Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Classical Stations: Sun, 7-8 pm | News Stations: Sat, 8-9 pm

Jazz legend Marian McPartland hosted Piano Jazz for over 30 years. The program continues to showcase the world's top musicians of all time with broadcasts and podcasts from it's archive. Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz is NPR's longest-running and most widely carried jazz program. A national production of South Carolina Public Radio.

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Dave Douglas
Dave Douglas/Facebook

  A composer, improviser, and trumpeter, Dave Douglas develops music that transcends the boundaries of traditional jazz. In 2000, when he was McParland's guest, he was named JazzTimes magazine's "Artist of the Year." On this Piano Jazz, Douglas talks about his album Soul on Soul, his stunning tribute to Mary Lou Williams. He and McPartland share their love for Williams' music with their rendition of "Cloudy." Bassist James Genus joins them to perform another Williams tune, "Scratchin' in the Gravel."

Veronica Nunn
Wyatt Counts/veronicanunn.com

Vocalist Veronica Nunn grew up in Little Rock, AR, absorbing all kinds of music, from jazz to funk to gospel. When she moved to New York in 1978, she split her time between Harlem’s jazz clubs and the Theology Department at Lehman College. On this 2008 Piano Jazz, Nunn is accompanied by her husband, pianist Travis Shook. She demonstrates her soulful technique on "One Note Samba" as well as "I'm Old Fashioned."

News Stations: Sat, Sep 16, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Sep 17, 7 pm

Ernie Andrews (left) and Dexter Gordon at KJAZ radio, Alameda CA December 1980.
Brian McMillen [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Vocalist Ernie Andrews is a musician known for his tremendous vitality and ability to communicate that stems from his gospel roots. Influenced by Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Eckstine, and Johnny Mercer, Andrews’ own special style is a mix of energy, drama, and humor. On this 1998 Piano Jazz, McPartland accompanies him as he sings "The More I See You" and "From This Moment On." McPartland then performs a Strayhorn tune, "Bloodcount."

News Stations: Sat, Sep 09, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Sep 10, 7 pm

Lee Konitz at Regattabar
Upsilon Andromedae [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

A former member of the Miles Davis "Famous Nonet," Lee Konitz is the foremost saxophonist in the cool style of jazz. He is also a composer, arranger, and teacher. While his very first instrument was a clarinet, he favored tenor sax and made his way to alto. What’s more, he plays the piano! On this 1992 Piano Jazz, Konitz and McPartland combine forces for a version of "Like Someone In Love."

News Stations: Sat, Sep 02, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Sep 03, 7 pm

Patrice Rushen
Courtesy of the Artist

  A popular vocalist whose talent ranges from jazz to soul to R&B, Patrice Rushen is also a songwriter, arranger, and master keyboardist. She has performed with and produced for artists such as Stevie Wonder, Prince, Nancy Wilson, Michael Jackson, and Dianne Reeves, and she has played at some of the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals. On this 1987 Piano Jazz, Rushen demonstrates her talents with "Ocean Song." McPartland responds with "What’s Your Story, Morning Glory?"

  Award-winning pianist and vocalist Lenore Raphael has emerged as one of the most promising musicians in modern mainstream jazz. Influenced by such jazz greats as Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, and Thelonious Monk, Raphael has developed her own swinging style. On this 2002 edition of Piano Jazz, she brings her creative ideas to the tune “I’m Old Fashioned.” McPartland joins Raphael to end the hour with “Blue Monk.”

News Stations: Sat, Aug 19, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Aug 20, 7 pm

Jack DeJohnette
Courtesy of the Artist

  Jack DeJohnette got his start on the piano as a child, but he took up the drums at eighteen and went on to become one of the most inventive and important drummers in modern jazz history. He’s provided rhythm for greats such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Keith Jarrett. In this 1993 Piano Jazz session, DeJohnette shares the story behind the real "Freddy the Freeloader." McPartland and bassist Christian McBride join in for a jam on the McPartland original "Ambiance."

