Tue, 17 Jan 2017 12:00:00 -0500From a background in visual arts and French literature at the University of Washington, Kendra Shank has been pursuing a successful singing career from Seattle to Paris to New York, where she is currently based. Shank's sensuous phrasing and crystal clear tone have earned praise from critics and fans alike. On this Piano Jazz from 2003, Shank's thoughtful yet emotional voice illuminates Jerome Kern's "Long Ago and Far Away." Shank also shows off her skill on the guitar, as she joins McPartland for "In the Days of Our Love."
Tue, 10 Jan 2017 12:19:10 -0500Composer, arranger, and pianist Lalo Schifrin trained classically as a young man in Argentina. He went on to study at the Paris Conservatory as he developed a career as a jazz musician, playing and recording in Europe. He has written more than 100 film and television scores and has won multiple Grammys and Academy Award nominations. On this 1997 Piano Jazz, Schifrin treats listeners to a solo version of his composition "Down Here on the Ground" from the hit movie Cool Hand Luke.
Tue, 03 Jan 2017 12:00:00 -0500Pianist and vocalist Jeannie Cheatham began piano lessons at the tender age of five and at 13 became intoxicated with the sounds of jazz. Cheatham toured with such blues artists as Jimmy Witherspoon, T-Bone Walker, Odetta, and Big Mama Thornton. In the 1950s she married bass trombonist Jimmy Cheatham, and much later the pair formed the Sweet Baby Blues Band. On this 1989 Piano Jazz, Cheatham performs "Midnight Mam." McPartland and Cheatham join forces for a swinging duet on "Perdido."
Tue, 27 Dec 2016 12:00:00 -0500This week Piano Jazz remembers Jean-Baptiste "Toots" Thielemans (1922 – 2016), unrivaled master of the jazz harmonica. He was recognized the world over for his trademark style and tender sound, and he worked with greats such as Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, and Quincy Jones. With a list of recording credits including the theme for Sesame Street, alongside film scores and commercials, Thielemans was a legend. In this session from 2005, he exchanges stories with McPartland and joins her for "Giant Steps" and "Georgia."
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 12:00:00 -0500For more than a decade, Loston Harris has headlined at Bemelmans Bar in Manhattan, delighting audiences with his smooth, soulful voice and piano style. Harris began his jazz career as a drummer but was encouraged by mentor Ellis Marsalis to switch to the piano. Hence, he discovered a new instrument and a new musical world. On this 1999 Piano Jazz, Harris performs "I Just Can't See for Looking." McPartland joins him for a rousing duet of Ellington's "Do Nothing 'til You Hear from Me."
Tue, 13 Dec 2016 16:05:06 -0500Conductor, composer, and pianist André Previn has received multiple Lifetime Achievement Awards, including honors from the Kennedy Center, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Grammy Awards. Previn achieved an exceptional reputation as a jazz pianist in a series of recordings he made in the 1950s and 1960s. On this 1990 Piano Jazz, Previn plays a special treatment of "Stormy Weather" and then joins McPartland for an improvisation of "Stars Fell on Alabama."
Tue, 06 Dec 2016 12:00:00 -0500Pianist and vocalist Patti Wicks (1945 – 2014) began picking out tunes at the age of three and learned to play by ear because she was born visually impaired. As an adult, Wicks continued her music education at the Crane School of Music, SUNY. She honed her craft in New York jazz clubs and went on to perform in major venues and festivals the world over. In this 2004 Piano Jazz session, Wicks solos on McPartland's tune, "There'll Be Other Times," and joins McPartland for "Body and Soul."
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."