Favorite Sessions

Bill Charlap: The American Songbook, Handled With CareJazz24

It's no wonder that pianist Bill Charlap loves the music that has come to be called The Great American Songbook — the songs of great Tin Pan Alley composers such as Jerome Kern, George Gershwin and Irving Berlin. He grew up with it. Charlap was born and raised in New York, the son of Moose Charlap (a Broadway composer) and Sandy Stern, a self-described "popular singer with jazz overtones."

In Charlap's recent visit to the Jazz24 studios at KPLU in Seattle, the pianist takes two songs from that fabled songbook and uses them to illustrate how a jazz musician can honor tradition and still get creative. As you listen, try to identify all of the other songs that Charlap quotes as he finds his way to the heart of the tune he's playing. Underlying his technical brilliance and emotional focus is a musical wit that's second to none.

Set List
  • "All The Things You Are"
  • "Sophisticated Lady"
Credits
  • Video/photography: Justin Steyer
  • Host: Abe Beeson
[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Corky Hale appears on the cover of her album Corky Hale Plays George Gershwin & Vernon Duke. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Corky Hale On Piano Jazz

The pioneering pianist, harpist, flutist and cellist has worked with Mel Tormé and Billie Holiday.

Listen Loading… 57:51
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/425725724/425870258" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Dwike Mitchell (left), pictured with longtime collaborator Willie Ruff. Vincent Oneppo/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Vincent Oneppo/Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Dwike Mitchell On Piano Jazz

The pianist joins Marian McPartland to perform "Lush Life" and "Don't Worry 'Bout Me."

Listen Loading… 57:53
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/419545096/419554645" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra play an Exquisite Corpse at Woodlawn Cemetery as part of Make Music New York on June 21, 2015. Polina Yamshchikov/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Polina Yamshchikov/NPR

Jazz Night In America

Jazz Lives At Duke Ellington's Resting Place

See young jazz musicians honor their elders at a cemetery that's more like a hall of fame.

Jimmy Greene. Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artist

Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program

Jimmy Greene Remembers A 'Beautiful Life'

The saxophonist's latest album honors his 6-year-old daughter, killed in the 2012 Newtown shooting.

Listen Loading… 57:25
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/418925379/418929187" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Back To Top