Jazz

12:44pm

Fri April 4, 2014
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Mulgrew Miller On Piano Jazz

Mulgrew Miller onstage in 2011 in Potenza, Italy.
Giovanni Marino Getty Images

On this episode of Piano Jazz, Mulgrew Miller's unique harmonic and rhythmic style comes through in his composition, "Carousel." He also joins host Marian McPartland in performing Duke Ellington's "What Am I Here For?"

Mulgrew Miller died on May 29, 2013, following complications from a stroke.

Originally recorded Sept. 9, 2002.

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1:53pm

Tue April 1, 2014
A Blog Supreme

A Guitarist Starts Anew, Except For This Old Song

Matthew Stevens will record his debut album this year.
Maximilian Motel Courtesy of the artist

Matt Stevens' recorded debut as a leader was supposed to have come out back in 2011.

"I had a record that was completely done," the guitarist says. "But circumstances change, and by the time it came to release it, I wanted to do something totally fresh."

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2:27pm

Fri March 28, 2014
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Dianne Reeves On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Fri May 13, 2011 12:33 pm

Dianne Reeves.
Courtesy of the artist

This Piano Jazz episode from 1999 features one of today's preeminent jazz singers. Dianne Reeves brings her rhythmic virtuosity to a sparkling set of standards, including duets with host Marian McPartland on "Close Enough for Love" and "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise."

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11:34am

Fri March 28, 2014
A Blog Supreme

'A Love Supreme' Comes Alive In Unearthed Photos

John Coltrane during the recording of A Love Supreme in December 1964.
Chuck Stewart Courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

Whenever photographer Chuck Stewart was hired by a record company to document a recording session, he would shoot during the rehearsal takes, playback and downtime. The company would take what it needed, the remainder likely never to be developed, much less published. After decades in the photography business, and thousands of album covers to his name, he's amassed a lot of negatives.

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10:44pm

Wed March 26, 2014
The Checkout: Live

Matthew Stevens Group: Live At Berklee

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 4:40 pm

Matthew Stevens performs at Berklee College of Music, with bassist Vicente Archer.
Michael Borgida Courtesy of Berklee College of Music

Of the young guitarists on New York's jazz scene, few are as highly tipped as Matthew Stevens. Best known for his role in Christian Scott's quintet, he's often drafted to execute the new visions of his peers, but also gets calls from veteran musicians like Terri Lyne Carrington and Dr. Lonnie Smith. Stevens also has a knack for writing and arranging, and will soon unveil his own debut recording as a bandleader.

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1:31pm

Mon March 24, 2014
Music Reviews

After A Painful Year, Bud Powell's Triumpant 1953 Return

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 2:14 pm

Bud Powell pioneered bebop-style improvisation on the piano.
Metronome Getty Images

The great bebop pianist Bud Powell played several engagements at the New York jazz club Birdland in 1953. Parts of his shows were broadcast on the radio, and one listener recorded some onto acetate discs. A new collection of those recordings is out now: Birdland 1953 on three CDs from ESP-Disk'. The sound quality isn't much, but the music is terrific.

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4:06pm

Fri March 21, 2014
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Nadine Jansen On Piano Jazz

Nadine Jansen
Courtesy of the artist

Pianist and horn player Nadine Jansen got her start as a part of Horace Heidt's amateur show. Performing alongside The Clooney Sisters, Skitch Henderson and Tony Pastor, Jansen learned show business from the best entertainers around. She quickly made a name for herself on the nightclub circuit, particularly in clubs like New York's Capital Theatre and the Blue Note in Chicago.

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1:02pm

Fri March 21, 2014
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Andrew Hill On Piano Jazz

Andrew Hill photographed in his home, 2005.
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist

Fifty years ago today, Andrew Hill recorded what would become his signature album: Point of Departure. Fifty years later, it still sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday. Assembling a murderer's row of horn players (Eric Dolphy, Kenny Dorham, Joe Henderson) with a rhythm section for the ages (Hill, Richard Davis, Tony Williams), Hill juxtaposed complex, layered harmonies with charged grooves. The result occupies that rare territory between the comfort of the familiar and the allure of the perceptibly unique.

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11:03pm

Sun March 16, 2014
First Listen

First Listen: The Bad Plus, 'The Rite Of Spring'

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 10:40 am

The Bad Plus' new album, The Rite of Spring, comes out March 25.
Courtesy of the artist

This is a recording of a jazz trio playing the score to a 101-year-old ballet. It is not a "jazzing the classics" record or a "fantasia on the themes of" sort of project. It is a band translating one of the landmark works in music history to piano, bass and drum set, and doing it as literally as possible.

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6:40pm

Sun March 16, 2014
Music

Ambrose Akinmusire: 'Music Can Tell You What It Wants To Be'

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 11:02 am

Ambrose Akinmusire's latest album is the imagined savior is far easier to paint.
Autumn DeWilde Courtesy of the artist

For a jazz trumpet player, you couldn't be more on top of the world than Ambrose Akinmusire. The 32-year-old is looking good on the cover of this month's DownBeat, and he's managed to please the jazz critics and connect with audiences.

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