Liz Story is a fascinating, ever-changing musician. She was inspired to pursue music after hearing Bill Evans perform, and her music has been compared to that of Aaron Copland, Frederic Chopin, Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea.

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2:34am

Thu December 4, 2014
Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program

Johnny O'Neal: Listen, Closely

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 1:53 am

Johnny O'Neal performs at Mezzrow.
NPR

Mezzrow is New York City's newest listening room: an intimate club for solo and duo performers where silence and attention are more than encouraged. It's a bit of a throwback, as is its Monday night host Johnny O'Neal. A virtuoso who shot onto the scene in the 1980s, the pianist is now re-establishing his presence in New York after decades off the radar. And on Mondays, he holds court at Mezzrow, singing the blues and welcoming guest after guest onto the tiny stage.

Jazz Night in America stops into the Greenwich Village club to listen closely.

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