arts and culture

Eddie Palmieri
Jason Goodman/National Endowment for the Arts

Virtuoso pianist, bandleader, and composer Eddie Palmieri has been called “the madman of Latin Jazz.” His playing fuses the rhythm of his Puerto Rican heritage with the complexity of his jazz influences: Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner as well as his older brother, Charlie Palmieri. On this 2000 Piano Jazz, McPartland joins the band for an hour of Palmieri’s powerful rhythmic compositions. Palmieri and his group perform a set including “La Comparsa” and “Beloro Dos.” McPartland improvises a “Portrait of Eddie Palmieri.”

Tony DeSare
Courtesy of the Artist

Vocalist and pianist Tony DeSare discovered music at a young age and began performing as a teenager. He broke out on the New York music scene in the early 2000s with a role in the Off-Broadway review Our Sinatra and a lauded club debut at the Café Carlyle. On this 2008 Piano Jazz, McPartland accompanies him on “Memories of You” and “Do Nothing ‘till You Hear from Me.” DeSare recalls Sinatra with “Fly Me to the Moon” and performs an original, “How Will I Say I Love You.”

Cover photo of a bird-filled sky above a line of trees at sunset.
Kathleen Robbins

Ed Madden, editor of Theologies of Terrain (Muddy Ford Press, 2017), writes that poet Tim Conroy “is a theologian of the best kind, a theologian of the ordinary.”

“He knows… [we] face crushing loss and daily difficulties. We have to learn to live the best we can here, now. … [Conroy] points us to a ‘cathedral’ of trees where we are encouraged to find not truth or healing but perspective—to measure ourselves ‘by how a towering / moment passes.’"

Tim Conroy and Ed Madden join Walter Edgar to talk about Conroy’s Theologies of Terrain.

NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

Rudy shares words from Henri-Frédéric Amiel's journal:

French-Canadian pianist and composer Lorraine Desmarais made her first appearance in the United States at the 1986 Great American Jazz Competition, where she took the highest honors. In 2012 she was awarded the prestigious Order of Canada for her work bringing Canadian jazz to the world. She was McPartland’s guest for this 1991 Piano Jazz. She performs a few of her own compositions, “The Third King” and “Memoir,” along with a set of standards.

News & Talk Stations: Sat, Jan 06, 8 pm | News & Music Stations: Sun, Jan 07, 7 pm

Marian McPartland and Dizzy Gillespie.
SC Public Radio

2017 marks the centennial of jazz giant Dizzy Gillespie (1917 – 1993). In a classic Piano Jazz from 1985, Gillespie discusses his work with Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk, demonstrates various rhythmic progressions, and shares his theory on Aretha Franklin’s unique vocal phrasing. Inspired by the session, McPartland spontaneously creates two new compositions in Gillespie’s honor: "For Dizzy" and "A Portrait of Diz." They perform several of Dizzy’s tunes, including "A Night in Tunisia" and "In a Mellow Tone."

Bobby Broom with drummer Makaye McCraven, INNone Jazzfestival, 2013.
Manfred Werner [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Bobby Broom didn't begin playing guitar until age 12, but he developed his jazz chops quickly, gaining the attention of the legendary Sonny Rollins. Throughout the years, he's played with Rollins and other notable groups such as Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, and he has toured with his own Bobby Broom Trio. He is also a jazz educator in Chicago. On this 2008 Piano Jazz, bassist Gary Mazzaroppi joins Broom and McPartland to kick off the set with the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love."

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
SC Public Radio

Pianist Don Pullen (1941 – 1995) was known for his melodic brilliance, swirling chords, and glissandos, and his kinetic, cascading piano attack could ignite any band. He gained his first experiences playing African American church music and R&B, and his career took off when he joined Charles Mingus' band in the 1970s. He went on to form his own quartet. In this 1989 Piano Jazz session, Pullen performs one of his original compositions, "Jana's Delight." He and McPartland get together for "All the Things You Are."

Beegie Adair
greenhillrecords.com

Beegie Adair, the Nashville native with a distinctive flair for the piano, has worked with jazz, pop, and country. She's played for movie and TV soundtracks, been in concerts, festivals, and clubs, and put in many orchestra appearances. On this 1991 Piano Jazz, Adair joins McPartland for a unique blend, including an original tune she whipped up for a friend's Christmas present: "Sylvia's Mayonnaise." McPartland and Adair duet on "Poor Butterfly."

