Tue, 29 Nov 2016 12:12:38 -0500Saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr. (1943-1999) was a master musician and multiple Grammy winner. He performed internationally and worked with names like Bobby McFerrin, B.B. King, Patti LaBelle, and Nancy Wilson. He performed at the 1993 Inauguration of President Bill Clinton. Washington's purity of tone and long, fluid lines are evident on this 1994 Piano Jazz. He and McPartland join forces to play "Prelude to a Kiss" and "What Am I Here For."
Tue, 22 Nov 2016 14:21:13 -0500A sensitive and romantic vocalist and pianist, Meredith D'Ambrosio is a champion of the lesser-known songs of famous composers. She is also respected as a visual artist, composer, and teacher. In the late eighties, she met her late husband, pianist Eddie Higgins, and the pair went on to record and perform as a musical duo. On this 1994 Piano Jazz, D'Ambrosio sings and plays her own songs "Beware of Spring" and "Give It Time."
Tue, 15 Nov 2016 12:00:00 -0500Lonnie Liston Smith is one of contemporary music's most versatile keyboardists. With a career spanning four decades, Smith has worked as a soloist, bandleader, and sideman to greats including Miles Davis, Betty Carter, Max Roach, and Pharaoh Sanders. He was McPartland's guest on Piano Jazz in 2002. Smith presents his relaxed style on "What is this Thing Called Love." Then he and McPartland swing into "C Jam Blues."
Tue, 08 Nov 2016 12:00:00 -0500Nellie Lutcher (1912 – 2007) started out playing piano at fifteen but soon transitioned to singing. She built a career as a prominent jazz vocalist in the 1940s and 1950s with hits such as "Fine Brown Frame." She joined McPartland for Piano Jazz in 1986. Lutcher performs two of her most popular compositions, "Hurry on Down" and "Real Gone Guy." McPartland solos on "Love Is the Sweetest Thing," and the two combine their talents on "I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues."
Tue, 01 Nov 2016 12:00:00 -0400Richard Sudhalter (1938 – 2008) was a true "Renaissance Man" of jazz. A top jazz cornetist, he was also a respected critic, author, recording artist, and featured guest at major jazz festivals. He co-wrote Bix: Man and Legend, which was nominated for a National Book Award, and in 1983 won a Grammy for his liner notes for Bunny Berigan: Giants of Jazz. On this 1992 Piano Jazz, Sudhalter reminisces about Bix Beiderbeck and joins McPartland for a duet of "Chasing Shadows."
Tue, 25 Oct 2016 12:00:00 -0400This 2003 Piano Jazz with guest Sir Roland Hanna (1932 – 2002) was recorded before a live audience at the 2002 Tanglewood Jazz Festival. A subtle and insightful pianist, he was a superb two piano partner, as evidenced when he and McPartland get together for "Blues in the Closet." In this session, Hanna uses his solid sense of rhythm as a springboard into exciting explorations of melody and harmony. He shows off his skill as a composer with his "Portrait of John Lewis."
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 12:00:00 -0400Born in Sophia, Bulgaria, Mario Grigorov studied classical music until he fell in love with jazz. As a child his parents performed in the Sophia Symphony Orchestra before moving to Iran, where his father played in the Shah's symphony orchestra. Grigorov continued to study music intensively as his family moved to Austria and Australia before he settled in the United States in 1992. On this 1995 Piano Jazz, Grigorov's stunning originality is evident on his own "Lost City." He and McPartland duet on Jobim's "Wave."
Tue, 11 Oct 2016 12:00:00 -0400Bassist Esperanza Spalding is one of the most talked about artists in jazz today. She scored a surprise win for Best New Artist at the 2011 Grammy Awards and went on to win three additional Grammy Awards. On this Piano Jazz from 2008, bassist and vocalist Spalding brings her neo-soul style to a set of standards with the aid of pianist Leo Genovese. McPartland's piano provides a perfect accompaniment to Spalding's bass and vocals in Duke Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss."
Tue, 04 Oct 2016 12:51:50 -0400Roy Kral (1921 – 2002) was working in Chicago with the George Davis Quartet when he met Jackie Cain (1928 – 2014). They formed a duo, Jackie and Roy, and the rest is history. The vocal and piano duo blended witty lyrics and unusual melodies with a light modern jazz feeling. These dear friends of McPartland's were her guests for Piano Jazz in 1992. A sophisticated and charming pair, the husband and wife team play Alec Wilder's "While We Were Young" and join McPartland for a trio of "Joy Spring."
Tue, 27 Sep 2016 15:24:34 -0400At one time, pianist Jesus "Chucho" Valdés was banned from performing in the United States. Today, he enjoys performing and teaching here as well as in his native Cuba. Valdés is a world-class innovator in Latin jazz. In 1973 he founded Irakere, a group that introduced a new fusion of African traditional music with Cuban jazz. On this Piano Jazz from 2000, Valdés and host McPartland share a love of pianist Bill Evans, and in tribute they create their version of "Waltz for Debby." Valdés treats listeners to his composition "Claudia."