Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

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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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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.”

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."

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.

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

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."

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.”

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

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