Courtesy of John Sann
Kenny Barron (pictured) is joined by his former student, Helen Sung, for a breezy duet.
Kenny Barron (pictured) is joined by his former student, Helen Sung, for a breezy duet. Courtesy of John Sann
Marian McPartland, Gary Mazzaroppi, Glenn Davis, "I'm Old Fashioned" (J. Kern, J. Mercer),
Antonio Madruga, "Smile" (C. Chaplin)
Marian McPartland and Antonio Madruga, "On the Sunny Side of the Street" (D. Fields, J. McHugh)
Kenny Barron and Helen Sung, "Untitled Samba" (K. Barron)
Monty Alexander, Medley: "Eleuthera" (M. Alexander) / "Sweet Lady" / "Young at Heart" (C. Leigh, J. Richards)
Jon Weber, "Ambience" (M. McPartland)
Catherine Russell and Jon Weber, "Just in Time" (J. Styne, B. Comden, A. Green)
Michael and Robert Rodriguez, "Luv Samba" (M. Rodriguez, R. Rodriguez)
On this episode of Piano Jazz, the Generations in Jazz celebration continues with the second set from a special evening of music at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Marian McPartland is joined by a stable of stars, including veteran performers Kenny Barron, Monty Alexander, Gary Mazzaroppi and Glenn Davis, as well as new players on the scene Michael and Robert Rodriguez, along with 16-year-old pianist Antonio Madruga.
McPartland's trio opens the set with "I'm Old Fashioned." Bassist Gary Mazzaroppi and drummer Glenn Davis supply swinging rhythm as McPartland takes the familiar tune out in new directions. And both bassist and drummer take solo breaks courtesy of the always-generous McPartland.
The youngest performer on this date, Madruga follows with a solo take on Charlie Chaplin's "Smile." He settles into the groove quickly and keeps the sentimental tune bright and lively; it's a solid performance from a young man among elite company at one of the most prestigious jazz rooms in New York. He then gets the Piano Jazz seal of approval in a duet of "On the Sunny Side of the Street" with McPartland.
Kenny Barron is joined by his former student, Helen Sung, for a breezy duet in an untitled samba. And the ever-delightful Monty Alexander plays a solo medley which leads with his tune, "Eleuthera."
In addition to hosting Piano Jazz for more than 30 years and enjoying a long career as a club pianist, Marian McPartland is also a composer whose tunes have been recorded by many other jazz artists over the years. She is a real jazz player's composer; her tunes reflect the late-night lifestyle of the working jazz musician. "Ambiance" is one such tune, performed in this session solo by guest host Jon Weber, himself a technically gifted pianist with encyclopedic knowledge of jazz and standards. Weber captures the expansive spirit of McPartland's composition with his intense yet precise keyboard work, and even transposes a few notes from the Piano Jazz theme, "Kaleidoscope," in further tribute to McPartland's work.
Weber is then joined by the considerable vocal talents of Catherine Russell, a contemporary performer with deep roots in jazz. Her mother is Carline Ray and her father was Louis Armstrong's musical director; young Russell even bounced on Satchmo's knee at her parents' parties. At this Dizzy's date, she swings delightfully on the 1956 standard "Just in Time" as Weber accompanies.
In homage to the room's namesake, Dizzy Gillespie, part two of this Generations in Jazz celebration closes on a Latin groove performed by a trumpet-and-piano duo. Brothers Michael (trumpet) and Robert (piano) Rodriguez perform their original composition, "Luv Samba." It's a taste of tropicalia to heat up this winter Piano Jazz session.
Next week's third and final set from Dizzy's features performers Geri Allen, Frank Wess, Mike LeDonne, Jonathan Batiste, Aaron Diehl and more.
Originally recorded Oct. 4, 2010. Originally broadcast Jan. 4, 2011.