Jazz

The Ray Charles Songbook

Jul 1, 2016

At age 21, trumpeter Kenny Rampton (now of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra) launched his touring career with a nine-month stint in Ray Charles' band. Earlier this year, Rampton honored his former bandleader by presenting the most authentic Ray Charles experience possible. The band was full of Ray Charles alumni (including backing vocalists The Raelettes), the set lists were faithful recreations of actual Ray Charles sets, and the charts were transcribed from the original tour music.

Valerie Capers On Piano Jazz

Jul 1, 2016

Valerie Capers is a pianist, composer and educator. The first blind graduate from the Juilliard School of Music, she is blessed with a diverse piano style that combines elements of Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans, with some Chopin thrown in.

Benny Golson On Piano Jazz

Jun 24, 2016

Saxophonist and composer Benny Golson began studying piano as a child, but was soon seduced by the tenor-saxophone sounds he heard on jazz records. He gained recognition as a composer when he joined Dizzy Gillespie's big band, and he went on to form a hard-bop group called The Jazztet with trumpeter Art Farmer. Golson has devoted much of his time to jazz education and continues to record and tour regularly.

Monty Alexander On Piano Jazz

Jun 17, 2016

Pianist Monty Alexander grew up in Kingston, Jamaica. His earliest musical experiences came from the folk and popular songs of his country, as well as from the calypso rhythms that originated from Trinidad. Alexander moved to Miami in 1961 and worked in clubs before moving in 1962 to New York City, where he performed at Minton's Playhouse.

Return Of The Jazz Harp

Jun 17, 2016

The harp may be one of the most ancient musical instruments, but it isn't particularly prominent in jazz. Despite the mid-century emergence of innovators Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane, the harp has remained on the fringe.

Sarah Vaughan On Piano Jazz

Jun 10, 2016

Sarah Vaughan (1924 – 1990) was one of the greatest vocalists of the 20th century. With rich vibrato and an incredible range, the singer known as "Sassy" recorded critically acclaimed interpretations of standards including "Misty" and "I've Got a Crush On You."

Ahead of the 2016 Tony Awards, it seems fair to make a few educated guesses. First: This stands to be the most widely watched Tonys in recent memory, thanks to a little show called Hamilton and its record-breaking 16 nominations. Second: Even fans of that beloved musical are going to be a little on edge — since, in a few of those categories, the show's stars are up against one another.

Alan Clare On Piano Jazz

Jun 3, 2016

British pianist Alan Clare (1921–1993) was Marian McPartland's guest at the BBC's Delaware Road studios in London. Clare began his professional career at age 11 and went on to work with George Shearing, Stephane Grappelli and Spike Milligan. He also fulfilled regular engagements at the London residence of the U.S.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

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