Jazz

11:10am

Fri April 24, 2015
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Stanley Cowell On Piano Jazz

Stanley Cowell.
Tom Marcello Flickr

Marian McPartland hosts pianist Stanley Cowell for this 1999 episode of Piano Jazz, recorded before an audience at NPR's studios in Washington. Known for his brilliant and highly personal approach, Cowell bridges traditional and contemporary styles of jazz. He and McPartland challenge each other in inventive duets, and Cowell performs his composition "Equipoise."

Originally broadcast in the winter of 1999.

Set List

  • "Bright Passion" (Cowell)
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10:52pm

Wed April 22, 2015
Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program

The Legacy Of The Jazz Organ In Philadelphia

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 10:56 am

Rich Budesa was one of six organists to perform.
WXPN

In mid-century Philadelphia, dozens of organists reshaped jazz into a popular, swinging, danceable contemporary music. Often in trios with drums and guitar or saxophone, these organ players made church instruments into portable orchestras — a tradition that continues to the present day in Philadelphia.

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8:15pm

Tue April 21, 2015
Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts

Akua Dixon At Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 11:40 pm

Akua Dixon.
Jose Iorio Courtesy of the artist

It's not as if there were ever clear paths for cello players beyond the European classical tradition, but Akua Dixon made one for herself. The New York City native found work in the pit band of the Apollo Theater, the multi-racial Symphony of the New World, and the bands of many jazz musicians — including drummer Max Roach's Double Quartet. As she developed her jazz chops, she also started her own string quartet, featured prominently on her new self-titled album. Akua Dixon also features her crafty arranging for strings over jazz standards and Afro-Latin grooves.

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6:13pm

Mon April 20, 2015
A Blog Supreme

The 2015 NEA Jazz Masters Concert

George Coleman.
Ray Foley Courtesy of the artist

In a concert and ceremony at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, the National Endowment for the Arts recognizes its 2015 class of Jazz Masters. The performance will be webcast live Monday at 7:30 p.m. EDT here and via arts.gov, jazz.org, wbgo.org and Sirius XM radio.

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4:29am

Mon April 20, 2015
Music Articles

Jazz's 'Sound Seeker' Finds Ancient Strings From Hungary And Greece

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 11:59 am

Charles Lloyd's new album is Wild Man Dance.
Courtesy of the artist

Jazz musician and composer Charles Lloyd has what you might call an "eclectic" resume.

The saxophonist has played with hundreds of jazz musicians — but also B.B. King, the Beach Boys, tabla master Zakir Hussain.

Tonight, Charles Lloyd will be inducted as a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master. He's being honored, in part, for fusing jazz with musical styles from other places and times.

You can hear that on his new album, Wild Man Dance, which features two ancient instruments from Europe.

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11:22am

Fri April 17, 2015
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Henry Mancini On Piano Jazz

Henry Mancini.
Evening Standard Getty Images

Composer, arranger and pianist Henry Mancini (1924–1994) wrote some of the most memorable tunes of the modern era. Throughout his career, he recorded more than 90 albums and won 20 Grammys and four Oscars.

To mark what would have been Mancini's 91st birthday, Piano Jazz brings you this episode from 1985. He discusses his muse — the movie screen — and performs several favorites, including "Days Of Wine And Roses."

Originally broadcast in the spring of 1985.

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10:01am

Fri April 17, 2015
Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program

Celebrating Billie Holiday's Centennial With Cassandra Wilson

Cassandra Wilson.
Mark Seliger Courtesy of the artist

Among the celebrations of Billie Holiday's centennial birthday anniversary is a new album from Cassandra Wilson. In Coming Forth By Day, one of today's top jazz vocalists salutes one of her idols, drastically rearranging the Holiday songbook.

Jazz Night In America features Cassandra Wilson's blues, country and folk-tinged delivery as she performs her Billie Holiday tribute, and catches up with some key collaborators of both Wilson and Holiday herself.

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12:03pm

Sat April 11, 2015
Music

In 'Snowy Egret,' A Fierce New Band Takes Flight

Originally published on Sat April 11, 2015 9:04 pm

Myra Melford's new album is titled Snowy Egret.
Bryan Murray Courtesy of the artist

Jazz pianist and composer Myra Melford's latest album is a suite of music inspired by the Memory Of Fire trilogy — a three-volume history of the Americas by Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano.

More simply, it's the recorded debut of what she calls a "killer band."

In an interview with NPR's Arun Rath, she explains the genesis of Snowy Egret — the name of both her new album and the group behind it.

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11:10am

Fri April 10, 2015
Music

Carmen McRae On Piano Jazz

Carmen McRae on the cover of Rhino Hi-Five: Carmen McRae.
Courtesy of the artist

Vocalist Carmen McRae (1920-1994) was an expert on rhythm, deft phrasing and personal, bittersweet ballads. Her enigmatic, dark contralto voice helped place her among the pantheon of great female jazz singers.

In 1994, McRae received the Jazz Master Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. On this 1985 episode of Piano Jazz, McRae accompanies herself for "As Long As I Live" and joins host Marian McPartland to perform "Carmen's Blues."

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3:33am

Thu April 9, 2015
A Blog Supreme

Remembering Ralph Sharon, Tony Bennett's Pianist

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 9:05 am

Pianist Ralph Sharon, the longtime accompanist for Tony Bennett, died March 31 at age 91. In the audio link above, Tom Cole has a brief report for NPR's Morning Edition, and below, Walter Ray Watson filed this remembrance for NPR Music.

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