Jazz

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. One of those stars is Leslie Odom Jr., a guy who just a few years ago grew so...

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. Ambassador for parties honoring guests such as Queen Elizabeth and President Reagan. In this 1990 episode of Piano Jazz , Clare plays his composition "John O Groats" and...

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. In the last decade or so of his life, the record producer, composer, songwriter and arranger Allen Toussaint started playing a lot more live shows . The root cause was sad — a consequence of relocating from his native New Orleans after hurricane-related flooding — but the performances were everyday magic. Often it would be just him...

Dena DeRose On Piano Jazz

May 27, 2016

Singer and pianist Dena DeRose has performed at some of the most renowned venues in the world, from The Blue Note in New York to Swing Hall in Japan. She has shared the stage with artists including Clark Terry, Ray Brown and Ingrid Jensen. She teaches at the Jazz Institute of the University for Music and Performing Arts in Austria, and continues to perform worldwide. DeRose was Marian McPartland's guest in this 2001 session. She opens the show with "If I Should Lose You," and McPartland joins...

A Tribute To Artie Shaw On Piano Jazz

May 27, 2016

Cornetist and jazz historian Richard "Dick" Sudhalter (1938 – 2008) joined Marian McPartland on several occasions to provide historical perspective on great performers and songs from the golden era of jazz. In 2002, Sudhalter sat down with McPartland to talk about clarinetist Artie Shaw (1910 – 2004). Shaw was known for his unparalleled virtuosity and as a successful bandleader with a limitless imagination. Piano Jazz honors Shaw with selections including "Love of My Life" and "Any...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eal2WlYhMY Mara Hruby is a master at facing fears. The singer-songwriter born in Oakland, Calif., channels the many emotions of artists such as Julie London, Van Hunt and Ella Fitzgerald on her 2014 EP, Archaic Rapture . On that set, Hruby finds herself through a collection of jazz songs — and, in turn, faces an ex-lover's infidelity. "I was with a guy who cheated on me with six women. That's why I am doing six songs, [and] why I'm calling the album ...

Ralph J. Gleason is my hero. It's impossible to put an exact date on it, but I think I started reading his column in Rolling Stone in the summer of 1973. I was 14 years old and already immersed in music. Reading him, I discovered you could write about music and get paid for it — and then I discovered his writing was just as immersive as the music we both loved. This spring, Yale University press is publishing two collections of writings by Gleason (who often signed his columns as...

Snarky Puppy On World Cafe

May 20, 2016

With all the genre and style possibilities that are a part of its music, the Brooklyn band Snarky Puppy is happy just to be called an "instrumental band." It's the only label inclusive enough to encompass the band's fusion of rock, jazz and funk. Snarky Puppy is in its element when it's performing live, and it's often recorded its albums that way: live in the studio, often with an audience. But the new album, Culcha Vulcha , was recorded differently; the band built up bandleader,...

Leroy Jones' New Orleans Strut

May 20, 2016

Trumpeter Leroy Jones was playing in New Orleans back when Bourbon Street was lined with jazz clubs. The city has changed since then — Bourbon Street is a prime example — and Jones has evolved with it. From second lines with the Fairview Baptist Church Marching Band and the Hurricane Brass Band, club gigs with modern combos and tours with Harry Connick Jr. , he's been a part of many jazz scenes. Jazz Night In America takes in a set with Jones' sextet at the Dew Drop Social &...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQs9won8zjA On May 11, Carla Bley celebrated her 80th birthday with a concert in New York. She could have played any of her compositions that have become jazz standards, or a piece from her new record. But Bley did something riskier: an untested piece she'd only just finished. "This was the perfect opportunity to play it," she says plainly. Recognized last year as a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts, Bley is one of few women to have exerted a...

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