Jazz

Review: Willie Nelson, 'Summertime'

Feb 17, 2016

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.

Jon Batiste On Piano Jazz

Feb 12, 2016

Pianist and bandleader Jon Batiste hails from Louisiana, the cradle of jazz.

Eric Lewis' career has circulated both in and out of what he calls "the jazz republic." Performing under his given name in the 1990s, Lewis was a powerful up-and-coming pianist who toured in the bands of Wynton Marsalis and Elvin Jones. As his career progressed — or failed to, from a business perspective — he found that a lot of contemporary rock music also spoke to him deeply.

This tune comes from a demo tape of a band's first-ever public gig. The recording engineer was a 19-year-old college radio kid scrambling to capture 18 musicians in a tiny basement club. But half a century later, that kid now runs a record label and deemed his work good enough to re-touch and issue as part of a deluxe 2-CD package. After all, this was no ordinary band. Within three months of that first gig, this group started making "real" albums — five LPs worth in the next four years, plus two album-length collaborations with singers.

Eden Atwood On Piano Jazz

Feb 5, 2016

One of the rare jazz discoveries of her generation, Eden Atwood is the daughter of arranger-composer Hub Atwood. She studied piano as a child and went on to have a performing career in New York and beyond. Eden Atwood has released several studio albums, and she tours regularly.

In this episode of Piano Jazz from 1996, she and host Marian McPartland perform a duet of "Old Devil Moon."

Originally broadcast in the fall of 1996.

Set List

Jazz Night In America's regular host, Christian McBride, happens to be a Grammy-winning bassist and composer, but he forbade us to feature him unless it was for something special. It so happens that he's written a special work: Teaming with choral director JD Steele, he's composed a bluesy and soulful oratorio for big band, gospel choir with soloists, and four speakers who represent great figures of the Civil Rights Movement.

Sergio Salvatore On Piano Jazz

Jan 29, 2016

Sergio Salvatore was only 14 when he appeared as Marian McPartland's guest on Piano Jazz 20 years ago, but he was already making the jazz world sit up and take notice. The young composer and pianist is a natural. He's since gone on to partner with virtuoso vibraphonist Christos Rafalides, with whom he released the album Dark Sand.

In this 1996 edition of Piano Jazz, Salvatore solos in his own tune "Revolving Door" and teams with McPartland for "Autumn Leaves."

Originally broadcast in the spring of 1996.

Set List

Jazz has its capital cities: major hubs like New York, Chicago and New Orleans. But the music manages plenty well in many other places, too. What goes into those smaller ecosystems to enable jazz to thrive? How do talented musicians make it happen? In search of some answers, we sought out the DIY concert producers of CapitalBop in Washington, D.C., as they presented artists from the Baltimore-Washington area. And we met with the musicians themselves — in one case, touring the place he calls home.

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