Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz on WEKU

Saturday 5am-6am
Marian McPartland

Jazz legend Marian McPartland continues to showcase the world's top musicians on NPR's longest-running and most widely carried jazz program, Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz.

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Fri March 21, 2014
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Andrew Hill On Piano Jazz

Andrew Hill photographed in his home, 2005.
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist

Fifty years ago today, Andrew Hill recorded what would become his signature album: Point of Departure. Fifty years later, it still sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday. Assembling a murderer's row of horn players (Eric Dolphy, Kenny Dorham, Joe Henderson) with a rhythm section for the ages (Hill, Richard Davis, Tony Williams), Hill juxtaposed complex, layered harmonies with charged grooves. The result occupies that rare territory between the comfort of the familiar and the allure of the perceptibly unique.

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Fri December 7, 2012
Piano Jazz

Dave Brubeck On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 11:37 am

Dave Brubeck at the 32nd Kennedy Center Honors.
Kris Connor Getty Images

David Warren Brubeck (Dec. 6, 1920 - Dec. 5, 2012) was born in Concord, California. His father was a cattle rancher and his mother taught piano. His two older brothers, Henry and Howard, studied to become musicians, but Dave had no intentions of following them, although he took lessons from his mother. He could not read sheet music, but played well enough that this deficiency went mostly unnoticed.

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Fri November 30, 2012
Piano Jazz

Russell Malone On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 8:56 pm

Russell Malone.
Courtesy of the artist

On this episode of Piano Jazz, guitarist Russell Malone stops by along with bassist Richie Good for a set of solo, duo and trio performances with host Marian McPartland.

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Fri November 23, 2012
Piano Jazz

Tony Bennett On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 12:01 pm

Tony Bennett.
Jo Hale Getty Images Entertainment

On this Piano Jazz session from 2004, Tony Bennett brings his effortlessly swinging singing to an impeccable set of tunes from the Great American Songbook, including music from Johnny Mercer, Jimmy Van Heusen, Ted Koehler, Alec Wilder and more.

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Mon November 19, 2012
Piano Jazz

Anat Cohen on Piano Jazz

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 1:57 pm

Anat Cohen.
Jimmy Katz

Israel-born clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen joins Marian McPartland, along with bassist Gary Mazzaroppi and drummer Glenn Davis, for a quartet edition of Piano Jazz.

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Fri November 9, 2012
Piano Jazz

Pete Malinverni On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 4:52 pm

Pete Malinverni.
Abigail Feldman Courtesy of the artist

Pianist, composer and teacher Pete Malinverni is a multifaceted player known for his attention to melody and delicate phrasing. Spiritual influences radiate throughout his arrangement of "Deep River," and Malinverni and host Marian McPartland end a delightful hour as they join together in a performance of the Harold Arlen standard "Get Happy."

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Fri November 2, 2012
Piano Jazz

Elizabeth Doyle On Piano Jazz

Elizabeth Doyle.
Courtesy of the artist

Elizabeth Doyle was brought up around all kinds of music from an early age, thanks to a truly musical family in South Dakota. Three of her four grandparents were professional musicians, including one radio performer and singing cowboy. Her father had played saxophone and clarinet in the Navy during WWII, and her mother was an avid singer and pianist. Both parents were fans of big-band music, jazz, and the show tunes of the '30s, '40s, and '50s.

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Fri October 26, 2012
Piano Jazz

Willie Nelson On Piano Jazz

Willie Nelson.
Frazer Henderson Getty Images Entertainment

Singer-songwriter Willie Nelson was born April 30, 1933, in the small farming community of Abbott, Texas. His early interest in music came about through singing in church, and he wrote his first song at age 7. By age 9, he'd begun playing in a local band; after high school, Nelson served briefly in the Air Force and studied at Baylor University. In the mid-'50s, he worked as a disc jockey in Texas and Washington state, played in honky-tonks and continued to write songs.

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Fri October 19, 2012
Piano Jazz

Eubie Blake On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 3:37 pm

Eubie Blake

Piano Jazz digs deep into the archives with a session featuring James Herbert "Eubie" Blake. He was the last of the known living original ragtime pianists when he appeared on the program in 1980 with host Marian McPartland. Here, the 93-year-old Blake recalls working in vaudeville, performing at the height of the Jim Crow era, writing "Charleston Rag" and even watching a performance by the great Russian pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff.

