Jazz

Catherine Russell: Sunny Side Of The Street

May 12, 2016

Catherine Russell has been a backup singer with Steely Dan and David Bowie, but she's better known as an interpreter of blues and early jazz. At Jazz At Lincoln Center, Russell recently assembled a vocal trio (with Carolyn Leonhart and La Tanya Hall, her partners on tour with Steely Dan) to unearth a book of charts by arranger Sy Oliver.

Jim Ferguson On Piano Jazz

May 6, 2016

Bassist and vocalist Jim Ferguson got his start in South Carolina, where his father was a church music director. He picked up the bass late in high school and learned to play on the job before taking formal lessons. He went on to play with greats such as Teddy Wilson, Kenny Burrell, Mose Allison and Stephane Grappelli.

On this episode of Piano Jazz from 2001, Ferguson joins host Marian McPartland to perform "While We're Young" and McPartland's "There'll Be Other Times."

Originally broadcast in the spring of 2001.

Set List

In 1965, the trumpeter, composer and arranger Thad Jones and the drummer Mel Lewis found themselves with a book of big-band music originally intended for the Count Basie Orchestra — and nobody to perform it. So they made their own. They handpicked some of New York's top talent and called rehearsals on Monday nights, when the studio musicians could actually make it.

This song is called "Rhapsody In Berlin," and it was recorded in the German city recently. But Berlin isn't exactly the geography that comes to mind. It's more like a Central African nightclub, with layered instrumental funk interjected by yelps and whistles similar to Hindewhu Pygmy music. Or downtown Manhattan or Chicago's South Side in the late '60s and early '70s, where free-improvising saxophones met electronics and rock music and Sly Stone amid the urgency of the civil rights struggle.

Rose Murphy On Piano Jazz

Apr 29, 2016

Rose Murphy (1913–1989) was a legendary singer and pianist who starred at the nightclub Café Society in the heyday of New York's jazz scene. She made history with her version of "I Can't Give You Anything But Love." Critics and audiences were delighted by her breathless voice, her spirited playing and her signature "chee-chee."

In this Piano Jazz session from 1988, Murphy showcases her trademark vocal style in "Cecilia," then teams up with host Marian McPartland for "St. Louis Blues."

Carlos Henriquez: The Bronx Pyramid

Apr 28, 2016

This Saturday, April 30, marks the fifth anniversary of International Jazz Day, a celebration organized by UNESCO to celebrate jazz across the globe. To do our part, we're highlighting some of our favorite jazz musicians to play behind Bob Boilen's desk. Rising stars, young virtuosos, NEA Jazz Masters and veteran ensembles alike have played in NPR's D.C. offices. Here are five standout jazz performances at the Tiny Desk.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

There are masterpieces of the studio, and certainly Sarah Vaughan left plenty of those behind. But the really crushing exhibitions from jazz musicians of her caliber come nightly, in clubs and concert halls, tossed off so repeatedly and seemingly casually that any given tune in any given set reeks of talent. Throw a dart at any one moment and there's probably something there.

Recently, two new jazz recordings came my way. One, titled Some Other Time: The Lost Session From The Black Forest, is an album of never-before-released studio recordings from Germany in 1968.

Pages