News & Talk Stations: Sat, Dec 09, 8 pm | News & Music Stations: Sun, Dec 11, 7 pm

Claudio Roditi
OhWeh [CC BY-SA 2.5] via Wikimedia Commons

Integrating post-bop elements and Brazilian rhythmic concepts into his palette with ease, Claudio Roditi plays with power and lyricism. This versatility has kept the trumpeter and flugelhornist in demand as a leader, studio musician, and sideman. Having made his way from Brazil to the New York jazz scene in the 1970s, he was McPartland's guest for this 1996 Piano Jazz session. With McPartland at the piano, Gary Mazzaroppi on bass, and Roditi on his horn, the three dish up "I Remember April" and "Speak Low."

Poster for "Eight Days a Week."
Apple Corps

The 2017 Ron Howard documentary film “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years” highlights the cultural phenomenon of Beatlemania in the 1960s.  The movie captures America’s excitement as John, Paul, George and Ringo stormed the country at the forefront of the most popular musical revolution of the century, the British Invasion.   

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
SC Public Radio

Ellyn Rucker's light sensual vocals and smooth swinging piano produce a wonderfully intriguing mixture. Hailing from Colorado, Rucker broke into the jazz big leagues in the 1980s after she took up her musical career fulltime. She remains a staple on the Denver music scene. On this 1993 Piano Jazz, her versatility is evident when she performs Cole Porter's "Everything I Love," then McPartland joins in to play the title tune from one of Rucker's albums, This Heart of Mine.

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"D" is for Dixon, Dorsey [1897-1968] and Howard Dixon [1903-1961]. Musicians. The Dixon Brothers, popular during the 1930s composed many original songs on diverse subjects, including the life and labor of textile workers. With Dorsey on guitar and Howard leading on steel guitar, their sound was more distinct than the traditional mandolin-guitar or twin-guitar duets. Their vocal harmony—albeit a bit rough—nonetheless had a style uniquely their own. All total they cut some 55 sides for Bluebird—many of which are extremely rare.

Milton Hinton with Cab Calloway.
Photographer unknown

Milt Hinton (1920 – 2000) was one of the world's legendary bass players. In a career that spanned eight decades, he played with just about everyone, from Cab Calloway to Ellington to Coltrane. He's often credited with bridging the gap from swing to modern jazz. In this 1991 session, Hinton "raps" his expansive resume, talks about his priceless collection of jazz photographs, and joins McPartland for "How High the Moon."

News & Talk Stations: Sat, Nov 18, 8 pm | News & Music Stations: Sun, Nov 20, 7 pm

Ruth Laredo
Courtesy of Nonesuch Records

One of the premier classical pianists of her generation, Ruth Laredo (1937 – 2005) was known as America's First Lady of the Piano. In partnership with McPartland and Dick Hyman, Laredo produced wildly popular Three Piano Crossover Concerts, exploring the boundaries between classical music and jazz. In this 2004 Piano Jazz session, Laredo and McPartland continue their genre-bending excursions, juxtaposing Chopin with Jobim, and Scriabin with "Stella by Starlight."

News & Talk Stations: Sat, Nov 11, 8 pm | News & Music Stations: Sun, Nov 13, 7 pm

D.W. Griffith, director (1923)
Library of Congress

How did the American South contribute to the development of cinema? And how did film shape the modern South? In Fade In, Crossroads: A History of the Southern Cinema (2017, Oxford University Press), Robert Jackson tells the story of the relationships between southerners and motion pictures from the silent era through the golden age of Hollywood. Jackson talks with Walter Edgar about the profound consequences of the coincidence of the rise and fall of the American film industry with the rise and fall of the Jim Crow era.

"There is no season..."

Oct 30, 2017
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Matthew Brady/Library of Congress [Public Domain]
Teri Thornton
Kwaku Alston

Piano Jazz remembers vocalist and pianist Teri Thornton (1934 – 2000), who lost her battle with cancer in the year after this 1999 session. Thornton first wowed audiences in 1963 with her hit recording of "Somewhere in the Night" from the television series Naked City. Her comeback to the jazz world was highlighted in 1998 when she won the Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition. On this Piano Jazz, she and McPartland team up for an unforgettable "I'll Be Seeing You." Thornton performs her signature song, "East of the Sun and West of the Moon."