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Mon October 15, 2012
Piano Jazz

Dr. John On Piano Jazz

Dr. John.
Mark Metcalfe Getty Images

Dr. John's sound is a musical gumbo composed of blues, rock, R&B, zydeco, jazz and standards, anchored by his own unmistakable voice and grooving piano work. He brought this unique blend to an episode of Piano Jazz that originally aired in spring 1989.

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Tue October 9, 2012
Piano Jazz

Milt Hinton On Piano Jazz

Milt Hinton (a.k.a. "The Judge") was born June 23, 1910, in Vicksburg, Miss. As a boy, he moved to Chicago, where he studied several instruments before settling on the double bass.

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Fri September 28, 2012
Piano Jazz

Blossom Dearie On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 4:38 pm

Blossom Dearie.
Courtesy of the artist

This week's Piano Jazz is a rebroadcast of a show that first aired in 1985, presented as a tribute to Blossom Dearie, who died in 2009 at age 82.

The aptly named singer and pianist Blossom Dearie had a unique, childlike voice that, along with truly swinging piano work, could deliver scathing wit wrapped in a sweet package.

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Sun September 23, 2012
Piano Jazz

Jesse Green On Piano Jazz

Jesse Green.
Courtesy of the artist

Delaware Water Gap, a small town in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, is home to its share of talented jazz musicians. Phil Woods lives in the area, Keith Jarrett is not too far away and the Deer Head Inn is a legendary jazz spot where both men have played.

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Tue September 18, 2012
Piano Jazz

Mimi Fox On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 10:42 am

Mimi Fix
Courtesy of the artist

Guitarist Mimi Fox is in the vanguard of invigorating the jazz guitar tradition. She possesses a pure tone and an amazing set of chops and cooks whether playing bebop or ballads.

Her compositional abilities are evident on this 2006 Piano Jazz as she plays her own tune "Perpetually Hip." With host Marian McPartland on piano and Gary Mazzaroppi on bass, Fox tears up the fret board on "What is This Thing Called Love."

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Fri September 7, 2012
Piano Jazz

Stephane Grappelli On Piano Jazz

French jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli.
Evening Standard Getty Images

Piano Jazz celebrates the centennial of the grandfather of the jazz violin: Stephane Grappelli. Born in Paris in 1908, Grappelli grew up very poor — his mother died when he was 4 and he spent time in orphanages and boarding schools (including one run by the famous dancer Isadora Duncan) when his father was called away to WWI. Father and son were reunited after the war.

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Wed September 5, 2012
Piano Jazz

Allen Toussaint, Elvis Costello On Piano Jazz

Elvis Costello (left) and Allen Toussaint.
Jimmy Katz

Singer-songwriter Elvis Costello sits down as a guest hot with music legend Allen Toussaint in this installment of Piano Jazz.

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Fri August 24, 2012
Piano Jazz

Paul Winter On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 12:05 pm

Paul Winter.
Courtesy of the artist

This episode of Piano Jazz features the unique music of soprano saxophonist Paul Winter. He joins host Marian McPartland, along with bassist Gary Mazzaroppi and drummer Glenn Davis, for a set of ballads and originals. The set also features an additional special soloist — a humpback whale.

"It was very impressive," remembers McPartland. "And we don't often do a show so full of ballads. It was a different sort of show."

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Fri August 17, 2012
Piano Jazz

Melissa Walker On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 12:05 pm

Melissa Walker.
Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland recalls meeting singer Melissa Walker for the first time in the "powder room" at Birdland. McPartland was immediately taken with the young singer's glowing personality — and she probably heard hints of Walker's warm and rich vocals in the few words they exchanged that night.

"She's got such a wonderful voice," recalls McPartland. "The tunes she did aren't heard too often, they were very well done though. I enjoyed that session."

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Fri August 10, 2012
Piano Jazz

Hod O'Brien On Piano Jazz

Hod O'Brien.
Courtesy of the artist

On the drive from his home in Charlottesville, Va., to the Manhattan studios of Piano Jazz, pianist Hod O'Brien was inspired to compose an original tune in honor of the occasion. By the time he'd arrived, he'd worked out a swinging little ditty in his head, so he kicked off this session with a tune he called "Clarion for Marian."

"His playing was wonderful," recalls host Marian McPartland. "And I really enjoyed playing on Charlie Parker ['Now's The Time'] with Hod. I thought it came off very well."

