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Piano Jazz Shorts

A preview of upcoming conversations and improvisations with Marian McPartland and the brightest stars from the world of jazz.More from Piano Jazz Shorts »

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Joe Samples, 2005

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;mso-style-noshow:yes;mso-style-priority:99;mso-style-qformat:yes;mso-style-parent:"";mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;mso-para-margin-top:0in;mso-para-margin-right:0in;mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;mso-para-margin-left:0in;line-height:115%;mso-pagination:widow-orphan;font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}Pianist and composer Joe Sample (Feb. 1, 1939 – Sept. 12, 2014) began studying piano at age five and was exposed to a variety of musical traditions as a child. While still in high school in the late 1950s, he formed The Crusaders, with whom he played for much of his professional life. On this episode of Piano Jazz from 2005, Sample and McPartland team up for “I’ve Got Rhythm,” and Sample solos on his original tune “Carmel.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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