Makota Ozone
Courtesy of the artist

In 1984 when pianist Makoto Ozone was McPartland's guest for the first time, he had become known as a rising jazz star. In his early 20s he was already a master technician with many keyboard influences, including Oscar Peterson, but he first heard jazz from his father at home in Kobe, Japan. In this session he displays his powerful, hard-driving style, soloing on "Love for Sale" and "Here's that Rainy Day." Then Ozone joins McPartland for swinging duets on "Everything Happens to Me" and "You Stepped Out of a Dream."

A statue of John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie outside his family home in Cheraw, SC.
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Events are underway this week in the Chesterfield County town of Cheraw for the S.C. Jazz Festival.  This year's festival, the 12th annual Jazz Festival, has special significance because on October 21, 1917 jazz great Dizzy Gillespie was born in Cheraw.   Although Gillespie died in 1993 at age 75, his musical legacy endures.

Veteran jazz performer, and professor of music at Lander University Dr. Robert Gardiner says Dizzy Gillespie was perhaps the greatest trumpet player ever.

"Woodbines in October"

Oct 16, 2017
NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

Rudy shares poems by Charlotte Fiske Bates, "Woodbines in October," and "

Anat Fort
Courtesy of the artist

Israeli-born pianist, composer, and arranger Anat Fort is classically trained but is also well-studied in jazz improvisation. A prolific composer, her musical worlds come together in elegant and often intense tunes, and she has been commissioned to write work for both orchestra and jazz settings. In this 2007 Piano Jazz session, Fort performs her originals, including "Just Now" and "Something about Camels," before joining McPartland on "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise."

News & Talk Stations: Sat, Oct 21, 8 pm | News & Music Stations: Sun, Oct 22, 7 pm

McCoy Tyner
Courtesy of the artist

McCoy Tyner is an inventive composer and pianist, perhaps best known for creating the lavish harmonies and percussive piano lines heard on some of John Coltrane's most famous recordings. He also has had a successful career as a leader with his own McCoy Tyner Trio. On this 1983 edition of Piano Jazz, Tyner puts his prodigious technique to work on "Lazy Bird," and McPartland gets on board for a driving duet of "Take the A Train."

News & Talk Stations: Sat, Oct 14, 8 pm | News & Music Stations: Sun, Oct 15, 7 pm

Holly Hofmann
Courtesy of the artist

Classically trained flutist Holly Hoffman was influenced by her father, a fine jazz guitarist. At age five, she chose the flute because she could carry it to play music with him. Hoffman has taken the flute from the orchestra to the jazz stand, making her mark with a bluesy style all her own. In this session from 2002, bassist Darek Oles joins McPartland and Hoffman to perform a set including "You and the Night and the Music" and "Bohemia After Dark."

News & Talk Stations: Sat, Oct 07, 8 pm | News & Music Stations: Sun, Oct 08, 7 pm

Tony Caramia
SUNY

Tony Caramia is a world-class pianist and educator, currently teaching at the Eastman School of Music, where he is Director of Piano Pedagogy Studies and Coordinator of the Class Piano Program. Caramia is skilled in both classical and jazz, but has an affinity for ragtime, with a particular interest in British composer and pianist Billy Mayerl. McPartland got her start in the music business when she joined Mayerl’s piano quartet in England in the late 1930s. On this 2003 Piano Jazz, Caramia plays a famous Mayerl melody, “Marigold.”

Wesley Bocxe got his break in photojournalism covering a devastating 1985 earthquake in Mexico, which killed an estimated 10,000 people.

Exactly 32 years later, on Sept. 19, another massive earthquake struck Mexico. And this time, it toppled his home, leaving Bocxe seriously injured and killing his wife, Elizabeth Esguerra Rosas.

Olivier Boitet/The Associated Press 

When Vincent Lancisi and his wife were traveling in the south of France earlier this year, they began chatting with their driver. And he told them a story about his former employer.

“He said, ‘I was a driver for a famous man,’” Lancisi said. “‘You probably don’t know his name but there’s a movie about him made with Jeremy Irons called 'M. Butterfly.'"

“My wife looked at me, her jaw dropped.”

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

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