Danilo Perez, 1994
Panamanian pianist Danilo Perez worked with Dizzy Gillespie and his United Nations Orchestra, where he absorbed bebop and prebop styles. But Dizzy also impressed upon him the importance of getting to the roots of his own heritage, and Perez began creating music that seeks connection and defies boundaries. In this Piano Jazz session from 1994, he demonstrates his fresh ideas of music with his original composition “Reminiscing.”
Gary Burton, 2005
Five-time Grammy Award-winner Gary Burton taught himself to play the vibraphone as a young person and began his recording career at age seventeen. He backed jazz greats, including George Shearing and Stan Getz, and went on to form his own quartet, combining jazz, rock, and other influences into what would become Fusion. On this Piano Jazz from 2005, Burton and McPartland perform tunes by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Duke Ellington, Rodgers & Hart, and many more.
Cyrus Chestnut, 2003
Cyrus Chestnut is a conservatory-trained pianist who is firmly grounded in jazz history, all the way back to Jelly Roll Morton. He’s also played with many of today’s best interpreters—Wynton Marsalis, Jon Hendricks, Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride, Terence Blanchard, and Betty Carter, to name a few. On this 2003 Piano Jazz, he joins McPartland for a swinging hour of jazz bursting with spirit.
Paul Schaffer, 1988
Longtime bandleader for NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman, Paul Shaffer’s early training was in the classics. But thanks to rock-n-roll, he grew up to lead what David Letterman has called “the world’s most dangerous band.” Also a composer, performer, and director, the versatile Shaffer is indeed a force to be reckoned with. On this 1988 Piano Jazz, he plays the standard “All the Things You Are” and teams up with McPartland for Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely.”