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Fri August 3, 2012
Piano Jazz

Grady Tate On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 3:25 pm

Grady Tate.
Courtesy of the artist

Grady Tate has been lucky enough to have two distinct careers in jazz. He made a name for himself as a session drummer with impeccable rhythm, for music legends such as Quincy Jones, Wes Montgomery, Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha Franklin.

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Fri July 27, 2012
Piano Jazz

Radio Legend Studs Terkel On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:03 am

In addition to interviewing people around America for his radio program on WFMT, Studs Terkel was also a noted jazz historian.
Steve Kagan Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

Though he's remembered for his intense interest in the lives of everyday folks, the Pulitzer Prize winning author and Chicago radio legend Studs Terkel was also a great lover of music, and especially jazz. His first book, Giants of Jazz, featured literary portraits of the likes of Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong.

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Fri July 20, 2012
Piano Jazz

Keith Jarrett On Piano Jazz

Keith Jarrett made a long awaited appearance on Piano Jazz in 2006.
Patrick Hinley

Host Marian McPartland tried for years to line-up elusive pianist Keith Jarrett for a Piano Jazz session. Following his stellar performance at Carnegie Hall in 2005, McPartland confronted the elusive performer and convinced him to put in an appearance on her show. The Allentown, Pa., native graciously invited McPartland and a small crew to his home studio, a converted barn next to his 18th-century farmhouse.

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Fri July 13, 2012
Piano Jazz

Dave Samuels On Piano Jazz

Dave Samuels.
Courtesy of the artist

For Dave Samuels, the love of his first two instruments — the drums and then the piano — naturally led him to the vibraphone. Samuels' gift for evocative melody and his rhythmic versatility make him one of the leading mallet players of his generation, empowering him to swing from the classic-cool sounds of Stan Getz and Gerry Mulligan to the contemporary rhythms of The Yellowjackets, Spyro Gyra and his Caribbean Jazz Project.

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Fri July 6, 2012
Piano Jazz

Dick Hyman On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 4:24 pm

Dick Hyman.
Michael Loccisano Getty Images

For this Piano Jazz recorded in 2009, host Marian McPartland welcomes back pianist Dick Hyman, who appeared on several programs throughout the years including the first season in 1979.

"Dick has such great chops," says McPartland. "He can really race up and down the keyboard — he gave me a run for my money! It was great fun having him on the show."

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Fri June 29, 2012
Piano Jazz

Helen Sung On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 10:56 am

Helen Sung.
Courtesy of the artist

Pianist Helen Sung is a dazzling and passionate player originally from Houston, Texas. A graduate of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, she has played with such luminaries as Clark Terry and Wynton Marsalis.

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Fri June 22, 2012
Piano Jazz

Dave McKenna On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Fri October 2, 2009 11:08 am

Dave McKenna is celebrated with highlights from two Piano Jazz appearances.
Courtesy of the artist

This week's show is a tribute to the late pianist Dave McKenna with guest host, pianist and singer Daryl Sherman, who was a friend of McKenna's and is a musical fixture at New York's famous Waldorf Astoria.

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Wed May 30, 2012
Piano Jazz

Daniela Schaechter On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 12:12 pm

In 2005, a young Sicilian pianist named Daniela Schaechter won the prestigious Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz competition. Marian McPartland always takes great interest in the competition, as she greatly admired Mary Lou and is devoted to the next generation of female jazz musicians. McPartland wasted no time in having Schaechter on Piano Jazz.

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Tue May 29, 2012
Piano Jazz

Gerald Wiggins On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 1:34 pm

Gerald Wiggins on the cover of Wiggin' Out.
Courtesy of the artist

Piano Jazz remembers jazz piano master Gerald Wiggins, who died in 2008, in a session recorded in 1992.

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Tue May 29, 2012
Piano Jazz

George Shearing On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 1:17 pm

George Shearing shares a laugh with his fiancé Ellie Geffert in 1976.
Central Press Getty Images

This week's Piano Jazz was originally broadcast in 1987, when pianist George Shearing made his second appearance on the program.

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Tue May 29, 2012
Piano Jazz

Barbara Carroll On Piano Jazz

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 9:15 am

Barbara Carroll.
Julie Skarratt

Pianist and singer Barbara Carroll is an old and dear friend of Piano Jazz host Marian McPartland. In fact, Carroll was the second ever guest to appear on Piano Jazz when the show began 30 years ago. Carroll recalls 1979 as a banner year for her, as well — it's the same year she started what became a 25 year run performing at Bemelman's Bar, at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan.

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