Daniela Schaechter
Courtesy of the Artist

In 2005, Sicilian pianist Daniela Schaechter won the prestigious Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz competition. Ever devoted to the next generation of female jazz musicians, McPartland wasted no time in having Schaechter on this 2006 show. Schaechter's opening tune, an original called "Thinking of You," hints at her classical training while confirming her fondness for jazz masters like Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. She and McPartland wrap the hour with a duet of Cole Porter's "I Love You."

News Stations: Sat, Aug 05, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Aug 06, 7 pm

As the swinging pianist in the Quincy Jones Orchestra, Patti Bown (1931 – 2008) kept the music moving. In honor of her July 26 birthday, Piano Jazz remembers Bown with this encore from the early years of the program. Bown joins host McPartland to talk about the role of women in jazz. She presents her rendition of Coltrane's "Giant Steps" and shares her Swahili love song, "Oh My Darling, How I Love You."

News Stations: Sat, Jul 29, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Jul 30, 7 pm

Jackie King, Willie Nelson, and Marian McPartland
SCETV

Country music legend Willie Nelson and jazz guitarist Jackie King (1945 – 2016) performed and recorded together for decades. They were McPartland's guests for this unforgettable 2002 Piano Jazz. Songs include standards like "The Nearness of You" and Nelson's classic ballad, "Crazy," plus a few selections from Nelson and King's collaboration from 2000, with "The Gypsy" and "Heart of a Clown."

News Stations: Sat, Jul 22, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Jul 23, 7 pm

Gerald Wiggins
Courtesy of the Artist

Piano Jazz remembers jazz piano master Gerald Wiggins (1922 – 2008). Born in Harlem, Wiggins began learning classical piano at a young age, but he discovered jazz through pianists Teddy Wilson and Art Tatum. In this 1992 session, Wiggins talks about some of his early professional gigs with the big bands of Benny Carter and Les Hite. He and McPartland journey back with Sammy Cahn's "If It's the Last Thing I Do" and a Wiggins original, "Edie Is a Sweetie." The two wind up the hour with a duet of Charlie Parker's "Now's the Time."

Sandy Stewart and Bill Charlap
billcharlap.com

Vocalist Sandy Stewart first emerged as a star on the cabaret scene during the 1960s, and her marriage to Broadway composer Moose Charlap kept her plugged into a vibrant music community. In 2005, Stewart and her son, pianist Bill Charlap, collaborated on their first album together, "Love Is Here to Stay." On this Piano Jazz from 2006, mother and son bring a rare combination of swing and sophistication with a performance of "Two for the Road."

News Stations: Sat, Jul 08, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Jul 09, 7 pm

This 2007 Piano Jazz remembers one of the great innovators of the bebop style—pianist Duke Jordan (1922 – 2006). He's perhaps best known for his innovative work with Charlie Parker's legendary 1947 quintet, and he played with a number of other legends including Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins, and Sonny Stitt. Jordan joined McPartland in 1980 for a session including duets on "Groovin' High" and his original "Jordu."

News Stations: Sat, Jul 01, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, Jul 02, 7 pm

Eddie Gomez
Claudio Casanova/eddiegomez.com

A two-time Grammy Award winner, bassist Eddie Gomez has been on the cutting edge of music for over four decades. He has held down rhythm sections and set the groove for some of the heavyweights of jazz—from Bill Evans to Miles Davis to Chick Corea. His masterful touch and sense of swing shine through, whether he's grooving in the background or bringing the bass up front. On this 1993 Piano Jazz, he and McPartland dazzle with performances of "Turn Out the Stars" and "Stella by Starlight."

News Stations: Sat, June 24, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, June 25, 7 pm

Pianist LeeAnn Ledgerwood studied at the Berkley College of Music alongside fellow musicians Branford Marsalis and Terrence Blanchard. She became a protégée of Marian McPartland, who encouraged her to pursue a career in jazz. She was McPartland’s guest on Piano Jazz in 1990. In this session Ledgerwood shows off her keen sense of style with "I Want to Talk about You." McPartland joins in for a duo version of "Broadway."

News Stations: Sat, June 17, 8 pm | Classical Station: Sun, June 18, 7 pm

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